“Really? Who says so?”
Growing up in a family of five kids and four near live-in neighbor kids, we occasionally – ok frequently- found ourselves in disagreements. Facing a demand or challenge, I can hear the sound of the definitive defensive question, “Really? Who says so?” The implication being, I am not going to change or act unless I am certain of the authority of “who says so.”
An uncertain new year is waiting around the bend. We face the facts of precarious economics, a cast of new characters on the stage of world leadership and the two-edged sword of global interconnectedness. These realities may be global, but they are also as local as a neighborhood business or a changing church budget.
On February 2nd & 3rd, the CLC Conference Hope in the Heart of Texas: People, Policies, Perspectives is giving a microphone to important voices and national leaders who can inform, inspire and equip us for the realities of 2009. “Who says so?” David Blankenhorn, Institute for American Values will speak convincingly about a return to the values of thrift and savings for the greater health of America. His institute was studying a return to thrift three years before the Wall Street crash in preparation for such a time as this. An advocate for families and for fiscal leadership, he will share how church and community leaders can be a voice towards financial stability as an expression of our Christian ethic. Carl Stuart, Raymond James Financial Services, award winning financial advisor and TV & radio host, will speak with unusual clarity about the US and global economic context as he combines his Main Street experience of answering weekly call-in requests with the precise, energetic analysis of a national market expert. Bee Moorhead, Texas Impact, and Trenton Cogdill, Priority Power Management will give step by step practical advice to congregations about energy and efficiency. Cogdill was recently featured in the Dallas Morning News for helping north Texas churches cut energy costs through the largest church discount energy contract in the country. Churches are finding new ways of cooperating to spend less on energy costs and more on mission and ministry.
Every policy passed by local, state or national governments reaches down in to the lives of real people. Texas law enforcement reports an alarming trend of human trafficking in our state. God is calling faithful people of all ages to abolish this form of modern day slavery. Who says so? Eric Nichols from the office of Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott will join Representative Rafael Anchia and Senator Leticia Van de Putte to outline changes that would align existing laws and add new laws to aid victims all across Texas. Support from Christians is essential: like other forms of slavery, the perpetrators make large profits at the expense of the victims and they don’t want the system to change. When it comes to artists with a heart for justice, who says so? Justin Dillon, producer of Call + Response, a Hollywood rock-u-mentary will be a participant on the human trafficking panel and the conference will host an evening showing his feature film of musicians and world leaders who use their notoriety to inspire others to action. Walt Wilkins, nationally acclaimed Texan, singer and songwriter, will compel and inspire you with his music that blends justice and mystery with just enough pickup truck to remind you we are still living under the Lone Star.
Who says so? There are a few other voices headed for Austin including Dr Susan Pacheco, a Puerto Rican born research pediatric specialist at University of Texas Medical Branch. Describing herself as a Texi-rican, Dr. Pacheco is an advocate for creation care for one simple reason – protecting the air quality in Texas saves lives and quality of life for thousands of our children. Les Bernal, from the national organization Stop Predatory Gambling has experience as a legislative chief of staff and now as a grass roots leader to create a healthy economy that is free from both debt and bet habits. On hand to question a panel of legislators including Senator Kirk Watson and Representative Valinda Bolton will be Shelley Kofler, News Director of KERA Dallas and Harvey Kronberg Editor of the Quorum Report.
The Christian Life Commission takes seriously its responsibility to speak to Texas Baptists about issues facing our state and the world. By bringing strong voices to the hearts and minds of God’s faithful servants, he strengthens the relevant witness for Christ in the world. So meet these leaders personally, be there by registering online; be informed and inspired. Even in uncertain times, God has a way of multiplying our learning efforts. He says so!
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