This past weekend I had the God-ordained opportunity to attend a men's retreat at Maranatha Bible and Missionary Conference Center.
It truly was a God-ordained because of the circumstances around the weekend. Here are some of them in bulletin point form.
- I received the invitation to attend by mistake. Yes, that is correct. When I registered Friday night, the individual who invited me said "I recognize you, how did you find out about the conferenece?" After I told him about the text he sent me, he said "It's great you're here. I meant to send that text to another guy."
- I knew NOT ONE other man at the conference. I had no connection to anyone at the conference other than meeting the man who "invited me" at a men's event once.
- The conference was not connected with any ministry I was associated with. There were no ministry or denominational connections I had with the conference or the men there.
- The conference promotional information communicated just what I need at this time. It was promoted as an "Identity Intrusive Retreat." One of the quotes on the event page was "Most men know what they do. Very few know who they are." The purpose of the retreat was to DISCOVER your personal identity and DEVELOP your life mission statement.
- The process of working on reflecting on my identity in Christ and beginning the work on a mission statement was very helpful. God used 2 Corinthians 5:20-21
- One of the speakers referred to an author I love and hadn't remembered in such a long time - Fredrick Buechner. Here is a quote from A Room Called Remember. "I did not love God, God knows, because I was some sort of saint or hero. I did not love him because I suddenly saw the light (there was almost no light at all) or because I hoped by loving him to persuade him to heal the young woman I loved. I loved him because I couldn’t help myself. I loved him because the one who commands us to love is the one who also empowers us to love..." Frederick Buechner, A Room Called Remember
- In thinking through my mission statement and my identity two words came to mind. Ambassador and Actor. I am looking forward to working through these ideas especially in the midst of this craziness.
- Ambassador - God' glorifying - from 2 Corinthians 5:17-21. My job, my ministry, my responsibility in this life is to represent the one who has reconciled me to himself. I am a mouthpiece for the creator/king of the universe.
- Actor - self-promoting - from Romans 7:14-25. "For I do not do what I want to, but I do the very thing I hate." (15)