And now this from Lori Prehar – reporting to us from the Women of Faith Conference in San Antonio, TX:
I’m here at the AT&T center in San Antonio, Texas at the 2013 Women of Faith “Believe that God Can Do Anything” conference.
I must say, this place is buzzing with an energy that cliché or not, is simply contagious. There’s an all-star line up of entertaining, Bible lovin’ gals. The hilarious Anita Renfroe, Proverbs 31’s fearless leader, Lisa TerKeurst, “OWSOME” Aussie, Christine Caine, the lively Sheryl Brady and musical talent, Natalie Grant.
Thousands upon thousands of sisters in Christ are gathered together to be encouraged and refreshed by spending a day and a half together worshipping the One True God and His only begotten Son. Some are sporting matching t-shirts advertising favorite scripture verses or their church home, others are wearing halos, or flaunting feather boas but all are wearing a smile that only God Himself could have artfully placed on their faces. The amount of pure faith I’m in the presence of is so astounding, the walls are buckling trying to contain it. These women do indeed believe that God can do anything.
Some braves fellas took me by surprise and stepped on stage, too. Musical group Mercy Me rocked the house and San Antonio’s Pastor Rick Godwin gave an inspiring address. My favorite point of Rick’s message was his analogy of Bonaza’s Big Hoss and Little Joe (paralleling us with being Little Joe that seems to get in over his head and God being Hoss coming to many a rescue). He asked, “How would you behave if you knew Big Hoss was assigned to protect and look after you? Bless his heart, Big ole Hoss is dead. Big Hoss was just a man. But for some silly reason, we would have felt safer and behaved bolder if he was with us all the time when he was alive and well.” And then on his perfectly baited hook, he caught us: “How come for many of us, we act like our God is so itty bitty? We know GOD IS MIGHTY, He will never die and He is always with us, in fact protecting and looking after us all day every day. He is WAY bigger than Hoss – you just have to stop shrinking Him to itty bitty.”
The most remarkable part of this Holy phenomenon I’m witnessing is freedom. It’s more than a warm and fuzzy emotion, more than a positive mental attitude or healthy self-talk. It’s so much more powerful than any fear I’ve ever personally experienced. It’s an identity that some poor miserable sinner was smart enough to ask for, and then live as though they possess. The one sister that has caught everyone’s attention here, appears to have her advanced degree in livin’ free – Kari Jobe. I’m told this sweet, beautiful, young vocal superstar actually made the angels in heaven jump up and cheer earlier. If you don’t know her, I urge you to go find out about her. She seems to intuitively “get” something that I am certain some will go their entire lost or found lives, not getting:
We are SO, SO, SO loved.
It’s hard to pick a favorite of her songs. But “He Loves Us” breaks our chains and reminds us no matter how battered we may feel in this world, we are adored by Our Father in Heaven in a way our minds simply can’t grasp. And that’s not some sweet ending to a child’s storybook, it’s more real than anything else we will experience this side of Heaven. He is our portion, and our prize, and He is enough!!!
Despite the joy and freedom I observed for many, many more women’s eyes communicated something that’s undeniable: they know they need a Savior. For me it’s a sight for sore eyes, both literally and figuratively. And that’s how I want to wrap up this report.
When we look at the word TrusT, do you see a cross on each end? This event reinforced that for me in a powerful way. Do you TrusT God can do anything? We must pour out our TrusT to God. TrusT that He can use you whether you’re qualified or not, He can inspire others through showing Himself through you, He can heal others when you share your stories. Be brave and TrusT Him. He knows your pain and your walk intimately. TrusT Him with the pettiest detail to those monstrous battles you find yourselves in. The Bible is clear – that’s how He wants it. We as His chosen people have to live to demonstrate we know Him and TrusT He has it all worked out. He worked out everything of any significance on a cross over 2000 years ago. All He asks is to TrusT Him. Mercy Me’s Bart Millard said if we don’t live free from the shackles of sin, satan and death, it’s like the payment at the cross was not enough.
Our God is MIGHTY, not itty bitty.
Lori Prehar, reporting live from a weekend well spent.