Food for Body, Soul & Spirit at the NY Conference
The 1996 Mid Hudson Valley Conference was held at the Joe and Sherryl Laffin home in Poughkeepsie, New York, on the weekend of November 8-11. By dinner time Friday, twenty-five people from sever-al eastern states had gathered for dinner and fellowship in a warm, pleas-ant, lively atmosphere.
Saturday morning began with introductions and welcoming of newcomers. As we settled in for a Bible study led by Brett Burrowes,"papa" Eric Von Gustedt set the tone for the weekend reminding us that we are out God’s business and are privileged to be meeting together once again.
One of the participants shared how "the sins of the parents are visited on the children"–the long-range consequences of sexual sin in her family–and how she walked through this painful and seemingly devastating experience. She told how seeing her circumstances, both past and present, as God’s perfect situation for her, instead of some horrible misfortune, pressed her into putting her faith in God. Since all God has and is is love, whatever circumstance comes to us is God’s perfect love, regardless of how it feels to our human soul.
Before beginning the teaching, Brett told us how he had attended seminary because he wanted the scriptures to be the basis for what he believes. He used the book of Genesis as his emphasis to unfold God’s plan of salvation starting with the creation of humans as perfect vessels to express Himself, how we function as vessels, the consequences of Adam and Eve’s choice on all of humanity, and Jesus Christ as God’s perfect provision for our salvation.
We learned that God is the sole source of meaning and purpose for each person’s life, and that God’s desire and plan is to express His moral character through human beings. We looked at verses from other places where the Bible gives a clear picture of how we are operated by either Christ or Satan, but are never self-operating persons. Brett drew a parallel between Romans 7:17 "Now, then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me," and Galatians 2:20 "I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me; and the life I now live I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me" to underscore the truth that we are operated vessels.
Most of the afternoon was spent in an informal manner discussing the morning topics in small groups and in one-to-one conversations. Many folks told of knowing how Christ lives out His life in daily, practical ways in their lives.
Saturday evening we were treated once again to a culinary delight including Chris Anderson’s legendary eggplant parmesan and "lasagne a la Veronica Laffin." Desserts were a specialty of the house. We continued into the evening sharing testimonies and conversing in small groups.
Sunday morning was spent reading and discussing Norman Grubb’s book Yes, I Am. Page and Scott Prewitt told us of Norman’s passion in his later years for having us know the "law of opposites": that nothing can be known except by experiencing its opposite. As we continued in Yes, I Am, we learned that we are slaves of our choices, and that there is no such thing as "ultimate freedom" anywhere; accountability exists everywhere.
We had the opportunity to apply God’s truths in a practical way as we helped a participant who was struggling with seeing her circumstances as a tragedy and loss. As a result of this belief, she was blaming God and others for the things in her life that caused her pain or seemed unfair. Page Prewitt reminded us that if we recognize that God is the author of everything that comes into our lives, we truly come to see that there are no losses in God’s kingdomonly His perfection for us.
Time seemed to disappear quickly and plane schedules began pressing in on us. In the late afternoon we began our goodbyes, while at the same time making plans for getting together again soon. Sunday 3evning the Prewitt family (eight in all) and the New Yorkers enjoyed each other and a mountain of pizza at Gino’s before the van departed for the airport.
More Articles from The Intercessor, Vol 13 No 1
- Editor’s Note
- Moments with Meryl
- God’s Stormtroopers
- A Look at a Book
- A Christmas Letter
- Safety in the Crossfire!
- Food for Body, Soul & Spirit at the NY Conference
- To Think About…
- Questions & Answers
- The Mailbox
- The Contract
- The Self Can’t Be Improved
- Tape Talk
- Excerpt from The Intercession of Rees Howells
- The Way of Release
- God’s Standards Have Not Changed: British Fall Conference
- Words to Live By
- One Lesson