So about the Beach…

Yes, it’s a beach trip. Yes, it’s a date with Jesus. Yes, it is soul time. Yes, it is heart time with other women (don’t let that scare you.) Yes, it is a deep breath, a belly laugh, a new vision, a creative outlet, even a few walls are torn down. It is worship and teaching. It is Yes and Amen Retreat at the Beach.

I don’t really know why this is such a profound time…But women from all ages and stages overcome their dreaded fears of “other women” and we soak in the presence of God. And it changes us all.

There is time to walk on the beach and gather shells. Time to  journal. Time to share thoughts and ideas. Time to be creative and stretch yourself. Time to pray for yourself and others. Maybe most of all, it is time to listen to the One our souls love. And the beach is the perfect place to hear him.  In a very real way, this is time you set apart to be with God. And that in itself is profound.

So you are formally invited. To step out, to draw near. To risk and be rewarded.  But seriously, don’t wait too long. The spaces are half full already. Continue reading

New Season, New Class, New Event— Just New!

Hello Friends!
Do you smell that? No, it’s not Pumpkin Spice lattes. It is the aroma of anticipation. God is moving and shaking so much that I am eager to begin this new season.

We had a great “Saying Yes to God” Class. I am still meeting with new women who are doing just that, saying yes, and I love watching their lives explode with more of Him.

Here is a quick update of things on the horizon.

“I Need More…”  is a new class that begins September 15 through November. We will meet every other Monday night at Greenbrier Club House, from 6:30-8:30. The address is 1505 Greenbrier Ridge Way, Knoxville, TN 37909.  Very convenient at the Papermill exit off I-40.

What you can expect: soaking worship, the presence of the Lord, other hungry women who want more of God, and real life topics. It’s for women who have that yearn in their gut for something better, deeper; for women have gone numb; for women who need some freedom finally; for women who are ready to go to the next level. Dang. I am SO excited!!!

Little Teasers about what’s Coming Soon
The Yes and Amen at the Beach sold out really quickly.
So guess what? I am planning another! And, we are scheduling a Yes and Amen in the Mountains for folks who need one closer by. If you are remotely interested, please email me at Jana@janaspicka so I can get you on the details list.

Fresh Revelation…God is stirring in me to do a new event this Spring. I have the location but I need a team to help me get the ball rolling. If you have any desire to love God and love on others by serving on a volunteer team, I will let you in on the secret handshake (wink) and we will get busy! Email me or find me on Facebook.

I hope you will connect with, or pray over, or spread the word about all God is doing. My heart is so full. And I am thankful for the opportunity to let it pour out.

Grace and favor on you and in you!


With Him, With His Daughters

“I don’t want to go be with a bunch of women.”

Does this sound like your first reaction when considering going to women’s retreats?  Especially Christian women’s retreats? It was what I heard this morning from a friend when I asked her about the upcoming Yes and Amen Retreat. Sigh.  And you know what? I know how she feels. I used to feel the same way.

But God.

I wish I could somehow convey that this retreat is NOT like other retreats. Yes, there are women. Even Christian ones. But “we” are not the focus. He is. Our comparisons, our insecurities and very real needs are not the focus. He is.

Yes and Amen is a time to really sit and soak in the presence of God. And what happened last year was each individual woman heard from the Lord in a no-pressure, no-performance kind of way, and we all got swept up into a much bigger story than “woman drama.”  We all got a glimpse of His Very Great Story in each woman. It was breathtaking.

It was so very refreshing.

Are you stalling? Are you quitting before you even begin? Are you thinking you are beyond this—I don’t know— notion of needing a bigger picture of God in your own life? Maybe think again. Take small steps in faith. I promise, if you come, He will meet you there.

And we will all be better for the revelation of who He is in you.

Why would we “retreat”?

If you know anything about military terms, “retreat” generally means you are getting your arse whipped. So you retreat to catch your breath, to design a strategy, to regroup and reassess the plan of attack.  If you have been around Christian circles, then “retreat” can mean something a little different — a time to rest and be quiet, to reflect and recharge. Think tents in battlefields compared to bed and breakfasts.

But I’m not sure the two meanings aren’t closer than we realize. We are in a spiritual war.  And sometimes it feels like we are getting pounded. We do need to rest and reevaluate our position and restock our weapons.  We do need to be reminded of what it is we are doing and is there a better way to go about the it. Who are we fighting again and why does it matter?

Thus said, I want you to strongly consider two “retreats” on the horizon, either for you personally or for someone you know.  The “Yes and Amen” Retreat is a time to get quiet with the Lord and really listen for Him. It is not mindless activity but purposeful exercises that help us see where God is working in our lives. We all need to be reminded of the “vision” He has for us and this weekend really draws that out. Time to rest, reflect, reassess what you are doing and why.  The Lord always seems pleased to breathe new life and new dreams into those who invest the time to be with Him. I don’t know how to explain what happens other than it is a supernatural time in His presence.  We are truly refreshed and renewed for a different level of warfare.

On the other hand, “Sweetly Broken” is a very unique retreat to help women who have been wounded by abortion. This  weekend is for women who have been recently wounded or have been carrying around this scar for years. We know that Jesus truly longs to heals this hurt so we are creating a very safe and tender time to seek that very healing. If this is you and you still feel shame or guilt, or feel like God is mad at you, please don’t live in this lie any longer. Come and be with other women who know exactly how you feel, but also know how to help you walk into wholeness again.  If this is someone you know, don’t let fear keep you from telling them about this weekend. The walking wounded need to know where to go for help, so be willing to give them directions.

If God has given you a  burden for these fellow soliders, we are waiting for Donor/Prayer Warriors who will carry each woman who attends Sweetly Broken in a spiritual way and a financial way. Think of it as going back to pick up a wounded solider on the field and carrying them to safety. We must link arms as we all battle together.

I am simply compelled to be part of building God’s kingdom.  But we must retreat at the right time.  I have to make myself pull away from the foray to really hear what my spirit needs for warfare. Won’t you join me for these two power filled weekends? And please, pray for His kingdom to be advanced as we seek His face.

“Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” Mark 6:31

When Words Just Aren’t Enough

I have been trying to get my words around how the Lord showed up this weekend. We named the retreat “Yes and Amen” 6 weeks ago.  But little did I realize that the title was God foretelling what He was planning to do. We spent the weekend re-discovering the promises of God. That they are Yes and Amen in Christ. But they were not just words on dusty pages. We let those promises fill us with His power and we began to dream again. We dared to sit in His presence and let Him wash away our fears, breathe new life and courage into our hearts.

We began to believe we are more than women. We are His Women created for this time and for a specific God-ordained destiny, with His Holy Spirit power shaping and forming and giving us wings to fly. Because the Holy Spirit dwells in us, “we have been disqualified from mundane and ordinary lives.”  We were made to “shine like stars as we hold out the word of life.”

And shine we did and do and will. Could we have planned any better celebration? One sweet lamb was baptized in the cold mountain water. We all stood there stupified. We had cheered, and prayed, and sung. And we couldn’t leave. We all felt it. The power of God.  You simply did not want to walk away…

Here is a beautiful offering of what happened. To God be the glory…

“Be silent
your spirit is cleansed

You are water
free as a rushing river,
no longer dammed, damned
for I am your current

We pour and shift
around boulders
without slowing

A force
in constant motion, stop-less
Obstacles are still, lifeless

can not steal power
when you trust and live
within me

by Michelle Westenberger Carrico

Yes! And Amen!

“For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us.”
2 Corinthians 1:20 New King James Version

Been thinking all day about God being a dreamer. And there is an old saying, “Are you a dreamer or a doer?” And when I think about God, the answer is “Yes.”

He is both. Why would He do that?  Because He is both love and power. Truth IN action.  Here is another sage comment: Lovers do what dreamers only dream about.  Is God a lover or a dreamer? Again, He is “yes and amen.”

If you think for one minute that God is unable, that means He is weak.
If you think He is unwilling, that means He is mean, harsh or not good.
If you think He is not loving, well, then you have a false god. In Christ, we have all of God. All of Him. He has NOT given us a spirit of fear, but He HAS given us a spirit of power, love and self control.  Not we go buy it. We have it.

Just because you don’t get your way, when you want it, how you want it, doesn’t reflect on God’s character. It does however, reflect on yours.

Reflect. Odd choice of word there. Reflect means:

To manifest or bring back;
To chew over: reflect deeply on a subject
To be bright by reflecting or casting light
To show an image of
To give evidence of a certain behavior

I don’t say this to create false guilt or condemnation, but to prompt us to look at what we’re reflecting. Lack of confidence in God only “reflects” the enemy, but there is a power released in us when we focus on the face of God.  What we look at, we reflect. Attention amplifies everything.  If you focus on the past, your weaknesses, then that is all your will see in your present and future. If you focus on the sin of others, that is what you will surely see.

But if you look at the heart of God, if you “See” with your spirit His goodness, His smart way of doing things—even when that causes you pain—you find that over time your character is changed into His image.  You reflect Him because you are sitting in His light. The only way to bring your world into this Reality, is to Be with a Person.

Just think of the possibilities…If God is a lover and a dreamer, if He is all good and all powerful, who can stand against Him? Think of your biggest fear.  Now lay it (him, her, them) down at the feet of this Beautiful, Grace Giving God.  How does the fear stack up?

James 4 says, “You have not because because you ask not. And when you ask, you ask with wrong motives.” Wow, maybe that is the source of our messes.  We want a magic genie, not a Holy, Transforming, Sovereign Lord.

When I surrender my control, my heart softens so that I can believe God is good and He is good for Me, regardless of the circumstances. Then, over time, I can ask with better motives. Instead of bless me, fix me, fix them, my prayers become “I trust You to take care of me, and I ask for Your best.”

“Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” Hebrew 4:16

All of His promises in Christ are Yes and Amen.