Atlanta Bethel Community Church

> Saturday One Day Retreat

Saturday One Day Retreat

The day began with worship and service to God for bringing the worshippers safely together within His house again. An opening prayer led into the first bible study of the morning delivered by YEF leader, Danielle White. After expressing her hopes for the listeners to meditate on each message deeply and coming to understand the heart of Jesus, she began by speaking from John 2:1-11, The Wedding at Cana. She explained through this Scripture what must be donetolive a Christ centered life. Jesus should be the groom of a Christian’s live and effort must be put in, in order for Jesus to perform a miracle in their life. When she finished the message everyone reflected and discussed the theme of the message and how it applied to their lives.

One member made an interesting point, “What really stuck out to me was when it said the servants ‘filled the jars to the brim’. It made me think about the way I operate and a lot of the times I give up half way. Can I be the one who can fill up the jars to the very brim? I really want to be.”

Another member added, “Sometimes we just want to take the easy way and turn on the faucet hoping the jars will fill on their own, but a lot of the time, the faucet gets clogged or the water doesn’t work. It’s then that we realize that we have to actively try and fill our jars.”

Danielle commented, “Do you know how people back then got water? They had to get it from a well. You know, water is heavy. Pulling up water from a well is really difficult! The people back then were willing to work hard, because they knew they needed this water. We too, have to be willing to do something in order for God to work in our lives. Actually, it’s Jesus who performs the miracle and does all the work in the end. We just have to do our small part. We have to know how much we need this water, in order to work to fill the jars.”

After a brief reflection time, Pastor delivered a message on the next chapter; John 3: 1-21, The Conversation with Nicodemus. Within Jesus’ conversation with Nicodemus, Pastor made clear the meaning behind Jesus’ words, “being born again”. A Christian life should be one that leaves behind the physical for something greater; for the spiritual. The body being baptized by water is good however, it’s not enough. The spirit must also be baptized by the fire of the Holy Word of God. The Christian’s home is heaven and the Holy Spirit must dwell within them. Another time of reflection and dialogue was taken, accompanied by a hardy lunch.

Members then walked to the local park to exercise and play outside after hearing two beautiful messages from their Heavenly Father. After throwing Frisbees and kicking a ball around, the church goers played a friend game of kickball with some neighborhood kids. They played hard for 2 hours, walked back to the church and played Uno before hearing the last message of the day.

Elim leader, Michael Ford, delivered the message of the Samaritan Woman, John 4:1-30;39-42. In keeping with the theme of a Christ centered life, Michael called attention to how many times, even in the lives of Christian, Jesus is not in the position He ought to be. People devote themselves to many things, taking up husband after husband, never being satisfied with what they have. But, who can quench this thirst? Who can give this overflowing, living water? Jesus is the only one who can do this. A Christian must be humble, like the Samaritan woman eager for a taste of this living water. Once it is received, they should be the ones to go tell others, bringing many people to Christ.

When the final reflection time came along, Michael shared with the congregation that this message was the very first message He received in Bible study.

“As soon as my pastor started talking about this girl and her husbands, I knew that this was me. This applied to my life. But then there was this tiny, little voice in my head that said, ‘Nah, this is just about some lady back then’. But I knew it was wrong…” It was the beginning of a great change and shift in his life from one that was self and everything else centered to Christ centered.

Each person told the ministers their prayer request and they prayed over them and that these messages would give them more desire and a clearer understanding of what a life following Christ truly means. The ministers also ask that those reading may also continue to pray for the Atlanta Bethel members, newcomers and ministers. Your prayers have helped the church and its members more than you know, so they sincerely hope and pray for your continued support through prayers. Atlanta Bethel is so thankful for this beautiful time, bringing more young people to Christ. It’s such a great blessing to see them grow day by day.