“Anchored” was the theme for the Eastern Region Fall Retreat held September 20 – 22, 2019. The theme was based on Hebrews 6:19 “We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.” Our Speaker and Worship Leader for the weekend was Sue Duffield.
When we think of an anchor we automatically think of anchor that holds a ship in place, but Sue showed us a different kind of anchor. She showed us these elaborate gates attached to fences. They were all different shapes and sizes. In order for these gates to stand up they needed to be anchored otherwise they would not serve their purpose of protecting the property. She referenced the temple gatekeepers and the great responsibility they had protecting the temple. They had to be trustworthy because of the valuable articles they were assigned to protect. In the same way we are gatekeepers that must be anchored in the gospel. According to Proverbs 16:6 “…through the fear of the Lord evil is avoided”. We must be on guard and when we have a son or daughter who stray, learn to pray for the people around them to speak into their lives. Sue said she would pray for her son and was getting nowhere, but she started to pray for the pastor’s children, for the children she supports through different ministries and she learned to put her son at the bottom of her list. She started to pray for the people around him to speak into his life. Sue began to see a change in him. We must do the same with those in our lives who we see that are straying.
As gatekeepers we must remember Ephesians 6:18 “And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.” Notice the word alert. Yes, gatekeepers must be alert and on guard not to let in any unclean spirits in your life or your home. As women we have a big responsibility here.
We also learned that bold faith is a great anchor to have. We have the Anchor of Inheritance. She took us through the scriptures showing us how we have an inheritance. In Ephesians 1:3-14 she pointed out the seven spiritual blessings inherited by every believer. She referred to them as Royal Anchors.
Royal Anchor #1 – We are chosen
Royal anchor #2 - We are holy and blameless
Royal Anchor #3 – We are adopted children (not orphans)
Royal Anchor #4 – We are accepted.
Royal Anchor #5 – We are redeemed & forgiven
Royal Anchor #6 – We have an inheritance
Royal Anchor #7 – We are sealed by the Holy Spirit
With these anchors you can begin to build the Kingdom of God in your home, in your personal life, in the church, at work and in the community. You hold the anchor to Kingdom inheritance. We can fight any battle in life with Jesus. We need to surround ourselves with women who will support us.
The weekend was also filled with laughter as Sue spoke and interjected her humor, but also her life experiences which sometimes had the women crying from laughter.
There were the usual sessions for breakouts, hikes in the woods, games, food, fun and laughter.
The women throughout the weekend were touched by Sue’s words. We were told stories how women were gathering to pray in their rooms at night and looking to be an anchor for each other. We had several women who said they were hesitant about going away for the weekend because of their busy schedule or had little ones at home that needed their attention, but the Lord nudged them to come and they were blessed by the weekend.
The weekend also was a blessing to Sue as she shared about her grandson, Nolan, born in July who was still in the NICU. There were women who then approached Sue and shared their stories, which were an encouragement to Sue. On Sunday, Sue announced she had just received a text from her daughter that they would be able to take Nolan home in the next few days. She thanked us for our prayers and we rejoiced with Sue on the good news.
“Every women’s retreat has a special place in my heart. But this one was life-changing. May all who encountered and experienced the fresh presence of the Holy Spirit, be encouraged — that Jesus IS your Anchor. THIS is our hope. Without Him, there is no peace. Without Him, anxieties run rampant. Without Him, your course of action and decisions are purely on your own. Don’t do life without this Anchor.” – Sue Duffield Ministries Facebook.
Thanks to Norma Klock for sharing her thoughts from the ERC 2019 Fall Retreat.