At Trinity when we get a new staff member, we often tell them that working with us is like "drinking from a firehose." Ministry is coming at you so fast and furiously that you can't take it all in. Today has been like drinking from a firehose for me.
We started with amazing worship again this morning. Michael O'Brian is leading us in worship music. He used to be with New Song. He is doing a great job. Let me just tell you that there is nothing like hearing over 700 women singing. It is an amazing sound. Just think about angels.
Lysa TerKeurst spoke at the opening session and she was also the speaker for my first breakout session. She is such a great speaker and so warm and funny and she seems like someone with whom you could be friends. She used a scripture from 2 Samuel 20 and talked about how we should each want to be remembered as One Wise Woman. Later in the day, a young woman in my speaker's group who heard me say that I have taught sunday school for 20 years said, "you must be one of those "one wise women." Brought tears to my eyes because I certainly never think of myself in that way. I was so humbled. Lysa said one thing that has brought me to my knees. She said that we have to hold our ministries with open hands. Our identities can never get caught up in our ministries. God has some work to do on me. She told us that when our identities become entangled with our ministries is how we become insecure. I can see it as plain as the nose on my face . . .NOW. She closed with these words, "may we leave our mark as one wise woman."
The first break-out session was "The Power of a Story." She had some excellent points and I made great notes. Here she is a professional speaker and she told a funny story about a booger! (of course, that is not what I remember most - I'm just so tired that I was sitting here in my bed laughing about it right now!) I also have a note written in my margin that Clinical Secret works because she was talking about sweating. I sweat like a PIG when I teach or speak and that made me feel so much better that she even said something about it! I learned a lot, didn't I? Seriously . . .I learned so very much.
The food at the conference center/hotel has been amazing today. They have served us buffet style and they are serving over 700 people in a very timely manner and they are serving good food. Dinner was a choice of flank steak or salmon with quinoa and potatoes and gorgeous salad and green beans and lots of other choices and the most beautiful choices for dessert - from bread pudding and whisky sauce to cheesecake!
Another session I attended today was tricks to use while speaking - eyes, voice, hands, posture, connectors. The guy that taught that class has taught that same class for major corporations and he was really good. We had to role play and I hate role playing but it was ok. I felt pretty foolish but I lived through it. He said, "after you finish speaking, you should be sweating! It is work!" That means two people have confirmed that my sweating on Sunday is ok. I'm beginning to feel better about that!!!
Luann Prater did a session on prayer this afternoon and I am so glad I went to that one. I had to go to my speaker coaching group and I was late to the prayer session and thought about not going into the room . . . because I was late. I am SO GLAD I slipped into the back of the room. She said, "when I am having a pity party, Lord, remind me that I am not in competition with anyone else." She also said, "god wants to do something fabulous through me." She had all of us - there were maybe 60 or so of us in the room - hold hands at the end of the session and she prayed a very powerful prayer over all of us.
Now those of you who know me, know that I am a rule follower. Tonight . ..I broke a rule. I had signed up for one class . . .and I went to another one. I am so glad I did. I never do that kind of thing. Ever. I went to hear the session on "your most important message" which was about how every time we speak (teach) our most important message is to share about Jesus. Feel good stuff ain't gonna get it according to the two ladies that taught the class. They reminded me a little of my baptist upbringing. . . which is not all bad. One of the ladies shared her story of how she was raped right after she graduated from college and how her life was changed . . .and then how God worked through all that muck.
After dinner (I told you it was a full day - drinking from a fire house!! . . .I know this is a lot of words and this post is mostly for my benefit but if you are hanging with me, I am thrilled!!), we were privileged to have Michael O'Brian lead us in more worship music. Then Michael Hyatt, a New York Times Best Selling Author and Speaker spoke to us. It was excellent. He talked to us about building our platform and building our tribe. It was so interesting. I feel so knowledgeable!!!
So . . .yes, I drank from the firehose today. I hung with my two new friends some more. One of my new friends met with a publisher and her book is going to get published. She is an amazing illustrator. I've never seen artwork like hers. I want to buy her book.
More importantly, yes . . .I heard God speak . . .several times today. He spoke directly to me a few times today.
Tomorrow is the big day. My speaker coaching group will be meeting from 2:45 until dinner and we will each make our five minute presentation and then be critiqued. If anyone out there is reading this, I sure would appreciate some prayers. I feel like a small fish in a mighty big pond BUT I do know that God has called me to teach and to facilitate. I do know that he is giving me tools in order to grow. I do know that I am NOT in competition with these ladies (even though I have a competitive spirit and want to win . . .and there is no winning!! - not really - but sort of - you know what I mean? I know that makes no sense - I just reread it). I do want to bring glory to God. I do. God's love is so wide and so long and so high and so deep.
I need to get some sleep. I am tired. it was a good day. I've been drinking from the firehose. I heard God speak. Lord, your servant is still listening.