Tag Archives: Thought-Provoking Thursday

The Gospel Coalition

A few weekends ago, I was one of 4,000 women who made up the first ever Gospel Coalition Women’s Conference!

It was a conference for women but not about  women, which was really nice.  I have realized that it’s not so much that I need more advice on the  dance steps of how to be a godly woman.  No, what I need is to be reminded of the music of the Gospel…how big my God is and how much He loves me.  That propels me to love other Him and to love people.

Have you heard of TGC? I am telling you, next time, you EACH must join me! (Well, at least those of you who are women! :))  It was such a powerful weekend.

I have never enjoyed such great teaching!

In the “pre-conference” alone we heard from Tim and Kathy Keller, John Piper and D.A. Carson!?!  Not to mention that from noon Friday until Saturday night, we had heard 16 SERMONS.  And I loved every minute of it.

We were furiously taking notes!

Who is “we” you might ask?

Well, it was me and about 5 or 6 other dear staff friends!  (They allowed Crusade staff women to attend for $50!!) Erin, Sarah, Laura, Lindsey and Michelle, were so fun to experience this with. I even got to see Lani, my pen pal from 8th grade and now big-girl friend! Plus my friends Courtney, Ty, Toni, etc. were with a fun group from a local church in Columbia (Midtown). It was a blast.

The conference was being translated into Spanish, Mandarin and French and was live-streaming to 165 countries…which of course made me teary!   The beauty of technology helping us reach the nations gets me every time!

As you can tell, this hotel was GORGEOUS. I mean, have you ever seen lighting this pretty?!

Sign me up for THAT light fixture in my heavenly mansion :)

Okay, so my favorite speaker of the whole conference (who I MIGHT be slightly obsessed with now…) was Paige Benton Brown.  She was an Ole Miss sorority girl whom Jesus redeemed and has set free to offer redemption to others, so obviously that’s right up my alley!  But even still, she was the most profound, down-to-earth and powerful speaker that spoke directly to my heart.

Her first talk I HIGHLY recommend listening to!!

Her article on Singleness I HIGHLY recommend reading!! Excerpt: “Can God be any less good to me on the average Tuesday morning than he was on that monumental Friday afternoon when he hung on a cross in my place?  The answer is a resounding NO.  God will not be less good to me tomorrow either, because God cannot be less good to me.  His goodness is not the effect of his disposition but the essence of his person—not an attitude but an attribute.”

But it was her “Relationships Required?” workshop that  had tears streaming down my face for a solid hour and 15 minutes!

Here were some of my take-away points…

  • There should be no relationships that aren’t ministry. (Do we really believe this?)
  • How do we minister Christ to people?
  • If you aren’t ministering Christ you aren’t ministering.  HE IS THE CONTENT AND CAUSE OF ALL MINISTRY.
  • The results aren’t up to us. We aren’t results people. We are responsibility people. Those who have the Son have the life and those who don’t? DON’T! (Do we really believe this?) Then we will have no relationships that aren’t ministry. Our responsibility is to be faithful and obey.
  • God sends the Gospel to persons wrapped up in persons. (Persons are individuals. We don’t love people. We love persons. Real faces with real names.) Screwtape Letters: “Let him love the church, but don’t let him see the faces.” You can’t be a people-person without loving individuals.
  • All people are called and gifted to minister and give Christ to people.
  • God’s ASSIGNMENT (not suggestion or hope for us) is for us to have Gospel relationships.
  • We must minister as people who are sacrificially humble. Phil. 2!
  • Whom am I responsible for? vs. What do they need? We have to be involved in people’s lives not just meet their needs. Where would your people be without you? We are to be conduits of GOD to our people!
  • Are your relationships different because of Jesus?
  • God has sovereignly set us up to have new relationships with the same old people. Jesus sent Legion and the Woman at the Well back to their people. New testimony with the same people.
  • God initiates and moves toward us…we must move toward people as people for their sake and not for our sake (to use them in our program).
  • Are people just players in your game?
  • We are to move toward people “Look to the Harvest and GO!” Matthew, Peter, Zaccheus, etc.
  • Who are the people who would never approach anyone? Who can we move toward? Who can we love? How do I make time for that?
  • Investment is voluntary–what will motivate you is not what do they think about God, but what does God think about them!?! It’s not how important can they be to us, but how important can we be to them? 1 Thess 2.
  • Knowing theological truths about people is not the same as knowing individuals. ASK+LISTEN…Get the facts and learn the person. How much do I know about them? How do they feel about that stuff? How much do they know about me? You’re not looking for stuff, you’re looking for THEM. What do they like to talk about? What’s up with that? Don’t steer the convo so much that you miss their hearts.
  • Go by the person, not by the playbook.
  • It’s not “Talk about something that matters.” but “Talk about whatever because YOU matter.”
  • When helping others learn to minister, give them questions to ask, not answers to give.
  • There are no kinds of people. There are just people.
  • Jesus will always comfort the disturbed and disturb the comforted. Do you know how loved you are? You are too loved for this!
  • Who would YOU let confront you? We only let people who are invested in loving us confront and speak truth to us. Relationships=poker chips. You can’t cash in with chips you don’t have! Real love always leads to us giving them the truth.
  • Relationship=ongoing discussion
  • Are they too messy? Not gonna be a newsletter story this month? If you don’t love people for people you will resent the crap out of people.
  • Don’t wait for your heart to go to people. God and it will follow! Where you invest your life, your heart will follow.
  • Good things never just happen. We must GO! Ministry does not equal good theology, it’s LOVE. Romans 8:38-39 We can never say, “I just can’t love this person.” You have love for them because you have Jesus. You go to them in their world.
  • Do you think your gifts eclipse your personal holiness? This is investing in NOT fitting in.
  • The liability of technology: It is social, but it is not relational. Friends on FB does not equal real life friendship. Not knowing the difference is devastating. People want to express themselves, but they have no relationships in which they are safe enough to share. Be wise.
  • The liability of groups: Having a great community group is NOT the same as having great relationships. Be able to tell about the persons in your group and not just your group. Be in relationship with the individuals in your group.
  • The liability of fitting in: There is no ministerial way to sin. Do not compromise your integrity and Christ’s witness for a chance to be accepted.
  • Are our lives reinforcing what they know about Scripture, or are they eroding the Gospel?
  • Are you so busy with people that you do ministry to avoid persons?
  • Who are your persons?

Does anyone else feel insanely convicted or was this workshop solely for KCH??

There was so much more to be shared, but it’s gonna take a good long while to meditate and reflect on the pages of notes I took at the conference (not to mention complete my homework for class!!)  But I am sure if you’re like me, this gives you PLENTY to chew on! :)




Wisdom from 1932

I picked this lovely little book up from Sugar & Sweetie’s give away book pile over Christmas. (Yes, Joel’s grandparents have the most fun names–Sugar & Sweetie! There are literally streets in Collierville, TN named after these two!) It was published in 1932!

I have always admired the way they (AND Mr. Jack & Mrs. Anita AND my amazing parents!!) continually strive to pass on a legacy of godliness and fun to their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren! In fact, over Christmas, we put together a little family tree to help them see the way they have left their fingerprints of love and joy all over our lives.

Anyway, I think that some of the truths of the charming book have been “keys” to the beauty of their legacy…

Here are my highlights:

“Home is the place where love makes labor count and labor makes love more sweet.

It is with the leaders in the home that we have to deal. On them rest the most magnificent work that can be offered in the world today. Other fields are larger in their scope but here at home is a little world itself with the beginning and the end of human life. Make it a little sphere that will lay hold so firmly on the power of God that its influence will be felt around the world and touch for good the other nations of the earth.

An immaculate house, a well-ordered management, a perfect conformity with the social requirements of the day are not things to be discredited or carelessly omitted but Martha’s “many things” must quietly step down our of the throne room of our hearts and a complete allegiance be given to the “one thing needful” before the Christian attitude can be claimed.

Earth’s crammed with heaven, And every common bush afire with God; But only he who sees takes off his shoes.” Elisabeth Barret Browning
Parents who are fascinated with the worlds of God can bring the wonder of his worship into much that enters into family life. Religion will discard the bad and choose the best. Religion establishes taste for what is good.

It is to be a partnership of three God first, then you and me.

Christ is the head of this house the unseen guest at every meal the silent listener to every conversation.

“If I do not punish you,” said a mother to her little son, “God will not be pleased, for he has trusted you to me to make a real man out of you and mother must teach you or fail to obey the Lord herself.” This is the true basis for home authority, the command from God that parents teach their children to obey and honor Him.

It is often true that the one who cares the most feels the greatest inefficiency in himself for this work.

There is hardly anything that we have ever learned that does not in some way come into use when we have begun the fine art of parenthood.

1 Thess 2:7-12

Search the conditions of a child’s misconduct and see if it is not due many times to attention we have failed to give. Confusion, rush, ill temper from the parent lead many times to discontent, anxiety, despair on the part of the child; the things we have failed to provide for body or for mind have spoiled the sweetness of his heart as it might have been.

When debt of love we owe to our children is kept in mind we will be finding ways to give in time, strength, wisdom, foresight, and affection that will weave about them a fabric of protection against many of the temptation to sin.

Explanation vs. Argument: Peter, “but if you say so…”

Pain teaches.

A child can be made to understand that even the hurt of discipline is not through anger but through love. …the punishment itself will do good rather than harm. Love makes clear to the child the cause of punishment and teaches that it is the necessary consequence of a definite wrong doing. Love of this kind brings the child back to his parent foster than it went away. The deepest pain of punishment to a little child is the feeling of lost fellowship with the parent on whose affection he depends. That is why so sweetest fellowship is restored.

Family worship should be the heritage of every child who grows up in a home professing Christ. It takes preparation, participation, “now Daddy is going to read the Scripture and when he gets through he wants everybody around the table to be able to tell him something he has read…” and regularity-to keep alert the keen sense of interest and anticipation.

Guard carefully the sincerity of worship so that the child may never become self-conscious in his acts of prayer.”
Heavenly Father, bless this food, to thy glory and our good.

At night after each child has talked over his individual problems with his mother, he takes them to God in prayer at his mother’s knee.
We concluded this, that the problems of this day are greater than those of any age our world has faced; therefore, it is going to take greater men to solve those problems; therefore, we are determined before God to try to be some of those greater men.” The task before Christian fathers and mothers in our day is to build of the children in their homes those greater men and women that the future needs. In the midst of men and women that the future needs. In the midst of these strategic changes devoted parents desire to get hold these strategic changed devoted parents desire to get hold of permanent realities with which they can charge and fortify their children for coming years.

Read a part of the Bible every day whether you read anything else in the world or not!

“I shall retire from the world and reappear again in the lives of my children.” When those very children were gorwn each became outstanding in his chosen profession and community service. They were able then to lift by numbers and in personality more than the mother could have done alone.

We romp and play and read and learn. When time comes to go to bed we all go along together. At 4 in the morning I have schooled myself to rise and go to work. It is really easer to do in the freshness of the day what I had been putting into the evening hours.

Choose a verse, challenge the kids to work on it all day and see progress that evening.

Children’s questions, those heralds that announce that the flood gates of the mind are open, serve as an invaluable opportunity for giving Bible teachings.

“He…shall bring to your remembrance” is a promise for the work of the Holy Spirit in the heart but he can never bring to our remembrance what we have never learned (well he can…)

Then again on Sunday the waking hour should be an hour of worship, praise, gentleness, and glad expectation.” “I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go unto the house of Jehovah” (Psalm 122:1)

But even the youth of our best homes are looking for a place to play…Make it a party that is alive, above suggestiveness, and truly social in its democratic fun.

The world’s work is waiting to be done by the graduates of our homes. “The great purpose of every Christian home, is to raise up ‘laborers’.” Rev. James McClure

Parents are to pray that God will ‘thrust out’ those dear to them into the harvest field. They are to pray that God will send such an irresistible conviction into their hearts as will compel them to do the labor of the harvest. ‘May my child have no rest until he is thy laborer.’ So may we, so should we pray.”
The meaning of life is to glorify the Lord, and unless our children can catch this high ideal and finally step out on their own initiative with this purpose in their tread they cannot satisfy the heart desire of consecrated Christian homes.

As parents we are to place our values where we would have our youth place theirs. If the life outside is to be a life that ministers to human need the earlier this alertness and response to human need is learned the better.

If the attitude is right and its responses to this attitude true, youth can come through these simple contacts of the everyday life finally to view the world as a great family of friends. Give them many opportunities to express their friendly attitude while young. When you minister to others let the children have a part of the pleasure with you. Its youth must learn they represent a Savior who has nothing short of a world compassion for all men.

Family rules: courage, inventiveness, co-operation, tact, courtesy, sacrifice, personal cleanliness, integrity, worship, all, etc. make a program for your home. Have definite ambitions with a time set for the accomplishment of each. Furnish opportunities for repeated exercise of these. Re-check your thinking and review your goals at frequent intervals. Know that God in his own way can make of your child a polished stone of beauty in his temple’s building. He can give to your children a radiance that is sincere and good. It is the intrinsic privilege of your home to help him. It is the will of heave to illumine your labors.

The home loves on.

There is never a time for parents to quit loving and giving. There is never a time for the home to release its obligation to its youth. When all other means of helpfulness are past there is still the necessity for continued prayer. Parents are a part of God’s everlasting scheme of things and no one is useless as long as he can love.

Click here to make your own version of the Family Tree!