by Nicole Dickens
PT ’19 Speaker Chair
These are tumultuous times. Our nation is more divided than ever. We’re beginning the next election cycle with what looks like to be a long, arduous journey to the next administration and every card available seems wild, no matter the party. It also seems like no one is happy or satisfied these days… but I think that’s a good thing. I see it as an opportunity.
I am writing this while on a plane back to my hometown, Washington, DC to celebrate the 4thfor the first time in more than a decade with family. The city has changed dramatically since I was a resident – some changes are very good, others not so much. Everyone is working twice as hard to get much less than the previous generation (half of my family will be missing the 4thas they chose to work for holiday pay). Trying to hang on to what we have, I guess. The ground produces more thistles with each passing year. It is harder than ever to see where that abundant life both God and the Founding Fathers promised us in these times. What if this is by design?
For those of us who chose Jesus Christ, we know we are called to be instruments of change, to align ourselves with heaven’s values and viewpoints and that includes the protection of the innocent, to root out injustice and wickedness, especially in high places (literally, if you read the Old Testament) and to ensure and protect freedom, as heaven’s government already does. Our Founding Fathers designed a similar idea for government for which we are still striving to see manifest in the life of every citizen. Yes, every life DOES matter but not every life is valued as such, even on these illustrious shores of America. Christ Followers are also called to love, walk in peace and humility, to do justice and love mercy. We are also required to abide in Him. Not in a purposeless way, without work or choice but in a vigilant, vibrant and active way that manifests a work of faith. We are to abide in a way that is life giving to ourselves and those around us as this is the only way to transformation. There is a LOT that is broken around us, things we’ve broken, things the previous generations have broken but no matter the guilty party, the outcome is the same: brokenness everywhere and in everyone. Yet we all have access, every living and breathing person today has access to the power to bring restoration to the earth. We merely need to decide to choose to use it for those purposes. There is a saying amongst Christ Followers: power is used to protect and serve and not kill, steal and destroy. What are you using your power for these days?
We will gather on August 23rdto hear stories of transformation, ideas on how to bring reconciliation and restoration, and how to be an active part in changing the direction of this country and the world because we understand that we have the power to do so. We invite you to share your story, thoughts, ideas and ambitions too – submit a talk to be considered for this year’s conference. If you are in need of encouragement, want to see Hope in the flesh, walking, talking, living, breathing and most of all, doing (creating, building, teaching, speaking, fighting, honoring, healing, rejoicing, expecting to make a difference) – join us for this year’s conference.
Be the change you want. The power is yours and these times present the perfect opportunity.
Submit a talk today!
Join us on August 23rd!