I had been wanting to get to this conference for a couple of years but it just hadn't happened (baby and study). So I was keen to go this year even before I found out that my favourite gospel singer was one of the speakers. If you know me well you would know that Kim Walker-Smith has been constantly playing in my stereo for three-four years. Ever since a friend showed me this You tube clip...I have been a tad obssessed.
A friend and I had booked our tickets months ago...and a third friend was waiting on job offers but was free that week and was able to grab a ticket the day of the conference starting. Lucky I had booked a room unit with an extra spot.
We headed to Albany early for a spot of shopping. I bought I dress...only my second one in my warddrobe at present...yeah I'm more of a jeans and tee shirt kinda gal. So much fun!
The first night was the ever so wise Bill Johnson. He is the Senior Pastor of Bethel Church in Redding California. His teaching blows my mind. He explains stuff from the bible that I would never have thought of if I read it on my own.
The next day we heard from a guy called Danny Silk. He was hilarious. One of his sessions was about Daring to dream. I learnt that it was okay to have a dreams list. That dreaming of building the house of your dreams or wanting to swim with the dolphins is not a selfish thing, but that God takes delight in seeing us blessed and fulfilled in all details of our lives. It changed my thinking how we can overspiritualise everything. Everytime a dream came true, he called it a little Kiss from heaven. I thought it was amazing that in their church they had a specific person who helped all the students and team memebers of their staff, encourage them to dream their own dreams. Rather than "you belong to our church...and this is what you should be doing for us."
Kim Walker-Smith's session really challenged me. She shared a little bit about how she came to be involved in Jesus Culture music. I just love her laugh. She is such a nice young lady. Later on that night she joined the House band and led us in a couple of her songs. I love it when you listen to singers live...and they sound exactly the same in real life as they do on CD/DVD. So awesome.
For dinner we found a stylie place in Takapuna , that served $57 Wagyu beef. (Yeah I think Ill add trying that to the bucket/dream list ;). Instead I tried something Ive always wanted to try after seeing it on TV a lot, Beef Carpaccio. An italian dish , it is raw beef tenderloin sliced ultra thin. It had olive oil, mayonaise and parmasian cheese with baby cress. Was tasty but probably wont have it again. Nice to try once!
On the last night we combined with the opening night for the conference two at another larger venue. An estimated 2000 christians all in the same place. The sound of that many people singing along to Kim Walker-Smith and the band was electric. We prayed for people with terminal illness and cancer...With that much faith in the room plus God in the place...anything is possible.
Ive already got in early and bought two tickets for next year. Im hoping hubby and I can make it together. We haven't been to a conference together...ever.
In short, I feel refreshed...even though it was such a busy schedule, and I feel full of Faith.
Maybe Ill see you there next year ;)