This weekend I had the wonderful privilege of going on a Ladies “unfinished” craft retreat. I took Tyler Ann with me, and we took along three scrapbooks that needed to be cleaned up, reworked, and completed of the kids baby pictures. I was a little nervous going on this retreat, because I really did not know any of the other women who were attending. But a new acquaintance had put this whole retreat in motion, and I knew it was time for me to stretch myself and maybe met other women in my own community. So not sure what was in store, but hopeful that God would bless me and those we met, Tyler and I headed out. OK, to be honest it didn’t quit go that smoothly to get started. Two days before the retreat our second van broke down. So, now if we still wanted to go on this retreat we needed a ride. Now remember, I said we really didn’t know anyone else going on the retreat. But, I sent out a message and let it be known we needed a ride. One of the other ladies going, quickly replied and we made plans to hitch a ride with her. So Friday afternoon we are off. The ride there was delightful and we got to know two of the other ladies attending the retreat. We arrived at the campgrounds and were welcomed by wonderfully decorated and friendly tables all set up for our crafting use. The week end was underway. It was filled with fun, fellowship, new friendships, finishing projects, worship, and wonderful teaching from God’s Word.
“Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. 3 For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.
5 Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry. 6 For it is because of these things that the wrath of God will come upon the sons of disobedience, 7 and in them you also once walked, when you were living in them. 8 But now you also, put them all aside: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive speech from your mouth. 9 Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices, 10 and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him— 11 a renewal in which there is no distinction between Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and freeman, but Christ is all, and in all.
12 So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and [k]patience; 13 bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. 14 Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity. 15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God. 17 Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.”
In the past, as I have read these verses, I saw it as a list of dos and don’ts to be a good Christian. I like lists, I like knowing what is expected. So, I didn’t see it as a bad things, just more of a formula. But, this week verse ten jumped of the page to me. It says, “being renew.” Being made new. As a kid, I always thought that when I asked Jesus to be the Lord of my life, I was instantly made new in Christ. So many times as a child and teen, I wondered if I really was a Christian when I would continue to make wrong choices and especially when I would struggle over and over with the same sin. It wasn’t until I was older that I realized that God does the work in us to change us into the beautiful “new” creation that he originally intended us to be.