"Resolved, to improve every opportunity, when I am in the best and happiest frame of mind, to cast and venture my soul on the Lord Jesus Christ, to trust and confide in him, and consecrate myself wholly to him; that from this I may have assurance of my safety, knowing that I confide in my Redeemer."
"Resolved, to cast away such things as I find do abate my assurance."
"Resolved, to study the Scriptures so steadily, constantly, and frequently, as that I may find, and plainly perceive, myself to grow in the knowledge of the same."
"Resolved, to ask myself, at the end of every day, week, month, and year, wherein I could possibly, in any respect, have done better."
These are just a few of the 70 resolutions written by theologian Jonathan Edwards in 1772-73 at the ripe old age of 19. Yes, I know he has been dead for a LONG time. But his words, once you get past the snoozey old English, still ring true. And are powerful and beautiful.
Last Friday, a group of 25 of us traveled down to Palm Springs to attend Pastor John MacArthur and Grace Community Church's 6th annual "Resolved" conference which honors Edwards and his deep realizations penned centuries ago. We were blessed to sit under the teaching of MacArthur, Rick Holland, Steve Lawson, C.J. Mahaney and Al Mohler. All super smart dudes. Not as smart as Jonathan Edwards, but still smart.
The theme this year was Jesus. Simple yet SO complex. Mohler (although he hurt my head) and Mahaney were my faves. Mohler is the president of Southern Baptist Seminary and likely more intelligent than all the students and professors there, combined. I was able to hear one of his sessions on Revelation 19 and Jesus as the "Lamb who would be King." He taught on the manner in which Christ left this earth and the way He will return. Heavy stuff regardless, but especially when coming from such a brainiac. Mahaney, president of Sovereign Grace Ministries, spoke on the book of Jude and how, as believers, we are to continually contend for the faith by preaching the gospel to ourselves daily, praying and waiting on the Lord. And the worship, led by Enfield was spectacular.
In case you were wondering, Palm Springs was HOT. We rented a large house about 5 miles away from the conference center. An interesting pad. Definitely built in the '80's with a picture of a very dark semi-naked man above the fireplace which I found odd for a rental. Kayla and Ashlyn spent much of the time in the pool and semi-nakey was put in the pantry to avoid causing anyone to stumble. Conference sessions were in the morning and evening so the girls had lots of friends to swim with during the day. This made them quite happy. And one of them quite tan.
We also celebrated a few milestones. Birthdays for Elizabeth Carter Still VII and Timmy. For the record, cake decorating is not one of my spiritual gifts. Safe to scratch creativity off that list, too. And photo editing.
Also, Miss Cindy Steiger received word that she passed her boards and was offically an RN. And Dave was officially really mean. Ellen has yet to officially forgive him.
Around 1 pm each day, the outside temperature neared unbearable (109 degrees on average) and we headed inside to the air conditioned '80s palace. We also engaged in a few scandalous activities of which Mohler and MacArthur would definitely not approve.
Like margaritas for the children. Thank you, Betsy.
And no age limit high stakes poker.
Whew. Now that I got that off my chest, let's discuss bugs. They were INSANE. Really. Yes, that is a black widow on the left. On the right we have the largest grasshopper in all creation. Absent for picture day, a family of cockroaches living in our coffee pot, a hummingbird moth near the hot tub (you can guess how it got it's name) and horrific, nasty crickets that scurried around like roaches near the tennis courts. It was all very traumatic.
Here we are, pulled over on Hwy 5 in 90 degree heat because my husband "thought he could make it" even though the gas indicator said we had 0 miles left. Oh, we were close. See 152, there. But not close enough. Luckily, Patrick saved the day. Not only did he go get gas for us, he acted as safety patrol with a bright yellow folder courtesy of Cindy, RN while Dave and Philip (mostly Philip) filled the tank.
Overall, a really fabulous and fun trip. Already looking forward to next year. And "resolved" to find a bug free house with no nakeys. And to make my husband fill up when Timmy does.