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
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.
“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.
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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.
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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.
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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!
168: Katie Elizabeth
1390: Regan Vickery
1021: Lea H.
1265: Pam Davis
669: Janet Simonitch
631: April H.
1567: Jan Horne
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!
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:
And here is each item separately.
Mud Pie butter dish and gravy ladle:
Brighton Bracelet with The Lord’s Prayer engraved on it:
A framed picture to remind you to smile and & a pair of swirl earrings handcrafted by my good friend David Lowe:
Sur la Table Pie dish & server:
Boot socks, an infinity scarf, and another pair of earrings by David Lowe:
Pewter pumpkin bowl and spreader:
Urban Decay neutral eye shadow palette: (I love, love, love their eye shadows. Wearing some this very second.)
Peony soap, soap dish, and fingertip towels:
Salt cellar and salt:
Pumpkin spice candle:
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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Happy Monday to you all! And thank you, Rich Kalonick, for this excellent recap. Let us hear from you if you were in San Diego this weekend. It looks like it was not only a powerful weekend, but a fun one as well! Glory to God! (P.S. Watch to the very end!)
Beth is so excited to see you at the Living Proof Live in San Diego this weekend! Who is going?
In keeping with our new initiative, we have some tickets set aside and available for you to give to some friends you might want to invite to an LPL event. They might not even attend church, or know Jesus as Savior; they might be new to faith, or simply less discipled in the Word. If the Lord puts someone on your heart that might be interested (or maybe not yet interested), by all means call them up and invite them. You never know what kind of investment you’re making in their life!
If you have someone in mind that can attend with you, or if someone told you about free tickets and pointed you to our blog, or if you stumbled across this blog and don’t know why, just call and ask for Kimberly here at the ministry and she will get you set up: 1-888-700-1999. (Not 800.)
Oh, that our people would taste and see that Jesus is good; that they would be willing to enter in even if just for 24 hours to hear that Jesus DOES exist, HE IS the Savior, and He is LIFE! If while inviting a friend you need a ticket yourself, we want to gift you a ticket also.
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Just ramblings here today, my beloved sisters! If you’ve got something better to do, do it! It had just been a while since I’d said, “This is what Keith’s up to, what Amanda and Curtis are up to, what Melissa is up to…”
And a basic little devo at the end.
Felt like putting something up that was mostly just personal and across-the-table-from-you-at-Starbucks-ish. But I couldn’t resist throwing a word in there at the end. That’s all that really sticks to our ribs anyway.
I think about you guys continually and love you so much!
With tremendous joy, I’d love to introduce you to Johnnie Haines, one of the dearest friends I’ve ever had. She is my coworker here at Living Proof but, girlfriend, she was my coworker long before either of us dreamed there would ever be an actual ministry building. We go way, way back to the days when my tiny dining room was stacked to the sky and strewn to the winds with the complete chaos of somebody who’d just fallen in love with the Scriptures. I’ll hand this to her and let her tell you a little bit about our story together.
Hi, my name is Johnnie and I am blessed to answer your emails concerning Bible Studies here at Living Proof Ministries. This week I received an email from a young woman who wanted to know how she could get started writing and teaching Bible Studies. She wanted to know how Beth got started. The answer to that question was just too long for an email answer so I thought I might share with all of you a little bit of Living Proof history.
I met Beth in the fall of 1980. I had one little boy and I had just left the corporate world to stay home with my little guy. I applied for a part time job to teach Mother’s Day Out at my church. There just happened to be an opening in a classroom where another young mom was teaching. That young mom had one little girl and she, like me, was looking for a little income to supplement the family budget. I was introduced to Beth Moore and we became fast friends on the very first day. (This is me, Beth, with a short interjection: picture that I had a side pony-tail and my skirt was too short.) We bonded over peanut butter sandwiches and little children. (Beth again: we ate their leftovers.) As time went on, we solved most of our world’s problems either at her kitchen table or mine. We worked on our marriages, our homes and our extended families. (Beth again: what Johnnie is not telling you is that I’d sometimes decide to leave Keith after he’d head out for work but drop by her house on my way to my mother’s and she’d talk me into going back to him by afternoon. It is such a funny, warm memory to me now. Gotta have friends like that. She’d listen. She’d understand. Then after a few hours, she’d ask me if I felt better after talking it out and I always did. Then I’d go on back home without Keith knowing that I’d left him that day. Now, back to Johnnie…) We both went on to have another child, me a boy, she another girl. Our children were raised jointly between us. Life was good for these two young moms in northwest Houston.
After a few years, God opened different doors for ministry for us both. Beth taught Sunday School and had begun to speak at churches outside our area. I was the Director of Women’s Ministries at a local church. She wanted a place to teach week-day Bible Study and I had a group that needed a teacher! For the first couple of semesters, she prepared and taught faithfully. Then, the women wanted homework of all things. We prayed about it and Beth knew God was calling her to write, so she decided to see how God was going to work it all out.
By now, we both had young school age children. So, as soon as the bus picked up her girls, she sat down at her dining room table and began to work on a “word-processor.” It was long before computers and she was blessed to have a glorified typewriter that had a little bit of memory. As soon as mine got on the bus, I headed to the church to my job there. By 2:30, she was getting up from the dining room table to get ready to welcome the girls back home and get dinner ready for the family. I was doing the same thing at my house.
Bible study met on Thursday mornings at 9:30. Most weeks, she would finish the week’s homework on Wednesday afternoon. I would leave my office and run by her house to pick up the work she had placed in her mailbox. As soon as my family was fed dinner, I would leave my husband in charge and run to the church and begin copying the homework, loading it in the back of my mini-van as I finished. Each week was more than 30 pages in length. On Thursday morning, I would unload the mound of pages on to tables in the fellowship hall of my church. Ladies volunteered to come in early and put them together for the almost 300 women who would show up faithfully at 9:30. For those of you who are into details, that was over 9000 sheets of print each week!
I’m not sure either of us imagined what God was going to do with those studies. She wrote 3 studies for our little group before the first one was ever published. It was an amazing thing for me to hold that first workbook in my hand and then pass them out to my women for Bible Study. I was so blessed to share her hard work with my women. I still feel the very same way when someone calls to order a study for their women’s group or ask a question about the studies.
So, to answer that young woman’s question, “How do I get started writing Bible Studies?” I would tell you to work hard right where you are today. Use the talents, circumstances, and resources God has given you today. Study hard, surrounding yourself with good teachers. Be faithful with today’s gifts, trusting Him with the results of tomorrow. You just never know what may happen!