Enjoy a recent video from our Marvelous Light retreat on May 1-2. You’ll also soon be able to view this video, along with other Storyline videos already posted, at www.storylinecommunity.com/media/videos.
Archives For Marvelous Light
Marvelous Light on May 1-2 was a great experience. More than 20 Storyline people participated.
One of my favorite stories of the weekend came from Darcey. We met Darcey through the Dallas Junior Chamber of Commerce. Before about nine months ago she had very little connection to God or Christian community. She doesn’t have much of anything by way of a spiritual or religious background.
When her father converted to Mormonism a couple years ago, the peace he seemed to find got her attention and she began to search for God. She’s been searching for God in the midst of a Storyline house church for the past few months.
When talking to Darcey about her experiences with Marvelous Light, she said that the teaching and testimony about legalism really resonated with her. In the legalism section we talked about ways we’ve been deceived to believe that we could save ourselves by following the right rules and doing the right things.
“I didn’t grow up in a religious family, but my family had legalistic characteristics,” she said. Darcey grew up trying to be a good person and to do good things, assuming that was what it was all about.
I think Darcey experienced the grace of God in a fresh way through Marvelous Light, and I’m excited about walking alongside of her as she continues on her spiritual journey.
Our community exists for people like Darcey.
Enjoy some pictures from the retreat.
WHAT: Marvelous Light Retreat, an experience of spiritual renewal and cleansing
WHEN: May 1, 7:00 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.; May 2, 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
WHERE: Preston Road Church of Christ (map)
COST: $15 / person; includes 2 meals, snacks and materials
WHO: All are invited
REGISTRATION: Via Paypal @ storylinecommunity.com
TESTIMONIAL: “It was like a spiritual detox for my soul.” Lauren Cone, Storyliner
Reserve your spot today!
We participated in the Marvelous Light retreat this weekend at Camp Hoblitzelle in Midlothian, Texas. Nearly forty people from five churches recently planted in DFW came together for the event—Christ Journey (Burleson), New River (Forney), Storyline (Dallas), Sunrise (Grand Prairie) and VineLife (Savannah). Four of the five churches are associated with Mission Alive, our church planting resource organization.
I’m biased because I helped to plan it, but I think it was a tremendous success.
Many people came carrying heavy burdens and left with lighter loads. Many came with brokenness and left on the pathway to healing. Many came with darkness and left with more light in their lives.
One of our Storyline people said something to this effect:
When we lived in Los Angeles, going through a body “detox” was a popular thing to do. Marvelous Light was like a spiritual detox for my soul. I poured all of myself out through confession in my ministry group. It was hard, but by the end of it, I felt so much lighter.
I think that’s such a great description of the cleansing and renewal that occurs at Marvelous Light—spiritual detox for the soul.
Testimonies were hands down the favorite element of the weekend listed in our evaluation forms. They were vivid examples of how our lives change when God transfers us from darkness to light.
- One woman talked about being freed from bondage to anxiety and aversion.
- Another woman talked about learning by the power of God to forgive the man who raped her, and after that, to forgive herself.
- Still another shared her story of growing up in a very legalistic environment, hating the god behind it, and then finding the true and living God.
- One young business entrepreneur shared the panic attacks he experienced because he trusted money too much and how he learned to trust God by giving large chunks of his money away.
- Another man shared how he had been enslaved by sexual addiction to pornography for more than thirty years and how God had given him sexual purity for more than three years.
What I love is that a couple of these testimonies were shared by previous Marvelous Light participants who were enabled to share the light they’d found because they had let God deal with their darkness in the Marvelous Light retreat.
Confession of sin is an oft-neglected discipline in the church. It’s much easier to stay in the realm of pretense and superficiality.
The gospel, however, calls us out of darkness and into light.
We have therefore made a rigorous commitment to authenticity, acceptance, confession and life change by the power of the Holy Spirit.
That’s why we put so much energy into experiences like Marvelous Light.
When’s the last time you dealt with your darkness and confessed your brokenness to someone you trusted?
God’s forgiveness—his marvelous light—is waiting for you…
I thought I’d share a testimony from a Christ Journey friend whose life was impacted by the Marvelous Light retreat on November 16-17. It just reminds me why I do what I do (by the power of Almighty God, of course).
Once upon a time I was me. It seemed like a long time ago, but praise to God, I am new today. I went to a retreat a few weeks ago hoping for a change. I say hoping because that is what I was doing, hoping. Not praying. I knew that others had come through it and they had been changed and I wanted change too. Anyway, I wanted to be made whole again so that I could see Gods miracles and blessings in my life. I knew that I was being held back because of things that I continued to hang onto in my magical backpack that no one but me and God knew was there. I would say they were gone, but they weren’t. They were just pushed deeper so I could keep on pretending. God knew though. He knew that He had blessings waiting for me and He stood there, arms crossed, toe tapping, eyes rolling saying, “C’mon, quit talking and start doing. I have a bagful of blessings piling up here…” Can you see Him? He is probably doing it to you too.
During our retreat, we heard about the things in the dark that we do and hold onto that keep us out of the light, (hence the name Marvelous Light). We heard about bondage and things of the occult, (which is more than you would have thought). We heard about legalism and idolatry. Most of all we heard about forgiveness. One of my dear friends and I have talked a lot about that in the past. She is very wise. She had given me some of her story but at the retreat, she gave all of it. When she talked about her story in full, it filled in the rest of the blanks for me and I got it. I understood all that she had said to me and more. She helped a lot of people that weekend.
At that moment I realized that the biggest thing holding me back from receiving the full blessings of God was the spirit of unforgiveness. I realized that I said I forgave but I just called it something else. I pointed fingers at other things. “Well, they made the bad decisions, they are not humble, they sure do have issues!” In reality, all those things are true, but because of my unforgiveness, I harbored anger and resentment. Those two things alone are enough to drive you insane when your mind starts thinking about it. Your stomach starts to boil, your blood starts to rush, your head feels heavy and before you know it you are taking it out on everyone around you who loves you. Then the ball starts rolling, they take it out on the people around them and around them and around them…. No wonder there are so many angry people.
But for me, NO MORE. I refuse to let Satan take my joy away anymore. I refuse to let Satan take my blessings away anymore. I know that I was changed at the retreat because I had an opportunity this weekend to let the anger retake control. I did not do it. I was faced with the one thing that would get me seething mad and I did not bite. Instead, I chose to remain calm. My stomach did not start to boil, my blood did not start to rush, my head did not feel heavy. I was completely and irrefutably unaffected. Even when I realized nothing was happening, I still was unaffected. Even when the discussion heated, I still remained calm. At that moment, I knew that my prayers at that retreat with the 2 other women in my triad were heard and delivered upon. I knew that that burden in my magical backpack was gone. I knew that God had answered my call to take them away from me. Wow, what a freedom I have received! I have been blessed beyond measure since then.