so like. honestly, without julia to plan and detail the whole thing out, I don’t think I’d be going to send conference at all. a lot of little things factored into my decision.
(^that’s julia. LOL she makes us work, but we’re so grateful to have her in EM)
first off, julia was like “rend collective! phil wickham! francis chan and david platt!” and I was already like, “ohh, ok interest captured.”
secondly, it’s on a weekend. super close, in long beach. and edith was like, “long beach! that’s my area, I’m totally in.” so bam, fellow friend to come with.
thirdly: we’ll probably all be carpooling over, you all can ride with me. I’m pretty much almost in at this point. no driving on my part? beautiful, baby.
lastly: it’s thirty bucks. free lunch provided on the second day. church will help cover some costs. and alright, I’m sold. it’s pretty convenient, my schedule lines up. why not?
I just wanna add that I’m so appreciative of people who jump in to do the planning, driving and advertising to get people interested. having experienced these things myself, I know it ain’t no easy thing. so julia, you’re a superstar in my book.
(^dat us. day one! I’m glad I forced us. this is pretty. the photographer who took this was really good. LOL, he had a pro canon camera around his neck so julia knew to ask him. just the way it’s taken, you can tell someone pro did it. I will forever refer to him as “the lighthouse guy” cause he pointed out my sweatshirt and how he knows a fellowship called that as well. nobody ever knows efci though lol. jerry’s low-key but hilarious humor showed here when he was like “you should’ve told him we’re the originals”. OG, BABY haha. saw lighthouse guy on day two and wanted to do a shoutout of gratitude but I chickened out, lol).
now the whole conference was pretty condensed. day five, we listened to five different speakers, all lasting about an hour. that really drains you, like mentally. I have to admit, I gave up one of them and needed get some shut-eye. my eyelids felt like lead. send conference held a lot of good reminders for me, time to spend with my church family and share what we learned about together, and just worship.
what a beautiful name it is was my favorite song I have to say. it was just so good. and they repeated it a couple of times, so I think they sensed that too, haha. austin stone worship was a band I’ve never heard of before. but they led worship well. it was easy to engage in. center my life has a beautiful chorus. rend collective was good. their worship is so uplifting and celebratory. and during instrumental parts, the lead singer does little jig with his guitar and I just love it, lol. also bonus! they’re irish. the irish accent is my fav accent ever. oh and phil wickham. I’m always wowed by how young he looks, lol. he has a beautiful voice, I gotta say. wouldn’t say all the songs chosen suited congregational worship. but still good.
so two things stuck out to me during the conference.
- david platt brought up the story of esther. it was my favorite book of the Bible as a child. but I haven’t thought of it in a while. and he said that it’s the only book of the Bible that doesn’t mention the name of God in it. but you can see God’s imprints all over it. how God worked out everything so perfectly. “it just so happened that queen vashti got kicked out, so they needed a new queen. it just so happened that esther was of eligible age. it just so happened that out of all the women gathered, she was the one that the king selected. it just so happened that mordecai, her cousin discovered the plot to kill the king and wasn’t honored for it at that moment…” and david goes on to tell the entire story of esther. and though I am quite familiar with it, it was still astounding to me to hear it again in this way. “it couldn’t have worked out better if it was scripted and this is real life and God made it happen.” life really is like a stage, and we each have our own role to play out. esther 4:14″if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. and who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?”so good. it reminded me that God placed me in a certain position to accomplish a certain purpose that He has planned in great detail. half the time I have no idea what’s going on, but He does. I pray that I live up to it.
- “addicts don’t make sense. they can be at the happiest place on earth, but in the back of their minds, they can’t stop thinking about whatever they’re addicted to. and they can be good people! people who love their families. people who are smart and intelligent. but they can give that all up because they’re addicted to a drug. all they can think about is their next fix and how they can get it.” – francis chan. that really struck me. I’ve been in a bit of a slump lately. and there’s a sense of unease and sadness that is always in the back of my head. I used to be able to tune it out for durations of time with distractions but lately, it’s always been there. invading on and tarnishing every moment. and this startled me when he said addicts can’t take their minds off something, because that something was at the back of my mind right then. “how wonderful if we could show that kind of love and commitment to Jesus?” francis reminded us. and it would be. instead of stealing away from my moments, it would accentuate and add to each moment. because God is love. it would be so amazing. so praying for that. praying that I fall completely in love with God.
(^exerpt of my notes. there was so much good stuff going on. sorry I drew francis chan like megamind… I didn’t have a pencil, which I usually use to sketch a rough outline first. but hey, go big or go home).
it was a blessing to go with church community. I hated going to breakout sessions by myself, lol (edith, weren’t you supposed to come to one with me, but you ended up going to one with caleb what the heck =__=).
jerry was gonna come to one with me! then julia informed me that he wasn’t going to that one anymore since I made up my mind to go there. and I was super offended, lol. but then they clarified that they wanted us to go to as many different ones as possible so that we can share later and hear from as many different ones as possible >___> so I mean, ok. I can’t argue with that.
(^at the last session, I finally had some company!)
it was a really good experience, and it just makes me so excited for heaven. oh gosh, to not have to worry about your next commitment or responsibility and just completely focus on worshipping God. when I was young, that concept sounded like pure boredom to me. but now, I can’t wait. but so long as I’m here, give me the strength to fight the good fight, oh Lord, and live to Your glory. after all, “to live to is Christ and to die is to gain.” -philippians 1:21
(^ wrapping up with one of all of us. day two! thanks for a good experience where I done learned and got reminded of important truths, send conference 2017. God, forever be molding me and growing me to fulfill Your purpose and glory).