The Women of Faith weekend was like nothing I’ve ever experienced. I’ve been to conventions of different kinds and I guess all of them are unique in their own ways. This one was just what I needed at this point in my life. It’s always amazing how God works things out to give you what you need and when you need it.
I’m not even sure exactly where to begin. There was so much to take in this past weekend. My favorite speakers were the first day speakers, though I did enjoy them all.
One of the things I noticed is that they all spoke TO the audience, not AT the audience. These were women and a gentleman that knows we are all fallible, messy people and were not acting like they were super special because of what God did in their lives. It’s because what He did in their lives that they were able to share their stories with us. Share the amazing power of God in their lives and how we can all be open to that power of God though His Word.
Sheila Walsh has such a neat story and that woman can sing! I had no idea she sang so beautifully! My limited knowledge of her was from wayyy back in her 700 Club days. So much has changed in her and in her life since those days. She dug in to God’s Word and opened my own eyes to very familiar passages that I hadn’t even thought about!
The one passage that is familiar is the woman in Mark that had the issue for 12 years. I never thought about the Jewish law at that time. When someone was unclean, they were not to be touched or to use anything of anyone else’s because it or they would be considered unclean. The person that would so much as touch her would be unclean for a week afterwards. So this woman was alone, completely. I can’t imagine a life where no one could even give you a hug or a handshake or anything. How completely and utterly alone. That’s when she touched the hem of Jesus’ garment and was healed by her faith. Jesus knew what had happened and told her to “Go in peace.” I’m pretty sure I can’t even imagine how that woman felt after that.
Then Sheila Walk sang such a beautiful rendition of Amazing Grace. I just LOVED it!
“Peace is not the absence of trouble, it’s the presence of Christ that changes everything.” –Sheila Walsh
Dr. Henry Cloud was the 2nd speaker Friday morning/afternoon. I had never heard of him before, but I totally enjoyed his speaking and how he uses God’s Word in his work as a psychologist. He had so many neat illustrations and you just can’t take notes of illustrations. 🙂 His talks revolved around Happiness and he wrote a book about it. I’m thinking of getting this for my kindle at some point in time.
Since this WoF tour was called Imagine Dr. Cloud explained the differences between imagination and fantasy. I found this very interesting and thought I would share it.
Imagine – to see something or to create a reality.
**When I was a kid I was quite the imaginative child, so I totally see this!**
Fantasy, on the other hand, is something that cannot truly be.
On being happy, there are a few reasons for it and how it is accomplished.
Dr. Cloud gave 3 facts from happiness research:
1. only 10% can come from anything circumstantial.
2. biology- genetics
3. it comes from a set of life practices – and these practices are found in God’s Word.
Two points (out of many that were not given during these sessions) about happy people:
1. Happy people are givers. When you give willingly, it’s good for your health.
Givers learn the joy of stop giving – when there’s no fruit or joy. People sometimes abuse those that are givers by taking and taking and that does take away the joy of giving.
**In my notes I also have Romans written and something about learning to receive, but I didn’t complete that thought.
2. Happy people are connected people. There is no such thing as happiness out of yourself.
Dr. Cloud also spoke about the pruning we need to do in our lives. We have to get rid of the old things and have those “necessary endings” taken care of so we can move on and get something new.
There are 3 reasons to prune a rose bush:
1. You have to prune when there are too many blooms. We have to let go of stuff in our lives so we can focus on the things we really need to work on. If we have too much stuff around, we can’t focus on the things we truly need to.
2. Some areas are sick and need to be removed. That way it doesn’t spread to the rest of the plant.
3. The dead stuff that is taking up space needs to be removed so it can grow unhindered.
At this point in my life, I have some pruning I need to do – lots of clutter and some sick areas I need to remove and dead stuff that needs to be taken care of. I’m at the “search me o God and know my heart” stage right now. I have my little compartments that I’ve closed off and just don’t want to look at, but I know I need to.
All of the other speakers I enjoyed and learned from. Lisa Harper, Nicole Johnson, Angie Smith and Luci Swindoll (whom I learned is Charles Swindoll’s sister, not wife like I had thought).
The over-riding theme that I personally picked up on was “tell the truth.” Each speaker had mentioned this at some point and truthfully, honestly and openly shared their lives and the journey each of them are on. God wants me to be honest and I know this. Honest about what I believe, why I believe it, what kind of life I’ve had and how this life of mine either does or doesn’t honor Him.
This was such a neat experience and I’m so thankful for pen and paper so I could record as much as possible with it.
I’m SO thankful for booksneeze.com that gave me the opportunity to attend Women of Faith this year! I’m thankful for Renea and am glad she was able to go with me this year! We had a great time and it was nice to get to know each other better. We’ve been related (through marriage) for almost 13 years now, but she has only been in our area the last couple years. We totally enjoyed our “mini-vacation.”
A few more quotes:
“There’s always peace to be found at Christ’s feet.” -Sheila Walsh
“All God ever calls us to do is offer our hearts and He will do the work.” -Nicole Johnson
“God takes us, garbage and broken pieces, and makes us beautiful.” -Nicole Johnson
“We have a choice every day, follow God or follow the world.” -Angie Smith
”Enjoy life simply because you have the gift of living.” “Live for now, this moment. don’t let your life pass by
always wishing for something else.” Luci Swindoll.