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Cape Cod Conference: 2016 Re-Cap

Hey everyone!  I hope your summer has been amazing and I hope you have had some time to get away and relax a little bit.  Students, I hope you have enjoyed an ABUNDANT amount of time to relax!  And I hope you are ready to be back on the grind hitting your studies.  I know that many of you had vacations, went on mission trips, served at youth camps, Kids camps, VBS, and many other things that fill the calendars during this season.  I pray that in the middle of it all you have seen God move and drawn closer to Him.

For us, one of the main things we do all year happens right in the middle of summer.  It is our God Is Bigger Conference:  Cape Cod.  It is a 4-day youth conference held in Cape Cod, MA.  This year, between students and youth leaders we had about 80 attendees, with a volunteer team of 15 people helping run the event.  It was a great time of gathering and running hard after Jesus.  The week was filled with corporate worship, bible study, times of personal and corporate prayer, small groups, youth group devotions, fellowship, and yes, recreation!  Here is just a TINY photo glimpse...

I love stories.  More specifically I love hearing about what God does in people's lives.  So instead of leaving you with my perspective of how conference went this year, I am going to leave you with a couple testimonies that students sent in to us.  This is what it's about.  God reaching, uniting, and igniting a generation for His glory across the earth.  And that happens when God works in the lives of individuals.  Enjoy!

TESTIMONIES FROM CAPE COD:  2016

"This week the Lord has taught me that most of the things I spend my time on, even though they aren't bad things, really distract me from growing with God."  Lauren

"These days have really helped me feel closer to God.  I've realized I always push Jesus aside because I feel like my life is worthless.  I've felt like there was nothing I could do because of my situation.  But God is showing me that He wants to do things in and through me.  I am ready to let HIM do what HE wants to do, even if it's hard!"  Molly

"The Lord has shown me this week that to solve my identity issues I need to find myself in Him and let Him be my foundation.  He also showed me that I have had a "do not disturb sign" on my heart.  I have been too afraid to take risks and share my faith.  I have wanted to God to be in my life, but not disturb it and make it uncomfortable.  I'm really thankful for God revealing these things to me so I can walk and work through them with Him.  I cannot wait to see where He takes me next!"  Sara

"God revealed to me this week that I have started settling for less.  I got into an abusive relationship because I was afraid that I wasn't good enough on my own and I started shutting out God and the people around me who really love me.  God has reminded me again this week that I don't have to settle!  That He has so much more for me!  He has a plan for me and it's good.  I don't have to be afraid of letting Him disturb my plans for my life.  He is going to do something amazing in my generation but we have to be bold and let HIM do what HE wants to do."  Maddy

 

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Upcoming Conference Registration Details

Hey guys!  There is a lot going on right now.  We have registration open for 3 conferences, including next year's Cape Conference!  Registration will close soon for that one though, as it is a really early-bird special!  

Hopefully this post will give some clear details for all the different prices, dates, deadlines, etc...  Here you go!

DAY CONFERENCE:  HUDSON, MA, October 10th (Grace Baptist Church, Hudson, MA)                              --Price:  $32 (includes lunch and conference shirt)                                                                                          --Registration:  Open NOW!  Will close on Sept. 19th!                                          

DAY CONFERENCE:  CONCORD, NH October 15th (CenterPoint Church, Concord, NH)                              --Price:  $32 (includes lunch and conference shirt)                                                                                          --Registration:  Open NOW!  Will close on Sept. 19th!                                                          

CAPE COD:  2017:  July 17th - 20th, 2017                                                                                                     Price:  $160 Early-Bird, $200 Regular Registration                                                                                Registration:  Early-Bird (now-September 16th), Regular Registration (March 5th - June 11th)               **You can RESERVE YOUR EARLY-BIRD REGISTRATION with a $60 deposit!  If you go register now, until September 16th, it will only ask you to pay $60.  If you reserve your spot now with that $60 deposit, you will only pay $100 next March when registration opens back up.                                                            

Registration for all conferences is open over on the conference page of the site.  Head on over and get yourself (or your student) registered!  As alway, if there are any questions, email us at info@godisbiggerministries.com.  

Chris Allen

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Snow In April?!

As I sit in Starbucks, aka my office, and look out the massive windows that make up most of the wall of the building, I see something a little disturbing.  Snow!  Yes, the stuff that is so pretty, fluffy, and beautifully white in pictures and even in person for most of the winter, is not what I wanted to wake up to by the time we got to April 4th.  I am hesitant to be angry (at least I’m trying not to be) because I know that our Sovereign God controls the weather.  But as I sit here watching the snow fall (for 2 days now) I can’t help but be reminded of one thing, my plans are not always God’s plans.

My plans were, by now, to be walking places in the warmth of spring.  My plans were to be sitting outside of the Starbucks enjoying the sun or going for a walk or jog in the park.  Yes, I know I live in New England, and yes, it has been a mild winter here, but what is compounding this is the fact that just last week we had a couple days where it was sunny and in the 60’s and 70’s.  What now seems like a tease!

While I am exaggerating my aggravation at the snow (a little bit) it really did make me think today about the truth that our plans are not always God’s plans.  Far too often we make plans on our own and then want God to follow us and help us with our plans.  Far too often we think that God’s job as a Father and a provider is to provide what we need to see OUR plans happen, to get and do what WE want.  And far too often, if we were honest, we aren’t really concerned with asking God what His plans are, what He wants us to do, where He wants us to go, and what His dreams are for us.  More than we like to admit, we just want God to be like a taxi-driver that helps us get where WE want to go.

The problem with this mindset is very simple.  That’s not God.  God does not exist for us, we exist for Him.  And that simple, but not-so-simple, shift in thinking changes absolutely everything.  A lot of us, without even realizing it, may be mad at God simply because we have twisted this truth.  If you live your life expecting God to be all about you and your plans it won’t take long for you to be let-down.  And in those times of disappointment and let-down, the enemy comes in and wants to make you mad at the one who (in your mind) didn’t come through. 

The solution is to trust that God’s plans for you are better than your plans for yourself.  I know that is a daunting task.  This is something that is a fight for all of us.  But my plea to you is, fight for it!  And in fighting to trust God’s plans, I would also say fight to know God’s plans!  Pray, search, seek, and ask God what He wants for you, what His dreams are, what His will is.  And then walk and move forward as best you can into what you believe He has for you.  His plans are not our plans.  And this should be comforting, because His plans are BETTER than our plans.  TRUST Him.  

 

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Big Transitions in 2016!

Well, here we are at the beginning of a new year.  It seems like just yesterday that we were ringing in the New Year for 2015!  It never ceases to amaze me how time flies.  I also think about the fact that we have been in New England now for over four years.  Again, it seems like yesterday that we were pulling in to the parking lot of our first apartment here, with new friends ready to help unload the moving truck, not having a real clue what God had planned for our futures here.

Chris and Ruthie Allen

Chris and Ruthie Allen

A lot of you know us and have been a part of this journey with us, but I know that others of you don’t know the story of how we ended up here in New England.  I don’t have time to share the whole story here, but we do want you to be able to hear about what God has done, so we will be posting a video really soon to share our story/journey with you.  For now I will just say that HE GOT US HERE!  So stay tuned and keep a lookout for that video, as it will be posted soon.

Some of the awesome volunteers for God is Bigger Ministries

Some of the awesome volunteers for God is Bigger Ministries

I want to give you guys a brief update on where the Lord has led us in this season of life and ministry.  Since moving to New England we have all been on staff at churches helping to make ends meet and also just taking some time to get a feel for New England, make connections, and really see how God was going to lead us.  And we are excited to announce that He has led us to step out in faith and do God Is Bigger Ministries full-time.  In these years He has closed doors, opened doors, established relationships/partnerships, and continued to clarify our vision to the extent that we believe this is the time to step out and go for it!  God is definitely blessing and expanding our efforts here as...

    - we have 3 God Is Bigger Conferences scheduled for 2016

    - we have had to move to bigger venues for more space

    - we minister weekly on the campus of Framingham State University

    - we have an AMAZING volunteer team of about 20 people

    - we have a growing network of youth pastors/pastors to partner with

    - we have increasing opportunities to be across New England ministering

These are just a few of the things that we are excited about as we look back at what God has done and look forward to what He is going to do!

As we step out on this adventure further than we have ever stepped before we are asking for your prayers.  Paul tells us in Ephesians that we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the “spiritual forces of evil” and the “cosmic powers over this present darkness.”  Even though most of the battles seem physical, logistical, and worldly, we know that we have an enemy who does not want to see another great awakening among students in New England.  So please pray for us as we move forward and continue to walk in the calling that God has placed on our lives.  And please pray that hundreds and thousands of students would hear and respond to the gospel this year!

- Chris

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