Everyday, ordinary women wrestle with job crises, relationship issues, family irritations, health problems, and spiritual struggles. Every day, ordinary women encounter the hugely catastrophic and the merely cantankerous. For every woman, in every phase of adult life, both married and single, chaos and mess are ever present, ever threatening. The challenge, then, for the woman who calls herself a disciple of Jesus Christ, is this: How do I live out what I say I believe about God in whatever experience that greets me in the course of a day?
Retreat messages based on The Grace of Catastrophe are filled with stories of courage and faith, perseverance and victory, sending women away with hope and encouragement that they, too, can live in the midst of life's messes (and whose life isn't messy, most of the time?), with a light heart because the God who loves them is ever-present and compassionate and more attentive to their heart's needs than they ever allowed themselves to hope, or believe.
"Thank you for speaking at our women's retreats last year and this year! I appreciate your messages VERY much. Thanks for being genuine & real and sharing the truth we need to hear with such a gentle manner."
This is a message well-suited to women's retreats, as the basics of our theology are fleshed out in individual sessions focusing on the attributes of God. Each session asks: What would life look like for me if I was truly living in the reality of all that God wants to be to me, and for me?
What would life look like, what would it feel like, if I grabbed on to the truth of God's sovereignty when the unexpected breaks into my life?
If I really believed in the goodness of God, what would that look like for me? How would I respond to the catastrophes, both large and small, that break into my life on a daily basis?
How can I be encouraged and strengthened by the truth of God's omniscience? His omnipotence? His omnipresence?
How would my life look and feel if I was willing to let God to flesh out the truth of His deep, unconditional love for me in my daily circumstances, whatever they are?
How would my life be different if I was living confidently in the full truth of all that the Bible tells me about the heart of God?
Retreat messages derived from the study of God's attributes, as presented in The Grace of Catastrophe, call women to be
- Transparent - truthful about what they really believe about God as they examine the Bible's presentation of the character of God; truthful about their heart's condition; willing to be real with others in the building of relationships;
- Theologians - to examine what the Bible reveals about God; it invites women to wrestle with truth and embrace God as He really is, even when that truth may appear to produce tension and discomfort;
- Transformed - to welcome God's spirit into their souls where the work of transformation can begin, leading us more and more toward Christlikeness.
Yes, life is messy and difficult for most folks, most of the time, but it is in these times that it is most essential that our ideas about God agree with Scripture. And it is in these times we can discover this amazing truth: that holding onto God and learning to enjoy His companionship under any circumstances, even the catastrophic, is the most satisfying, exhilarating experience of our lives-and that is the grace of catastrophe.
"Thank you so much, Jan, for blessing us at our retreat. Your words, laughter, tears and heart really ministered to the ladies, and to me personally."Zana, Austin, TX
Listen to Jan's message about The Grace of Catastrophe (4 minutes 12 seconds running time).
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Listen to Jan's message about God's Love Is Totally "Other" (25 minutes running time).
Retreat Topics for The Grace of Catastrophe
1. Exploring the Character of God
2. Becoming Theologians/ Being Transformed
3. Life In the Midst of A Mess
4. Learning to Track God's Grace in all Circumstances
5. God's Attributes-My Hope
6. Living Gracefully in the Truth Of God's Sovereignty
7. Hope of Heaven: Present Peace
8. Shared Lives: The Messy Tradition of Christian Fellowship
9. Prayer: The Art of Conversation with God
10. God's Love: Living In the Realm of the "Totally Other"
11. An Essential Grace: The Gift of Spiritual Direction
Email Jan to book her for your workshop!