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PBC Women's Conference - April 2024

“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.” Philippians 4:4-9, ESV


On April 19-20, 2024, women gathered in the fellowship hall for the first annual Providence Baptist Women’s Conference, the topic of which was “Loving the Lord with your mind: renewing your thoughts”. Led by Hannah Carter, a speaker and counselor from Louisville, Kentucky, approximately 40 women of Providence and their guests benefited from the rare opportunity to remove ourselves from daily demands, stow away phones and examine God’s Word for practical advice on how to transform our unrenewed thoughts in light of what is revealed to be true, lovely and worthy of praise.

During the first session on Friday evening, Ms. Carter guided us with a call to renew the mind by identifying the basis of our thoughts and beliefs, defining what it means to renew our thoughts and understanding why this ought to be done. Put simply, thought renewal is the process of bringing God and His Word into view of our thoughts to help us think differently. As a part of our sanctification, we are commanded to renew our minds (Romans 12:2) and we have been equipped as believers to do so. We investigated many passages of Scripture that model thought renewal and teach us that we are to love the Lord with our mind, as our thoughts matter to Him and He is deserving of a mind that honors Him.

On Saturday morning we reviewed Paul’s letter to the Philippians as a guide for our own faithful living, standing firm in our faith, and maintaining an eternal focus throughout our earthly trials with humility and an abiding joy that the Lord is our help and our peace. In so doing, we can respond to Paul’s urging in Philippians 4:4-9 with the confidence that the Lord has the power to transform our thoughts and, further, our hearts. Ms. Carter shared a worksheet that can be used to guide the process of transformation by identifying our unbiblical thought patterns and seeking scripture to combat them. Various scenarios illustrated how we allow fear, anxiety, resentment, etc., to creep into our thoughts and take root in our heart. But this is not the Lord’s desire for us who are in Him. For the final session we continued applying the worksheet in small groups with a supplied scenario, searching the Word together for truths and using them to reframe our thoughts. The straightforward practicality of the worksheet to systematically manage untrue thoughts is a boon. Rather than attempt to brush off bad thoughts with a perfunctory quip to “trust in the Lord,” the process of using the worksheet allows us to slow down and consider the source of our thoughts, what they communicate about our beliefs, and then turn to the Bible for true wisdom. We can then turn to the Lord in prayer, confessing our unbelief and articulating His promises to us, which in turn provide truth to meditate on as we face those unrenewed thoughts. There is work to be done to transform our thoughts, and as Ms. Carter’s worksheet demonstrated, it’s real pen-and-paper, time-consuming work. It is worthwhile work, for as our thoughts are renewed and our hearts are transformed we bring glory to the Lord who promises to complete His good work in us.

Amid the study and application of Ms. Carter’s message, attendees also had opportunities to socialize, worship together in song, and enjoy a catered lunch. I am personally grateful to those in the Women’s Ministry who worked so hard to prepare for this weekend. Thank you, also, to the men who helped set up, prepared lunch, and cleaned up after us! There were many men who took over home and family responsibilities so we could get away and be nurtured in God’s Word for a weekend; what a gift! Finally, a special thank you goes to Hannah Carter for meeting with us, building us up, and pointing us to the changer of hearts and transformer of thoughts.