Monday, January 9, 2012

How Much Is Your Faith Worth? and the Soli Deo Gloria Party

It's time to pull up your chair.  Do you know you have one here in this space we call Soli Deo Gloria?  You do.  It's reserved every week only for you.  This place would be different if you weren't here and we miss you when you are gone.  This is a place filled with women who seek to honor your words, you heart, your tears, and your laughter.  Scooch in close.  You won't want to miss a word.

To read more about the Soli Deo Gloria community, please click here.

*****************************************************************
Saturday morning came with a sense of fear.  As the light filtered through the slats, all I could hear was my husband's words the night before:

photo source
How many people do you need to attend the retreat to make ends meet?

My response:  I don't know.

In the morning, my response was this:  ohmygosh.  I don't know!  And I have to pay this deposit and what if people don't come and what if I'm crazy and what if I can't figure out what I'm doing.  And is God really asking me to do this?  ohmygosh.  ohmygosh.  ohmygosh.


And then I heard, "Is your faith worth $750?"

And I said, "Lord, I'd love to say yes.  I'd love to say it's worth  much more than that, but I'm going to need some pretty specific confirmation here."

I padded downstairs and opened my devotional to the day's reading (only just now did I realize that I read the wrong date).  Kristin Armstrong, in her devotional, Heart of My Heart, writes this:
God takes our meager offerings, limited by our knowledge and our energy, and He multiplies them -- just as He did with the loaves and the fishes.  He takes the little that we have to offer and He makes it sufficient. (page 6)
Even though $750 doesn't sound meager to me, I got the point.  We give a little in faith and God takes care of the rest.  By His grace, He covers our offerings and makes them enough.  He covers us and He makes us enough.

Okay, I say I got the point, but I wanted something more.  So, I asked God to direct me to a place in scripture to give me further confirmation and I heard a whisper in my head -- John 11:8.
"But his disciples objected.  'Rabbi,' they said, 'only a few days ago the people in Judea were trying to stone you.  Will you go back there again?"
Confused?  Yes, me too, until I read the context.  Jesus had to go back to Judea because that is where Lazarus was.  He was going back to comfort Mary and Martha and then raise Lazarus from the dead.  The disciples think Jesus is crazy because they equate the journey to Judea to a possible death sentence.  Obviously, Jesus knows better, but the disciples only see the risk.  But then, something beautiful escapes from the mouth of Thomas.  In verse 16, Thomas says something beautiful:
"Thomas, nicknamed the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, 'Let's go too -- and die with Jesus.'" 
And there, yes there, from the words of Thomas, my eyes start to brim with tears.  To Thomas, his faith is worth his very life.  To Thomas, allegiance to Jesus is all there is.  To Thomas, it didn't matter the risk.  The only thing that mattered was going where Jesus was going.

So, friends, I'm putting down the deposit on this retreat.  I don't know what lies ahead, but I know where Jesus is telling me to walk.  And I've decided my faith is worth at least $750.

**************************
To find out more details about the Soli Deo Gloria retreat, please click here.

SDG Community Builder:  1) If you would like to be on the SDG prayer team (meaning you will commit to praying for this retreat for the planning and actual event), please let me know by email or in the comments.  2) If you know of a small business or organization that might be interested in sponsoring the event so to help defray the cost for the participants, please let me know how to contact them.  3) Give lots of comment love as you are visiting each other!  4) Oh, yes!  Would you consider putting the retreat button on your blogs?  5) And if you haven't liked s(He) Listens on Facebook, do that too, so you can catch all the latest news!

(I'm a little pressed for time this week, so I'm linking this post with some other very nice linky ladies:  Michelle @ Graceful, Shanda @ Pause on the Path, Laura @ The Wellspring, and Jennifer @ Getting Down with Jesus)

29 comments :

  1. Jen, I'm so inspired by your faith. Thanks for stepping out in obedience. I pray the Lord raises the people. Your faith will be made sight.

    Happy New Year!
    Melanie

    ReplyDelete
  2. What a HUGE step of faith! But we know firsthand that when it is GOD calling us to do something, HE will make it so much more than we could have imagined!!!!! I hope and pray that I can come- I love Texas, I love retreats, I love getting together with women who love God (and wine), so... what's not to love! :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. I pray many will be blessed through this conference, Jen.

    ReplyDelete
  4. karrie and i were talking at school - are you really going to go? we asked each other. gotta live on faith that the money will be there....love this pieve

    ReplyDelete
  5. Well, you know our journey...so YES to all of it and our faith in Him is worth our lives and I will be praying for you and the retreat so you can add me to the list. You know I would love to be there...one thing I am going to say is I know He is going to move mountains, but you have to get out of the boat and look to Him to do the impossible as you walk on water. I am praying that He shows you just what that means...He's brought you this far not to leave you but to blow the top off of how much His Glory will be displayed in your life. I love you & I AM praying...

    ReplyDelete
  6. So thankful you are responding with a 'yes' in your heart towards what God is asking you to do. Not sure if I will be able to make it or not, but I know that whoever is able to attend will be blessed!

    ReplyDelete
  7. What??? You made a deposit? This is very big.

    ReplyDelete
  8. i've missed you sister. glad to be back. xo

    ReplyDelete
  9. How exciting, Jen! I'll pray for your planning and development. Not sure if I can attend - in fact, probably not as I am going back to Ghana again in the fall BUT I will certainly pray for you. Love your new word for the year!

    Natalie at Mommy on Fire
    http://www.mommyonfire.com

    ReplyDelete
  10. I can't go, but I can pray! I'm so excited for you!

    ReplyDelete
  11. I so wish I could be there...I'll keep praying for more resources on this end too. God is faithful and so good. I just know you will be blessed by this stepping out, sweet sister.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Good for you! I'll be praying for your retreat. I just came from an all church prayer meeting where we were encouraged to ask God what big thing he wants us to do for him. this is yours!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Hi Jen,

    It is my first time linking up. Thanks for sharing how God spoke to you and how you are responding to His promptings...Faith-building...Thank You!

    ReplyDelete
  14. What a wonderful encouraging story! I am so glad He gives those of us who need it....the confirmation. Sometimes several times over (I felt like it was a million times last year...haha!) He is so good.

    Praying muchly for this retreat my friend. He is going to do great things. <3

    (P.S. Sometimes I come visit just to look at your header. Your art? It blesses my heart so. I am so glad you are sharing it!!)

    ReplyDelete
  15. I so love that He speaks to us right when we need it! First time visitor and commenter. I'll be back! :)

    ReplyDelete
  16. What a gorgeous post. I received chills when I read what Thomas said "Let's go and die with Jesus." We should all have the same heart. Prayers to you for your retreat! Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Wow. This is so crazy... I am in the same spot right now. Planning a women's conference but in March. The details are almost done but I am freaked, what if no one comes?! I have planned what seems like 100 college student retreats but zero women's conferences. So I am glad to have another to walk along side in fear and trembling. I take comfort in the God margin, doing what we can and leaving room for God to show off. I will pray for you. Will you pray for me?

    ReplyDelete
  18. I want to go soooo bad! I just may...hmmm... You are an inspiration on faith, Jen, and the Lord will honor your obedience and trust. You'll see how it all falls in place in ways that will give you many posts to write about his ways and his glory. Step on in faith, girl. We are all praying and trusting with you!

    ReplyDelete
  19. I know I must have read this about Thomas...but how could I have missed that! Whatever the cost... God has been cultivating a place in your heart so you could sow this seed. Beautiful.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Thanks for sharing your journey about trusting the Lord about the SDG retreat!!! I love hearing your heart about trusting the Lord and all that He teaches you.

    ReplyDelete
  21. I really, really want to come. My husband lost his job, and I think it would be premature for me to commit. I am praying that God shows Himself to be real to you every step of the way...He is faithful.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Thank you for sharing your faith so openly Jen. I put the retreat button on my blog and the date on my calendar. Am praying and hoping to attend and to met you in person.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Dear Jen, Praise God for always providing what we need -- a verse for confirmation, financial resources, prayers and support from our sisters, with His perfect timing. Without faith it is impossible to please Him, and you are a Godly example of that faith with which He is well pleased.
    Love and prayers,
    Laurie

    ReplyDelete
  24. Wow, I love that you got that revelation and stepped out in faith like that. That is awesome!!!

    ReplyDelete
  25. I love your leap of faith into God's plan for your lie. You have laid down the foundation and He will provide the rest.

    I am excited for you....

    I pray that I will be able to attend...

    ReplyDelete
  26. Just in awe of how God works like this -- speaking so clearly through the Scriptures. God bless you as you step out in faith. You're a tremendous blessing and encourager! May God continue to bless you, so that can pour out that love onto others. You're amazing!

    ReplyDelete
  27. Thanks for sharing about your step of faith! I'm sure God is going to meet you there!

    ReplyDelete
  28. Hi Jen, when God asked me to go to our local jail, I cried! I did not want to. Eventually out of obedience I went , and it was amazing. Others went with me, so totally unexpected. Every week my sister and brother in law and husband minister and preach to 100 inmates and give them snacks. Every Christmas we prepare gift bags for 300 prisoners and it is also amazing how God provides the resources for this!A wonderfully blessed new year to you and your family! Patsy from
    <a href="http://patsypat.blogspot.com"

    ReplyDelete
  29. I love your question, "How much is your faith worth?" I'll be praying for you and the success of the conference. Partnering with God brings success!

    ReplyDelete

Don't go yet! Leave me a note with your thoughts.