Tuesday morning started with a time of prayer. This was followed by a message from Dafydd Job on Genesis 38 – Judah and Tamar. It is a passage not preached on very much, Judah’s family was disfunctional to say the least, and the way he acted was not very godly. Yet, the encouragement that we were given was that his life was completely transformed by God. Later he would offer himself in the place of his younger brother, thus becoming a type of Christ. In addition, it was through his line that the Lord Jesus Christ would be born; the Lion of the tribe of Judah (Rev. 5 v 5). How great to know that God can change and use people such as Judah.
The second session by Phil Swann was again from Revelation, this time considering the letters to the seven churches in chapters 2 and 3. In general, they were in a bad way, having gone away from the life, truth and vitality that they once had. And God had some harsh words for them. BUT, his intention was always that they should repent and be restored. This is a tremendous model to follow. We are not to go away from God – he is not happy when we do. However, he always wants us to come back to him. More encouragement!
After lunch, there was some free time – it was really good to have time for fellowship and discussion with others. I find I learn so much.
There followed a choice of seminars. I went to one on the issue of Atheism. We watched 2 DVD clips, one featuring Ricky Gervais, the other Stephen Fry. They were both arguing that there is no God. What amazed me was how flimsy their arguments were. Much of what was said was simply bluster, no attempt at reasoned argument. We need to be aware of what people like that are saying.
The next session was taken by Brian Edwards, more on leadership here. In this case how important integrity and purity are. It was very practical – Brian gave some good, practical tips on how to avoid putting yourself in the position of a possible fall. A question and answer session with Phil, Dafydd and Brian was added after the evening meal, which dealt with that and other issues.
A very encouraging (I don’t know how many times I have used that word!) second day. I was looking forward to Day 3.
And I was not disappointed. A shorter day (the conference was over at lunch time), but with two superb morning sessions. Firstly Brian spoke on 1 Corinthians 15 v 58, the importance of keeping going, staying true to what we believe as “your labour is not in vain in the Lord.” That was very much needed to send us all out into ministry.
The second session, once again, saw Phil take us to Revelation, this time chapters 4 and 5 – the focus being upon the Lord Jesus Christ. He spoke with clarity and passion of how the view of Christ on his throne is to be our motivation to continue. What a great way to end the conference!
Overall, it was SO great to be there. In filling in the feedback form at the end, I was unable to think of anything to put into the “How could it be improved” section. The ministry, fellowship, food, resources were all excellent. For me personally it confirmed that God has been at work in my life giving me a passion to preach his Word. Although I don’t yet know what that will look like, there is no doubt in my mind that he is calling me to that.
Wednesday afternoon and Thursday morning were spent sightseeing with my extremely generous brother in Law, Ed in beautiful North Wales. Then was the ferry back: I arrived home safely last night. A great few days away, but lovely to be back with my Darling Annmarie. We are praying for God’s continued leading for our lives.