Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
When I was a little girl, and all my growing up years, one of my favorite memories was the parties my parents hosted in our home. It was not unusual for us to have 100 people at a time--friends from church, our own friends around a celebration like a birthday or 65 kids from my high school for an outside tea in honor of us all graduating. We did not have an enormous home, but it had some large, comfy rooms like some of the older houses did. But we would let people be all over our whole house--the den, living room, dining room, kitchen, on the porch, in the yard, almost anywhere they could find room.
The week before, my mom and dad would put all of us to work. The boys would mow the yard and pick weeds and make everything outside beautiful. My mom and I would clean the house and begin cooking. The last day we would pick flowers from our yard and put them in vases. We would have to dress in our very best and then we were instructed in how to greet guests and ask them interesting questions. We were also sent out during the evening with trays of cheese and crackers or cookies or deviled eggs or mini-sanwiches.
We grew up with lots of unusual people and learned somehow to love and enjoy the company of lots of different ages and types. My mom had come from a southern home where people would put lots of shared dishes on a table (pot luck style) and stack dishes high and then spread the love with adults sitting on the chairs and porch swings and kids sitting on the steps or floors. In the south, in her little town, it is what you did--welcome friends.
She passed on the heritage to me. I sometimes get to clean up everything ahead of time in my home and other times I just straighten and hope no one will notice dust. My sweet Bible study meeting is one of my favorite times of the month.
Over the years when I have spoken at our large conference where up to 1000 people were in attendance, I would enjoy the opportunity to be in the company and atmosphere, but for many years, I have longed to have a mini-conference in my home, where I could really talk to women and get to know them and share from my heart. I also experienced when I was in missions, that when you gather people around a purpose and the word of God, He shows up in very special ways--and lives our changed and hearts are encouraged and hearts are lit aflame with vision and direction. That is why I am so excited about our leader's conference this August.
I get to host women in my home, for several days, over the Word of God and over vision and purpose and great meals and discussions and discipleship. Now I know that many of you would love to come and if this goes well, we will do it again, (and maybe again, and again!)
But I have had so many questions about it, I wanted to write one more article so that we could clarify things. We still have room--especially for leaders--because a number of wonderful women have taken out applications, but not so many have filled them out and sent them back in! I know this is a very busy month--May is almost as busy as December.
But the problem is that we have had requests from other moms, who don't want to be leaders just yet, but who want to come to the leader's intensive just to learn and be a part of the teaching. So, we are going to give all of you who are interested in the training to perhaps be involved in ministry, a few extra days to get that application turned in, and then we will open it up to the other moms that have been asking about it!
I think we will have a wonderful time and I look so forward to personally being able to welcome you into my home!
"You must come home with me and be my guest; You will give joy to me, and I will do All that is in my power to honor you."
So, I am including our newsletter we just sent to those signed up on our ministry letter list, and hope it answers some questions you have written to me to ask! Blessings tonight.
A Special Letter about the Mom Heart Leader Intensive Training, August 5-8
For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst.
--Matthew 18:20 NASB
Yesterday, I met with eight dear friends who are helping me to plan, organize, and host the Mom Heart Leader Intensive Training here in my home, August 5-8. The verse above came to my mind as I looked around at the seasoned Christian women gathered at my table. As we discussed and prayed, there was a growing excitement and conviction that God is in our midst, and that his hand is on this Leader Intensive Training. I thought to myself how influential these women, who all walk with and serve God, will be in the lives of women who attend the event.
As a result of the meeting, we are changing the cost and the registration procedures. I'll explain that in a moment, but first let me tell you more about the growing team of speakers and their messages, and what the days of the Intensive will be like.
Sally Clarkson--I will share messages about the biblical foundations of the home, principles of discipleship and spiritual influence, and how to become an effective speaker and teacher. I will be training the attendees not just how to be someone who can pass on a godly legacy, but also how to train others to do the same.
Clay Clarkson--Clay will offer messages about biblical discipline and children training (a common issue for young mothers), and about effective writing and self-editing. He will also lead worship for the event.
Sarah Clarkson--Sarah will talk about how to keep your heart "thoroughly alive" to the goodness, truth, and beauty of God. She will also offer her insight on the power of books and stories, how to use them as a mother, and how to build a great library.
Phyllis Stanley--Phyllis, wife of Paul (below), will share messages about cultivating a deeper walk with God, being faithful in life and ministry even through the difficult seasons of life, and using your home for ministry.
Paul Stanley--Paul, Director of the Leader Development Network for The Navigators, will speak about servant leadership in life and ministry.
Zan Tyler--Zan, acquisitions editor for Apologia Press and longtime speaker and activist, will speak on how to become a great speaker and teacher.
Chris Sigfrids (tentative)--Chris, the Online Marketing Manager for WaterBrook Multnomah (Random House), will speak on the power and influence of the Internet, and how to use it to connect with and impact others.
Surprise Guests--We are still talking with other speakers who would bring messages on keeping your priorities at home, walking with God in difficult times, and other practical issues of having a personal ministry to mothers.
Evenings--Each evening, we will meet in my home for dinner and fellowship. I will have a friend share one evening about the Pre-Raphaelite artists and their impact on history, and another friend who will share the next evening about the spiritual lives of great composers. Our evening will include sharing of personal stories and testimonies, and of writing by the group.
Days--Each day, we will meet in the lovely home of my friend Deb Weakly for the main event messages. We'll all enjoy a home-cooked lunch together, and a tea time each afternoon. I will also show how I make my bread and cinnamon rolls and we will sample!
Housing--Housing is included in the registration. All of the women will stay in a new hotel near our home (sharing a double room). Breakfast is included with the room. For anyone without a car, we will provide all needed transportation.
Q: Why is there a $10.00 application fee? A: We will remove the application fee, and refund those who have already paid. The original purpose of the fee was simply to make sure those who applied were serious about leader training for Mom Heart Ministry since registration at the Intensive is limited to thirty women.
Q: May I attend for personal encouragement, even if I'm not ready for leadership at this time? A: Yes. Registration will be open to anyone beginning Friday, May 7. Because of the personal nature of the Intensive, those interested only in attending will still need to submit a completed "Attender" form as part of the registration process. Those interested in being considered for Mom Heart Leader Training will need to submit a completed "Leader" application. Upon submission, you will be eligible to register for the Intensive one week earlier beginning Friday, April 30. If you're not ready now, but feel God might call you to involvement later, we would encourage you to go ahead and complete and submit a "Leader" application. Our response to your application will not affect your eligibility to register at the earlier date.
Q: Why is the application so detailed? A: Those who become Mom Heart Leaders will represent us and Mom Heart Ministry. It is important that they share our beliefs, values, and philosophy of ministry. If you are interested in being a partner with us in ministry through speaking, writing, or blogging, the application is just a simple way for us to get to know you. It's just a first step, but it's a necessary one.
Q: What is the cost of registration for the event? A: After much discussion and prayer, we have decided to lower the registration fee to $400.00. To compensate, we will seek out sponsors for the Intensive. We will also need to seek out sponsors to help subsidize the cost for women in other countries who have expressed an interest in attending the Intensive. We have had serious inquiries from China, Korea, Holland, New Zealand, and Australia. If you would like to help, or know someone who could, please let us know. Funds donated for scholarships would be tax deductible.
For more information about the Mom Heart Leader Intensive Training, visit the Our Events page on our website. We will be updating the information on that page soon, so keep checking back. Click here to go there now. You can also email Jennice with questions, or call us at 888-488-4466 888-488-4466 .
I hope you can come. We're expecting Christ to be in our midst as we gather together in his name.
In His Heart,
PS For those of you overseas who are hoping to come, please feel free to write us with your questions.