Spiritual Retreat 2013


I absolutely LOVE Spiritual Retreats.  This year I had two new aspects on my journey:
 
1.    I went on my yearly Spiritual Retreat in early October instead of late spring and found that I enjoyed it just the same. 
2.    I invited one of my mentors, Vee, whom I lovingly refer to as one of my spiritual grandmothers instead of going alone...and we had a wonderful time.      
 
I always have great experiences on my retreats....I get relaxed, refreshed, refocused and always hear from God.  The locations are normally within 5 - 8 hours of the Dallas area and the trip to the destination is actually part of the retreat journey experience in of itself because I listen to Praise & Worship all the way there to get my heart & mind prepared. 

This year, the first location we visited was Cap Rock Canyon State Park, which is just southeast of Amarillo.  It's a beautiful park that is very well maintained and is a nature lovers dream.   Since we went during the week it wasn't that crowded and we were able to find a nice spot to hangout for 3.5 hours without being disturbed.  After we unpacked our bibles, study materials and notebooks, we had prayer for healing, communion, and then separated for individual prayer and study.   I was surprised to find myself weeping instead of praying at first, but sometimes the tear ducts are like pressure relief valves of our heart and God knew that I needed that considering the events of the year and sickness and stress in my family.... It has been a hard year indeed and yet He is faithful to see us through it all and make us stronger in the end, so my tears quickly turned to praise and thanks.     It was awesome!!
 
The next day, we went on to Cross Ministries, which is east of Amarillo in Groom, TX.       WOW...what an amazing place!!   A man and his family constructed a HUGE cross beside interstate 40 that can be seen 12 miles away.  When you get there, they have life size bronze  Stations of The Cross, Last Supper, Calvary and the Empty Tomb.  Hands down, this is one of the best places for meditation that I've been to in a long time.  When you go to their store and restroom area, they have a large courtyard with big fountain and statue of Jesus.  The waterfall must have a massive pump, because the water pressure is extremely high and it’s LOUD…like a roaring river and it reminded me of John's description of how Jesus' voice sounded like rushing waters in Revelation 1:15.  

After we did a little shopping we returned to the courtyard area and stayed there for 2.5 hours and separated off again for study, prayer and praise.  Due to the peace and tranquility, I wish we could have stayed even longer, but we had to get back on the road to get home before midnight.  I definitely want to go back there again and will be telling all of my friends about it.   I love taking faith vacations/retreats…I'm always blessed for the next big thing/adventure that God has in store for me, I get to pray more intensely for friends and family AND I get my little spiritual love tank refilled.  
 
If you have never gone on a spiritual retreat, I want to encourage you take the time to do it.  If you go with somebody, make sure to get alone so that you can really focus in on God without hindrance.   If you're not sure on what to take or study, this may be helpful:


·         Bible - select one of the gospels to concentrate on.   
·         Journal/Notebook - you may get a big download from God, so you’ll want to take notes.  During this particular retreat I used my journal to write out the sensitive prayers in my heart so that I could revisit them this fall as they are critical to my next "season" of service unto the Lord.
·         Praise & Worship music - for the drive to wherever you're going - this helps to get the heart prepared and focused on God.
·         Study resources - I took a study guide that I'm doing in church with me and read through that at night back in the hotel room to keep the flow of the retreat going when I wasn't at one of our destinations.

During my spiritual retreats I try to keep outside distractions cut down as much as possible.  I don't like to have the TV on in the hotel and I try to keep the cell phone off.  This time around I didn't have to worry about the phone so much because we were out in the country and had really bad cell service.   I'm looking forward to my next retreat sometime next year....now I just have to find a new place to explore or perhaps visit Cross Ministries again.  
  




Cross Ministries
 

Cross Ministries

Cross Ministries

Cross Ministries

Cross Ministries

Cap Rock Canyon State Park

Cap Rock Canyon State Park

Cap Rock Canyon State Park
 

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