If you ever have the opportunity to attend a Women of Joy conference, run! Don't walk to sign up. The speakers they choose are perfectly suited for women, well, of course, that is possibly because they are women. It started off Friday night with Anita Renfroe, who proved that comedy can be clean fun. There is no need for the racial slurs, the stereotypes, the obscenities, none of that. Just funny stuff. Because, that's the thing. Life is funny.
Saturday morning we had a change in speakers. Priscilla Shirer (who I really, really wanted to see) had to cancel at the last minute. She lives in Texas and there were bad storms around Dallas this weekend so the airport was closed. The soonest she could get a flight was going to be Sunday morning, and well, we would all be headed out by then. So with a little shuffling around, they were able to find someone to fill in, Lisa Harper. She was wonderful! Her message was one about letting go of the "I am not good enough for God" mentality. She highlighted Matthew 1, which go ahead and read it. Ha! I have $20 on you not getting past the third verse. The first 16 verses of Matthew are just the lineage of Jesus. Who was whose father, who had a really hard name to pronounce and that father, whose name is really hard to pronounce and the father before that and on and on. Well, the interesting thing about this little diddy, is that there is mention of 4 women. Shocker! I didn't know this, but this is why I love the bible study part of learning. Lisa explained that back in Matthew's time he was speaking to the Jews and it was unheard of to speak of women in the context of someone's lineage. Now, as if that wasn't enough to make the Jewish women he was speaking to drop their jaws and cover their mouths, the women he mentions are not the most prim and proper women of the bible. And yet, God loved them. Lisa even made the comment that it blows her mind when people tell her the bible is boring, in her words "this stuff is better than Jerry Springer!" :-)
Then there was Liz Curtis Higgs. She was great! She used to work in the radio business at a station in Detroit, ironically enough with Howard Stern. She said she was at her desk one day getting ready to go on the air and doing a line of cocaine when Howard walked in and said "Liz, you really need to get it together." Hello??? Howard Stern of all people. That's when she knew something was really wrong with that picture.
Liz also spoke on not being good enough, only with more humor. She says every woman should get up in the morning, look in the mirror and say "Ta Da!" Because she says that's what God thinks when He looks down at each one of His beautiful daughters. She even said, it isn't like He looks down and says "Oops! I better try harder next time." We are all perfect and beautiful to our Father.
Last night was a concert with Steven Curtis Chapman and Michael W. Smith. I enjoyed Steven Curtis Chapman the most. Several of his songs are written about his children and I guess since I have small children I could relate. His two sons, Caleb and Will play in his band which he was very proud of.
Then this morning was Becky Tiribassi. I have to admit, she wasn't my favorite, but I am confident she spoke to some women though.
It was a great experience, despite going by myself. I am fascinated by everything that I am learning about the bible. Although I was saved by the grace of God when I was a preteen, He and I haven't walked the closest over the years. Well, I think He would say He was always close to me, but I can tell a different story.
I bought several books and can't wait to dive into them. Bad Girls of the Bible by Liz Curtis Higgs (she also has Slightly Bad Girls of the Bible and Really Bad Girls of the Bible which I hope to read as well), Untamed by Lisa Harper and Songs in the Key of Solomon and Duets by Anita Renfroe. I have never been one to care about autographs and such but I stood in line and each of these ladies signed their books for me (well, not just me, they did it for anyone who stood in line, but you know what I mean). I will let you know what I think of them as I start reading.