We spent Friday and Saturday with Anne in her home, from 9am-5pm. We ate lunch with her on both days as well. She discipled us every minute of those two days. We read Scripture, prayed Scripture, talked about what it meant, and how it applied to various areas of our lives. She had us discuss questions about our walks with God, our ministry, our marriage, our finances, our goals, and we spent awhile on time management as well. It was like an entire week of discipleship packed into two days. She challenged me in many areas personally, and I left with a strong sense of conviction about things I really need to work on and change. At the end, she had Martin and I "renew our vows" to one another and she had us get on our knees, and she prayed over us and blessed our marriage. It was powerful. Seeing as our 10 year anniversary is Sept. 18th, and we've always said we wanted to renew our vows on our 10 year anniversary, we really felt like we did that with her. What an honor!
Here are some of the "nuggets" that we took away from our time with Anne:
-There is a difference between the "will of God" and the "way of God." You can be in His will, but are you in his way? Meaning, is your heart right? Is your attitude right? Are you continually thankful or complaining?
-God speaks to us mostly through His word and prayer, so how can we expect to hear him if we are not spending time with Him? If we are too busy to spend time with God, something in our life is not right. We have to re-prioritize. (See "eliminate and concentrate" below).
-What is your one goal in life? What is your "bulls-eye"? The one word that would describe your purpose? For Ray and Anne, the word was "renewal." Everything they did was with that goal in mind. We are praying right now about what our goal should be.
-Andrew Murray said "In waiting on God we realize how impatient we are and what that impatience means." How do we wait on God? We are often impatient with God. The sooner we yield to him, His blessing will come to us.
-Contentment is a form of worship, because you are agreeing with the Lord that everything He does is right. (She said we can thank God in the worst of circumstances- "Lord, thank you that my child is throwing a tantrum right now!! Because you are teaching me patience and how to be a better mother.) The Israelites were in the wilderness for 40 years because they were unthankful.
-Eliminate and Concentrate. We spent a LOT of time on this. "Your back door should be as big as your front door. Whatever you let in time-wise, you need to let something else out." Dr. Reggie McNeal said "Quit doing something today. Quit doing what you're not good at. Also quit doing something that you really like- that keeps you from getting your mission done."
-Are you raising your kids or are you discipling them?
-"Our relationship with God is not a business transaction. It is a romance." (Don't spend time with God because it is a task, but because you are in love with Jesus and He is romancing you).
-Don't make financial decisions based on fear, because that is not God's will. Separate money from ministry. If you follow the will of God, He will provide for you. He will always provide for His will.
There was so much more, but these are "nuggets" that were life-changing for us. If you are interested in going to Renewal Days with Anne Ortlund, visit www.ortlund.org.