Our annual trips to the ATI Regional Conferences have always been packed with excitement! On the way to Nashville this year, we passed the time in the van by listening to Focus on the Family’s Radio Theatre audiodrama of Dietrich Bonhoeffer. This detailed account of his life was a definite inspiration to live wholeheartedly for Christ. It amazed us how relevant his message is to our time in history; the parallels between the rise of Nazism in Germany and the rise of Socialism in America are alarming.
At the conference, we were impressed with God’s hand of providence. Even though it rained on several occasions, we never had to use an umbrella! The thunderstorms would let up during the breaks as we walked from building to building! We thank God for His sovereignty over the weather.
Courtship was a main theme in many of the sessions. We learned that the man, as the leader in the relationship, is responsible to assist his fiancee in conquering the fears and hurts that result from believing lies in the past. For example, a fear of failure can be conquered by tracing it back to a lie such as, “I can never do anything right”. Quoting the truth instead brings freedom. In this case, the truth of Ephesians 2:10 would apply: “We are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” As for the fear of rejection, it can be traced to a lie such as “I must be like the world to be accepted.” But the truth is, “…be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” (Romans 12:2). What a privilege it was to sit under the teaching of so many great men of God and tap into the rich truths they have found in His Word!
And, of course, other highlights of the week were the times we spent in fellowship with friends who stopped by our hotel for visits in the evenings. We swapped witnessing stories, shared testimonies, contemplated riddles and enjoyed ice-cream with with the Wilkes’, Westfahls, Christiansens, Allen Parfitt, and Hannah Burnett. Thank you all for letting the Lord use you to encourage our family!
Attending the conference was a huge blessing from the Lord and we praise Him for the safe travels and an edifying trip.