Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Weekend and Engage 2020 3

Paul and I at the conference Saturday. 
We were excited to be at an EN Conference

I am wearing my new body central tank top.
Love it!

Saturday night ended with Pastor Rice Brooks sharing about Evangelism. Well actually first was an amazing, hour long time of worship. Wow. Hope Darst again for the win! The worship was lovely - and the team up there with her was superb. 

Pastor Brooks began to share about the choice to have a unified church. Most churches in the south are segregated - black churches, white churches, spanish churches. Pastor Brooks and the Bethel team has felt led by God to work towards having a church that is unified - black and white, serving together. They have worked to create a multi ethnic church and boy is it! You see all ethnicities worshipping together - and a wonderful sight to see. Black and White in the south, worshiping together. 

He also talked about unity among the churches - around the world, and in each city. God blesses true unity. We see this in the bible. It is so important to understand the call for unity. He had pastors from the churches in South Africa (black and white) here to speak of their unity - he also had a fellow pastor from the city whom he'd had animosity with and he shared their journey of redemption. I was so encouraged to hear the honesty as he outlined this struggle for unity. 

He preached after that - about "Preaching", "Sacrifice" and "Belief". He shared stories from his life and the lives of others where they made choices to do these three and it was moving. The stories were funny, touching and convicting. 

What was really moving was when he gave people a chance to come forward to the altar, to make a commitment to leave something behind and turn to something new. That could be a sin you felt held back by or something like insecurity, pride, anger, etc. I wasn't feeling emotional in this time, but I felt like it was high time I make a commitment to stop letting insecurity have it's way with me. I can see how in 4 years since I was last here I have grown in security. I can see how I have learned to walk in who God has made me in the 6 years I've been a christian. I can see how God has empowered all of that growth! 

But I can see areas where I still struggle to believe that what God says about me is true, is indeed true. There are moments when I let the lies have power. I believe these weak lies from the enemy and yet I know that God is the one with real power. So I decided to go forward and make a covenant with God - to say that I know he has the power and that only He is able to give me the power to believe His truth but that for my part I will do my best to believe his truth, rather than the lies. 

With a bunch of others I went forward. I knelt to pray and worship God as a monument to the decision. I was still moving on an instinct to act on an opportunity and not on any feeling. As I worshipped and prayed, I knew it was  meant to be a marking of a moment where I elevated the truth above my own emotion or feelings. Believing that I am all God says I am is hard, but it is what I need to do. Because he says I am His daughter and He loves me...and He isn't just playing around. 

As I worshiped in faith I suddenly felt arms around me. It was a girl from my class, Tiffany. She kept hugging me as I worshipped. Finally she whispered - "I haven't let go yet because I felt God say to come over and hug you for a long time. I felt that Jesus was saying "Tara, you are loved. So many people love you and like you and feel so loved by you. God loves you". I was floored. God showed up to meet in me in my place of commitment! He wanted to remind me of the truth of who am I in Him. Wow. What a kind and gracious reminder. 

After Rice spoke they brought different pastors up that were going to or have recently started church plants. We got to hear what they were up to and hear the growth that was happening and also we got to pray for them and have them sent out. 

We stayed around the sanctuary chatting with different people when the night was over - we're social butterflies so we were there for another 30 minutes just chatting away with new friends. 

We made it home at about 12pm and were sooooo tired. We'd been out of the house since 8:30am. We definitely slept in on Sunday and didn't get up until 10 - we didn't need to be at church until 12:15pm. I got up and swam for a while - floated and read, really. My hip has been hurting a lot and floating helps get rid of the pain. We ate some waffles and yogurt and then headed into town for church. 

As we were walking into church they were just wrapping up 10:30am service and we could hear the voice loudly and clearly though we were in the parking lot. That is when we realized they had speakers in rocks!

After church we headed to Costco and Walmart - I was wearing my new maxi dress. Love it! Body Central for the win. 

We then spent time at home doing laundry, doing homework and generally getting ready for another school week. I also made us Bruschetta Chicken, pesto pasta and garlic Asparagus. And then we curled up to watch Harry Potter and the Half Blood prince. 
It has been a perfectly lovely evening. 

1 comment:

LeAnna et David said...

Speakers in the rocks is a pretty cool idea--broadcast the message and hint at a passage in the gospels. Win!


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