My Favorite Quotes from Catalyst 2014

Catalyst Atlanta blew my mind last week. I think I left feeling more challenged than I ever have. And I think that was in part due to the fact that the challenge to be a CHANGE MAKER was real. It was presented in such a way that I felt like I could leave and actually take on the challenge. Start where I’m at.

Here are just a few little snippets (some of my personal favorites) of just some of the amazing stuff we heard. (I didn’t put anything in quotations because I’m not sure if they are exact quotes or not.)

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+ Until we change ourselves, we will never change our world. | Christine Caine

+ You won’t be able to change the world, the church, anything if you don’t change yourself. | Tim Keller

+ Limited resources are not an excuse. They are a pathway to our creativity. | Craig Groeschel

+ As long as we are looking for loophole s in our faith we lose all credibility to speak to culture. | Andy Stanley

+ The church must stop expecting outsiders to act like insiders when insiders are acting like outsiders. | Andy Stanley

+ Comparison will consistently cloud the clarity of God’s call on your life. | Robert Madu

+ God has given you everything you need to reach every person He wants you to reach. | Craig Groeschel

+ Some things aren’t safe for God to give you until you’ve prayed about them and the things surrounding them. | Tim Keller

+ The pathway to your greatest potential is often through your greatest fear. | Craig Groeschel

+ Stop complaining to the Master about the pieces you didn’t get, and praise God for making you a masterpiece. | Robert Madu

+ God sometimes guides by what He withholds; if we have what we want, we may not see what He wants us to see. | Craig Groeschel

+ We must refute the lies of the enemy with the truth of God’s Word. | Christine Caine

+ Don’t blame yourself for the declines because then you will be tempted to credit yourself with the increase. | Craig Groeschel

+ If you’re going to reach people nobody’s reaching, you’ve got to do things nobody’s doing. | Craig Groeschel

+ We are wired for love; we learn fear. | Dr. Caroline Leaf

+ The degree to which we are free and healed is the degree to which we will lead people into freedom and wholeness. | Christine Caine

+ When we choose life and build life into our brains, this impacts how we function in our spirit, soul, and body. | Dr. Caroline Leaf

+ The screens of social media have become mirrors by which we measure ourselves to others. “Mirror, mirror on Facebook, tell me how I should look.” “Mirror, mirror on Instagram, tell me who I really am.” | Robert Madu

+ The challenge is to run YOUR race, stay in YOUR lane, and keep your eyes fixed on JESUS. | Robert Madu

+ The reason the church isn’t reaching the world today is because it’s too busy keeping Christians on life support. | Christine Caine

+ We need to do more than lean in and survive; we need to thrive and proclaim Jesus alive! | Christine Caine

 

Some of these quotes are from my notes. Some are a product of searching the hashtag #catalyst14 on Twitter since I knew I didn’t remember half of the spoken gems we received.

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Quick Mushy Gushy Hubby Thoughts

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I wrote this note in a stream of consciousness mode this past Wednesday. Decided to share it today.

I’m sitting in the Atlanta airport while my husband has been waiting in a terribly long line for our rental car. Upon his suggestion to sit down, I did, and it reminded me once again how blessed I am to have him. It was a little thing for him to suggest that I sit down while he continued standing. But the little things are what consistently make the biggest impact with me. The bin of cough drops, Vapo rub (haha), crackers, etc after he witnessed one of my first allergy episodes several years back, Anne of Green Gables on DVD because I nonchalantly told him about how I wore the videos out as a kid, my favorite M&M doozies from Rouse’s because he wants me to get fat just wants to make me happy, a kiss on the forehead just because, the sweetest random texts telling me why he loves me, and this cute bin of goodies from Target because I went home to Bossier by myself for a few days last week. Not only do the gifts/gestures mean a lot simply for what they are, but he has also taken time to listen to what I love, truly thinks about it, and gets it right. I’m so thankful God listened to my probably not near frequent enough prayers for my future husband. I’m the luckiest (favored) gal!

Mediocre, No More

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I wrote an article for a church publication about a year and a half ago. It never got published as the publication was discontinued. So, as the 2 year anniversary of my first missions trip has just passed (I went in July of 2012) I’ve decided to share that article here.


REMOVING MYSELF FROM THE MEDIOCRE

For years, I desperately wanted to go on a missions trip. I kind of waited around for things to fall into my lap because I never felt like I was in a place to seek out that sort of thing. However, it wasn’t until I made a serious, but easy, move that God met me there. After what seemed like an end to the road to Tanzania, God opened the door and allowed me to walk through it. So, through Apostolic Youth Corps (AYC), I participated in my first missions trip in July of 2012.

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I blogged a little while I was there, and I want to share a few excerpts that attempt to capture some of my amazing experiences.

On July 16th – Tract distribution in Arusha around Esso church. Woah. There’s no way to describe the experience. I was humbled and baffled and blessed. I saw and smelt things most of the people I know never will. Seriously, it would blow some people’s minds. I was in a group of 7 from our AYC team, plus 4 Nationals. We walked through areas where people live (that didn’t look like people should live there) and some very populated marketplaces. I personally (for the first time in my life) passed out somewhere around 100 tracts. “Karibu (Welcome),” I would say with a smile, and most responded, “Asante (Thank you).” Then the average recipient would quickly and eagerly begin reading the handout. Wow. Just wow. They are so hungry.

On July 20th – I’m sitting in my hotel room in Arusha, Tanzania. I can hear the sounds of cars driving on the “wrong” side of the road below. A lot of honking goes on around here. Best I can tell, there are no street laws. No speed limits, no traffic lights, and no stopping for pedestrians. People just go, whether by motor vehicle, motor bike, bicycle, foot, or donkey. We’ve done a lot of “going” on this trip.  Yesterday, we went from our campsite (the real deal, I might add…amazing under the beautiful African night sky) to a Tanzanite mining village called Mirerani to pass out tracts and hold street services. Our method of transportation was a small jeep that we managed to fit 17 people into…African style, they told us. The riding and the driving. Woah…the driving. That man was going. We got to the village and split into groups. My group went through one of the more intense experiences as we were nearly mobbed. Thankfully, a National was with us and knew when to leave. Once we got out of that situation, another arose as immigration was called on us. Bro. Richard Smoak got that taken care of, and the mission proved totally worth the effort. At least one of the Maasai men that received a tract that morning came to the crusade we had yesterday evening and received the Holy Ghost! 

On July 22nd – Bro. Richard Smoak received word today that over 400 were in attendance at the crusade in Majengo Kia – where we were passing out tracts and participating in services on Wednesday and Thursday – last night. And 28 received the Holy Ghost! We passed out tracts in Esso today. People were stopping their vehicles to get one. And the Muslims (heavy population in that area) were taking them from us instead of walking by, which is what would typically happen. God is so good. He loves everyone. Every personality. Every nationality.

On July 23rd – It’s early Monday morning here in Tanzania. In an hour or so, we will be loading up to go pray at Esso church – where 17 children and 6 adults were filled with the Holy Ghost yesterday! – Then, we’ll return to our hotel to quickly clean up, eat, and make the journey to the airport. I’ve experienced things and encountered people that will forever change my life. And I am so grateful for that. I don’t know if I’ll ever visit Tanzania again. I would like to. But if I don’t, like Pastor Yusufu said yesterday, I will see these people in Heaven. That hit me hard. Wow. What an amazing privilege living for God’s Kingdom.

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The trip to Tanzania was, for me, an eruption of emotions. I encountered everything from happiness, sadness, hope, despair, excitement, disappointment, grief, relief, awe, amazement, joy, and gratefulness. Every emotion was worth it. As I expected, I was changed. But the change didn’t come like I expected. I did not feel this overwhelming shift in my spirit or thinking immediately. Rather, it’s been an ongoing process. A process that has literally changed my life. A process that continues as I witness hungry people all around me and I realize that I hold those people’s connection to God. I’ve learned that the people in the United States are different in that they wear many masks trying to cover up pain and need, but they are also hungry, and they need God just like the people of Africa. I’ve been convicted about this recently, and God has stirred my soul. I want to see the people in the United States in Heaven too. I want to stop living a mediocre life and seek out the blessings God has for me and for others, through me, every single day, whether in North America or Africa.

Claim Joy

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I’ve been organizing some stuff on my computer recently. Today, I worked on deleting and combining a bunch of notes. I came across this random thought I had in August 2012. It’s like I wrote it to speak to myself again today. Since it meant something to me again, I thought I would share. Maybe someone else will relate as well.

Psalms 9:2. This verse says I WILL have joy because of you (the Lord). Two things stuck out to me here. These are those thoughts:

1) The word “will” here is decisive. The Scripture doesn’t say “might have” or “should have” or “if I do this, then I’ll have.” It’s simple – I will have. Joy is ours.

2) It uses the future tense. Some might think this means joy is far off. But I think it’s because it’s a definite thing that God has for His people. But us humans have to accept it. We have to realize that joy IS ours and WILL always be ours. The future tense in the verse allows us to have that joy whenever we choose to accept it, then have it forevermore.

Because of God. Because of His unmatched goodness…we can have joy. So just do it. Claim it.

Claim joy.