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Just Because Women Conference

May 18, 2019

St Bernadette Catholic Church

3825 Don Filipe Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90008

The Danger of Relying on Ourselves
1 Corinthians 2:1-3 and 1 Corinthians 11:1
Keynote Speaker

Charlesetta (Hopkins) Kessee (aka Charlee) is a native of Corpus Christi, Texas, who relocated to Los Angeles as a teen to attend LACC and later Pepperdine University in Malibu, CA, where she studied Religion and Ministerial Counseling. After years of working in ministry with her husband, God recently opened a door for Charlee to return to Faith Evangelical Seminary, Tacoma, Washington, pursuing studies in Theology. She is an active member of the Bethany Baptist Church of West Los Angeles. Prayer is the central focus of Charlee’s ministry and as a result, several years ago the Lord guided her in creating the workshop entitled, "Who Stole My Quiet Time?”

Guest Speaker

Shawna Wright received her Bachelor of Arts in Law and Society and Sociology with a minor in Black Studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2006. While at UCSB, she worked very closely with the Educational Opportunity Program as a mentor for minority and first-generation college students. Shawna became a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Kappa Omega chapter where she actively served her community through her participation in programs focused on the sorority’s principles: educational development, economic development, international awareness and involvement, physical and mental health, and political awareness and involvement, especially among black women. In 2011, Shawna received her Juris Doctorate from Southwestern Law School. Shawna is a licensed attorney in California and Nevada; and is a member of the Langston Bar Association and Black Women Lawyer’s Association. Shawna is currently In-House Counsel at The Team Companies, a music, and entertainment payroll company.   


Summary by Mary Fletcher

Just Because Women hosted their second workshop on Saturday, May 18, 2019, at St Bernadette Church in Los Angeles.  Our theme, “The Danger of Relying on Ourselves”, was echoed by two dynamic speakers, Charlee Kessee, First Lady of Bethany Christian Bible College, Los Angeles and Shawna Wright, Esq. 


Our first speaker, Ms. Wright helped us understand our role and value as women.  She stated that when women rally together under a unified, common goal they empower one another to advocate for their interests.  Ms. Wright took us back to the 1900s when women began working outside of the home. As other women witnessed this new movement, they too became empowered.  She also stated that women had gone too far! From her statement, we concluded, that it is a fact, women can and have empowered other women to change their "thinking, that women are not equal to men, but are denied certain privileges because they are women.”


Our keynote speaker, Charlee Kessee, spoke from 1 Corinthians 2:1-3 and 1 Corinthians 11:1 that speaks of the Apostle Paul entering Corinth and after he had observed the lifestyles of the Corinthians, he immediately wrote to the church by preaching to the believers and putting all his emphasis on the Lord Jesus Christ. He took the approach that the church should not reflect on society instead their focus should be on the Word of God. It was necessary for the Apostle to write a second letter to the church at Corinth because they had gone back to their old lifestyle which was mainly idol worship; in other words, relying on themselves and idols instead of relying on God.  Ms. Kessee brought out the fact that Corinth was rich and prosperous but the people engaged heavily in drunkenness, and loose sexual morals. She elaborated on Paul's mission to the church this was a call to Sanctification, i.e. be set apart from the worldly pleasures to the Word of God. Paul approached the city not as a philosopher but as a witness of the Gospel of Christ.


The highlight of the afternoon was when Ms. Kessee challenged us to see just how much we knew about the Apostle Paul and his work with the believers in Corinth.  The participants formed teams to share their knowledge of the Apostle Paul. The teams appointed a team captain to share their answers with the entire group. The exercise helped the audience retain the material presented by the speaker. We learned that the apostle Paul was passionate about sharing the Word of God with the Gentiles.  He wanted the Gentiles to experience the saving knowledge of the Word of God. We may not remember the entire presentation, word for word, but the important parts were embedded. The exercise was enjoyed by everyone. 


After celebrating the Passover with his disciples, Jesus warned them that they would all fall away.  In doing so, He identified a danger that we too, also face. When we “rely on ourselves” and trust our hearts, we are in a precarious position.  Alistair Begg, Senior Pastor, Cleveland's Parkside Church, reminded us that “even though we may fall into sin for a season, failure with God is never final.”  He keeps and sustains those who are His. When we have been crucified with Christ, we are no longer slaves to self-ruling, self-promotion, self-preservation, self-righteousness, or self-indulgence. When we abide in Christ, we are free to live as God intended us to live.


Overall, the workshop was enjoyed by all.  Our 'take-aways.' It is a dangerous life when we rely on ourselves because self in and of itself is a failure.

Dear God,
Thank you for saving us from ourselves.
Thank you for offerings us life upon life.
Thank you for freeing us from the power of sin.
Thank you for claiming us as yours.
Thank you for enabling us to become what you created us to be.
Never let us forget your amazing love.
In Jesus’ name,


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