Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Staff Retreat Lake Tahoe

No catchy title, but an event, another step...in an amazing place of God's choosing.

Our Senior Pastor shared with us the first night about God's sovereignty...His sovereign plan, His sovereign purpose, His sovereign importance. He reflected on Psalm 57 which David wrote as he was fleeing from Saul. I don't question God's sovereignty, I've shared how I felt the blanket of it from the very beginning. I accept it, but I want so desperately to understand it. While the weekend helped me to settle into my acceptance of God's plan, it also opened up an avenue of pondering keeping God's sovereign importance out in the front. God has compassion for me, He is my refuge and I can hide "under the shadow of his wings..." (Psalm 57:1b) but He still remains God. I can feel comforted and protected while I heal, but God still is in the all-important work of showing people Himself. He is bigger than my situation, but He loves me tenderly through it.

I guess it is perspective. Across the lake there is a large sheer face on a rock (hillside?) If one were to stand right in front of it, it would probably look pretty imposing. From this side of the lake it adds a different "texture" to the whole composition of the shore line. Then there is the size of the lake. It's a decent sized lake...one can see the opposite shoreline (the weather was cold, but beautifully clear!)...but when you learn about the DEPTH of the lake...that is perspective. Perhaps a perspective on God's love...from which...if we know Him...nothing can separate us.

In the Bible, the book of Romans, chapter 8 verses 38 and 39 say, "For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord."

I continue to ponder the whole thought of "understanding." A dear widow friend said she gave up trying to understand and just lets the grieving be what it is. I appreciated that. Then I read Job 28 and I started pondering again about wisdom and understanding. What Job heard about wisdom and understanding didn't give answers to his pain and suffering. And so I continue to ponder. "And he (God) said to man, 'The fear of the Lord-- that is wisdom, and to shun evil is understanding.'" Job 28:28 I usually settle back on my life verse, "Trust in the Lord with all of your heart and lean not on your own understandings. In all your ways acknowledge Him (make Him known) , and He will direct your paths." Proverbs 3:5,6

Perhaps that brings us back to His Sovereign Importance. If I participate in making Him known (trusting Him), He will be directing my paths. I can see the sheer face in the shoreline and not be overwhelmed. "Why in the world does He want to use me?" His point exactly...it's about the perspective of His love. "For God SO loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life." John 3:16.

After the first evening I asked myself the question many ask me, "How is Annie?" (I haven't figured out how to make indents so you'll have to bear with the way this just lines up on the margin.)

She is listening


seeing the lights on the distant shore

the lighthouse

the steady beam of light



light in the darkness

Darkness seems so much more prevelant

but the light wins

changes it

cracks it open

pierces it

He was pierced

It changes us


Longing for a distant shore



I continue to ponder. I am appreciating this time of sabbatical...November... Your hugs are precious. Knowing what God is teaching you is uplifting. We need each other. And the world needs Jesus.

Until the whole world knows,

Annie B.

P.S. Here's where I'm headed next: Check out Job's pondering in chapter 28. I am fascinated by the gems. Literally and figuratively (my pictures...for sake of discussion). What does God have for us in suffering? To learn to see Him? What are we willing to set aside to see Him more clearly...with a healthy fear?

Other thoughts: An Instant vs A Moment

Barns and Noble ideas


Neat Freak (not me)

Maybe I'll weave some of these thoughts together, but for now I am tired. I wrote our Christmas letter last night. Lonnnnngggggg thoughts. Thankful for His peace...and REST.


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