God Has A Way Of Turning Our Pride Into His Treasures

Last year’s retreat forever changed my life. I graduated! I grew! I was challenged! I saw God’s glory in all aspects of the retreat, from the beginning to the end. Although it was a lot of work we really had fun putting the retreat together. The filming of the Girls Just Wanna Have Fun was hilarious! The drama queens and the drama director Karen had a blast too! When I sensed the call to speak at the retreat, I was terrified! When I am nervous, I forget things that I want to say. Needless to say, I had to rely completely on the Holy Spirit to put the words He wanted me to speak in my mouth, and HE DID! I will never forget the HOLY RUSH I felt standing up there speaking for HIM. I think I know how Moses felt! Totally unequipped by my own power, but TOTALLY COVERED AND EQUIPPED BY HIS POWER. If it had been me speaking it would of been a mess. I praise God and glorify HIM alone for the words HE impressed in my heart to speak of. Funny… I never thought I would be able to get up in front of 100 women to speak about my “junk”. God has a way of turning our pride into HIS treasures. Our shame into His victory. Our ashes and dirt into HIS beauty. I am NOT ashamed to admit that I don’t have it all together cause that is the truth. I am walking it out everyday with God’s grace. Everyday I wake up committing myself to live for HIM and asking...

Timeline: 2011 Retreat (April 29-May 1) "Of Duty and Deadlines"

April 1, 2011. A retreat is packed with deadlines. Last year I really pushed the proverbial “envelope.”  I had touted early on that I wanted to write the theme song. Kat had written a beautiful poem that, one night, I set to music.  I wanted to get a professional recording so that I could embed the audio into a “music-type” video for the drama. Between the poem, the guitar and the shower, the song wrote itself. 🙂 I had ONE HOUR reserved at the studio. Ana Adler accompanied me, in fact, she drove me.  She was a blessing and the talented videographer of the documentary. There were keyboard issues. The studio hired Annie, an incredibly talented pianist. She had beautifully arranged the song.  Annie really wanted the better keyboard.  We had to wait until her teen-aged son brought it from clear across town. There were engineering/computer issues. There was tension. There was a large dog panting. I was tearing up with every run-through. This was supposed to be a surprise for Kat. Finally, the song was recorded.  A few tweaks on the computer and the engineers delivered a fresh cut CD before the clock struck “DONE.” Now all I had to do was get back to my computer and “lay the track” under the final video for Sunday morning. Excited and “anxious,” I discovered the song was in the wrong format. Adobe Premiere Pro would not accept it.  Adobe Premiere Pro did not recognize it. Ugh. I called the studio to see if they could send me a .wav or .mp3 file. No answer. Just a hollow recorded voice on an answering machine....

Timeline: 4th Grade: That Crazy Orange Science Notebook

4th Grade. Coleman School. Memphis, Tennessee.  Yes, I was one of those Type “A” students who had it all together. Bitten nails. Twisted Hair.  Prayer. I prayed about everything, especially at test time.  I wanted an “A.”  I wanted a “100.”  I usually got it. Then I misplaced my orange science notebook.  Day after day, I looked for it.  It was nowhere to be found.  I didn’t pray about it.  I just figured, what the heck.  Oh, well. In time, it will show up. Day after day, no notebook. I got nervous.  I really put alot of work into it.  It was going to be “my grade.” I got off my high horse and prayed. The next morning I looked up from my desk and there sat that ratty science notebook on the shelf — right in front of me.  Had it been there all along?  Did God allow me to see it only after I prayed?...

Timeline: 9th Grade: Missing, Missionaries And God's Math

Billy Peel. My uncle. Active-duty Air National Guard. He and his flight crew were on a secret mission. May 1972. 9th grade. Memphis, Tennessee. Friends, relatives and members of Highland Heights Methodist Church gathered at my Aunt Dorothy’s house for days and weeks after hearing the news: Uncle Billy’s plane dropped off the radar. Missing. I remember the men in uniform coming to her door. August 1996. Twenty-four years later. My father had just died. Fred and Janice Day were at my mother’s home before the memorial service to offer their condolences. They met my Aunt Dorothy and cousin Phyllis who had just flown in from Memphis. Aunt Dorothy: You were missionaries in Surinam — Surinam, South America? My husband’s plane went down over Surinam – in the mountains — in the jungle. We never really knew what happened. Fred Day: That was in the 70s. I remember. Aunt Dorothy:  You do? You were there? It was 1972.  You know, we were never told anything about what really happened. Everything was so hush hush. State Department business. Fred Day: Janice and I were serving as missionaries to the Indians there. The entire colony knew what happened. Some even witnessed it. I am sure communication back then in that area was rough. It was night.  The jungle was thick. The only lights in the area were that of the dam. Your husband’s flight crew mistook the lights of the dam for the lights of the runway. The plane hit the side of the mountain. My aunt was in shock and my cousin looked away in deep hurt and disbelief. October 2010: Fourteen years later. Arlington National Cemetary, Washington, DC. I visited the cemetary...

Kat' Story – Time To Graduate Princess Retreat – The Effect

Last year’s retreat was life changing for me. The theme was about spiritual maturity — about taking the next step with God — about being unfraid to move where He is leading even when you may be leaving your comfortable place in church, in life, in your ministry or in your personal circumstance. I had been head of Women’s Ministry at Everglades Community Church for close to 7 years. I loved the growth, the challenge, the fellowship, the intimacy, and last but not least, the familiarity. But God was calling me to a new place. He was calling me to be a preacher and I knew it. While the call was clear, I was terrified to say yes… to walk out blindly in faith, enroll in school and pursue the call with my whole self. The thought of new unfamiliar territory made me afraid, insecure and unsettled. That was until I was faced with the prepartion that goes with coordinating a retreat on the topic, writing a sermon on the topic, and delivering messages and journals that pound home the truth — God doesn’t call us because we are equipped. He calls us because He loves us and knows what we were made for, what he plans to do with our obedience and why equipment is best delivered in the midst of the journey — rarely before. Shortly after the retreat I stepped down from my post in Women’s Ministry, enrolled in a Masters Christian Studies Program at Trinity International and I’m blown away by how GOD is moving in it all. I will be forever grateful for the...

Our First "God" Story.

Last years retreat was the best time of my life. I was saved by Laura Dahne in April 29, 2011 around 9:30pm. I will never forget that weekend. Thank you ladies for puttin these retreats together. You all do an amazing job! Christie Thompson (Cthompson@cityofhomestead.com)...

Kat Silverglate

 Kat Silverglate — Was made by GOD to creatively communicate truth.  She is a frequent conference speaker, retreat coordinator and dramatist.  God transformed her life when she finally realized that the world is filled with a brand of hope that will never deliver what it promises.  No amount of fame, money, food, wine, sex, travel, pedicures, talent, awards, family, good deeds, community service or paying-it-forward will ever satisfy a woman.  Ever!  After years of trying to prove that statement wrong, Kat finally asked the uncomfortable question — why is this so exhausting, depressing, and unsatisfying?  What am I doing wrong?  Is there some truth out there about what we are designed to chase?  Why we were made?  What’s the point?  In the church, Kat found many women who were asking the same questions but often  in secrecy with fear that someone may see behind their pretty Christian I-have-it-all-together facade.  Sadly, many of them felt like they had to pretend right inside the Church.  Eventually, God gathered a group of broken women — the B.A.D. Girls of ECC — and made it safe for them to take off their veils, stop pretending and get real about their lives and their hard questions.  Kat’s life has never been the same, never will be the same, and she will go to her grave talking about the power Jesus has in the life of a hurting woman.  If she could summarize the lesson of the last 10 years in women’s ministry, it would be this — when women get real, women get healed.  Don’t wait until your veil smothers you.  Until your pretend world comes crashing down around you.  Come in the middle of your story and watch GOD speak into your life right where you are.  We are...

Kris Rivera

Kris Rivera — also known as “Girl Friday”, as we love to refer to her, has been the administrative “genius” behind our retreats. She has been involved in everything from finding the retreat center to handling the money to sending reminders to coordianting the food to making a million small deetails happen that only GOD can separate from the beauty that you experience this weekend. Kris keeps the trains moving on time, is one of the best boundary setters we’ve ever met and is not afraid to speak truth in love to her sisters who don’t have the same administrative gifts. We adore you, Kris! You can reach Kris at...

Laura K. Dahne

Laura K. Dahne loves being a part of women’s ministry that promotes Jesus, Inner-healing and Teaching!  She believes these three essential ingredients are best when blended with laughter and worship.  Her passion for inner-healing was the impetus for her first book, “The Master Gardener,” a book that ministers to women in the deepest places of their garden-hearts and confronts them with a dose of humorous truth. Laura feels free to get into women’s ’emotional and spiritual junk’ because she knows that ‘it takes one to know one’ and because she knows that truth sets women free!  Her motto is, “When women get real, women get healed!” To contact Laura, vist her at www.LauraDahne.com....

Ana Adler

“I have to turn to these truths every day. I have victory and then I find myself needing to repent again.  I am growing, just like you, in my walk of sanctification.” Ana Adler has been teaching a women’s small group at Everglades Community Church for more than ten years. She loves on each woman personally. Through laughter, being real and sharing her own personal journey with Jesus Christ, many women have experienced real healing.  You’ll be amazed how Ana can tell a story that will engage you, teach you, and take you to the feet of Jesus Christ. Visit Ana’s Bible Study Group at www.AnaBibleStudy.Jimdo.com. Ana’s love for women and for their marriages is a gift from God that she delights in sharing with other women.  Her favorite Bible verse is 1 Corinthians 10:31— “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” She has learned through her journey with God that in all things we do, think, say, eat, drink, and such, we need to honor and glorify God. Ana’s first speaking engagement was at last year’s retreat. She spoke about “cutting it out” — or cutting away our sins — Confess. Submit. Trust. Expect God to answer. We look forward to what God is giving Ana this year. You can reach Ana at...