Last weekend, I had the privilege, along with several other ladies
from HCC to attend our Wisconsin District Ladies Retreat. It is a
blessing to share a weekend with Godly Sisters. We laugh, we cry,
we eat too much chocolate! But more importantly, we have worship
and grow closer to our Savior Jesus. Rev. Aimee Mulder was our
speaker and three young ladies from ONU provided our music.

Our theme was “It’s Time!”. Our messages all came from 1 Peter
chapter 1 – I would encourage you to read this short but powerful
chapter. We learned that it’s time: to live in hope, to be refined, to
be holy, and to love one another. Friday evening, we talked about
being in different seasons of life. We may feel as if we are growing
new life like spring, easing into summer, struggling with change like
fall, or facing the doldrums of winter. No matter what our season
though, we have a hope to hold on to in Jesus Christ.

Pastor Aimee was very open with her testimony and shared several
stories of difficult times when God refined her. She said that we
cannot ignore that suffering is part of a holy walk – our faith must
be refined or it will remain shallow. As she spoke about being holy,
she asked us an important question. “What is at the center of your
life? Is it Jesus, or is there something we need to surrender because
it is keeping you from investing in the eternal?” Our Sunday morning
message was about learning to love others, including those who
don’t know Jesus yet and those who are “messy”. To live like this
requires learning to forgive, and knowing that sometimes forgiveness
is an endurance process. Pastor Aimee encouraged us to
have a heart like a turtle…with a hard, God-protected outer shell but
a soft, gooey part inside that loves people. 1 Peter 1:22 “Now that
you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have
sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the
heart.” May it be. Amen.

Pastor Cindy