Hey, my dear sisters!
Although I won’t post this until Tuesday, I’m writing to you on the afternoon of Sunday the 10th. This is about the thousandth time I’ve corresponded with you from somewhere around an altitude of 27,000 feet. I’m on my second Delta flight of the day, heading home to Houston with so many memories of the last 8 months swimming around in this blond head. As many of you know because you so faithfully prayed us through, we wrapped up our final Living Proof Live event for 2013 this weekend. God just flat-out could not have given us a louder, more wonderful congregation at the Ocean Center in Daytona Beach, Florida for a finale. They wanted Jesus and, in His unfathomable grace, He showed Himself faithful.
As any of you in a travel-oriented ministry know, life is all the while taking place while you live out a schedule that was set in stone way before you got a whiff of what the year would hold. We’re better off that way, aren’t we? If we could see what was coming, we’d insult the grace of God by our faithlessness that He’d not come through when the time came to meet the need. The greater Moore family – and, by that, I mean Amanda’s 4 Jones, Keith’s parents who live next door, Melissa, my man and me – have had a year with as much upheaval and pain as we have met in a decade.
Jesus graciously allowed Keith and me to have, hands-down, the most peaceful year of our marriage. You know the kind of people who are carefree and smooth sailing? Well, that would not be us. We both tend to be on the feisty side. And I write that with a smile. I’ve been so thankful for this, our closest-ever kiss of bliss. I don’t know what we would have done otherwise. Our children and our parents needed us badly. Needed Jesus badly. We just tried to be constant and present reminders that He was there and that we were right beside them. And we ate a lot. Sometimes that’s the best way to show a little extra love around here. We are a close family and close families laugh together and cry together and, in our clan, when an unforeseen collision happens, all of us are in the car. Some are in the front seat. Some in the back. But, make no mistake, we’re all in the car. And that’s how we want to be. I know many of you can relate.
So, through many ups and downs, twists and turns, needs and bleeds, we’ve lived these last many months on drips, streams, and gushes of God’s grace. I’ve flown north, south, east, and west this year earning Platinum status on United and turning on my cell phone at the first touch of the wheels on the tarmac to see if everybody at home was okay. I could cry typing and not just over memories that make my heart ache but because Jesus has been so faithful to us. He has gotten us through. He’s still getting us through. And He will get us through again in 2014 when we, then, live out a schedule etched on the calendar before we had any idea what was coming.
Jesus is coming. That’s what I know. And that’s why we Moores and Jones will stay at it, come what may.
With the finish of our last Living Proof Live event for the year and with your patience, I thought I might introduce you to some of the people I have the privilege to serve alongside. Some are more familiar to you because you’ve seen them on the platform but all are huge, vital contributors to the ministry that takes place. Most of them come from Nashville, Ron (security) comes from Louisville, Shela-Lyn, our beautiful and gifted sign language interpreter, comes from Phoenix, and I am the lone but happy traveler from Houston. Some come by 18 wheelers to the events with all the big equipment. The rest of us fly but the end result is the same: we arrive and get to work. There is not a single slouch. We couldn’t make it with a lazy team. We’ve never found a formula or a system that works every time. We have to be ready for almost anything and I do mean spiritually, physically, emotionally, and technically. Everybody multitasks and nobody quips, “That’s not my job.”
All of our job descriptions have morphed through the years. If something needs doing, somebody just gets up and does it. For instance, Ron doesn’t just run security. He sets out the elements for my team and me to take communion before the opening on Friday night. Rich used to just be in charge of picking me up at the airport and driving me to the event and keeping a general eye out for me. While he still does the driving (because we will not let him go), he also developed into a spectacular, in-demand professional photographer and, because of him, we have the whole LPL lifetime archived in pictures. He is also our resident foody, although you wouldn’t know by looking at him, and he does the restaurant planning.
Well, if I don’t stop this, you’ll get bored and I’ll never get done so let me get to the fun part: some pictures that I just happen to have on my cell phone.
Here’s all of us, the Living Proof Live team:
I love them so much I could bawl. Here is the praise team and a few of our other hardworking buddies like Stephen Proctor who runs and masterminds our visual worship (in the very back) right after the simulcast this year.
Here’s me and my old dead man of sin at the simulcast. Laughing. (If you weren’t there, this was a way of illustrating Romans 6.)
Here’s the whole LifeWay women’s event team (that puts on LPL) all living out their dream of being the praise team. Makes me so dang happy. That’s Flat Travis with them in case he looks a bit…well…flat. They are stellar women and hilarious. I’ve had the joy of serving with a publisher full of people who pursue Jesus Christ at fever-pitch. I do not take it lightly.
This picture was taken when we all first got to Daytona Beach and met up for team supper on Thursday night. Betsy oversees all our LPL events and we’re nuts about her. Susan provides something for us beyond all price. She welcomes those who receive Christ as Savior, prays with anyone who needs it, and often counsels women at the event who are really hurting. Paige Green, right next to me, oversees all LifeWay women’s events (like dot.mom, Priscilla Shirer Live, etc.) If Paige and I lived in the same city, we might be BFF. I love working with her so much but she is also a personal friend. I even love her mother. It’s that kind of thing. That’s our buddy, Stephen Proctor, on the other side.
Saturday night after the event, a small handful of us braved the amusement park there on the boardwalk in Daytona Beach and, honestly, we laughed like 10 year-olds. I’m scared of rides, by the way, but my fears meant nothing to this team but grounds for mockery and scorn. Once a gauntlet is thrown down, my pride usually exceeds my fear which is why I’m on this ridiculous roller coaster. And why we rode it over and over and over. Trav took this picture of Angela (his wife, dear as blood-kin to me), Paige, Bradford (who works at Travis’s church in Jackson, TN and is often a part of our team on the road) and me.
This action shot of Ang and me absolutely kills me. Please try to wrap your head around our Texas and Tennessee hair. It looks as though we are battling the very flames of hell but, clearly from our expressions, God is giving us the victory.
Ang is one of the most powerful women of prayer I know and, Girlfriend, I know some. I work with a whole staff of them. We’ve been doing something different in the 3rd session of Living Proof Live this year, spending a good bit of it in intercessory prayer for whatever segment of women the Holy Spirit lays on our hearts. Here I asked Angela to pray over all the moms in the room who are still actively raising children. The whole picture moves me so much. Look at the men on the front row (Travis and the guys on our praise team) pressing in. You’ll also see our friend Christine Caine on the edge of the shot (standing). We were amazed with her busy schedule that she’d come and attend this LPL. (She was speaking at a large church in the area the next day.) She has two of the cutest daughters you’ve ever seen so, in this picture, she is very actively engaging in prayer as a recipient. I asked Christine to pray over the young women in the room just minutes before Ang prayed because she has a divine gift for mobilization like few people I have ever met. I’ve heard from a number of those young women on Twitter saying what a powerful time it was.
I suppose I’ve just about worn you out by now, haven’t I? So I’ll go ahead and wrap up our 2013 LPL wrap-up. This is Travis, my dear and true son in the faith, Bradford and me on that silly roller coaster.
That picture sums up the entire 16 year journey of Living Proof Live. Jesus has been outrageously faithful on this ride and allowed us to worship Him and seek Him with congregations of the most fabulous and diverse women we could ever have imagined serving. We want so much to lift Jesus higher and higher next year, to say His Name louder and louder, and to proclaim His Word clearer and clearer. If God chooses to increase His glory through these events in the coming years and make this group of Jesus freaks the least bit useful through His magnanimous grace, then we’ll have cause to keep doing this.
The team and I won’t go back on the road together until next April because I (ecstatically!) start Tuesday night Bible study in Houston in January then head back to Australia right after it concludes in mid-March. When I land back in the States, it will be time to pack the LPL suitcase again. By that time, if I don’t have the manuscript for Children of the Day complete and turned in, I may be fried like a chicken.
Thank you for humoring me today with my sappy sentimentality over my beloved team. I am nuts about them. As wild as we are about one another, we have one thing on our minds the moment the event is over: getting back home to our people. My darling and me. There is no place like home.