October 7th, 2007 by Alexander Taylor
by Emma Flores
This years retreat focused on guarding our hearts, I guess I had never really thought about guarding my heart yet being out at Harding Lake really gave me the time to connect with God and see how important it is to guard my heart. When Lydia and I drove out there it was as if I was being re-awakened, as though the burdens of everyday life were beginning to fade. The drive down the winding road was beautiful as the leaves were changing colors and the mountain ahead of us was covered in snow. Being able to spend time with Lydia was great because I got to connect with another UCMer and as the rest of the group appeared it was like being at home with family.
We worshiped with song and David Moore led our discussions of guarding our hearts along with the need for prayer in our lives. We made prayer bracelets that included these wonderful beads that symbolized the different parts of the ACTS prayer: invitation, adoration, confession, thanksgiving and supplication. The cross was added first and then the invitation bead followed by seven other beads and it continued on, the cross symbolizes Jesus and the invitation is Him inviting us to pray. Not us inviting him to pray. Now isn’t that amazing? He is the one waiting for us; I never thought Jesus was waiting for me to pray with an invitation. Maybe you didn’t either, but if you didn’t come on the retreat I wanted to share this with you.
Okay so I keep mentioning guarding our hearts, after all this is where our goodness flows from right? It comes from God but through our hearts, yet who would ever think it is so important to guard them from everyday things? David asked us to take a heart cut out and draw four things on it that represent how God has worked in our life, how our faith journey with God has been shaped and has grown. We later talked about everyone’s hearts and what God had written on their heart. It was amazing to hear what God had written on other’s hearts, and how similar and yet how different we all were. It seems to me that although you may know a Christian, you don’t really know them until you’ve heard what God has written on their heart.
For all those who missed out, we are sorry we missed you at the retreat, but we hope to see you at our other events. These events not only help us to keep our hearts guarded by surrounding ourselves with Christian fellowship, it also recharges us so that we can have the strength to return to our everyday lives knowing that God is with us always just as close as He is out at the retreat.
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