Church Leaders Retreat 2022

Attended a retreat at Lifesprings Canossian Spirituality Centre. Nice tranquil place in busy Singapore.

During guided devotion:

Walking closely with God but these few weeks have walked a few steps ahead of Him, better slow down 2 steps and walk behind.

There is a garden in the midst of a battlefield that I’m in. Today Jesus came as a Brother. Hands on my shoulder, walking side by side, as a Friend. A Comrade in the garden. Today we are not in the battle field, we are taking a rest in the garden.

He is King and Lord but today He kept emphasizing He is my Friend.

From John 20:11-18 >

You have seen the Lord, you need to tell others, just like Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news “I have seen the Lord”. Not all disciples have seen the Lord.

Mary saw me because she stayed.

In our despair, we will see the Lord. We do not recognise Him because our human mind is naturally on our despairs and thoughts. Jesus will call, we need to turn to Him and we will recognise Him.

Repeat: You have seen the Lord, go tell others.

Faint vision: Woman walking with Lord. Sometimes she is in front but always joyfully looking back. It’s ok to be sometimes a step in front, side by side or behind Jesus. The important thing is to always look back or side to ensure where we are walking is where Jesus is leading.

During personal time

John 15:5 > “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.

fruits: spiritual maturity, wisdom etc

Lord later brings the same verse as applied to our church. I see 7 branches (similar to menorah) swaying lightly left to right. These churches have to abide in me.

Spiritual direction

Had a lengthy conversation with pastor, shared a lot. 2 main takeaways, my home church can be our spiritual covering for missions. Pastor shared that God has given a special grace for us as not everyone can go through our journey.

Labyrinth reflections

Found myself starting Labyrinth Walk in the middle of the day 12pm. As I was about to begin walking, the Lord impressed that this is like allowing Him to take us through the refiner’s fire. This willingness to go through the heat of the Holy fire and of this 12pm heat.

Walking in – As I walked, treasure each step. Do not rush. There’s brokenness (cracks on the ground) and there’s beauty (flowers and trees and the sky) around. There’s a different angle of beauty and brokenness that God intends for us to see.

It feels never ending in the heat. Trust the yellow path (thy word is a lamp unto the feet and a light unto our path) and continue walking. There is sometimes clouds and breeze. The Lord provides shade and respite in the heat. The journey is more important than the destination. Enjoy God and His presence in the journey.

Sometimes we are just next to the centre, then we are led to the outer most ring. Sometimes the centre is in plain sight, sometimes its out of sight.

Just when I stayed focused on the walk, I reached the centre.

Beautiful cross in front of me. In faithful walking, when we least expect it, we behold the beauty of the cross.

Walking out – The same journey, the same feelings, the never ending turns.

Then I saw the end. I thought it’s ending but it leads me to another turn. (God is not done with our life when we thought it’s ending).

And then suddenly it ends.

I’m back to where I started.

Naked I come, naked I go.

but I have kept the faith, walked faithfully, behold the beauty of the cross and finished the race.

I walked into the garden: The labyrinth walk is done, and I’m roaming in the nice garden (for eternity).

In walking, there’s no rail guards to prevent me walking out of step, only if I wanted to follow. There’s no limits to how fast I want to rush through or how slow I want to enjoy the walk. So it is with life. We have a choice. We always do, and God honors our free will.

Brings me to the conclusion of Ecclesiastes. Fear God and keep His commandments; for this is man’s all.

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