The blogosphere is well-populated with summaries and links to materials from this weekend's Desiring God conference, "The Power of Words and the Wonder of God." But I want to add my two cents because I think the topic of words is an important one for women. Though I'm not sure the old adage of women using twice as many words in a day than men is entirely accurate, I do think our words carry a lot of weight. They either build up or tear down the relationships we are commanded to nurture. That's why I want to highlight some of this weekend's messages for you.
Sinclair Ferguson mined James 3 for us in "The Tongue, the Bridle, and the Blessing." There were so many well-crafted gems in his message that I couldn't keep up with my notes. One sentence that stood out to me was when he said that the misuse of the tongue can render all of the other graces of life negligible. That's not a direct quote, but the essence of it. He also gave us twenty Jonathan Edwards-style resolutions that can be developed from the book of James. I wrote down about a third and got hopelessly behind in doing so. Fortunately, Justin Taylor posted them all on his blog. In the end, Dr. Ferguson wrapped it up with the simple plea, "Be merciful to me, a tongue-using sinner." Amen and amen.
Mark Driscoll's message was no doubt startling on several levels to people, which it was intended to be. He spoke on "Christ, Controversy and Cutting Words." But toward the end of his message, he spoke candidly on the atmosphere and opposition of the city in which he ministers. I was stunned at what his church is enduring right now. (You'll have to listen -- it's in point five.) In that context, he reminded us to pray for our shepherds. He told us to pray for our shepherds more than we criticize them, or email them, or blog about them. And pray for their wives to endure the criticism and to be steadfast encouragers to their husbands. Amen and amen.
Finally, I want to highlight Paul Tripp's message, "War of Words." If you've never read his book by the same name, this message is a must. You can read it, listen to it, or watch it (and I highly recommend watching it because Paul's physical comedy won't be as meaningful without it). The take-home point is important: I am my greatest communication problem. For the single ladies, I also want to point out a hilarious riff on dating toward the end of the message. Paul said, "Western culture dating, in my opinion, is just a step above used-car sales."
This is just a sample of the wonderful material presented at this weekend's conference. Thanks to the generosity of Desiring God, you can read, watch, or listen to all of the messages and panel discussions that are now posted on their website. There's also a goldmine of information in the speaker interview videos that were created to promote the conference.
(Photo: Paul Tripp at the conference.)