This is the name of the Velvet Ashes Retreat going on this weekend. The retreat is free and it’s not too late to sign up if you’re in need of a personal retreat.

I love every word.

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Release. God wants to release us.

Learning. While part of the releasing is God’s work in us, part of releasing involves us learning and cooperating. Learning also implies a life-long practice.

To Live. Anyone else hearing “To life! To life! L’chai-im!L’chai-im, l’chai-im, to life!?” God is not interested in our mere trodding and plodding through life. Will there be phases? Sure. But even in those, his desire is life.

Light and Free. Free from lies we tell ourselves, free from unrealistic expectations, free from unhealthy patterns. Free.

The following from Isaiah 14 is one to read slowly, even out loud.

Return, O Israel, to the Lord your God,
    for you have stumbled because of your iniquity.
Take words with you
    and return to the Lord;
say to him,
    “Take away all guilt;
accept that which is good,
    and we will offer
    the fruit of our lips.
Assyria shall not save us;
    we will not ride upon horses;
we will say no more, ‘Our God,’
    to the work of our hands.
In you the orphan finds mercy.”

I will heal their disloyalty;
    I will love them freely,
    for my anger has turned from them.
I will be like the dew to Israel;
    he shall blossom like the lily,
    he shall strike root like the forests of Lebanon.
His shoots shall spread out;
    his beauty shall be like the olive tree,
    and his fragrance like that of Lebanon.
They shall again live beneath my shadow,
    they shall flourish as a garden;
they shall blossom like the vine,
    their fragrance shall be like the wine of Lebanon.

What might God want to release you from? Where would you like to flourish?