The ‘Love Actually’ Weekend got off to a delicious start with a chocolate fountain at the reception of the luxurious Four Pillars Hotel. It was exciting to meet every lady and give them their badge and exquisite goodie bag just before dinner. There was a buzz of chatter and bubbling anticipation for the whole weekend. A worship time followed which was very uplifting.
Shelia Bridges spoke to us introducing our subject for the weekend ‘Love’, love God and love one another. We also were inspired by an Emeli Sandé song with the words ‘You’ve got the words to change a nation…’. If we don’t share our song, how will anyone know it? Maybe we are scared of getting it wrong, but we must remember we are all uniquely gifted and we each have a song to sing. Let your life sing out about Jesus, we are called by God to sing. Sing to the tune, ‘There is a God and he loves me’.
Then those who were late night owls got their PJs on to watch a movie ‘Love Actually’ for some girly time.
‘Devotions’ on the Saturday morning was quiet time spent imagining meeting Jesus. It was a time to sit, reflect and be open to God speaking into our hearts.
In the morning meeting Jenny Baker spoke about knowing your beauty and worth within; then you can live your life from this place of security and have great courage. We were encouraged to live like women of courage from the Bible who were not boxed in by culture; therefore we must go deeper and hear from God. Our inner critic is our own worst enemy, giving us a running monologue of negativity. We must choose to believe and say what God says about us instead.
Susan Ainsworth also encouraged us to say the words God says about us and gave us many tips to bring change in our lives in her seminar, ‘Confidence Actually’. In the seminar, ‘Friendship Actually’, Mandy Catto and Fiona Castle encouraged us to use the opportunities we have in our lives to share Jesus with people in our lives, maybe by using new creative ideas, without the cheese! For many people we will be the first contact they have with Christianity and the way they may see and hear about God; what a responsibility and honour.
Bekah Legg presented ‘Communication Actually’ and Time for Marriage presented ‘Marriage Actually’… those who attended these seminars it would be great to hear about these sessions… (please post below)
A relaxing time in the sunshine and spa facilities were had in the afternoon before dressing up for the candle lit dinner. This was followed by entertainment by Searchlight Theatre Company, with much laughter and fun audience participation!
‘Devotions’ on Sunday morning helped us to reflect on Jesus’ perfect sacrifice, a very moving time.
The rest of the morning was filled with many creative crafts, newspapers, books, tea and coffee and an opportunity to get to grips with the new website and how to post articles and use twitter. A time of celebration in worship then flowed and we heard from Sarah about how God used Moses who was a reluctant leader and unlikely rescuer to carry out His plan for His people. God can use us even in our weaknesses as He will make us strong as we look to Him. Rhiannon challenged us to not make excuses about not getting out of our comfort zone to talk to people, due to it not being in our nature or natural to us. We have the nature of Christ in us, which we can live out of each day, and we can put on his character in every day opportunities, using his strength and ability to reach people.
What a blessed and inspiring weekend… keep living it out ladies!