Kelly Shackelford explores the importance of religious freedom to our freedom as Americans. Through the Liberty Institute, Kelly helps defend the religious freedom of people from various religious traditions because freedom lost for one is freedom lost for all. Kelly shares some extraordinary and disturbing stories about attacks on religious freedom happening in our country and the unique approach of the Liberty Institute in marshaling legal resources to help fight those battles. This talk includes an extended Q&A session with Kelly.
Mike Shoaf is a former Wall Street guy who is now Founder and President of His Name Is John, a ministry devoted to changing lives through the incredible story of Mike and his Dad, John. Mike shares an amazing father-son story. In Mike’s words:
I never knew my father growing up. In fact, he was hardly ever mentioned or discussed in our family. I didn’t know if he was dead or alive, where he lived, what he did for a living, none of these things. It was like he didn’t exist. My life was “normal” as far as I was concerned. However, the results of being raised without a father for me were very costly. Poverty and rejection were my constant companions, and despite the many threads of blessing that were weaved throughout my life. Thankfully, in high school and college I became a Christian and began to read the Bible to get to know God better.
In the pages of Scripture I learned of a God who desires to soften the hearts of men toward their children, and children toward their fathers. I discovered a God that chooses us long before we choose Him, and one keen to adopt us as His children and become our father, if we will only let Him. These and other simple yet profound Biblical truths inspired me not only to forgive my earthly father, but also to dig deeper into his life to truly understand what had happened to him.
I soon learned the tragic secret about my dad. What I discovered forced me to confront many of the values I held as an executive building a career on Wall Street. I was forced to go deep into my soul regarding issues of my identity and what truly matters in this life. In the end, I would spend one entire decade of my life searching for my father and the next decade picking up the pieces, seeking to deal with the outcomes. I realize now that I went in search of a man and instead found a God – An awesome, holy God of great power, glory, providence and redemption; one who still speaks today through “signs and wonders” whether we choose to listen or not. I learned, too, that this God is almost always very “supernatural” even if rarely ever, it seemed to me, sensational or spectacular. Most importantly, I believe what I discovered on my journey is a message from Him to you: a modern day parable of hope, healing, restoration and encouragement for everyone, and particularly for men, sons and fathers.
Bob Muzikowski shares one of the most fascinating and inspiring personal testimonies you will ever hear. He shares the incredible journey from alcohol and cocaine addiction, dramatic bar fights and time in jail to a life devoted to lifting kids out of desperate situations and forming them into “leaders of character empowered by the hope that is in Jesus Christ.” In his humorous style, Bob also challenges us to hold each other accountable for the “hoarding” mentality that accumulates multiple homes, cars, boats and other toys while kids in the inner city are struggling to get an education. This talk will make you laugh out loud and reflect deep inside.
We are each made for “greatness”. Roland Warren shares his own life experiences and explores how we can discover our own greatness by following Jesus’ example of serving the most vulnerable.
Nick Hall is reaching today’s youth with the message of Jesus. He shatters myths about the next generation being lost, shares what they care about and challenges us to reach out to them and open doors.