Hi friends. Kathy and I made it home Monday afternoon after spending Thursday evening through Monday morning at the Hear The Watchmen (HTW) Conference in Dallas. I’m still not caught up on everything that needs to be addressed but I simply must take some time to share with you some thoughts about this past weekend.
Kathy and I have been to many conferences over the years. We were both saved in 1983 and since that time have attended too many conferences to begin to count. Most of them were worthwhile, a few were not, but only a handful standout. At the top of the list of these outstanding conferences is this recent HTW Dallas Conference.
What made it so very special was the clear presence of the Holy Spirit. Evident to both of us from the moment we arrived and gathered with the other speakers for a meal prior to the official start of the conference on Friday, was the singular purpose and goal. We were there to encourage and equip the remnant body of Christ and one another.
Absent was any hint of ego, over-bearing personality, or spirit of division. Instead there was a spirit of camaraderie, brotherhood, and humbleness. It was apparent immediately to both Kathy and me that we were among friends and even family. This was the environment and atmosphere for the entire weekend.
Speaker after speaker took the platform and gave a message of warning, exhortation, and encouragement. By Saturday afternoon I had remarked to Kathy at least two dozen times that a particular point the current speaker was making was “in my presentation.” All totaled I think I made that comment forty times before I gave my message on Sunday afternoon.
The conference opened with a panel of married couples answering questions. It served as a fantastic springboard for the rest of our time together. One of the common themes that emerged in all the messages given was the great need for the body of Christ to quit attacking one another especially over nonsense. Pastor Billy Crone charged us with rallying around Jesus Christ, Pastor Carl Gallups followed that up with an exhortation to stop boxing God in with our man made doctrinal systems which people use to attack other believers who haven’t constructed a similar box to constrain God in.
Coach Dave was vintage Coach. His message was of course to the point and blunt – stop playing around and get up and get out into the world and do something for Jesus Christ. John B. Wells, a veteran of news media, reminded us to stay the course of truth seeking and telling. Michael Boldea spoke of our necessity to see God in all His glory and focused us on His many attributes.
Josh Peck’s message got us started on Saturday and became the bulls eye that every other speaker was hitting. Josh spoke about the modern practice of Christians cannibalizing other Christians through their harsh words and behavior. Social media has certainly made that much easier to do. The reality is we are called to love one another not argue and fight with one another.
Mike Lake had people cheering as usual. His empowering message of the Holy Spirit’s anointing for power and authority reminded us that we are victors in Christ. LA Marzulli was spot on in his message of what we are up against in the heavenlies but reminded us that Christ has overcome and thus we who are in Christ are over-comers.
Derek Gilbert’s research into the cosmology of the Middle East and the historical markers hidden in plain site in our Bibles is every Bible teacher’s dream. Why aren’t more pastors teaching this? How can Christians be prepared if they remain unaware of what is coming upon the earth in the last days? You will want to get a copy of Derek’s newest book, The Great Inception.
Josh Tolley picked up where Derek left off by reminding us that the Church should teach the whole Bible. This includes assisting believers in living impacting lives for Christ. The surest way to do that is to not become enslaved to employers but instead look for ways to become entrepreneurs. Russ Dizdar closed out our Saturday with a look at the strategies of our enemy and what we must do as believers in response. An invitation was extended after Russ’s message and dozens of people came forward for prayer, healing, and encouragement.
Sunday started with a bang as Pastor Paul Begley preached like a man who believed he was giving the last sermon of his life. What a word form the Lord from the book of Revelation. This was followed by a baptism service. I have heard varying numbers but the number of people baptized was somewhere between 150-160. Truly an amazing thing to behold.
My presentation followed the baptism and I spoke on the subject, Has Christ Been Divided, utilizing 1 Corinthians 1:13 as the key passage. I offered that teaching slide deck to anyone who wanted it for their use or for use in Bible studies. Email me if you would like that presentation. My dear friend and “big” brother Pastor Caspar McCloud followed me and reminded everyone that we are fearfully and wonderfully made by our Creator God. Our bodies, spirits, minds, are so much more than we imagine. Pastor Caspar focused on the fact that right thinking precedes right behavior and blessing.
John Ragan closed out the individual speaker portion of the conference by informing us from a financial stand point where we are at in this day. The conference wrapped up with all the speakers on the platform answering previously submitted questions.
Kathy and I are grateful to have had this opportunity. It was and will remain a spiritual benchmark of sorts for us. We have found a family of like-minded believers who understand the times we live in. This is a gift from God and is priceless in our sight.
Friends I cannot stress this enough. If you are only able to attend one conference a year then make sure it is Hear The Watchmen Dallas 2018. Dates will be announced later this year so stay tuned.