Siesta Scripture Memory Team 2015 Instructions and Spiral Information!

Hey Everybody!

We are revving up around here for SSMT 2015! The Scripture memory team we host and support every other year is the most extensive thing we do around here on the LPM blog so you can know that you are the size of an airbus on our ministry radar right now. We are elated about the year we have ahead and believe with all our hearts that God finds tremendous delight in this group of diverse women banding together to memorize His Word. Here is everything you need to know about how to participate in the 2015 Siesta Scripture Memory Team! Please be sure you make it all the way to the bottom of the post where you’ll find the information about our matching spirals.

First, a few things up front since many people joining us have no previous interaction here:

*For you new comers, an explanation of the name is in order. “Siesta” is just an endearment for “Sister.” There’s no club to join and no person you need to become. If you’ve trusted Jesus as your personal Savior, you’re a sister in Christ. If you don’t know Him, we’d love for you to stick around and get to know us and see if anything around here draws you. Everyone is welcome. Here’s a bit of our back-story on the weird name: When we first began the blog, it never occurred to any of us how much we’d come to love each other. As the community grew closer and closer and the participants more and more familiar with one another, one of you asked what name we should call each another. I tried to say, “I’ll tell you what we are: We’re sistahs!” but spell-check switched it to “siestas.” It stuck and that’s been us ever since. We even liked the thought that its actual meaning is to take a nap. We’ll know we’ve been a place of divine intervention if we’re a respite from the female competition and clatter out there. Only Jesus can give us that kind of relief in this exhausting culture.

*We call this a Scripture memory “team” because that’s exactly what we are. We cheer each other on, hold each other accountable, and urge one another to make it to the goal – 24 verses systematically memorized in 12 months – through a process that requires significant practice.

*Very often you will see me refer to SSMT. Just so nobody’s confused from the start, that is an abbreviation for “Siesta Scripture Memory Team.” If you’re not participating in SSMT, please know that we don’t limit the entire blog to our Scripture memory participants. It has a big presence on here because it’s twice a month but we still do lots of other things. Please don’t feel left out or forgotten.

*Why 24 verses? In previous years, we’ve found this to be a very doable pace: 1 verse every 2 weeks. If you do much more, you’ll tend to fall behind and not retain. If you do much less, the impact is negligible. You really can do this. So many of you will surprise yourselves with what you’re capable of doing in the power of the Spirit. Yes, it takes work but it’s tremendously fulfilling and the results are nearly immeasurable. Look at it this way: we’re going to be meditating on something: unforgiveness, toxic memories, misery, lust, greed, dissatisfaction, jealousy, competition. Let’s choose Scripture instead! Christ Himself said as a man thinks, so is he. He also said His words are spirit and life. This is work worth doing, Beloved. Never – NOT ONCE – have I ever known anyone to get to the end of a Scripture memory commitment and say that it didn’t make any real difference. Not a single time.

OK, NOW FOR THE INSTRUCTIONS. You can cut and paste these somewhere if necessary. Here’s how it will go:

1. On the 1st and 15th of every month of 2015 starting on New Year’s Day, you will find a post by 8:00 in the morning asking for your memory verse, suggesting one if you’re drawing a blank, and encouraging you in your process. In past years I’ve written all the posts myself but I thought maybe this year we needed to do something to shake it up a bit and make it extra-fun. I’ll still do all the posts on the 1st but the entries on the 15th will be written by a cross section of women from this community who’ve been asked to guest post. That means that, over the course of the year, you’ll hear from 12 of them. They’ll tell you a little bit about themselves, share the verse they’ve selected for that round, and why they chose it. We’ve also asked them to supply us with a picture so you can have a face to go with each name.

2.You are to enter the verse you’ve chosen to memorize for that two-week period within twenty-four hours of the post going up. I’ve been asked many times if it’s okay if you’re late supplying your verse and, yes, of course it is, but try to avoid doing it often. The people who make it to the very end of the year are overwhelmingly those who stay up with it month to month. Please know up front that one of the important parts of this process is the exercise of self discipline. This culture is mass producing self-indulgent narcissists. Year-long commitments like these that require punctuality and focused energy push back on that degenerating trend. All that to say, please don’t drop out if you get behind. I just want you to know that this will be much more successful if you treat it as a real, live commitment you are willing to work hard to keep.

3. When you clock in with your verse those two times a month, keep your comments limited to your name (first only if you prefer), city, verse and translation. Long comments on SSMT days are no-no’s. It won’t take you long to figure out why we maintain that rule. Wait till you see the powerful sight of hundreds if not thousands of verses flowing down the comment stream. It is a gorgeous sight. When you’re having a bad day, all you have to do is scroll down a few hundred of your sisters’ Scripture selections and I promise you, you’ll get a word. It’s a very powerful thing. Here is a sample comment:

Beth Moore from Houston, Texas: “May you be strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy.” Colossians 1:11 ESV

Always add your translation because so many of your sisters will want to know where you found the wording for your entry. One of the great impacts of this process is how much we reap from each others’ selections. Often you’ll see a sister say, “I’m doing the one so-and-so did last time!” (Yes, you can make a comment that brief. Those can be fun. Occasionally you’ll even see someone write, “For the sake of my marriage, I’ve chosen to memorize…” That’s okay, too, but try to keep it very succinct.)

4. THIS ONE IS KEY! As often as possible, choose a verse that means something to you in your present season or circumstance. This is the reason why we don’t all memorize the same Scripture. We’re not all going through the same things. The more you let God lead you to verses that direct you or edify your soul in your present circumstances, the more He will renew your mind toward your challenges. This is a huge part of 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 where we’re told to demolish strongholds and take our thoughts captive to Christ. If you don’t have a verse on your mind or you’re drawing a blank when the 1st or 15th rolls around, you are more than welcome to share the selection offered in the post. That’s one reason it’s there. You might also look at a few of the comments and see if one of theirs resonates with you. I say this next part with a grin: try to refrain from memorizing Scriptures that you think your spouse or your children need to learn. Memorize what you need to learn. That means do your best to avoid jotting your verse on a stick note and planting it on your bathroom mirror where your man can see it and repent of his sins. He probably won’t because he’s got your game. I bet you can guess how I know that.

5. I strongly recommend that you stick with only one verse to memorize each time. (This is just a recommendation and not a rule. You’re free to do whatever works for you.) Keep it simple and meaningful. (If I were addressing you live, I’d have you repeat that sentence back to me so just go ahead and say it out loud in order to nail it down. That sentence could be your best friend through this process.) If you do too many verses or get too complicated, you will soon be overwhelmed and want to drop out. Better to do 24 simpler verses over a 12 month period of time than a chapter over the first month then quit. We want this to be a discipline we practice for the rest of our lives. Think marathon. Not sprint.

6. Either shortly before or after making your entry each 1st and 15th in the blog comment, write the verse by hand in your spiral. (Again, that’s a recommendation and not a rule. I’ve discovered that there’s something about writing it with your own hand and picturing it later in your own handwriting that helps it sink into your memory bank. I’m not entirely sure why.) Take that spiral with you everywhere you go. Read it and read it and read it and read it. Do mental gymnastics with it. Flip that baby over and over. Many women have told me along the way that they’re not good at memorization and I truly understand that. I also beg to offer two responses: First, that may change. Give the Holy Spirit a chance to do something brand new with you. Second, even if you don’t get your verses down word for word, you are still meditating on them as you read and reread them. You still, thereby, accomplish one of the most important goals: captivating the mind to Christ. You just can’t lose on this one. Either way, it has a powerful effect.

 

NOW, about that spiral! In years past, we’ve created them here at Living Proof and shipped them to those who ordered them. But, to our slack-jawed surprise, last time we did it, 10,000 women signed up and nearly all of them ordered spirals. My beloved (SMALL!!!) staff and hardworking volunteers filled every one of those orders over about a 10-day mad-dash and, though they never lost their smiles, it flat-out nearly killed them! We are just too small a staff to handle that many orders. HOWEVER!!! We MUST have matching spirals! So, here is the perfect solution. Watch this tutorial and you’ll see how quick and easy it will be to prepare your spiral:

 

 

There are two sizes to choose between for your spirals.  Click on the size cover you would like to print for yourself then adhere it using any of the methods we suggested. You can certainly use regular printer paper but cardstock works perfectly:

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5×3
6×4

 

OK, I think that’s more than enough to get us prepared for January 1st but I so hope you’ll go ahead and get our huge wrap-up celebration on your radar because we want you to know how to qualify and plan to be there! It is the biggest blast ever.

Our Siesta Scripture Memory Team 2015 Celebration will on January 16, 2016. I’m telling you about it now so that you can have it for a little extra incentive. Our main incentive is the will and good pleasure of God, of course, but He Himself authored great celebrations in His Name so feel free to be excited at the thought. Also, I want you to have plenty of time to start saving your money for your transportation and hotel. We do not charge for the event. Your entrance fee is your well-used spiral. By the way, we will have Travis back again to lead us in worship and Amanda, Melissa, my whole LPM staff and volunteer team will be there to serve you.  Here’s how you qualify to attend the celebration:

*Clock in by first name and city at least 21 out of 24 times. (But please make your goal 24 out of 24!) Let me reiterate that you can be late with your entry on a 1st or 15th of any month but, by the end of the year, there has to be a record in the comment sections of you signing in at least 21 out of 24 times on a SSMT post. Make sense? Please give us 24 hours to post your comment before you assume it got lost. We still moderate all comments and the amount we get on SSMT days necessitates a slower pace. Thank you for your cooperation!

*Bring your spiral to the celebration. Again, that’s your ticket in.

*If you’re planning to come to the celebration, be prepared to say any 10 of your 24 memory verses to another Siesta (of your choice) during the designated time at the celebration. (We get in pairs.) Some of you will be tempted to let this be a deal breaker but don’t back out! Siestas are really sweet and patient with each other and we are notorious for giving each other hints. We can even act out charades if necessary. If you’re one of those who genuinely struggles with memorization, just tell your memory buddy up front and she’ll give you all the grace you need.  Tell her the gist of the verse as accurately as you possibly can. She’ll be able to tell that you are well acquainted with it and that the goal was accomplished even if you can’t say the verse word-for-word.

*Register for the event when the time comes. (December 1, 2015)

Whew! Have I exhausted you?? I’ve worn myself out. Sorry this is so wordy! We just want to answer as many of your questions up front as possible.

I want to say something to you before I wrap up this diatribe: this community means something to me. I love it because I love you. I think about you on an ongoing basis. So does my staff. You are a huge part of this ministry. Thank you for the privilege to serve you and to embark on another wild journey with you. May Christ find such delight here that He astonishes us with His presence, favor, and power.

So, welcome to Siestaville: women walking alongside women on our way Home, stirring up excitement toward that great day. SSMT is one way we do that. AND IT’S A WHOPPER. Let’s do it, Sisters, starting this coming January 1st! I’ll talk to you again about other things before then but I don’t want the New Year to take you by surprise.

I love you.

Beth

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Three Years Down a Dirt Road

Three years ago today, I came the closest I’ve ever come to having a full-throttle panic attack. Melissa was in the passenger seat of my car while I was at the wheel and she started frantically turning every air conditioner vent on the dash straight toward my face. “Breathe, Mom. It’s going to be fine!” I’d worked like a crazy woman for three days packing up our house for this move so it shouldn’t have caught me off guard but suddenly the reality of that huge moving van right in front of us with 27 years of our lives stuffed into it nearly did me in. I wanted to pull up beside it, roll down my window, and yell, “I changed my mind!”

 

I’d raised my babies in that house, stood at that mailbox and waited for the school bus with them, buried three beloved dogs in that backyard, danced with my man on that linoleum kitchen floor, fought with him in that den, fallen head over heels with the Scriptures in that tiny dining room, pulled trashcans forty million times to that curb, cried as many tears and thrown my head back with as many laughs…all in that one house. We’d bought it at a foreclosure price and still struggled to pay the mortgage but not one day did we take it for granted. Our very best friends helped us move into that house. Our oldest kids were 5 and our youngest 2. Our kids played together in that house too many times to count. We were inseparable in those days.

I loved it so much. I declared over and over that I’d never leave that house. But I did.

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Three years ago today, we followed that moving van down a highway on the outskirts of Houston then down one bumpy dirt road then another that my man had cleared himself in order to move us in. He’d had to dig a water well, have telephone lines and electric lines put in, and bulldoze enough trees out of the way to tuck in two houses: his parents’ and ours. They’d lived in town beside us. We wouldn’t have moved without them. Most of my neighbors at my house of 27 years had lived there for decades, too. We loved those people and they loved us. Our preschoolers had played together then graduated from high school together. We could holler at one another across the fence. We had a new fence now and new neighbors who, as you can see, were set in their ways. They only had one word to say to us when we got here. “Mooooooooooooove.”

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We also had snakes.

coral snake

 

Several different kinds.

 

water moccasin

So this became our fashionable footwear.

 

boots

Big Pops and Memmaw soon got a rooster and chickens. It took us a while to get used to them and them a while to get used to us. Big Pops and Memmaw enjoy the eggs but I just can’t eat them. Something about eating eggs from a chicken I know personally doesn’t sit well on my stomach.

chickens

 

We’ve had a few unexpected visitors drop in.  Some of them were particularly delightful.

donkey

 

It helped that our kids started liking it out here. The Jones live in the suburbs about 20 minutes from here and we knew they’d adapt well because their kids were at the perfect age for tadpoles and hoot owls but our city girl, Melissa, lives smack downtown in Houston, Texas almost an hour away. She was the least enthused about our move. Some might even say slightly pouty. One day a few months after we moved, she succumbed to a sudden bout of sentimentality and went back to our old neighborhood to go for a walk there like we’d done thousands of times. She’d even planned to shed a few tears. She called me on her cell phone when she got back in the car and said, “I don’t like it here anymore. Y’all aren’t here.” And that very moment, her heart shifted to the country. These days she makes the trek constantly. She’s fallen in love with these woods and these neighbors:

 

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Living next door to Big Pops and Memmaw means that we have ample time with all four generations. When Jackson is grown, he probably won’t remember that we ever lived anywhere else. Not even that house where we raised his mommy.

Jax and Pops

 

 

Needless to say, I’ve spent a lot of time with Big Pops myself. Here on the gator. This is only one of three John Deeres on the property. Big Pops planted his behind on a tractor the second we moved in.

 

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We’ve put a lot of miles on this thing in three years. Here with my two girls and our good friend, Crista.

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The idea came to me for Bibby’s Secret Closet here at this new house. The kids never know what surprise Bibby’s gonna pull from it.

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We often have our pastor and his wife over for dinner. We make it our goal to be their favorite church members.

 

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It’s amazing how much he looks like my son-in-law.

 

Annabeth loves having her birthday here. She says she’s always going to have it here. We’ll see. But we’ll take it for now.

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We have a tiny little sliver of water not far from us that you could call a creek if you were in a particularly generous mood. It’s got some sand by it that the kids really like. Be blessed that this is not a scratch and sniff picture because the creek doesn’t always smell all that good, especially if it hasn’t rained in a while. But if your nose is slightly stuffy, it can be pretty fun.

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Don’t think there’s not plenty of excitement in the country. Keith was Superman to this baby hawk with a broken leg that we found on this branch down from our house one day. Flies were already all over it when Keith rescued it and took it in a box to the only vet clinic in Houston that takes this sort of patient. Keith kept tabs on him with the vet and, sure enough, he made it.

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Several months later a hawk swooped down and ate one of Memmaw’s chickens. I couldn’t help but think, “Seriously?? After we saved one of your very brethren???” But not long after that, Queen Esther helped herself to a chicken and Geli (our birddog) followed suit and has thus far made a picnic lunch out of two. Well. Maybe three.

Geli begs to eat out. She likes her food to be organic. Here she had a bad hankering for a double-meat rabbit burger. Cut the bun.

Geli looking outside

 

We find all sorts of critters in our backyard. We host raccoons and rabbits constantly but we also have possums. I used to hate possums because of their pointy little teeth and the way they hiss but somehow, now that we live out here, I feel like I can’t hate them as much. I feel compelled to be a good possum steward. This was our favorite backyard drop-by of all. We got up one recent Sunday morning to this sight and nearly died.  Two more were just on the other side of the iron fence.

 

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Three years is long enough to have lived through some losses. Remember those beloved dogs I told you we’d buried in the backyard of our house of 27 years? We’ve been forced to start a pet cemetery here in these woods now and we are not anxious to populate it. With many tears we recently laid the Jones’s faithful, dearly-loved golden retriever, Beckham, to rest.

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He was, without a doubt, the happiest dog in the whole USA.

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My man and I are coming up on 36 years of marriage in a few weeks. You can’t live together that long and not have a lot of ups and downs. Well, maybe some people can but they are not us. Not by a long shot. We’ve ridden a roller coaster together, my man and me. But we are so glad we stuck it out. We’ve had the happiest season of our lives out in these woods. We loved our home in town so much but, heck, sometimes you just need to move somewhere new. This was from Thanksgiving a few weeks ago. Keith put a fireplace on our back porch and, if it’s lit, our family doesn’t get three feet from it. South Texas has the kind of climate where you could spend the whole winter on your back porch as long as you had a little firewood.

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Just last week our long-since adopted family member, Travis (Cottrell), was out in the country with us and he snapped this picture right before he left. He loves Keith Moore and Keith Moore loves him. I’m mad now that Trav wasn’t in the picture.

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So, three years to the day later, we’re making it out in these modest woods. These acres would not be beautiful to everybody but they’re beautiful to us. Life has been brand new out here. I won’t kid you. It’s been an adjustment. A lot less eating out. A lot more cooking. A lot more driving to work. The cars stay filthy. The raccoons won’t stay out of the trash. Fed Ex never can find us. But we don’t mind. Because it was time to make a move. For us, it was out where the dawn breaks to the crow of a rooster.

 

My heart is filled with gratitude to God as I glance over my shoulder at the last several years. He knew this was just where we Moores needed to be. Out here in the sticks.

 

It turned out to be the season for moving in the tightest part of our social circle. Our very best friends of 34 years bought a new house, too. I don’t think they’d mind me showing you a picture. You know, they’re the ones I told you about earlier. We raised our kids together. They love their new house.

We love it, too.

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Three LPM Christmas Gift Ideas… and Giveaways!

CONGRATULATIONS WINNERS!
Watch for an email today from Living Proof so that we can arrange shipping of your gift! Happy Monday!

1.    #714-Nicole T
2.    #1042-Jennifer Winner
3.    #1326-Patty Dalton
4.    #873-Kathy Isaacson
5.    #1150-Jennifer Nelson
6.    #542-Emily Stokes
7.    #695-Dea Windsor
8.    #39-Vicky D
9.    #247-Janet from FL
10.    #17-Natashajk
11.    #646-Janet Worthy
12.    #1209-Patti Byrd
13.    #982-Tina Ritter
14.    #391-Tona Hawkins
15.    #340-Karina Allen

————————————–

Hi Everybody! Sabrina here! (waving)

Just in case you are wondering something like, “wow, I can’t remember ever hearing from Sabrina”, you are so very right!  I have never been on the blog before today.  So why now??? Well, I am pretty jazzed about something and want so much to share the excitement with you all.  LPM has a new resource that is on the printing press at this very moment.

With all glory to God, have a look at Breath.

breath_cover_front  breath_cover_back

Y’all, Breath has been new life to me. Here is the deal: a few co-workers and myself do several reviews for editing and design – so we watch it a lot (smile). Every edit review was a fresh breath from God. Actually, I would get so wrapped up in the teaching that I would forget I was editing (laughing).

This lecture study is on the Holy Spirit, “The Life of God In Us”.  The companion booklet includes Beth’s listening guides, along with 6 written lessons by Melissa Moore. These articles give deeper insight into Beth’s lectures with expanding applications but they also offer an opportunity to glean from the fresh research of an amazing young teacher. Beth’s six sessions were filmed live with our local Houston Bible study group.

Thank you for praising God with us about this series and believing God to meet each person who seeks Him through this teaching.

We expect shipment in about 1 week, however if you are too excited to wait until the DVD sets arrive, the digital downloads are available now.

Breath is one of several items on my Christmas shopping list (definitely a perk to have a store at your workplace).  So I thought it would be fun to share those with you as well. I’ve listed them below but, truly, what better way to share than a Blog Giveaway?!

SO, your comment to this post will be your entry to the drawing.  We are so excited to share five copies of each new resource item shown below, so there will be 15 winners!

“Portraits of Devotion”
PortraitsOfDevotion_CVR_WithJacket

This is a 366-day compilation devotional. For those of you familiar with the Personal Reflection Series (90-day devotional journal drawn from the lives of Jesus, David, John, and Paul), this unites them all into one beautiful book.

 

LPM’s DVD set “The Great Escape”
escape_LG

The Great Escape was recorded at a Living Proof Live event in Bossier City, LA.
You can preview The Great Escape here.

 

LPM’s DVD set “Breath”

breath_cd_cover[4]

You can preview Breath here.

 

Since it is the season of giving, if your name is selected in the random drawing and you prefer to ship your gift directly to someone on your gift list, please know it would be our joy.  This post will remain open until 4:30 CST on Friday, December 5th.  Winners’ names will be posted first thing Monday morning, the 8th. If your name is drawn, watch for an update to this post. We will also notify you by email to get the mailing information for yourself or your recipient.

Of course we are glad to help with any of your gift needs. You can browse in our online store here.  Please note LPM’s last day to ship is 12/17.

With much love and many Christmas blessings to you!

Sabrina

 

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The Gift of Memory

I’m thinking today about the capacity to remember. With divine deliberation and unclouded foresight, the Creator chose to fashion the mind of man with memory. To be able to recollect – to re-collect images, experiences, expressions, numbers, dates, conversations, consequences, and encounters – is the champion quality of the well-functioning mind.

 

Maybe being around my family so much in recent days has sparked this subject in my thoughts. I cannot laugh with my daughters across the table at a restaurant without remembering them as little girls. I cannot kiss my father-in-law on his silver brow without recalling him as a man bigger than life in his mid-forties the first time Keith introduced us at a professional hockey game.

 

Like many of you, I have at times completely abhorred the capacity to remember. I still have flashbacks of staggering and disturbing moments in my childhood. I remember a scene in my home in my young adolescence that still causes the hair to stand up on the back of my neck. A song from the 70’s can still stir up the ache of a break up with a first love. To me, perhaps the worst of all dimensions of memory is regret. Regret is the excruciating recollection of all the decisions I could have made a different way. It’s the acrid memory that no one else assigned me. It’s mine alone to own. That I find the hardest of all. I have hated the capacity to remember so much that, at times in my life, I’ve held my head with both hands and yelled, “Stop it!”

 

But today I’m thinking to myself that all the torturous memories I’ve stacked up like past-due library books on the bedside table of five decades are worth the capacity to recall moments that make life on this earth worth the trouble.

 

Like the first time a handsome, jet-black headed young man reached across the front seat of a sports car at a stoplight and held my hand. He held it again this morning.

 

Like the first time I got to be all alone with a child I’d carried for nine months and I unwrapped the swaddling, leaned over her and whispered with tears dripping from my chin, “Hi there. My name is Mom.”

 

Like the time I took the training wheels off the smallest-ever bike and gave my baby girl a push and watched her take off down the pavement, pedaling furiously and perfectly, with blond locks of hair dancing behind her like banners in the sun. I’ve been chasing after her ever since.

 

Like the first time that same child threw a three-pointer. And that time I did a double-take and realized she’d shaved her legs…about 2 years too early.

 

Like the look on her big sister’s face when we walked outside her favorite restaurant on her 16th birthday and a new car was in the circle driveway with a large bow on it. Thanks to her grandparents who’d owned it and saved it for her.

 

Like this morning when I played on the swing set out here in these Texas trees with an eight year-old and a five year-old who have an uncanny resemblance to my oldest.

 

Like innumerable times I’ve laughed with friends until we couldn’t sit up. And prayed on our faces until we almost couldn’t get up.

 

I could keep going and maybe I will on my own but it would be over-indulgent here. I just want to say today that memory is a gift. An exquisite one. An excruciating one.  The same capacity that invites us to replay something beautiful can recount the deplorable in startling color.

 

The point of this is to say that I, for one, think it’s worth it. Even with all my regrets and amid all the flashbacks. Despite all the disappointments and heart-sinking disillusionments.

 

To remember is among the dearest of all human capacities. A sliver of Imago Dei. Over and over on the sacred page we find the words on which we hang our hope. And God remembered.

 

To be thankful is, in itself, to remember.

 

So, today, Lord, I want to say to You that I am thankful. Because I remember. I remember the ditch You pulled me out of. I remember the hopelessness I’ve felt and the fears that I had no future. I remember a time when I wanted to go to sleep and never wake up. And I remember that the sun came up the next morning and the next and the next, glistening without fail on a heap of fresh mercies. I want to say that You have been right all along. And that life is such a gift. And it is precious. And passes with such haste. What we can hope is that there would be no waste.

 

And, to those of us who love You, who are called according to Your purpose, You have promised that to be true.

 

We are grateful today, Lord, precisely because we remember.

 

We remember how good You’ve been to us when life has been awful.

 

We remember the light through the cracks in the door when we tried to lock ourselves away in the darkness.

 

We remember that You would not leave us alone even when we begged You to.

 

We remember Jesus.

 

We remember Him crucified. Raised. Ascended. Seated. And interceding.

 

Thank You, all-wise and benevolent God, for the capacity to store up collections of Your kindnesses to us through the courses of our lives.

 

You are good. Your love endures forever.

 

Help  us remember.

 

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A Message To Anyone Feeling Desperate and Hopeless

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Thanksgiving 2014 Giveaway!

WINNERS!!
Congratulations to you both! Below are names of our 2 winners drawn using random.org.  If you see your name and comment number below, please watch today for an email from LPM.  Reply with your mailing address just as quickly as possible so we can get your goodies in your hands.  It was a great pleasure reading all the entry comments and encouragement. Happy Thanksgiving!

#2365 – Kimberly Beasley
#2394 – Elizabeth White

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Thanksgiving is just days away, Sisters! Since this particular holiday, like no other on our annual calendar, centers almost entirely around a meal, it brings a whole passel of us to the kitchen.  So, your friends here at Living Proof thought we would have some fun with you by wrapping up a few fabulous items for the family feast.

We have prepared two identical baskets, enabling us to do a random drawing of TWO WINNERS among the commenters to this post. That’s all you have to do to enter. Just leave one comment and on Thursday morning, we’ll close the comments and draw our two winners and announce their names at the top of this post.

The goodies from these baskets contain items from the two largest kitchen stores in Houston: Williams-Sonoma and Sur la Table.  When it comes to cooking, it doesn’t get better than that. [You will see each item in a separate picture so you can get a good look at them.]  I so hope the baskets end up in the hands of a couple of women who could really stand to feel a little extra-special right now or perhaps are on such a tight budget that these items would feel like a fantastic splurge. I’m looking today for entries of some women who’d slap the table with joy over ending up with these. You are all so loved and esteemed here at Living Proof and you are valuable beyond price or description to the Kingdom of Christ.

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Scriptural or Experiential: Can the Categories Never Coexist?

“She’s (he’s) gone over to the experiential side.”

 

I’ve been accustomed to that terminology since my first Bible doctrine class at 27 years old. The language might be dated for many of you but you get the gist. My teacher (in the presence of the Lord now) whom I loved and whose passion lit a fire in my own bones often used the delineation. Something was either “Scriptural” or “experiential” and ne’er the two could meet. It made perfect sense to me.

 

For a little while.

 

I’ve never lost my esteem for my teacher. I could get tears in my eyes just thinking about him. He taught under a powerful unction of the Holy Spirit and with a love for the Bible that I had never seen. I suppose some 90 percent of what he taught me I still believe with all my heart. No one made a deeper investment in my love for the Word of God.

 

But I’ll share with you the teaching in that first Bible doctrine class that I couldn’t accept for long. I couldn’t accept that a believer must fall cleanly into one category or the other: the Scriptural or the experiential. Of course, that’s why I had critics counting me among the experiential crowd 15 years ago but I’ll be forthright with you. The criticism, no matter how mean-spirited it got, was worth enduring because I was not about to let somebody convince me that Scripture and experience were always mutually exclusive. I wanted them both. I wanted to thrill to the Word of God with everything in me AND I wanted to experience the presence of Christ as palpably as He’d permit me.

 

I would not deny for a moment that there are people in the wide stretch of Christendom who rely strictly on experience and rarely if ever open their Bibles. I also have no doubt that many study their Bibles but never have what they’d qualify as an “experiential” encounter with the Holy Spirit. But there is another category and it is chock full of people who have devoted their entire lives to the study of Scripture and could also testify to rich experiential encounters with Christ. They are not the either-or’s. They have known both.

 

They are people who would not dream of giving their experience the same weight as the Scriptures. They know full well that it doesn’t mean everything. But must it mean nothing??

 

Does the Word of God itself not validate experiencing the presence of God?

 

Every time the living words of Scripture seem to leap off the page into the reality of our present challenge, are we not experiencing God?

 

Every time our pastors or teachers bring a word that causes the blood to flow hot through our veins –  in the terminology of 1 Thessalonians 1:5 “in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction” – are we not experiencing God?

 

Every time we are overwhelmed with fresh conviction and we experience true repentance, are we not experiencing God?

 

In those moments when we’re brokenhearted and bewildered and we suddenly feel embraced by His love and assured of our chosenness, are we not experiencing God?

 

In our worship when we feel moved inside with the sense that His thick presence around us in that place is a greater reality than anything we can see or touch, are we not experiencing God?

 

When, after striving and seeking and praying, we suddenly know with astounding clarity what God wants us to do in a situation or relationship, are we not experiencing God?

 

When we have encounters with people that only God could have ordained and had appointed conversations that become pivotal to our callings, are we not experiencing God?

 

Was the Holy Spirit Himself not given to us so that we could continue to experience the presence of Jesus on this earth??

 

And do we not keep our Bibles wide open and study them all our lives and every day so that we can even recognize what could be a valid Holy Spirit experience?

 

No story I’ve ever told publicly has gotten me in more trouble than the one that occurred in an airport many years ago when I felt a profuse stirring of the Holy Spirit to go over to an old man in a wheelchair and brush his tangled, matted hair. Nothing has thrown me into the “experiential” category with my critics more than that story. But here’s the ironic part: I had my Bible wide open in my lap actively memorizing John 1 at the exact moment the Holy Spirit moved on me to stand up and walk over to that man. In fact, I was nearly annoyed by the inconvenience of having to get up and go serve somebody while I was busy with my memory work. They weren’t two separate things. They were happening simultaneously.

 

Despite the discouragement that being stereotyped can bring, if I thought I’d “experienced” God for the last time, I’d be ready to pack up this whole earthly existence and go home. I live to experience God – in my Bible study, my worship, my restoration, my personal revival, in the laughter of my family that has endured against all odds, in the burst of color in an autumn sunset, in a praise song blaring from the speakers in my car, in church service after church service, in the love I still feel for one man after 36 years, and in a walk all by myself in the country.

 

I write these words to you today who have devoted your lives to the study of God’s inspired Word and make it your daily bread. You don’t have to choose between the Scriptural and the “experiential.” You can have a devout study life and esteem the Bible more than any other tangible possession on this earth and you can also validly experience the presence and palpable activity of the Holy Spirit. You don’t need human permission to do so. You have the Bible’s permission.

 

Don’t let anybody take that right from you.

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LPL Billings Recap!

Happy Monday morning, dear friends!   With this Living Proof Live Billings recap, 2014 is a wrap!  Thanks to Photos by David Lowe (aka DLo, Dingo Dave)

 

If you were there, tell us why you think God had you there this weekend.

Be BLESSED!

Living Proof Live | Billings from LifeWay Women on Vimeo.

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LPL Billings Tickets for You and a Friend

Hey Siestas!  Happy Monday to you all!

I can hardly believe it, but Beth’s final 2014 Living Proof Live is this weekend in Billings, Montana!  Who is going?

We have such a heart and a call to share the Gospel truth with women who might be new to the scriptures, or might not even know our Jesus yet.  Do you have a friend that is new to faith, or less-seasoned in the Word that you want to invite to join you this weekend? In keeping with our new initiative this year, we would be so honored to scholarship a ticket for your friend, and for you if you need one.

If you have someone that can attend with you, just call and ask for Kimberly here at the ministry and she will get you set up with a scholarship: 1-888-700-1999. (Not 800.)

Our prayer is that people would taste and see that Jesus is good! He is our joy, and our peace.

We love y’all.

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How About an Autumn Giveaway?

WINNERS!
Congratulations! Below are names of our 10 winners. If you see your name and comment number below, please watch today for an email from LPM.  Reply with your mailing address so we can get your goodies in your hands just as quickly as possible.  We sure had fun with this, and hope you enjoy your sussie!

1352: Aidan
168: Katie Elizabeth
658: Christina
1715: Kim
1390: Regan Vickery
1021: Lea H.
1265: Pam Davis
669:  Janet Simonitch
631:  April H.
1567: Jan Horne

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Okay ladies! That was so fun posting your comments/entries!  The comments are now closed and we look forward to announcing the 10 winners on Monday morning.  Have a wonderful weekend!

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I LOVE FALL. I love everything about it. I practically grin in my sleep this time of year. And I love y’all. So today I’m putting those loves together for an Autumn giveaway! Your (one) comment to this post will be your entry to the drawing. We will leave the post open for entries until the close of our work day tomorrow (Friday at 4:30 CST). We will then do a random drawing for each of the gifts and post our 10 winners on Monday. How does that sound?

 

Here is the collective bounty:

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And here is each item separately.

Mud Pie butter dish and gravy ladle:

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Brighton Bracelet with The Lord’s Prayer engraved on it:

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A framed picture to remind you to smile and  & a pair of swirl earrings handcrafted by my good friend David Lowe:

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Sur la Table Pie dish & server:

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Boot socks, an infinity scarf, and another pair of earrings by David Lowe:

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Pewter pumpkin bowl and spreader:

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Urban Decay neutral eye shadow palette: (I love, love, love their eye shadows. Wearing some this very second.)

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Peony soap, soap dish, and fingertip towels:

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Salt cellar and salt:

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Pumpkin spice candle:

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Have at it, Girls! So happy to celebrate Fall with you! We will have another giveaway just before Thanksgiving! You are dearly loved and esteemed around here at Living Proof.

 

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