For the second year in a row, I attended IF: Gathering Local with my mom and sister in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The event is for Christian women and is a beautiful, purposefully diverse collection of speakers, writers, friends and bloggers from around the world. I soaked up their words.
Humble, regular people can pray and God moves
Here's His plan: pray together, eat together, read the Word together and live life together
His plan is relationships: invest in the few lives in-front of you that Jesus gave you to disciple
We need to turn off the noise and pick up our bibles
I want my legacy to be that because people knew me, they knew Jesus more
Let's build disciples, rather than platforms. Let's do invisible, simple, deep work that no one may ever see
"God I pray that you would shape our conversations"
You've been given everything you need to spread the good news-- so do it
You will be broken and then the Spirit will come and you will multiply
I'm all about life change and being practical-- when we open the Bible we are in a sacred place. There is no other book described as living.
When you study the Bible with people who are not like you it will be tremendously more valuable
Defensive people can not empathize
Be about impact rather than impression-- when you leave, growth should continue
Hebrews 13:7 "Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith."
Whose names are written in the margin of your bible? Who will write your name in the margin of their bible?
Jeanne Stevens round table discussion of singleness
The church has turned the relational status of being married with children and a pinterest perfect life of something to strive for-- but we worship a savior who was single
"I'm not sorrowful in this season. I'm rejoicing in this season because it's what God has for me."
Singleness is not about waiting or being stuck in neutral-- God is calling you to use your gifts and talents and to use your life right now
God is in control of all the details. Your story has purpose NOW no matter where you are
"What will I do here on this earth in this season for His glory?"
Be The Bridge
Elevate the voices of people who have been marginalized and let them tell their stories in their own words
-meet face to face
-hear and acknowledge hurt
-come up with a plan of resolution
"You can never reconcile what you do not recognize."
Are you treating the symptoms or the root of the pain? What's my part in this?
Permission to pursue all the places of my perception--how does my privilege affect you?
Accountability and action
Remembering the gift, renew relationships with real people face to face
Truth to power-- build a foundation of trust
Peace isn't the absence of conflict, but the pursuing of shalom in Christ
We have to extend the table-- look around and see who is missing and invite them. I need to back up and give the space and power to speak to the women who don't have it yet.
"If one part suffers, every part suffers with it. If one part is honored, every part rejoices with it."
Be a bridge to racial unity
"You need only to be still. The Lord your God will fight for you."
What if we walked up to the impossible and lifted our eyes up to the God who makes all things possible and is always faithful
Just say, "Yes!" to everything God asks of you-- everything
From now on, the orbit of your life, the space between you own two feet, that's your mission field. Give it everything you've got until God moves you on.
If you've been saved you've been called to be a missionary.
"After obedience, the courage will be waiting for you."
Paul had a conversation that led to a conversion. When we have a conversation with God we can't help but to be changed. He'll change what we're saying, doing, consuming, believing.
"That same power that resurrected the Lord is ALIVE in you." Romans 8:11
If you're not dead, don't act like it. He came to give you life and to give it abundantly.
RISE UP-- you're not done yet. He's asking you, "Will you trust me?"
The church makes family out of strangers. What God does as he knits people together is a really sacred, beautiful thing.
It might not be that you need the church. It might be that the people at church need you.
The church can be uncomfortable. You've got to sit with people and sometimes offer forgiveness or ask to be forgiven and you're part of something larger than yourself and it transforms you over time.
Discipleship is obeying Jesus for what he can do for others
The stories of refugees transform us and teach us about what God is doing in the world
1,000 languages are not enough to declare how great our God is, how big God is
Be a disciple-- student/learner/apprentice-- someone who is doing it, who is engaged in it
-be intentional about community
-be devoted in your faith
-live a life on mission
Pray about who God is asking you to invest in
If we're going to do this, people need access to our lives. We are called to be living examples of Christ. Is your life worth imitating?
The enemy wants you to focus on your inadequacy instead of God's power. The enemy wants you to gossip and cut down those who God has made. But instead... we're going to do small things really well.
Here's the thing you have to do-- Love Jesus exactly where you are and let that love flow into the lives of everyone around you.
This is how the world changes-- it's chocolate chip cookies and sitting on the floor and talking about Jesus and these conversations that you don't even think matter. That's how we change the world.
You are stones building up the house of God in which the Holy Spirit dwells. Who changed you? Who are you being called to change?