STAR Retreat 2013 Part 5: A Weekend Encapsulated [installment two]

We left off yesterday with pictures from the reenactment of the story of Esther by the dorm groups. Here’s what the rest of the weekend was like, told mostly through pictures since even words are sometimes too wordy.

* Prayer Groups. The next word in our STAR acronym revealed: transparent. Christy’s story – fourteen, redeemed, and transparent – from New York City. His redemption brought to life in our own.*IMG_7539IMG_5356IMG_5367IMG_5354IMG_5337IMG_5328IMG_5334* The songs of saints being sung. Worshiping the One who brought it all to be.*IMG_5577IMG_5559IMG_5556IMG_5391 IMG_5393 IMG_5553IMG_5588IMG_5566IMG_7548

* The amazing kitchen crew with their gumption, their spirit, their homemade hamburger buns, and their energy. Bread for our bellies. Much sacrifice of time, talent and organization…the body of Christ being bread as the cooks physically gave of themselves to nourish others. *IMG_5340IMG_5398IMG_5730 IMG_7578 IMG_7581
* A girls’ retreat needs downtime…to process and sift through your heart, play with hair, pop balloons, laugh wild and free. Time to reach, touch, create.*IMG_5346 IMG_5414IMG_5420 IMG_5425 IMG_5431 IMG_5438 IMG_5442IMG_5455IMG_5475IMG_5483IMG_5488IMG_5484IMG_5497 IMG_5499IMG_5511IMG_5523IMG_5538 IMG_5540 IMG_5542 IMG_5545IMG_6162 IMG_6171
* An older lady, Helen, shares about authenticity (the “a” in our acronym). The room is so quiet, we are all spellbound. The older teaching the younger, the presence of God’s Spirit moving in our group.*IMG_5593 IMG_5596IMG_5618 IMG_5624
* Workshops. Making t-shirt scarves, baking rolls and brownies, learning basic music theory, natural facials, and the art of photography. Sharing skills, equipping with practical knowledge, passing on a vision to grow and shine.*IMG_5685IMG_5847IMG_7640IMG_7572IMG_5840 IMG_5841 IMG_5843
* The largest ice cream buffet I have ever seen. Late night girls talent show. More hair-dos. Laughter. Enjoying the beautiful life we have all been given. The glory of God is man fully alive.* IMG_5851 IMG_5854 IMG_5859 IMG_5863IMG_6057 IMG_6058
* The powerful testimony of Rosemary, a woman transformed by the Almighty God. Contagious passion. Heartfelt challenge. Jesus meets with us yet again.*IMG_7540
* Last-minute photo shoot in front of the main building for Light of Christ Ministries. We hug, we snap photos, we laugh, we live the last moments full.*IMG_6126IMG_6134

February 1-3, STAR Retreat 2013 has come and gone, and we don’t just remember the glory of that God-blessed weekend, we live it. I see it in Megan and Aubrey, who left the weekend different than when they came, the glory of God moving in their souls. The glory of God coming more fully alive in all of us.

Yes, that’s right. Some of us spent two hours into the wee hours of the morning, counseling and praying with Megan Saturday night of the retreat. She comes to church every Sunday morning and reads her Bible now. She is genuinely reaching for more and seeking God. Aubrey confessed Christ to be Lord the Sunday night we returned. She hasn’t stopped smiling since. Her eyes shine with a new Light.

Send up a thousand balloons. Throw your head back and laugh. Hug someone today. Breathe deeply and thank God for breath. Color the walls with love. Jesus is alive and He is mighty to save. Our God changes everything.

[The bottom pictures unfortunately don’t include everyone who was part of the weekend since some people had to leave early.]


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