Sunday, November 7, 2010

Another "First Ever"... TSC IC Retreat

About 80 of us went to a hotel in Davenport for our first TSC Iowa City retreat. A ton of prayer and expectation went into this (if you were one of those people- God bless you!)- and God acted powerfully on our behalf.
Paul Sabino, who I consider a life friend and dear brother, was our speaker. Paul is one of the most gifted Bible teachers you will ever meet. But more than that, he is a servant, who not only poured out his life from the stage, but spent hours meeting one on one with students. All of this amidst one of his busiest seasons of ministry... thanks for serving us, Paul!
Paul spoke on the life of Joseph, and he challenged us to consider our brokenness and trials as a stewardship from God. Deep wounds mean deep healing. It was a weekend of confession, healing, and salvation.

A couple Chinese students gave their lives to Jesus, and there were a few others who are really considering taking the step of repentance and faith.
I asked Sharon if she was a follower of Jesus, "Yes, for one hour." She said, "I've tried all these years to trust myself. But I fail so often. I can't forgive. I fall short. How can I trust myself anymore?"
There are so many stories that wouldn't be appropriate to share here, but where God broke in to some very dark, demonic places to bring the light of Christ and his good news of salvation. Paul felt redirected from what he had originally planned to bring these messages from the life of Joseph, which were talks he had never given. It was obvious that God was in this. We can't be messengers of healing unless we are healed. It would be hard for a doctor with gangrene infested hands to do surgery on someone else.

The retreat ended with "How he loves", a song that summarizes our retreat...

"He is jealous for me. Love's like a hurricane, I am a tree, bending beneath the weight of his wind and mercy. When all of a sudden, I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory and I realize just how beautiful you are and how great your affections are for me... "

I just ran into Frank here at the library, who was on the retreat. He said, "I can't stop thinking about how much God loves me."

I think we will point back to this retreat as a defining moment for our ministry. Thanks again to all of you who have been praying.

Jeff and I bolted back Sunday morning for our Veritas connection group kickoff. We were displaced from our usual meeting place, so we used it as an opportunity to get people connected in these smaller communities in people's homes. We had amazing brunch grub (this sweet pecan casserole was ridiculously good) and there were about 80 people in the groups.
This casserole is making me hungry. Especially since my stomach is telling me it's 12:30 not 11:30 (I still love "fall back" time). Off to Short's for the best burger in town...

1 comment:

Mike Easton said...

Very awesome man. Praise God for the new life! I can definitely hear Sharon's voice as she tries to explain in her second language something that has so radically changed her. Very cool. Keep up the good work man!