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Posts Tagged ‘Northern Women’s Convention’

It’s a strange feeling. My book is physically made. And here it is, on a proper bookstall at the Midlands Women’s Convention this weekend just gone:

For sale!

For sale!

I even saw a few people there buying the book. Including some that I didn’t even know. And now I’m not quite sure what will happen. I have a plan for a launch type event in Birmingham on 26th October. And possibly something in Lichfield too. And I’m going to speak to a women’s bible study group next week. I’ve not really done speaking stuff before, but I’ve had a few requests in and am going to give it a whirl.

We’re in a slightly strange in-between time as the official publication date is not until 18th October, but if you go to the Northern Women’s Convention next weekend you can get a copy and The Good Book Company will be stocking it at the London Women’s Convention the weekend after. It’s worth going to the conventions even if you don’t buy my book, incidentally. Jodi Hinds’ talks on Hebrews 12 in Derby were encouraging, warm and gently challenging – she’s speaking in Manchester. Lizzy Smallwood is giving the talks in London – and is always worth listening to.

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On Saturday I took a couple of lovely ladies from our church to the Midlands Women’s Convention in Derby. It was the first year of a Midlands convention, after last year’s Northern Women’s Convention was sold out, and disorganised bookers (err, like me) missed out on tickets. What an encouragement it proved to be – around 700 women, some great talks and a terrific band.

I came away particularly challenged about my approach to bible reading. The main speaker was Kathleen Nielson, whose background is in the study of English literature. Her great passion is reading the bible *as* literature. I was reminded how easy it is to read the bible quickly, like a Tweet, or even a blogpost, hoping to grab something meaningful in as short a time as possible. In our busy lives and instant access culture the temptation to treat the Word like fast food is ever present. But, as Kathleen reminded us, a diet of fast food can leave us with malnutrition.

Since much of the bible is poetry – not just the Psalms and Proverbs, but great chunks of Old Testament prophecy in particular, we need to remind ourselves how to read a poem. Poetry reading is very out of fashion because it takes time and thought – it’s certainly not something I would automatically chose to do of a free evening! A poem is pretty much the opposite of a Tweet: I love Twitter and the short sharp thought, but that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t take time to chew over the Word and think about what God is saying in a much more reflective way. Even if it’s hard. Which it is when you’re extraverted and easily distracted. Or even if you’re not.

All in all, it was a thought-provoking day. I spent tonnes of money on books too – the enthusiastic Jonathan Carswell and his team from TenofThose had a stall. I also had the chance to talk a wee bit about my blog in a seminar and was very pleased to tweetup with fellow blogger Sara. If you’re now feeling you’ve missed out, there are still tickets available for the Northern Women’s Convention in Manchester next Saturday. Or join us for next year’s convention on 6th October 2013.

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I had a great day out on Saturday with three ladies from church. We went to the Northern Women’s Convention in Manchester. Things didn’t start brilliantly… I was woken by the doorbell ringing at 7.45am. That was the time I’d asked the women to arrive so we could leave in good time. Oops.

Well, once I’d got my act together, we were off and there in time to get a seat. For the first time ever, the conference was sold out, so it was packed with about 1,000 women from around the north of the country. I spotted friends from all over: Leeds, Preston, Sheffield, Chester, Newcastle On Tyne, Wolverhampton and Tipton. It was mentioned from the main stage that the last tickets sold on the Tuesday beforehand. I think they were sold to me! In by the skin of our teeth again.

Lizzie Smallwood’s talks from Colossians on The Complete Woman were challenging and encouraging in equal measure as she reminded us to ‘become what you are’ but also to have ‘a good clear out of our behaviour wardrobe’. The Holy Spirit, said Lizzie, is God’s beauty consultant – your very own Gok. Did I mention that Lizzie is a vicar’s wife? Yay!

Helen Roseveare is now in her eighties and has been a Christian for over sixty years. And yet her joy and delight in knowing Christ continue to overflow as she speaks, as fresh as if she were a brand new believer. She spoke of how she is continuing to learn and grow in wisdom even at her advanced age. It was wonderful to hear her and be reminded of the privilege that she spoke of – to know Christ and also to suffer for him. I want to be like her when I grow up.

I came home and immediately started reading her autobiography, Give me this Mountain, which tells the story of her missionary life, including the five months she spent as a captive of rebels in Congo. This year the talks and seminars from the conference will be available free in audio on the conference website, but the main talks and Helen Roseveare‘s seminar will also be on dvd for just £10 – you need to email the conference office to order. If you didn’t make it to Manchester, I highly recommend getting it. We’re getting a couple of copies to share around folk who weren’t able to come along.

Next year’s conference is on Saturday 8th October 2011, and the speaker will be Rebecca Manley Pippert, author of the classic book on evangelism, Out of the Saltshaker. Book early next year – I’m going to!

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We had a helpful sermon series on Colossians earlier in the year, and I’m looking forward to hearing Lizzy Smallwood speak from the same book at the Northern Women’s Convention on 9th October. In the meantime, this is a brilliant reminder of the riches of Chapter 2.

[HT Dan Green]

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