The Inspiration of Nashville ’09

The flag waves over Cornerstone church 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.

One of the buildings where sessions were heldThe audience at Good Pastures Fine Art CenterOur family walks into Cornerstone Church

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!

Robert and Clayton's special piano duetAlex listens closely to to Tom Harmon's messageTom Harmon
Audience as seen from the stage (pretty packed!)

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!

Joshua plays piano for the CIThe girls enjoying their ice-creamAnd so do us guys!

Attending the conference was a huge blessing from the Lord and we praise Him for the safe travels and an edifying trip.

Matthew and Daniel keep their CI kids spellbound as they act out a hilarious skitHeadquarters quartet for special musicRobert address the audience
The Duggars play their violins for special musicJonathan and Esther playing in the orchestraDaniel played in the orchesta as well
The choir


  1. Hannah Burnett June 6, 2009 at 1:10 pm #

    Great pictures! What an exciting week it was! Thanks again for letting me join you all for ice cream. I enjoyed meeting everyone and the fellowship was wonderful!

  2. Esther June 6, 2009 at 2:16 pm #

    Our pleasure, Hannah! It was such a surprise to see you there! Praise the Lord for working that out. See you in a few months!

  3. Donald June 8, 2009 at 1:49 am #

    Thank you from Taiwan! I think Nashville is one things I miss most here. Thanks to Dr. Chen I was able to view many of the sessions. Now it’s good to see the family perspective here and the pictures. Ja yo!

  4. Allen P. June 8, 2009 at 9:03 pm #

    I was very pleased to be invited to your place for fellowship and ice cream. I really enjoyed myself. One of the highlights of the evening was hearing Esther and Michael quote the poems they had memorized.

    The whole conference was a blessing, though I only got to sit in on two and two/halves of sessions. Mr. Harman is a great preacher!

  5. Michael June 9, 2009 at 5:26 am #

    The week was inspiring. Being able to listen to so much of God’s Word and so many testimonies is like being planted in a vast bed of rich compost. Invigorating. Strengthening. More nutrients than I could have even used – but that’s how it should be, and that’s how God is.

  6. Dad & Mom June 10, 2009 at 6:47 pm #

    It will be worth it all!!!

  7. Robert June 10, 2009 at 8:35 pm #

    Wonderful memories, James! Thanks for these pictures. Praise the Lord for a powerful week! It was so encouraging for me to see so many families seeking the Lord!

  8. Elizabeth Rauch June 13, 2009 at 2:40 pm #

    Hey Esther, looks like you had fun! Our family has LOVED the Bonhoeffer series as well! Looks like you had so much fun and learned even more! It was so great to talk to you today!
    See you in September!

  9. Joshua June 16, 2009 at 4:14 pm #

    My it has been a bit since I’ve stopped in at – and that has not been from lack of desire. Thank you for the wonderful report and pictorial reminders. May we now be doers of the Word!

  10. Yang April 3, 2014 at 1:47 pm #

    Spot on with this write-up, I honestly believe this amazing site needs much more attention.
    I’ll probably be back again to read more, thanks for the advice!

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