Monday, June 30, 2008

Deeper Still: Atlanta


(my niece, Lauren; sister, Renee; my friend, Vicki; and me, waiting to get in on Friday night)


We had church, y'all! God showed up in a BIG way over the weekend in Atlanta. Praise and worship were lifted high as 19,000 women gathered in the Phillips Arena for the Deeper Still conference. Ladies, I just can't even describe how awesome this gathering was. It was a spiritual high, leaving us all with a sense of profound excitement as we gathered, worshipped and heard God's word taught by three very dynamic women of God. If you get a chance to experience this, please do yourself a favor and GO. That's all I can say...it will change your life profoundly. Beth Moore's praise and worship team, led by Travis Cottrell, urged us into praise with wonderful Christian music. It was loud and stirring and completely filled this arena with the beautiful singing voices of our Christian sisters.
My camera totally did not capture these three awesome Christian speakers at all, but it was Kay Arthur, Priscilla Shirer, and Beth Moore. They all had different, but equally compelling messages to share with us and we all left with a sense of urgency to live out our Christian lives in a bold manner.

On Friday night when we arrived and found some great seats down on the floor, I immediately spotted two very popular bloggers in the Christian community, BooMama and Big Mama. These two are pals in real life and I've read about their escapades for months now. I went down and greeted them both and met Melanie (Big Mama) for the first time. They were both blogging for Lifeway at this event. It's fun to watch them do their thing and I know they will have a lot to share from the weekend also. And I ran immediately into one of my very good friends, Ruby, who is the Women's Ministry director at my old church in Kennesaw, where I went for many years. It was great catching up with her for a few minutes. She was one of the Atlanta coordinators for this event, so had a busy weekend. Again bad pics, but you can see how many women were here.
This was Pricilla speaking on Friday night. She's expecting baby #3 in October.
And Mandisa showed up with some powerful vocals and inspired us with her great music.
Phillips Arena from the outside. The praise and worship team in action.
They are all great vocalists and really lead some fantastic praise and worship.
Kay Arthur got passionate bringing a stirring message about the downfall of our nation and how we are at a crossroads. I couldn't agree with her more. We truly need to pray for our country with the election coming up and ask for guidance and direction for our country. Kay is 74 years old and looks great! I think we were all inspired to look as stylish and fit at her age. She is truly a warrior for the Lord, proclaiming His truth in everything she speaks.
Beth was absolutely awesome, as usual and has such a powerful stage presence and speaks the truth with honesty, peppered with her own brand of Texas humor. We all love Beth! All three of these women represent a range of generations and it's so refreshing to hear from all of them, their life experiences, how they are just like us in so many ways, and how they encourage us in our walk with God. They are truly annointed and bring God's word to life for women in a way that I've never experienced before. It truly is such a blessing to sit and soak up the Word in a conference like this. It's tiring, but wow, do you come away with a new determination to live out your life in a Spirit-led way, trusting God all the way to lead and guide your days, in the good and bad moments, on mountaintops or valleys, trusting that Christ is sovereign in ALL things. And I so much want to share that with everyone I come in contact with. What a comfort to remember that every single day!

I wish you could all have been there with me! Worshiping with all those women was such a great experience and I would have loved to share it with all of you. God is SO good!

P.S. While in Atlanta, I finally got to visit the HUGE IKEA store that opened up as we were moving 3 years ago. I tried to go when it did open, but it was so packed that the parking lot was full, so I haven't been back since. Wait til you see this place...oh. my. gosh...it's the biggest store I've ever seen, you could get lost in there. I'll be sharing that soon!

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Judy said...

I wish I could have been at this conference....I think all of us could use a little uplifting and of course, praising our Father! I'm going to check out when there will be another one of these conferences and try and go, taking Shannon and Jennifer and it would be great with you there as well!

Guy came about my kitchen yesterday....I'll e-mail you and get your thoughts later. I've got the twins today cause day care is closed this week (not getting anything done but coloring and reading books and watching Shreck)!

Hugs!

Judy

Kara said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Daisy Cottage said...

Oh Rhoda, I am SO glad that you had such a wonderful, uplifting, and loving time.... I knew you would! Your pictures of the experience are great... and you are just glowing - as always.

xo,
Kim

amy said...

YOu just gave me chills because I was there. Ok, I live in Kennesaw, where did you go to church? You are brave. I was too afraid to take pics after the sign of no flash photography came up. I just knew I would have the one camera they would comfiscate. I reviewed the weekend on my blog. OH my gosh, it was beyond awesome!!!!!

Kara said...

Rhoda!

What a blessing this weekend must have been for you! I just adore Beth Moore. She is so passionate about diving into God's word, it's incredibly inspiring. I've saw her speak at the Passion Conference in Nashville. It was life changing. She has such an empowering message for women of God.

I'm so happy for your experience this weekend. Have fun on your post-conference Montain Top! Those times are the best!

~Kara

~Nancy~ said...

What an awesome weekend you had!
I am glad you had a chance to attend.

I recently visited Ikea in Atlanta with my daughter after she graduated from Emory. I stayed over a few days and she took me to this store. We spent HOURS in there and I only bought some candles and coat hangers, LOL.
It was fun however and we even ate lunch there. They have delicious Swedish meatballs!
I enjoyed seeing the room layouts the most. Amazing how they can decorate, furnish, and organize 780 square feet "apartments"!

Tracy said...

How neat, I enjoyed getting to see your pictures and hear about the conference. My mother in law and her best friend attended it also. There were a couple of ladies they knew that had tickets and at the last minute something came up and they couldn't attend, so my mother in law and her best friend went.
Looks like it was great fun!

Tracy

Billy & Ann said...

It sounds wonderful. I want to go to something like this so bad. There were two small women's conferences in chuches near me this spring but I had Baptist Men committments. Maybe next year.

Susie Harris said...

What a blessing! I love Beth... I have taken a few of her studies and I was never the same. The knowledge that this petite lady has is by no means small. I adore her. Oh you lucky girl!!! yall look like you had so much fun. I could almost hear the music now. Betcha that was great too. Im so glad that you were able to soak this all in. Maybe you can pass some of your new wisdom to me. Take care Miss Rhoda! Susie H~

Diane@A Picture is Worth.... said...

I wish I was able to be there! I went to a Beth Moore conference in Birmingham three or four years ago, and there is nothing like worshipping and singing with that many women!

Anonymous said...

Having never been to one of these I often wonder if it is just a money maker, or is it free, the speakers donate their time? I believe and love God, but I pray in private and go to our church. This to me is almost cult like. Again I mean no disrespect, I just don't know anything about it.

Rhoda @ Southern Hospitality said...

Hello, anon, oh...you couldn't be more wrong, definitely not cult-like. No, it's not free, the conference was $75 and worth every single penny. They have a huge arena to rent & that is a bundle of money, not to mention paying salaries and all. I have no idea how much all the speakers make & it matters not at all to me. I have heard all of these women several times & get the feeling that they are completely down to earth & not squanderers of God's money.

Attending a conference like this is truly like a revival. You come away with a renewed sense of serving God more fully and more faithfully than ever before...and experiencing it with all these other women is the icing on the cake. It might look extravagant, but it is such a blessing, it's hard to put it all into words that can be understood by those not attending.

There are so many churches these days that are not preaching God's entire Word & not speaking truth. I believe that false teachers abound in our generation like never before & we've got to be SO careful to discern truth from lies. I can say that these women are definitely speaking truth directly from God's Word, not their opinions, but from an annointing they all have from studying the Word so deeply, they manage to communicate in a way that is not heard much these days. The Gospel has been so watered down in our churches today that it's refreshing to hear it spoken so boldly, unapologetically. I'm blessed to be in a church that teaches God's word just as strongly as this every single Sunday & for that, I am grateful.

I appreciate your question...

Rhoda

Adrienne said...

Oh, Rhoda - I wish I could have gone with you. It sounds just wonderful and I know each of the three speakers always have such wonderful things to share. I'm glad you were able to go. Thanks for sharing it with us. ~Adrienne~

Faye said...

I have only been popping by your Blog for a few months and am SO intrigued with it. I love the designs, the recipes, you clever decor, your way of finding those unique finds at sales...well, I enjoy hearing all about the South.
I can't even imagine going to such a large gathering of women and can only gather from your stories and pics that it was like a touch of heaven on earth. Thanks for taking the time to share. God Bless you Rhoda!

Catherine said...

I've wanted to attend this conference for some time now. The direction our country is taking burdens me greatly. I'm so glad to hear it was a topic at the conference. Thank you for sharing.

Francie of The Scented Cottage said...

Oh Rhoda, what a blessing you were able to be there. There is something so powerful and pure when women come together like that.

Kay Arthur long a "hero" of mine, Beth Moore such a great teacher...all the anointed women that were there it had to be an awesome event.

Thanks for sharing...
(())

Sweet Cottage Dreams said...

Hi Rhoda ~ Thank you so much for taking time to stop over and leave a comment. I heard absolute praises about you from our sweet friend, Kim. Daisy Cottage was such a treat to get to experience, as you so very well know.

Conferences are so wonderful to attend and you really do leave with a rejuvinated spirit and uplifted heart. Glad you got to go to such a splendid gathering.

blessings,
Becky

Brown-Eyes said...

I could almost feel the joy and blessings experienced by you and the others through your writings and pictures. Thanks for sharing! As someone else commented, you really did glow in the pictures. :-) Brown-Eyes

Cottage Rose said...

I am so glad that you shared your experience with us all. As others have said we could all use some uplifting. Some day I hope to attend one. Again thank you for sharing, have a great week.

Hugs;
Alaura

Nancy Hood said...

I am so glad you got to go and be a part of this! So you could come back and share with us!! Grateful you're home safe and sound, happy to read your account of what went on.

Connie said...

Hi Rhoda,
These conferences are truly life changing! For years, I attended the Brown County Retreat in Southern Indiana and heard some remarkable speakers. Yes, they are tiring but thats because we never sleep - too busy playing catch up with all our old and new friends. LOL
I also love the praise music at these type of gatherings - very uplifting and fills your soul with so much joy and love.
Glad you had a good time.
Connie

Dana said...

Thank you for sharing your photos and text about your experiences at the conference. It certainly seems to have touched a great many people in positive and renewing ways.

Picket said...

Ohhhh girl..you described that glorious blessing so well, I felt like I was right there with you!!!! Ohhhh what a renewing of one's soul!!!! reminded me of old camp meeting days and revivals that would run for weeks and you just couldn't wait to get there to see What God would do next...what a way to start my day..ohhh glory girl...this has been a blessing just coming by to see you this morning..makes me want to shout sitting here at the computer...thanks for sharing this beautiful soul stirring event with us!!!!

Leigh said...

It sounds like a truly amazing experience! Glad you got to go. Wish you got a pic of boo and Big Mama!

Hey, linked you today in my post...

Bonita said...

I'd never heard of Deeper Still and now I'm reading about it everywhere. My parents live in Atlanta and I wish I'd known sooner so I could have taken a little road trip and attended. So glad you had such a wonderful experience.

Charm & Grace said...

It really was an awesome time. I posted about it yesterday on my blog, too. I got to attend with both my mother and my m-i-l. What a blessing it was and such a powerful time. I was truly amazed at how God is raising up generation (Kay) after generation (Beth) after generation (Priscilla) of godly women who can teach the Word with effectiveness and boldness. We are blessed!

Christi

Reynie said...

Sounds like you had a great visit to the ATL! And yes, Ikea is BIG, BIG, BIG. I got lost in there for like three days.

Sandi McBride said...

Wow, what an estrogen rush! Lovely pictures of your family...even those you don't know, that large Christian Sisterhood!
hugs
Sandi

Tricia Anne said...

How wonderful! I would have loved to have attended! A spiritual retreat! To all tuck away like that and be fed the Word of God and worship...how wonderful indeed! :O) We will begin Beth Moore's new study in the next couple of weeks and I really can't wait. I always come away learning so much that has practical application.
I adore your blog and want to add thanks for posting about painting. I am viewing several blogs for help in this area and yours has been a blessing for me as I feather our nest. ~Tricia Anne

Kari & Kijsa said...

What an incredible event! Kijsa went to this last year and absolutely loved it!

Have a blessed and wonderful day!

smiles, kari & kijsa

Susie Harris said...

Were you talking about the little letters that you have to type in when leaving a comment? If so I took it off... Smiles, Susie H~

Susie Harris said...

Your welcome Miss Rhoda... I really didnt know that it was on mine... I hate having to figure out what the letters are. I always get it wrong about three times before I get it right. Now if only the rest will follow along it would be a better world... smile! Susie H~

Sue said...

Rhoda,
What a great opportunity for you and your family and friend. I too am glad to hear that the conference addressed the importance of the up coming election and the watering down of the Word that seems to be accepted by so many.
I have to add that you look positively radiant in the pictures.
Hugs,
Sue

Sher's Creative Expressions said...

Hi Rhoda, I'm about to leave for our cottage upnorth, but I will check into removing that letter verification thingy. If I get "stuck", I'll e-mail you for directions. You were sooo helpful in helping me with that background change.

Blessings & Happy 4th!!

Sher

becky said...

Rhoda, sounds as if your conference was amazing...so glad you got to go and get together with old girlfriends,too!

I just recently visited the Atlanta ikea...I loved it, but my feet were killing me after I got out of that place (many hours later)! ha

Tara said...

Rhoda

when I read about your souhtern life, it seems to me what I picture a southern life to be (being a hard core New Yorker!)--genteel, loving, spiritual! Love it!

Lallee said...

Rhoda thank you for stopping by my blog to say hello. I found your visit with Kim in your archives--she is such a kind hostess. She could not say enough kind things about you--but no surprise there. I'm sorry I missed you!

How I would have loved being with you at Deeper Still! I used to teach Kay Arther Precept courses. I see she still looks beautiful! I read BooMama regularly, and I think you may be the one who shared the first link to her site. So thank you! If you look on my blog for the June 5 post, there is a new author I really love--Leigh McLeroy. She has a wonderful Wednesday Words devotional she emails each week. I highly recommend!

Love all the yard sale finds....and let me say you look stunning in that lime green.

Hugs,
Lallee

Anonymous said...

Great post and comments! Julie Schaal-IA

Susan L. Prince said...

I was at the Deeper Still Event and it took me an entire week to ponder over it and reread my notes just to be able to post on it.

It was a wonderful time and one of the things that was really neat to experience was when we all sang "Shout to the Lord" a cappella at the end. Wow.

Those ladies were fun, and insightful and anointed and I feel blessed to have been taught by them. They have so much to offer the Kingdom, yet they make me feel as though I do too! Ain't that cool!

Good post and I enjoyed looking over your blog. I'll be back!

Melissa Lewis - Off The Wall said...

It's so good to be back home and reading all my favorite blogs. I so wished I could have gone to that conference. I've never heard Kay or Pricilla, but I have Beth Moore. It most of been moving for sure!