Happy Monday, friends! Here is the video recap for Spokane. We cannot wait to hear all about your weekend! Much love today!Leave a comment here. | Share with Others:
Allow me to reintroduce myself to you: My name is Lindsee, I was born and raised in Houston, TX, I’m tall with brunette hair and…
I’m only kidding.
It’s been well over two weeks since I’ve poked my head around these parts of the LPM Blog. While I literally keep the blog up on my computer screen at all times during the workday, I’ve only been present behind the scenes. I’ve not said hello!
So, hello! Or, howdy. Or, hi. Or, aloha. Or, whatever synonym you can come up with.
About two weeks ago I set out with my sweet roommate and we headed west to the great state of California.
(Is this where I admit my jealousy for you fine folks that live there ALL THE TIME. My word, it is stunning in every way. Minus the earthquakes, which, thank you, Jesus, I did not have the pleasure of experiencing.)
Anyway, one of the beauties of being single is having a little more freedom to travel, if you have the vacation time. I hadn’t used my vacation time to actually take a real life vacation in a while, so I did just that. We spent six days traveling all over Northern California, gallivanting through San Francisco, driving down The 1 (are you proud of me for using “The 1” correctly?), stopping every 15 minutes on the highway to take it all in, pulling out our iPhones trying to capture the beauty in pictures, rested, rode a few cable cars, ate some incredible food, were fascinated by all manner of people watching, toured Napa, stood inside big Redwood Trees and other fun things like that.
Listen, if you’re a creature of habit like I tend to be and desire to vacation to the same places over and over again, can I just encourage you to take a risk and visit somewhere you’ve never been? There is so much joy in seeing different cities and cultures and meeting new people. Just try it. And if you hate it, by all means, go back to your happy place.
Needless to say, I’m beyond grateful for that precious time off and a sweet time of rest and renewal.
A few days after I got back I was at lunch with my coworkers when I confessed to them that I had gone on my trip with the expectation that the Lord would give me some big revelation about Himself, or some insight on things I was praying about when, lo and behold, I returned with a phone bursting of breathtaking pictures, fun memories galore, but a journal full of empty pages. Although I spent most of my trip in complete awe of the Lord’s stunning creation, I didn’t get my big revelation.
Right after I shared that thought over lunch, Beth, understanding this phenomenon, shared that often when she’s in a creative setting (Insert: The California Coast) is when she is less creative. She mentioned that usually it’s when she covers her eyes with her hands and can see absolutely nothing that the Lord gives her the most revelation because nothing is distracting her from her goal.
I realize it’s not impossible to get revelation, creativity, and inspiration in stunning places, as this may be where some of you thrive, but for me, it made so much sense. The more beautiful my surroundings the less creative I am because I don’t NEED to be creative! Light bulb moment for yours truly.
I’ve sat at my desk 28 times since then and shut my eyes to see what might be revealed, and still nothing but black, but I trust the Lord. I trust that when we seek Him with all our heart, we will find Him.
Because I tend to process things a little slower, I’ve thought about that statement every day since and tested it in myself to see if that is true of me, too. And, I think it is. Since then, I’ve realized that most of my inspiration, creativity, revelation or however you want to label it comes by sitting down with a friend over coffee, or simply reading. And sometimes, it just takes faith and a fresh piece of paper and a new pen.
Naturally, it got me thinking about all of you. Sometimes I read the comments from you ladies and am stunned at the revelations and words you share. The way the Lord uses you to encourage all of us stuns me. I often wonder what your relationship with Jesus is like. Isn’t it crazy that sometimes even through a computer screen we can sense someone’s intimacy with Jesus? Only God.
So I’m curious, where do you find that you are most creative? In what spaces does the Lord often reveal Himself to you? Is it on the beautiful coast of California, or in your day to day reflections and routines? When I was on staff at a church before coming to LPM, I was known to ‘preach’ to the students that they did not have to wait for summer camp for the Lord to do something big in their life. He wants to do something in us in the midst of our everyday lives. I still hold true to that. I’m a big fan of camp, and getting away, even Jesus did that, but I’m also a big fan of seeking Him in our routine days.
He is so faithful, my friends. So faithful.
And in case you needed some refreshment, look no further than the west coast.
Carmel, California. Yes, please!
You can’t go to San Francisco and not get a picture perfect postcard of the Golden Gate Bridge. Perfect Day.
Sunset at the Fisherman’s Wharf.
The 17 mile drive. Stunning.
Deep sigh. It only took seven days to fall in love with California. I miss it already.Leave a comment here. | Share with Others:
UPDATE: We are so excited to tell you that all of our tickets allotted to give away for Spokane have been shared! The Lord knows each name, and each need. We would be so grateful for your prayers over these and all attendees this weekend. Thank you, Siestas!
Good Tuesday, Ladies!
It’s a thunderstorm kind of morning here in Houston, but we gladly welcome the heavy rains! The rain may have slowed down traffic this morning, but it hasn’t stopped our beloved Beth from preparing for this weekends’ LPL in Spokane!
As Beth is hard at her studies, we want to remind you about our new ticket giveaway initiative. We are still experimenting how best to do our giveaways, so we thank you for your patience during this transition. Our desire and ongoing emphasis this year is toward those who may not know Christ at all, or maybe have never been discipled in His Word. Young, old, friend, or family, we welcome them. If while inviting them to attend, you yourself also need a ticket, then we by all means want to help you go.
Personal invitations are huge! Do not be discouraged if the friend or family member you asked declines your invite. No discouragement! Keep looking for open doors and open hearts and keep pressing on in prayer. I said to my roommate just a couple of weeks ago if I had not grown up in a family that believed in and loved Jesus, and took me to church every single week of my life, I wonder who would have told me about Jesus? Who would have invited me to church? To a conference? To Bible study? Let that sit on you today. As Believer’s, pointing others to Jesus is our job, and our joy; to tell those who don’t know about Jesus, or simply get them somewhere they will undoubtedly hear about Him. We are praying and believing for salvations this year!
With four days until the event, we still have some tickets for Spokane we would love to give away. And we will do so until the last one is snatched up. If you aren’t near Spokane, keep in mind upcoming LPL’s near you: 2014 Schedule Just call and ask for Kimberly here at the ministry, and she will get you set up: 1-888-700-1999
If you need a refresher on our new emphasis this year, or for some reason you missed it, just click here.
We love y’all so much!Leave a comment here. | Share with Others:
Happy Mother’s Day, Moms of all kinds! This post is especially for those who could stand to feel a little happier in their mothering. Below you’ll find the link to the file I reference in the latter half of the video. Watch it first so that you’ll get the context. This little video is not slick or well-rehearsed but it comes with earnestness and love. May Christ continue to perform miracles in your family and in your home. Nothing is too difficult for Him.
You are highly esteemed around here!Leave a comment here. | Share with Others:
OK, everybody! Here are the results of our random drawing for our book giveaways! I wish so much we could send one to each of you who entered. I so badly wanted some of the men to win! Bless them for posting on our blog today!
Please email LPM as soon as you can at firstname.lastname@example.org with the street address (no P.O. boxes please) where you want the personalized book sent and we will get right on it! Thank you! We are so blessed to serve you! Tons of love to you all.
Hey, Everybody! We would just love to do a drawing to give away 23 personalized copies of Feathers From My Nest for Mother’s Day. It’s the only official “Mom” book I’ve ever done. I wrote it with wet affection right after my youngest daughter went to college and it is still dear to me. The idea to do a random drawing for a giveaway occurred to me right at closing yesterday so I asked KMac and Evangeline to do a quick perusal and tell me how many copies we have on hand at the ministry. They looked on our resource shelf then around several tables and came up with exactly 23 copies. That’s the reason for the random number. If we find any more around the ministry, we’ll add those into the drawing and give them away, too! I wish I’d thought of it sooner and we would have placed an order for more but we’ll have fun with this many. I so hope some moms will enjoy it.
If you’re interested in winning one, here’s what you do: Leave a comment to this post with your own first and last name and then the first name of the person you want to receive it for Mother’s Day so that I can personalize it.
We’re going to do a really fast turn-around because we want to get them into the mail in time for Mother’s Day. That means we need to close the post at 11:30 AM this morning. We will then post the 23 winners at 12 noon today in a second post and ask them to jot us a brief email as soon as possible to supply us with a mailing address for the book.
Sound easy enough? Let’s do it!
So much love to you guys today!| Share with Others:
Hi Siestas! Many of you may have read Beth’s post from Monday about how she feels God directing our ticket giveaway for Living Proof Live. Thank you for your great feedback and encouragement as we seek to hear Him and follow His lead!
We still have leftover giveaway tickets for Hershey from our Monday post. Our initiative remains the same but 24-hours out, if we still have tickets, we want to give them away!
Call and ask for Kimberly here at the ministry, and we will get you set up: 1-888-700-1999
LPM loves you!Leave a comment here. | Share with Others:
OK, everybody! As of today we get to start implementing the directions God placed on my heart for our 2014 Living Proof Live ticket giveaways. For a number of years now, we’ve given away 15-20 tickets (dependent upon the availability of seats) per Living Proof Live event for our blog community. They were first come, first serve and the only qualification was the recipient’s inability to attend without a free ticket. We have had a blast with these “Siesta Scholarships” and felt very led of the Spirit to do them and rarely had a leftover giveaway ticket.
If you perchance read my January 1st post for this year, I shared how God strongly and repeatedly called me to start sowing into different fields in 2014. One huge reason for the shift in focus-group is to your tremendous credit. So many of you are staunch women of God who have been in His Word many years and love Jesus passionately and serve others sacrificially. I have never respected a large community of believers more. Our time on this planet is limited and our resources of energy, ability, and outreach are (at times disturbingly) finite. We are stewards here, entrusted by the Lord of the Harvest to make the most useful investments possible in this terrestrial soil. How will we spend the breath of time entrusted to us? How will God get the most glory out of our brief stay here? These have become my questions, particularly as I consider that, in all probability, I have fewer years of ministry ahead of me than I have behind me. This realization does not make me sad. It makes me bold.
Our new emphasis isn’t rocket science. In fact, it really shouldn’t have taken the lengths God has had to go for me to shake out of it but I’m a relational person who doesn’t like change. I like long histories with people. Blah, blah, blah. I won’t bore you with excuses. The shift of our primary focus at Living Proof Ministries is now officially toward women or girls…
Who don’t know Christ as Savior.
Who have accepted Christ as Savior but have not been discipled at all.
Who don’t know the hope and freedom of Christ.
Who don’t know much about His Word.
Who don’t study Scripture in-depth.
That’s who our ministry is primarily looking to serve right now, not out of convenience to us (because it’s, frankly, not as convenient as we’d hoped) but out of obedience to Jesus. And the fields are white for harvest and so immense that there is ample room and need for every single of one of us! Read that profile again. Those women outnumber the well-discipled by how many hundreds? If you’ve been a regular in this blog community and wonder if I’m saying that serving you is no longer a priority, please don’t misunderstand. The only shift is that I am begging to serve with you. You are giants to me. Try to fathom the fields we could cover if we locked arms. I could give you no greater compliment than to say that most of you already have what women are desperate to receive out there. Let’s go find them!
This is all preaching to the choir, of course. You know all of this and most of you are already doing all of this. You know me. I have to go back to the sundial just to tell you what time it is.
All said, as of today, we are increasing our number of giveaway tickets with great joy and designating them ONLY for guests that meet one of the qualifications listed above in bold print. In other words, anybody can claim a free ticket for someone new to Christ or His Word and willing to come to a Living Proof Live. This one will take sacrifice because, even if you don’t have the money to go, the ticket is not meant for you if you already have a growing relationship with Christ. That’s hard for me to say because I love and value you so much but I need to give our new initiative clarity to keep my staff from having to say it over and over on the phone. They are such servants and I want to take any heat myself for people who might get a bit disgruntled. With this new target group for scholarships, it may mean that you don’t even go to the event or live in the area but you know someone who would chance it if she had a free ticket. Could that be you? Then you qualify to get one for her. Are you beginning to see how it works?
In past years we’ve always posted the giveaways on the day before the event but we will now post them earlier to give you, our bloggers, time to make invitations and see who would go. If you find takers, here’s what you’ll need to do:
Call Living Proof Ministries toll free at 1-888-700-1999 (not 800! It’s 888!) and ask for (or leave a voice mail for) Kimberly Meyer or Susan Kirby. They will ask the name of your guest and arrange for her to have a ticket under her name at the “Will Call” window/desk at the event that Friday evening. You can claim more than one ticket as long as tickets are available, and if you know for certain that your guests are going to use them. Help us make sure the tickets go to good use.
I give you my word on this, my beloved sisters. The gospel of Jesus Christ will be proclaimed and a clear invitation to receive Him as Savior will be issued.
I’d like to say one more thing if you’d stick around another minute. I want to convey the depth of my gratitude to LifeWay Christian Resources. I wish all of you knew the people there with whom I get to work and serve. They’re worthy of being named and described and affirmed one by one but I would not even know where to stop. They work hard and weep with desire to see people know Christ. This new initiative resonated with them so deeply that they jumped on board and took all sorts of actions beyond what I asked. For instance, they have not just given away 50 free tickets to Hershey, PA LPL. They’ve given away several hundred and I expect they’ll take similar approaches to LPLs in other cities. I love the LifeWay Women’s event team and discipleship team so much. That they’ve stuck with me through thick and thin, through people talking smack, and through leadership of the Spirit they had to, at times, trust second-hand is profoundly humbling to me. I never take that lightly. We are very human people who don’t always get it right or do it well but this is real to us. Going forth to disciple people in Christ according to the Great Commission in Matthew 28:19 is the single most important goal in our lives.
OK, Girls! Hit it! Help me give away free tickets! I love you so much. I want very much to continue to partner with you to reach women who do not yet know our glorious, risen Hope.
P.S. If your wondering what cities Living Proof Live will be in over 2014 so you can join in the invitation initiative, here’s the link: LPL 2014 schedule . Please wait to claim free tickets for guests until the blog post for that city pops up here but, by all means, start thinking about who you might ask. I am so grateful, Sisters! May God bless you with a great harvest of souls in all He’s called you to do.Leave a comment here. | Share with Others:
*Before I ever saw the stunning post our dear Beth wrote and posted last Saturday, I also woke up Saturday with these words on my heart about the Holy Week. This will help you understand why I keep referring to Saturday. Grin. I love y’all!
I woke up this morning and after pondering my breakfast options, my thoughts immediately went to the weight of today. This quiet Saturday, or as some might label it; the wait.
What was everyone thinking? How was everyone processing this crucifixion they had just witnessed a mere 12 hours ago? What was running through the mind of Jesus’ mother Mary that went unrecorded in scripture? What thoughts was she pondering? How many tears had she shed that no one saw?
Days earlier these people were watching Jesus perform miracles. They thought they had found the Savior, but now they’d been robbed of their peace with no hope in sight. Saturday was the day all hope seemed lost. They didn’t realize yet that Sunday was coming.
For most of us, it’s the time in between that’s the foggiest. It’s the time in between that proves our character. It’s the time in between that makes us or breaks us.
Confusion sets in.
Hopelessness sets in.
Doubt sets in.
A lack of understanding sets in.
Coping sets in.
Disillusionment sets in.
Cynicism sets in.
Unbelief sets in.
Because when we’re robbed of something we felt sure of, even if it was Jesus Himself, we can’t help but wonder what in the world He’s doing.
The weight of waiting can feel unbearable at times, crushing even, and can seem longer and longer with each passing hour. As our dear Beth so eloquently penned it, “Sometimes waiting is the work.” And work it is, at least most days it feels like work. Working at fighting for joy, contentment, peace, solutions and whatever else we feel like we’re working for. Often times we’re fighting for identity.
Because we all know that though we label these times in between as waiting for something, whether it be a job, a husband, a baby, a breakthrough, a prodigal child returning home, a resolution to a conflict, a long suffering to end, whatever “it” is, they are really just times of refinement and we flat out do not like it because it’s uncomfortable. We grasp for control to no avail, and our ugly flesh is exposed. We either fall to our knees or run to comfort because the thought of facing pain or loneliness is almost unbearable. And while our coping appears to everyone as us looking for a solution, we’re really just looking for compassion. We just want someone to understand our pain without trying to fix it, because deep down inside we know Jesus is the only thing that can truly fix us. Instead of letting Him work everything out for good, we give our best efforts to work everything together for good.
The time in between…it’s the hardest.
But then, just when we have the confidence to face it head on, just as Mary couldn’t wait any longer to be near Jesus, near his physical body, a little light of hope breaks through. Because after all, over and over He tells us not to be troubled. Instead of finding him where we thought He was, He ends up somewhere completely different, somewhere we didn’t see coming.
In our home.
In our people.
In our workplace.
Jesus not only spent three days in a tomb, He also spent nine months in Mary’s womb. But yet we still continue to be shocked, stunned, and surprised at how He comes through! And it really was better than we could have imagined! And He really did work all the blood and bruising out for good! And it really does change everything. Our songs, our stories, they may be incomplete, but we still sing. We still sing because He is sovereign and His plans cannot be thwarted, try as we (or the enemy) might to thwart them. (Job 42:2)
Because that’s the kind of God He is.
The God who sees.
Who has compassion and solutions.
Who is our hope.
Who saw both Saturday and Sunday coming.
Who really did die for us so we could spend eternity with Him.
Who really does love us.
Who really doesn’t waste one minute of the time in between.
Who has provided everything we’ve needed thus far.
Who causes us to look back and see His hand of faithfulness all over our many seasons.
Who resurrects what’s been lying lifeless.
Who makes everything beautiful in His time.
Who gives us an identity, labeled us as a somebody dearly and eternally loved, despite what has or hasn’t come our way.
I know, because I’m currently living in a “time in between”.
And although confusion, discouragement, loneliness, mistrust, fog and anxiety have all set in on different days and different times, there is hope. And it is good.
And it is Jesus Christ himself. It always has been. So we fix our eyes on Him; and suddenly, the time in between doesn’t seem so hopeless, the weight, a little lighter.
As the old hymn so powerfully words it, “…all other ground is sinking sand.”
“O Israel, hope in the Lord! For with the Lord there is steadfast love, and with him is plentiful redemption.” Psalm 130:7Leave a comment here. | Share with Others:
It’s almost May and, around here, that means it’s time to announce our Siesta Summer Bible Study for those who are itching to take a journey together. In all these years of doing summer Bible study together here on the blog, we’ve never gone through one I’ve authored. The biggest reason is that I really love to go through other authors’ courses with our blog community. That’s a refreshing blast of Holy Spirit-breath to me and you can count on us doing that again next summer. The other reason is that the launch date of one of mine never coincided well with the beginning of summer. With Children of the Day (an in-depth study of 1st and 2nd Thessalonians) coming out in May, the timing works out perfectly. I ask you to trust my heart on this and know that we’re not doing the study this summer so that I can drive up sales. I can’t prove my motives to you but I give you my word. That’s all I know to do. Any of you who still find it uncomfortable can, by all means, choose another Bible study by a different author and feel completely welcome to formulate your group right here in the comment section to this post. Just start your comment with the words in all caps “ANOTHER OPTION” and get together on line and choose which Bible study you’d like to do. There are so many fabulous ones available. You have my complete and joyful blessing to use this community to put your group together. Any way we can serve you is a tremendous honor to us.
For those of you who would like to do Children of the Day with our community this summer, here are a few important facts:
* We’ll start Tuesday, June 3, 2014. Around here at Living Proof, we formed the habit of Tuesday Bible study over the years so that’s why we choose it as our gathering day but you are welcome to commit to any day of the week that works for you. Simply adapt the instructions to that particular day.
* Children of the Day is an 8-week study so we will wrap it up on Tuesday, July 29, 2014.
* As we’ve done in past summers, we’re only asking you to commit to “gather” with us and/or with your group every other week since summers are so busy. We will still stay on schedule for each week’s homework but you’ll only need to check in once every 2 weeks.
* I will put up a short video greeting here on the blog by 8:00 AM every other week on our gathering days, starting with Tuesday, June 3rd. The greeting will include instructions for discussion in your small groups or with the blog community at large. Your “discussion” with the blog community will take place through your response-comment to that post.
* We strongly recommend forming small groups for the pure camaraderie and accountability of it but you are also very welcome to go solo. The best small groups of all meet face-to-face but, if that’s not possible, try to formulate one on line. You might even Skype. Do whatever would benefit you the most and offer you the fellowship we all need so desperately.
* You only need the Children of the Day workbook to participate in the summer study. You don’t need to download the video sessions. All discussion questions will be based on the written work alone, as we’ve done in past summers, so that no one is forced into the extra expense. Each week we will put up a link to that week’s COTD video session for those who also want to include those but I will leave that option entirely to you. There will be no pressure whatsoever. People often ask if the video sessions and homework portions are the same lessons. They are not. They are designed to complement one another for a comprehensive approach to 1st and 2nd Thessalonians but they are not redundant. They are on different segments and concepts found in the 2 letters.
Does that answer many of your questions? OK, now for the schedule:
Between release date (first week of May) and June 3rd, acquire a workbook of Children of the Day but don’t start it yet! No homework needs to be done before our first gathering. The workbook looks like this:
You can find it at your local LifeWay Christian bookstore by the first week of May, or click here to order online at any time: COTD workbook
GATHERING ONE: June 3, 2014 – Our summer Bible study launches! By 8:00 AM that morning, God willing, you will find a brief video greeting from me and instructions for that day’s participation/discussion. Again, you can do it any day that week. We’re just choosing Tuesday as our official gathering day. You will “register” for summer Bible study by leaving a comment on the June 3rd post with your name and city and whether or not you are participating in a group or going solo. I will give you the specific instructions at that time. At the bottom of the post will be a link for that weeks’ full-hour Session 1 video if you choose to add on that option.
Do Weeks 1 and 2 of homework for Gathering Two.
(June 10th – link will go up for COTD Session 2 video for anyone going for that option.)
GATHERING TWO: Tuesday June 17, 2014. Brief video greeting from me and instructions for that day’s gathering or discussion. (Link for COTD Session 3 video for anyone taking that option.)
Do Weeks 3 and 4 of homework for Gathering 3.
(June 24th – Link will go up for COTD Session 4 video for anyone taking that option.)
GATHERING THREE: July 1, 2014. Brief video greeting from me and instructions for that day’s gathering or discussion. (Link for COTD Session 5 video for anyone taking that option.)
Do Weeks 5 and 6 of homework for Gathering Four.
(July 8th – Link will go up for COTD Session 6 video for anyone taking that option.)
GATHERING FOUR: July 15, 2014. Brief video greeting from me and instructions for that day’s gathering or discussion. (Link for COTD Session 7 video for anyone taking that option.)
Do Weeks 7 and 8 of homework for Gathering Five.
(July 22 – Link will go up for COTD Session 8 video for anyone taking that option.)
GATHERING FIVE CONCLUSION: July 29, 2014. Brief video greeting from me and instructions for that day’s gathering and closing. (Link for COTD Session 9 video conclusion for anyone taking that option.)
Here is the above schedule in diagram form thanks to my beloved assistant, K-Mac. You can enlarge it to see it better or copy and paste it to a document and print it out if you’re that kind of weird person…because I am, too:
Sound fun??!? Yep, it also sounds like a bit of work but not a single word of Scripture will drop to the ground. We can have confidence in advance that the pursuit of Christ through His Word will completely alter the summer of 2014. I’m ecstatic to have the privilege of spending these 8 weeks with you in Bible study. You are a tremendous joy to me. Our God-given emphasis right now at Living Proof is on stirring up women who are less-discipled in Scripture to come to love Christ through His powerful, living, relevant Word. We would be thrilled for you to help us by inviting some women along who have never before done this kind of thing. Take the chance and ask them! So many women have a hunger for God. They just don’t know exactly how to identify it. Bring them along if God opens that door!
Can’t wait to get started! Dearest love to you all!
BethLeave a comment here. | Share with Others: