Well, I just got back from a beyond amazing weekend in the city for the NEXT conference. I went into it excited to see how God would work, but not wanting to expect too much for fear of disappointment. However, God had crazy plans! :)
I could go on and on about everything that happened, but will instead highlight some major points for me:
* Greeting-- I got to be be a greeter again this year and had so much fun. From traffic officers to strangers on the street (interesting conversations, I'll leave it at that, haha) I will treasure those first moments at NEXT this year.
* From Josh Harris' Message- My major conviction here was that what I said I believed about God was definitely not lining up with how I was living my life. I would say I trust God in all areas and know He is good and will provide. But some areas of my life definitely did not show that. Also, I came away from this really wanting to study doctrine more and for myself, and not always run to my brother for answers as the easy escape.
* From Kevin DeYoung's 1st Message- That I will not remember every message I listen to and will not always be excited about quiet times (may even find them boring), but that I still need to keep sowing and remember that God is at work (which I think ties in with CJ's message).
* From CJ's Mahaney's Message- What really stuck out with me in this message is that I have to contribute to Sanctification. Yes, God has the power to change us, but we have to do our part. Too often I get tired of fighting sin and really just want to say, "Okay, God, I've battled this sin long enough and nothing is changing. Please just bless my efforts thus far and take away the struggle. I'm done." But, that's so NOT how it is. So, even though it's obvious, it was a good reminder and really encouraging.
* From Kevin DeYoung's 2nd Message- I don't want to go into why this one was so convicting for me, but it really was. It really made me examine my heart a lot.
* From Jeff Purswell's Message- I just really got excited about the end times after this message (not in a morbid way, though). I rarely read about it or hear messages about it, so for me this was probably the first time I learned about the end times. It was so good!
* From community group- how good quiet times can be and how to have an effective one. Reading the passage multiple times is a major must-do for me because I get distracted easily. Other really helpful stuff, too. :)
* Family groups- loved the people in my group and I really felt we related well and had a lot in common. Great, humble, encouraging leader, too. I'm sad we didn't exchange contact info, but maybe I'll get to see some of them next year. :)
*Affinity groups- got to meet and hear from teachers and soon-to-be teachers about what it's like to be a Christian teacher in a public school.
* Fellowship-- lots of good conversation with old and new friends.
* Fun and memories-- this weekend holds so many funny and dear memories for me that I hope I won't soon forget.
If you can make it next year, I highly recommend it. It's going to be in Orlando!!! :)
Messages available online and they are definitely worth listening to.