Saturday, October 23, 2010

Women of Faith 2010

Wow!  Watch out!  This was such an amazing weekend, 
I may not know when to stop talking about it! 

Where to start about Women of Faith. :)

I feel so incredibly blessed to have been a part of this wonderful event this year.

It started Friday at 10am, there was a boxed Lunch, then a break for supper and resumed at 7pm that night.  Saturday started at 9am with a few breaks and a boxed lunch and ended at 5pm.

Events included:

dramas by Nicole Johnson, which were inspiring, deep issues, 
somewhat "controversial" but wonderful reminders of the
Grace of God no matter what the circumstance you're going through in life.

Music by Mandisa, which was fun, energetic, inspiring and
showing a truly wonderful God given ability. 
 I didn't want to wait in the long line to take a picture so I just got as close as I could to take a picture of her while she was signing something for someone else.  She has such a sweet and loving spirit.  I would love to be friends with her in real life. :)

Music and speaking by Steven Curtis Chapman, and Mary Beth Chapman.
We had really good seats, but it was so dark in there besides the stage that it was hard to get a good picture.  This is Steven and Mary Beth singing "Got 2 b Tru."  It was hilarious!

Special Speakers: Patsy Clairmont, Andy Andrews, Marilyn Meberg, Lisa Welchel

Andy Andrews was a very interesting character.  He is very energetic and has a great background and story about how God has used his life.  He talked about forgiveness.  He had some very interesting points about how forgiveness is life's "reset" button, and the difference between making a mistake and making a bad choice, and in that when you need to say I'm sorry, and you need to ask for forgiveness and how those two are very different. 

Patsy Clairmont also had some great stories about trials in her life and how God has used her and what he has taught her during these times.  She had some great pointers on fear and how to not let it grab hold of you.  She said something that struck me.....she said we need to Refuse, Replace and Repeat.  This is in talking about our own thoughts whether about ourselves, other people or just plain ol thoughts.  First we need to be aware of what we are thinking and immediately refuse those unkind, negative, bad thoughts that the devil throws at us, or fills the dead air with.  Then we need to do as the bible states in Philippians 4 and replace them with things that are pure, and lovely and good, etc.  Then we need to continuously repeat that to ourselves to keep our heart and minds guarded.

Lisa Welchel, if you don't know she was "Blair" on "The Facts of Life" tv show. :)  She talked about grownup friendships, and how even though she was on a tv show for 9 years, she could be among thousands of people and still felt alone.  Because she longed for a true friend.  She had a great story about her past and things she did to try and get friends or to push friends away.  But most of all she gave some great pointers on what to look for in a friend, what not to look for.

Sandi Patti was there, she gave a testimony and sang some songs.  What I related to her story the most with was when she talked about the thing she thought she wanted the most.  And she was told, no.  But then just a little while later God showed her another way and gave her something more wonderful.  And she phrased it as saying when she thought she thought she was on the edge of disaster, she was actually on the edge of the diving.  And I can relate to that so well.  She was stating that when she was told no to what she really really wanted for her life, she saw it as disaster, but further down the road, when God granted her something more wonderful, she saw that whole time she was really on the edge of the diving because God knew better and knew that He has something much more wonderful in store for her, just at a different time.  I have a similar story, which had been somewhat shared in my "Long Adoption Story".  But I might touch on this more in a different blog entry.

Marilyn Meberg talked about the "More needs" of life.  We as humans are always wanting more, no matter what you are talking about.  The grass is always greener on the other side, right?!  She gave some great insight on how are hearts are conditioned to long for more because God has put a little bit of heaven in our hearts so that we will never settle, but will always long for more.  But!!!  Life as it is on this earth does not fully satisfy all of our "more" needs!  That will be completed once we reach heaven.  The second time she spoke she clearly presented the gospel offering a moment for those to confess and believe. She also gave another phrase I loved.  "You can't out-sin Jesus' forgiveness."  And to that I say, Amen!  and Praise the Lord!  Because we all make mistakes and bad choices, but Jesus has paid the price for ALL of those sins.
1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sings and to cleanse us from ALL unrighteousness.

And probably the most touching, heart breaking, sobbing moments were during the songs of Steven Curtis Chapman, and the speaking of Mary Beth Chapman.  It is truly wonderful to see people sing their songs live, and see their heart as they sing, and to hear the testimony that goes along with why they felt led to write and sing such a song.  When he sang "Cinderella" I was very close to an all out sob fest.  He talked about it a little, but then Mary Beth talked about it more afterwards.  I held it together, barely. :(  When Mary Beth spoke, it was also encouraging to hear how others handle tough situations in life.  She said people have asked them how they survived the accident.  She said we didn't, we are just choosing to survive.  That is so true.  We can't always survive these things that happen, but we have to choose to do it anyway.  I was really encouraged by her phrase, The light shines brightest when the sky is the darkest.  This also resignated through me like earlier which may have to be touched on more later.  And another thing that was food for though was usually we are quick to ask "WHY ME?" when bad things happen, but given the world we live in, we should really be asking God Why not me?

Well, that was lengthy, but just a sample of what was presented this weekend.  Beyond that I went with my friend Heather and her church group from Wisconsin.   The others I met this weekend were such a wonderful blessing to me.  Praise the Lord for wonderful encouraging believers who can feel like your sister even though you have just met.

1 comment:

Sanford Family said...

thanks for sharing all of this! We'll have to talk too about it soon. I'd love to hear/read your long adoption story sometime but I don't see it immediately on here.


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