03 October 2011

Definitely “Over the Top”

“Let your roots grow down into him and draw up nourishment
from him, so you will grow in faith” - Colossians 2:7

Yesterday I spent most of the afternoon trying to focus on putting together the words that I wanted to share about my two days at the Women of Faith  Conference (held here in Denver, 9/29 & 9/30/11).

I M P O S S I B L E ! * ?    After lots of prayers and scrunched up papers ... here it goes ...

The conference was everything I expected it to be, and so much MORE... it was definitely “Over the Top.” The entire event was centered around the scripture verse found in Romans 11:33 (MSG), “ Have you ever come on anything quite like this extravagant generosity of God...?”   How fitting for such an event!  Through an outrageous, passionate, and power team of speakers and singers, thousands of women got to experience God’s amazing, extravagant, and generous love.

The only way I can express what the Women of Faith event was like, is by saying that we encountered the words of Eccelsiastes 3 all in the span of 48 hours. There was a time to pray (Lori Robertson), a time for worship (WOF worship team), and a time to laugh (Patsy Clairmont). There were stories that told about a time to weep (Andy Andrews), and a time to mourn (Brenda Warner). There was a time for outreach (World Vision), and a time for praise (Mandisa) - and that was just the first day.

Saturday gave us a time for friendship (Lisa Whelchel), a time of humor and hope for healing (Patsy Clairmont), a time to embrace (Karen Kingsbury), a time to sing and reminisce (Amy Grant), a time for sharing life changing stories (Sandi Patty), and a time for biblical teaching (Marilyn Meberg). Woven throughout the event were several dramatic performances which reflected moments in our lives when we might face a time to search, a time to keep, and a time to throw-away (Katharine Everett). There was also a time for fellowship, a time for eating, a time for dancing and hula-hopping (not sure where they all fit in to God’s word), but they certainly fit in to His plan for time filled with “extravagant generosity.” There is a time for everything ... and our God most definitely showed-off in all His glory, through the Women of Faith team.

Here are just a few of the many words that touched my heart. Bear in mind that these came from my notes that were written in the dark arena (hope they’re an accurate representation of what the speaker was saying):

Patsy Clairmont
• Be selective in your purpose for the hours of your day.
• When you embrace the truth about yourself, change can happen.
• My faith has to be more than words that I speak.
• Sometimes we get so good at making excuses, we begin to believe them ourselves.
• Those I’ve known with the deepest well have suffered the deepest hurts.
• Sarcasm is anger gone underground and came up in a clown suit.

Andy Andrews
• We need to have perspective, more than answers.
• Learn God’s principles, it’s easier than going to Google when a question comes up.
• Fear is the misuse of the creative imagination that God has given to us.
• Every great thing that happens comes from how you act when “life isn’t fair.”
• Shouldn’t we be as concerned about the people we hang out with, as we are for our children’s friends.
• The proof of hope is that you are still breathing.

Brenda Warner
• Our circumstances don’t determine who we are, He does.

Lisa Whelchel
• A real friend doesn’t pull away when you’re imperfect, she draws closer.
• Pay attention to how someone is talking to you about others. That is probably how she is talking to others about you.

Karen Kingsbury
• Life is not a dress rehearsal. We have one chance to write (live) the story of our life.
• Without Jesus being the hero in our story, we have much to fear.

Sandi Patty
• God said “yes” to a dream I couldn’t see yet.
• Don’t say you want to “lose” weight. Lose means you want to find it again. Use the term “release.”

Marilyn Meberg
• We have a constant craving. We always want more than we don’t have.

Suggested Reading:
Stained Glass Hearts, by Patsy Clairmont
The Travelers Gift, by Andy Andrews
The Final Summit, by Andy Andrews
Tell Me Everything, by Marilyn Meberg
The Edge of the Diving, by Sandi Patty
Friendship for Grown-Ups, by Lisa Whelchel
One Call Away, by Brenda Warner
Let Me Hold You Longer, by Karen Kingsbury

Suggested Music:
Rejoice CD, Women of Faith Worship
What If We Were Real CD, Mandisa
The Edge of the Divine CD, Sandi Patty
Somewhere Down the Road CD, Amy Grant

The Bible tells us “Where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them" (Matthew 18:20, NIV), and God was definitely present at the Pepsi Center on Friday and Saturday night. It’s very easy to get swept up in the excitement of an event like Women of Faith. The challenge began once we left the arena. We walked back through our front doors, only to find the same busy schedules, jobs, and daily trials waiting for us. But we now have new tools; a renewed spirit, helpful teachings and encouraging words, to help us face each day. We also know that our God is an “over the top” God and He wants a relationship with us like no other. What more could we ask for?

Many of you participated in the event, and I pray that you will continue to experience God’s “over the top” love for you! Those of you who didn’t share the experience - I pray that someday you might have the opportunity, but in the meantime, I hope that my words have generated interest in the books and CD’s which will offer you a “taste” of the same extravagant generosity of God.

There is a peace that is found in resting in His presence. May you find time this week to “Taste and see that the Lord is good...” (Psalm 34:8, NIV).

Blessings and God’s Peace, Donna Weaver


Robbie Iobst said...

Donna, you summed the weekend up wonderfully! :0) I'm still processing all I heard and probably will for some time. Thanks for the quotes, too. And I just have to add that seeing you was a highlight for me. Bless you friend! :0)

Donna Weaver said...

Robbie... Thanks for your comments! The weekend was amazing and hard to sum up in just a few words, but glad you enjoyed my post. I've saved a few "gems" for future posts:)

Loved having time to visit with you. You always inspire me!

God's Peace always