Day 1 – Connection 2011

Day 1 – to Connection – Columbus, OH

I hadn’t intended on coming to the Foursquare “Connection 2011” (which is a euphemism for “Convention.” But Conventions are boring, while Con-nneeections are where you can… connect. And they’re obviously more fun. But I digress.) It wasn’t in the budget. However, an “outside of the budget” force within our Foursquare family provided enough money for me to buy a plane ticket, get a hotel room, & eat while I’m there. So, let’s just say, there has been a sense of “I guess I was supposed to be here.”

Everything has gone perfectly since I woke up this morning. Woke up, not to an alarm, but to a kiss from theBean (a real, “Do I want to leave this woman ever? kiss. Sigh.) Said goodbye to the fam at O-dark:30. Got a ride to the airport, & checked in, & made it through security in a total of 3 minutes. For the whole thing. Flights were smooth. Connections on time. Got free food. Booyah. On the airplane, I worked on the final project for the “Human Behavior in Organizations” Masters class – wrote 2 pages (out of 10), including the introduction, finished my “Abstract & References” pages, which to me, are the toughest parts.

Arrived in sweltering Columbus. 90 degrees. Humid as a shower. All I needed was sand, & I would have laid down for 3 days to soak in it.

Got to my hotel, only to find a) my smoking room was exchanged for a non-smoking (booyah) b) my hotel has a dinner & breakfast available for zero dollars; c) there is a soda fountain where I can get as much soda as I want, also for zero dollars; & d) my non-smoking room is plush. Air conditioned. Quiet. Did I mention air-conditioned? And quiet.

Got to see Jan, the German Foursquare National leader; we will be eating lunch together tomorrow.

Spent some time thinking & praying – enjoying the total lack of stimuli. Listening. Felt the anticipation, true anticipation to gather with people tonight for the services.

Sat with some friends for the meeting – several things stood out to me from the worship & the message:

• The world (the people) isn’t the enemy – the world is the prize. It’s who Jesus died for.
• God inhabits the praises of His people.
Psalm 149 – the connection between our praises & the defeat of the real enemy… read it out loud.

Jon Tyson from Brooklyn by way of Adelaide, Australia spoke – from Revelation 2:1-7 – the Ephesian church.

Jesus had commended them for their hard work. Perseverance. Their holiness. Their good doctrine & faithfulness to the teachings. But, they’d forgotten one thing: their first love. What it meant to be WITH Jesus, vs. doing stuff FOR Jesus. Tyson called it, “Building a kingdom, but missing the King.” And if they didn’t repent, Jesus said that He would take the church away, because without the 1st love, He didn’t want it.

What really cut me to the heart were Jesus’ words from John 15 – paraphrased, it’s: “Remain in Me, & you’ll grow, flourish, & have life. If you don’t you’ll wither & die. Remain in my love, or wither. There’s no other option.”

I spent a lot of time quiet, listening, praying… in my head & with words. Just receiving the encouragement that comes from a word timely spoken.

It’s late, & I need to go to sleep, but I feel refreshed… & confirmed in the calling that being with Jesus is what real life, in all of its fullness, is all about.

Good night now.