Tuesday, 26 August 2014

One Love 2014

Recently I had the privilege of being a little bit involved in helping to come up with ideas for a women's event. That event, called "One Love" was held in Sydney at the beginning of August.

The aim of the day was to encourage, inspire and to challenge women in their everyday life, as Christians or for those wanting to know more about living as a Christian. 

When I turned up to the Redfern Technology Park on the day - I like most of the other delegates, didn't know what to expect. Were expectations high? I was trying to keep mine not too high. 

Women's events, at least in Christian circles, can often factor high on the cringe factor scale. Whether too syrupy sweet or too theoretically and theologically dry - I've often come away from well-meaning events (heck I've helped organise a few) wondering why reality is so far removed from what I've just heard.

I look around at many of the Christian women I know, and everyone is busy, often frantically so. I see breathtaking and admirable focus and determination at keeping all the "balls" high in the air: 


family/work/home/church/relationships/health/friends/study/school.., 

Who has the time to sit around worrying about whether The Lord might have anything to say about this? Or to us? No one has the time to stop and think. If they did, the balls would start dropping! 

People would get hurt. It could get nasty.

And speaking of nasty, there's the whole cynical backlash thing. Why do women need something just aimed at them anyhow? We're all people aren't we? We're not weaklings. 

Or that one about why go to big events? Why not just spend quality time with a small group? People you already know, and trust. Why listen to speakers from overseas? Or to women/men? Why not just read your Bible and get your hair done if you want to feel better about yourself? 

Christians seem to attract a lot of criticism. All those fine qualities and activities we espouse, but don't actually show or do. High standards we hold others to, but fail to keep ourselves?  
We're pretty good at giving it out too, especially to each other. 

Once you start listening to it, it can get sort of paralysing. It certainly leaves little room for the inspirational, or the encouraging, or the challenging…




Women are so often the givers - giving out care and love and nurturing, and time and energy and kindness and discipline and everything in between - in all spheres of life, being all things to all people, making sure everyone in their circle is okay, (which is great, don't get me wrong). But it comes at a cost. The cost of running on empty. Energy-wise - physically and energy-wise - spiritually. 

Sometimes there are spiritual truths that we've forgotten to hear, as if they no longer apply to us. Like the one that says God loves us anyway, no matter what. 

So when Nancy Guthrie was talking from the book of Hosea chapter 1 (a passage that can make you squirm - I was squirming) and said that God tells us:

There is healing. I will always take you back. 
I've written across your life in the red blood of my Son:

Cleansed,

Washed,

Beloved,

Accepted,

Mine.

It was food for the soul.


To get there for a day (a feat in itself for most women I would think) and then to hear talks that spoke to our hearts about how amazing God is.. and about who this God is that we so want to know, if only we had the time to get some peace and quiet and think about Him for a little bit…

…it was the chance to be with a whole group of happy people - all wanting the same thing: challenge, inspiration, and encouragement. Not about selfish naval-gazing. But about looking upward and outward.

We got it all - and great food. 

It was the best use of a day I can remember having in a very long time. 


my cousin and I..

The speakers were Nancy Guthrie, Kathleen Nielson and Bryan Chappell.

The 3 talks from OneLove are now available for free via the KCC app! 

You can download the app and listen to the talks here: http://get.theapp.co/489f


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