Archive for October, 2012

Lewiston LPL – Scholarship Ticket Giveaway

Good morning, Siestas! I realize this post is a day early, however, as we said yesterday we have a really fun giveaway planned for you ladies so we’re doing a little flip flop around here. So instead, be looking for that not-so-secretive, exciting giveaway post tomorrow morning! Does it feel a little bit like Christmas Eve to you now? You know something fun is coming in the morning, but it’s still a mystery to you today. I love it!

Did y’all know that this weekend’s conference is the last LPL of the year? With all of the sobering storms that have swirled around in the Eastern part of the U.S. I have a feeling that the Lord wants to do something only He can do this weekend.

With that said, we have 20 scholarship tickets to give away thanks to the Siesta Scholarship Fund. If you have a desire to attend, but financially just cannot afford it at this time, please call our office toll free at 1.888.700.1999 during regular business hours (8:30 – 4:30 CST) and ask for Kimberly Meyer. If you happen to reach us while we’re at lunch, leave a message and Kimberly will get back to you.

We sure love y’all. Happy Wednesday!

Yahoo BookmarksDeliciousTwitterFacebookGoogle BookmarksPrintFriendlyStumbleUponShare

Let’s Pray, Sisters! 1/2 Hour Livestream Today for Eastern U.S.: 11:15 AM CST

*For those of you who missed the livestream, you can watch it here. Be blessed, y’all.

Hey, beloved sisters! We had such a fun post for you today to celebrate Autumn but Melissa, Lindsee, and I agree that today is not the day. With all the chaos people are enduring over the storm, let’s get together for a half hour of prayer today instead. I know it’s last minute but we don’t have to have a mighty throng to be heard. All we need is a mighty all-glorious God inclining His ear to hear because we intercede in His Son’s powerful Name. If you can join, we’ll meet with you at 11:15 AM on the dot, CST. I love you guys!

Click this link to join us in praying.

*Important: We will remove the password on our livestream channel ten minutes prior to going live at 11:15. If you try to log in early, don’t be turned away by the password as we will take care of it after we’ve tested out our channel. 

Yahoo BookmarksDeliciousTwitterFacebookGoogle BookmarksPrintFriendlyStumbleUponShare

A Video Devo on the Deceptive Heart

A Video Devo on the Deceptive Heart from LPV on Vimeo.

Yahoo BookmarksDeliciousTwitterFacebookGoogle BookmarksPrintFriendlyStumbleUponShare

Bloom Where You’re Planted

At work I share an office with one of my co-workers, Jenn. Jenn is one of the sweetest, most genuine, kind, compassionate, Jesus-loving women you’ll ever meet. I instantly clicked and fell in love with her. Because she has three little one’s vying for her undivided attention, I only get to see her every now and then, especially when we’re not in Bible study season.

The other day she was at the office de-cluttering her desk when she found a stack of papers piled up in her drawer about an event LPM had put on about eight years or so ago called “Tell Me How”. That specific event was for college aged girls ages 18 – 25.

Just about eight years ago, I was 19 and attended that event. It was my sophomore year of college and I remember that being a really pivotal time in my walk with the Lord and I was all ears. I wanted to soak up any and all wisdom I could from gain from these wise ladies because after all, I was a sophomore in college, and what in the world did I want to do with my life? I was desperate to know how to not royally mess it up, my life that is. Little did I know, and nor would I have ever dreamed, that almost a decade later I’d be serving alongside these sweet ladies. That was a really neat thought for me.

Sometimes life brings you to a full circle moment and that was one of them.

I told Jenn that I attended that conference and that to this day I still refer back to those notes. I think it was fun for both of us to walk down memory lane because we were both able to see fruit from that conference, almost ten years later.

The keynote speakers were our very own Siesta Mama, Beth, Priscilla Shirer and Christy Nockels, who not only led worship, but also taught a session. I clearly knew who Beth and Christy were at the time (we’re obviously on a first name basis), but it was my first introduction to Priscilla, whom from then on, I fell in love with. Her teaching was so powerful, she was hilarious and her passion was contagious.

The three of them each took a main session, there were breakouts to attend throughout the weekend and then at the very end, the three of them did a Q&A session with us. This was by far my favorite part of the weekend. It is amazing to me the rawness and vulnerability people express when asking a question anonymously. (They wrote in questions.) Questions ranged from Christy’s lipstick color (which was a MAC color and made my heart happy) to things I’d be too embarrassed to even mention on here.

I know I’m only 27 and have years ahead of me to mess up, but I didn’t want to be, and still don’t want to be, just a statistic.

One girl geared her question specifically to Christy asking her how she gets to do what she does? For those of you who don’t know, Christy Nockels is not only gifted, but an extremely anointed worship leader. She serves the Lord with such grace and humility. This girl in particular had felt called to be in ministry similar to Christy’s and wanted some guidance. I totally understand that.

Like always, Christy was so gracious and had such wise words to share along with words of encouragement.

I was glued to her as she shared her journey with us. Not that I felt called to that particular area of ministry, but we’re all called to something and I so badly wanted to know how to know what I was called to and how to pursue that calling.

She said one thing at the end that is forever etched on my heart.

“Bloom where you’re planted.”

Serve where you are. Do the mundane thing. It may be mundane to you, but it’s certainly not mundane to God. Even if it’s something you don’t enjoy at the moment, rest assured, you probably will not be doing it the rest of your life. Be faithful in the little things. Be faithful in general. Stay committed.

If you told me in high school that I’d be working in ministry one day, I would have laughed in your face. Not because I disliked church and not because I didn’t love Jesus. I loved each of those things, but my heart was always drawn to teaching. As in, decorate my own second grade classroom kind of teaching. I was the little girl that grew up playing school.

However, during my senior year of high school the Lord really started stirring up different passions in my heart personally. I wasn’t sure what it all meant or what would come of it, but instead of sitting on it, I sought counsel and leadership from some older and much wiser ladies about what was going on to hopefully makes some sense of all the Lord been birthing in me.

Hindsight is always 20/20 so what I know now is that the Lord was clearly shifting my desires. Aren’t you so thankful for His leadership? And the fact that He knows what’s best for us? And for people in your life who can speak truth and life into you? And for His Word that is a lamp unto our feet? I could go on and on.

That year I actually applied for an internship with a traveling girl’s ministry and I was turned down. I was heartbroken, but knew that if the Lord had truly placed these desires to work with girls in my heart, he’d be faithful and guide me to serve in other ways. Although he shut that door, I decided to press on instead of give up and bail out doubting everything I was feeling. But I also trusted that the Lord would change my desires if I wasn’t called to that specific area of service.

My freshman year of college I stayed home and attended a community college here. During that year, I helped lead a small group of freshman girls. It was a good taste of teenage drama, yet I loved them so much.

When I went off to college that next year, I immediately got involved in a Christian sorority, Sigma Phi Lambda and through the next three years served as chaplain, rush captain and little things here and there. Do you see how the Lord threw me into girl’s ministry long before I made it my actual career?

As graduation neared, the desire to work in ministry exploded. I don’t think I talked about it a lot because it kind of scared me. After all, I went to school to learn how to be a teacher, not how to lead or speak to teenage girls. Or work in a church. That was a totally different ballgame.

But God is faithful and his grace is perfect. He opened doors in ministry that I never pursued on my own. I really struggled at that time with deciding whether to pursue teaching full time or take on the ministry position at church as the Girl’s Ministry Director. But how could I not take this ministry position when my heart was really there? When I look back I see how he really prepared me for this exchange of career paths. It is a beautiful thing.

Had I tried on my own, I can honestly tell you that I wouldn’t be doing what I am doing today. The Lord planted a seed in me years ago with a heart for young women, and I simply watered it along the way, again, by His still small leading, His still small voice. I tried my hardest to do what I felt He called me to do for that season and honestly, that’s all I still know to do.

It’s one thing to be passionate about something and walk out that passion, it’s another thing to think you’ve arrived. What does that really mean anyway? We won’t arrive until we reach Heaven’s gates. That’s our goal after all, is it not?

I don’t know what’s next for me or for you. But I can say with confidence and with experience that God is faithful. If He’s been faithful in the past, we can be sure that He’ll most certainly be faithful in the present and future. However, we must humbly throw ourselves under his hand. Under His leadership.

Trust the desires he’s given you. But check to make sure they’re desires that exalt Christ and not yourself. I could be really off saying this, but I’m not sure he’ll grant us selfish desires that steal his glory. He won’t waste His glory on us. Selfish idols and desires are things that rarely get his blessing, if ever.

How many times does he say in the Psalms that He satisfies our desires with good things. These are the desires that are rooted in what pleases and exalts Him. (Psalm 103:5, Psalm 145:16)

Bloom where you’re planted. And no matter what, don’t ever quit serving, dear sister.

“Don’t bother your head with braggarts 
or wish you could succeed like the wicked. In no time they’ll shrivel like grass clippings
 and wilt like cut flowers in the sun. Get insurance with God and do a good deed, settle down and stick to your last.
 Keep company with God,
 get in on the best. Open up before God, keep nothing back; he’ll do whatever needs to be done:
He’ll validate your life in the clear light of day
 and stamp you with approval at high noon. Quiet down before God, be prayerful before him.
 Don’t bother with those who climb the ladder,
 who elbow their way to the top.” Psalm 37:1-7 (The Message)

Yahoo BookmarksDeliciousTwitterFacebookGoogle BookmarksPrintFriendlyStumbleUponShare

LPL Long Beach – Recap Video

Good morning, y’all! Here is the Long Beach LPL recap video for those of you that were able to attend and for those of you that enjoy watching to get a little taste of what the Lord did. I happen to be in the latter category. Grin. If you were there, we’d love to hear how the Lord spoke to you. Enjoy, friends!

Living Proof Live Long Beach 2012 from David Lowe on Vimeo.

Yahoo BookmarksDeliciousTwitterFacebookGoogle BookmarksPrintFriendlyStumbleUponShare

Long Beach LPL – Scholarship Ticket Giveaway

Good morning, y’all! I feel like it’s been forever since I’ve actually gotten on here and said hello, but thankfully, our sweet Siesta Mama has kept you all busy. But, today I come to you with more of  a business item rather than pleasure. At least it’s fun business!

This post is becoming so routine that these days we have people calling weeks in advance for scholarship tickets. Thanks to our Siesta Scholarship fund it is our great joy to get to do this, but I just wanted to graciously remind you that these tickets are truly for those that honestly don’t have a dime to spare but so desire to attend the conference. Please know y’all are really so good about this, but a friendly reminder here and there doesn’t hurt and it really helps out our Kimberly when she’s answering phones and explaining what these tickets are about!

So, with that said, we DO have 20 scholarship tickets for this weekends Living Proof Live in Long Beach. If you qualify, please call our office toll free at 1.888.700.1999 during regular business hours (8:30 – 4:30 CST) and ask for Kimberly Meyer. If you happen to reach us while we’re at lunch, leave a message and Kimberly will get back to you.

We love y’all so much. As always, prayers for Beth and the team are appreciated. They head out today and are thrilled to see you all! Have a great Thursday!

Yahoo BookmarksDeliciousTwitterFacebookGoogle BookmarksPrintFriendlyStumbleUponShare

The Beauty in the Threadbare

I won’t publish this post until Monday morning but I’m writing it to you a little after 6:00 PM on Sunday evening. I’m only giving myself a little while to finish it so that I won’t awaken tomorrow morning wanting to whisper, woe is me, it’s work, work, work. Blah, blah, blah. Work martyrs are fake martyrs. They don’t count. They’re too self-important. It dawned on me about 2 years ago that no one was making me work nonstop but me so why, then, did I want to find somebody to blame for driving this skeleton like a shovel into quicksand? Anyway, I want to dance with my grandchildren at their weddings.

So, wonders never cease, some things in my life actually changed for a change but that’s another story for another time.  I like work. That’s the biggest issue. I love it even. But the body makes certain demands that are harder to ignore in more, how shall I say, seasoned years. That there is not always energy to spare after decades of flying high on fumes has been a glorious, unsolicited gift to me and one that came as a shock after major surgery and a serious cancer threat. I have savored what I do – researching, studying, serving – and what God has placed around me – many friends and fellow sojourners – and what I get to experience in my 4-generation family so much more in an ever-so-slightly less revved up gear.

For instance, I’m more apt to let time suspend for a few seconds and count the steps it takes for Annabeth to run to me from the car with a smile stretched from sea to shining sea. And I make notes – at least mental and sometimes actual handwritten – of the statements that cause the most prominent lisps with Jackson’s three missing front teeth. Friday night I had to purely look away at the dinner table when he said, “Did my mommy show you the pictures of the two postcards they sent?” Show-pictures-postcards-sent. Perfect. I tried to act like I was reflecting with my elbow on the table and my chin on my fist while I steeled myself to answer, “No, but she told me about them. I want to see them!” (It was everything I could do not to ask him to please repeat the question.) Amanda and I laughed later until we nearly had to kick our legs for relief.

I thank God for lessons only time can adequately teach and for still leaving room for airplanes, short nights, hikes, books, Bible dictionaries, and bikes. And still a fair amount of revving up. I’m not sure I could bear revlessness.

My man’s been gone for the day so it was all mine for the taking. I had a reflective, worshipful morning at church despite four shots of coffee strong enough to cleanse the sinuses and shear the throat like a spring sheep. (Remind me to get Jackson to read that sentence later.) I sat next to my firstborn on the front row and received a word about forgiveness from a pastor I greatly respect and took the Bread and the Cup with a depth of seriousness that made them feel especially healing to me. Maybe even filling. I was touched in my soul when I saw the elements on the edge of the stage in the chapel, just waiting to be served. I had not known we were to receive them but I had hoped. Right at the Clay Road exit on Beltway 8 as I was nearing our church that morning, a few lines turned in my head. I jotted them down in the parking lot.

O Glorious Lord’s Day

Our souls to awake

Saints to be gathered

Awash in glad grace

Called to the table

Jesus the Head

Partake, all you ransomed ones

By love come be fed.

I love church. What a harbor it has been to me through the years. I love the Table. I love its Head. My life would be a black hole without Christ and the communion of saints.

I drove my nearly 40 minutes home from church, fired up the stove and heated up Keith’s homemade chicken soup from yesterday – perfect for our first bona fide autumn day in Houston, Texas – and I ate a blistering bowlful by a wide-open book. Satisfied and sleepy, I heaved myself into the king-size hammock my coworkers gave me last year and held on tight till it quit swinging. It takes about 3 minutes. I read a little more, laughed, sighed, reflected. This is said hammock. I clipped this particular shot the day before.

Then, after a cup of tea, I pulled on my rubber boots to pay up on that promise of a walk I’d made to Queen Esther who’d nearly knocked me out of the hammock earlier, book sent flying, with her obsessive compulsion for closeness.

I was only about three minutes into our usual walk in the country when I said to the air what I’ve said to Keith one hundred times. “This is my favorite spot on this walk.” So I pulled out my iPhone to take a picture of it for at least the 15th time. I’m not exaggerating. I take the same exact shot over and over. Then I looked at it, blew out my lips in frustration and said again to the air, “I can never get this picture to turn out as fabulous as this really is.”

Then I looked at it again. And that’s when I realized for the very first time that the reason why I can never fully capture the beauty of it is because it’s really not all that spectacular. Quaintly pretty, yes. To us nature lovers anyway. Maybe a four. Maybe just a three.

But, it’s not what high-dollar sightseers would throw hand to chest over, bracing for visually-induced coronary thrombosis, exclaiming Breathtaking! Stunning! Well, I never!

No, now, THIS is the kind of thing you clutch your heart over:

I took that picture from a Delta airplane window exactly two years ago just before landing in that valley for a couple of days. I’m not sure there is a place more beautiful than Jackson Hole, Wyoming in the pioneered universe. Not to me anyway. But somehow when I’m there I can never get past the sight of it. I always plan to do my most creative writing there but I rarely do. Somehow, when nothing is left to my imagination, well, then…nothing is left to my imagination. It’s all filled up. And that’s that.

That’s the revelation I got today. The reason I can’t capture the beauty in these crude woods on camera is because it’s a beauty felt more than seen. It doesn’t scream anything. It won’t interrupt you while you’re talking. It doesn’t beg anyone to pen or paint it.

Simple things tend to have more manners. They won’t say a word if you don’t let them. If we don’t shut up, they will. But it will be our loss.

The beauty in the threadbare. The beauty in the unswept scenes that refuse to finish everything out for you. Or think for you. They leave the spiderwebs to walk into and the realistic fear of a snake slithering by. They leave you to have to kick the dried-up mud off your boots when you get home and to run the water hose over your slobbering dog. And, while you’re at them, they won’t leave you so speechless you can’t answer the phone in your back pocket. Go right ahead if you want to. And sometimes you’ll be glad you did. But other times, you might just get that sense that you walked and talked right past something special, if only vaguely special in a world overwrought with specialties.

The chance not only to see beauty.

But to feel it.

May God grant us this day a whisper of His beauty that sweeps right past our vision and dives deeply like a stream into our world-parched souls.

 

Yahoo BookmarksDeliciousTwitterFacebookGoogle BookmarksPrintFriendlyStumbleUponShare

So, who are we, everybody?

Saturday morning update: OH MY WORD, YOU GUYS! THIS TURNED OUT TO BE ONE OF MY FAVORITE THINGS EVER ON THIS BLOG! SO MUCH FUN! You guys are incredibly interesting. I am knocked out right now with a sense of awe that God would allow me to interact with you. I have tons of respect for you guys. Keep doing the thing and keep resisting the cookie cutter despite the (Christian??) social pressure. You are much more interesting this way. Just hold close to Jesus and don’t let being different become it’s own pretense or attention-getter. Keep that gorgeous authenticity that makes this community my favorite cyber spot on earth. Good grief, I am so thankful for y’all.

 

Hey, everybody! It’s been a long time since we’ve done a survey to see who God has brought together to form this sisterhood. It’s a blast not only to behold our common bonds in Christ but to revel in our diversity as a community of very different people committed to one glorious Savior. We’d be bored stiff if we only opened our hearts and lives to those who are just like us. If we have to line up exactly on about 100 points of doctrine, we are liable to get pretty lonely. We don’t even necessarily have to work out a difference to our mutual satisfaction to treat one another with mutual esteem and to honestly love one another. Always preferring someone remarkably similar across the table from us still smells a lot like Narcissus. We may even be fooling ourselves but, at the end of the day, it’s just another form of mirror gazing. Gross.

When I get to see a group of you out there after a Living Proof Live, I always wish I could freeze the moment and stare at each of you one by one. It is the most incredibly refreshing sight. You cannot fathom how different we look in person, all banded together in a holy huddle. It makes me so dang happy. It is clear in that context that we were drawn together by something so far removed from packaging. You and I know that is Jesus. Oh, how I pray that God smiles when He drops in on this community, holds time tightly in His hand, and stares at each of us one by one.

“These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full. This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.” John 15:11-12

OK! What do you say we do a survey? Complete each of the following as succinctly as possible. Lindsee and I will LOVE bringing these in. Let’s do this today for the pure Jesus-joy of celebrating community!

1. Your name and where you live.

2. Your age or general age grouping (grin)

3. When did you accept Jesus as your personal Savior and, in briefest possible terms, what was the setting?

4. What line of work are you in? Or, if you’re in school, tell us where and what line of work you’re steering toward. (Do not hesitate to tell us you’re a stay-at-home-mom. No harder work exists nor longer hours.)

5. What is your #1 hobby?

6. Are you currently invested in a local body of believers? If so, which one?

7. Do you have pets? If so, you surely know we’ve got to know what kind.

8. Your biggest recent disappointment – slash – your biggest recent elation.

9. Describe your idea of the perfect Saturday.

10 Complete this sentence: Only people who really know me realize that I am ___________________________________________________________________.

 

Yahoo BookmarksDeliciousTwitterFacebookGoogle BookmarksPrintFriendlyStumbleUponShare

Pop Quiz!

Hey, Sweet Things! How about a pop quiz?? Come on, let’s do it! But only under one condition: NO CONDEMNATION. Not one iota and I mean it. If you’re down on yourself today or somebody’s made you feel dumb or if you’ve been compulsively running like a wild woman from every spiritual discipline like we all do sometimes, you get a hall pass. This is just for fun for those who think this kind of thing is a bit exhilarating. Translation: it’s Nerd Day in Siestaville. If you’re not into the classroom thing, pass this post by and catch up on some old ones. We’ll post a new one soon.

For those of you who want to participate, please limit your comments to the question number and briefest possible response. Some of them will be simple yeses and nos. On the questions that apply, you can by all means use your Bibles but try to answer as many as possible without them. You might consider the object of the game to see how fast you can answer all of these amid the page flipping. Needless to say,  you’ll need to answer your questions without reading any of the comments first. Cheating would be a tad counterproductive. Grin. You might do the test on a Word document then copy and paste it in your comment.

1. Have you been in the Scriptures today?

2. If so, what’s the primary verse you remember?

3. What is the major theme God seems to have going with you right now? (Answer in a phrase)

4. What is your favorite translation of the Bible just for the pure pleasure of reading?

5. By what Name did God tell Moses He would be known throughout all generations?

6. To what individual did Jesus say, “Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me?”

7. How long had the man at the pool of Bethesda been an invalid?

8. For what courageous statement is Queen Esther most well known?

9. What did Potiphar’s wife keep of Joseph’s?

10. What three men did the Apostle Paul consider to be the pillars of the church?

11. What day of the week did the Apostle John receive his first post-ascension vision of Christ?

12. Those of us who are in Christ have not received a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear. What exactly did we receive instead according to that same context?

13. Name three characteristics of the Proverbs 31 woman.Try to answer first from memory.

14. Who fell asleep during one of Paul’s sermons and dropped out of the window?

15. When Isaiah saw the Lord high and lifted up, how many wings did the seraphim around Him have?

16. What two godly men had a falling out in the Book of Acts? Who was it over?

17. Name five sets of married couples in the Bible.

18. In one word, what is your biggest challenge right now?

19. Name two people you’ve encouraged today.

20. Why did Jesus marvel in Mark 6:6?

21. Are you actively getting to practice loving someone you’re pretty sure can’t stand you right now? (No names please) If so, how long have you been in this process?

22. What are the names of the firstborn son and his brother in Genesis 22:21?

23. What would the sons of Korah rather do than dwell in the tents of wickedness?

24. Who penned the Book of Hebrews?

25. What runaway slave did Paul send back to his master, asking him to receive him graciously as a brother?

Bonus: Are you memorizing a Scripture right now? If so, tell it to us!

 

Thanks so much for playing today! If you hated it, we’ll try to do something you like better soon.

You’re a huge blast to me.

Beth

 

 

 

 

 

Yahoo BookmarksDeliciousTwitterFacebookGoogle BookmarksPrintFriendlyStumbleUponShare