Jen, Ruby Kay, Kennedy and I have traveled to Ft. Worth, Texas for the Cru Red River Region’s annual Winter Conference. Here is a live feed to update you about what takes place at the conference.
Update 1/5 7:00 PM Conference Recap
Days three and four were busy for the Seiler family. Here is a quick rundown of the activities.
Day three started with Carrie Louer talking about how the Holy Spirit allows us to do things that are uncomfortable for us. This was a great talk leading into our outreach session. 1,000 students headed to the Oak Cliff neighborhood of South Dallas to evangelize. Connor, an OSU student was able to share the gospel with a teenage girl, who excitingly prayed to trust Christ. He was able to plug her and her younger sister into a church that we partnered with. That night ended with Dr. James White speaking about how the Holy Spirit gives us access to the power of God. To illustrate God’s power being expressed he stated, “200 years ago, slaves prayed for freedom. Now in 2016, I as a black man am standing in front of a group of largely white students, coming from universities that didn’t allow black students to attend” shows us Gods power is greater than what we can imagine now.
Day 4 was our last day. It started with a moving talk from Paul Eshleman, who founded the Jesus Film Project. It was inspiring to hear about brothers and sisters in Christ across the world, yielding to the power of the Spirit boldly for the glory of God. Oftentimes this resulted in the believers being murdered, beaten or tortured for their faith. Afterward, I was standing in the lobby talking with Ben and Austin, Sigma Nu members at OSU. They said, “If believers in the world can act that boldly, then I can easily share with my fraternity brother.” That was exciting for me to hear!
In the afternoon of Day 4, students were able to hear two ways to apply what God was teaching them. First was summer missions. We were excited to share with prospective students how God can use them on summer mission. Jen and I will be attending Ozark Lakes in Branson, MO and know God is going to use this opportunity to grow us. The other thing students were exposed to was the different contextualized ministries they could serve in. Ministries like Impact, Epic, Greek Wide and Destino offer students the ability to cross cultural lines with the gospel, right on their own campus. The evening closed with Dr. James White continuing his teaching on the Holy Spirit and then many rounds of games as the students enjoyed their last night of the conference.
All in all, I am thankful for the students that came from OSU. I am excited to see how God will use them back on campus.
Update 1/3 12:00 PM Day 2 Recap
On Day 2, we heard two great talks that gave the students and staff solid application points to take back to campus. In the morning session, men and women split up to focus on gender-specific issues. Roderick Barnes spoke to the men. He started by challenging us to dream big and ask God to do great things over the course of our lifetime. He then shared personal illustrations from his life about how unconfessed sin prevented him from making his dreams a reality for his lifetime. Lastly, he challenged us all to have a group of men at home to ask us about the sin areas in our life.
In the evening, Tim Hawks the pastor at Hill Country Bible Church in Austin, TX spoke to the conference. He focused on walking in the Spirit. Through a grammatical study of Ephesians 5:18, he showed us some key elements to walking by the Spirit. Tim showed us that Ephesians 5:18 is a command, one that applies to all believers, where the Spirit will do the acting upon us and that the action will be done in a continuous process. This was then contrasted with Christians acting under their own “effort” to achieve maturity. It was a great reminder of an important concept.
Following up the session, I was riding up an elevator with another staff member. We were talking about what Tim shared. We concluded that if all the students understood the value of walking in the Spirit, what a great wave of momentum WC2016 could be. Join us in praying that the students would understand this valuable concept.
Update: 1/2 7:00 AM If you would like to see the 2016 Winter Conference Live, here is the link for a live stream.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_1Jj7fI9JqY
Update 1/1 11:00 PM Photos from today. The students arrived and we held our first session. Here are a few photos to highlight the first day.
Update: 1/1 9:00 PM Recap of the Night Session.
Tonight was the first session kicking off WC2016. With 1,000 students gathered from across Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Oklahoma the conference program team wisely made the decision to start the conference off by sharing the gospel. Darin Travis, Wendy Chen, and Jimmy McGee proclaimed the gospel to the students so that we can begin the process of learning about the spirit filled life. Here are some of the main ideas:
Darin started off by explaining how growing up, cultural values created barriers for him to hear the entirety of the gospel. For example, optimism from being graded on a curve, a strong belief in work, a strong sense of fairness and a belief in self-determination were values that shaped his receiving of the good news. He explained that, receiving Christ was an action to that he did, and everyone he knew did, but one that didn’t change his heart.
Wendy followed and talked about shame. Sin creates shame in our lives because we want to hide it. Shame is defined as believing you are flawed and unworthy of love. For Wendy, shame motivated her to look to numerous things so she felt enough. However, “Sin says, this value or this quality will make you enough. The reality is that only in Christ are we enough.” Once we understand this, we can work to do this in others lives, but only through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Jimmy closed by talking about Mark 2. In the story of Jesus having the paralytic lowered through the roof, Jesus heals. However, someone needed to pick him up and take him to Christ. Jimmy challenged us all to know you sometimes you need to be picked up and healed by Christ in your life. When you are vulnerable, someone can carry you to Christ. Also, we need to pick others up and take them to Christ to be healed. Be conscience of the paralyzed around you and take them to Christ.
Update: 1/1 12:00 PM The students arrive today! As they head to Ft. Worth, I wanted to show you a great song by David Dunn. We are excited to have him play for us tonight!