Invited: Update on Tonight’s Event!

An update from Beth on tonight’s event! As mentioned in previous posts, due to limited seating you must have a reservation to attend Invited. If you have a reservation, please fill out this form to let us know if you will be attending. Only “yes” replies are requested. Thank you for your help!

My beloved sisters, what crazy weather is this???? We know that you are all wondering about Invited. Needless to say, we have been extremely prayerful and I have been in close touch with the pastor of the church where we are scheduled to meet.

Here is where we are right now. God willing, I will be at that church at 7 o’clock to meet with only those who live in the closest possible proximity to the church and with dry, safe roads. Everyone else, please refrain, so that we do not put you at risk in any way. We love you so much and, not only will we see you next month if you desire to come, but we will pray for you tonight.

I am releasing both my staff and the worship team so I literally have no idea what our worship will look like for those of us who meet in that sanctuary tonight. But this I know: if we come and worship our God in Spirit and in truth and in the holy and gorgeous name of Jesus, God will be pleased with what we bring. Even if it is not pretty. Smiling. I think I forewarned you this was not going to be slick. I am wearing jeans and a sweatshirt and have no idea who else will be there but as authentically as we know how, those of us who meet will seek the Lord together and will seek him together for those unable to come tonight.

Please be extremely wise and go with this caution. Only those who live really close and can travel safe dry roads with no overpasses or bridges. If that is you and you still want to come, would you let us know please so that we will know whether or not to schedule security? It would help us tremendously if you would fill out this quick form and let us know if you will be there.

We love you dearly and want so much to serve you well.  Please check your email one more time around 6 o’clock to see if there has been any further change. If you do not have another email, we are still on under these restricted conditions. Dearest affections to you in the name of Jesus!

Beth

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Update about “Invited”!

Hey friends! Some of you may recall a previous post about a new women’s gathering we’re hosting monthly here in Houston called Invited. There’s been such great interest in it, and because of limited seating, we decided to open registration!

Book your seat here!

You can read the details about Invited in Beth’s original blog post here.

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Invited: a Worship and Prayer Gathering for Women

 

***UPDATE: Because there has been such great interest in Invited, and due to limited seating, we have decided to open registration! Book your seat here!

Hey girls! Lots of new and exciting things are stirring at Living Proof in 2018 and we are especially thrilled to share this one with you! Starting Wednesday evening, January 17th, we will be hosting a monthly ministry night for women who’d like to participate. I’ve longed for some local hands-on ministry where the Holy Spirit is invited to create an environment for effective, fervent prayer and for building up our faith in God and His Word. By His grace and goodness, this prayerful longing is resulting in a new once-a-month gathering we’re calling Invited. It will differ a bit from what I have the privilege and passion to do the rest of the time. If you’ve been to our other events like local Bible studies here in Houston and Living Proof Live events around the country, you know that our usual approach is a half hour of uninterrupted praise and worship followed by a 60-75 minute Bible lesson complete with points on the screen, Greek or Hebrew word definitions, quotes, commentary excerpts and concepts developed into what I always pray will be a comprehensive theme. This is my favorite method and will continue to be my absolute priority.

But I also have a deep yearning to be part of a night each month that creates more space for prayer. We are each and all in desperate need of  prayer and, for many of us who genuinely love God and His Word, it is our weakest muscle. We were promised that we would receive power when we received the Holy Spirit and, if we’re in Christ, indeed we have but often faith-filled prayer is what God uses to activate that supernatural unction in us. We aren’t meant to barely eek by. We’re meant to abound. Yes, we’ll always have difficulties and sufferings but we can still flourish in our faith and either see God move mountains or climb them to get a better view of Him.

I’m convinced based on the authority of God’s Word that He is still willing to perform miracles and, yes, often in our circumstances, but always in our hearts and, if we’re willing, also on the battlefield of our minds. Invited will be an atmosphere…

…where I can bring a word I’ve sought from God and prepared but one that is deliberately shorter, free of handouts, power point slides and minutely-detailed scripting.

…where prayer and worship and the Word of God are not as segmented as most of our services (and often appropriately so) but integrated more spontaneously throughout the gathering.

…where there won’t be any snacks. Or kids*, though we love them so. Or coffee, though we love it so. 🙂 Just a water fountain in the hall. And, I pray, Living Water in the sanctuary. (*I wish we could provide childcare but it’s just impossible to figure out for this kind of thing.)

It’s just bare bones. The kind of bones we pray God will raise back to life.

A mega sanctuary is a fabulous place for Bible study but not as conducive to the environment we’re hoping God will appoint for this event. Bayou City Fellowship, my home church, has welcomed us to hold Invited in their sanctuary and it will be the perfect size. We will move the event into our new Bayou City Fellowship Spring Branch location for the sake of inside-the-city-proximity as soon as it’s finished by Summer but we’re going to meet at our Cypress campus until then. You’ll find the address at the conclusion of this post.

If you’re familiar with the term “seeker-friendly,” I can’t necessarily tell you that Invited will be the best environment to spring on a lost loved one, neighbor or friend but she is certainly invited, especially if she is desperate for prayer. It will be a place where people will be free to go to their knees or their faces in prayer if God so leads and where we might be directed to turn to several people around us and pray for one another or for our city or for the lost or grieved or broken. You get the idea. This event will not be designed for spectators. This one is for participants but, as long as you’re willing to participate, you don’t have to have an iota of experience. If you’re brand new to this whole faith-thing and want to come, by all means, do! I just want you to have an idea what you’re walking into. 🙂 At Invited, our goal will be to seek the One who is ever-seeking us. It won’t be slick. It won’t be Tweety. Instagrammy. Or Snap Chatty. But I pray it will be real and worth somebody’s time. I long for it and, if you do, too, let’s see what God might do.

 

So, our first gathering is Wednesday, January 17th 7-8:30 PM. And we have included dates for the next six months below. Invited will always be in the middle of the month on a Tuesday or Wednesday evening. (FYI for BCF women, this will not replace RISE. It will be in addition to.) Thank you for letting me share this new (interdenominational and nondenominational) vision with you. At Invited, we’re going to be putting up our phones and raising up our empty hands and I, for one, can’t wait.  Here’s the address:

Bayou City Fellowship Cypress Campus

12715 Telge Road

Cypress, Texas 77429

January 17  |  February 13  |  March 13  |  April 17  |   May 15  |  June 12

 

You guys are wonderful. Please pray for this event even if it’s not possible to attend or not really up your alley. I’m deeply grateful for the privilege to serve you! Tons of love to you.

Beth

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SSMT 2017: Verse 24!

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Why consent isn’t all there is to it

Comments Off on Why consent isn’t all there is to it

As demoralizing as it has been to see the continual surfacing of one public figure after another accused of sexual misconduct, harassment, abuse, assault and, in various cases, rape, it also comes with a sigh of relief to many exhaling the words, “It’s about time.” Most women and, tragically, even many teenage girls were already well acquainted with the depth and breadth of a problem that desperately needed to be publicly exposed. I do not claim in this article to speak for every woman or girl who has been abused, assaulted or harassed but I’d like, if I could, to speak from what I have experienced, seen. heard and learned, not only as a victim but also as a servant to women for 35 years.

I wish to make only one primary point in hopes that it will stick and to make it succinct enough for this article to be read in full. As solutions are being sought and these vital matters are being discussed, the word “consent” is, understandably and appropriately, the word in the forefront. The line to be drawn in the sand. While determining whether or not there has been consent may be enough for settling legalities and forming policies, it is unfortunately not enough to insure that an individual has not been victimized.

Countless women and girls (and boys) consent to sexual advances they do not welcome or want and that scar them for a lifetime. Or sometimes they consent to one thing and get something completely and disturbingly different. They do so for the same reason I did. They feel enormously pressured, extremely unprotected, overpowered and, at times, utterly powerless. I well remember feeling something akin to paralysis. The word “no” was not even in my vocabulary. The boundaries around my life were bulldozed early and by a bully, I might add, because, while not all bullies are sexual predators, all sexual predators are, in one way or another, bullies. There was no manual within my reach about how to rebuild those crumbled boundaries.

I did, however, learn as God raised me up in strength and dignity and restored me. He accomplished these works through making me a student of His Word and of His gracious ways and through godly counsel and by making me a woman of fiery faith and ferocious prayer and confidence in Christ. All of these are unabashed graces of God and to His glory alone. Part of my work has been to help facilitate that process for others and it remains one of the greatest privileges of my life.

And here is one of the most important concepts I can teach them: YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO SAY NO TO UNWANTED SEXUAL ADVANCES. EXERCISE IT. Not a meek little whispery wispy “uh uh” but a full volume, confident, steel-strong “NO.” It’s not too late, no matter how old you are.

Parents, your part here is titanic. As you raise your children and teach them about the boundaries they get to draw around their lives, train them up with the confidence to use one of the most vital words in their entire vocabulary. And also teach them about how we can feel so pressured and overpowered, we feel like we can’t say no and how we can muster up the courage to get that reluctant term to bounce out of our mouths. This part is really really important: if and when you learn that harmful sexual advances were made on your child or loved one then come to find out there was “consent,” do not automatically assume consent is synonymous with welcome. Whatever you do, do not shame them. Help them. There won’t be a do-over on your initial reactions to their detrimental sexual experience. It will be hard for them to talk about so try to read what they are telling you by their behaviors and create a safe environment for them to communicate. Believe them as they slowly open up to you about what happened and show compassion and strength and facilitate whatever further help they may need. If there was legitimate welcome and consent, for crying out loud, still love your child and work through the complications. Don’t withhold physical affection from them like they’ve become a pariah unless they, for a while, don’t want you to touch them. Assure them over and over how loved and valued they are and teach them the life-giving concept of grace. You’re the adult. Don’t make your child parent you.

I wish tools like understanding (and expecting) pressures to give consent and like learning how to exercise the right to say no would solve everything. While these tools can have a strong impact in situations of harassment and less forceful unwanted sexual advances, they are often little to no help in a rape or assault. If you or someone you love suffer (or have suffered) such a torrential crime, please know there is help out there. There is healing to be had in Christ and much esteem, dignity and strength to be regained in Him.  Boundaries can indeed be rebuilt around your life healthily that do not become a prison to your heart, perpetuating your pain and isolation.

I’ll conclude with this. Five minutes of stunningly selfish sexual pleasure can cost a victim a lifetime of suffering. Little can be more demoralizing and infuriating than the shoulder shrugging of victimizers and their sympathizers. “It wasn’t that bad.” Sometimes all we who have been victimized have left to say are the words of Christ from the cross. “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” And sometimes that can be enough because, make no mistake. Nothing is more empowering than calling wrongdoing wrong, calling yourself loved of God and valued and, by the power invested in you as His child, forgiving those who don’t have a clue how much they hurt you.

Let’s keep this truth ever before us in these days of ever-surfacing evil: God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. God has no dark side.

 

 

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LPM Holiday Gift Guide!

Hi friends! This Christmas, we’ve put together something extra special for you! 

We’ve rounded up some of the LPM staff’s favorite resources and compiled a fun holiday gift guide – perfect for finding the right bit of encouragement for each of your people…

 

1. For the adventure-seeker: The Quest

2. And for the TEEN adventure-seeker (NEW!): The Quest for Teen Girls

3. For the fiction-lover: The Undoing of Saint Silvanus

4. For the commuter: Digital Downloads for an on-the-go message

5. For the one who wants to ramp up their effectiveness: Entrusted Bible Study

6. For the one who wants to grow their faith: Believing God

7. For the one who REALLY loves Christmas: A Christmas Collection

8. For the one who needs a daily reminder of God’s love: Twitter Talk Flip Calendar

9. For the one in a hard place: Get Out of that Pit

10. For moms of all ages: Feathers from my Nest

11. For the one new to life in Christ: Jesus the One and Only

12. For YOU! Free Downloads 

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The Quest For Teen Girls!

Here’s something fun we got at the ministry today in case it can help with Christmas shopping! Don’t panic if you have to leave a message. Let us know how to reach you, and we’ll call you back! 1-888-700-1999

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SSMT 2017: Verse 23!

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SSMT 2017: Verse 22!

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SSMT Celebration Reminder!

Can you believe it? We’ve almost completed our 2017 Scripture memory challenge! Here are some fun facts and reminders…

FUN FACTS:

  • 88 are signed up for the SSMT celebration plus LPL.
  • 94 are signed up for the SSMT celebration only.
  • Siestas are traveling from 30 states for the SSMT celebration in Ft. Lauderdale, FL: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin!
  • We began with 11,548 and still have 999 with us! (and YOU are one in 999 still knocking it out of the park!)

REMINDERS:

  • 6 days remaining to register for SSMT celebration plus LPL (optional) discount. Click here to register by November 15!
  • The deadline to register for SSMT celebration only (free of charge) is January 15. Click here to register!
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