The Lord is very gracious to me. When I took my new job working for Orange County, I did so to have more time for my family and the ministry. With personal days and summers off, I knew I would be able to attend some of the conferences I go to, which was impossible at my old job. Needless to say, I was very disappointed to learn that the main conference I attend occurs on the last week of school this year. Those are five days I’m not allowed to take off (for obvious reasons). Well, I made my peace with it and went on with my life.

This conference was this week. And it was awesome. How do I know if I didn’t go? Well, thanks to technology, all Calvary Chapel pastors were emailed a link to a simulcast of the conference. Being three hours ahead of the conference (it’s in California), I only missed the morning sessions. I was able to watch the afternoon and evening sessions with Beverly and we were so blessed. The theme of the conference was “A Passion for Jesus” and it was all about falling in love with Jesus. And that’s exactly what happened to me. It was like someone had taken a bucket of fresh water and dumped it on my spiritual life, invigorating my prayers and fanning the flame in my heart.

Now  you might ask, why did I need a conference for this? Well, all of us need times to get away to be refreshed by the Lord. Even in Jesus’ day, without television, internet, or the radio, he found it necessary to get alone with His Father and His disciples. I can’t list every time in the Gospels it mentions Jesus went to an isolated place alone or with His guys. Jesus did many of these things as our example of a perfect person. If getting away to be refreshed and spoken to by God was important to Him, it should be important to me.

I have always been of this mindset: If there’s a retreat or conference going on, I need to be there. I’ve never been disappointed when I’ve taken time away from all the business of my life to get away and seek the Lord. In Song of Solomon 2:10, it says, “My beloved spake, and said unto me, Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away.” Everyday, the Lord is speaking these words to us. To put down the remote or the joystick or the keyboard and spend some quality time with Him. And sometimes the Lord is saying to take a few days off work and go on that couples retreat. You may think you can’t afford it, but the truth is you can’t afford not to.

I’m so thankful for these times of refreshing. I’m so thankful that Jesus whispers, “Come away” and then ministers to me when I do. It’s easy to get in a rut and these times are some of the best places to break out!

Have you thanked the Lord for times of refreshing He’s brought into your life lately? Is He calling you away today? Or for a weekend retreat or conference? Either way, take him up on it – You won’t be disappointed!

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