Northwoods… will always have a special place in my heart. Not only is the beauty of the place unparraled, but it has been a place that has been dedicated to the Lord and consecrated for His purposes. I have seen countless lives changed there…including my own. So I guess it is kind of natural that it means so much to me and to others. It is a place of remembrance.
The Lord opened the door for me to be able to attend our annual conference and then to stay on for an additional event…the Journey to the Heart Reunion. The staff retreat was encouraging, but the reunion was even more stirring to my heart.
I had never heard of Eric Ludy until the Journey Reunion brochure came out. I really didn’t know what to expect but was overwhelmed and thoroughly challenged when it was all said and done! I had the privilege of picking Eric up from the airport and then dropping him off at the end of the conference. Seeing as a one-way trip to the airport was two hours, I was blessed to listen to Eric’s heart and then in turn share my heart with him. I walked away from this conference with a new understanding of where I am positionally as a Christian. I am IN Christ. When God sees me, He sees His Son! I recognized that I have a tendency to subconsciously rely upon my righteousness as a means of gaining favor with God. To a degree, this is true. God is pleased when I am doing what is right. However, His LOVE does not change when I fail Him! I have subtly believed the lie that God’s love for me is conditional! I “knew” that God loved me…but when I would fail as a Christian, there would often be a huge sense of condemnation that seemed overwhelming. It was very hard for me to believe that God still loved me. Yes, it is important that our conscious condemn us and draw is to repentance. However, in my heart and life, I would often battle with a sense of condemnation. I recognize that my relationship with Jesus Christ in my mind, was based more on performance than on genuine love. I now know that I am IN Christ! When Jesus died for my sins, He died for ALL my sin!
I am thrilled with the opportunity to go back on a Journey this week with my brother and 9 other guys. Anticipation is building in my heart and I am so pumped about spending a week with the Lord. Pray for us! I look forward to sharing with you what God will do in Hearts and Lives this weekend. =)