Have I mentioned how great the worship has been this week? Being in the presence of the Lord with a couple thousand other children's ministry leaders has been incredible.
Melissa J. MacDonald was the first of two speakers to take the stage Tuesday night. She is a great follow on twitter as well, in case you are not following her. @kidsconsultant is where you can find her in the Twitterverse. She is incredibly funny, fixing to be getting married, just had knee replacement while still in her 30's, and is a Jesus loving woman!
Melissa opened up her time with us with this statement "God is present, and you are here on purpose." She then challenged conference attendees to partake of CPC18 and to not just be an observer. She made many more great points, with a few that I'll share here.
How can you hear His voice if you never stop using yours?
Stop telling kids to start doing what you’ve stopped doing.
If you believe that you are made for “this”, then stop depending on yourself to figure it out.
If you are made for this, then be honest with yourself.
If you are made for this, there is nothing that comes your way that you can’t get through because He is with you.
Being broken, bruised or hurting doesn’t disqualify you from this, it really qualifies you.
Melissa was great and I would highly recommend you take the opportunity to get to know her or bring her to a camp or training.
Our second keynote was Beth Guckenberger. Beth and her husband Todd serve as Co-Executive Directors of Back2Back Ministries. They have a big heart for foster and adoptive ministries and themselves have raised ten children. Beth really opened her heart up to those in the room. Before leading us to take the Lord's Supper, Beth shared how we need to make room for Jesus when we find ourselves in stories that we don't make sense. I immediately connected with this point as I reflected how God has worked in my life through the death of our infant son Asher in 2014. It's nothing short of amazing in looking back at the work the Lord has done as a result of a lot of pain in our lives.
Beth also reminded us that there is no place too dark or too nasty that Jesus wouldn't go into. Afterall, look at where He was born. He desires to meet everyone right where they are at, regardless of where they been or what they've done. AMEN!
I'll have more from CPC as Day Two kicks off!