Monday, February 4, 2008

A Well Kept Secret

Advanced EXCEL has to be the best kept secret in IBLP. After going through EXCEL 21, I didn’t think my path would cross with any EXCEL department ever again. But here I am in AE16 almost five years later, finding that I am exactly where I am supposed to be.

The AE program is for serious minded women. It is for those who are either desperately trying to put down a well defined life objective or those who want to better know how to implement their life goals.

From January 21 to February 29, our basic weekly schedule at the Dallas Ministry Center is set, though the routines vary some from day to day. For example, we had afternoon sessions on public speaking during the first week. But during the second week, our afternoon sessions switched from business proposals on Wednesday to remodeling a room through the weekend. Our agenda becomes dependent on the week’s main focus. The morning hours stay pretty regular, however. Exercising, personal devotions, team devotions, and breakfast keep us busy.

I have valued the efforts of the leadership spent on structuring the teaching format in a way that incorporates real time learning. By using all five senses, we begin to grasp the step by step processes of our class topics versus only looking at a handout and wondering how we would take this new found knowledge and apply it back home. Sit-in sessions do take place, but they are usually followed up with field trips and hands on practice. Only last week, we spent three days remodeling a room and then took a field trip to a well known interior design store to spark new ideas.

One of the requirements for coming to Advanced EXCEL is that you complete the original EXCEL program. Incidentally, the two programs occur simultaneously for the first six weeks. They each have two different purposes and goals for their participants, and it’s been interesting to see EXCEL from a different perspective. Each night during team meeting, we pray for the girls and smile as we know exactly what they are going through. Interacting with DMC staff and other EXCELites has proven itself to be just as fun as ever.

For this season in my life, my keyword is --contentment. I am exactly where I am supposed to be. Normally, pressure builds quickly within an intensive course such as this. One that’s designed to hone in on your relationship with God can effectively bring out the worst and the best in you. God has timed the course in such a way that I feel like, over the ensuing six weeks, I have time to privately internalize His lessons before I head into the last hectic three and a half months. I am truly content to be where I am and extremely grateful for my teammates.Abba Father, teach me to be a King David and not a Saul or Absalom. Broken before You and fully content with where You lead. Be my One, All-consuming Thought and Lover.
Dominique Coffing

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