The conference is now over. Its reverberations now begin. And at the beginning of this post I want to say a massive thank you to all the staff and volunteers from DGM who ran this event. Scott Anderson led the team and hosted the event incredibly well and the warmth and helpfulness from everyone involved was very much appreciated. To partner in the gospel with so many brothers from another nation was a privilege.
Once again I found myself feeling very much at home in the worship time. Hands raised, great gusto in the voices, and a clear sense of the sweet presence of the risen Jesus. I’d take such a sense of Jesus’ presence over music that is stylistically identical to what we sing, but without that conscious awareness of his presence, any day.
The talk was on missions by the USA head of Frontiers, Bob Blincoe. He laid before us the challenge of world mission, interweaving stories from his own life of being a missionary to Kurds in Northern Iraq with an explanation of how Christian hedonism helps the missionary not lose heart or give way to fear. He said something which stuck like a dagger to me. “I am naturally selfish and careless.” It hit me like a ton of bricks that the same is, of course, true of me. I pray that my wife in particular will notice me becoming less selfish and less careless on my return from this trip.
Another great line from Bob went something like this: “If you cant see very far go as far you can see and then see where God will lead you next.”
I found myself trying to really notice my surroundings today in response to Piper’s talk from yesterday, and experience afresh the wonder of the creation we get to enjoy. God help me to change as a response to being among these people.
In the panel discussion the depth of insight and sharpness of thought these men demonstrated struck me, if anything, more than during the talks themselves. It is worth watching the Q and A just to witness the discomfort on Sam Storms face as he was asked about the filling of the Holy Spirit. As he considered what to say, Piper urged him on. It will make a classic piece of video that I plan to watch again soon!
I don’t remember ever leaving a conference with as much to think about and process as this one.