On November 4th and 5th I had the privilege of attending the Women of Faith conference in Kansas City, MO entitled "Over The Top." What a joy and blessing it was! We were laughing one moment and crying the next.
Unfortunately the speaking schedule had to be changed due to Marilyn Meberg being under the weather. We missed you Marilyn and hope and pray you are feeling better. I have to say your cohorts regrouped nicely and schedules were adjusted.
What a blessing this weekend was from Friday morning through Saturday afternoon it was awesome! The Worship Team consisted of Kara Tualatai, Hope Darst, Michelle Swift and Jovaun Woods. They started us off with praise songs and continued various times throughout the conference. There is something about 6000 women lifting their voices and hearts to God. He was there, you could feel his spirit all around us. On the choruses they would hold the microphone towards the audience so we could be heard. The only way I can describe it is that is how I imagine the angels singing in Heaven sounds. It was beautiful. We were singing praise songs to Jesus but the song that kept going through my head was There's a sweet sweet spirit in this place and I know that it's the spirit of the Lord... as I wiped tears and recovered from cold chills. What a blessing!
Patsy Clairmont was our first speaker. What can I say about Patsy, she can have you laughing one minute and wiping tears the next. Patsy shared her life with us ups and downs.
There are 3 things we need to do every morning: 1) We need to say Yes to God. He has an adventure waiting for us, whatever the day might bring, we need to remember He is with us. 2) We need to Thank God, for all He has done for us and for all he is going to do. 3) We need to be able to say No sometimes, not no to God but no to the people around us who tries to pull us from God's agenda. We need to learn to have a Heart Attitude of Grattitude. We need to remember behavior is louder than what we say! Sometimes we just need to shut up in Jesus' name. We all have stained glass hearts, they have been broken and devastated at times, but when we let God shine through it is beautiful, like a masterpiece.
Andy Andrews thought he was special by being the only male speaker but believe me that is not what made him special. What a man of God! He is a wonderful motivational speaker.
We need to invest in ourselves, we control the input, what we watch, what we listen to, where we go are a vew examples. We need to live our life purposefully. Our purpose is not yet fulfilled, the best is yet to come. As long as we are still breathing that is proof of Hope. We need to remember that everything we do matters but so does everything we don't do. God gave the birds worms to eat but He did not put them in their nest. Instead of sitting back and letting life pass us by we need to find our passion. Perspective is more important than answers, where is our perspective? One of Andy's secrets he shares is you need to always smile while you are talking, this will make a difference in the way people see you.
Lisa Whelchel was a well known figure in our household. I don't think we missed an episode of Facts of Life where she played Blair. Lisa grew up on the set of Facts of Life, that is why she realized when that part of her life was over she did not really have any friends and she wanted so bad to have friends.
Lisa had several important points: 1) To have a friend you have to be one. Do not place expectations on people, just accept what they have. 2) Find a friend who has it all together - then run. If you feel they tend to be perfect they are going to expect you to be perfect too. 3) An imperfect person can turn into the perfect friend. 4) A real friend listens hears and recieves you - they don't try to fix you. We need to remember God sees us, hears us and still draws closer when we mess up if we let Him.
Brenda Warner has a wonderful testimony of God's love and how He has always been there through times of testing and tragedy.
At 18 Brenda was serving as a US Marine Semper Fi. She is married to Kurt Warner who is a retired NFL superstar. Her life has taken her down many roads of sorrow and loss. She has faced many challenges and continues with God by her side. She pointed out that our circumstances to not determine who we are. We have the choice of what we do with those circumstances, how we face them. At times we are faced with choices we have to make; do we wallow in self pity or do we worship God no matter what? Brenda is a wonderful courageous speaker!
Deborah Joy Winans (neice of CeCe) was on the Drama Team. She did a wonderful job and had us laughing and then wiping tears the next moment. She is an extremely talented lady! And we were so excited she announced her engagement to the Women of Faith team on Friday. Congratulations Deborah!
Sandi Patty also shared her lifestory and worshipped with us in song. She is such a talented beautiful lady inside and out.
Mandesa is a talented young lady also. She was a finalist on American Idol and has come a long way since singing in her bathroom using her curling iron for a microphone. She mentioned that she can see the work God is doing in her heart and you can tell by her singing. Wow! You can hear Stronger from her album What if We Were Real here.
Amy Grant one of my all time favorite singers during the time I was a youth leader at our church put on a fabulous concert. She is such a special lady and so down to earth! You can listen to Better Than a Hallelujah from her CD entitled Somewhere Down The Road here. This is one of my favorite songs.
And of course we have to mention Anna Trent, she was our announcer and by the way just happens to be Sandi Patty's daughter. She did a wonderful job! Yeah Anna!
We received an added blessing by meeting Lynda Randle. She is a sweetheart and such a woman of God. She is a wonderful singer and has appeared on several of the Gaither Homecoming Videos. We were so excited to have our picture made with her.
What a weekend! If you ever get a chance to attend a Women of Faith Conference do not let the chance pass you by, grab it! All of you people behind the scenes did a wonderful job getting this together! You are awesome!
I would like to personally thank Book Sneeze a division of Thomas Nelson Publishing for this opportunity. I review books for Book Sneeze and had the opportunity to enter my name in for 2 free tickets. The only stipulation was to review the conference on my blog which is an honor! You guys rock!
Here is a slideshow of the pictures I took. Hope you enjoy them.
until next time... nel