Monday, October 1, 2012

I had a catchy title, but...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.
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So, I had a catchy title and everything about 20 seconds ago and I've already lost it.  I am just going to blame fatigue, but in a very good way.  Why?

Because for 24 hours, I got to retreat with a very fine group of women.

I spoke.

And they spoke.

I shared.

And they shared.

And now, I'm sure, we are all exhausted.

Exhausted, but in a very good way.

I write tonight to thank you for your prayers and to beg and plead for you to keep praying (because the SDG retreat is only 5 days away) and to tell you this:

God is entirely faithful.

It's hard for me to speak to a group where I don't really know anyone.  I don't know how to read them.  I don't know how to measure if what I'm saying is resonating with their hearts  -- at least not like I do my own peeps at Monday morning bible study.

Saturday night I crawled into bed (after making sure my team won against OSU) and I prayed:

God, I'm not sure if I'm really reaching them.  But, You, what do you think?  Am I doing a good job for You?  At the end of the day, if I am confident that I said Your Words and not my own, I think I'm good with that.  But please, tell me, am I pleasing You?

I asked Him for encouragement and heard Psalm 37: 7 in my mind.  I flipped open my Bible and found these words:
Be still in the presence of the LORD,
and wait patiently for Him to act.

And so, after a minute or two of realizing what BE STILL means, I went to sleep, expectant.

The next morning, I saw Him actively working on the hearts of us all.  During an unscheduled sharing time, I saw women spilling their hearts and those surrounding them coming with love and encouragement and scripture to help soak up the pain.  It was the Holy Spirit at work, strengthening their community and showing us all that vulnerability can hold so many blessings.

For me, it was all a crystal-clear reminder that being still is perhaps the most important thing we can do. Being still is pleasing to God, at times even more so than striving and making things bigger and better with our own ideas.  Perhaps, being still is always more important so that we remember that whatever we are doing, we are doing out of His strength and direction and not our own (sometimes) misguided attempts.

I wonder, what about you?  Do you feel pressure to make something bigger and better?  Have you gotten still?   Have you soaked up His first message for you?  Did you know this?

How precious are His thoughts about you.
They cannot even be numbered!
You can't even count them;
they outnumber the grains of sand!
And when you wake up,
He is still with you.
paraphrased Psalm 139: 17-18

For the longest time, I didn't expect to be still in front of God and feel His love poured out for me.  I went with expectations of being chastised and scolded.  But, no.  There is an abundance of love in the stillness, and overflow of grace in the silence.  No matter who you think you are or how badly you think you went wrong, there is a fountain filled of all those things you crave in the deep heart spaces.  A Fountain that never runs dry.

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I am so happy to see your face here at Soli Deo Gloria.  Did you know we have small groups?  As SDG has grown, it started to lose a bit of the small community feel.  As such, we have groups that visit each other and leave comments for each other on SDG days so that you don't feel lost in this big blog world.  Would you like to be a part?  If so, please email me at jenfergie2000@me.com.  Also, if you are new here, please put "I am new" as your caption so that we might give you a proper welcome.

25 comments :

  1. I so wish I could go this weekend:( Maybe next year. I know God will do amazing things through you to encourage all who attend. Blessings! www.toshowthemjesus.com

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  2. so glad that you had that time! looks just lovely, and your words... they are full of the peace that found you. there is nothing more beautiful to hear in a friends "voice" then peace.

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  3. glad you had a great retreat. praying for yours! and wishing i could be there....

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  4. Sounds like the retreat will be amazing. Wish I could be there. :) And yes, I'm learning so much about being still these days.

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  5. Glad the retreat was good! And praying for the next one. I'm sure the Lord will bless it as well.

    "...being still is perhaps the most important thing we can do. Being still is pleasing to God." Keep reminding me of that; I need to hear it over and over and over... Thanks, Jen.

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  6. Sounds like a great weekend, Jen! And another one coming up? Lifting you up as you recover and prepare!
    Hugs, Susan

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  7. Oh, Jen, I, too, know that thrill of just letting God fill and spill through me. I love it when I show up to speak and He just does all the work! And I totally understand how you could have forgotten a great title... my mind is mush after weekend speaking engagements. Praying recovery and renewed strength for you tonight :) Thanks for letting Him use you.. here... in Texas... all over! Blessings to you.

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  8. How exciting! I pray that the SDG retreat will be time of blessings for you and all attending :)

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  9. You provide a safe place that feeds our souls, provides fellowship to build that triple braid - and refreshed, we set out to our mission fields. Wishing you MUCH blessing at the SDG retreat!!!!

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  10. I love Psalm 139! but I needed to hear "be still in the presence of the Lord, and wait patiently for him to act." I so need that . . .

    thanks so much for you wise words.

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  11. oh girl, i'm so, so proud of you, for speaking, for listening, for sharing... may God bless you richly. e.

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  12. Thanks for listening, sharing and speaking...praying God's presence on you and all the attendees of SDG :)

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  13. Yay! I'm so glad the retreat went well and I'm praying for SDG in a few days. Y'all will be gathering during my baby's 4th birthday . . . big weekend :) I appreciate what you are saying about stillness. Sometimes it is so hard to just rest and be quiet in front of God. Thank you for this reminder.

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  14. Jen...I pray blessings upon blessings as you all gather...may His Spirit move freely among you...finding encouragement...love and fellowship in Him...and one to another. Keep looking to Him to supply all...He is faithful. I look forward to you sharing about your sweet time at the retreat. blessings~

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  15. I love that when we are still, we see HIM act. It's not about us at all, is it? Praying for you!

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  16. I just returned from my own weekend of being still and was so thankful to have some time and space for my soul to breathe. Will be praying for you this weekend as I drink in some more of God's goodness among the fall color in Bar Harbor. Excited to hear what Jennifer Luitweiler has for you. She rocks.

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  17. Be still and wait for Him...I've been making a conscious effort to take things to God first, before acting on my own. Old habits die hard.
    Blessings,
    Laura

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  18. oh, Jen, this is so beautiful a word. And how faithful our God is. I've been camping in Psalm 37 all year....Spurgeon's take on that verse is 'Hold thee still.' Yes, indeed. Praise Him! Prayers and scriptures coming your way for SDG retreat....God has big things in store.

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  19. Hi there! I am new here but am excited to learn what SDG is all about

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  20. Beautiful post, Jen! Sometimes it is so hard to be still, but it is the best way to hear His voice. Thanks for the great post & for hosting, & God bless!

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  21. Yes, always pressure to be bigger and better. To reach more people, to be more 'tweetable', to always be connecting. But the tide seems to be shifting, even in the online world. Where small is the new big, quiet is the new loud. So glad to read this today friend!

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  22. I'm so glad you felt His presence in your gathering time! How blessed those ladies must have been to hear your sweet voice. I do hope that one day I am similarly blessed, my friend. So much love to you.

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  23. taking time to linger and listen has been God's message for me today! Blessings! Patsy from
    HeARTworks and
    papemelroti

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  24. hey what a great time! love this - thank you for sharing - willing heart is all He needs & you my friend are certainly that! :)

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