Get Ready For the Ride of Your Life!

I write book reviews for Thomas Nelson’s BookSneeze program. Recently they offered bloggers and book reviewers the opportunity to win two free tickets to a Women of Faith conference in exchange for covering the event, and I was delighted to be selected. The conference was being held in my old stomping grounds, Atlanta, Georgia, and my friend Vikki agreed to come along for our first Women of Faith weekend.
Praise The conference started with amazing vocalists which included Natalie Grant, Sheila Walsh, Mary Mary, and Laura Story.The Imagine Worship Team led us in praise and worship during the sessions.
Inspire In the opening session we were introduced to the founder of Women of Faith, Steve Arterburn. I found it interesting that a man started Women of Faith in 1996. Steve’s talk on “Why Bad Men Happen to Good Women” was both entertaining and enlightening, and I took copious notes. He also spoke on the five blind spots that cause us to make poor choices and keep us Walking Into Walls.
During each successive session inspiration overflowed the stage and saturated the arena. Speakers included Lisa Harper who is as funny as she is beautiful, and wasn’t afraid to reveal a few bruises. Luci Swindoll encouraged us to live an artful life, and look for hoops of hope.  Angie Smith got us out of our boats with God as our Life Preserver. Nicole Johnson showed God as the original recyclist who creates masterpieces out of fragmented lives and Sheila Walsh’s story of healing after a stay in a psychiatric ward ended with the reminder that the Shepherd is fond of even the blackest of sheep.
ImagineThe weekend’s key verse was Ephesians 3:20: Of course, I had to buy the bracelet.
Shop Opportunities abounded for shopping, one of my favorite pastimes. Books, music, totes, jewelry, my only dilemma was deciding just which delights I couldn’t live without.
CHARGE – Bet you didn’t know there’s a WOF Visa card, I sure didn’t. If you signed up for the card during the conference you received a free t-shirt!

Food – Included in the price of admission (normally $99) is a box lunch each day. Although I found the lunch an added convenience, it wasn’t for my friend Vikki. She has Celiac’s Disease and doesn’t eat gluten. There were no options offered for attendees with special dietary restrictions other than the suggestion to purchase a meal in their facility. In addition, the arena had a strict policy against ANY food and beverages being brought in and we had to obtain special permission to bring our own gluten-free snacks. I felt their policy was too stringent. Philips Arena opened up to a food court in the adjoining CNN facility and a Starbucks was located there. Although there wasn’t a Starbucks inside the arena, they wouldn’t allow you to bring your drink into the building. Pocketbook inspections greatly slowed down the entrance of attendees as each person was searched each time before entering the building.
Free I am all about free stuff and was thrilled when a young girl handed out free books provided by Love Inspired!
GIVE The opportunity to sponsor a child through World Vision was presented throughout the conference through tables set up for that purpose as well as by placing packets in the seats of the arena.  Their goal for our conference was to have 10% of the attendees sign up to sponsor a child. I believe they met their goal.
IMAGINE I arrived at this conference like a flat tire.

Unforeseen circumstances had punctured my life, and left me bumping down the road on my rims. As I inhaled each session here, I felt the breath of the Holy Spirit fill me with a fresh infusion of imagining. I left the conference pumped up and ready to  roll down the road to my destiny. Won’t you join me?
Remember ‘God can do anything you know – more than you could ever IMAGINE, guess or request in your wildest dreams.” (Ephesians 3:20)
I’m putting the top down and fastening my seat belt. It’s going to be an exciting ride.

  1. Vonda Skelton, 30 August, 2011

    Sounds wonderful. I’m jealous… 🙂

  2. Marcia Moston, 31 August, 2011

    Great write-up. Makes me look forward to the conference in Charlotte. (We can wear matching bracelets!)

  3. jorae, 31 August, 2011

    Sounds like a plan to me! You’re going to love it~ So proud of your news! Congratulations, Marcia.

  4. jorae, 31 August, 2011

    Thanks, Vonda. It was a wonderful experience, and I thank God for providing it. Thanks for your comments.

 

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