We are a busy people. We have a love – hate relationship with our watches, and as much as we praise our productive technology, more often than not, it causes us to become sucked into an endless cycle of distraction and time-loss.
I’ve had several people ask why there hasn’t been any recent posts on deeperChristian this past month, and truth be told, I have no good excuse. Yes it was busy (family, Christmas, two conferences, and a funeral) but life is always busy. So for the two of you who wait with baited breath for a new post (thanks mom!) I apologize for the lack of content over the last several weeks.
More as a way to help me reflect on the past month, I want to give some thoughts and reflections on the two conferences I was a part of: the Cross Style January Conference and The Bravehearted Man Conference.
Cross Style January Conference
One of the ministries I am intimately a part of is Cross Style Global Ministries (started by Stephen Manley). Twice a year, people from around the country (and sometimes the world) gather together in Lebanon, Tennessee for a time of worship and powerful preaching. The week-long conference, held each June, is packed with teaching, training, worship, and preaching. The shorter January Conference is a weekend full of back-to-back preaching and rich times of seeking Jesus.
This year’s January Conference was incredibly powerful. Though several of the guys who normally preach were unable to attend this year, the conference was a sweet time basking in the wonder and awe of Jesus as we got into the Word of God and allowed Him to confront our lives. Saturday night, specifically Stephen Manley’s sermon from Matthew 12, was perhaps my favorite from the weekend (and sadly that was the one session that we were unable to record).
Here was some of my take-aways from the conference:
- The Christian life is not one of fickleness. A Christian is built upon the solid Rock of Christ and is not easily deceived, manipulated, or “tossed to and fro” (see Ephesians 4.14).
- Someone who says they are a Christian but doesn’t win anyone to Christ is like saying you are a fiery sports fanatic, but when someone asks if you watched the latest game you reply “no.” When they ask who your favorite team is you reply “don’t have one.” When they want to know who you want to go to the Super Bowl you shrug and say “don’t care, don’t plan on watching anyway.” We would look at you and say “you’re not really a fan.” If you’re not winning anyone to Christ, we’d have to conclude that you’re not really a Christian.
- You don’t have to be indwelt by a demon to have the demonic nature within you. You just need to be filled with self.
- The life I am called to as a Christian is one of dependence, surrender, and responding to the Holy Spirit who lives within me.
If you are interested in hearing the sermons from this conference you can do so by checking out the media page for the conference here.
The Bravehearted Man Conference
This past weekend we launched the first Ellerslie men’s conference with Eric Ludy. We had nearly 250 men in attendance in Windsor, Colorado with nearly a thousand more watching via simulcast. It was a powerful weekend of getting into the Word of God and allowing Scripture to cast a vision for what authentic-Godly manhood is suppose to be.
Throughout the weekend we spent a lot of time talking about the high standard every man is called to live … and yet how desperately lacking we as men are to live such a life (“our pockets are empty” and we are unable to produce such a life). Saturday morning was all about the Gospel and how realizing the fact that “we can’t but He can” can radically change one’s life. My pockets are empty but I have all that I need in Jesus. He must be my resource, substance, and life. I need to quit trying and throw myself upon the work of Christ and allow the Spirit of God to produce His own life, nature, character, and attitude within me.
The rest of the day was spent examining areas of the man’s life and what Scripture says about how a man should live: fatherhood, being a husband and a pastor (leader), and a man of prayer, valor, and constant readiness. The evening session was focused on being a man without mixture – a man who is not tainted by the world, its charms, lusts, or enticements.
The simple summary of the weekend is that Godly manhood is not the burping-scratching variety that is championed in today’s world. It is one of a higher nobility and honor. It is a manhood marked by purity, righteousness, holiness, strength, and love. It is being made strong to be poured out for the weak. Yet this life is impossible to live on one’s own – we must have the Spirit of God produce such a life within us.
Question: What have you learned this past month? What has God been teaching you? Leave a comment in the section below.