Have you ever been on a retreat? This episode discusses two types: First Saturday and 2 - 4 hour weekly retreats. We even practice retreating. Come join in as we unpack Jesus' retreats and First Saturdays. Also get your free downloadable Personal Prayer Retreat Guide at lyvitabrooks.com.
Episode # 22 Title: What Is First Saturday?
Host: Lyvita Brooks Publication Date: Thursday, January 14, 2021 at 11:30 am
Please enjoy this podcast on your favorite podcast platform. Although efforts were made in editing, this transcript may include a few typos. It’s difficult to catch some minor errors. Enjoy!
I am so happy today is here! Hi, I’m Lyvita Brooks, teacher, author and spiritual discipline equipper and encourager. I have been waiting to talk to you about, First Saturday, one of the most special days set aside on my calendar. I take 1 day a month and designated it, just to hang out with Jesus. Whoa! Let’s talk about the spiritual disciple of retreat and solitude, practices that help us create space in our lives to commune with God.
For this episode you will need your Bible, journal, notepad, and a comfy place to take notes. This is going to a “thought provoking” episode so get ready. This is podcast number 22, now on to the intro …
Welcome to Hanging Out With Jesus Podcast where we equip and encourage Believers to commune with God through practicing spiritual disciplines which help create space for growing in love with God, your neighbor and yourself.
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Now, come walk with me, where we intentionally practice being in the presence of God. So stop what you are doing. ‘Cause it’s time to Hang Out With Jesus, and me, Lyvita. Let’s pray…
2:15 -- Our Father and Our God, teach us how to rest in you, how to listen for the guiding of Holy Spirit and give us time to retreat and practice solitude in order to grow stronger in our relationship with You. In Jesus name, we pray, Amen.
2:95 --When was the last time you went away, just to Hanging Out With Jesus? On a retreat? Really. By yourself, away from responsibilities, your regular routine, or had a vacation without stressing over is everybody safe or doing what they are suppose to be doing, no noise or distractions, just you and quiet sounds? , I’m not talking about camping. I’m talking about having a personal retreat with our God.
4:10 -- There are basically, 3 types of retreats: preached, directed, and private. In a preached retreat, there is a leader who offers conferences each day, leads prayer and is available for private counseling. In directed retreats, each person individually meets with a spiritual director who may suggest scripture passages for prayer and reflection. Private retreats, or personal retreats are made without a leader or director but by the Holy Spirit. There are two retreat types I want to share with you: First Saturday and Prayer Retreat.
5:20 -- Our lives are busy. They are complicated and filled with stuff that God never intended us to do or participate in, like worry, gossip, fears, attitudes and remember Psalm 91:5-6. "You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, 6 nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday"
5:50 -- Humm and yet we do at times. All these things can become overwhelming, stressful and drain our spirit. I wonder if that’s why it was customary for Jesus to spend alone time in places of solitary, away from people wanting healing, food, counseling, hope, direction, release from demons, and more. That had to be draining on His human body and His heart. I wonder if that time alone with God is what refreshed Him. Renewed His strength to continue until the end.
6:50 -- I no longer wonder that. I know it to be truth, I know. Spending alone time with God is refreshing, renewing, reviving, strengthening, and napping. Saints, this is something you have to do. I know, I know, another thing. This is one thing that if you don’t end up doing it, the rest of what you do, will soon lose its taste, become discouraged and get off track of what God’s called you to do.
7:46 -- I was first introduced to retreats at Mt Siani in Washington DC, Rev. David Durham was the pastor, we loved that man and his family. They were the best and always encouraging you to read and study the Bible. One of the Bible classes I took was called Masterlife. It is a discipleship training course. Ya’ll even today I recommend it. I’ll put the information in the show notes below. My instructors were a husband and wife team who opened their house in order to teach us about personal quiet time. We each spent about two hours in our designated rooms, just listening and talking to God with only our Bibles, journal and pen. This is where I fell in love with personal retreats, alone with Jesus.
9:07 -- When you think about it the very word “retreat” means to withdraw. Psalm 9: 1 says that whoever dwells in the shelter of the most high shall abide under the shadow of the almighty. Well in order to dwell you must withdraw, retreat to the Most High because He is your refuge and your fortress, a place of safety a strong hold when in times of trouble, and you know what else, joy.
9:53 -- Jesus did it. 40 days & 40 nights. Think about Abraham. He left his parents and folks to be led by God to live in unknown territory. Moses ran to the dessert. The purpose of retreating has changed through the years due to modernization. Some of us believe that retreating is a waste of time. Others think that it’s party time with our friends to play and do Christian activities. And yet, the whole purpose is solitude with Christ Jesus. Spending more time with Him then others and activities. The art of being quiet before the LORD has been complicated by the need to do things. There is a time and purpose for everything. Retreating is a time for withdrawing from routines, things, distractions, listening to a lot of people talk, phones and playing games but to spend alone time with God.
11:47 -- Have you ever heard of First Saturday? Well, many years ago, that’s what I call my retreat time with God. My schedule was so heck as a School Specialist until, my time with Him was getting less and less. So one day, He introduced me to having one Saturday out of the month where I go away and just spend time with Him. Well it got so good until I started making sure I had enough money to go from Friday to Saturday and then Friday to Sunday and on rare occasions, Saturday to Tuesday. Whoa! Y’all I needed it and the more I did it, the more I desired it. Sometimes I slept, other times I just sat and stared out the window, then other times, depending on where I went, I just looked at the water while the spiders, ants and bugs tried to attack but didn’t impact me because I needed to hear from God. Yes, Saints, I am talking about spending time with God, a retreat. Away from the normal routines.
13:55 -- If you haven’t listen to episode 15 where author, spiritual leader Adele Calhoun was on the podcast. She wrote the book Spiritual Disciplines Handbook practice that transform us. This is what she wrote about retreats “retreats are to remove us from the daily battle into times of refreshing, retooling, renewing and unwinding”. And I’d like to add, also, for spiritual direction, worshipping, and reconnecting.” Retreats should become a regular part of our life. A practice that you look forward to.
14:50 -- Listen, there are times I can’t wait till First Saturday get here.
14:55 -- My First Saturdays are the first Saturday of every month. This is when I go away, from the house, no distractions, put the phone on silence, let all that need to know “leave me be”, and take my Bible, journal and various writing utensils so I can be alone with my God. He has never failed to meet me there.
15:35 -- Now 2020 introduced me to a shift in where I could or could not spend time alone. I found myself not doing it or half doing it, getting confused about it because I had more time now to talk to Him than before. I got off track but by the end of the year I had regrouped because the whole confusion was about where to go, not about spending the time. That’s what threw me off track. Always have a back- up plan, an alternative. I feel weird when I miss our time together. Just thinking about it, now, puts a smile on my face. Oh the memories…hum…
17:35 -- Saints, being on a retreat is like staring into the sunset while your stress, headaches, fears, worries go down with it and somehow you awake refreshed, renewed, drunk feeling, a joy-full heart, loosened up and ready to listen to the voice of God. Retreats allow you to can hear clearly those lies that have grabbed hold of you and even sins that we cling too. I’ve found myself worshipping and praising God, singing songs I’ve make up just for Him, and I’ve found myself rested. Close your eyes, only if you can and just listen, (sounds of peacefulness and silence – 1 minutes). That’s what being on a personal retreat sounds like. And that feeling you got…after the fear subsided, yeah…that’s it. Think about returning home feeling like that.
20:18 -- Now that’s First Saturday, but I have another retreat, that’s once a week for 4 hours. It’s called Prayer Retreat. That’s basically what it is…praying, journaling, Bible reading, unhurried talking and unhurried listening to God. While I was working in education, every Tuesday was my Prayer Retreat that I called 4-hour fasting and prayer. Then it turned to 4-hour fasting and prayer with Ma, which really was about a 10 - 30 minute prayer with my mother over the phone while driving. My morning commutes were anywhere from an hour to hour and 20 minutes depending on traffic.
21:25 -- I kept the routine the same, so there was no room for confusion of what to do. My clothes were selected during the weekend and lunch made then so I knew what to wear and what I was going to eat. My only distraction was sleep or family emergencies. And yet, I was ready for them.
24:15 -- Let me preference First Saturday and 4-hour Fasting and Prayer with, they are hard to start, even harder to maintain, but once you get pass those first 6 or 8 times, it becomes a desire instead of something you must do. You begin looking forward to it and your family realizes that you are serious about it.
25:15 -- I put together a Personal Prayer Retreat Journal that I’d like for you to download. It’s a 14 page journal that list different types of personal retreats with explanations and examples and space to plan. The accompanying YouTube video, for today has further information about it, even goes over how to use it. The video is called Planning & Scheduling Your Personal Prayer Retreats. Check that out for more information on actually putting a personal or family retreat together.
26:35 -- I figure some of you aren’t sold on the idea of going away on a retreat or setting up a place in your home for one day of solitude. Well, let’s look at what they allow us to do:
1. Retreats allow you to spend time in solitude with God. You are not alone.
2. Retreats allow us to sort things through with the guidance and leading of Holy Spirit.
3. Retreat allow us to do what Jesus did, after all we are followers of Christ.
27:05 -- And as followers of Christ here are 6 reasons Jesus spent time in solitude:
27:15 -- First, open your Bible to Luke 4: 1-2 & 14-15. I’ll read from the ESV. Jesus was baptizes, then He spent 40 days praying in the wilderness, then tempted by satan and then He began His public ministry. So if Jesus took that time to fast & pray & went into the wilderness (hint: retreat, solitude) over His ministry before starting, shouldn’t we. Some of us may never be able to do this to the extent of what Jesus did. That’s OK, but the point is and the principle is that you go away for a select time to commune God for a specific reason (s). Hey, did you also noticed that the Holy Spirit lead Him into the wilderness. Y’all pray first. You want to be led by the Holy Spirit. The more you get into God’s word, the more you’ll be able to recognize the leading of Holy Spirit. Your Bible is key to your growth, that’s why I emphasis so much of using the spiritual disciplines to section out a block of time to get into that Bible. Retreats are one of those ways.
29:01 -- The second reason, do you remember when Jesus sent the 12 disciples out to do ministry? (pause) What did Jesus have them do when they returned? (pause) Let’s read Mark 6:30 -32 (NIV)
30 The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught. 31 Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”
32 So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place. ----(On Instagram add this question, “Do you ever sense God is calling you to a quiet place with Him just to rest?” Wow, He just did.)
30:12 -- Whoa y’all, Jesus encouraged his disciples who just came off what we would call a missions trip or doing ministry and told them to go with Him to a find a place of solitude and get some rest. So retreating to a place of solitude should take place after ministry so you can get some rest.
31:10 -- Now a third reason, remember Jesus going into solitude when John the Baptist was beheaded. You’ll find that in Matthew 14: 1-13. Y’all retreating is for releasing that grief on Jesus Christ who said cast your cares upon me for I careth for you.
31:20 -- Fourth reason, before Jesus chose His 12 disciples, He spent a whole night alone in prayer, you’ll find that in Luke 6:12-13.
31:39 -- Another reason, Luke 22 beginning at verse 39 where Jesus went to the Mt. of Olives to pray. He was in agony, emotionally, just knowing what He was about to face.
32:40 -- The sixth reason, Jesus retreated is Luke 5:16 and that was to spend time alone in prayer. And for you early risers, Mark 1:35 tells us that Jesus rose early, “while it was still dark” and went to a desolate place to pray. ------(on Instagram add, Miracle Morning-ers, I know you like reading this scripture.)
33:15 -- In order to be bold and courageous in Christ Jesus, we need to spend time with Him, alone, without other people. And the focus is always to get closer to God, but you need your Bible. Let’s be clear, you may be hurting and calling out to God, but how do you know He is answering? Well unless you have some scripture in you, it’s going to be pretty hard. I’m not talking to listeners who just accepted Christ, I’m talking to you who know and want to live a life pleasing to God. This type of conversation that I am having with you is not for everyone.
34:57 -- Believers your life is dependent on your studying, reading, questioning, digging into and listening to Bible believing teachers, preachers and scholars, but even more so, listening to God without the clatter and noise of the world. The spiritual discipline of retreat, allows you to do just that. It’s taking personal time away from the normal routines and distractions and pressures of the world to sit quietly with Bible in hand and ears tuned to heaven.
36:15 -- Let’s spend some time now in doing just that. Read Luke 9:18 silently or out loud, in a few, let’s meditate for about 8 minutes on that scripture. Meditation is something you might do on a retreat and in moments of solitude. Meditation involves, repeating the scripture over and over in your head, looking where the Holy Spirit is highlighting or causing you to pause. Stay on that pause, ask questions or just listen. Hopefully, the sound of the sea, Jesus often took walks by the sea and taught from there, I pray these sounds help you to relax and listen to what Holy Spirit is sharing from Luke 9:18.
45:45 -- It wasn’t enough, huh? I know. That’s why I’m going to leave you with these next steps:
1. Download the 14 page Personal Prayer Retreat Journal from lyvitabrooks.com or the show notes.
2. Don’t forget, I’m still looking for ideas for our 1 year anniversary in March. Send ideas to [email protected]
46:40 -- Well Saints, thanks again for joining me and enjoy retreating. Remember to share the podcast with others or write me a review. And let family and friends know that we are now on YouTube. Let’s pray
Thank you Father, for providing this time for us to learn about retreats and solitude. I pray that the words from this podcast has equipped your children with a desire or hunger to spend more time with You, alone and the joy of doing so. May we each continue to grow in the wisdom an knowledge of knowing and believing in who you are. Also continue to give us a hunger for studying your word. In Jesus Name, Amen.
Well Saints, until we meet again, over the airwaves, intentionally and daily, hang out with Jesus. Shalom!
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