A Chattanoogan Adventure at the CCEF Conference

I think it’s about time I share my musings on the 2012 CCEF National Conference on Guilt and Shame! I’m still processing all of it, but I’ll let you in on what I’m chewing on. I delighted in the conference so much. The whole trip actually. We stayed at a house on Lookout Mountain, and because we weren’t staying in a generic hotel, the week had a “retreat” and “homey” sort of feel. Chattanooga is beautiful in the Fall, mostly because of the richly colored leaves on the trees. The family we were staying with even took us out in a convertible bug on a ride around the mountain to a crazy high bluff!

There’s that restored bug! We jumped over the side into the backseat, like we lived in the 50’s, driving to a malt shop.
A hang-gliding bluff
The view had me speechless and grinning from ear to ear.
Wind blown hair!

As for the conference, although I had already heard some of the things presented, I heard them anew and left feeling refreshed. I realized I am so forgetful (like Israel) and need to be reminded of God’s truths every day. There were also many new things I heard too, especially in the breakout sessions (check out the link for  the schedule). Here are some gems that stuck with me:

-Shame is the larger category encompassing guilt. Shame is you are in the public square.

-Shame is we are exposed, worthless, failure, outcast, contaminated, disgraced and naked.

-Back to Genesis, in the garden, “the first thing God does is he covers us with animal skins. At that particular time in history, to be covered with dead animals was not a fine garment. There’s a message in it saying, “If you want to act like an animal and be associated with an animal, then let me dress you as an animal.” But that’s not the final word. In Exodus 28, God says, “Make garments for Aaron and priests that will give them dignity and honor.” Then, they have these garments where God is ultimately the tailor. They are utterly exquisite! The turban says on it, “Holy to the Lord.” Here is our problem, we are naked and exposed. But it’s all over Scripture, that our God knows such things and he is in the process of dressing us. Now, you are no longer a person identified by your shame, you wear royal garments and you are a saint. It means that you belong to God. Can you imagine anything grander??!” -Dr. Ed Welch Plenary Session 1.

-Our own Lord, the one we follow, was the one most shamed and mortified. We don’t say ‘Christ murdered.’ We say ‘Christ crucified.’ Christ knows shame to the core.

-Not only did our Master know shame, but we are to joyfully and willingly try to walk in the way of his sufferings. Romans 8:17 says, “Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.”

-It is a non-human thought, a divine thought, to cultivate joy in participating in shame, but it’s not just anyone’s shame, it’s Christ’s!

-I was struck by Dr. Welch’s short biography of his life. It’s one word: “Help.” It seems so simple, but that is the thing I forget the most. To cry out “Help” to my God. Then he added, “Thank you.” How often do we an exchange with God daily saying “Help” and “Thank you”? Ashamedly, I can go a whole day without saying these things. It was even more moving to see how that bio affected Tim Lane, the President of CCEF, who scratched his whole speech about listing CCEF’s resume and its many activities. Instead he just said, “Help” to us, in asking for financial support. It’s powerful to see God’s truth affecting those around you and bringing change.

-3 basic principles of Christian Religion according to Augustine:

  1. Humility
  2. Humility
  3. Humility

“The humility of knowing your need, of asking for help, saying thank you, and loving the one who helps you. Pray together. Think first about where you need help. What is your sense of need for help? Think of one phrase out of Numbers 6 that most speaks to your need. And then ask for help and then say thank you.” -Dr. David Powlison, Plenary Session 2.

A line of people waiting to talk to Dr. Emlet after his breakout session “The Silence is Deafening: Understanding and Welcoming Those with Same-Sex Attraction”
Here’s the wolf spider that bit my arm while I was sleeping. And no, I did not have a panic attack or hyperventilate when I saw it. I’m getting more courageous.
After getting stranded because of Hurricane Sandy, we decided to thank our gracious hosts by raking the lawn of the mountain house. All hands on deck!
The dog, Yuna, a gentle giant. Reminds me of Falcor from The Neverending Story. Anyone?
Also, I happed upon some special books. Look at the name of the illustrator. 🙂
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11 thoughts on “A Chattanoogan Adventure at the CCEF Conference

  1. Thanks Lisbeth! Dr Welch’s book, “When People are Big, God is Small” turned my life upside down….. or maybe inside out would be a better description. I appreciate your willingness to share.

    1. Nancy! I can’t believe we haven’t talked about this…that book turned MY life inside out too! Fear of man has been my companion for many years, but this year especially I have experienced such change through God’s help. Thanks for reading my blog, friend! Wish we could catch up and chat more over coffee…let me know next time you visit OG! xo
      p.s. I’m in one of Dr. Ed Welch’s class now, and its amazing.

  2. I saw the name of the illustrator! Thanks for sharing about “help” and “thank you” and “humility. To ask for help is a form of humility, isn’t it? And, thinking of thanking God is a pre-cursor to the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday. Thanks! 🙂

  3. Falcor! Yes, I see it, too. “Say my name!”

    Wow, this sounds like it was such a blessing of a conference, and now you’ve blessed us, too, by sharing some of the points that really struck you. Thank you. I’ve never really understood the difference between guilt and shame until now. And I loved Augustine’s three principles. He was quite wise, wasn’t he?

    And is that a new jacket I spy in the photo of you raking? Bright and bold!

    1. Haha, sadly no, it’s not a new jacket, but that would’ve been fun! It was one of Josiah’s old skater sweatshirts from high school. I didn’t have many warm things as Sandy rolled in and chilled the air.
      And yes, the difference between guilt and shame often eludes me. Here’s a bit more from my notes comparing the two. I’m posting it more for my own benefit since I keep forgetting!

      “Guilt:
      -you are in the courtroom (the common image)
      -only one gaze matters
      -you are legally liable before God
      -you need rescue: forgiveness of sins, which is secured only by Jesus
      -in response to his continual appeals, you turn toward the slain and risen Lamb, acknowledge your sin, and turn away from your sin

      Shame (larger category, all encompassing):
      -you are in the public square
      -all eyes are on you
      -you are not acceptable before God and other people because you are a “sinner” or you have been humiliated by the sins of others
      -you need rescue: forgiveness, but also covering, inclusion, and cleansing (a triad we’ll keep coming back to), especially when you have been humiliated. And these are secured only by Jesus.
      -in response to his continual appeals, you touch the Holy One and he touches you. He becomes your refuge. ” -Ed Welch Plenary 1.

  4. Thanks for the summary of the high points of Lookout Mtn. and the conference. Your bravery and lack of arachniphobia was amazing, too. Thanks for the permission to ask God for help. I think that’s what Hosanna meant in the context of Jesus’ time.
    Love you,
    Dad

  5. What you said about Hosanna gripped me! I had always assumed that Hosanna is a declaration of praise, but after a wee bit of an internet search (alright, I looked at wikipedia), I see it also has the ring of “save me” “help”, a cry for rescue and salvation. Beautiful. Thanks for showing me that, Daddy.

  6. This is a beautiful summary of your conference time…look how God expanded it to be so much more than the few days at the conference.

    Your notes were so powerful…thanks for the photos and sharing what you learned. That VW bug is SO cute!! Josiah’s parents were very gracious and hospitable. I love that God gave you bravery with the spider and that you loved the view you had from the mountain!! And SO Many books illustrated by Lisbeth Zwerger! Is there a particular one you liked? (Christmas time is almost here…)
    Sending love, Marmie

    1. Hey Marms! Yes, it’s true, God extended the trip and made it a time of rest and recreation too! Hmmm…as far as Lisbeth Zwerger goes, I can’t really remember one particular one. The fairytales were pretty cool, as were the Bible stories. But no pressure to get one for me, I can always go to the library if I get a hankering to see one again!

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