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Journal Entry - Feb. 16, 2002

(Seeking His Glory Youth Retreat Feb. 15-18 Speakers: Rita Springer, Teri Gladstone)

Talking about Peter - his fervent attitude for God, his amazing determination for doing things right; but God does not judge abilities or failures, He judges our hearts. He watches to see whether we are moving forward, if we were really trying not just to make a show of doing right, but if we were moving forward from making mistakes to correcting them. Even trying, even if in vain... She [Teri Gladstone] spoke of this, and of knowing. Then she asked, "If anyone feels they don't know God, stand now, and we will pray for you; but please be honest, grant Him your integrity." And suddenly in my mind I was searching frantically for the answer, and I didn't know. I realised that, even though I'd led worship before, even though I'd evangelised, even though I knew scripture I didn't know God. Too often I would encounter problems and I would turn to doing work for Him as an escape, a distraction. So I didn't really know Him or what He wanted of me; I only kept working without even asking Him for help. So I stood up, feeling also embarrassed because I was supposed to be an example. And I couldn't help crying because I felt so bad, because she also asked if we thought we were going to heaven, and also because I missed Jesus. It was as if, He were right there all along, and I had always been with Him, but I missed talking to Him, the relationship I used to have with Him, telling Him my problems and frustrations instead of hurting myself. I missed His presence in my life and family. And then I looked and saw that so many others were either standing, praying or crying and I felt relieve that God still forgives us, and I asked Him to forgive me for taking Him for granted, not talking to Him, for pushing Him aside, and for "lying", because really my devotion had been a show.