Encounter Day 3: Keynote

After dinner each night everyone congregates in the auditorium for a keynote speaker. Monday, David Skidmore gave a wonderful lesson to open the weeks topic on Identity.


A Friend of Gods

David began by sharing his experience in the air plane on the way to Encounter. If you have been on an airplane before you have probably seen the attendants instruct the passengers sitting in the emergency exit seats on proper safety in different situations. David happened to be sitting in one of those seats. The passengers sitting next to him weren’t paying attention to these directions as David was. Upon the completion of the safety precautions, each passenger was asked to provide a verbal “yes” to confirm that they understood the directions and were willing to comply to them in event of an emergency. David said yes, glad to hold the potential of a hero. He had the whole auditorium laughing as he shared humorous airplane safety photos. Here are a few so that you get the idea. 

After the slideshow was over, David asked us a serious question.

What if people in churches had to comply with saving themselves, and others? What if they were asked to provide a verbal yes in order to remain?

That’s a lot of pressure!

David could have been put in a situation where he had to be a hero.

The 2 most important things about you:

1. What you think God thinks about when he thinks about you.

2. What you think about God.

Satan uses these things to make us stumble. He may not be able to make you doubt God’s existence but he can make you doubt you. 

Then he played the clip from toy story where Woody is trapped underneath a plastic crate in Sid’s room and Buzz is sitting on the counter nearby with a rocket taped to his back. Woody needs Buzz to help him get out from under the crate but Buzz is way to bummed out to do anything. Woody starts giving Buzz a pep talk and then realizes how “uncool” of a toy he is compared to Buzz the amazing space ranger.

We cannot compare ourselves to one another. This is Satan feeding us lies to trick us into believing that we aren’t good enough!

Colossians 3:11-14

“Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all. Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.” 

He had a volunteer camper come up on stage to help him with his next illustration. 

David handed him a shirt that said compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. 

Then he handed him another shirt to put on top that said failure, and another that said reject. Then yet another set that said chosen, holy, and dearly loved. These were the things that Jesus needed to hear when he was being baptized. Those shirts that said failure and reject, those couldn’t be seen beneath the words of Jesus on top. 

He asked another volunteer to come up to demonstrate another idea using a large slinky. 

David represented God and held onto one side of the slinky. The camper represented a person who is having a relationship with God and the slinky represented that journey. The camper was instructed to walk around the stage moving farther and farther away from “God”. They were connected but as the camper moved farther away the harder it was to feel God moving the slinky around. As the slinky stretched they could always return and have the slinky recoil to the way that it was originally. Eventually though, when the camper moved far away enough the slinky no longer would retake it’s original formation. Once the camper moved to the place where God could no longer see him and no longer move the slinky in a way that he could tell that they were still connected, the slinky became a huge messy wire. When you compare it with a new slinky, it is a complete and utter mess.

The mistake was that the camper didn’t put the entire slinky in God’s hands. The reason my life gets messy is because I don’t put the slinky in God’s hands.

It’s my fault!

But that’s okay!

God wants me to be His friend. He wants me to trust Him. I need to go to sleep everyday asking myself if I lived a life of a messy slinky or a clean one. God will help us if we let Him hold the slinky. 


All bible verses are taken from the 1984 Version of the NIV Holy Bible published by Zondervan.

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