retreat was awesome. it was only 30 people from ls, which is a huge change from afc sr, which pushes 150. for afc, we take up the entire campsite, which takes like 5 min to walk across, lodge to farthest cabin. i think. ok for winter retreat here, we shared the campsite with two other groups and the site was small enough to look across. btw, ben park from vc and now ucla was there with his church, which was the randomest thing ever. anyway.
1) they do something called one to ones, which is basically you have one person you eat with every meal time. the person changes, but you really get to know a few people pretty well that way. i recommend this to afc snow retreat.
2) the theme was the body of christ. there was a small group question once. how would you rank ls in terms of unity? most people ranked it pretty low. small as it is, we realize we're not as united as we should/could be. so we all realized this problem of ours.
3) the last night, we had something called body life, which is like open mic at afc sr, but the focus is on encouraging one another and being a body, and since we have so few people, we arranged everyone in a two layered square facing each other. that was awesome. we encouraged each other, rejoiced together, cried together, prayed for each other, and worshipped together. that was def one of the best fellowship experiences i have ever had in a group larger than 2. we realized we had a unity problem, and so we worked to fix it. and for one sheltered retreat night, it was fixed. hopefully itll stay fixed. anyway, i didnt get into much detail here, but if you ask me i will probably talk more. because of that night i know that i did not make a mistake in choosing ls. i am so thankful.
i have disturbingly also been receiving more of what you might call prophetic messages than i care to receive. i used to pray that God wouldnt give me the gift of prophecy because so many people are suspicious of it and i feel like i might ... well, be persecuted by my own brothers and sisters if i had it. i would like to think that hearing God tell me strange things is a special event that is happening only now for some reason, but it happens so much i'm not so sure. also, telling people stuff about them you really shouldnt have any right to know is pretty awkward and scary. ok, telling good news is easy. but confronting secret sin is not. i will stop there to protect the privacy of people. and in case you're wondering, ls/harbor is pretty conservative and they dont do anything near charismatic so i'm not imagining things because everyone else is doing it. i would like to hear everything God has to say about me, but not what he has to say about others. i dont want to be messenger. but then, the bible says you should use your spiritual gifts for the common good. like pastor eddie said, using your spiritual gifts only to benefit yourself is lame. "oh i have a cut. *heal* oh my tummy hurts. *heal*" lame. BUT REALLY REALLY REALLY ITS HARDER THAN IT SOUNDS when half the church doesnt accept them as legitly from the holy spirit and they think you're demon possessed for healing people or something (gasp, just like they did with jesus when he healed people). forever an obstacle for me. i dont know how to use my spiritual gifts for the common good because they're not widely accepted practices in the local churches i attend.
anyway enough ranting. i love ls.