Over the turn of the New Year, Sarah and I attended a conference in Tennessee called “Rise Up” – it’s a conference connected with our church. We were so refreshed by the fellowship. We were able to spend time with many friends and “friends of friends.” We also appreciated the depth in the Bible teaching (one of the main reasons we went).
There was an additional Bible study time from about 9pm – 10pm each evening for the young people on Ephesians 6. I’m now convinced that I do not think about the armor of God enough – each piece has such a rich supply of meaning for us! (In the picture above, “spokesmen” from various teams were sharing insights they had received through the studying the passage together.)
Late on the last night, four of us began talking about witnessing. More and more kept joining our circle until it grew to this group of about twenty. Though we didn’t all know each other, there was a bond as we were all discussing how we can be better witnesses (and better followers) of Christ. We just sat around answering each other’s questions, and I was so encouraged by the good insights shared and the zeal for the Lord in the group!
Around 12:30 am, someone mentioned, “I think we are supposed to be out of the hotel ballroom by now,” so we ended with a special time of prayer. I think I will always remember that spontaneous late night discussion.
I just looked over my notes from the conference. Here are a few quotes I jotted down during the sessions. They probably aren’t word for word, but hopefully they’re pretty close.
“In Acts, every time they had a problem they had a prayer meeting.” -Mike Attwood
“There are 530 million north Americans that need to be reached with the gospel in the next generation.” -Scott Degroff
“Our own personal relationship with Jesus must remain top priority. If we have that, we will remain unshaken in our Christian life.” -Roy Hill
“We cannot be filled with the Spirit and filled with self at the same time.” -Scott Degroff
“If my wife treated me the way the bride of Christ in America is treating Jesus it would break my heart. I am jealous on His behalf; I want His bride to love Him!” -Scott Degroff
“The enemy of usefulness is pride.” -Mike Attwood
“One of the best ways to encourage someone is to remind them of what the Lord has already said. That’s what the Holy Spirit, the Comforter (or “Encourager”), does (John 14:26).” –Lynn DeGroff
“Ask yourself ‘Am I going to be happy to give account to Christ of this past year?’ You cannot live it over. It’s done. And you will give account for it.” -Scott Degroff
“The term ‘evil speaking’ (Eph. 4:31) means ‘speaking down about the people of God.’… Have you ever found that you thought more and talked more about Christians the way Satan [the accuser of the brethren] does instead of the way Christ [who is interceding for us] does and been convicted about that?” –Scott Degroff (Also see James 4:11)
“If you stumble, instantly confess it and come right back to that place of intimacy with the Lord.” – Scott Degroff
“Therefore we also have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. (2 Cor 5:9-10)