How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news! There is a lot of good news in this Monday’s inbasket. Thanks for sharing how Equipping Lydia experiences are renewing for you.
Mini-Retreat: Breakfast with Jesus. ” Thank you for this mini retreat. thank you for I was tired and hungry.. I had my moments of great time of breakfast with Jesus.” –From a pastor in Lithuania after reading the mini-retreat sent out on Friday, April 12. And another : ”This is awesome!! Thank you so much for sharing. May I have your permission to forward this to our Ethiopian Team who will be departing on 5/17.” — Lexington, KY.
Thoughts from the Creative Writing Group that met on Saturday, April 15 2013.
What did guests say after Holy Listening?
God overwhelmed with with his love for me! I want to love him back.
– JP, March, 2013
WOW! How gently powerful the Holy Listening session is. I got more than I expected; not just clarity but strength and empowerment. – MS, February, 2013
The Holy Listening session helped me feel a little more at peace in that it served as a reminder to feel safe, content, and calmer where I am and who I am. Some of the words brought be comfort, some I need to ponder & wait fro their meaning to be revealed. --CV, March, 2013
I could feel the presence of the Holy Spirit the moment I walked in. Three ladies who prayed for me were so graceful and sweet. There are so many things that God spoke to me through them. God reminded me where I was 11 years ago before I came to know him and how far He has taken me and how faithful He has been. And I do see the light that comes from “the window.” He will lead me to the end. He has something good for me. – KM, October 2012
Equipping Lydia is like nothing I have ever encountered. It is like spending the whole day with Jesus…where I can actually use my 5 senses to see Him, hear Him, touch Him, smell Him and even taste the sweetness of Him! Just amazing! God is so gracious as to only give me enough light for the step I am on! I underwent 7months of (grueling) chemo, then end of November I endured a bi-lateral mastectomy, then I started off the new year with 35 radiation treatments! I actually only have 8 left. I would have said I couldn’t do it…that it was too much for me. Yet our Lord is faithful and He showed me the way. As long as I kept my eyes on Him, I did great. So,so,so many blessings have been received and shared! Only God can turn the very thing that Satan meant for evil into good… That week-end [An EL Retreat] was the very thing I needed to rest, to begin to really trust, to allow Jesus to hold me close. I reflected and unraveled revelations from that day through-out my ordeal. I actually used the scarf [Prayer Shawl given to her at the EL retreat] to cover my head while I was a baldy!! Something The Lord revealed to me was that this world can never take any part of me that matters. The things He gives me are eternal! Also He showed me how many decisions that I make in my life based on fear. I’m so grateful He doesn’t leave me that way! We are closer than ever and regardless of what I went through, I am stronger because I relied on Jesus to be my Knight in shining armor. The scars remind me that in this life there will be trouble, but it doesn’t end there, does it? What an amazing, powerful, mighty, loving, kind Lord we serve!! It won’t be long until I begin to get some strength back. Thank you for checking on me. Although I haven’t commented, I try to keep up on what is happening with Equipping Lydia and am praying for His will, His protection and His favor to be upon everyone involved!! –S.M.
After the March 2, 2013 Spiritual Refreshment Retreat: So thankful for the opportunity to be a part of the refreshment spiritual prayer retreat on yesterday the time of prayer was fitting for the days ahead many decisions and changes I need to make in regards to ministry and that time away has encourage me and strengthen me for the next level add path for the journey. R.R. as posted on EL’s Facebook page
I think I can speak on behalf of everyone present yesterday to say how impactful the retreat was. It was timely and all of us encountered God in different ways. The service and love provided by your team of volunteers was wonderful. It has been wonderful seeing how God has kept our ministries working together over the last few years. I have been meditating for a while on John 15 and when i saw the focus of yesterday i knew God was confirming the need to stay connected with Him in greater ways. THANK YOU for your service to leaders and ministry teams.
Ked Frank, Director Refuge for Women
Laura & Team: My Spirit was filled to overflow, thank you so much for your services to all of us!!! Thanks for being on the front line praying for us, I will do the same for all of you.What a Joy it is to be serving the Kingdom with all of you. Growing in Christ: Jewellan Morrison, Refuge for Women
Equipping Lydia has launched me into a new phase of spirituality. Their retreat has brought me to the feet of the Lord, where He has shown me that He truly loves me and everything that I am in Him is good. It has turned me away from concern for the way I appear to others, to bringing Christ to others. I love myself, and so I can truly love others. –Karen Holm-Hudson, Associate Pastor of Children and Families, Vineyard Community Church, Lexington, KY
The impact of Holy Listening on the Kingdom of God has been interesting to watch unfold. Through these circles, Equipping Lydia has been gently fostering an ecumenically diverse community of individuals who are increasingly practicing the art of sacrificial listening. This gentle approach to being present with others in their “threshold” seasons has allowed amazingly beautiful and sacred transitions to aoccur in the lives of leaders. What happens in the Holy Listening Circle is like the cork to a champagne bottle being opened. The miracle of these moments typically unfolds in the weeks following the gatherings. There is a great deal of spiritual effervescence and Kingdom movement that seems to be unlocked through these experiences.
Overall, the leaders who participated in Holy Listening were encouraged as they heard the voice of God speaking to them in tender ways about questions that they carried very near to their hearts. Holy Listening gave them space to listen and to connect with the voice of God and with the Body of Christ, and to be blessed with what they would need to integrate God’s direction into their lives. Many left with courage to strike out in a bold new direction under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, others left with the affirmation that they are indeed on the right path, and nearly all left with an assurance that God sees them, knows their deepest desires, and loves them personally and passionately.
- “I have felt the move of the Spirit in this place today…. My heart is full and I have peace. Praise God! What an awesome experience.” G.W.
- “Thank you for sharing your time to listen on my behalf. The words I received helped by giving me a filter of sorts to clarify God’s voice vs. others; to know what to prune by releasing all to Him; and to know what to pick back up as He directs.” N.W.
- “This session revealed to me how important it is to sometimes include others to listen to the Holy Spirit with you…. I had never thought to pay attention to the images that I see while praying. How wonderful and exciting! Thanks!” J.L.
- “I felt very peaceful before, during and after. I believe that the women present were Spirit filled and truly had the desire to hear what God was saying. I heard many things that felt like confirmation. I will spend time taking these discernments to Jesus for the confirmation. A very positive experience.” L.S.
- “In an area where I feel is not my strength-discernment, what a gift it is to gather with those who are very discerning. It was encouraging to experience confirmation of what God has been showing me; as well as new insights to pray through. Thank you for giving me your gift of time and insights.” L.L.
The Impact of Spiritual Formation Groups
Equipping Lydia coordinates spiritual formation groups to offer a safe place where women of faith, especially leaders, could encounter the love of Jesus together through quiet, prayerful contemplation and sharing. The underlying vision is that our hearts long to become a reflection of the One we love. These gatherings focused on the forming of our spirits which then helps us reflect the light and love of Christ in our roles throughout the Kingdom.
Formation in community offered each participant a chance to risk vulnerability in order to be known in a profound and intimate way. Being heard and understood was both healing and life giving. Speaking our story out loud often adds clarity and depth to what we’ve already discerned. As the group prayed for each member over the course of the gatherings, participants were lifted before the One who loves us. God’s grace was invited to transform, to heal, and to guide.
Testimonies from those who participated in the spiritual formation groups:
- Just what does a spiritual formation group do? And why am I willing to make time in my very busy life to commit to this group again? This small group of women meet together to take time to listen to the Lord’s direction. The format of the group is a comfortable, encouraging time where I can hear a message from the Lord.
- Because I have committed the 2 hours, I do not have the distractions of home and family and cell phone to interrupt the time. I am not looking for an answer to a particular prayer, so I think my heart is more open to the direction or message the Lord wants me to hear.
- In the last six months, I have more peace with the seasons of my life and more comfort in the difficult parts of my life because the Lord has clearly shown me His plan is in place.
- The group can be summed up by Psalm 46:10. Be still and know that I am God. This group guides me to be still so I can know God.
- Unity developed around the Scripture readings each time we met. There was always a common thread running thru what each woman heard from God through the day’s readings.
- Even in such a short time frame (6 meetings), we formed a bond of love and trust. We learned how to begin our time in quiet community with God in the company of other believers.
- Having the focus on “listening to God” and allowing Him to reveal to me how to apply the Scripture to my life was a spiritually deepening experience of faith.
- The fact that we shared prayer requests provided opportunities to minister to each other during group time and outside of the group. This is now a vital part of my spiritual life.
- So many more women were gathered together in a rhythmic way within a spiritual community through the formation groups. Life continued to have challenges, but because of the ongoing nature of these groups, the women were not sent into crisis when those challenges arose.
- The specific appointment so attendees who shared experiences that encouraged at the exact time in season for one from a past season of another. Holy listening appointments resulted that turned into specific experience of discernment about not getting involved in an eastern practice that would distract from God’s glory.
- So much individual encouragement and guidance in a season of transition.
A prayer of thanks:
Jesus, You were and are our honored guest. You were always acknowledged and welcomed first. We waited expectantly to see what you would say. And you spoke through Your Word, which is alive and full of power. You took our unspoken words, needs and cares and wrapped it all in You.
– Carolyn Jones
Testimonies From the Summer of 2012
Thank you for being the face, hands and feet of Jesus! I am truly blessed to have a God who wants nothing more than to love me, and love others through me! Thank you for allowing Him to love me through your ladies. – A spiritual refreshment retreat guest
Just have to let you know that the prayer-share-prayer group is wonderful (full of wonder!). The Spirit has worked through the scripture EVERY WEEK to address issues in our lives. There are only four of us but it is a good group of busy women who love God and need this boost of God’s love every week. We thank you so much for sharing this with us.
Much Love, Judy Nickelson
The retreat was so meaningful and awe inspiring. All who attended truly departed knowing each had encountered teh presence of Christ. May the Lord continue to bless you in your ministry.
– Kentucky Conference, United Methodist Women
2011 was a wonderful year of experiencing God’s Love in new ways. Through the ministry of Equipping Lydia, I received spiritual direction, became a spiritual direction apprentice and began seeing others to provide spiritual direction. I received holy answers to challenging questions through the assistance of holy listeners. I had the opportunity to listen to the Lord on behalf of others. In so doing, He provided answers to my unspoken questions as well as insights for the seekers. I discovered that “retreat” no longer meant running from solitude. It meant running to My Lord and Savior and enjoying our times together beside still waters. And through all of this, I discovered the joy of community. I experienced community prayer and sharing on a whole new level. I found peace and joy! So it was a natural overflowing of that joy that led me to begin a blog on joy! It is my desire to encourage others to reach for the Joy Jesus promised. Come join me and jump for joy! – Carolyn Jones
You can access Carolyn’s blog through this link: www.carolynpriesterjones.org
A Poem by Claudia Duffee
(based on Isaiah 9: 5-9 Scripture at Equipping Lydia 2011 Advent Silent Retreat)
The earth will be filled with people
who know God -
they will be conduits
of Love’s energy -
of peace outwardly flowing
from the people
filling the earth
full of knowing
God, Love God-Love.
The earth will be packed full
of people knowing
God, flowing love
thinking love, God
speaking strength love
out – into the earth
living love expands
the earth will be ruled,
the land will be full -
as God’s Love controls.
Peace reigns through
people who know,
who can see, perceive
the Creator Redeemer Trinity -
and thus divinity expands
filling up the sea and land
flowing through humans -
woman and man.
December 1, 2011, By: Claudia Duffee
November, 2011 – Thank you so much for your willingness to come and to pour into the women of Embrace Church; what a blessing it was to have you with us and to be encouraged by you in the Lord. The ministry of Equipping Lydia is being used in mighty ways to impact the Kingdom; may the Lord continue to bless your ministry as you touch the lives of so many women both in the Lexington area and beyond. From Embrace Church, Lexington, KY
Every $75 given to Equipping Lydia allows someone to experience spiritual direction or a day retreat. Below are testimonies of impact from recipients of spiritual direction scholarships during the summer of 2011:
- I have found renewal not only on that day but in the weeks to follow. It’s hard to get away as a pastor and just focus on God ‘for oneself’. It seems a luxury at best and selfish at worst. Equipping Lydia continues to remind me of the old truth that you can’t pass on what you don’t have. My phone is set to the picture I took of the rain barrel by the porch as a daily reminder of the availability of the Spirit to fill me up when I am dry. I am also reminded that I am not without sisters in this ministry as well.”
- Equipping Lydia offered a wonderful time to get away and connect with the Savior, to seek His desires without the bombardment of everyday pressures.
- My Equipping Lydia experience was amazing because it truly refreshed me. It reconnected me with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in such a personal way that I have hope again that I can have and express joy, peace, love, and comfort in life and in ministry. My burned out candle was re-poured and relit…and lovingly reminded how to keep it going.
- The two sessions I have had have been incredibly encouraging and enlightening. I have discovered more about myself and my calling as a result of these sessions.
- In the midst of a transition from full-time employment in the Iowa business world to full-time ATS Seminary student in Wilmore, Kentucky, my recent EL spiritual direction experience relieved anxieties. I was able to speak with God about some areas of guilt and refocus on the truth of God’s forgiveness. Receiving God’s love, letting go and releasing pent up emotions during the session was cleansing.
- I’m very grateful that my aunt suggested to me the Equipping Lydia ministry. My times in personal spiritual direction have been very life giving and helpful, like a person struggling to swim in water and someone throws them a life preserver and then pulls them in to safety. They have been a life line for me, and have helped to keep me encouraged and to have clarity in ministry. There are few places I can go to share my struggles in ministry and with the Lord and not feel judged or questioned, and I’m grateful that this ministry is a resource for me and for other women.
- In seeking spiritual direction through the Equipping Lydia ministry, one of my goals is to further develop my sense of what my gifts are and how to more actively and effectively use them in the Kingdom.
- My first session of spiritual direction came at a time in my life when I was in the midst of several emotionally challenging situations such as death of a friend and family members and also some family relationship problems. I was experiencing emotions that I was not prepared to deal with, and my spiritual director helped me significantly by guiding me through some of my feelings and helping me understand God’s feelings for those situations. I came away from the first session feeling a sense of peace and calmness that I had not felt for the previous few months. I am so thankful for the Equipping Lydia ministry, and I so eagerly look forward to the next session!
- I can say that I walked away with much more that I had anticipated – being our first session and all. First, the preconceived intention for my visit was not the focus of my time with God and you today. Well today uncovered some unresolved that I had not come to peace with. Great listening skills and the right questions helped me realize not only that this was not in God’s will for myself or my son, but this was a burden that was hindering forward motion in my call and my walk with my Lord. With the struggles and confusion I had been facing, this one step toward clarity was huge and my session today opened my mind and heart to the tools God has given me to move past this block. This of course will not only add to my personally wholeness, but also add a life experience that I can take with me into ministry.
- My recent experience with Equipping Lydia retreat was very soul refreshing. It was great to have a chance to be allowed and encouraged to simply be with God. I hope to do it again real soon.
- I am so very thankful that you were willing to see me while I was visiting in Kentucky. The time I spent with you helped me recapture my focus. You helped me realize that I had taken my eyes off of my goal and allowed the mundane things in my life to become mountains and therefore obstacles to becoming the Christ like person I truly want to be.
- Equipping Lydia prepared an atmosphere that nourished my body and my spirit. God’s grace and mercy were generously made available to me at a time when my soul was tired and thirsty.
- I was fatigued from the overwhelming responsibilities of being a seminary student and a pastor. Through Equipping Lydia’s Spiritual Direction, I was refreshed in God’s Spirit. Since I have been home, I have been told that there is something new and vital in my preaching and my “being” I believe it is the fresh wind of the Spirit!
Dear Equipping Lydia,
I should have written sooner to tell you how much I have appreciated this silent retreat. I really liked the location, the house, the property. But above all, I liked the peaceful and condusive atmosphere. It is when I attend this type of retreat that I measure not only the lack of freedom that prevails in most denominations, but also, and it is so unfortunate, the spiritual abuse…
God doesn’t make mistakes and He didn’t train Paul on the beach of Cannes… the latter grew and matured through trials, tribulations, persecution, rejection, much suffering and heartbreaks. So, I didn’t waste my time all these years encountering methods, strategies and ideas that emanated more from the brains of supposed visionaries, that from the Spirit of God. We live, we learn and we try to become better, more tender, more opened, intimate with the Lord.
Nevertheless, sometimes we have the privilege to go to a “soul spa” like that day with you, where nothing shocks our spirits. We are free to breathe, to be ourselves, to choose a position, to regroup with others or to stay alone, to cry or laugh, to think, pray, dream, receive or give… It is the Church as God intended it to be, a place where people are restored, refreshed, renewed.
Thank you to have offered that to us. Thank you for your humble service, inspiring Biblical passages, enlightening symbols and finally delightful food. Your ministry is rare, special… and highly appreciated. — D.
See Emily Hampton’s Blog Post about her experience at an Equipping Lydia retreat, including pictures.
I am a home school mom with 2 boys that are in 2 different sports on 2 different ends of town and a retired husband that is home much of the day.
Sometimes the dynamics of life can throw more at you than our busy culture gives you a chance to process with the Lord’s perspective and I certainly don’t want to stop at my limited view. I can honestly say the Silent retreat was a refuge from all that and a place to quietly talk to the Lord about the things on my mind and heart and process them unhurriedly with His Spirit and His Word.
We met with the others briefly just to read a short scripture and share a song. By the end of the day when we shared a meal, God’s word to me was confirmed through the testimonies of the women there.
I would encourage anyone in need of a touch from Jesus to go and just sit at His feet. What you find there can never be taken away.
From an August 2010 Spiritual Refreshment Retreat
A Quiet Place, Bryantsville, Kentucky
After praying over Luke 13:10-17
Today I received from the Lord: Joy, a steadfast mind & truth in the in most place. Praise the Lord! I’m excited to see what the world looks like standing up straight. Yay! — R.L.
Just thought I’d send an encouraging testimony of the long-term effects of Equipping Lydia . I have found that I am much more in tune with my “spiritual busyness quotient” now and can tell when my life is getting too crazy for me to clearly hear the Lord and His will for my life (about once a month right now!). I have started taking my own personal half-day retreats about once a month where I just lock the doors and turn off the phone and computer and retreat into my prayer room. It takes a decent amount of planning to block out my schedule like that (no laundry, nothing!) but it is worth it. It really helps to give myself permission to be out of communication with the world for half of a Saturday and to just be with the Lord. I can spend much needed time in prayer, realigning my priorities with His so I know what to say no to (and we all have stuff that we need to say no to! We are not Superwoman!). This allows more time in my life for the Lord to breathe His perfect will into my spirit and to continue to grow me. It settles me down and plants my feet on solid ground again so I can move forward with confidence, knowing that what I am putting my time and energy into is also what He would have me put it into. Thanks for teaching me the blessing and necessity of periodic retreat and quiet in the Lord! — M.H.
This was wonderful—a true time of rest. I feel like God worked during this time to quiet me and quiet my spirit in order to empty me of myself and fill me completely with Himself. — A.K.
This time has been refreshing and I appreciate the people who have prayed for me. I felt the Lord so near and felt their prayers. It was a beautiful place with beautiful people. Thanks! — Unsigned
What an amazing and wonderful day! It was an incredible gift to have extended periods of time to hear the Lord. I didn’t realize until today how much and how long I’ve yearned for a day like this—and to do it off an on—on a regular basis. Thank you! — Unsigned
Everything you think you will need, leave it at home! Bring your Bible and your journal and a spirit of openness. That’s all you will need. It was hard to leave busyness behind, distraction of phones and reading, but the benefit of hearing God’s voice and being free to not have to be “doing” was incredible. The day was too short! — E.M.
Long ago my Father led me to an understanding of anchoring my life in the quiet and deep places in Him. That depth and peace comes only as we submit to quieting ourselves before Him and allowing Him to reveal himself to us through his word and in deep communication- prayer! In Laura I have found a friend in the word and prayer. It therefore follows that the ministry of Equipping Lydia is so based and leads women in this path. What a wonderful opportunity to further the work of the Kingdom through my finances, time, and prayer support of this ministry. — Libby Brumfield
Thank you for all the tears last week. Very cleansing, very cleansing!
Your words, “I see the Lord kissing your heart.” are absolutely haunting me (in a good way).
I’m changed. — Karen
Thank you so much for the wonderful Equipping Lydia retreat day! It was holy, and I felt like the Lord was preparing me for letting go of most everything in my life and moving forward into all He has planned. I felt like I was greiving – but it was good. The Lord dealt with some even deeper things after I left. Thank you so much for your gentle ministry to women!
United Methodist Pastor
One of the biggest impacts spiritual direction has had on me has been that of learning to give back to God what I often pick up and carry inside of myself from others. Specifically, as a psychologist and a person who God has given a compassion heart, I often absorb some of the pain, anger or depression I am helping someone work through. The feelings the person is experiencing are very real, and justifiable given the grievous sin they have been exposed to by trusted individuals. Sometimes after counseling with them, their expressed feelings, and my feeling of righteous injustice can stay with me well after the person has left the office. In spiritual direction with Laura, I have learned to receive freedom and cleansing by giving these situations to God. Laura has taught me how to release what I am experiencing in prayer by naming the wrong that has occurred, admitting the pain and hurt, naming the wrong order or sin, naming the right order of how God would want it to be, asking God to bring His right order into this person’s life, forgive the person, choose to release the hurt and the person to God, and pray for the person’s life to be blessed in a way that Jesus will come into their life and help make them the person God wants them to be. This technique of “giving God what was really his to begin with” has been very effective in my work and personal life and spared me many restless times of worry and sadness.
I have benefited personally and professionally from many of the Day Retreats. One the most recent Day Retreats of Spiritual Refreshment, Laura taught us about the importance of entering into rest with Jesus. We discussed the importance of a Sabbath rest, the purpose of the Sabbath and how to incorporate that into our lives. I have shared and personally begun entering into Sabbath rest (sometimes mini-Sabbath rests), along with my immediate family, and other weary families who have asked about it. Learning to be intimate with God, quieting my body and mind to hear His voice has been so healing and I have seen the active hand of God working in my and other’s lives through this process.
Laura’s ministry has touched my life in so many ways, especially by providing support and strength through her example and relationship with the Lord. The Holy Spirit works through her to teach many men and women how to have a more intimate, peaceful and powerful relationship with the Lord and others. She also exemplifies healthy closeness with other members of the Body of Christ and teaches how to help those who do not yet know Christ and His healing love.
In my office I work with children, adolescents, teens, college students, parents and young and mature adults. Many of my clients have been diagnosed wit anxiety, depression, sexual identity issues, suicidal ideations and attempts, self-injurious behaviors, academic or work difficulties, addictions, or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity type behaviors.
Last summer (2008), I had some powerful encounters with the Lord that left me very excited but also nervous and unsure of where the Lord was calling me for my life. Both the retreats and personal ministry with Laura helped me to learn how to walk in my new gifting and gave me strength and courage to minister at a largely secular college to students who are hungry for the Lord. Equipping Lydia was a safe and nurturing ministry that equipped me and enabled me to hear the Lord better in many aspects of my life.
Assistant Professor of Chemistry
The Equipping Lydia ministry has helped me in becoming more focused and diligent in my prayer life, in the reading and understanding of God’s word. The counseling and prayer support have been very enriching and spiritually fulfilling. I have learned how to be more disciplined in dealing with pastoral matters and have grown and matured in the areas of wisdom, discernment and how to set aside time for God. It has been an amazing journey with Laura as my aid and confidante.
Assistant Curate (Assistant minister)
Church of England
South West London
Equipping Lydia has helped me to grow spiritually as a Pastor. Equipping Lydia provides aspects of ministry that are not available in my Course of Study Courses at Seminary. They are very adaptable to use in my local congregation and I have already been asked by my women’s group to do a one day retreat on Prayer. I will be using (with Laura’s permission) the many things that we were given at a retreat.
I really like the simple techniques that she employees in her retreats. They are useful for laity as well as those who are ordained. They are always thought-provoking, spirit-led retreats and I have always enjoyed Laura’s unique approach to the Word and spirituality.
Licensed Local Pastor
August 11, 2009
The very first feather I found occurred last fall during a ladies retreat sponsored by Equipping Lydia Ministries. I was walking the trail in the back as had many others on that day… but I still found a large lovely feather in my pathway and was amazed because I was not the first to travel on that path, on that day… C. Duffee
(c)2009 by Claudia Duffee, MA
I found another feather
lying in my path
as I walked into the woods, deep
and off the beaten track.
A brown and white striped beauty
at least 12 inches long
sitting on the forest floor
this treasure did not belong.
I wonder why God placed it
right in front of me.
Is it a sign He’s speaking
of a new career for me?
A feather stands for writing
prose and poetry,
but dipped into indigo
could also paint a scene.
I’ve found so many feathers
lying in my path
that recently I’m wondering
what to think or ask.
This feather is the longest,
the largest one too
I’ve found at least ten more
and have kept them in my room.
I think over this matter carefully.
I pray and contemplate
exactly on life’s journey
which pathway now to take.
Our journey has so many bends
the curves make life divine
new adventures can be found
around every mountain we climb.
April 21, 2009
I want to let you know what a blessing it was to attend the Equipping Lydia retreat. I was blessed and refreshed. You have a wonderful gift of hospitality and of making people feel comfortable. It was a good day.
As promised, below is the poem I wrote from my heart that day.
God bless you and all you do.
Jesus, I’ve not been faithful
In my daily walk with you.
I guess I’m much too busy
To do what you call me to do!
Your word holds everything I need
And will guide me every day.
If I take the time to spend with you
And let you teach me in your way.
Your heart is always ready
To shed your grace on me.
But I am too preoccupied
To take some time for thee.
My spirit longs to be willing
To be obedient and true.
Draw me to that place my God
To daily commune with you.
Copyright 2009-2010, Lynda Manning
Thanks so much for helping me rendezvous with the Almighty… I came to the retreat dry, hungry, and broken…not just from seven years of pastoring, but from a lifetime of hiding. You gave me hope that God wanted to refresh and restore me… With your training on anger and your welcoming encouragement, I heard God’s invitation to meet him in that place I have so dreaded going. Tuesday afternoon I walked into the turbulent, almost frightening woods to wait on God. In the midst of the roar of the wind through the trees, I found shelter in a lean-to…and waited…and prayed like never before…and the miraculously unexpected happened…God spoke words of love and healing. I came out of the woods with a new understanding of who I am and why I have tried so hard and worked so endlessly…why my prayer life has been so cold and lifeless…because I wouldn’t allow myself to trust the One I was praying to. 30 years of distrust and self sufficiency…can they really have blown away with the wind? Tuesday night when our group all prayed for healing, I felt the weight of a thousand hurts lifted…and I wasn’t alone! Together the whole bunch of us we got kinda giddy and crazy and we laughed and cried and danced from the power of a Source unseen. The Holy Spirit was giving us all a freedom we had not known maybe for years. Wow! … Thank You for being the conduit for this wonderful spiritual healing from God and for allowing God to use you in such a wonderful healing way for so many of us. I am a new person…and you had a hand in it…thanks be to God! I can’t wait to start again. I have a life to re-examine and reshape with God’s help, and I’m excited about getting started. This time I plan to TRUST God to lead the way. Hallelujah!
Dancing in the vineyard….
If you have attended a retreat and would like to send in a testimonial, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.