I cannot say enough about what this weekend meant to me; for both getting to finally meet and fellowship with dear brothers and sisters that, formerly, I had only either talked to or for some, only chatted with electronically, AND being allowed to receive wonderful teaching by Steve McVey and Paul Anderson-Walsh.
It was also, for me, an opportunity for my wonderful wife, Donna, to meet and get to know these folks in a closer way; in a way that I had already known and grown to love them.
Matthew Campbell (who has a wisdom that belies his youth), Jamie (beautiful, passionate, outgoing) and Ryan (affable, likable, easy-going) Weeks, Joel Brueseke (quiet astuteness, enlightenment, discernment and balance personified) and I learned, fellowshipped, and discussed the deeper things of God all weekend. Oh yeah - and ate.
(Clockwise from bottom left - Me, Joel Brueseke, Matthew Campbell, Ryan Weeks, Jamie Weeks)
Steve and Paul tag-teamed the teaching, with six total sessions Friday and Saturday; Steve teaching the odd-numbered ones and Paul the even-numbered. The title of the conference was Radical Sonship, who's theme was taken from the book of Ephesians. "Radical" it was. One of the more, er...controversial teachings was the first session of the morning on Saturday. It was something the group had just discussed the previous night over coffee, immediately following the first sessions Friday night. It pertained to the Cross and what the bond of the Trinity was DURING the crucifixion.
We've always been taught that the Father turned His back on the Son when Jesus "became" sin because He (the Father) cannot look upon sin. This teaching connotes that the Father had no part in the crucifixion itself; that the Son did all the suffering. This teaching has always bothered me. Steve (Wayne Jacobsen has dealt with this theme in depth in his book, He Loves Me) posited that the Godhead itself was crucified on the Cross. For those who say that the words of Jesus recorded in the Gospels, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" would negate this theory, Steve says that it was Jesus humanity, clouded with the sin of all mankind, only THINKING that the Father had forsaken Him, but, in reality had not.
Paul and Steve went on to expand on the identity of the believer and living in the Love of the Father.
I am already looking forward to next year and meeting new friends I'm sure I'll get to know over the course of the coming year, and of course RE-connecting with "old" ones.
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