What I learned at Collyde ‘13 (or God wants you to get up off your ass)

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This past weekend I was able to attend the Collyde Summit in Plainsboro, NJ. The Collyde team brought together speakers, artists and non-profit organizations; the theme of the conference was “Only Believe” (Mark 5:36 “Don’t be afraid, only believe.”). To me the conference had another current running through it – one that spoke over and over to me: “Bob, you know what God wants you to do so get off your ass and do it.” Over and over I heard this message and was inspired by the words, music and actions of everyone at the conference. Please note, as you read this, all quotes are from my chicken-scratch notes and may not be accurate but I hope I have captured the heart of the message.

What am I going to do with what I learned? Check out “Can Hot Sauce Save the World”.

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I want to personally thank Jonathan Golden (@DoGoodCoffeeWH) who, without knowing, provided me the kick in the ass last year to begin on the journey to do with Hot Sauce what Land of a Thousand Hills is doing with coffee. The scale is small, for now, but the Spirit is with me.  Jonathan – I want/need to learn from you. I would LOVE to work with you. I was so excited that Tiffany Bryant of World Vision Micro(@wvmicro) was one of the sponsors this year. World Vision Micro funds micro loans to entrepreneurs in places like Cambodia, Phillipines, Eithiopia, Mexico. Micro-financing saves lives, improves entire communities, feeds children. How? A small loan of $75 may be all it takes to buy the bicycle that a mother needs to get her handmade baskets to the marketplace to sell. That bike will also be used to transport medicine back to the village, and get the kids to school. That one bike may be all it takes for someone to sell twice as many baskets this week as last. It may be all it takes to hire another villager to learn to make baskets and quadruple what they sell. That one little $75 loan maytransform a village. This isn’t a story – this happens and World Vision Micro is enabling.

Chritine Jeske (@ChristineJeske) spoke about work. Yeah, I know, work. It was moving, powerful and enlightening.  “What work is worthy of God’s calling in your life?” Christine spoke about the plight of those around the world who, because of unemployment, have little hope and how we can help. There is pain in unemployment and underemployment. For me personally, there is pain in overemployment (which I would define as getting paid a good salary to be doing work that ultimately doesn’t lift people up). But Christine also gave hope – there is opportunity, no matter where you are to do great work. Your job does not equal work. Work is what we do to lift others up. Our identity is not what we get paid to do for a living but what we do to help others along their journey.

Pete Wilson (@pwilson) kicked off the keynotes with a challenge that resonated throughout the day.  The theme “Only Believe” was articulated in a way that set the tone for the rest of the day. “What would I do if I was absolutely confident that God is with me?”  As we pursue or dreams, in the midst of adversity, wherever we are, in whatever situation we find ourselves, it is our calling to live confidently that God is with us.  Pete also reminds us not to abandon our God given values in pursuit of our powerfully present.

Margaret Feinberg (@mafeinberg) challenged us to be in the here and now – not to live in the future. “The most subversive word in the Bible is ‘Today’.” I won’t do it justice – and I haven’t read her latest book yes (Wonderstruck) but what spoke to me was how Jesus wants to meet us TODAY, he reveals Himself to us TODAY. Today is the only day – if we choose to believe we can’t help but be wonderstruck. Most of us lead our lives in terms of tomorrow but only today is real.  By living and believing in God working in and through us today everything is transformed.

Bonnie Gay (@BonnieG217) never spoke in front of a crowd before. Yeah, tell me another one! Bonnie had a simple but profound premise – “Jesus’ touch changes everything if you risk everything to touch Jesus.” We can’t be on the sidelines, spiritual rubber-neckers waiting for God to do something – or worse, waiting for someone else to do something in the name of God. Bonnie’s challenge – narrow the gap between hearing His voice and putting your feet into action.

Joy Eggerichs (@joyeggerichs) spoke to the 18 – 35 year olds (and I hope to their parents) and had some remarkable things to say but one thing stuck out for me from a conversation she had with her father.  In our daily lives – whether it is on a mission trip to NYC, walking to the train, or at your office, never underestimate the power of being Jesus to those around you. Everyone is on a journey to salvation, whether they know it or not; don’t ever underestimate the power of walking along side someone as they travel along the path. Every step is important.  Jesus meets people where they are, not where you want them to be. Thank you Joy.

David Ireland (@DrDavidIreland) reminded us that our God is a warrior God – not a wimpy God. God want to restore us, restore our marriages, restore our families, restore our children. “Believe” is an action word. “Pray” is an action word. We need t put our belief into action. We need to start on our knees in prayer.

Todd Williams reminds us that in this culture of comfort it is too easy to coast. Alliterative and powerful. There is no guarantee of an easy life – if anything we know the opposite. But to meet the challenges we need a sharp mind, strong hands and a stout heart.

Phil Wickham, Jason Yost and Aaron Keyes set a wonderful tone in their leading us in worship. No notes to refer to here – but I felt the Holy Spirit’s grip on my shoulder throughout the worship.

In summary, thank you Jinu (@Collyder), Brandon and the Collyde Summit team. You have kicked me in the ass. What does it mean? A lot of work, of that I can be sure. Jinu, Brandon – I will be reaching out to you! That’s a promise.

Do GoodBob Ferretti