Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Orange Pt 2

Today we had a few really amazing sessions. The first was by Francis Chan and it was really inspiring and convicting. Here are some of the ideas he presented (and my responses):

  • What is it that I ALONE am called to do? (I'm still working this out, but I'm getting closer to it. More on this another time.)
  • Oswald Chambers had a quote: "Never make a principle out of your experience. Let God be as original with others as he has been with you." (This really hit me, not just as it refers to making principles out of MY experiences, but I noticed that I tend to make principles out of OTHERS' experiences as well. I need to remember that God will also be original with ME.)
  • He told the story of Dean Karnazes, who came home drunk after celebrating his 30th birthday and suddenly decided to run. (Cue Forrest Gump montage.) He finally stopped 30 miles away from home after having run ALL NIGHT LONG. He realized that maybe he had a gift. Now he is a very accomplished runner. The point is that he had no idea of the outcome when he decided to "just run". But that's exactly what he did. (Too often I get caught up in not doing things because I'm unsure of the outcome. I suspect this is true of many people.)
  • He talked about an encounter he had with a Jehovah's Witness. This person asked him what he thought of the JWs and his response was that he didn't like them very much because instead of allowing people to truly discover God for themselves by searching His word, they are feeding people what they want them to hear. But then he realized that this may also be true for most Christians. (I definitely think most of what I "know" of God has been fed to me by others and not self-fed.)
  • He asked a rather thought-provoking question. "If I ONLY ever had the Bible, what would I expect to see when I walked through the doors of a church for the first time?" (Hmm. Is that what we are presenting now?)
  • He told about having been invited to speak at a Korean prayer meeting that met at 5 AM in Anaheim, CA. His first thought was that it would probably just be a few folks kneeling for a little while, no big deal. But what he encountered was drastically different. They were doing this prayer meeting for 14 days straight and there were THOUSANDS of folks there every day, including babies, preschoolers, kids and teens. It was amazing to see the video of the event. These people were seriously committed. He said that if someone in that church wanted to serve in ANY capacity, including just passing out bullitens, they had to complete a 3-year discipleship training that included 10-15 hours of Bible training per week. Over 3,000 of them have already finished the training. (I wonder if we've set the bar so low that we in the modern American church have removed the need for any real commitment on the part of our members.)
  • What would it look like if we truly took the Bible literally? For instance, loving your neighbor AS YOURSELF. We all make sure we have enough food to eat, clothes to wear, housing to enjoy, etc. What if we made sure the same was true for the people around us? How would it change our family and church budgets? (Wow. Just....wow.)
  • Remarking on Hebrews 11 and Rahab specifically, he said that if it's true that without faith it's impossible to please God, what if the reverse is true? Maybe with faith it's impossible to DISplease God. (To God, the result isn't nearly as important as my dependence on Him as I make a sincere effort. Failure does not negate faith!)
  • Don't get paralyzed by the church. It's not an excuse to not try. No church leader will tell us NOT to follow Jesus with all we have. We may not be able to use the building for a prayer meeting at 5 AM, but we can certainly use our own home. (I'm glad I'm part of a church that is more likely than not to encourage doing whatever God is truly calling us to.)
I'm wiped out, otherwise I'd talk about the next session now. Maybe later this week.

3 comments:

TCS said...

thanks for the reports! Francis is a great speaker, I am sure he was a blessing to hear.

Kelly <>< Proverbs 3:5-8 said...

Amanda,
Your conference sounds like it was very encouraging !! The Lord has given you a "neat brain" -- I love to hear you think through His truths and look at His truth from various perspectives (carefully examining and looking for ways to make it "authentic" in your life !!) AWESOME !!! You spur me on!!

AMEN to the Oswald Chambers quote and your thoughts on it... ""
Oswald Chambers had a quote: "Never make a principle out of your experience. Let God be as original with others as he has been with you." (This really hit me, not just as it refers to making principles out of MY experiences, but I noticed that I tend to make principles out of OTHERS' experiences as well. I need to remember that God will also be original with ME.)""

WE MUST BE ABLE TO DISTINGUISH BE THAT WHICH THE LORD CLASSIFIES AS "SOUND DOCTRINE" -- (True 100% of the time, applicable to 100% of all true believers) AND THE OTHER CATEGORY OF "PERSONAL CONVICTIONS/COMMANDS" (things which the LORD has shown specifically for certain ones of His children to follow, but not necessarily ALL of His children to obey....) Example: Noah - Specific personal conviction = to build the ark -- He did this "by faith" -- But God does not desire ALL BELIEVERS to build arks..... An example of SOUND DOCTRINE = No believer should commit murder or adultery -- this is true 100% of the time for 100% of all believers..... GOOD STUFF!!! Isn't it is freeing when we can discern the difference between sound doctrine and personal convictions? We can then live to be the person God has designed for us to be condemnation free.....

I ALSO LOVED WHAT YOU WROTE ABOUT HOW WE CAN MORE CLEARLY SEE GOD'S HEART IF WE ERASE ALL OF OUR PRE-CONCEIVED NOTIONS --- Great illustration:
"What would it look like if we truly took the Bible literally? For instance, loving your neighbor AS YOURSELF. We all make sure we have enough food to eat, clothes to wear, housing to enjoy, etc. What if we made sure the same was true for the people around us? How would it change our family and church budgets? (Wow. Just....wow.)"

Amanda, God is revealing some BIG STUFF to you -- As we humbly seek His will (totally giving up our own will) He is able to reveal more and more and more -- Oh to be faithful in all He reveals !!! Show us Oh Lord how to personally APPLY this to our lives!! Not becoming a forget hearer but an effectual doer --> this man will be blessed in what he does!!(James 1:25)...

I am so excited for you and encouraged by you!!! Thank you for being such a blessing in my life!!! You are a doll !!!!

Love ya tons,
Kelly <><
"Create in me a clean heart, O God,
 And renew a steadfast spirit within me." Ps 51:10

Kelly <>< John 15:5 said...

Oooops !!

I just re-read my post and realized I left out your quote -- the GREAT illustration-- on how to remove our preconceived notions and look more clearly at God's heart....

Your quote: "If I ONLY ever had the Bible, what would I expect to see when I walked through the doors of a church for the first time?" (Hmm. Is that what we are presenting now?)"

LOVE THIS !!! GREAT TO PONDER!!!
Thanks for sharing this!!!