Blessed Shindig

This past week our family journeyed out to North Carolina for the 2014 Shindig. We had no idea how wonderful it was going to be. There were people gathered there from all corners of the USA. Children were joyfully playing. Families meeting other families that are in the same season of life.  

Mike Pearl did a teaching series on Addictions and the Brain. It was quite an interesting and life transforming topic.  He showed how certain chemicals are released in the brain when we have experiences that cause an emotional response.  There are many addictions that people develop and many ways people are controlled or imprisoned by them.  In fact, when the brain is unusually stimulated it can create pathways that keep a person in bondage because they cannot get pleasure any other way.  He showed how to overcome the addictions by realizing the power we have from Christ to overcome—creating new pathways to replace the wrong ones.  There were many people who had addictions and wanted to be freed from them.  Some did not realize how twisted their minds had become.  Men who used pornography were confessing and were getting on a road to recovery.  This message was sent from God to set the captives free.  Marriages were healed and families restored.  

Go Ye To the World…
Not only did we get the blessing of hearing the powerful messages of freedom in Christ, we were given testimonies of many missionaries from around the world.  It was a bold message of what we could be doing to reach the lost for Christ.  How we could do something each day to make a difference in other’s lives.  We live in an age that is highly driven by excess and want, selfishness and ungratefulness.  The human creature is always striving to fulfill its own needs.  As followers of Christ, we must think outside the box—we must consider others.  We need to love them the way we would wish to be loved.  When we love our neighbor as ourselves, we can make a difference.  People are in need all around the world.  There are hurting and lost people right in your own neighborhood.  These are all people who Christ died for.  Sometimes it just takes someone who loves them enough to take the time to share the good news to get them to a place where they realize their need for a savior. Most of us were there once.  We know the emptiness and fear.  The guilt or shame.  We need to share the hope and peace we have experienced in Christ with others.  Even the people who build walls of pride around their hearts.  They say they are good and they are fine—that they do not need Christ.  The word of God—these words do not go out void.  They may think we are crazy, but one day they will remember how you shared those words with them even though you knew they would reject them.  It all matters so please never become discouraged.

I used to share the gospel with others and they would spit in my face or cuss me out.  I had people tell me that I would be alone with my Bible and that no one will love me.  How wrong they were!!  There were times I stopped sharing Jesus with others because so many people reviled me.  I wanted to give up trying to reach them.  It is easy to give up when others just hate God and you for delivering the message.  It is not easy.  9 out of 10 times people will roll their eyes and scoff at you.  That doesn’t stop me today.  I won’t let it.  When I see a person I see someone who Christ died for.  I see a person that will spend eternity in the lake of fire because they reject truth.  

We saw Missionaries from around the world tell us their vision and how God is using a small person like themselves for a Big purpose.  The people are hungry for freedom.  Watch this video.  It is about a man named Rick Batson.  He is a friend of ours and we enjoyed his presentation of the gospel at the Shindig.  He was a drug dealer and beer joint owner turned prisoner.  He got saved in prison and His life was transformed into something worth something to God.  He became a vessel for the gospel.  So many of us feel like we cannot make a difference.  God does not call the equipped—He equips the called!

I, too, was once a prisoner.  A prisoner to my own failings and misery.  I allowed myself to be ensnared in the sin of ungratefulness and bitterness which ruled my life.  When Christ got a hold of me, he shook my world.  He made me a new creature that was fit for His purpose, working things together for His glory.  At the Shindig, I was called to give my testimony.  I would have never thought years ago, that I would be writing a book, nor speaking to hundreds of people.  I never knew that God could use someone like me.  But I was willing.  I was willing to be used however the Father saw fit and I continue to give him all the glory for the beauty He has made from all my ashes.  If God can use a wretch like I was or a criminal like Rick Batson, He can use anyone.

I guess there were men and women just crying listening to my testimony and while my knees were shaking, I felt His light shining around me and out through my many cracks.  I enjoyed hearing other people’s testimonies and it was so encouraging to meet people that read my blog who were there.  They tell me how it has changed their lives. So humbling to me. One young mother sat at my booth looking at my book and preordered it.  She longed to read it and I could see she needed to read it.  I handed her one.  The next morning she told me she found my book life transforming and healing to her marriage.  That morning she had repented to her husband and the bitterness they may of had was washed away with love.  Love covers a multitude of sins.  Without love we are nothing.  Praise God that He can use my book to help people.  I praise God that He was with us at the Shindig and that lives were changed for the Glory of God.  It was precious.  

I was able to make some appearances each night as “Granny” homesteader.  I danced the jig to toe tapping blue grass music.  It was a fun time.  At one point I sang a raspy note and made Mike Pearl fall right off stage.  Soon I will post the video clips just for fun!

0 thoughts on “Blessed Shindig

  1. I’m glad that the shindig was such a blessing. Do you know why this will be the last one? I was so hoping that we would get to go to one in the next couple of years or so. Especially as the kids get to marriage age. There are not many potential mates out in the remote areas of Alaska.

    • Dear Sarah, God is not limited to location to provide spouses for your children. The Lord can use your faithful prayers for your children to bring godly young men and women from all over the world to be potential mates. However, I do know of some godly families in Fairbanks if you’re anywhere near there. God be your strength as you raise your children to serve the Lord Jesus Christ! In Christ, Sara

  2. We were at the Shindig, me our 4 kids, and 2 friends. I talked with you briefly in line at the last breakfast. I said I liked your homesteading videos, especially the Erin’s Green Drink mix production with all the dust you were waving away hilariously. I thought your book would be here at home in Ohio waiting for me. I can’t WAIT to read it. Your talk with Debi was amazing. Thank you for sharing and being such an awesome example and Titus 2 woman, older in the Lord at such a young physical age. We’ll be coming to TN in October to visit my mom and wanted to visit the Bulk Herb Store too. Our oldest is an herb girl, even sells her herbs at farm market. I want to live among you all down there, was sad to come home for the first time ever. I am still in Shindig withdrawal, as are the kids. We didn’t want to leave the people. But I am determined to try to make this a No Greater Joy home. I have much work to do. I’m so glad to have met you all and your website really helps me learn to follow Jesus as a wife and mother. We were talking about how I can help with the family income like a Proverbs 31 woman, with the kids rather than apart from them (we have 10 acres), and your homesteading videos will really help. I just learned how to be a joyful financial teammate with my husband this past 10 months after 18 years of arguing about money (21 years of marriage now.) I didn’t know how to take the submission advice seriously in every area, but thanks to NGJ and your example and advice, it is sinking in deep into my heart and soul. I get it. He WANTS my help now, because it IS help that doesn’t hurt him in the process anymore. I can’t WAIT for your book to arrive. He just today said he will now take away all dishes that aren’t washed by the time he gets home, and I submitted to his idea, though sheepishly, a very different reaction from the past. I need homemaking advice ASAP. I don’t understand fully why I won’t keep the kitchen clean and feed my family good meals and on time. I know your book will help. I’ll study your website for now, which has already lifted me up greatly. I wish I could watch Michael Pearl’s Addictions and the Brain sessions again. Can’t wait for his book on it too.

  3. Erin, it was just so great to meet you at the shindig! We had a great time, too and met some wonderful new friends. I was at first just laughing along with everyone at your antics as “granny” and then I just started to well up with tears thinking of how here only a few years back you were laid up in suffering and here you are jumping up on chairs and scooting around the “band”. Your love of life and love of your Savior shines through, and God’s grace in your life is so evident. So happy to have been able to give you a hug IRL!

  4. Because of issues with my extended family I use a different online name.. just wanted you to know that. I can only pray that by the time I have the money to buy your book you will still have a copy for me. I have less than $2 to my name and it’s in change. I know God is going to get my family through this trying time. Your blog is completely inspiring and I am feeling desperate to get my hands on your book. I pray that soon I will be able to. Many blessings, Klara

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