One of the biggest highlights every year for our family is attending the family conference down in Big Sandy, TX. It is a time of refreshment, conviction, encouragement and lots of good fellowship with like-minded believers.
Here are some of the highlights we were challenged by this year:
Abbie – My favorite session this year was done by Gil Bates based out of the Bible story where Lot pitches his tent towards Sodom. Where we set our eyes will ultimately determine our destination. “You will end up where you are headed.” This is a huge warning to us to evaluate our hearts and lives to see what we’re fixing our eyes on and where we will end up if we keep on the path we’re on – it could be good, if our eyes are on Jesus, but if we’re focused on someone or something else we could be headed for destruction. This is not something to lightly brush off and hope everything will be okay, ignoring the warning signs flashing before us, take heed and turn your eyes upon Jesus.
Charity – I enjoyed a lot of the speakers this year but there wasn’t a particular message that really stood out, it was more of a topic that several of the speakers briefly touched on… but something I knew was meant for me! And that was the very important and crucial practice of meditating. Everyone meditates on something. It’s what you think about, daydream about. All that says a lot about a person! Everything starts as just a thought. The passage I choose for myself this year is John 15, and a critical part of being connected to the Vine and abiding in Christ is meditating on scripture and prayer! To know Christ more, I’ve GOT to spend time with Him, and if that is truly my heart’s desire, I will choose Jesus above ALL else!
Ps 19:14 – Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.
Ps 104:34 – My meditation of him shall be sweet: I will be glad in the LORD.
Phil 4:8 – Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
Isa 26:3 – Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.
2 Cor 10:5 – Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ…
Maggie – Like always, it’s hard to weed through all of the sessions and pick just one that meant the most! All of the sessions have such rich nuggets of truth that challenged or encouraged me, like:
Jobe Martin’s session on Creation Evangelism was super neat!
One of Mr. Bates sessions really encouraged me to take a step back and look at where my life will be 10 years from now if I continue on the same road I am now. If I am pursuing God to the depth I am now, will I wish I had strove for a deeper level?
One of Jamie Lash’s sessions really convicted me to re-discipline myself to daily meditation in God’s Word!
But I think I enjoyed Darren Myers sessions the most!!
His one on God, Morals, and Socialism has to be my favorite! I’d encourage you to check out their website here!
This past year I believe the Lord has opened my eyes (politics probably played a big part) to the situation our country is really in, where it is headed, and the evil that is creeping in to every part of our society! Darren Myers sessions were really informative and interesting! I felt like I could spend hours talking to him and listening to what he has to say! Maybe I just haven’t looked very far, but I was encouraged to hear someone speak on Socialism, Communism, what they are, and what God’s Word has to say about them, as well as how it would impact us, and how to stand up for truth! I also appreciated the statistics, surveys, and personal book recommendations that he shared! May God have mercy on us and may I/we not water down and ignore the way that Satan has snuck in and influenced so much of our culture! I pray that we will let God work through us to “…overcome evil with good.” Rom. 12:17-21
Carinna – One of the topics that I was challenged by throughout the week was in the area of my words. The tongue is a small member that can cause big problems.
It has the power to dramatically alter my life, and those around me.
James 3:1-12 Prov. 26:28 Prov. 17:20 Prov.15:2 Ps 4:13 and there are many more.
The power of death is in the tongue. Prov. 18:21 “Death and life are in the
power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.”
Such a small thing can be a huge problem! It can be used by the devil to tear,
drag down, and hurt others. The tongue also has the power of life!
Maybe I’m not hurting others with with my words but am I pulling others down?
If I am finding myself complaining and grumbling, I really need to look at my heart because…Luke 6:45 “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.”
Am I building others up with my words? Am I being an energy giver?
If not, where has my view of God gotten twisted? Where is my focus?
Where is my joy coming from? Is it rooted in Christ?
In humble gratitude for everything He is? Ps 35:28 Ps 37:30 John 15:5b…
When my perspective is where it should be, my attitude, words, and actions
will line up. Feelings follow actions. I have the tendency to say what I think when I think it. So I’ve been challenged to be wise in my conversations, to be grateful in everything, and to carefully choose my words…not just saying something, for the pleasure of saying really nothing, but being sensitive to the Holy Spirit on what needs to be said and when.
Benjamin – The main thing that stood out to me was meditating on God’s word. I had heard people talk about it but didn’t really understand it. After one of the student sessions they had us practice it, it finally made sense. I also enjoyed talking to some friends and playing lots of volleyball.
We really enjoyed the opportunity to sing “Brighten the Corner Where You Are” as a special music. …of course along with all that that all good fellowship I mentioned earlier, comes a lot of laughter…
…homemade cookies and milk… =)
… and a few rousing games =)
“But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only deceiving your own selves.” James 1:22