Seattle + 'Counsel from the Cross' with Elyse Fitzpatrick .

Over the course of the last several weeks, I've been blessed to sit under many soul-stirring speakers. I've been wanting to share some takeaways from these messages, and after my trip to Mars Hill Church in Seattle this past weekend to hear Elyse Fitzpatrick speak, I knew I should share these things sooner than later. I apologize for the bullet-styled post that you are about to read, but I hope that these snippets encourage you, spur new conversations, and give you gospel light for any dark situations that you are facing.

As I sat down to write out these takeaways, I realized that this post was going to be entirely wa-ay too long. I had originally planned to include some things from the Desiring God conference, but I've decided to just stick with Seattle stuff for now. And, even with just that on the docket, you won't be disappointed. I jokingly tell people that I never miss an opportunity to hear my girl, Elyse Fitzpatrick, speak. I'm kind of like a rock band groupie without the rock band. Because, in this case, I'm following a grandma-- a very wise, hilarious, and theologically sound woman who is not afraid to speak truth. And that is why I say you will not be disappointed. (Or, if you are, count it against my lack of skill in the writing department!)  I hope you enjoy a few shots of Seattle while you read too! (My friend Angela and I arrived at Pike's Place market right before opening time and found our way in through a propped open door. We immediately found the doughnuts and Starbucks and enjoyed a quiet morning at the market before heading on to the conference.)

When I or anyone I know is struggling, the first message that needs to be asked or heard is, 'Do you understand that God has set his love on you? Can you believe that God decided to love you? The only bad news is if you don't believe. We may not understand, but we can still believe. Do you know you are loved?' -- That's the starting point. 

Has the gospel become white noise to us? 'Jesus friend of sinners.' White noise? 'Your Father feeds the birds.' White noise? 'Jesus loves me.' 'He was crucified and buried and rose again on the third day.' Have these giant truths become white noise to us today?

We're worried because we're trying to build our kingdom-- this kingdom where 'all good things come to me'. Do we really need something? God will give it! // All of our sin flows out of our unbelief. When I doubt God and his provision in my life, I  am not believing that God is good enough to give me all I need. Original sin is believing that God is not good. // We can love sinners because we are sinners who've been loved. I need to love someone more than I need that person. // We can give people law, but it must be in the context of grace. The law stirs up sin. The law drives an unsaved person to Christ. We give law to the unbeliever until grace breaks through.

Obedience must flow from gratitude. // When you don't forgive, you're not hurting that person, you are enslaved to that person. // We have a great high priest. One who, in every respect, was tempted as we are tempted. We don't know the whys of some situations-- we aren't God-- but we know who He is! // Seeing Christ will make us love him. Every sin we commit is from a lack of love. // "To see the law by Christ fulfilled and hear his pardoning voice changes a slave into a child and duty into choice." William Cowper

And on that note, I think I can wish you a really, really wonderful weekend. Thank you so much for reading here.


  1. I love posts like these, filled with truth. I need it!

  2. Shanna, I wish I could post the actual sessions from that day. They were so good and needed in my own life. On a different note, I cannot *wait* for your book release tomorrow! So happy for you!

  3. Love her! Thank you for sharing! Sounds like such an encouraging/convicting/fun weekend! :)

  4. Marcy! You are so welcome. It was a wonderful time of refreshment and refocus, that is for sure. I just realized that you are from Minneapolis. . .I hope that I haven't lost you as a friend over my midwest jokes in the post about our Minneapolis trip :} Lots of my midwest friends gave me a hard time over the fact that I did not fall head-over-heels in love with Minneapolis :)

  5. I thought about saying something. ;)
    I was born and raised here, and my husband feels that this is where God has us for now... But I would love to be in the South actually! :) I would love to see more pictures and hear more about the conference from when you were here!

  6. It was nice meeting you this evening at the PNW Blogger Holiday Party! I've added your blog to my reader and I look forward to catching up on your blog.

  7. I really wanted to go last weekend with a friend of mine! . Thanks for sharing what you heard. It's all so, so good. And are you talking about those mini doughnuts? Divine!

  8. Ah I love that you went to this...I really wanted to go!
    Looking forward to getting together soon...and hear more about this too :)

  9. Marcy-- oh no! Not the south! That's even worse! Totally kidding you :) Yes, I hope to share more soon-- it was such a fantastic time away anda wonderful few days of compressed learning!

    so nice to meet you as well! I feel like my brain is kind of spinning right now from last evening. I think it will take me a few days to site down and get to everyone's site and put all of the pieces together. You too? Anywho, very good to meet you and I look forward to keeping up with you via your blog!

  10. Jenny! Oh my! That would have been so fun to have run into you there. Next time :) Yes! Those mini doughnuts! Yum and extra yum, to quote Rosenthal's book, "Little Pea". :)

    Katie! Next time there's a conference on this scale, you and I are going! Can't wait for our coffee date. Emailing you in the next day or so :)

  11. Thanks for sharing these thoughts that I need to come back & ponder some more! I hope to have the chance to hear her speak sometime.

  12. such a beautiful quote. and such lovely photos!

    found the route

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