|This photo was taken from inside the gazebo.|
The retreat got off to a fun start for us as we walked into the office to check in. Coming out was an old friend we have known for 30 years but had never seen at TWNE. What a joy to find that he and his wife were there with some of our newer friends, a younger couple we'd met at a retreat a few years back.
Our first stop was the coffee shop where we each enjoyed a decaf maple coffee.
In case you can't tell what's in the goblet, it's a floating candle in water. Then a sunflower, pine cones, and bittersweet complete the arrangement. I really like the idea of floating a candle in a water goblet. I have some floating candles on hand, too, so I might just do something similar for Thanksgiving!
The retreat speakers were Jim and Pat Berg, and the teaching on marriage was just excellent. They spoke on "Marriage in 3D"-- Jim taught three of these sessions to the assembled group of husbands and wives, and there was a split session on Saturday morning where he taught the husbands and Pat taught the wives.
|Leaf line courtesy of my friend Vee|
Friday night's session of "Marriage in 3D" was titled Design: What does God intend for us and our marriages? God has pictures in mind for us to develop and display. I wish that I could just copy my notes to share with all of you, but that would take too long. However, I will try to keep it basic, so here are some of the key points as I jotted them down.
* God intended that human beings picture something -- His image.
* God intends for human marriage to be a picture of Christ's relationship to His bride -- the church.
* God intends that people -- including our children -- be drawn to Him through the influence of our lives.
* God intended every generation of children to have within their own homes a portrait of how Christ and His church love and minister to one another.
* Marriage is a covenant -- a promise -- to develop and display, through mutual, loving ministry to each other, the relationship of Christ to His bride, for the blessing of all who behold.
One of the concluding statements was this: "The most important pictures in our homes are not the ones on the walls." Think about that for a bit.
|View from Cool Beans window (I think)|
* Through Satan's deception and man's disobedience in the garden, Satan vandalized the portrait of God in man with devastating results. (The Fall initiated profound and tragic losses into the life of every human being.)
* God is working in our lives to restore that vandalized portrait.
This session also gave much information from secular experts on marriage and why marriages fail. It was very helpful. There are four attitudes/actions that can doom any marriage:
• Criticism (an attack on the other spouse's character)
• Defensiveness (any attempt to defend oneself from a perceived attack)
* Contempt (sarcasm is contempt thinly disguised)
* Stonewalling (when one person just won't talk)
What all of these attitudes/actions have in common is a lack of humility. Real men run to the problem (with humility), not away from it.
* It's not our only role. (we might be sisters, mothers, daughters, pianists, teachers, etc.)
* It's not our primary role. (It is secondary to our calling as a redeemed child of God.
We cannot walk in our role as wife unless we are walking in the Spirit -- simply obeying what God says in the Bible.
She also pointed out what God intended as the role of a wife as He stated it in Genesis before the Fall:
* Her husband's companion ("It is not good that man should be alone" -- Genesis 2:10)
* Her husband's helper ("I will make him an help meet for him." Genesis 2:18)
Both of these had so many subheadings under them -- so very helpful! How I wish I could share it all with you!
The last part of the session dealt with our identity as a part of the bride of Christ (in the analogy between human marriage and the relationship between Christ and His church). It also was excellent.
|View from upstairs|
Soon it was time for lunch.
|Possibly waiting for the lunch bell|
Often when we come to TWNE, Mr. T will take a ride (or two!) on the zipline. This time he decided to skip that, so we did other relaxing things together. We enjoyed pumpkin nor'eastahs (like a blizzard or flurry) in the Sweet Shoppe, relaxed in the gazebo,
|Footbridge leading to the gazebo|
I'll just jot down the main points of this session, most from the book of James:
• How we respond to temptation exposes our hearts (James 1)
• How we treat others who are different from us exposes our hearts (James 2)
• Our speech exposes our hearts (James 3)
• Our battles and quarrels with others expose our hearts (James 4)
• Only God's Spirit using God's sufficient Word can change our hearts and relationships.
(The Spirit of God using the Word of God to make us like the Son of God.)