Friday, May 30, 2008

New Attitude Thoughts

I do want to write a little more about New Attitude. My post will not cover all the speakers as Anna did in her excellent post, or include all the great notes as Elijah has on his site, but will instead focus on the couple things that I am still thinking of after returning home.

This year's conference was focused on the Bible and I really appreciated the reminder from Joshua Harris on the first evening that we do get to chose our response to the Bible. We can rip our clothes in repentance upon read the word (as King Josiah did), we can burn the words (even simply through neglect) as King Jehoiakim did, or we can eat the words with delight as Jeremiah did (Jeremiah 15:16). As I considered my own response to the Bible, I had to admit that I don't have the kind of delight that Jeremiah expressed and I don't often respond in repentance as King Josiah did. I certainly don't want to say that I'm like King Jehoiakim, but that's the only example that is left.

What do we do if we don't have the kind of response the the Bible we wish we had? Is it something that we can change? To some degree, the answer is no. We can't by an act of our will change our feelings, so our response to a realization like that could be discouragement. However, there are some things we can do.

John Piper reminded us that "The fight for faith is a fight for joy in Christ (treasuring, being satisfied in and delighting in Christ". We are to fight for what we desire. This desire can come through our repenting of our own attitude and asking Christ to give us a proper desire for Christ and His Word. My desire to spend more time in the Bible was strengthened anew as I meditated on the family group devotions verse:

2 Timothy 3:16-17: All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
This is a verse that I am familiar with - I've read it and memorized it so I know it, right? Well, this weekend I really kept thinking about the last line "thoroughly equipped for every good work." I've lost the focus that the Bible is really there and is sufficient to equip me for ever good work that God has for me. Sure I read the Bible - I'm about half-way through it already this year. But, my purpose has been more to read because that's my goal and I like to accomplish goals, or since I know it's something good to do. My reading has not been because I know that though the word, God will equip me for the things he has for me.

I've been challenged again to simply do the basics. I want to pray more, read and study the Bible more, and memorize and mediate on verses more. These are not new things. In some ways a person could well wonder at my desire to spend time and money on a conference that doesn't do more than remind you of what you already know. However, I am so thankful for the opportunity I've had to attend New Attitude and be reminded of the truth of the Scriptures once again.

I also enjoyed the community groups and family groups. My group included three girls from Canada, one guy from the UK, two guys from Maryland (one who didn't make it in the picture) and me (from Alabama). We didn't have a lot of time to spend talking since most of our family group time was spent in individual devotions, but I was glad to get to know each of them. It's great to see there are Christians all over the word who desire to know Christ more and are working in their own areas and local churches just as you are in your own.

If you didn't make it to New Attitude this year, take the time to download and listen to the messages here. If you struggle with negative talk that contradicts what the Bible tells us we are, I would especially recommend CJ Mahaney's message on God's word and our feelings. And if you ever have the feeling that God probably doesn't actually love you, please listen to CJ's message God as Father: Understanding the Doctrine of Adoption in God's Word. All of the messages were well worth listening to, and I intend to listen to them again while traveling this summer.

Great Article on Work!

There have been times in my life that I worked a lot more than a 40 hour work week. At those times in life, I was in the middle of a new position and didn't have a whole lot that I wanted to do outside of work. As I enjoyed what I did, I didn't mind putting in the extra time.

But. . . times change, and for the last couple years, I've been more balanced in life. I've spent a lot more time with people and in volunteering in various activities. This article "Margin or Life Balance - Or what $3 gets you" is great at showing that a balanced life that isn't just caught up in work is really worth it.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Anyone Else Tired?

John 4:6 “Jacob's well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about the sixth hour.”

Matthew 11:28 “"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest”

Today I could think of nothing more enjoyable to do during my lunch break than to sleep. Indeed! I laid my head down on my desk and just rested for the majority of my lunch break. It’s not something I’m in the habit of doing. Some may say I’m just getting old, but I think it’s more due to minimizing sleep and maximizing involvement with people and tasks for more than 6 weeks straight. Some people have no choice in how busy they are, but it has been something that I chose and have enjoyed. But at times, tiredness will catch up with me.

It’s good to remember that Jesus is the one who gives us rest when we come to him. He strengthens us, and because of his humanity, He knows what it’s like to be tired from a journey. If you are tired today, be creative in finding time to rest!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

New Attitude?

I'm back at work after spending a refreshing weekend attending the New Attitude Conference in Louisville. It was a joy to have my brother Elijah come with me for the second time and to have my sister Anna there for the first time. Anna has been wanting to come for a couple years, so it was fun to be able to take her with me now that she is the right age. It was also a special joy to be there with my fiance John.

New Attitude is a word that has been used for conferences/ meetings and magazines that Joshua Harris has been a part of for at least 13 years. While a ~ 15 or 16 year-old homeschooling teen, I went with a couple families to a homeschooling conference and heard him give a message on dating. There I found out about his magazine entitled "New Attitude." I subscribed to the magazine and found Josh's messages on dating (or the lack thereof) to be very thought provoking. To me, it made sense to wait to date until you were actually ready to think of getting married. I received his magazine until it stopped due to Josh moving on to the book and pastoral world. I enjoyed reading his book "I kissed Dating Goodbye" and then kind of lost track of what he was doing.

About 7 years ago, received some information about a new conference that Joshua Harris was doing, again called new attitude. I naturally assumed that it has something to do with dating and thought, why not go to it? I was pleasantly surprised to find that although the conference was directed toward singles, the messages were much more applicable than to just dating and/or courtship. Rather than focusing on what we didn't have, the conference messages tended to focus on Christ, the one who created all things. Over the years, the message topics have ranged from entertainment choices, to discernment, to relationship issues, to God's glory, to bible study and other discipleship issues.

The conference is still directed toward singles from high school graduates and up, but now is open to couples as well (which is great since I hope to continue to go!). Through these conferences, I have been encouraged to learn more of God and to study his word and pray more. I have also learned of and purchased many great resources that have shaped my thinking on so many topics.

A conference like this doesn't necessarily give me some new amazing revelation that I never new before. But I have found that it will convict me and give me a new attitude or renewed focus on what is really important.

My lunch hour is over, so I will have to post more about this year's conference tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


I had fun shopping with Tammy and Anna last night. They both love to shop and were kind enough to come with me. I don't usually like to shop, but was in the mood to make some decisions. Though most of our efforts centered on looking at wedding dresses, what I finally purchased was not my dress, but the material for my bridesmaids and flower girls! I wanted a purple-ish color but didn't know exactly what and we found an awesome plum that was perfect.

There was just enough in stock for both the two flowergirl dresses (my nieces Sara and Lisa Beth) and all three bridesmaid dresses (sister Lydia, and friends Tamra and Ivory). It's great to finally have made a final decision about the color since that will determine a lot of things!

There is not enough time to blog all I want to these days! But I hope to update again soon!