Friday, October 5, 2012

anticipating a God-saturated weekend!

October morning in Valrico
It’s a beautiful morning here in the Tampa area. I have a busy day scheduled and a full weekend ahead, but there is an air of peace and purpose that undergirds everything. I am confident the next 48-hours will be awesome.
After several more hours of prep work this morning, I’m heading deep into Central Florida to the “Life Enrichment” conference center on Lake Griffin in Fruitland Park, just north of Leesburg.
I’m scheduled to be the keynote speaker at the United Methodist Men’s conference, with a couple of hundred men from all over the state. I did this in 2011 as a last-minute stand in and – go figure – they asked me back!
At the Life Enrichment Center in 2011
TRANSFORMATION: This evening, to kick things off, I’ll be talking about “Transformational Faith.” I plan to share four specific experiences from 2012 (so far) that have moved my experience of God out of the “run-of-the-mill” and into the realm of “WOW!”
My fundamental question for the guys this weekend is fairly straightforward, and it’s something we talk about in my Wednesday evening Men’s Room all the time. “If I asked you to share a ‘God-moment’ with the group this evening, could you come up with something that happened within the past couple of days?”
Then, when it’s time to go home, I rephrase the idea as a kind of benediction. “Live your faith in Christ, this week, in such a way that you’ll have a story to share next time we get together.”
Here’s the thing. God’s invitation – every day – is to live like we mean it, because God certainly meant it when he made us. If we spend time in prayer several times each day, and if we read the scriptures on a daily basis, then God will be our constant companion. Just realizing that fact will give us something to talk about next time we meet.
WHY JUST FOUR? Looking back through my blog postings, I realize I could limit myself to the past two weeks and come up with enough useable material for this evening’s 45-minute talk.
But, instead, I carefully sifted through the year and picked out the following four specific experiences because – hopefully – they will communicate a balanced word or encouragement, and also give some insight into my life and journey. Here they are:
  • The morning ascent of Mount Sinai.
  • Walking with my brother, Geoff, through the last days of his life.
  • The Disciples of Christ men’s gathering in West Virginia
  • Rebekah’s hand surgery (“I have engraved you into the palm of my hand,” says the Lord)
You know what? I’m already looking forward to the new God-moments I’ll be able to share after this weekend. It’s going to be full with grace and blessing - DEREK
I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:12-13)

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