Conferencing

Craig is flying to Washington this weekend to host the Michael Card conference on Biblical Imagination.

Next week he is flying to Memphis to speak at 2nd Presbyterian Church’s TwentySomeone/ThirtySomewhere Conference.

The following weekend I am flying to Harrisburg to meet up with my friend Monica while we attend the Relevant Conference.

And I’m talking about why I love conferences today at WORLDMag.com.

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I enjoy retreats and conferences. Last year I got to go to the L’Abri Conference in Rochester, Minn., and later this month I will attend the Relevant Conference in Harrisburg, Pa.

There is something about attending a well-structured, well-thought-out conference that pushes a reset button in my heart. I enjoy the educational aspect, but I also enjoy how the time away allows for spiritual reflection on the content presented. Perhaps the best part is oftentimes I meet someone who makes a profound impact on me for years to come. I’ve also made several new friends over the years this way.

As a parent I appreciate the opportunities to refuel spiritually, not just for me, but also for the refreshment and perspective I am newly able to provide to my kids as a result. True, it’s a boatload of work planning and prepping to be gone from home for a weekend (and yes, it’s work for my husband who has to cover for me while I’m away), but the pros always seem to outweigh the cons for our family when all is said and done.

This weekend in Fredericksburg, Va., Michael Card is launching the first in a series of conferences across the country on the concept of Biblical Imagination. He writes:

“There is a bridge between the heart and the mind: the imagination, the means by which the Spirit begins to undo what was disintegrated by the Fall. When we allow our imaginations to be recaptured by the Holy Spirit, the facts we know in our heads come to life in our hearts, and then (and only then) do we become more like Jesus.”

Imagination as the bridge between the head and the heart. Hmmm. I need to think about that some more. I know that as a parent, I should be helping our kids develop their imagination so as to help them function more in the way we were created. We focus so much on their obedience, respect, and overall education that it can be easy to forget about how their imagination fits into the overall picture of who God created them to be. It’s easy to let this slide in us, too. I’m looking forward to attending this conference when it comes to St. Louis in January.

Is there an upcoming conference or retreat that you’ve been to or are planning to attend to refresh yourself for the sake of others?

 

Quotes on Friendship

We finally finshed reading Charlotte's Web today. I say "finally" because we started it in August and then somewhere along the way we lost the book. I found it yesterday and made sure we finished it in a hurry so we could move on to the next one on the list that we should have read the first week of September, but I digress…

I have two favorite quotes from Charlotte's Web that I remember loving the first couple of times I read this book. They are worthy of sharing and so I wil.

Unless you've been under a literary rock, you probaby have a general idea of the story of Charlotte and Wilber. At the very end of the story, right before Charlotte informs Wilber she's about to die, they have this conversation:

    "Oh, Charlotte," he said. "To think that when I first met you I thought you were cruel and bloodthirsty!"

    When he recovered from his emotion, he spoke again.

    "Why did you do all this for me? he asked. "I don't deserve it. I've never done anything for you."

    "You have been my friend, replied Charlotte. "That in itself is a tremendous thing. I wove my webs for you because I liked you. After all, what's a life anyway? We're born, we live a little while, we die. A spider's life can't help being something of a mess, with all this traping and eating flies. By helping you, perhaps I was trying to lift up my life a trifle. Heaven knows anyone's life can stand a little of that."

This speaks to me on a very deep level. In this age of keeping things even and people not being able to serve one another without exchange of like-service in return, I long for lasting friendships that say, "You know what? What is life? We live a little while and then we die. It's messy. It's complicated. And if I can do anything at all to easy the mess and complication in your life, even for a few hours, that's what I want to be about."

Amen?

Then there's the classic from the very last page:

"It is not often that someone comes along who is a true friend and a good writer. Charlotte was both."

*Love*

Do you have any favorite quotes on friendship?