Sunday, October 23, 2011

Women of Faith 2011 - San Antonio Texas

This past weekend I had the privilege of attending the Women of Faith conference in San Antonio Texas with a group of women from my area. The music and speakers were top notch and included Amy Grant, Sandi Patty, Lisa Welchel, ( or Blair from Facts of Life) and one of my favorite new singers, Mandisa!  It was my first time to ever attend this conference and I have included here some of the things I learned this past weekend. 

Patsy Clairmont is a recovering agoraphobic and through her humor she provides hope for healing as she shares from her own struggles.

Patsy shared three things we need to learn to say everyday:

Yes – to God and His plan for our lives.
Thank You – to God for everything He provides.
No – to anything that distracts our attention from His purpose.

Life is messy.
People are textured.
God is mysterious.

God designed us to be connected one to another.

Sarcasm is anger which has gone underground and comes up as a clown.

God calls me not to sit as a spectator on my own life.

We can’t afford to not have boundaries on our emotions.  No one needs to hear everything you think is on your mind.  Whining to get what we want or using silence is a learned behavior.  We need to put away childish things and grow up.

Fear hangs out with 3 friends – Anger, Shame and Guilt.

God has designed us with a WILL that is stronger than our EMOTIONS. 

Recognize the power of words when they are placed.  Be an encourager!  Splash joy, and hope, and confidence on others.

Andy Andrews is an internationally known  speaker and author of The Traveler’s Gift, The Final Summit, and The Noticer.  His works have sold millions of copies worldwide.  Both of his parents died when he was 19 and he found himself literally homeless, sleeping under a pier or in someone’s garage.  Then he asked the question that would ultimately affect millions of people. “Is life just a lottery ticket, or are there choices one can make to direct his future?”

In his story about The Butterfly Effect he shares how you can live a life of permanent purpose which begins when you know that everything matters.  Every action matters.  There are generations yet unborn whose very lives will be shifted and shaped by the moves we make and the actions we take today.  And tomorrow,  …. and the next day. 

Some of the ideas that spoke to me through Andy were :

I have been created in order that I might make a difference.

When we invest in ourselves we control the outcome.

Perspective brings calm.

Smarter people in our society have a greater problem with fear.  Smart people get disabled by fear.  Fear is a misuse of the creative imagination that God put in you.  We imagine our way to self-destruction. 

Every GOOD thing that happens in your life happens not because of how you FEEL but because of how you ACT.  Every GREAT things will happen because of how you act when life is not fair.

Andy compared people’s needs to canaries, goldfish, puppies, and kitty cats.  Canary people need quality time. Goldfish need a clean bowl.  Puppies need praise (You’re such a GOOD BOY !!).  Kitty cats need touch.

Brenda Warner  surprised us with her "talent" by doing the splits on stage !!!  She also shared her story of how her child was dropped in the tub at the age of 4 mos. by her husband who later abandoned her for another woman.  Brenda was serving our country as a US Marine and was married with 2 children when she became the victim of infidelity and divorce at the age of 24. She found herself living in a Section 8 apartment on food stamps as a single mom trying to balance nursing school and the challenges of a special needs child.  She lost her parents in a natural disaster at the age of 28.  She has learned the blessings and pressures of fame and fortune being married to an NFL superstar by the age of 30.  Her husband Kurt and their SEVEN children live in Arizona. 

The one concept that Brenda shared that really spoke to me was the idea that you cannot allow your past to define who you are today and it’s never too late to become who you might have been. 

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