What a perfect weekend of worship and work! I loved every bit of She Speaks 2014 and I’m so grateful I took the plunge to attend. I met amazing women across the country who are writing books, starting ministries and living out their walk with Christ authentically and transparently. It’s the first time I’ve been away by myself since Dan died. I cannot tell you how much God encouraged me from conversations with my plane seatmates to meeting so many like-minded women to learning more about the writing, blogging, publishing world.
So. My top three She Speaks moments.
First, I absolutely loved hearing Christine Caine’s testimony and admonishment to us Friday evening. She’s a fiery Australian with an amazing story of redemption and incredible ministry (which includes rescuing slaves all over the world) who delivered a hard challenge. If you have a chance to hear Christine speak, do NOT miss!
My next favorite time was Saturday morning as I skipped the early morning session for my own time in the Word. She Speaks builds in great worship and group devotions, but by the second morning, I needed my own time with the Lord away from the busyness of 800 other ladies.
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Finally, my biggest takeaway came from Jerry Jenkins’ testimony about Billy Graham. Yes, that Jerry Jenkins. Did you know that Jenkins has written more than 180 books including the Left Behind series which sold more 63,000,000 copies? But he said his greatest honor was being chosen to write Billy Graham’s biography, Just As I Am. Jenkins said that after decades of preaching and ministry, people wonder about the secret to Billy Graham’s spiritual power. Why has God used him so profoundly? Jenkins’ story revealed part of the answer.
One day, Jenkins asked Billy Graham how he maintained his own spiritual disciplines. Dr. Graham answered simply that he prayed without ceasing and studied scripture. “You pray without ceasing?” Jenkins asked. He said Dr. Graham nodded yes and said he was praying right then, during their conversation, that he would have the right words and that the biography would glorify God.
When Jenkins asked him to explain how he studied the Bible, Dr. Graham said that every morning, whether he was at home or a guest in someone’s house or across the world, he opened his Bible and laid it where he would see it throughout the day. Whenever he had 5 minutes or an hour or two, he would read a verse or a chapter. Dr. Graham said this study was not for sermon preparation or book writing, but for his own nourishment. Jenkins choked up as he recalled glancing up and seeing Dr. Graham’s Bible lying open on the corner of his desk.
Those words have stayed with me and I cannot shake them. I can only imagine the intimacy Billy Graham has shared with his Lord year after year as he has prayed unceasingly — through conversation and errands and writing and meetings — and continually fed on Scripture throughout the day. Not something checked off as done in the morning. But a constant, ongoing, living and breathing relationship with his Savior.
She Speaks gave me vision. Not just professionally, but for my own walk with Christ. I’m so challenged by Billy Graham’s example to take God literally and to spend every day with Him in prayer and Bible reading. I do not want to look back when I’m in my 80’s and regret that I didn’t follow God in faith and trust and risk.