This year brought our 2nd annual church leaders’ retreat in Oceanside, California. Ever since last year’s trip (check it out here!) I have been looking forward to returning to the serene beach side house with some of my nearest and dearest to worship, eat, relax and discuss God’s word.
This year’s “theme” was centered around how God might multiply grace and peace in our lives. We were reminded how in Christ, we are granted all things and given precious and great promises. We have a hope for life abundant. The same abundance that rues over and sustains the universe is accessible to us.
What I love about discussing these topics in Oceanside is that as we do, we can hear the powerful sounds of the ocean waves reminding us of God’s power while surrounded by God’s people reminding us of his goodness.
We read through 2 Peter and about how Faith leads to Love. A love of God leads us to a love of others. This hit me hard. How much do I really love God? If I grew closer to Jesus, would it not better my love and relationship to others? After all, we believe is the best and truest relationship anyone can have. Wouldn’t I want to grow nearer to the best community builder? YES. The answer is yes I would.
An excerpt from my notes that day:
I think the greatest thing about love is that it can grow and evolve and we, too, can grow in our ability to do it “well'“. It was a sweet thing to be able to sit in a room with the people I already love so much and discuss how God can equip us to love even more.
I love this weekend away with friends to talk about Jesus. To chat about faith, hope and love and then to experience it within the very same walls immediately is truly special. We need to be reminded of God’s truth even if we spend a ton of time with God’s people. We, like are not yet believing friends, need to me told every day and in every way:
You are a mess.
You are the worst in your sin.
But the God of the universe Loves you.
God cherishes you.
You need Jesus.
We are your family in Christ.
And you belong here.
We closed out our weekend with communion in the house on Sunday morning. It was the perfect way to end such a communal weekend. Thank you Jesus for giving us a new life and calling us to live it together.
I cannot recommend Oceanside enough. Even if you are not a church, it provides such a surreal backdrop for any type of getaway needed. We had the best time taking in the views from the decks, chatting in the hot tub and snapping photos along the shore.
Here’s to loving God and loving others. In that order.
Until the next one,
~ A ~