Grace in the Trenches: Digging Deep into the Nitty-Gritty of Life

We know we're saved, but . . . Real life can get pretty muddy.  These sessions dig into four common areas of struggle.  If we're going to go deeper with God, we've got to deal with these heart realities in an honest way.  God's Word not only brings conviction, but also comfort, hope, and practical, timeless solutions.


This retreat consists of:

  • four main sessions
  • two personal Bible study devotionals
  • optional:  one monologue (See monologue topics/characters.  Monologues suggested for this retreat are What's Really Going on in the Heart of Ms.Busy?, The Hem His Garment, or From Bitter to Blessed.)


Introduction:  The Common Trench

God's Word tells us that no temptation has taken us but such that is common to man.  We can sigh a big relief:  we're not alone in the trenches of life.  Let's be honest about the struggles we all face.  We share the same humanity (aka: human nature/SIN). 


1st main session:  The Pit of Peeve

There are many "nice" words we use to blind ourselves to the most common—and possibly the most damaging—of human pitfalls:  anger.  It rears its ugly head out the trenches of life in many sneaky ways and on even the most promising occasions.  We try to disguise it, excuse it, or blame someone or something else.  But let's drag it out of the trench and expose it to the light of God's Word.  God understands it and has given us a sure-fire remedy for dealing with it.


2nd main session:  The Ditch of Distraction

Our world is filled with distractions like never before.  If we're not careful, we'll get sucked into the ditch without even realizing it.  Maybe we should call this what it really is, too.  God's Word has some pretty strong things to say about time wasters -- this is sure to hit all of us where it hurts!  But God offers us an abundant life that is so much better; we don't want to miss it.


3rd main session:  The Gully of Ingratitude

The root of ingratitude may surprise you.  How often the enemy of our souls keeps us trapped with this one.  God wants to pull us out of this and set us free—marvelously free, with a new understanding of Himself and of His purposes.  As we begin to reset our default mode to this new way of thinking, everything will become utterly transformed.


4th main session:  The Sinkhole of Self

Self is a funny thing.  Sometimes we play the daisy game with self:  I love me; I love me not.  We sort of have a love-hate relationship with ourselves.  We trash-talk and mentally berate ourselves, and we put ourselves forward in many subtle and not-so-subtle ways.  Could both those ways of thinking about ourselves be part of the same eroding hole.  Could they both be expressions of "How do I love me?  Let me count the ways"??  How can we get out of this hole and back on solid ground again?


4 Individual Quiet Time Options to Choose from:

Personal Quiet Time 1:  Coming out of the Trenches of Our Sin Practices: The Powerful Antidote

Even the Apostle Paul lamented, "What I will to do, I don't practice; but what I hate, that's what I do."  He also felt the intense and hopeless battle with his natural self.  But God showed him the remedy, and he has written it down for us.  Using a simple Bible study method, this personal time with God leads each woman to a profound discovery.


Personal Quiet Time 2:  Coming out of the Trenches into the Light of Truth: Thinking Rightly about Ourselves

This quiet time alone with God looks at what God says about us—the good, the bad, and the ugly.  There's peace and rest in coming to terms with God's view of us.  Did you know that even the Bible uses self-talk?  This is profitable self-talk.


Personal Quiet Time 3:  Coming out of the Foxhole of Unforgiveness

We often dig foxholes for ourselves as safe havens to hold onto hurt.  But these trenches are anything but safe.  This personal time with God gets to the heart of the matter, looking at what God says about unforgiveness—it's a strong warning that offers joy, freedom, and healing.


Personal Quiet Time 4:  Coming out of the Rut of Rationalization and Self-Reliance

We often don't realize how much we are relying on our own understanding.  There are many subtle ways we rationalize our self-reliance, habits that blind us to our desire for control and the reality of our distrust in God.  This biblical study helps us examine our own hearts and motives before God, leading us on a new pathway of seeking God and learning to hear His voice that establishes new patterns of living.