Uniquely You! 2019 New Year Mini Virtual Retreat

SUPPLIES NEEDED:
_ A quiet place
_ Phone, Tablet, Laptop, or other device to get YouTube worship videos
_ Bible
_ Pen
_ Index Cards, Post-It Notes, or similar
_ Notebook, journal, or paper
_ 1 Envelope
_ Your Calendar for 2019 (wall or phone)

READY TO BEGIN?
For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.
Ephesians 2:10 NLT

22The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; 23they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. 24“The LORD is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.”
Lamentations 3:22-24 ESV

18“Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. 19Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.
Isaiah 43:18-19 ESV

Father God, as we begin this retreat, first we seek Your forgiveness for any unconfessed sins. We confess them now______. We don’t want any hindrances to our time with You today. Search our hearts Lord, for anything offensive. Any unforgiveness toward someone else. Any habits we need to break or behaviors that do not honor you. We confess and surrender these all to You now. Help us to be overcomers in these areas and be set free, in Jesus’ name.
Lord, help us to find a quiet, restful place where we can have an amazing encounter with You today. Come fill our spaces with Your presence. We seek Your face, Lord, Your wisdom, Your Word for us today to guide us into this New Year. Refresh us with Your Holy Spirit. Remind us of who we are because we belong to You! Engrave upon our hearts Your name for us – highly favored, child of the Most High God, co-heir with Christ, redeemed, holy, and dearly loved. We lay down our distractions, anxieties, fears, doubts, and receive Your peace, focus, joy, grace, strength, courage, and wisdom. Be glorified In our time here today and in the year to come. In the precious and powerful name of Jesus Christ our Lord, amen.

* OPENING WORSHIP
You Say – Lauren Daigle

He Knows My Name – Tommy Walker

I Surrender – Hillsong

* WHO ARE YOU?
I find that most people, especially the women I meet, have identity (self-esteem) issues. Well, if we’re only looking at ourselves that can be a problem, but if we belong to Jesus, our worth is insured by the work He did through His death and resurrection.

For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.
Philippians 1:6 NASB

Because of Christ and our faith in him, we can now come boldly and confidently into God’s presence.
Ephesians 3:12 NLT

So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.
Hebrews 4:16 NLT

We can be confident in who we are when we belong to Jesus. We no longer have to do life alone, in our own power and wisdom. We have been redeemed, freed from slavery to sin by payment of the ransom with Jesus’ blood, so we can be reunited with God in the relationship that we we’re created to have with Him. We’ve been given a down payment on the eternal inheritance we’ve been promised with the indwelling of Holy Spirit.
Below are just two of many lists thay come up when I Google “identity in Christ” images.

Using these lists, and maybe others you find, write an “I Am” statement of who you are in Christ Jesus.
Start you statement with something like:
I am _______________ (your name) and I am a child of the Most High God, holy and dearly loved, _______________________________________________________________________________
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Write it on an index card to carry with you. Write it on another to post on your bathroom mirror or anywhere else you will see ot everyday.

* WHAT IS MY CALLING?
This is the call God gave to Jeremiah:

4Now the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 5“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.” 6Then I said, “Ah, Lord GOD! Behold, I do not know how to speak, for I am only a youth.” 7But the LORD said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am only a youth’; for to all to whom I send you, you shall go, and whatever I command you, you shall speak. 8Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you to deliver you, declares the LORD.” 9Then the LORD put out his hand and touched my mouth. And the LORD said to me, “Behold, I have put my words in your mouth. 10See, I have set you this day over nations and over kingdoms, to pluck up and to break down, to destroy and to overthrow, to build and to plant.”
Jeremiah 1:4-10 ESV

God created Jeremiah a prophet. When Jeremiah objected, God showed him that He would equip him to do the work God had created him to do, by putting His words in Jeremiah’s mouth.
It is the same with us. We may not have audible conversations with the Lord, but we have even better, the indwelling Holy Spirit, to guide and equip us every step of the way.
God has created each of us with unique personality traits, talents, and abilities which prepare us to do the work He has already prepared for each of us to do. As we learn to use them God works with us to expand and perfect them within us for His glory and praise.
What talents were you born with?
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What personality traits make you uniquely able to be and do the things God created you to do?
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What spiritual gifts has God bestowed upon you?
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If you have no idea what spiritual gift(s) you have I suggest you do a spiritual gift survey. This is the one I prefer:
https://blog.lifeway.com/explorethebible/downloads/spiritual-gifts-inventory/
You should find it easy to do as well as score.

What other abilities do you have that can serve the Lord? (We can glorify the Lord in all aspects of our lives.)
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Fill in the blanks on this personalized verse 5 from Jeremiah 1:
5“Before God formed __________ (your name) in the womb He knew me, and before I was born He consecrated me; He appointed __________ (your name) a _____________________________________________________________________________________.

12The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ. 13Some of us are Jews, some are Gentiles,e some are slaves, and some are free. But we have all been baptized into one body by one Spirit, and we all share the same Spirit. 14Yes, the body has many different parts, not just one part. 15If the foot says, “I am not a part of the body because I am not a hand,” that does not make it any less a part of the body. 16And if the ear says, “I am not part of the body because I am not an eye,” would that make it any less a part of the body? 17If the whole body were an eye, how would you hear? Or if your whole body were an ear, how would you smell anything?
18But our bodies have many parts, and God has put each part just where he wants it. 19How strange a body would be if it had only one part! 20Yes, there are many parts, but only one body. 21The eye can never say to the hand, “I don’t need you.” The head can’t say to the feet, “I don’t need you.”
22In fact, some parts of the body that seem weakest and least important are actually the most necessary. 23And the parts we regard as less honorable are those we clothe with the greatest care. So we carefully protect those parts that should not be seen, 24while the more honorable parts do not require this special care. So God has put the body together such that extra honor and care are given to those parts that have less dignity. 25This makes for harmony among the members, so that all the members care for each other. 26If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it, and if one part is honored, all the parts are glad.
1 Corinthians 12:12-26 NLT

Maybe you’re still having trouble with identifying your calling. Can you pinpoint a body part which describes your gifting (as in the body of Christ)? ______________________________________________________________________________________.

I would say that I am a mouth, corresponding to my gifting as a teacher, an encourager, a prayer warrior, and at times a truth bringer (prophet). Sometimes I am an ear that listens, a shoulder to lean on, arms that hug, hands that do, cook, & create, feet that go, eyes that see beyond the surface… but my primary gifts are as a mouth.

Now, what body part are you? What are the gifts and talents that God created in you to use for His glory?
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22to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, 23and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, 24and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.
Ephesians 4:22-24 ESV

1And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. 2Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.
Romans 12:1-2 NLT

Have you renewed your mind in the way you think about the way you behave, the ways you use your talents, gifts, time, energy, even take care of your body and mind (thought life)? _______________

How well are you using your gifts and talents for God’s glory? (This doesn’t always mean in ministry.)
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How about in your job? Do you do your job with integrity, in ways that honor God and show the fruit of your faith?
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Do you use your “calling” in all aspects of your life?
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Pray about ways you can improve in these area and journal His answers.
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* SETTING GOALS

13Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— 14yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. 15Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.”
James 4:13-15 ESV

8For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. 9For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. 10“For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, 11so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.
Isaiah 55:8-11 ESV

Pray for guidance in setting up to 3 major goals for 2019.
What would you like to accomplish this year? I only had one really major goal for 2018. To complete and publish a book. It is complete and will be released soon. So, almost completed in 2018. ☺

1_________________________________________________________________________________

2_________________________________________________________________________________

3_________________________________________________________________________________

* EVALUATING PRIORITIES
As our lives move forward seasons change and so must our focus and priorities, from time to time. Prayerfully consider your calendar, all the things which make up your daily life. What are your must-dos (job, eat, sleep)?

Must-dos
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What are your want-tos (daily God time, time with hubby, exercise, small group Bible study, hobbies)?

Want-tos
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If it seems like there are never enough hours in the day maybe it’s time to reevaluate some of the things

on your want-tos list. Set godly priorities and have JOY:
Jesus first
Others second
Yourself last

This of course does not mean don’t take care of yourself. It’s more of a reflection on Matthew 6:33,
33Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. (NLT)

and Philippians 2:3-4, 3Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. 4Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. (NLT)

When we focus our attention upward toward God and outward to the needs of others rather than inward, to our own needs, desires, and emotions, God honors our obedience and takes care of our needs.

3Trust in the LORD and do good. Then you will live safely in the land and prosper. 4Take delight in the LORD,and he will give you your heart’s desires. 5Commit everything you do to the LORD. Trust him, and he will help you.
Psalm 37:3-5 NLT

Set priorities that honor the Lord. Delight in His ways.

* A WORD FOR THE YEAR
Pray asking the Lord for a word for the year. Maybe you’ve never done this before or never even heard of doing this. That’s okay. I hadn’t either until about five years ago. I have found that having a word or words (sometimes He gives me two) helps me to focus on a direction for my life for the year. It never ceases to amaze me how the word(s) remain a constant theme for my life. For 2018 God gave me abide and thrive for my words. In 2017 I had courage and action.
Whatever word(s) the Lord gives you look up some Bible verses to go with it/them. I like to post the words and verses around the house where I will see them often using Post-It Notes, index cards, and so on. Pray over them weekly or monthly to keep your focus on this “theme” for the year. Ask the Lord how to apply it in your life. Journal about how your life changes as you focus on, work through, and grow in this area throughout the year.
Word(s)____________________________________________________________________________

Verse(s)___________________________________________________________________________
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Observations, insights, and/or questions about your word(s) ______________________
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In addition to praying for a word, this quiz may also be helpful.
https://www.dayspring.com/yourwordquiz#/home

*WRITE YOURSELF A LETTER
Reflecting upon all you’ve written in this retreat, write a letter to your July 2019 self. Mention your goals, priorities, your word(s), “I Am” statement, and any other significant thing you want yourself to remember from this retreat today. Seal the letter in an envelope and put it away somewhere. Write it on your calendar (wall, phone) where the letter is and to read it on July 1st. At that point you can evaluate the status of your goals, make a plan to fulfill your goals for the next 6 months, and write yourself a new letter for 12/31/19.

* CLOSING WORSHIP

Shine Jesus Shine

Who You Say I Am – Hillsong

Every Praise – Hezekiah Walker

Thank You, Father, for blessing this time in Your presence. Thank You for guiding me in the path You have prepared for me. Help me to continue abiding in You and following after You all my days. May all I do and say bring You glory and praise. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Those who say they live in God should live their lives as Jesus did.
1 John 2:6 NLT

In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.
Matthew 5:16 NLT

Have a joyful, blessed,
and healthy New Year!
Julia Melatis
© 2018 All rights reserved.

Unknown credit for identity in Christ list images.

3 thoughts on “Uniquely You! 2019 New Year Mini Virtual Retreat

  1. kariwolfe1976 says:

    This is a fantastic idea, and a fantastic read Julia. Thank you for the time and care in putting this together. It really spoke to me. May I copy this to my own blog to journal my answers there? It will be a personal blog post with my answers (I find it keeps me more honest to do things like this where others can read my answers)… not just a copy of your post. Just let me know. Thanks.

    Like

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