Thursday, September 16, 2010

brought low and raised high at the Belgrave Heights Women's Convention

I didn't expect much from the Belgrave Heights Women's Convention. This, by the way, is a confession. It's good to be discerning, but arrogant to think I have nothing to learn from Christians who may be from a different background to me. Not having heard of Jenny Salt or Lisa Watson, I wasn't sure what to expect.

I spent the first song repenting. Singing of God's greatness, and repenting of my pride. For God is so much bigger than me and my small patch of the world. Creator, Ruler, Saviour, he works in places I've never heard of, through people I don't know, in ways unfamiliar to me. Pride, of all sins, is the most abhorrent to him, and I felt dirty, ugly and ashamed.

The rest of the day I sat at Jesus' feet. Jenny and Lisa spoke on the gospels of Matthew and John, inviting us to join the crowds around Jesus as he touched and healed a leper, forgave a paraplegic, cast out demons, raised the dead, and preached the good news of the kingdom, as the blessings of the cross worked backwards and forwards to a day when there will be no more mourning, sickness or death.

Reading the gospels is a perilous undertaking. Jesus doesn't fit into our comfortable categories. He offers forgiveness when we want healing; he welcomes cheats and confidence tricksters; he demands that we give up even our families to follow him. To spend a day with Jesus is terrifying and wonderful, overwhelming and captivating, confronting and comforting.

By the end of the day Jesus had taken me apart and put me back together again. A little less sure of myself, a little more sure of him. A little less overwhelmed by my sin, a little more overcome by his grace. A little less secure in myself, a little more secure in him. A little less fearful of losing myself, a little more willing to pay any cost as long as he is glorified.

It was great spending a day getting to know new friends and catching up with old friends. It was good, as always, to hear from some of you how my writing encourages you. But it was best to hear God's word taught by women who humbled me with their wisdom, faithfulness and love for their Saviour. At the end of the day, I found myself lining up to buy their talks so I could listen to them again.

I have - oh! - so very, very much to learn.

You can get hold of Jenny and Lisa's talks here.


Sarah said...

I heard Jenny speak at the Perth Women's Convention back in 2006 and was encouraged by what she shared from Numbers and Hebrews. I think she is coming again next year.

Jean said...

Yes, Jenny was great. I would be happy to listen to her any day! Good to hear she's going to Perth again.