Rev. Albert Ray Dancy shares with tremendous vulnerability a life story that proves beyond any doubt that we worship a God of second chances. Dancy tells how he went from a prisoner serving time for armed robbery to a prison chaplain. He transparently notes that while his role had changed, his heart had not been transformed. For the heart change to occur, Dancy had to experience a “dark night of the soul” in which he lost everything–including his home, marriage and children. He explains how he felt like a “beast”. Although he was back in prison, God sent hope through a prophetic word and then miraculously restored him to his marriage (which had been dissolved for seven years), his children and his home.
With great humility and humor, Chip Skowron shares vulnerably and transparently about his transformative time in Federal prison and the impact of community on his experience. He describes how NCS fellowship brought him through the period leading up to prison, how God orchestrated extraordinary fellowship with his fellow inmates while he was there, and how NCS fellowship is helping him with the difficult transition of coming home. Chip also shares amazing stories about how the Holy Spirit moved within the prison and about some of the ways God exhibited His faithfulness time and time again by showing up miraculously at just the right times.
After opening up with a song to break the ice, Kenny Thacker explains, with Southern wit and charm, what 40 years in ministry and the music industry have taught him about listening to the voice of God. He shares the importance of quieting the noise of the world and then reveals and explains three keys to testing what you hear–the Scripture in front of you, the Spirit within you and the Saints around you.
The full title of Chad Drea’s talk is “False Idols and Manufactured Identity: How Drive, Hope and Success Almost Cost Me Everything”. With remarkable vulnerability, Chad reveals that his life mantra for many years was “suck it up”. It led to an achievement-driven and “successful” life and career– until he faced the prospect of a failure so devastating that he could no longer “suck it up”. Dreas explains what brought him back from the precipice of losing literally everything and how he came to find his identity in Jesus Christ rather than in achievements.
With equally remarkable humility and transparency, Chad shares how he began to look back on his life and recognize the extraordinary grace of God that was present at each stage and at each “achievement”. It is a story that takes great courage to tell; it is a story for every man and one that takes great courage for a listener to reflect upon honestly.
Below is a short video shown in connection with Chad’s talk to NCS New Canaan. It consists of clips on “identity” from Tim Keller’s Friday night keynote address at the 2015 NCS Washington Weekend. The full talk is available HERE.
Bill Blezard shares the extraordinary faith journey that ultimately led to the founding, growth and success of Packaging Technology Group, Inc., a “Kingdom” class developer of thermally engineered, transport packaging solutions for the biotech and biopharmaceutical industries. PTG is a Christian faith-based company with its core values centered on faith, relationships, courage, and creativity.
In addition to recounting highlights of his personal life story, challenges and faith walk, Blezard describes the numerous acts of faith and obedience and the miraculous events that allowed PTG to achieve profitability in its first year of operations, exceeding revenue projections by nearly 1000%. He also shares how PTG’s faith-based culture serves, and has opened doors to prayer and transformation in, PTG’s employees, suppliers and customers.