Sioux Falls Member Bruce Reflected on 2016 Summer Retreat in St. Louis

sola gratia


This was a spiritually renewing and refreshing time for me.  I learned and was enriched by  the Bible studies and services.

I learned that to die every day means we well also be resurrected every day.  We don't just live in perpetual death never receiving any benefit from it, but receive the life of Christ anew every day!

Sam said we are beneficiaries of the "Power of Change".  This is a profound statement of how we are saved, what it means to be a Christian, and how we can be assured of victory in our lives. Sam also shared he noticed while working in the hospital that likes Eve coming from Adam's rib, so in like manner the Church the Bride of Christ comes out of Christ the second Adam.  That was a very insightful observation and made me think of the closeness we have with our Lord.

I loved the observation that the leaven that raises us like bread is raised is the leaven of the Holy Spirit.  This is done with the yeast of sincerity and truth.  This is what the Holy Spirit acts on! I loved the illustration of the wave offering being like a man waving his hand back and forth.  God receives (waves) praise and worship from us and waves back blessings. I loved the use of the antique shop for the merchant seeking goodly pearls.  He goes in, polishes and examines an old artifact to determine its value, and buys it knowing it will hold its value!  Also, our group discussed the meaning of the field of buried treasure and saw it was anywhere God can be found.  We buy it by paying the sacrifice of our old life.

The most important time for me came Sunday morning.  I was in need of God filling my spirit and assuring me He was with me, and that I was right with Him.  This happened to me in a powerful and very personal way before and during the Sunday morning praise time and service.