Over the long MLK weekend, we went on Winter Retreat. We started the first day on Friday at Preuss. Pastor Timothy from the Minnesota church flew in to be the guest speaker, and he opened the retreat with a testimonial message on Zacchaeus. He talked about how he grew up believing a formula for success, that he came to see that as hollow promises, and how, in seeking God, he came to see that it was actually God who has been seeking him this entire time.
On Saturday, we drove up to Pinecrest Christian Conference Center. Each day was filled with plenary sessions, testimony sharings, hanging out and workshops, prayer and worship. The workshops ranged from The Problem of Suffering, Art of Reflection, Narcissism Epidemic, and How Do You Believe in a God You Cannot See, to name a few.
Pastor Timothy talked about Apostle Paul and St. Augustine and seeing ourselves as wretched sinners, the infinite capacity in the human heart to justify our sins. He talked about the kindness of Jesus as he approaches each of us, and talked about how repentance is an acknowledgement of our sins, and a U-turn in our lives, and how repentance is sweet because there's grace and unrestricted forgiveness. He talked about the parable of the tax collector and the pharisee, and how Christ must have lordship over all areas of our lives, and we talked about how our spiritual lives are our responsibility.
At retreat, we got to enjoy each others' company, play in the snow, zip line and rock climb, and hang out. But more than that, it was a time of spiritual breakthrough as many brothers and sisters made Lordship and salvation decisions and rededicated their lives to Christ. It was a time of silencing the loud voices that crowd our minds and being able to focus on God so that we could make that confession too, that we are wretched sinners, but because God is a loving Father, he seeks us and forgives us and shows us kindness and mercy.
Here are some pictures!