What a beautiful, relaxing Tuesday afternoon. It's snowing once again in Atlanta. CRAZY.
Unemployment has been stressful - but also incredibly relaxing. If I had the coins, I would take months off. But I don't. So hopefully I find something soon lol
Anyway - The Christian women's conference 'If Gathering' was this weekend in Houston (See #IfGathering2016 on Insta). Though the main event was in Texas, churches and groups across the world met locally to watch the live stream. (Search #IfLocal on Insta)
I've heard about 'If' before, through social media. This year I wanted to check it out. So I signed up online and went to Second Ponce De Leon Baptist Church in Buckhead, where I would watch with a group of ladies.
If was my first official Christian conference. I didn't know what to expect so I went with an open mind.
First the good -it really is so amazing how many people tuned in. Apparently - hundreds of thousands. The women in charge - as well as the speakers- had a huge platform to spread the Gospel. What an incredible responsibility.
I was encouraged and inspired by many of the stories. Including those of Katherine Wolf, a young woman who had a stroke at the age of 26, obviously forever changing her life. See video below.
Also mind blown and inspired by Larissa Murphy, whose boyfriend of just months (at the time) was in a serious car accident that left him disabled. See story below.
I also love how biblically based the whole conference was. Every speaker pulled from the Bible and honestly, that's not something many modern preachers/ speakers often do.
I was also elated that David Platt closed out If. Platt used to pastor a church in Birmingham. I went once while I was in school at UAB. I remember thinking that Platt was intense. I don't think I was spiritually mature enough back then for his no holds barred Christianity. Now I can appreciate it.
Now - the bad. Well, not so much 'bad' but you get it.
I wish some of the speakers would have went a little deeper. I understand each one only got like 15 minutes so maybe that would've been hard but sometimes the lessons seemed a bit shallow? Seeing as how probably most of those attending IF already know Christ, I think it would've been appropriate to dig a little deeper.
There were often times where I would've loved to hear MORE. For example, for one segment, women from all walks of life sat around a table talking about ...how they were from all walks of life. But they didn't discuss how they've been strengthened or redeemed from their struggles. There was a 39 year old woman who had never been married, no boyfriend. And I was so interested in her story...but we never got to hear it. I wish she would have discussed how that's challenged her and made her better, worse, etc..
My favorite speaker was a woman named Bianca Olthoff. She has a presence and voice that draws you in. I also really liked hearing from IF founder Jennie Allen. You can tell her heart is in this for the right reasons. With or without stages, she is a great evangelist. I would encourage all of you women who come across this to check out IF Gathering online.
And that's it!
Be blessed people