Monday, September 21, 2015

SALT 2015: Renewing the mind

August 20, 2015 7:03PM



Sorry, for not posting often. I just started school and have very limited time to write blog posts. I've been working on this post for quite a while, but I finally finished it. Hope you guys enjoy. So, over summer I was blessed enough to attend a Hmong Christian Missionary Alliance (CMA) conference called SALT and I want to share my experiences with you all!!! For those who don't know what SALT is, it means Single Adults Living Triumphantly. The conference lasted five days and four nights at Wheaten College in Illinois. This conference takes place every other year for single CMA Hmong adults who want to learn more about God's will and meet new and old friends. the conference has a schedule that kind of goes like this:
               
                 7:30 am      Breakfast
                 9:00 am      Morning Service
                 10:30 am    Workshop One
                 11:30 am    Lunch
                 1:00 pm      Workshop Two
                 2:30 pm      Small Group
                 3:30 pm      Free time
                 5:00 pm      Dinner
                 7:00 pm      Evening Service
                 9:00 pm      Free time
                 1:00 am      Lights out     


The conference is filled with different speakers from all over the US that speak about different topics at each workshop. The morning and evening service were led by some CMA pastors that taught from the book of Romans. The overall theme of the conference was based off of Romans 12:1-2.

                                    “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s
                                    mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices,
                                    holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of
                                    worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of
                                    this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your
                                    mind, Then you will be able to test and approve what
                                    God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

I really liked the theme this year because it was just a good reminder for me that this life is not mine own and that I need to use myself for God’s will. It also reminded me of the struggle of growing up and wanting to be part of the world and to fit in with everyone, when God in fact called us to be a part of the world. The only way to be a part of the world and to renew your mind is truly from understanding and learning God’s will. I do feel very bless to have gone to SALT because I was able to take in so much and actually renew my thinking and my understanding on certain areas in my life. Some of the workshops I attend were Homosexuality, Spiritual Warfare, Women in Ministry, True Beauty, Christian Women in a Feministic World, and Sanctity over Vanity. Although most were pretty good, my favorites had to be Homosexuality and Women in Ministry. I just wanted to share a few things I learned in those two workshops.


Homosexuality: Creation over the Creator 

This workshop was taught my Xf. McYoung Yang from Maplewood, Minnesota. I never seen him preach before, but I must say I really like how he teaches. Overall, his workshop was really organized with a PowerPoint and matching handouts. Everything was smoothly put together and he used many biblical references. I really did enjoy that they added this workshop because it is something so viral in our society today and needs to be address. One of the main verses he address was Romans: 1:21-28
                                    
                                    "For this reason God gave then up to dishonorable
                                     passions. For their women exchanged natural relations

                                     for those that are contrary to nature; and the men 
                                     likewise gave up natural relations with women and were
                                     consumed with passion for one another, men committing
                                     shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the
                                     due penalty for their error. "
  
Women in Ministry

This workshop was led by Naam Xf. Teng or also known as Kangza Xiong from Minnesota. I’m pretty familiar with her teaching because she and her husband used to serve at my church for a couple of years, but it’s probably been almost five years that I haven’t seen her teach. This workshop was by far my favorite because of the organization of her PowerPoint and all the biblical context she used to reveal the real will of God for women. One verse she used was Titus 2: 3-5
                                     
                                     "Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in
                                     the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to
                                     much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can
                                     train the younger women to love their husbands and
                                     children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at
                                     home to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands,
                                     so that no one will malign the word of God."




Other part of SALT were the small groups. The picture above is my small group with our balloon animals that my talented small group leader made for us all. Small groups are a group of about ten or more people from different states and churches. The point of having small groups is to connect and meet new people so we can grow with one another spiritually and socially. I always look forward to small groups because what’s better than to meet other brothers and sisters in Christ. During small groups, the group leader leads everyone into a short lesson reviewing some points of the services. The sad part of small groups is that we only meet like three times, so it was harder to connect with one another, but that’s why I love Facebook. We were all able to friend each other and stay in touch.

                                 ____________________________________________


 I don’t want to write too much, so on to my outfits that I wore throughout the week at SALT. I only photographed my causal day outfits, instead of all my sport and formal evening service outfits. So, I have five outfits all together and will try to post where I bought each garment.  



OUTFIT ONE: DAISY DREAMING
This was the most causal of my outfits because I knew that when we got there we would be doing a lot of moving around and trying to unload into our rooms. So, this outfit I wanted to stay mobile and comfortable. I got this shirt at Sheinisde and thought is was really cute and I usually don't buy bright color printed t-shirts, but I made this one an exception. My shorts were actually a pair of old pants I had that I just cut at the knee. Then, I ended the look with my adored white low-top converse. 
To purchase click ---> 1. Daisy T-shirt   2. White Converse



OUTFIT TWO: BOYISH CHARMS
I really love this outfit because it's super comfortable, but looks really stylish. I've been really liking the whole boyish look, but still looking really feminine with my hair and make-up done. Although, you can't see the print on the t-shirt, it reads Balmain Paris, who is my favorite fashion designer. If you don't know him, please look him up because you are missing out!!! My favorite collection was his Fall RTW 2012. Check it out here ---> Balmain 2012 I originally bought this shirt on Sheinside,com, but they currently don't have it anymore. I featured this vest on my wedding guest outfit blog also, but I brought it awhile back. I'lll try to find a link of a similar vest. My shorts are orginally from Gap, but I bought them from Goodwill. They were boyfriend style pants that were really cute, but I decided to make them into shorts and distress them like crazy. My shoes are the Nike SB Zoom Stefan Janoski ESP Skate Shoes and they are super comfortable. 
To purchase click ---> 1. Black Vest 2.Nike



OUTFIT THREE: BTS ARMY
This outfit is for all you kpop fans. At the same time the conference was happening, BTS (kpop boy group) was having their concert in Chicago. I was pretty sad that I didn't get to see them because I waited like a year for them to come to Chicago. But it's all good, I still represented them at the conference with this awesome shirt I bought yet again on Sheinside.com. BTS fighting, we shall meet one day. (kekeke) I paired the outfit with my self-designed faux leather jogging shorts and I tied a chambray shirt around my waist. I'm wearing the same Nike's in the previous outfit.
To purchase click ---> 1.ARMY tee 2. Leather Shorts 3. Chambray  4. Nike 



OUTFIT FOUR: STYLISH NERD
This outfit was actually inspired by a video I watched on YouTube. I bought the "dress" from the men's shirts at Goodwill and just chopped the sleeves off. I really like up-cycling clothing, if you couldn't tell. The dress kind of reminds me of a men's night gown. I paired the top with faux leather leggings, silver glasses necklace and my lace-up platform booties. I'll try to find links of items that resemble pieces of my outfit for you guys, because I get most of my clothing from Goodwill.
To purchase click ---> 1.Striped Button-up Dress 2.Leggings 3.Booties 4.Glasses Necklace



OUTFIT FIVE: LINEAR LINES
 This outfit was definitely the most daring because of my socks and shoes. I always feel out of place every time I wear my creepers because people around me don't really see them too often, but I learn to not care too much about what other people think about my clothes. Fashion is a risk I'm willing to take to express myself. I really like this shirt because it just looks cool and it says Alexander Wang, one of my other fashion designers I look up to. I've been totally loving these types of style skirts, so when I saw this at Goodwill, I had to get it, plus I love the heavy quality material and color. I paired the look off with my fun grid transparent socks, creepers, and silver chain necklace.
To purchase click ---> 1. T-shirt 2. Transparent Socks 3. Creeper Shoes 4. Necklace  


If you made it this far, thanks so much. I tend to write a lot, but I hope you guys enjoyed reading my experience at SALT and my looks. Comment down below which outfit was your favorite or if you went to SALT, how was your experience? Tell me, I want to know :) Have a good day and God bless!

Here's a quick picture that I edited with my youth girls and I before we left to explore the city.