rick & 1j13
Sunday, May 11, 2003
Well, the Cleansing Streams retreat was good. I'm not one to come back from something and just gush, "OOOOOOOHHH, that was so-o-o-o-o good! You've got to go - you really missed it!" So my typical response this morning was more like, "It was good. We had a really deep time." And I'm telling those who went to just settle into what they've learned, walk out the changes and challenges ahead. I'll post more as the week goes on and I do the same thing: walk it out now.

Basically, this ministry combines a deliverance mindset with the understanding that it's a lifestyle. Discipleship needs to be involved, as we learn how to walk "in cleansing" and understand how to "cleanse ourselves" as God has called and provided for. It's balanced and deep, and leaves a lasting impression on those who go through it with the intention of following through. If it's just another class or teaching or whatever, it won't stick or make a real difference. It's is a fairly well-balanced series of teachings/discipleship on healing, deliverance and restoration. Where "deliverance ministries" often get a stereotypical bad rap, this one is different. I've been through a number of times, and each time there's something new revealed, some new layer of stuff that needs to be dealt with.

Dealing with rejection? Time to let it go. Struggles with sexual purity on any level? Repent with the intention to leave that thing, and renounce it's spiritual presence in your life. Got baggage of abuse, death, destruction? Forgive, and open your own life to restoration and healing. Control issues? Realize you're not God, but that He is there for you.

That's the gist of some of it, but as you go through the seminar (previous four months of study and meditation) and then arrive at the retreat, it's the most natural and flowing thing you can imagine. The weight falls off, and the freedom is almost tangible. Faces are different - tired, but different - after the long and fairly intense weekend. And then in the fall, I get to go through it all again, with a new batch of folks and hopefully some from the past who've not gone completely through before.

God is so real, and so really loving and in pursuit of us. But too often, our baggage of the past hinders us in its weight and holds us back for its hooks in our souls. Getting rid of some of that, and learning to live life in a way that won't invite junk into our lives.... I'd buy that for a dollar.

Any questions? I'd love to chat about this if you're interested. And if you live in Columbia, I want to invite you to participate this Fall 2003. It won't change your life if you don't want it to, and it might not make that much of a radical/instant correction in anything meaningful right off the bat. I know that's what this letter/shameless-plug looks like 8^). But it will open your eyes to some stuff, and I recommend the process whole-heartedly.
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