By Tami Heim
It’s Catalyst week in Atlanta and over 13,000 pastors, ministry leaders, and their staff have assembled to be challenged, stretched, encouraged, and inspired. The Catalyst team excels at creating a world-class experience. The theme for 2011 is “BE PRESENT” and I can’t think of a stickier state-of-being than this one.
Catalyst President and CEO @BradLomenick sums it up this way,
“BE PRESENT” is one of the most convicting and challenging topics we’ve ever tackled. In today’s consumer-driven culture, we all find ourselves distracted and overwhelmed by the myriad of diversions life throws at us on a daily basis. The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet. But how will we recognize that place if we are living in a constant state of distraction?”
Challenging topic? No doubt. Particularly true for an arena loaded with highly connected, tech savvy, social media maniacs (BTW – that love Jesus, too.) If you happen to be on twitter, you can search for the hashtag #CAT11. That stream immediately connects you to the Catalyst conversation and experience. Those present in- real-life at the conference virtually enable you to be present, too. You can follow the flow as each session helps you embrace what God has right in front of you, right where you are.
I’ve attended this conference from its very beginning and the Holy Spirit always shows up with divine super-glue and the message He knows I need to stick to my heart long after the conference experience fades. This year, I was particularly eager to hear Francis Chan speak.
God used Francis Chan to rock my world the first time I read Crazy Love. That book awakened a longing that lead my husband and me to the jungles of Jeremie, Haiti and into the hearts of 137 orphans. As a result, we’re learning how to live out this crazy love we have for each one of those kids while being present to the ache that comes when we can’t be with them.
Today I felt like the stick-to-you-forever-kind-of-message was waiting for me while I was waiting for Francis to take the stage.
In His extraordinary faithfulness to me, God used Francis to reveal 10 simple truths to my heart about satisfaction, abundance, and how both saturate you when you’re wholly surrendered and completely present to the love and glory of God. It’s all that matters.
- I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. John 15:5, NIV
- One thing I ask from the LORD, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple. Psalm 27:4, NIV
- Being in His presence means dwelling in Him.
- With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all that there were no needy persons among them. Acts 4:33,34
- When I am in God’s presence nothing else matters. I only want to talk about Him to others – I can’t help myself.
- Everything depends on my connection to God.
- If my message is NOT connected to Him – my message doesn’t matter.
- Jesus was heard in the garden because of His reverence.
- When God sees my heart break when His breaks – He will hear my prayers.
- Only He can make my joy complete.
Now here’s a little something extra from Francis for you. Be inspired. Start early. Get present.
What message had God stuck to your heart this week?
Get alone with God and expect only the extraordinary to follow. #LiveSticky