The Biblical Imagination Conference with Michael Card and Scott Roley is in the history books. 100+ people sat under the excellent Bible teaching Friday night and all day Saturday, ending with a concert Sunday night. I don't have words for the atmosphere of the conference or the demeanor of Michael Card who is the definition of humility; an ordinary guy doing extraordinary things because of Christ living in him through the Holy Spirit. I also had a sense of Jesus being in the room during the conference as he talked to us about Mark the disciple and the life of Jesus in the book of Mark. I am just going to post some of the scribbled notes I took, trusting you will get a flavor of what I heard God say to me this weekend. If a *BIC ever comes to your area you should make every effort to attend. I sure hope he comes back to central New York. My notes and quotes from Michael Card:
Following Jesus is not an invitation, it is a command. Take up your cross and follow me. Bullet theology...This was all said a bit tongue in cheek...What will I take a bullet for? Years ago MC traveled with a group smuggling Bibles into...I forget where he said. He always thought what he was doing was very dangerous, their group came up with several points they would make if ever caught and a gun was held to them, what would they take a bullet for? Inerrancy of God's Word-bullet, efficacy of the crucifixion, bullet, sufficiency of Scripture, bullet. The point he made throughout the conference is the idea of primary things verses secondary things. We as Christians tend to "fight" over secondary things...immersion vs. sprinkling, pews vs chairs, etc. Listening is loving, stop doing things for God and start listening. Love God by listening to Him. Throughout the book of Mark, Jesus is mobbed by crowds of people wherever he goes, by the end of chapter 1, Jesus is out of control because of the crowds. They're cutting holes in the roof to get to Jesus. Am I that desperate to get to Jesus? Do I go out of my way to be with him.(my questions) Jesus did not come to do miracles or be popular but to preach the Good News. Faith will always call you away from home. Faith must come over family always. Loving Jesus more than my spouse and children will always be to their benefit. Mark 10:46-52 Blind Bartimaeus is asking for something he does not deserve...mercy. Michael went on to say he has been studying a word for years and hopes to write a book on HESED-hebrew word for God. Hesed= grace and mercy; when someone from whom I have a right to expect nothing gives me everything. When I boldly ask for what I don't deserve. My favorite session was with MC and Scott Roley who have been friends for 30 years. They are friends unto death. They both spoke on what it means to have this type of friend whom you can call at 3AM to come help you change a flat tire. Friendship is a biblical concept found in the book of Mark, the disciples had to be friends right? Day in and day out for 3 years following someone they 'just didn't get'. Friends listen and love well. Friends are always on your side, in right and wrong. It's not about being 'right' or having my 'rights'. Another highlight was group processing. We sat at tables of 6-8 people and at the end of each session we 'processed' what we had heard. Rather than taking in at a conference and wondering at the end what did I learn, we were able to vocalize and discuss after each session something we had heard. The last session was on Mark 10:46-52 The Bartimaeus Paradigm...What are you commanding me to do?
  • Bartimaeus believed without seeing, taking Jesus at his word
  • He left everything
  • He asked Jesus for something he didn't deserve-why did he deserve healing?
  • Jesus tells him...Go your way
We were left with the question... What is Jesus commanding me to do? Following Jesus is radical when followed the way he commands us to do.   I was so excited to meet the writer of a blog I read on occasion, Megan Dunham. She traveled with her husband Craig who helps facilitate the conference. Small world. She writes at Half-Pint House. *Biblical Imagination Conference