It was 10 pm and the time was ticking the night before Counterflow 2014. My team and I were still fixing the last minute conference kits and details. I am excited but at the same time exhausted – we were making sure all the last minute preparations fell into place. It was an overwhelming number that we ended with, having at that moment about 6000+ attendees come to Counterflow. You see, being part of the Family Ministry and the organizing team for Counterflow, we would sit for hours every Tuesday to strategize, dream and plan how to bring Counterflow to the next level. Finally its coming to the final hours where parents from all over will convene to a venue to do exactly what we prayed for: Counterflow their parenting.
So I knew in my heart, this noble and humble work will lead many parents to rethink and actually do something different in their parenting. But will this “behind the scene work” lead me to do the same? As an overseer, we were literally busy that morning. We were trouble shooting possible issues in registration, ushering, in program and even to the workshops. So I have resigned to the fact – that this conference will be for all those that signed up and that I will have to take the back seat and do what we do best – manage events.
Sometime 11ish, I led speakers Francis Kong and his family and Larry Fowler to the VIP Lounge for lunch. Since I had a window and no one was seeking my assistance, I decided I would sit with them for a bit and see if they needed anything. In that round table, speakers Bobbie Baretto, Oscar and Lally Medalla joined in with Larry Fowler. That table was Holy Spirit inspired. As everyone came together seated, it was as if a mini one on one session took place. Larry started asking people their stories and what led them to speak about their topics. Each one shared and Larry then asked me, what led me to do what I was doing. I told him I believe in Family and how every family needs Jesus. I came from a dysfunctional broken home and I want to really lead my children closest to Christ. Then as if the Holy Spirit took hold of that moment: I experienced a real Counterflow!
YOU DON’T HAVE TO LOSE YOUR CHILDREN
As I was explaining to Larry Fowler, John and I were like prodigal children. We enjoyed and wrestled in the world and we experienced painful consequences to be living without God in our lives. When we were so down in the dumps, it was the time that the Lord met with us separately. Slowly as we began to know our Creator and started walking with Him, our life got restored and transformed. We are a product of mess turned masterpiece. Our “renewed life” is a continuous work in progress and though we may fail every now and then, we try our very best to lead our kids to Christ. I shared with Larry my greatest fear. My kids are born in to our new found faith and growing up in the church. They are 2nd generation Christians. They did not experience our tragic state of being stubborn and disobedient. My fear roots from their being “comfortable” in the faith, that one day they will not put value to it and one day may walk away from the Lord. As I was sharing this I began to tear uncontrollably.
THE POWER OF COMMUNICATION
Larry sat John with me and said, you don’t have to lose your children. He told us the formula is simple – he brought us to Deuteronomy 6:5-7.
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.”
He said “If your kids see how you love God, they will learn to love God as well. Don’t complicate parenting. Don’t think that by bringing them to Sunday school or doing devotions with them daily – this will bring your kids closest to God. The answer is seen in the verse: TALK ABOUT GOD to them in every occasion you can: whether at home, at work, traveling, resting and when our day starts. Then learn to LISTEN to what is in their HEART and reconnect their heart concerns to God. That’s all there is. Don’t talk down to them, talk with them.”
He shared that his family went through a lot too even if they were Christian. His daughter was raped and in the course of going through such struggle, married early. The marriage did not work, so he stepped up by being a “father/ grandfather” to his 3 grandchildren. His daughter is now remarried to a godly man and this godly man loved not only his daughter but her children as well. The step dad formally asked the children if he could adopt them to carry his name. He explained to them that the reason he is doing this is not for their mom’s sake but because HE CHOSE THEM. He said the children felt so loved that they did not hesitate to be adopted by him.
GOD CHOOSES US TO BE HIS CHILDREN
This was powerful impact to me. This is a reminder that God CHOOSES US. We are born in sin because of Adam and Eve’s disobedience but God CHOOSES US by sending his only son Jesus to die and pay the penalty of our sin so that we may be reunited with him.
There were many more small talks and tips but I felt my tank was full and although I did not get the privilege to sit with participants to hear all the talks – I was blessed to have a golden moment with Larry Fowler who gave me a ray of hope in God’s promises and plans.
I’m not perfect but I want to keep growing. So if you are like me who needs encouragement and push. Join me this weekend: 2 events happen.
For soon to be weds/ newly weds: John and I are speaking for the Before and after I do Workshop at Blue Leaf and PICC- learn the ropes of building a good marriage leading in to a good family.
For parents we have at CCF Center 2pm – Saturdates parenting series every Saturday, November 8, 15, 22, 29.