Yesterday a friend and I attended the No Regrets Mens' Conference at Elmbrook Church in Brookfield, WI. (For the record, we used Google Map for directions and they sucked!) It was an incredible experience!!!! The church itself was huge and the worship team was awesome! I loved the moments when the team would stop singing and only the congregation would sing. It was so wonderful.
The Keynote speaker was Gordon MacDonald from CenterPoint Church. He was an eloquent speaker and shared with us his personal testimony. He talked about the story of Jonah and that when Jonah was in the whale's belly how awful it must have been. It must have smelled horrible and Jonah realized how far he had fallen from grace. Pastor MacDonald said, "I know the whale's belly very well" and continued to relate how he had found himself in that belly on many different occasions. It was something that I could really relate to.
The theme was "Finish Strong" and focused on us not coasting through life. It made me think about how many times I have just let the current of life take me this way and that. One of the seminars that we attended was titled "Finishing Strong in the Workplace." It started off pretty slow and I was beginning to wonder if we'd made the right choice coming to this one. Then it picked up and the speaker questioned if we left our faith at the door when we were at work. This is an area in my life that I have been struggling with. Living as a Christian in the Army can be very challenging, although there's no reason why it should be. The speaker asked whether anyone at work would know we were Christians or not. The answer for me would have to be "No." My work puts me in a position of leadership and influence and it's time I started leading the way God wants me to lead.
My personal favorite seminar was titled "Guarding Your Heart and Mind" and discussed pornography and sexual sin. The notes can be found here. This had been my dirty little secret that almost destroyed my marriage and through the works of organizations like XXX Church I've come to see how much I was in the Belly of the Whale like Jonah. They've helped me turn my life around and offer a free accountability software program called X3 Watch. This program sends a report to your chosen accountability partner (for me, it's Mary) that lists all the questionable website you visit. It's only by God's grace that Mary is still by my side. Thank you Lord and thank you Mary. I can never thank either of you two enough for this gift that you have given me.
This will be my first week in the worship team so I need to get going. I'll close with this question, If you died to today, would you be accused of being a Christian?