So…I don’t want to sound too much like a travel brochure. I won’t go on about the glorious spring sunshine, weeping willows over the lake, children rolling gleefully down grassy hills, beautiful tall red tulips in the gardens, unlimited coffee, and yummy salted caramel cheesecake. Or at least, I’ll stop going on about it now. If you were there, you know all these things were great, and if you weren’t, then it’s probably a bit annoying.
Here are some of the phrases used by different people about their weekend:
“I enjoyed the presence of God in the meetings and being reminded that God likes us.”
“I was prayed for about my toothache and it went away.”
“I loved spending time with people in the sun eating lots of cake.”
“I’ve started to hear God speak to me at my desk at work.”
“It was an amazing weekend full of blessing and real encounters with God. The fellowship and worship were phenomenal.”
“The teaching on identity and prophecy was very helpful for me”
The weekend away did feel packed with different fun things to do and exciting times worshiping and meeting with God, but there was still lots of down time to appreciate hanging out both with old friends, and with people I don’t know well. We enjoyed a quiz, a comedy/magic act from John Archer, a walk around the area taking in lots of Thomas the Tank-like railway tracks and stations, messy games (which I managed to avoid), and – my personal highlight – a kids disco. It was a little hard to tell whether the kids or the parents were having more fun busting their moves, but we all ended up a bit hot and exhausted. There was a lovely feel of being a big family together through the whole weekend.
On the more “spiritual” side of the weekend, things were also exciting as we heard some words of prophecy, we saw several people experience being healed from pain and we heard more about God’s love for us and His presence in us and closeness to us. I think many people (including myself) found it an emotional time looking at our identity in Christ and God’s pleasure in us as His people. Ask anyone who was there and they would probably tell you about a different experience that helped them to understand something, think more deeply about a piece of theology, experience more of God or feel blessed by Him in a particular way.
So if you weren’t there, maybe ask a friend what their experience was, and even if you were, it’s great to keep chatting together about what God has done for us so we don’t lose sight of it in the busyness of everyday life.
Photo by Joan Thompson