As Fresh Grounded Faith Austin came to an end on Saturday, the room was filled with beautiful voices singing the hymn “Sweet, Sweet Spirit” by Doris Mae Akers. It was the perfect summary of our time together—so much so that you would’ve thought we planned this. But, we didn’t plan it at all! In fact, here’s the reason we ended with that song…
At every FGF event, we have a special “Spill the Beans” segment where attendees can ask our speakers and worship leaders any questions they have—questions about faith, family, advice … anything! And I told the ladies when they were filling out their Spill the Beans cards that they could ask anything … anything at all.
Well, one dear woman who attended wanted to hear Michael O’Brien lead all of us in that song, and Michael was happy to step up to the task! Like I said, it was beautiful—possibly the most beautiful moment of the conference.
The song was a perfect fit for our closing, and if you were there, you know what I mean!
There was a sweet spirit at New Hope First Baptist Church, our host church, throughout the whole weekend. We all felt it, and it was because of the women who were there. It was clear that they loved each other, loved God, and loved His Word.
It was also because of the women from all over who joined hearts to pray for each other and to pray for Ukraine and all the needs that felt so much bigger than us. Women from across the area came together to be a part of something bigger than themselves, and it was a beautiful picture of unity in the body of Christ.
Ultimately, there was a sweet, sweet spirit in that place because God was in that place! His Spirit was present, and He was with us. He drew women to Himself, giving us 3 new sisters in Christ and 24 women who chose to renew their commitment to the Lord. He also led women to sponsor children through Compassion International, and now 51 precious kids have been released from poverty in Jesus’ name! Praise the Lord!
Our Heavenly Father was faithful—as He always is—and we simply got to bear witness to His work!
My teaching from this weekend was from 2 Timothy 4:17, reminding us all that the Lord stands by us and strengthens us. And sister, He did stand by us! He stood among us, and He stood tall within the women who were bent in sorrow.
Speaking of being bent in sorrow, we also got to hear such an encouraging message from Liz Curtis Higgs! She shared the account from Luke 13 about the crippled woman who was “bent over and could not straighten up at all” (v. 11). Jesus saw her and had compassion on her, and He lifted her from her affliction! And do you know how she responded? She “praised God” (v. 13).
Well, sister, that’s what God does for us too. He has compassion on us and lifts us up from our afflictions, and we get to praise Him in response!
In fact, we got to praise Him all weekend through our time in His Word and through our time of worship led by Michael. And I, for one, am so grateful!
I wanted to give a shout-out to our Local Conference Coordinator, Jennifer Creed. She and her team did an awesome job as they led us through our time together with kindness and grace! And a huge thanks to the many volunteers and co-host churches who helped bring it all together.
It’s true, my friend, there was a sweet, sweet spirit in that place … and we all knew it was the Spirit of the Lord! Thank You, Lord, for your Spirit’s leading and for meeting with us at FGF Austin!
Ladies, let’s sing it one more time…
There’s a sweet, sweet Spirit in this place,
And I know that it’s the Spirit of the Lord;
There are sweet expressions on each face,
And I know they feel the presence of the Lord.
Sweet Holy Spirit, Sweet heavenly Dove,
Stay right here with us, filling us with Your love.
And for these blessings we lift our hearts in praise;
Without a doubt we’ll know that we have been revived,
When we shall leave this place.
Jennifer and the FGF Team!
BONUS: Liz Curtis Higgs joins me on the 4:13 Podcast
Would you like to hear more from Liz? She joins me on the 4:13 Podcast and talks finding laughter when life isn’t funny. She draws a connection between laugher and trust, sharing how you can laugh and enjoy life—even in the midst of difficulties—when you trust the One who’s really in charge.
Listen to the podcast episode with Liz Curtis Higgs here.
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Plus, you can join me over on my 4:13 Podcast! Each week, you’ll get biblical encouragement as we answer a question about how to live the “I Can” life of Philippians 4:13. Go here to listen to the latest episodes.