Friday, January 21, 2011

Winterfest, part 2

"And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him." Romans 12:1 (NLT)
On Saturday morning, we headed to the conference center for worship and a lesson. This missionary came and told us this amazing story that happened to him in New Zealand. He told us how to talk to people who don't believe in God. It was incredible!! I wish I could explain it all on here, but I can't.
At noon, the sessions break for lunch, so we went to a mall we always go to. My friends and I ate the Rainforest Cafe and then walked around. We left the mall at 3 and went back to the hotel for free time. The hotel we stay in has an atrium in the middle and all the rooms open to that. It's so much fun because the whole hotel is full of people at Winterfest, so there's so much entertainment! We like to just sit outside our room and people watch. We ate dinner, then went back to the conference center for the evening sessions.
Saturday night is always so great. The lessons are always so practical, but deep and challenging. We were shown how much time we spend doing things. We spend so much time watching tv, sleeping, facebooking, and even getting dressed and going to the bathroom. But how much time do we spend with the Creater of the earth? It's not very much. On stage, there was a huge container with pennies in it. There were 86,400 pennies. That represented how many seconds we have in each day. What would it cost us to follow Christ? Is it worth it? Yes, it is. On Friday night, we SAW that God is worth it. He is so mighty! The speaker took a handful of pennies and threw one by one on the floor as each second went by. That's how fast it goes. We never get that back. As we continued worshiping, we were asked to get out our pennies, quarters, dimes, or nickles, and take them to the stage. This represented us giving our time to God. It was so moving to see people with handfuls of change, trying to get through the crowds, bringing it all to God. There were groups of people praying with each other, people worshiping on their knees, and tears running down on everyone's faces.
One of the main points was that God is worthy of our praise, NOT just at church when we sing, but every second. You don't have to cancel everything in your life to worship God. You just have to put Him in everything, in every second of your life. That is what God calls us to.
At the hotel that night, 2 teens decided to accept Christ in baptism. One from our church, one from another. As we all gathered in the pool room, we sang praises as we saw our new sisters in Christ being baptized. It was so exciting and joyful!
Sunday morning was also very moving. All weekend we kept seeing the number 31,536,000 but we never knew what it was. They finally told us that that is how many seconds we have in a year. God is worthy of our praise 31,536,000 seconds a year. They pulled all the pennies out of the container on stage, and underneath was a cross.
"Worship is 31,536,000"
We repeated this phrase over and over.
"Worship is not how you sing, but how you obey"
Worship is not how you sing, but how you live your life. Yes, we can worship God at church when we sing, but we can also worship him in everything we do.
This was the main verse for the weekend. Here's 2 different translations.
"Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship." Romans 12:1 (NIV)
"So here's what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don't become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You'll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you." Romans 12:1-2 (the Message)


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