I have to admit I'm still visiting some of the links, there were 219, yes, I said 219 ladies that took part. And because I was leaving for a couple of days on Friday, it will take awhile.
Where did you go Susanne, you ask? Well, I went to this:
I had heard of these conferences for the past few years and always wanted to attend one. This was only the third one ever in Canada. It was amazing. The worship was wonderful. One Friday the special guest speaker was Max Lucado. If you've never read a Max Lucado book you really need to pick one up and get your coffee, take the phone off the hook and settle in for a good read. He has such a way with words and painting word picturess. All his books are great so you just have to pick which strikes you at a specific time in your walk or life. His message corresponded with his latest book, "Cure for the Common Life" and he spoke on finding your sweet spot in life and finding joy in what God created you to be and do.
Then Sheila Walsh spoke. I've loved Sheila ever since her time on "The 700 Club" when she was a co-host. Her wit and humor and singing and ministering really touched me back then so I was excited to hear her speak. I wasn't disappointed. She told a bit of her story and how God brought her out of deep, life stopping depression to a place of joy. She taught us that we can be real with God, that we don't have to hide behind all the facades, even good Christian ones, that we tend to. He loves us exactly as we are. Kleenex by the box material.
The next day we heard Pasty Clairmont, who is an absolute riot, on moving when God says move. And Marilyn Meberg, Donna VanLiere, Thomas, and Luci Swindoll all had amazing messages that touched the heart and brought joy. There was so much it was hard to remember everything after awhile. And for myself, being a note-taker, it was very hard because it was too dark to write. Donna was a dramatist who put her message into a soliloquay drama and it was moving and powerful.
The part that was absolutely the best part for me was being in an arena with 8000 other women from all denominations and praising the Lord together. The volume of that number of voices was an absolute rush in itself and I had to force myself to enter into the worship and not just stand and watch and listen in awe. It especially excited me because it made me think of this post I had done. Now I actually was in a hockey arena and the praise & shouts were not for the hockey team but for Jesus. I tell ya, it almost brought me to my knees, that God would let me experience a small peice of that after I had written about it. Have I ever said "God is so cool!". Well, He sure is! I can hardly wait to hear what heaven will sound like when we are all there worshipping Him together, all that have passed before us and those that will come after. Gives me goosebumps imagining it!
And we got to hear Avalon in concert. Oh my! They were phenomenal.
So a very full weekend that touched my heart, lifted me up, brought me closer to the 3 women I attended with and encouraged me in my walk with the Lord. If you haven't been to the Contagious Joy 2006 conference go here to see if there is one near you. It's worth the effort. And if not this year, next year's theme will be Amazing Freedom. And of course, the fun of visiting you all at your sites and getting a peek into the homes God has blessed you with where you minister to your families on a daily basis and get your thoughts and ideas that you share with us. Yes, a very full, wonderful weekend it was!
Several of you asked for the Cheeseburger Soup recipe so I'll probably post that tomorrow or maybe for WFMW.