I love going to conferences. They always inspire me—getting my creative juices flowing and refueling my passions. This past week my husband and I attended the American Association of Christian Counselors conference in Branson, Missouri. We heard some incredible speakers such as; Gary Smalley, John Townsend, Tim Clinton, Gary Oliver, Leslie Vernick, just to name a few.
I’d like to share some of what struck me most at the conference. First of all, I loved seeing Gary Smalley’s enthusiasm. He’s always been a funny communicator, but he had a youthful excitement that was refreshing and quite remarkable for a 70 year old man!
His enthusiasm made sense as he went on to tell us he’s experienced something of a personal revival over the past five years. He then made an alarming confession regarding a 65 year long battle with lust. He feels God has radically changed his heart in this area due to a complete commitment to renewing his mind by memorizing and meditating on God’s Word.
Gary also shared some powerful statements,
“Complaining is calling God a liar”
as well as,
“Complaining is temporary atheism.”
This was very convicting for me—a chronic worrier!
Another great speaker, author and counselor, John Townsend, urged us as counselors to make “Love our delivery system,” much like Mary Poppins used “a spoonful of sugar to help the medicine go down!” He went on to say,
“People need to feel a connection with us before they can hear the truth.”
That’s so true! I’ve never been able to hear the truth when it has been given in a harsh or condemning way. And I know when I’ve tried to cram the truth down another person’s throat, I’ve faced the same resistance and futility.
These are just some simple truths, but they have profound meaning! I hope they give you something to contemplate on, just as they have for me, as well!