Retreat ’09

Jesus is coming again and soon! And, I want to be ready and I want others to be ready as well. I have just attended a retreat in Eastern NC on “Dressing For His Glory” on pursuing excellence by Sara. The theme and title of the 4th annual Daily Retreat definitely describes my heart’s desires. This is a course that prepares you and and shows you how to dress for His coming and not just His coming but for everyday living in excellence and victory.

Some thoughts from one of the nine lessons stand out to me at this time is taken from lesson 9. The objectives for lesson nine was to value time by…#1 knowing the seasons, #2 Seeing the shadow of life, #3 Watching the Sun, #4 Self-awareness…..this is one of the lessons that have impacted my thoughts and spirit…( the sundial… is God’s wisdom which shines through the face and the gnomon is the Word of God) thats what I learned!…page 50 of Dressing For His Glory by Sara …..Thank You Sara for This Life Changing and Preparatory Retreat. Like Charlotte of Charlotte’s Web, (our theatre outing) you are a great writer and teacher!

I loved all the lessons and I am looking forward to living them and writing ‘words of art’ to give out to others so their face will shine with the wisdom of God’s word.

If you don’t have this workbook and want to know more please leave your questions or thoughts on our comment space below and we will interact with you on this subject. And, I hope the ones that attended this retreat will share some thoughts they may have with us as well. Hope you all will be ready for our next one.

30 thoughts on “Retreat ’09

  1. I agree, Dorothy, that this splendid retreat was a clarion call and a delightful study of the Scriptures concerned with preparing us for the “wedding”.
    More details to follow~~~

  2. Having had the privilege of attending Retreat ’09 also, I would like to add to Dorothy’s excellent commentary on it with some thoughts from my perspective.
    For me the theme was that of Sara comparing our lives to that of God’s garden (Chapter 4: Image -The Garden of the Lord) and we were able to experience a multi-media presentation on how God views His garden and what wonderful promises we have from Him on becoming that ‘Garden of Renown’ if we understand and yield to Him the Master Gardener.
    I felt immersed in God’s garden because the Retreat setting was a beautiful garden filled with flowers, trees, and many other things that depicted the scriptures and teachings throughout the lessons. Sara’s workbook “Dressing for His Glory” contained awesome photographs of flowers and related themes by her sons Christopher and Jonothan. We enjoyed a very creative, first-class video presentation by son Christopher that got us rockin’ into our teaching sessions. And in addition to seeing the play Charlotte’s web that reinforced what we were learning, we visited the Elizabethan Gardens in Manteo, NC which provided additional living examples of what we studied in our course. Every bit of Sara’s teaching and teaching aids were excellent which prompted me to want to say ‘Yes’ when asked the question from Lesson 1, The Unfolding of the Rose’ pg. 8, “Is the goal of excellence worth pursuing?’

  3. Retreat ’09: “Dressing for His Glory – On Pursuing Excellence”. Yes, what an awesome retreat, once again, that I was most privileged, as well, to attend. Throughout the retreat, I was in an atmosphere of learning and growing, in the Lord and His Word. I think the main scripture and idea that I keep reflecting on is on (pg. 20) of our workbook. Read with me: Isaiah 1: 18-19 “Come now, and let us reason together,” says the Lord, “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool. If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land.”
    To me, the bottom line, for pursuing excellence, begins with my WILLINGNESS and then my OBEDIENCE.

  4. In our 2009 Dressing for His Glory one of the lessons that impacted my thoughts was on the Life and Death of the Tongue. With many years of life I have seen words spoken by someone not knowing the impact bring tears to the toughest to the sensitive. The person can remember them as if it were yesterday even though they were spoken 1 – 50 plus years. In the same breath one can recall the words of encouraging, truth, and life giving words.
    When speaking with others I learned the tongue can destroy or encourage – bring life or death. In our lesson we found the results of the misuse of the tongue conveyed anger, dishonesty, lying, speaking seductive/lust, speaking evil, deceitful, punishment, death. Talking and listening to others in the market place of our lives we often hear these words. We may hear them in our own homes. Our TV speaks them out on any given channel. Our souls become troubled and tormented. Wounds develop and poison seeps in. How are we to extract the poison, which destroys?
    Bringing life giving words we learned we need to use self-control when speaking. I’m as guilty as anyone in going on and on about nothing. The words do nothing in sharing wisdom of God with another. They are like the wind – poof! – nothingness. We need to use self-control in what we say. We need not speak every thought that runs through our minds. Wow! I think how sad God must be when we do. We can ask God I learned to make our tongue cleave to the roof of our mouth of words are not nurturing, life giving, or encouraging. When we speak we can bring health when we open our hearts (be in the moment we learned– don’t think about anything or anyone but who or where we are). I learned when we clutter our minds with a lot of stuff how can we learn what God is trying to get across to us. It’s like looking for an earring is a very cluttered drawer. I learned the tongue should show gentleness, speak wisdom words, knowledge and truth, show patience, give good counsel, proclaim God to others, and my personal favorite sing and praise God. The dailylilies and the instructor, Sara, sure had a lot of life giving words given out in this retreat through God’s word and sharing their findings and thoughts of God’s scriptures. Also each trumputed encouragement to run the race to pursue excellence.

    This was only a half page in the workbook with many scriptures to extract the above ending with Proverbs 10: 20-21.

  5. Saturday after the retreat I started working in what was left of my summer garden. I began to notice that even though there were a few weeds, a little disease, the fruit and veggies I harvested helped feed many. I began to understand how important working and tending the garden is as related to our lesson,{Pursuing Excellence}. All of the lilies opened the door of love and knowledge to me showering me with blessings. I cried out to Jesus and he answered me.I love it when that happens. Now I know I never want to be a waterless cloud. Blessed Assurance, Jesus is mine! Oh what a foretaste of glory divine. Heir of salvation purchase by God born of his Spirit washed in his blood. This is my story, this is my song, praising my savior all the day long!

  6. The beauty of this retreat as was mentioned above was that the setting was superbly landscaped, within and without. Sara, the teacher is an “educator” in the true sense of the word. She extracts, draws out of , leads out, the Holy Spirit within each student and allows that Spirit of God to speak and minister knowledge of the understanding of the Scriptures to each one’s spirit. The Spirit within is all-knowing, all-reasoning, all-understanding, wisdom and all-counsel. As the Scriptures were applied they touched the heart of the matter and our hearts & spirits bringing forth revelation, light and prophetic utterances according to the word, and Joy! Oh, the joy!!! as we comprehended and discovered God’s great plan for us beyond what we had known. The hearts of many were revealed within each member.
    One of the sections of the teachings from her book that touched me particularly was the teaching on Psalm 34. We discovered 16 or more
    gracious promises in that Scripture of promises that the Lord God has made to those who love, revere, are willing and obedient. (see Needles comment above). He will fulfill these promises when we cry out to Him for help in distress. Praise God. What good news!
    We learned that the when we remain close to the Master’s feet and at the ready, He will use us to water the thristy and wilting spirits with the water of the Word of God. If we are emptied of ourselves, our selfishness and our junk then He fills us from the Springs of living water, like He told the woman at the well, and He uses us as vessels of the WORD to bring moisture and life-giving water to others. But we must be available to be filled up when He is ready to use us.
    We learned that we must take off our filthy rags, as it says in Romans and put on Christ. Then we will be dressed for His glory.
    This inspired a song that I wrote in the AFTERGLOW of the retreat”


    I’m wearing white linen
    I’ve stopped my sinning
    A beauty to behold

    An Embroidery of grace
    Glory on my face
    Wearing a crown of gold.

    Ribbons of platinum
    Diamonds and satin
    Beauty that obedience can bring

    I’m wearing white linen
    I’ve stopped my sinning
    I’m dressing for the KING

  7. Wow Jamie! How quickly you applied the lessons of the garden that Sara taught us to your spiritual as well as physical walk. I can feel the joy of your discovery, the wonder of it. Who can love, tend and mend us like our GOD!!! A foretaste of GLORY DIVINE for sure!!!

  8. At the end of the workbook we discussed time. I got this poem as a result of this.

    Do you have time for Jesus?
    It takes time to learn the hour,
    Quarter after, quarter till,
    Half hour, a minute,
    It takes time and practice
    Failure and practice again.
    Till you know the time of this world

    Time of Jesus takes time too
    In the WORD I go
    Daily reading
    Dig, dig, digging to find the treasure
    Trying to apply and invest it in my life
    Everyday practice, practice
    If I fail all I have to do is look up
    There He stands
    He grasp my hand
    And wipes away my tears
    He whispers my path is worthy
    A path of excellence
    Go my child – Try again
    You are mine. I paid the price with my blood.
    I died for you.
    Never Give Up!
    Come up higher!
    I love you!

  9. RENA
    Pertinent poem about time and right ON TIME”, too. The poems and songs and essays elicited by this retreat prove its profound effect on our spiritual walk with the Lord….and will spur us on to be continually, DRESSING FOR HIS GLORY ! !

  10. After reading what Jamie wrote, I was reminded that we learned in Lesson 2, ‘The Glory of the Roses – Understanding God’s Character – Majestic’, that there are many aspects of verbal praise (Psalm 145) to help us to meditate on God’s character. Jamie covered many of these aspects in her comment above. She blessed Him, extolled Him, sang to Him, praised Him, made known His mighty acts, uttered the memory of His goodness and spoke of His glory. Thanks Jamie for helping me meditate on His character. We had a beautiful photo of an orange rose by Christopher Mar introducing that Lesson. The caption under the rose said “Orange roses express admiration and attraction. They show your feelings of passion and excitement.” You sure modeled all that in your blog.

  11. Jamie you not only tend your garden to give out to others but you gave of your home so that we could make dolls to send from the dailylily for Operation Christmas Child under Franklin Graham’s Samaritan Purse. You certainly have a pouring out, – always giving God the Glory. We all experienced as Debi says of the caption of the orange rose,’passion and excitement’ as we came together to put these adorable dolls together to go out and reach the world with the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. Thank you for your hospitality, fellowship, and helping hands in this year’s project. Thank you for adding so much to each lesson.

  12. In her Sunflower Chapter, in DRESSING FOR HIS GLORY retreat, Sara asks, “Would you like to be a sunflower in the garden, (house) of the LORD? She indicates that the “sunflower is a worker flower”. Its head heavy with seeds, sows many more ‘workers”. She goes on to say “this flower abounds in the work of the Lord. They contribute to the food supply of man and beast. The leaves are fodder for cattle. And among a myriad of other uses of the sunflower, it yields a yellow dye and gives a ‘Yellow Ray’…the sunshine effect.
    The point of the lesson is that God’s house and fields need workers. If we would be akin to the sunflower we must inquire of the Holy Spirit what job He would have for us to do in the Body of Christ, among the believers and those who are to come in, for the Kingdom of God.
    Sara says,( this is a true saying and worthy of acceptation) “I’m a great believer in work. I find the more work I do, the more work I’m given to do” Jesus says to work while it is still day….while we still have the light for the night is coming when no man can work. So we must work and give and do and pray in the house of the Lord….like the sunflower works in the garden so are we in God’s divine garden.

  13. What an awesome retreat (“Dressing for His Glory”). On our journey in the “PURSUIT” of excellence, we learned so many beautiful things. We began lesson one with the titile ” The Unfolding of the Rose” and we were asked if a goal of excellence was worth pursing? This is a beautiful lesson filled with powerful scriptures. This lesson was an awesome foundation to build God’s garden. Lesson One’s objectives : 1. DETERMINE IF WE WANT TO PURSUE EXCELLENCE. 2. DEVELOP AN APPRECIATION FOR EXCELLENCE. 3. DEVOTE OUR INNER SELF TO PURSUING EXCELLENCES. These objectives made me stop and think “how does God see me?” Is God happy with what he sees? Am I working to pursue excellence or am I getting chocked out by the world’s weeds. God’s word teaches us how to be excellent through Jesus Christ who was and is excellent. The above objectives make us accountable. #1. DETERMINE IF WE WANT TO PURSUE EXCELLENCE…… We have to decide whether we want to pursue excellence or not. Pursuing excellence is not going to happen overnight. We are not going to wake up in the morning and YELL Oh I’m excellent in God’s eyes I don’t have to pursue it any longer. No, it doesn’t work like that. It’s ongoing. It’s a life time pursuit. It ends when our heart stops beating and our lungs stop breathing. It’s a lifetime race. IT’S DAILY WORK!! #2. DEVELOP AN APPRECIATION FOR EXCELLENCE……. To develop. If we don’t research and study excellence, we will never develop it. This will take time and energy to study excellence and to learn to appreciate it. This doesn’t happen over night. As we learn about excellence and appreciate it more, it encourages us to work toward it. This appreciation drives us. It makes us want excellence. Of coarse, if we didn’t put time and dedication in studying God’s Word and trying to understand how to acceive it, we wouldn’t really care if we pursued excellence or not. #3 DEVOTE OUR INNER SELF TO PURSUING EXCELLENCE…. Devotion! Commit our inner selves our heart and souls to work for excellence. This also takes work. It takes focus, awareness and commitment. Why is this important? We are God’s garden, His children, His family, His church, His vessels, His army, His devotion, His pursuit, His development, …… He loves us. He wants the best for us. He wants excellence for us and He deserves nothing less than EXCELLENCES. #1 We must Pursue excellence for God our Father. #2 We must develop an appreciation for excellence. #3 We must devote our inner self to pursing excellence. Our Father in Heaven deserves Excellence.
    Every lesson was so unique and beautiful, like every flower in a garden. So full of detail and information. Each very important and building on the one before. What a beautiful retreat and what an honor to be able to spend four days with these beautiful women of God. Each one detailed by their unquie personality that God blessed them with. Each one using their talents and gifts for His Kingdom. Each one watering God’s garden with God’s living water. Each one on the pursuit to excellence. Praise the Lord!!! Now are we ready to dress for His glory and to pursue excellence. When God the Father looks at us what does He see and what does He hear?????

  14. My Dad is a preacher at a small country church. He had a man pass away last week and my Dad was going to speak at his funeral. A family member gave a poem to my dad to read at the funeral. The family member stated that this man had carried this poem folded up in his wallet for years. I would like to share it.


    You tell on yourself by the friends you seek,
    By the very manner in which you speak,
    By the way you employ your leisure time,
    By the use you make of dollar and dime.

    You tell on yourself by the things you wear,
    By the spirit in which your burdens you bear,
    By the type of things at which you laugh,
    By the records you play on your phonograph.

    You tell what you are by the way you walk,
    By the things of which you delight your talk,
    By the manner in which you can bear defeat,
    By so simple a thing as how you eat.

    By the books you choose from library shelf,
    By these things and more, you tell on yourself.

    After reading this awesome poem a question came to my mind. What does God see when we are with our friends we seek, and what does God hear when we speak? What does God see when we have leisure time and when we spend a dollar or dime? Does God approve of what we wear and how we handle our burdens we bear. Does God like the things at which we laugh or the records we play on our phonograph. How does God see our walk and what does he think about our talk? How does God see the manner in which we bear defeat and what does He think about the way we eat. Would God read the books we choose from the library shelf? God knows all things and more about ourself.

    This beautiful poem is a reminder that we are to dress in God’s Glory daily and that we are to continue to pursue excellence. We can’t hide what we do or how we act because WE WILL TELL ON OURSELF…..

  15. Chickenfarmer and Needles we so enjoy the skit you put on at the retreat. God poured through you Chickenfarmer the play that went hand in hand with the lessons we were to do in this 2009 Retreat – Dressing for His Glory. As I arrived home after a week away my beautiful flower bed had weeds growing some as high as the flowers. I told a friend of mine look at that weed and she said it is so beautiful and has flowers on it. Nevertheless it was a weed and had to be pulled as it was choking the real plant. I thought of the play and wondered what weeds do we have in our life that are choking us from living a life with Jesus who come along side us – look good but are weeds?

  16. Chickenfarmer, the poem and thoughts you shared tied in with some of the things we learned in ‘Lesson 4, The Garden of the Lord’. We are God’s garden and He has a view of it…He sees how it actually is and He sees how it should be. A garden tells on itself by what it produces. We learned about different uses of a garden (pg 21) and that there are both good and bad uses. We can use our garden to sing, praise, teach, instruct, and feast on the things of God and obey God. Or we can use our garden for idol worship, partying with the world or disobedience. And you can’t hide it. It will tell. Others will see if we are dwelling in the Vine of Jesus or not. If we are we will produce the fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. And your great skit drove home the fact that others see the weeds just like they see the flowers.

  17. CF, that was a great synopsis of the DFHG @ retreat. You hit some high points and there is still more to come from this inspirational convening of God’s glory-girls.
    BTW, the FRIEND that Rena talked about, above, was I, MG….When she showed me her plants, (as she shared above), there was a “nice appearing” plant with little yellow flowers and it looked delicate and summer-y. Rena said, OH NO! there is a weed growing in my garden. I said, it looked so pretty was she sure it was a weed. YES! She shouted. It may look good but it is an intruder in my garden and with that she Plucked it out by the roots with one fell swoop. We laughed at the lesson God showed us and that we both had learned at the Retreat about “weeds”. CF and Needles had presented a very relevent skit on weeds trying to take over one’s garden. Then God reinforced it with a real life example.
    After that incident, yesterday, I thought about the parable of the farmer whose enemy had sown weeds in his wheat field. Someone said it is difficult to tell the tares from the wheat, especially when they MASQUERADE like the real ticket. Another reinforcement and warning that God is giving us about allowing weeds to come into our spiritual garden just because they look like that lovely little plant with yellow flowers that Rena Plucked up, yesterday.
    I’m going to look around my spiritual garden a little more closely and endoeavor to “pluck up” a few fake-y things, too.
    I know that God was pleased with our retreat…as He keeps reinforcing the teachings right into real life situations.

  18. I love that poem that, providentially, was read by your father at the service at this particular moment in time. How like God!! Thanks for sharing that…another reinforcement of what we learned at the retreat.
    Let’s keep pursuing excellence and go for the gold (crown)!

  19. Everybody sharing their thoughts and what they got from Retreat ’09 really keeps it alive for me and helps stay focused on our ‘instructions for producing a healthy and good tree’ from Lesson 5 pg 28… ‘Reading, Studying, Praying and Confessing the Word’!

  20. I agree with Jamie, I love the comments . I also agree with Debi, these thoughts and comments keeps it alive and will help us to maintain a healthy and good tree. Thank you Rena and MG for what you shared. It’s amazing the way I look at weeds now ( an intruder in a beautiful garden- even the pretty weeds are bad) Tammy thank you for doing such a great job as a trumpet liliy. Debi thanks for sharing those beautiful flowers with us and Jamie thanks for opening up your beautiful home to us and allowing us to use your kitchen. Dorothy thanks for an awesome blog. Sara thanks for an amazing retreat.

  21. My thanks and appreciation to all of you that made our retreat a ‘garden of renown!’

    “God is always on the alert, constantly on the lookout for people who are totally committed to Him” (II Chronicles 16:9, The Message). And, He found all of you!

  22. Psalm 145:8-9 “The Lord is gracious and full of compassion; slow to anger and of great mercy. The Lord is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his work.” Can I follow this example? Even when it’s my enemies! Meditation on God’s Majesty is so very important; and following this example over all our work. The true meaning of love? As I turned on my T.V Wed. morning I saw a beautiful girl ready to start college was murdered. My heart cried out with compassion for her and her family but did it cry out compassion for the murderer? How could someone allow the devil to have such control over their lives; with NO REVERENCE TO GOD! Jesus please be with these people in their time of need. Fill them with your love and strength, show them your compassion and let us convey it through your Holy Spirit. AMEN! Oh yes her name was Lily.

  23. Light vs. darkness. 1 Peter 2:9 “But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests,[a] a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his marvelous (wonderful) light.”

    How blessed we are to have come out of darkness into His marvelous light. We are blessed to be able to pray for others including Lily, her family and all involved. We are blessed to be the ones to have the opportunity to show others the goodness of God. Thanks, Jamie, for showing mercy to those that are hurting and in need.

  24. We learned in ‘Lesson 2 – The Glory of the Roses’ of so many provisions that God has made for all of His sheep.
    Even though we are His garden, a garden is not without troubles and trials. I think this comment and scripture from Sara on pg 12 of the lesson is particularly reassuring: “We may be going through adversity, or may go through adversity and affliction, but we must walk with Him on a daily basis – look to Him, and expect help from Him. He will enable us by His grace to trust Him.’
    “Unto You I lift up my eyes. Oh You who dwell in the heavens.” Psalm 123:1

  25. I want others to help me with this. I was re-reading Dorothy’s blog and then pg 50,’Lesson 9 The Sundial – at Time Do You Have?’ My notes differ from what Dorothy writes. My notes from pg 50 say the sundial is our face (versus ‘God’s wisdom which shines through the face’) and the gnomon is wisdom (versus ‘Word of God’). Can others share from their notes and understanding on the meanings of sundial and gnomon from our retreat lessons?

  26. Debi,
    I have in my notes to the question on pg 50: “What part of us resembles ‘a sundial'”? I have written in my blank the word “face”, meaning our face. And for the question: “Who or what would the gnomon be?” I have the word “wisdom” in my blank.

    By definition, on pg 48 of our book, Sara has written out the definition of a sundial, from Webster- “An instrument that indicates time by position of the shadow of a gnomon cast by the sun on the face of a dial marked in hours.”
    And the definition of gnomon – “One who knows or examines; index of a sundial – the part that casts a shadow indicating the time of day.”

    If I understand it correctly, the gnomon is the wisdom, that we have acquired, by reading, studying, and applying God’s Word? And I believe the sundial is “our face” because it actually displays the “time” or that wisdom we have gained? The next question in our book asks: “Does the gnomon have to be connected to the sundial to be effective? My answer was “yes”. How can the shadow be casts, if there is no connection between the gnomon and the sundial, or no sun? The next question says: “If so, relate from these 8 studies how this applies to us?” Well, my answer is “we have to be willing and obedient (the obedience has to connect to the willingness). In other words, we can all be willing, but are we obedient, as well?”

    This was my understanding, but I may not have grasped all that I needed to, or understood it correctly? Does someone else have another understanding?

  27. Yes, Debi I agree. I understood this lesson in this way. Our faces are the sundial and the gnomon is wisdom. Without wisdom(gnomon) our face (sundial) doesn’t shine. We get wisdom from God’s word and also being willing and obedient to follow God’s word. By being willing and obedient, the Holy Spirit will reveal more and more knowledge and wisdom. This can only happen by studing God’s word, being willing to accept what we study and being obedient to follow and act on what we study. When we do this our face will be shining with wisdom from our Lord. An example was given. Acts 6:15 “At this point everyone in high council stared at Stephen, because his face became as bright as an angel’s.” Stephen’s face(sundial) was shining with wisdom (gnomon).

  28. Looks like the lilies are digging for GOLD! I love your comments on the sundial. It has helped me tremendously today.

    (Hebrews 3:13 NIV) “But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.”

    Thanks to each of you!

  29. Thanks Needles for your sharing your thorough notes and workbook questions and answers which make things clear to me.
    And also to chickenfarmer for your understanding of the lesson and your comment ‘By being willing and obedient, the Holy Spirit will reveal more and more knowledge and wisdom’. That sure helps spur one on to pursue excellence. It really is encouraging (as Sara’s scripture says above) to be able to share and receive from one another…thanks so much.

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