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Monday, September 15, 2008

Boyden Convention, 2008

We just got back, last night, from this year's Boyden convention.
Wow- what an experience! Words can't describe how wonderful it was (and always is), but I will share a few of the thoughts that really spoke to me this year. It's all from my notes, so things won't always be verbatim, but I'll do my best. :) We always hear, especially from the older folks, how "this convention is the best yet". While I've always felt that each convention I've been to has been great, I don't think I really knew what they meant until this year.

This year was, by far, the best convention yet for me. I hope that every year is "the best one yet." I want to love this more and more each day, and be growing more each year.

So, for those interested, here's what I enjoyed. Again, I only wish I could have packed everything we heard from convention and brought it home to you, but out of the "feast" here are a few "crumbs". :)


Boyden, 2008-

- Melinda Y.:
Acts 27 There have been storms this year. We're weary of it, but we've come to the right place. Let it all go- the cares, the burdens, the struggles. If we have a soft heart there's no limit to what help we can get. Of course Jesus cares- He cares that we get rest. Put aside ourself and let the Lord help us.

- Susan E.: Matthew 11:28, Luke 12:32, Luke 13:34, Matthew 18, 1 Samuel 1 Fear not, He's anxious to speak to us and touch our hearts again. We don't need to fear that He won't speak if we come with a broken and contrite spirit. Little chicks find protection and warmth when they come close, when they're close to the hear of the hen. They have to stay small in order to come that close. There are some things we need to just cut out of our life so we can be better. Hannah felt empty, but she came for help, with a spirit of need, and poured out her soul. The Lord gave to her, and the next time she came she had something to bring. She poured it out, and she left it there. Pray that we would never lose the spirit of a little child.

-Clarence M.: A good and honest heart is the most important mark of a person. Failing to surrender control to Him is being dishonest with God- because our life belongs to God. We can tell Him everything because we can have the confidence to know that He will deal with it for our good. Psalm 26- These were very personal psalms of David- only one with an honest heart could ask God to do those things. He knew if he stayed on that course he wouldn't slide. Psalm 139- He knew God had done those things and knew him, and knew everything about him. Deuteronomy 8- The Lord led them the way He did to manifest what was in them, to make them know that He is the only source of life. Be willing for whatever the Lord reveals to us- things that we need to continue, things that we need to deal with.

-Lynae D.: Luke 11: 5-8, 13- It wasn't because he was his friend, but because the man kept asking, that he gave to him. God isn't like that- we only have to ask once and He will meet our need. Revelation 4:1- There were certain trumpet sounds for certain things- rejoicing, battle, etc.- maybe John heard the trumpet of a call to prayer, to "come and take a look at what's happening in Heaven." He would have missed all of that if he'd missed or ignored the call. There's a rainbow around the Throne- it's not just once in awhile that God is remembering His promise, He's remembering it daily. Revelation 5:2-14- Sometimes we give our strength and our honor to something that's not worthy of it- it can't be worthy of it because it's not able to redeem us. The Lamb is the only One worthy to receive those things.

-Angela P.: John 15:3- God wants us to be clean vessels- then and only then can He work in us. The purpose of pruning is so that there will be more, better, fruit. A tree will produce a lot of fruit before pruning, but it isn't sweet and "better" until the dead things are removed, until the unnecessary things are cut away. Maybe we don't know what those things are in us, but He knows what needs to be cut away. He knows what perfect fruit looks like because He sent Jesus. If we want to be vessels used by God we have to be close at hand. Those vessels, the ones kept closest, are also the vessels that are cleansed the most. Genesis 49:3-12- It was like he was saying, "There's such a possibility in you, if you would only change." Maybe he was waiting for Reuben to repent, to acknowledge his sin, to want to change. There were most likely many times that Jacob gave him a chance to come to him about it. God gives us opportunity to repent- sometimes He gives us time to acknowledge it. We want to have right judgment, but not take things into our own hands. There was a submission in Judah- he had repented and was making an effort to be a clean vessel.

-Hester W. (her testimony): Psalm 46- (It was 50 years ago that Hester started in the work.) The first verses speak of a very turbulent time. The message is still, "Let not your heart be troubled." God is in the midst of His city. vs.10- Hold on to this psalm this year. We are living in a troubled world, but "Fear not." Be still and know that He is God.

- Pray till we're soft, and read till we're fed.

- It's so important to pray, so important to get to the gospel meetings- we have to take care that these things have their right place in our lives.

- Psalm 84- Be a good doorkeeper for our hearts and homes.

- Sunflowers are always looking towards the sun, even when their heads are heavy and they're ready for the harvest.

- Prayer and meditation in the Word is our life-line. If we don't go to God in prayer in the morning we're telling Him we don't need His help. If we don't go to God in prayer in the evening we're telling Him we don't need His forgiveness.

- We might be sitting at Jesus' feet, but we want to make sure we're sitting there long enough.

- There was nothing outstanding written about Enoch, but he walked with God. Just continue.

-Kenion C.: 1st Peter- Peter had always kept the law, but he was able to go so much deeper. We want the spirit of, "Correction is never easy to take, but I thank you." The Lord knows best how to reprove and correct us. He always delt compassionately with people. If we're manipulators- admitting it when we're caught, then just continuing to do it again- it's like a death sentence to us, there will never be grace. But, if there is a true repentance in our heart, an earnest desire and struggle to be true, we can be saved, we can be redeemed and forgiven. If you can mean something to just one person by being faithful, you will have eternal joy from it. We want to compare our spirit to the Lord's. We might think, "There's all these people around, they're not interested," so we don't invite them. Don't just have a good example around those who "know better." Be conscious of the plight of others. 1 Peter 1:4- It's more important than anything else to be right before God, to be at peace. Love casts out fear. In this coming year there will be things that test our faith. It's never pleasant to have a battle, but how else can our faith get stronger? Set ourselves to have victory- we want to know what we're doing, see what we're feeding on.

-Marybelle A.: When we bury someone we're not burying a person, we're burying the house they moved out of- and we're not burying their influence. Our loved ones don't fade into the darkness when they go, they fade away into the glorious Son. We want to live like that- losing our own light in the glorious Son. Human nature loves glory, but we aim to give God the glory. Phillipians 4:19-20 We don't even know the names of some- of the little girl who sent Naman to the prophet, of the little boy who brought the loaves and fish. All we have is our own little "lunch"- just what we've brought to feed ourselves, but when we present it to the Lord He can bless it and feed a multitude. We can be faithful little influences. Many times God has been disappointed with His people, but He's never been discouraged by His project.

-Lucy W.: Hebrews 6:12 We don't want to be spiritually lazy, lazy to pray. Proverbs 12:27- He was hunting, but he didn't eat the meat. It's possible for us to search the scriptures and find something, but not be willing to make it ours. Proverbs 15:19- His testimony, his way, isn't clear- he hasn't been faithful in pulling the thorns, he can't even see the way any more. We want to keep the path to the place of prayer clear and seen. We don't want anything to keep us from time with God. Proverbs 18:19- He wastes his time. Proverbs 19:15, 24- When we're sleeping we're not conscious- of our need, of the signs of the time, etc. He doesn't want to do anything, not even feed his own soul. If we're careless today, we'll care less tomorrow. Proverbs 21:25- He has the desire, but he doesn't do anything about it. We don't want our vision clouded so we couldn't see the Provision on our side. Proverbs 24:30- Something that could have been so fruitful, but he was lazy and it became overgrown. That's the end result of a spiritually lazy man- nothing. Being whole-hearted is where the blessing is. Put our whole heart into it and God will bless us.

- Be aware of what we're finding our refuge in.

- We hope those watching our lives can see that we've been here.

- Remember the faithful influences. Other influences will come into our lives when we leave here- be a faithful influence.

- There is sufficient grace for any experience we will go through in our life.

- It hurts God when we feel like we can do it on our own- we want to truly roll every burden on God and learn to be dependent.

-Domenic E.: R.E.S.T.- Remove Every Selfish Thought. P.R.A.I.S.E.- Patient purpose, Reverent resignation, Abundant abiding, Insistent intersession, Silent submission, Effectual endurance. Psalms is full of praise. The book of Revelation is what it's all leading to- that's the goal God has in mind. "Out of the mouths of babes God has perfected praise." We're learning, practicing, how to praise God. We're aiming at professing godliness. We're practicing for the little part we'll be allowed to sing when we stand around the Throne. What is divine and what is eternal is always new- it's the only thing that is. Revelation 4:10-11, 5:11-12, 7:11-12, 14:2-3 The harp is such a simple instrument, but it's not simple to play. Our part is so simple, but it takes a lot of practicing- it has a lot to do with our reading, our praying, getting to meetings. I want to be faithful in playing my piece, in knowing my place and my part- when to come in and when to bow out so there will be harmony and unity. Psalms 138:1-2 There are a lot of things the world has as idols- do we sometimes fall before them too? (Covetousness, what we're putting ourselves in debt for, etc.?) Our praise should not be limited to words. It's written in our deeds- what we do day in and day out, prompted by our love of Christ. Psalm 149 & 150 We are each like an instrument in God's hands. Psalm 107 There's no better way to praise God than to be thankful, and express our thankfulness- we can do that each day in prayer. There are four different examples of experiences in this psalm- so many people in the world are like that, they need to see a light, to have a small taste of our salt, to have a good example instead of a bad one. Don't ever quit praying for them and don't ever lose hope for them. Always keep an open door of mercy and love.

-Eva S.: (75 years ago she was listening to the gospel.) All we can say is, "A thousand thanks." Ephesians God can do more than we could ever ask or think. A man said once that he was observing a herd of sheep in a field. He said they all were going on, but there was one old sheep who was lagging behind. It looked stiff and had wool in it's eyes. It would follow a little way, then stop to bleat. It was like it was saying, "I'm coming, I'm coming."(one of Eva's familiar stories, that we never get tired of!) We're like that old sheep sometimes- we want to be able to say that too. A sheep wants to be with the other sheep- we can't be a sheep in the other end of the pasture- but we could be a goat. :) We want to follow on.

-Bonnie P.: Matthew 13:15-17 Having a need in our heart makes all the difference in what can be revealed to us. Rest is hidden in the yoke. When we're willing to be yoked to Jesus we can be united with Him. It's so unequal, really- He's the one who pulls the greater load. He bears our burdens. Forgiveness is hidden in repentance. "He who is forgiven much loves much." Peace is hidden in surrender. Luke 19:41 Jesus came to give peace to the individual heart- to the surrendered heart. There's life hidden in death. We must learn to die to ourselves to receive Life. John 12- "if it die it bringeth forth much fruit." God helps us to love the things that are hidden. We want to seek for these things.

-George P.: Mark 1:1-3 When did this way of God start? For each of us it started when we heard the voice of the Shepherd. We stand before God alone- it doesn't matter what our parents or others do or believe. Jesus declared the gospel in a way that applied to anyone who was listening. vs. 14-15 "The time is fulfilled." What time is it in our lives? It's time to hear and receive. The kingdom of God is at hand right now, not some time in the future- right now. There must be repentance- that's the first step, admitting that we're wrong. What if there was no opportunity to repent, even if you knew you were wrong? That's what an eternity without God will be like. God has given us opportunity now to repent, to be made right before Him. Believe the Gospel- then we can receive power to become the children of God. Matthew 4:12-17- They were living in darkness- no light for the soul. They could obey the law, but there's no salvation, no light, in doing only that. There is a provision- we can repent and believe the Gospel. When we respond to His voice we'll be given new life and hope for the future.

-Sandra B.: Romans 15:5,9,13 God wants us to know that there is hope, and fill us with the fullness of peace found in believing in Jesus. Isaiah- It's not an inspiring picture, but there was always hope and comfort. Isaiah 40:1, 66:10,12-14 The picture of a mother with a new baby is one of the most comforting pictures the Lord can use to show us His care for us. Every time we cry there's always something to satisfy. It's when we go to God that we'll get the help we need. When we're close to the Lord we "grow up" with a security that He loves us. More can be required of us. We always need comfort and hope. There's hope for recovery, no matter what the situation is- because God has what we need.

-Jane B.: 1 Samuel 1 Where they lived meant "double high place." Hannah saw a need in the kingdom and was desperate. When we make vows it's a cost to our flesh. It's in the common days that we pay our vows. She poured out her vow to the only One who mattered. Sometimes we come with a sorrowful soul and the Lord lays it on our heart, or we are desperate enough, to make a vow- when we do God is faithful to help us carry it out. Hannah was satisfied in what she received in the presence of God. Samuel means "heard of God"- she gave the credit to God. Sometimes things are laid on our heart that aren't meant to be poured out to anyone but God. She didn't vow to give Him her son for as long as she wanted or for a little while, but for all of his life. She wasn't trusting him to Eli, but to the Lord. They were worshiping the Lord as they were paying their vow- as they were leaving their son there. We're reminded every year of the vows we've made here, but we pay our vows daily throughout the year. Hannah was concerned about the future of the kingdom- she didn't know she'd be richly blessed when she prayed for that, but she received far more than she gave. Yes, it requires something of our flesh, but the Lord will so richly bless. It's only in keeping our vows that we have the priveledge of serving our generation. God is weighing our vows, we're not to weigh them against anyonelse's. We want to keep our vows.

- When counting the cost, make sure to look ahead and consider the value.

-Clarence M.:
Revelation 19:7-8 It's good to have a clear goal before us. A lot of preparation is yet ahead. Ephesians 2- They were by nature children of wrath, but God searches the heart- He can begin with that kind of beginning and finish with the perfection in Revelation 19:7-8. God always sets the standards in righteousness- if He has said it or planned it, it's right. That will always be true- that God is right. The penalty of sin is death- but He made provision that we could be a part of that bride of Christ. No one will need to appear before God with sin- enough provision has been made that all could be saved if they would come to Him. Genesis 4- It wasn't the Lord that said Cain couldn't be forgiven, it was Cain. Jeremiah 18:12 If a person can convince themselves that there is no hope they cast off all restraints. But God is the God of hope- to those that will believe Him. Mark 3- People said Jesus did the work of the devil- that's a sin that there's no use in praying for forgiveness for- that's speaking against the Holy Ghost, the Spirit that led Jesus. 2 Samuel 11 & 12- Both of those sins of David carried the death penalty. It will never work before God to try to cover up our sin. Psalm 51 & 32 (Psalm 32 was written after 51) David was facing up to his sin before God. The only thing that can overcome judgment is God's mercy. God didn't justify David's sin, but He did forgive it. Our only hope is mercy- otherwise it's death. David had a desperate plea for mercy. If we die as a sinner all the sins of our life will come trailing behind us into the Judgment. If we deal with our sin now, while we're here, then our sin will be taken care of. We know He sees our sin, but if we're willing He'll blot it out. David was so thankful that, when he was willing to face it, he could be set free from his sin. We don't need to let the enemy harass us about sins of the past that we've forsaken and been forgiven of. Once it's forgiven we don't have to ask again- just thank God that it is forgiven. The time God can be found is now, in this life. Live with a purpose to keep as clean as we can.

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Well, folks, this takes us through Friday morning's meeting. I'll add more as time allows.
I wish convention was longer, but as we so helpfully heard, ships are not made for the harbor, they're made for the sea.

Safe and fruitful sailing this year. :)

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