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Speaker refutes lies that women hear

Jan. 29, 1997


By Allison Curlin

Lariat Reporter

Hundreds of women from Central Texas congregated Tuesday morning in the sanctuary of Columbus Avenue Baptist Church to hear inspirational speaker Carol Kent at the 15th annual Wintergreen Women's Conference.

Brightly clad in an orange suit, large gold broach and gold belt, with her flaming red hair placed in a neat ponytail, Kent personified the excitement for life that she tries to instill in the women to whom she speaks.

'Now turn to the woman on your right and the woman on your left,' Kent instructed in her strong Northern accent, 'and say, 'Honey, you look awesome!''

By incorporating the audience into her seminar and allowing them to encourage one another, Kent lowered the women's guards and prepared their hearts for her message.

There are only two basic belief systems, those rooted in God and those rooted in the enemy [an uspecified entity], Kent said.

A person with her belief system rooted in God will choose ruling passions that please and honor God, she said.

People who choose to listen to the enemy, however, must listen to his lies, Kent said.

Kent, who founded the 'Speak Up With Confidence' seminars and has written several books, outlined the five lies the enemy makes women tell themselves: 'I'm not worth anything,' 'If I am a good Christian, God will protect me from pain and suffering,' 'A true Christian doesn't have relationship problems,' 'A Christian doesn't ever feel angry or depressed,' and 'The abundant Christian life is filled with adrenaline highs.'

She then explained why these statements are false, and how a woman can overcome these lies.

To encourage and uplift, Kent used examples of painful situations with positive outcomes to assure women that an optimistic outlook and strong faith in God can change their lives.

As Kent spoke about bad things happening to Christian women--namely divorce, abuse and death--tears began flowing down cheeks and soft sniffles interrupted silent pauses in her speech as the women in the audience identified these problems in their lives.

Kent's moral in all of her stories was 'I will use today's opportunities as a platform to show God's love to a world in need.'

To get through tough circumstances in life, Kent encouraged women to focus on eternity rather than the present.

'Do you know that one day we will live in a place without pornography, without child abuse and without earthquakes,' Kent asked the audience. 'One day we will live in a place that will not fade away.'

There are only three things that will never die: God, his word and the eternal souls of people, Kent said.

In this life, it is hard to imagine living in a place that cannot be shaken, but the Bible describes heaven as eternal glory, she said.

To maintain a focus on eternity rather that worldly things, Kent suggests that women 'learn the difference between urgent things and important things.'

The effect of Kent's message on the women was apparent as nods of agreement and an occasional 'amen' came from the audience.

Pam Mitchell, a member of First Baptist Church in Eddy, said that the conference nourishes her soul and can also build friendships. She suggests bringing a group of friends to Wintergreen, then eating lunch together to discuss emotions triggered by the speaker.

'It kind of gets you to refocus on important things,' Mitchell said.

For other women, Wintergreen touches their soul at a time when they need it most.

'My mother passed away 10 days ago of cancer,' Janice Nettles said. 'This has been very uplifting because I know where she is and I feel that she is still with me.'

Laura Cresson, chairperson of the Wintergreen committee, said that there was a real need for a women's ministry such as this conference because women's spiritual needs and problems differ from men's.

'I just don't think men would understand,' Mitchell said.

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