The Daily Blog From the Young Adult's Ireland Retreat:
August 28th - We are leaving for our Ireland Young Adult's Retreat in about a week. We all appreciate your prayers for safe travel, but most of all for the preparations of our hearts beforehand. We want this time to be given completely to Jesus; to give Him our hearts with undivided attention. We are crying out for more of Him, and less of us. To really know Him beyond knowledge so that we might be filled with His Life. Many of us are young and the enemy tries to attack us when we make strong decisions to follow Jesus. Please keep us in your prayers. We want Christ to be embraced and manifested through us in our generation. We need the care and covering of the Body of Christ.
Sunday September 7th
Well, the Americans have arrived safely and we are awaiting
the rest of the Irish to show up! If you
are reading this and you supported any of our team in any way, prayerfully or
financially, then we extend a special thanks to you from Ireland! We are so desirous to see Christ in a deep
way while we are here, and to be a blessing to the Irish people by living Christ
and pouring out His love on them.
Today, everyone is resting and recovering from jet lag. We are determined to kick jet-lag quickly,
because there is too much of Jesus to waste a second being tired! We started the day taking a brief tour of
Dublin before attending a church service there in the city. We were blessed to find a terrific church
full of people who love Jesus and with whom we worshiped and fellowshipped in
the Lord very sweetly. Then, once we
arrived at the retreat center where we will be staying, we walked around the
gardens that surround the place and got a feel for where we will spend much of
the coming week sharing the Lord. Later,
some of the precious sisters in the Lord who run the center came and had great
fellowship with us, sharing with us their stories and experiences from lives in
overseas ministry. What beautiful
vessels of Christ to get us going. Every
young person here is determined to know Christ in greater and deeper ways so we
can likewise be vessels of His poured-out life in the earth.
Please continue to pray for us. We feel it deeply, and it truly means more to
us than we could ever say.
More tomorrow! Spend
some quality time with Jesus today. Time
in picturesque havens like this place comes and goes, but may we all always
make the same choice Mary did, what Jesus called the one thing that is needful:
to sit at His feet and just be with Him.
Love from Ireland,
The Young Adult Retreat team
Kelly doing the daily blog!
The gardens at our retreat center!
Monday September 8th
Today was the first official day of the retreat! Now that the group is all here and rested up from jetlag, we are going full-force after Jesus. This morning, one of those gathered shared that he recently realized he had fallen into a pattern of working a 9 to 5 and trying to fit Jesus in where he could. He said this could not go on, that he came this week to see Jesus in a way that changes his life. It captured so greatly what this retreat is for. The world does not need us to squeeze Jesus in our lives when we have time. They need Jesus to be our life, that they may truly know the Person and not just the teaching. In that spirit, this morning we began the text that will be the basis for our gathering, a manual called “Living At Eye Level.” Then, during a few hours of individual time seeking the Lord, we focused on letting the Spirit show us in the Word what it means to live at eye-level, as opposed to living at hand-level (only knowing God by what He can do for you) or mouth-level (only hearing Him tell you cool things or have Him show you things in the Word). An example Kelly gave was this: if you were getting married, would you want to marry someone who only sent you presents in the mail and called you occasionally (or better yet, texted)? No, you want to see their face. You want to look in their eyes. You would want to know more than what they do or think, but Who they are. That is intimacy. And we are the Bride of Christ. We seek to know Him in this way, not just this week, but our whole lives long. “You said, ‘Seek My face;’ my heart said unto you, ‘Your face, Lord, will I seek’” (Psalm 27:8). We each are crying out to see Jesus that we might truly know Him and be vessels of His Nature and Being, not just people with a message that has not changed us. May the Holy Spirit open the eyes of our hearts and reveal Christ in us. Amen!
Tuesday, September 9th
This morning we began with a precious time of worship led by the youngest in our group. It was so deeply anointed that it brought to mind the words of 1st Timothy: despise not your youth. God has filled even the youngest member to overflowing. Ushered in by the worship, we continued our sharings in the retreat manual “Living At Eye Level.” The major take-away from this session was, “Living at eye-level is not a one-time experience. It is a lifestyle.” So, then we were challenged with a question: what causes you to break gaze with Jesus? With that in mind, we were each given the book of poems the Lord gave Kelly for this retreat. We were asked to ponder the first few poems, along with a section from “Living At Eye-Level” and portions of the book of Revelation. With all of that before us, we headed out to one of the most beautiful, secluded spots this side of Ireland.
Here we sat, at the feet of Jesus. To say we communed falls short of the Spirit’s movement. Armed with Bibles, stationary, journals, and a desperate heart, we inclined our ears to hear what the Holy Spirit wanted to meditate upon. He is so very faithful to reveal Jesus. He delights to do it!
After dinner, we had our gathering to share what the Lord shared with us on our afternoon outing. The Spirit has ministered in such breath-taking ways; you would hardly imagine that every contributor is not older than their mid-twenties. The Holy Spirit has proved Himself well-able to pour into and flow out of any vessel. He is no respecter of persons; He takes the hungry to Jesus. It is especially blessed how the Lord shares with us individually, but then unfolds the fullness of His heart in the group. The full picture becomes evident in the mouths of two or three witnesses, clarifying and expanding for every heart what is on the heart of Jesus. We are so full already, and are ecstatic that it is only Tuesday. The Lord’s heart is bursting for the up-coming generation in Christ to know Him at eye-level so that they can bear His nature and manifest His Life.
Thank you again for your support and prayers. We all believe you are here with us in spirit, encouraging us to press on and in to seek Him.
Wednesday, September 10th
Today was our retreat within the retreat. Let me explain: The last few days, we have been pressing into the Lord and seeking Him so heavily that that Holy Spirit put it on Kelly’s heart to give us a day of soaking. Much like Esther in her preparation to appear before the king, we are soaking in the oils and perfumes administered to us in the last few days by the Holy Spirit as He makes us ready for a face-to-face relationship with the King. In that spirit, we began the morning with a shorter time of sharing from the “Living At Eye Level” manual, and then made our lunches and went to an enclosed garden on the property to spend some soaking-time in the sun and in the Son. (The weather every day of our trip so far has been non-stop sunshine with barely a cloud in the sky. The Irish call it a miracle!)
One group member played guitar for four hours while we were in the garden (he has the string marks to prove it!) while others read, walked about communing with the Lord, or rested on the grass just listening for the Holy Spirit and ruminating in what He has already shared. From this time sprung great worship and communion, and our prayer is that this day of rest and reflection will prevent us from burning out before the Lord is done with us this week. We are rejuvenated for the second leg of this journey with Him, and we continue in echoing John’s prayer: may Christ increase and we decrease.
The evening ended with a fish and chips dinner (had to do it) followed by a quiet evening of time in the Word and communing in the Lord with one another.
We hope the pictures from the garden especially bless you. Let the Lord bring you into the same rest and saturation that He ministered to us today. He is the same with you and in you as He is here, and we pray that you experience His soaking as we have and will continue to the whole week long.
Thursday, September 11th
Today began with worship and sharings from everyone in our group. The Lord moved in our hearts deeply and continues to profoundly affect each one individually. He is revealing himself in new and deeper ways to every heart. We are crying out for His Kingdom to come in our earthen vessels as Christ is formed in us.
After this time, we cleaned the centre where we are staying and packed up to go to the beach. Our time was a blessed time of, as one in the group put it, "letting God be God." He is not only God in a organized service, praise the Lord! We are learning to live Him every moment. Even cleaning and tidying the centre has become a joy. From cooking the meals, to eating meals to washing dishes, the life of the Lord is poured forth. May we continue to learn to live constantly at eye-level, and not just touch Him during a service. Thank you, Father, for Your life that lives all the time!
May you be blessed by His abundant life today in everything you do.
Friday, September 12th
Well, if we were doubting that the Lord could possibly move more powerfully than He already has, we aren’t doubting now! We have experienced new depths of Himself everyday, and this morning was more intense than ever. We didn’t even get to the sharing! The Holy Spirit moved so powerfully in our morning meeting that different ones were freed to minister His heart and the depth of His love for His Body in new ways and with greater passion than ever before. The Spirit moved deeply within us and in our midst for hours. Afterwards we spent time lingering in His Presence, unable to move until He had finished His precious ministry for that time. God is truly preparing for Himself a people full of His heart and Life. Praise God for having more than words and doctrines to offer His church and the world! May we all experience the free-flow of life from Christ to His members and between members every day more and more! Amen!
After such a powerful free flow of life, we took time in the garden to spend individual time with the Lord. But the flow could not be stopped! Nor would we want it to be. The first hour was a quiet time of soaking and pondering in our hearts all the Lord has shared with us, but then the back-and-forth of the Word got going! We took turns reading the Word, searching out scriptures, each one bringing different angles and dimension to what was shared. We plumbed the depths of Christ in the Word together! After a couple hours of that, we were blessed to receive new guests to our little band of Jesus-lovers: a beloved pastor brother and his wife from the States. Upon their arrival, we went right to preparing dinner, and after dinner we had our evening sharing. We were greatly encouraged by the arrival of our brother, and shared with him and shared further with each other the work the Lord is doing in our hearts. It is deep indeed.
More tomorrow. Much love to you all in Jesus.
Saturday, September 13th
At this point the atmosphere of our gatherings is more like a womb for the Holy Spirit to saturate and penetrate our hearts with Christ, than a meeting room in a retreat center. Our gatherings turn into either spontaneous sharing from what the Spirit is revealing of Christ in the Word, or crying out for more of Jesus as we pour out our hearts. This afternoon we were able to pour out some of the living waters we have been filled with over an Irish community. It was a blessed time of releasing the Spirit of Christ over the whole town. We had musicians, a juggler, children’s ministry, evangelism and even a “Psalm Reader” who was able to share the Word of God and the love of Jesus with many people.
Pastor R.T. Nusbaum shared a timely Word with us in the evening. We heard God’s heart speaking to us in Luke chapter 2 asking us to not just participate in a spiritual event and on the way home lose Jesus. He encouraged us to keep loving Jesus because it is all about Him, while also praying for all the seeds God has sown in us to bring forth Christ and not be stolen. The Holy Spirit bore witness to the Word and once again we found ourselves broken before the Lord crying out for more of Jesus.
Tomorrow is our last day, and already some of the team has already left. Even though our cups are overflowing, we appreciate your prayers for us as we return home.
Here we are with Sister Nuala and Sister Joy, two retired missionary nuns that love Jesus and have served Him their whole lives.
Sunday, September 14th
Our trip is finally wrapping up! We say “finally” because there has been so much of the Lord that it feels like the trip has been much longer than it is. It seems ridiculous that so much Jesus could be released in such a short amount of time, but so it is! Today we bid farewell to three more team members, two in the wee hours of the morning and one after our morning service. During our morning service, Randy shared again from Luke 2, and what he shared was weighty and needful. It was a timely word that lifted up the preeminence of finding and knowing Christ as our Life, the Lamb within us.
We want to thank our Father, for giving us His Son and spreading such a feast before us this past week. We have feasted on Jesus and are hearts are filled. Thank you Holy Spirit for the incredible ways you have lifted up Jesus to us and in us. We love you and want to be unto You those in whom You have the liberty to reveal Christ. Thank you Jesus for being in us as our Life. We leave this retreat filled with You and everywhere we go YOU are in us and this relationship will never end.
We pray this blog has blessed you in many ways and that you continue in Jesus just as we desire to continue in Him now that the week is over! It is never about the fun experiences or even the God-experiences, but about the eternal things the Spirit has done in our hearts that is really important. We love Jesus. We want more of Him. We pray you go after more of Him too! Thank you again, so very much, for all the love and support.
We will continue to upload more pictures, audio sharings and videos from our trip in the upcoming days, so keep checking the blog for new updates!!
This retreat and this ministry would not be possible without Raphaelle McCormick, my assistant in Fire Ministries International. Christ lives in her and pours through her and we thank God for her!