Why the Church needs a retreat

Before I tell you why, here’s our story:

Two years ago while on Sabbatical, Ben attended a FOCUS retreat of HTB London. He witnessed just a few days, but he saw the church in the city venture to the countryside for a week together of worship, encouragement, rest, and recreation. Ben began to pray about doing something similar with our church. He shared the vision with our team. The vision and prayer were now in the making! We would do this in May on the weekend of Bay to Breakers (an “athletic event” in the city that runs from the Bay to the breaking of the ocean waves in the Pacific where clothing is optional, but one cannot run intoxicated) This weekend always affects getting downtown to Epic anyway - so let’s head to the redwoods! We secured the location, speaker, and worship leader. Our Kids director wrote a full curriculum and our team executed the most excellent, well-run weekend ever, full of games, personal tote bags for every camper, and marketing/storytelling that wowed us all. Even a week prior to our first FOCUS, Ben and I were talking with a pastor in London. He said, “you’ll see things happen in a weekend away that would take 5 years to come together from one Sunday to the next.” We shook our heads believing he was telling the truth. We just didn’t know how good it would be!

So here’s why the Church needs a retreat:

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what's on the other side of obedience: a 10 year old story

3,650 sunrises. That’s my story. It’s the side I’m standing on and there’s no going back. You know that moment you tried french fries in your frosty and you’d never dip them in ketchup again? That moment you laughed so hard you snorted, the embarrassing moment passed, and you knew your friendship just went to another level?

Life is the way it was intended to be lived on this side of obedience.

Well, how do I get there?

What will it cost me?

Is anyone else doing it?

What’s in it for me?

Let me check my calendar.

If I’ve got nothing else to do, I’ll think about it.

Yeah. You’re not ready.

The basic definition of obedience is submission to another’s authority. Our another being the Perfect Son of God, who, “being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death - even death on a cross.” (Philippians 2:6-8)

You’re ready when you submit. Submission - it’s been deemed an old-fashioned word because our world gets more and more selfish, so anything requiring obedience or submission gets ridiculed. So you have to get over that first.

But standing on this side of obedience, submission is worth it! It’s the most freedom I’ve ever experienced. If you know Jesus, you know He does everything backwards and upside down from this world. He says bow low and He’ll lift up. He says last will be first. He says to be rich become poor. I’m still progressing on my faith journey learning from my Maker, but I’ve gotten a few years behind me to taste and see that the Lord, He is good and He is worth following. He’s worth obeying.

And since obedience is active, to stay bogged down with our self-filled questions keeps you on the side of disobedience.

Are you ready now?

Let me tell you a story.

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neckla-says {celebrating women in may}

celebrating women doing their God-given thing

{for the month of may, i’m highlighting a few women who are gaining confidence in who God has created them to be and displaying it so through different means. for some, it was born out of cause. for others, it was there since birth. and some, it’s the season of life they are in. and they are sharing their stories here this month! join me in celebrating them and that’s not all…they want to celebrate you! a giveaway on each blogpost through the month of may! find out below how to enter the drawing!}   {congrats to winner, Meghan DeHart from the previous post}

welcome tammy lashey as we celebrate women in may!

 

Tammy Headshot 2014

Thank you, Shauna for the privilege to share my story with your readers.  My name is Tammy Lashey and I live in Townsend, Delaware.  What’s there to say about me?  I love God, my pastor husband, my three children, my cats, blogging, graphic design and photography.  Oh, and I almost forgot…coffee.  I actually love a lot of things. But for purposes of my post today, I want to tell you about a new creative outlet God’s given me that I truly love and enjoy.

Just over two years ago, God called my husband to plant a church here in our hometown. Among the many changes we experienced was the reality that we would need to live off a smaller income.  So, for Christmas 2012, I decided to get creative and make scripture necklaces for all my loved ones.  I took time thinking about who they were in my life or what their favorite scripture passage might be and I designed what I thought best fit them.  I even made one for myself.

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As I designed my necklace I thought about all the wonderful promises in God’s Word.  It seemed impossible to pick just one.  So I picked a verse that spoke into my life at that time.  Since church planting had been extremely challenging, I wanted to wear something that reminded me of God’s calm and attentive care when things seemed chaotic.

For the LORD your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs."  Zephaniah 3:17.

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The necklace continually reminded me that God doesn’t worry and God doesn’t fail.

Early spring of 2013, I began feeling inspired to make more necklaces.  Not only that, I knew if I began to sell the necklaces, it would help to lighten the financial load for our family.  I talked it over with my husband and he came up with a brilliant name – Neckla.says.  Because as we encounter the ups and downs of this life, it’s always important to know what God’s Word “says”.

It’s been almost a year since I began selling Neckla.says on Facebook and I’ve been thrilled to see that they are well received.   Other’s, like me, have been excited to have their special scripture on a necklace close to their heart.  What’s more, I’ve learned that for every necklace I’ve made, there’s a story and a women needing comfort or courage or strength.  What an honor to have a part in their lives.

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If you want to learn more about my jewelry, you can visit facebook.com/necklasays.  
I am gifting a custom necklace to someone reading this post. 
 Simply like the neckla.says page and 
comment that you read about me on shaunapilgreen.com and you will be entered to win. 
 By the close of the day, I will select a winner in a random drawing.
  If you’d like to keep up with my journey, you can read my blog
 Tammy On Tuesday at luminosityonline.com.