Thursday, March 31, 2011

Woman's Conference in Review

I know I am a little late getting this posted, but oh well, here I go. Last Saturday I was invited by Eileen (my mother in law) to go to the women's conference at her church. Since I am all about encouragement these days, I felt that it couldn't have fallen at a better time. I definitely wanted to go and have been so blessed that I did. I learned so much during those 6 hours. The speaker, Dr. Judih K TenElshof, was phenomenal, despite the fact that she is a professor at Talbot School of Theology at Biola University. I mean, everything about her talk was SO great. The topic of the conference was By Design, with an emphasis on Psalm 86:11 "Teach me your way, O Lord, and I will walk in your truth; give me an Undivided Heart, that I may fear your name." She spoke on 3 women of the Bible: Eve, Ruth, and Sampson's mother, going into explicit detail of their lives. She started off with the question, that was carried throughout the day, "How can we be women of God who impact the kingdom of God?" She first explained the life of Eve.

  1. The serpent, a beautiful creature, made her feel important. This made her forget that God and Adam were present. She longed for independence, which most women do. She was misconceived that she could do it on her own.

  2. She was lured by position, that they would look up to her if she ate of the apple.

  3. She was caught up in knowledge. If knowledge only goes to your head and not to your heart, what good does that do? There's a drive of eveil in us and God's spirit teaches us what's in our hearts.

  4. She was tempted by envy- to know what God wanted. Envy turns into bitterness, which runs deep in our heart, which eventually causes our heart to harden.

  5. She was tempted with permission, which says it's ok to practice sin.

  6. Ulimately, a lie is what deceived her. The lie grew into more lies, and we have followed that lie in our own lives. How does satin use a lite to destruct our own life: by saying that it is a lie to submit to our husband. However, Jesus is our husband 1st; He will give us the love we need. When we are close to God we can submit with love to our husband. God should be out source of love that never runs out. God is the only one that can fill the emptiness of love in our heart.

Secondly, she went over the life of Ruth (Chapters 1 & 2) in extensive detail. She explained that Ruth did not embrace her commitments without adversity. God made us in His image and it was completely relational. God made families, specifically parents, to awaken their child's relation to the world and God.

Lies that are in our heart, but also in the heart of Naomi (who felt alone because her husband died and left alone in a place she is unfamiliar with):

  1. God will not provide-there was no community support for Naomi

  2. Is God really good?- there is famine in the land

  3. Am I worthy of God's love?

The situation for Naomi left her lost in touch with the truth that God left with her. She became bitter, however, God can change the evil in our lives for the good. Ruth made a strong commitment to Naomi in Ruth 1:16-18, to stay with her and to not leave and go back to her home-land.

16 But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. 17 Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the LORD deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me.” 18 When Naomi realized that Ruth was determined to go with her, she stopped urging her.

The secure relationship she had with Naomi bound them together. They interdepended on each other, and Ruth received much from Naomi, as much as Naomi received from Ruth. This shows how God uses people to fill the relationship voids we have. Ruth and Naomi were able to repair the difficulty in their relationship, through verse 18. Despite the fact that Ruth came from a different land, she humbled herself through her commitment to stay and live with Naomi. She humbled herself to work in the fields. She expected nothing, which really captures the humility she embraced. Through all of this, Ruth had the ability to trust; she trusted the environment from Naomi. She also portrayed courage, too, because she trusted. You find courage through the people that believe in you. Ruth's faithfulness to God came through Naomi.

She then preceded to go through 6 messages of truth to us from God (through Ruth's life):

  1. "I believe in you, because I created you" This should inspire us to get to know God as much as He knows us.

  2. "I trust in you" He trusts us with the earth and the environment. He trust His work on us. Are we letting Him do His work? If not, we aren't trusting His plan for us.

  3. "I know you can handle life's situations" Are we handling them on our own?

  4. "You are listened to" No matter what we bring to Him, He listens. He cares for us in the midst of it. He's big enough to hear our anger. He hears when we lie to ourself or tell the truth, so why are we afraid to talk to Him (Because telling it to God makes it real. We are only lying to ourselves by keeping it from Him. We are afraid to be what we are)?

  5. "We are cared for by Him" He will give us what we need" Sometimes what we need is absence from Him. He tells us we are ready to have faith. Faith is walking in darkness and believing He is still there.

  6. "You are important to me" He gave us gifts that He didn't give to anyone else; we are His workmanship.

I loved her analogy that faith is like a tandum bike ride: if Jesus is in the front seat, the ride is less predictable. We need to trust him, to just pedal and shut up. However, if we are in the front seat, we are leading. Although this is more predictable and safe, we are the one's leading and Jesus is not.

Lastly, she went over the faithful calling of Sampson's mother (my personal favorite!) from Judges 13 (I encourage you to read the chapter-great stuff!!). She began this section by saying that man needs woman. Why did the angel appear to a woman- because she would believe. Women tend to believe in their experiences beyond men. Men= thoughts connected to action. Women = thoughts connected to feelings. God created us different. We need to be excited for who God has created us to be. Woman is called to be mans help-mate, however, we both are made for the same purpose-- to reflect God's image. God loves us as much as he loves His son Jesus. Man and woman should be mutually dependent for each other and have a desire to know each other and be vulnerable to be known. We need each other and relationship. However, women need to be careful that they do not overcome men, but to come alongside them. Sampson's mom was firm in what she heard in her experience. She was unshaken in her commitment to the Angel of the Lord. She was faithful to be a help-mate--she did not give up on him.

I learned so much from her talk, not only for me as a woman, to be faithful and obedient to his calling on my life, but as a wife to Adam, and our life together, too. I am so glad that I am learning some solid material on how to be a better wife to Adam, while he is away, so that our marriage can be stronger when he returns. Glad that the conference came at the right time for me, spiritually, too.

I hope that you all enjoyed the notes I took from the lecture, because I thoroughly enjoyed it :D

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