Saturday, April 13, 2024

IF: 2024 @ ACF

Krista, Larissa, Jenni, Carrie, 2 babies and I met in Eagle River for an early dinner on Friday. Larissa was unable to join us for the rest of the event, but the four of us were heading to church for a conference. Jenni and I spent the evening with Carrie so we didn't have to drive back to the valley late at night. We were at the church all day Saturday as well. Arielle had planned to attend with us, but you know, she had a baby instead! ::snort:: 

Jenni, Krista, me and Carrie @ IF:2024

I discovered Jennie Allen before the first IF:Gathering when I picked up a little book titled, "Anything." It was a great introduction to Jennie.  IF I really believe God is true - THEN how will it change my actions? Am I willing to pray that God does "anything" He wishes? I was and did...and I remember that often. I have never been in a position to attend either an IF: Gathering or a local group streaming the IF: Local. 

ACF hosted a live stream of IF:2024. There were 235 women from church at the event. The worship was fantastic - both the taped and the local worship. I loved that we had a FULL all women worship team.  Our table hosts: Julie and Jessica were wonderful. Having planned, hosted and spoke at various conferences - I KNOW THE WORK THAT CHELSEA AND THE TEAM PUT IN and everything was beautiful. Registration was seamless from this perspective, the decorations were cute, the tables arranged in a way to foster community and communication, the serve teams, production teams, mc...everyone did a superb job.  Lunch was yummy...there were even vendors for on-site shopping...much of it to support an upcoming missions' trip, and a couple of table games too. 

It was a joy for me to be able to attend a women's event and just PARTICIPATE. I had no responsibilities at all - and that is perfect for this season.  Another special joy was to attend with some of "my girls" and to be at Josi's first Ladies Conference. Josi thinks women's events are great fun. 

The speakers were GREAT: Christine Caine, Katherine Wolf, Jennie Allen, Sadie Robertson, Bianca Olthoff, Jada Edwards, Annie F Downs, Ruth Chou Simmons, Rebekah Lyons, David Platt and more.  The format is to watch a video and usually a panel discussion, and then to have time for table discussion. I had just one "complaint." The pace was FAST...the topics and speakers were varied, and I found myself wishing for a slower pace to process all I was hearing. I realize why this wasn't possible. I usually come home from a retreat or conference and have one main takeaway and thoughts from each session. I was so exhausted at the end of this I couldn't tell Mike what anyone said...but I have NOTES. I always have notes. I will spend the next week processing with prayer, journaling....

Here are some initial thoughts - the theme was JESUS and how faithful He has been and where He has taken this movement in 10 short years...

Christine Caine - My limitations aren't greater than God! Jesus blessed what would never be enough. When I'm faced with "not enough" I need to bless and not curse. The miracle began when the bread was broken...God is working in the broken places! PRAISE JESUS. Jesus will take us into our God-given purpose.

Katherine Wolf - Her testimony of God's faithfulness after she had a stroke at 26 is powerful! Don't miss a miracle because you're looking for a "miracle in a box." Suffering births new things. Jesus meets us in the dust and forms a new creation in the dust! 

Jennie Allen - We all have individual races to run. We need to throw off the sin and burdens that hinder us. We can tell satan to go to hell! John 11 - Jesus KNEW he was going to heal Lazarus; He had the solution. And still he was moved by Mary's grief. He STOPPED AND WEPT WITH HER! We tend to see God as disappointed with us, but Jesus has empathy, he weeps, he has compassion and mercy for us.  We each wrote a sin or burden on a rock. We took them to the front during worship and left them at the feet of Jesus. We walked away without them. I will share what I wrote on my I already blogged it over the past weeks...Disappointment (with God), offense, church hurt. The next day during another worship song we went back up and picked up another's rock and committed to carry it and pray for that burden. 

Sadie Robertson - I love Sadie. She told a story of Honey, her 2-year-old who walked 1/2 mile, barefoot, on gravel because she "wanted to be with Daddy."  Unbeknownst to Honey her uncle saw her leave and watched her walk all the way home. We have to be bold; it will be costly; we may feel unseen put we need to pursue God...just to be with our father. He considers who He calls - He knows me.  Luke 10:1 - 12...all 72 lambs returned! We all have different calls, be faithful in that call. 

Bianca Olthoff - There will be storms (AMEN), how will I respond? Jesus calmed the storm with 3 words. When Jesus puts us in a storm we can rest because Jesus is the peace. The purpose of the storm is on the other side...we have to go through to the other side. PRAISE in the storm. 

Annie Downs - Run the race marked out for ME. Figure out my race and go fast....I am not runnning their race, only my race. We are all winners. We please God by surrendering. 

Jada Edwards - When you are REALLY thirsty only water will quench - not flavored sweet tea. We are trying to satisfy a deep spiritual thirst with flavored drinks rather than the living water, with a causal relationship with God and others instead of intimacy. John 7:37-39 Jesus asks for a decision - name our thirst, take action - come! and drink. We can come and not drink! This is not about activity it's about nearness to Jesus. 

Luke LeFevre and Annie Downs talked about how we share Jesus. If they won't step into my world, I will step into their world. Witness is withness...don't give up on people.

David Platt - Based on the Samaritan woman in John 4. He knows me and He loves me. He meets me WHERE I AM and says YES!!! We have a thirst to believe, belong and be loved.  Jesus is for me, knows me, loves me, but NOT JUST ME. Jesus LOVES the WORLD.  If I am saved and satisfied, I am to be sent! 

Josi wasn't the only tired one! 

It was a great weekend. I'm glad we went. I will be alert for more opportunity for community at ACF. 


1. A great end to an emotional week. 

2. Time spent with these gals...both in the family and in the church family. 

3. Julie and Jessica made table discussions comfortable. 

4. Encouraging messages from some of my favorite teachers. 

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