The Flourish Conference
Reflections on Flourish 2022
What a privilege to be able to attend the Flourish Conference this year! I was extremely thankful my husband supported this weekend away.
However, I hadn’t calculated I would preach twice before coming, both Sunday and Wednesday. If you have ever preached once in a week, you will know what I mean. When life-giving words are poured out through His Spirit, the preacher remains on some wobbly legs and with a heart thirsting for His presence, this time for herself. I arrived exhausted in Ohio and left for Pennsylvania refreshed. Thank You, Jesus!
Dr. Karen McGibbon was the main speaker.
She blessed us:
If you believe one of God’s promises (even unbelievers believe His promise of the seasons), then we shall believe all of them.
This stuck with me. As I intercede for others, often He will give me Scripture to share. But what a gift I received to be reminded of His promises, that all are true. For God cannot lie:
God did this so that by two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold fast to the hope set before us may be greatly encouraged (Hebrews 6:18).
Throughout Dr. K’s testimony, she confessed to not trusting God in hard seasons, to lacking faith even if she considered herself strong in faith beforehand. This ought to humble us all. We never know what God has in store. Though we ask for something specific in prayer, He withholds or is silent, causing the dreaded wait. Dr. K encouraged those in difficult seasons to seek Him, ask Him what He wants to teach you, rather than spin your wheels in self-pity.
While I wait for myself and my family, for God to heal, for God to open doors, I cannot say I have been doing everything He wants me to do in my family. Sometimes it is easier to help those outside your family, who don’t hold you accountable for so many things. Jesus confirmed and upheld this revelation throughout the conference.
Alison Buck led her breakout session with a hands-on experience with hope. Her questions, “what does hope smell like”, “what does hope feel like” invited us to connect with our Lord in new ways. She offered candles and other items to personally touch and smell as we thought about the hope of Jesus. When Alison led us all to sing the song Cornerstone, to give us a glimpse of what hope sounds like, I got chills. Holy Spirit moved in my heart, reassuring me I had not drifted too far from my Father. His Hope was still just as spiritually tangible in His Son as it ever will be.
And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us (Romans 5:5).
The praise band, Emmaus Road, served the Lord in a mighty, unselfish way.
Leading us in worship that was true, also in the Spirit (John 4:24), meant each of them allowed themselves to be olives pressed down on all sides so that His anointing oil would flow through their voices, their instruments, spurring unity among us. Praise God! Truly, my soul was filled to the brim with joy, intercession, praise and glory to God during their sets:
As for you, the anointing you received from Him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. Bus as His anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit-just as it has taught you, remain in Him (1 John 2:27).
As Heather Boss preached and gathered us in communion during worship Sunday morning, I was brought to my knees as she led us to repent. I wrote on paper my confession about where I lacked in my family. God honored that by showing me where else I lacked … in self-care. Taking care of others: my husband, two teen sons, our puppy, and all others He brings into my world through ministry. God whispered that is good service, but I do tell you to love your neighbor as yourself.
Ministry requires seeking Him to care for all details, all places, all people, including your own soul that gets weary at times:
In the book of Matthew, after He tells us not to worry about eating, drinking, clothing, He proclaims a forever promise:
But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well (Matthew 6:33).
Standing on His promises, I joined arms with sisters in Christ. I thank the Lord on High for all things and people at the Flourish Conference.
Without Him, we would not know each other, we would not have heard personal stories of His goodness and faithfulness, we would not have lifted our arms in praise and rang out a chorus to heaven.
With Him and in Him, we have everything we could possibly need.
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer (Romans 12:12).
Julie Dibble is a servant of her Lord Jesus Christ. Together with her husband Jason, they have two sons, Braedon 17 and Jackson 15, and one rescued pup named Rocko. Julie preaches, writes, hikes, and prays for God to use her daily in this broken world. Currently, she is on staff at Newberrytown Church of God as Director of Outreach and Evangelism.