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May 09, 2006


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Thnaks, Chris, for the reminder and the challenge. And thanks for the resource recommendation, too!

Thanks, Chris. Such times as you describe are lifelines and all too rare. Thank God for monastery guest houses, where I've found the most refreshment on personal retreats.

For starters, Chris is my pastor and I am very blessed to have him as my teacher. I have taken him up on a personal prayer retreat just recently and I cannot tell you what an incredible experience it was. It is a time of really looking within yourself.

I have decided to book a retreat every quarter and really do some soul searching.

"Be still and know that I am God"



I love those times away too. Sometimes I need that kick in the arse to get to one. What I find invaluable in the in between time is having a private place to just sit with God. I have tried every faddish devotional out there and they all seem to drop off after a few months - but regardless of the content I end up gravitating to a coffee shop or food court where I can sit, read, meditate, pray and just recognize God's presence. These spots work all year round and are usually plentiful. If I miss a few days I really notice it. It is always worth the price of the coffee.

I think I'm overdue for a serious retreat though - thanks for the kick Chris.

Gina, I'm not sure if Pavel has previously mentioned it to you or not, but we have a Coptic monastery very close by. I've yet to take up their invitation to retreat there, but I'm looking forward to it. It's amazing how many places are, in fact, available if one takes a little time to investigate. Blessings.

Thanks, Michelle. Your experience has encouraged me greatly.

LOL! Just in case any of you misunderstood, Michelle didn't take me up on a retreat, she took me up on my suggestion to take a private retreat. Just clarifying. LOL!

Frank, I liked what you said:

"What I find invaluable in the in between time is having a private place to just sit with God."

Apart from my closet study (which actually is a closet), I love hiking up into the hills behind my home. My "prayer hikes" are very valuable to me, in the way I think you've pointed out.

Chris, I like what you are saying here. This is such a true post for me. I was in youth ministry for five years before I took a prayer retreat. I ended up tucked away, completely alone in the mountains of was beautiful and perfect. I stayed there for five days and four nights.

I would encourage anyone who is involved in ministry to do this at least once every six months. You never know how drained you are til you stop. Also, if you are not in ministry you still treat yourself to this endeavor. I know you won't be disappointed. Shalom.

Thank you, Chris.

Thats good stuff. Very refreshing to hear the authentic call to solitude. How quickly and easily we forget to actually spend time WITH God. It has potential to make a world of a difference in our everyday lives.


i definitely needed to hear these words. thanks chris.


Chris, yes we've talked about that monastery and I really would like Pavel to have some time there. I would be able to visit but not stay, but I've looked into other Orthodox monasteries in California. So far not sure where might be a possibility.

It's a lot harder to think about getting away now that I'm at a "desk job"- I used to be able to take such weekends as part of my ministry responsibilities.

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