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Posts Tagged ‘transformation’

The doubts begin about a week or so before each retreat.  There is a hissing sound.  “Who do you think you are?”  Taking another look through the Study Guide brings mixed emotions: The Word is exciting, but will my manner of presentation be helpful or harmful?

On August 8-9, my living room was filled with nine women.  My prayer was, “Please, dear God, don’t let me get in the way of Your Spirit.”  There were Lutherans and non-Lutherans.  Older and younger.  Married and unmarried.  Friday evening began, as always, with a meal.  It’s a way to practice hospitality, not showing off, but showing respect.  The women settled in for a night of contrasting the world with God’s Word before recognizing what Titus, chapter two, has to say to each of us in our vocation of mentoring.  On Saturday, we continued with breakfast, two sessions (one being my favorite on “Identity”), lunch, and two more sessions.

This note arrived about a week later: “Thanks so much for welcoming us into your home for the Titus 2 Retreat . . . The material is excellent, well thought-out and organized.  But, you present it with humility blended with confidence and commitment to the message.  At our church, we are seeking transformation, not just information.  And the Titus 2 for Life message is life-changing.”

Another note read, “It’s so wonderful to listen to someone who is so articulate, doesn’t compromise one bit of God’s Word — and gets it.  I could have listened forever.”  Another read: “Prior to this, I hadn’t considered the Genesis connection to Biblical womanhood.”

On September 17-18, a Titus 2 Retreat was hosted in Norfolk, NE.  Eighteen women fit comfortably in Kathy’s peaceful and welcoming home.  She did not “show off,” but showed respect for each guest by way of her caring and servant-style manner.  Lutherans For Life members who assisted Kathy by helping with food explained their conviction and desire to help mentor away from trendy thinking to the foundational Word of God.  By 3:00 on Saturday afternoon, all the women were tired.  But, many lingered as if they didn’t want to hurry from a place of warmth and safety.

Titus 2 Retreats are not easy.  Topics covered are counter-cultural and using the “double-edged Sword of Truth” is divisive.   After a retreat, I am drained.  I know each woman has a story.  But, not knowing the stories, I pray for tender words of hope and encouragement.  I am challenged to stay on track, yet allow discussion; speak what honors God, yet be alert to a variety of emotions.

Dear Spirit, You know my opinions count for nothing.  They are not helpful.  They are shifting grains of sand.  Keep this little ministry rooted in Truth — God’s unchanging Word of Truth.  On October 8-9 in the home of Sherry and with women from the Cedar Falls area,

Let my speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that I may know how I ought to answer each person.

And, help me be a worker who

. . . has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the Word of Truth.

(Colossians 4:6; 2 Timothy 2:15)

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