Wisconsin Fellowship Weekend: Three Perspectives
Husband and wife, Dave and Carol Hoffmann, and Carol’s mother, Lucy Will, recount how significant the recent Wisconsin Fellowship Weekend was for each of them.
Carol: A rescue is how I would describe the recent Wisconsin Fellowship Weekend-a rescue from sin, Satan misuse. I am the grateful recipient of God’s wonderful grace and forgiveness.
The weekend started out seeming ordinary-food, conversation and room assignments, but by Saturday, my angry countenance had disturbed others. At first, I was puzzled to hear I looked angry; I didn’t think I was angry. Later that day, while expressing how well I was doing by "bottom lining" prideful thinking, the truth was pointed out that I actually believed Satan’s lies. I really believed I was better than most people in one way or another. If I couldn’t think of a way to view myself as superior to someone, I’d enjoy a chain of nasty thoughts about that person. It was sin to believe that about people for whom Christ died.
Later, I confessed that I thought I was a color expert, which is outlandish. Even if I really was a color expert that is God’s business, and I would be His instrument for others as that "expert." The truth is I know little about color and what to do with it, especially in my home. While I perceived myself as an expert, in truth I was bankrupt in the very area I was so prideful about. And worse still, I wouldn’t seek help because it would be admitting that I didn’t know something. Pride concealed my lack of knowledge and allowed me to feel great about myself at the expense of others.
Besides affecting myself, my behavior hurt my husband and family the most. Whenever possible, I found ways to beat Dave down, so I looked better spiritually than he did, both in my own eyes and in other people’s eyes. Needless to say, that had a devastating affect on Dave and on our marriage, which was icy. That iciness was being expressed to others too. Satan (the thief-John 10:10) is hardhearted, steals, kills and destroys. It was obvious that he was running the show through my members because of my unbelief.
Gratefully, the truth according to 1 John is that God is love; love is not something I can pretend, muster up or get. It is He, and I am His container, nothing more, nothing less. He is the lover of others through me. My inadequacy is perfect because He is completely adequate as me. God deter-mined the home I grew up in and what I learned and didn’t learn. Learning and asking for help are His perfect opportunities. The end of the weekend proved just that. After asking for input on clothing, we all went on a shopping expedition for new clothes. I feel like a new woman, gratefully rescued from sin.
David: I would sum up the Fall Wisconsin Fellowship Weekend in a joyful exclamation-Christ is living His life through me moment by moment, and I am whole and complete and lacking nothing!
For two to three months prior to the conference, our house was a battlefield, and my life felt like a sham. I thought I was still in the sin of unbelief. I didn’t know why and trusted that God would show me. During the weekend it became clear I wasn’t trusting God and the fact that He is living His life through me. I didn’t think I knew the right thing to do and would look to Carol to gauge how I was doing spiritually. Because of past sin my actions and motives were always being questioned. Any argument between us would usually center on "my unbelief." However, my sin was looking to people for acceptance rather than believing God that I am whole and complete and lacking nothing because He is whole and complete and lacking nothing.
Since I am born again, my spirit is no longer united with Satan’s spirit. I am now united to His Spirit because of Christ’s death on the cross. When Carol’s sin was exposed during the weekend, I was thrown for a complete loop. Initially, I felt mad and upset with Carol because of how she treated me, but more importantly, I understood how critical it is for me to believe that I am a vessel, containing and operated by Christ. I also see how important it is to walk this out on a moment-by-moment basis. If I look to others for my spiritual wholeness, I am not trusting that God is living and breathing through me, which is sin. It is wonderful to know that God holds all the keys and knows the proper timing of events and circumstances. I am confident that God through me can and will restore a relationship that has been smashed and distorted by sin and unbelief.
Lucy: The weekend conference reinforced my new priorities, which are Jesus and my family. Golf used to be my top priority. When I was younger I went golfing almost daily when I should have been home with my children. I can see how it affected my family, especially Carol. During the fellowship weekend I saw that I didn’t teach Carol the art of homemaking because I didn’t do it myself and really didn’t care to at the time. I can see how my past behavior was sin and now Jesus Christ is in me and has changed my life. He has given me a second chance with my family.
More Articles from The Intercessor, Vol 16 No 1
- Zerubbabel Focus: Teleconferencing Overseas
- How Acquire Faith?
- Editor’s Note
- Moments with Meryl
- A Look at a Book
- Our Second Despair
- Faith Lessons
- Area Fellowship News
- The Process of Faith
- The Blessings of Discipline
- Tape Talk
- Excerpt from The Intercession of Rees Howells
- The Delusion of Self-sufficiency
- Many Problems, One Solution–The British Fall Conference
- Wisconsin Fellowship Weekend: Three Perspectives
- Here Am I!
- Bible Study: Faith
- Questions & Answers
- Intercession In Action
- It Remains Tough
- On Faith and Discipline…
- Words to Live By…