Sorry for the delay, life gets in the way of blogging at times.
We woke up to a full moon setting over the Rockies. Denver has some beautiful views of the mountains, and being west-facing on the 10th floor was super. I’m not sure my poor roomie got much sleep, since we had a pretty wild room next to us. Every time we thought they were settling down, there would be another round of laughter and talking. Well, I am glad they had fun, and Sandy and I hammered out a few glitches in my next novel.
Breakfast. What can I say? FAB.U.LOUS. If you ever have the opportunity to stay for a convention at the Hyatt Regency…oh my, you will not go hungry! We had the 12th floor dining room, magnificent views and good eats! Scrambled eggs, crisp bacon, all manner of pastries and breads, including the fluffiest croissants ever, fresh fruit and too many teas to mention. I was on a coffee sabbatical, but that also smelled awfully good!
Our meeting day started with some wonderful praise and worship time. A group of leaders comprises the “CBS ROAD BAND,” as I was referring to them, all gifted musicians and singers who travel with the conference. No small feat as the conference cycle is 3 years!
Our opener was a video presentation from Jeff Manion, author of the book The Land Between. Based on the verse in Numbers 11:23, Jeff took us on a journey through The Land Between. Following the outline of Numbers 11, when Israel is wandering and becomes tired of manna, we found that the Land Between is several things:
~A fertile ground for complaint.
Complaint arrives as an unexpected guest. We get our great moment, our God endowment, a fresh filling of the Holy Spirit. Suddenly, Complaint is knocking at the door, attempting to deplete the reserves. We’re suddenly committing “cosmic treason,” like the Israelites, saying we were better off before. (verses 4-9)
Moses supplicates for his people, although it’s really more of an emotional meltdown. Jeff read it aloud, and while the result was amusing, it shows a side of the great leader we rarely think of. Moses was human. He had faults, just like we all do. His store of Holy Spirit was dwindling, having to deal with these people complaining all the time! What we find, is out next point; the Land Between is
~a fertile ground for the Lord’s provision
When you open up your hands to release your burden, KEEP them open to receive what God will provide! He provides for EVERY need! (verses 16-19 and verses 21-23) And, this is where you also may find that the Land Between is also
~fertile ground for the Lord’s discipline
The definition of discipline is inflicting pain for redemptive purposes. We all cheer the parent who is willing to take the hard road to ensure their child is well behaved, well adjusted. We understand that this is part of the love a parent has for a child. Why do we expect any different from our Holy Father?
God provided exactly what they asked for. More meat than they could handle; so much so that it was coming out of their nostrils. (verses 19-20) They have rejected the Lord’s provision. Now, through His discipline (and lots of meat!) the enter into
~a fertile land for transformation!
Allow HIM to show you, to transform your hard heart! Let go, open your hands and receive His provision!
Next up was Debbie Crockett, CAPstone Branch Director, who spoke to us about Maps, Milestones and Markers. What to look for on our leadership journey and how to update or spiritual GPS’s and get them back on the right track.
A compass has 2 north settings: constant north, which is true and never moves. Then there’s magnetic north which is constantly shifting. Our leadership compass needs to be recalibrated with a personal and intimate relationship with Jesus. Our destinations need to be reset, since we are prone to wander off the correct paths. To update our maps we need to watch the mile markers, create momentum and finish well.
Momentum can be broken by life happening. We need to inspire those around us to continue the journey—and we need to be inspired, too!
Tips on updating your maps:
#1…be a people person!
Make someone feel good/better about themselves and not feel good about you. A shepherd is more concerned about his sheep than himself. Be charismatic, confident and communicative (which involves LISTENING, not just blabbing). Be an expert in your people! God put you there to care for them. KNOW THEM! Ask God to make you more interested in others. (Ephesians 3:20-21)
#2…monitor your leaders and followers
We’re always checking our Facebook and Twitter accounts to see how many people are following us…do the same with your leadership! BUILD each other up—have a loving attitude. Ask the question: are we still passionate about serving in CBS? Then listen for the sounds of symptoms.
If you hear symptoms, you’ve probably reached the troublesome middle. Depletion. It’s time to reevaluate and refill. Rebuild the momentum. That is the thing that gets us through the rough places, and yes, there will ALWAYS be rough places on the road.
Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood. I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them. Therefore be alert, remembering that for three years I did not cease night or day to admonish every one with tears. And now I commend you to God and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified.
Vision~God-given burden to see what your ministry can become when HE releases His grace and power into it.Ask Him to refresh your vision and remind you of HIS call on your life.
At this time, it was time for lunch! I could not believe that the morning flew by so fast! It was about this time I began noticing a gal who was carrying around a great walking stick. This was no ordinary walking stick: it was completely blinged out with a pinwheel, bunches of ribbons and a whistle! I made a mental note to find her after the breakout sessions to ask about it.
Lunch was back up on Floor 12. Our group seemed to always get to the food first *wink, wink* and we saved 2 tables for the rest of our class. It was a nice light sliced steak salad, with fresh baked, cracked wheat rolls and tons of delish butter, and New York cheesecake that must have been shipped in special! Trust me, I know NY cheesecake! It was a great lunch, and we had time to peruse the book and goodie tables before the breakout sessions.
I think I’m going to break, and report the rest in a new post. Suffice to say, the day was full of great things to chew on. Not just of the edible persuasion. We were completely filled, both spiritually and physically.
Till Next Time,