Session: A Recap of the Keynote Sessions taught by Melissa Kruger, Jackie Hill Perry, John Piper, Jen Wilkin, Nancy Guthrie, Courtney Doctor, and Julius Kim

Written by Brandie Satterfield

I have a terrible memory. 

Sometimes it is a blessing (what was I mad about?); sometimes a curse (did I wear this to church last week?), and sometimes my terrible memory is the punchline of a friend’s joke. Other times, I don’t completely forget things, but they become dim and fuzzy in my mind.

Recently, I attended a women’s conference and was reminded of something that had become a bit fuzzy, but now I am seeing it with great clarity.

Want to know this groundbreaking thing of which I was reminded?

Jesus is everywhere in the Old Testament.

It’s a bit laughable that I would be fuzzy on this because we have a Pastor who weekly reminds us to read our Bibles christianly and shows us Christ on a regular basis. But that weekend, it was as if Christ jumped out of the pages in the Old Testament passages we covered.

The ark was Christ.

The ram in the thicket was Christ.

The rock was Christ.

The manna was Christ.

The pillars of cloud and fire were Christ.

The serpent on the pole was Christ.

The scarlet cord was Christ.

The champion who defeated a giant was Christ.

The whole focus of the conference was on Remembering our Joy by revisiting salvation stories of the Old Testament. 

Here are a some “wow moments” from a few of the aforementioned list of pictures of Christ in the Old Testament:

  • What matters most is not who is on the ark, but that our ark is sound. We deserve the flood but we are given the ark-Jesus Christ.
  • Christ was conformed to the image of the serpent and lifted up on the cross (like the serpent on a pole) so that we might be conformed to the image of Christ.
  • Our champion king picked up the greatest weapon that the enemy has–death, and used it to defeat the author of death just like David defeated Goliath with his own sword. All of the benefits from David’s victory were accredited to Israel–not because they earned it, but because their champion did. Likewise all the benefits of Christ are for those united to Him. 

The passages we studied showed us that “Salvation is:

Needed (Genesis 6:5-8:19);

Substitutionary (Genesis 22:1-19);

Life (Exodus 17:1-7);

Gracious (Numbers 21:4-9);

for All People (Joshua 2:1-24);

Won by Another (1 Samuel 17:1-54); &,

an Invitation to a Feast (2 Samuel 9:1-13).

Session: “Aging With Grace”  A Panel Discussion with Susan Hunt & Sharon Betters moderated by Karen Hodge 

Written by Pat Gilley

Hunt and Betters are in their 70s and 80s, and together have written, “Aging with Grace.” It is a fascinating read!

This session discussed how our world/society sees aging versus how God sees aging. 

Psalm 71 is called a prayer for God’s help in old age and is ascribed to David in his old age. Verse 9 and 18 say, “Do not cast me away when I am old; do not forsake me when my strength is gone… Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, O God, till I declare Your power to the next generation, Your might to all who are to come.”

Misconceptions from the world:

What we hear and feel from the world as we grow older: “You’re old fashioned”;  “Your life is over” ; “You’re retired, you’re not productive anymore”; “Your ideas are out of style”.

Truth from the word of God:

We are to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, Whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” That instruction doesn’t expire with age. 

So how do I glorify and enjoy the Lord in my old age? By becoming more like Jesus, by spending time in God’s word, in prayer, and by imitating Him. 

As we age, it becomes more likely that we’ll complain because we may not feel well physically, mentally, or emotionally. But God tells us to rejoice, praise and give thanks. As we praise Him, He becomes our joy and our strength! 

There are seasons of our lives, and every season has its challenges and blessings. Susan and Sharon advise starting now, young, old, or in between, to practice articulating your challenges and choose to focus on the blessings, melodies, and the rhythms of grace in your life. Be a “sandwich woman”; have a friend older than you and a friend younger than you, and have a community of others in the same season as you. 

In Psalm 92:12,14, the writer declares, “The righteous will flourish like a palm tree, they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon; planted in the house of the Lord, they will flourish in the courts of our God… They will still bear fruit  in old age, they will stay fresh and green.” I want to flourish, don’t you? I want to bear fruit and stay (spiritually) fresh and green! Lord, may I never grow too old to produce righteous fruit and flourish in my life as I glorify God and enjoy Him forever.

Let me challenge and encourage you; pray and ask the Lord, “How can I glorify and enjoy God now?”

Session: “How to Work with All Your Heart” A Panel Discussion with Jeany Jun, Joanna Kimbrel, Elissa Yukiko Weichbrodt, and Sarah Eekhoff Zylstra

Written by Janice Ramsey 

I attended a session that featured a panel of women who explored this question:  How does your daily work — writing emails, attending staff meetings, cooking dinner — connect to honoring God?  All these women worked outside the home (or at home) while attempting to balance the demands and blessings of family, marriage, and vocation.

The main premise of the discussion was “surrender”.  We must first surrender our desire for work to God, as work was created by Him.  “The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it ” (Genesis 2:15)Since the beginning, work has been part of God’s plan for humanity.

Work is purposeful, whether it happens at home or outside the home, but it is not our ultimate purpose!  We can easily idolize work or idolize family in trying to find a balance between the two; yet we can’t let either dictate our identity or value, which should be solely in Christ!

HOW you work, whether at home or at the office, is also a reflection of your love for the Lord and for others. “Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men” (Colossians 3:23).  Do you work to get praise from others?  Trying to manage people’s perceptions of you is idolatrous!  Are you a detailed-oriented perfectionist or a workaholic who insists you are “working with excellence”?  That’s great, until the people around you suffer (your family).  We have to set boundaries in order to faithfully honor the Lord with regard to jobs, family responsibilities, and even ministry.  One of the panelists had a great set of questions that she prays through when asked to take on another commitment at work, or with family, or in ministry:

  • Does saying “yes” or “no” enable me to love God and others more?
  • Does saying “yes” align with Scripture?
  • Why do I want to say “yes” or “no” to this?
  • How would I react if I had to say “no”? (Maybe this is an idol in my life.)
  • What do I have to say “no” to in order to say “yes” to this?
  • Can I keep this commitment?

Whatever work we do…reconciling accounts, changing diapers, caring for patients, doing laundry, teaching students, selling properties…we surrender to the Lord and do it in His excellence for His glory!  “And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him” (Colossians 3:17)“Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands upon us; yes, establish the work of our hands!”  (Psalm 90:17)