The recent New England Conference was so full of rich concepts that really resonated with my life, that I thought I'd share a few of them, excerpts from my notes. I don't know how far I'll get, because they seem to be tying into things I'm dealing with right now, and I may want to write about those things as well, but I'll start with some snippets from my notes from the first morning, Tuesday Aug 5:
"God's been preparing all of us as a body of Believers to learn the importance of one word -- love. We all need to recognize and improve the love we have for one another. It begins with you taking care of your own soul first, your relationship with God,. Then you worry about your relationship with your family, church, ministry, nation...
"Do you have a problem loving others? It's because you don't really love yourself.
"People who recognize their own sins, their own flaws, faults and failures are those who make the best ambassadors for Jesus Christ. Those who're forgiven much recognize how much they have been forgiven. When you see all the ways you fail, you'll have the ability to love others.
"We must take care of those areas closest to us before we can take care of those who are at a distance.
Song of Solomon 1:6 says, "Do not stare at me becuase I am swarth, for the sun has burned me. My mother's sons were angry with me; they made me caretaker of the vineyards, but I have not taken care of my own vineyard."
"burned" here refers to a believer who is burnt out, who hasn't set aside enough time for himself -- for studying the word, prayer, time with God. If you're going to lay down your life for others, you must first take care of yourself.