Monday, October 4, 2010

Arise

Later this week, I will be attending a conference designed to equip and inspire the saints. I think this will be my first time at a big Christian conference thing. I’m rather excited for this one.

Previously, I’ve gone to architecture conferences and lectures, and a small but growing Christian apologetics conference.

Anyways, the church that is hosting the upcoming conference hosted a women’s service last month. It… was… an… experience. A good one, so I thought I would share some things. I think the overall message is good across the genders, but it was just delivered for a female audience.

I’ll share what happened as a gearing up for my going to the conference later.

First of all, the parking lot was pretty full. The front entrance was manned by men in tuxedos. They guided us inside where there were ropes and a red carpet! A few ladies dressed in gown and cocktail dresses were ready to make nametags as women poured inside. In the dining area was a chocolate fountain, with stations of treats for the dipping: pineapples, strawberries, sponge cake, cookies, etc.

Some women were dressed up and some were more casual. LeeLee and I were somewhere in between. Besides the gentlemen at the front door, the only other men were working A/V or in the worship band.

Otherwise, there were about 500 WOMEN. I have never been among something like that before. It was pretty cool to see! The only thing that I was kinda uncomfortable was that I felt a little out of place, like I didn’t know… what to do. All my life I’ve been used to being the or one of the only females among guys, so this service was a huge leap from being in a women’s small group with 4 other members last year!

The worship was awesome! The music was too loud for my taste; I like concerts, but for worship I like hearing the people sing out loud. The music was still wonderful. Ladies were dancing and waving their arms and just full out worshiping. I love seeing that!


The senior pastor’s wife gave the message. She started with a testimony, her testimony, of becoming a Christian and how the vision for this women’s service got its beginning. Awesome.

[Please forgive me if I butcher this message; it spoke to me and I tried taking good notes but I don’t always translate things well and don’t always get to noting everything. Also, when I take notes, I like to write as if the speaker was talking directly to me; you’ll see.]

She based the message on Isaiah 52:1-2 –
Awake, awake, O Zion,
clothe yourself with strength.
Put on your garments of splendor,
O Jerusalem, the holy city.
The uncircumcised and defiled
will not enter you again.
[2] Shake off your dust;
Rise up, sit enthroned, O Jerusalem.
Free yourself from the chains on your neck,
O captive Daughter of Zion.


The overall message was about a generation awaiting their release.

Point 1: God has released us [me] to arise to worship him.

She mentioned an upcoming release by Lisa Bevere that talks about a lioness. Another quote she referenced [I didn’t catch the name, it might have been Bevere but not sure] about “If ever the church needed to be dangerous and fully awake, it is now.”

She talked about worship as an area of release, being released to worship with our total being. To illustrate, she described how we’ll go [or have gone] out to a club and danced… to impress the guys. So, why not worship, don’t hold back, like we’re impressing God? She mentioned wearing deodorant, proper supportive undergarments and attire, anything that would promote full out worship like the group was doing earlier in the night. And just worship in dance and song and spirit for the Lord.

Point 2: Put on strength.

Strength that moves mountains. I can tap into this strength by tapping into the Holy Spirit, our source of strength. The flesh is weak. God is strong.

She posed the question to the audience of how come we don’t trust God? She used the idea of the traffic light. When we have a red light, we stop; a green light and we go. We trust that the system of the lights and people obeying them will keep us safe. Why don’t we trust God like that?

Then I wrote down something about “needing to believe before you read the Bible” and “Proverbs 31.” I admit, I don’t remember what this was regarding.

She said that her notes were kinda goofy because she has a point 2a and a 2b, which I was totally okay with because it worked together well. She said that [2b] we’re gonna put on the garment of salvation, but before we do that, [2a] we’re gonna take something else off. When we dress, in order to put something on, we have to take something off.

So, [2a] I’m gonna take off the things that is on me. I’m gonna take off oppression, self-doubt, selfishness, intimidation, fear. [Luke 9:1] Intimidation holds me back; boldness lunges forward [perhaps as a lioness would]. I’m gonna take off the junk so that I might release the Lion[ess] of Judah in me.

Now, [2b] I’m gonna put on the garment of salvation. [Is 61:10] I’m gonna put on righteousness, self-control, all the fruits of the spirit.

She talked about how what I wear can change my outlook, it can affect my attitude.

There’s also a [2c]: the enemy is not allowed to come back. I am among the redeemed [Is. 43: 18-19].

Point 3: Moving forward and letting go.

Stop mourning over who I was. Get over it. Shake off the dust.

I am the daughter of the King.

She talked about how they have a dog and she was worried about taking the dog off of its leash. Then someone told her that the dog has been trained to wear the leash; it will not run off. So she took off the leash, and her dog didn’t run off, as if it still had the leash on.

I’ve heard this concept in several different ways before. I remember someone talking about the gorilla in a cage at the zoo. The guy was told that the only reason that the gorilla is not attacking people is because it doesn’t know that the bars of the cage can’t hold him. In other words, the gorilla was strong enough to break out of the cage but didn’t because he’s gotten used to thinking that the bars keep him in.

The women’s speaker concluded with this: I have been set apart, redeemed, released.

She described a dream she had. She was riding on an eagle, but she kept looking back, and looking back, and looking back behind her. Then she realized that every time that she turned to look back, she was slowing the eagle down. [Psalms 142:7]

She said that she was afraid and worried about being the speaker that night, but each time she speaks, it’s going to get better.
____________________________

I don’t know what she meant about dancing in the club… kidding. Confession: I have been to clubs, somewhere in my former life, but I didn’t really dance. I’m not much of a dancer. I like that the speaker said what she did about full out worshiping; I’m just not much of a mover. I really enjoy hearing and watching others get into the music and dance, that brings me joy. Maybe someday I’ll get into it more but I won’t guarantee it.

So, I got stuff out of this speech ‘cuz I don’t usually take this many notes! AND remember this much. As to what I’m going to do with what I heard, I’ll leave that for another time. Time will eventually tell.