Sunday, 6 March 2011

Grand Designs

I went along with some lovely friends to the New Wine Women's Day in Harrogate yesterday. I always love these days, they are a bit of an oasis, chance to get together with hundreds of others worshipping God and mudge over some great teaching that is practical for every day life. Yesterday's theme was 'Grand Designs', but no Kevin McCloud in sight I'm afraid (well, not.) It was about our lives all having a grand design, whoever we are, wherever we are, whatever our circumstances of. The lovely Nadine Parkinson led the first session and I loved that she described our lives as a Great Adventure. Hmmm, familiar that one :D Great though to hear my feelings about life in that way reflected by others.

I had not heard Ruth Perrin speak before but she blew me away, plus being a great speaker she made us laugh, which is always good value. Loved her take on some of the women in the bible, especially some of the more little known ones, like Joanna, Phoebe, Priscilla and Tabitha (like that name ;)) These were all ordinary women, in different life circumstances, who became extraordinary by following the call of God on their lives. They all had Great Adventures. I love that. Read their stories sometime!

I loved hearing Ness Wilson again. I had heard her speak 2 years back at New Wine summer camp and she had given me a vision, I'll have to tell you about it sometime ;) She talked about what often holds women back from being all they can be, stuff like self-doubt, self-esteem. She challenged us all to be brave and courageous. Girl power rules!

One of the most poignant parts of the day for me was hearing more about Mercy Ministries who run a residential programme for young women who have experienced difficulties with such things as self-harm, eating disorders, abuse and similar, focussing on helping mend the broken parts, delve into what is behind it all, and turn around their pictures of themselves, from broken to whole, from nothing to a beautiful woman of value. They are Christian based and do bring this into their programme, because they have found that this is what does it, that seeing themselves as God sees them can change everything. I love this video of some of the girls who have come through the programme and how their lives have been utterly changed.

Warning - get the Kleenex out!

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