I’m so happy to spend these next few minutes with you. I like to remind you in a writing season like this that I am thinking about you constantly even when it appears from your side of the screen as if we’re less in touch. As I study and write workday in and workday out, you are the first group that comes to my mind. Teacher’s pets if I’ve ever had any. I’m chatting to you constantly right now as I peck away at the keyboard. You just can’t hear me. I’m smiling thinking about how those tables may turn in a little over a year for any of you that end up doing the Bible study. You’ll be talking back to me as we discuss various passages in your homework but I won’t be able to hear you either. What a weird and beautiful dynamic.
I had the biggest blast getting to see a whole bunch of you Siestas at our Eugene, Oregon Living Proof Live. I was shocked when I walked in that room right after the event and David Lowe (our good friend who subs for Rich when he’s out) already had you split into two groups for our picture-taking. It would be hard to over-blow how much I loved being in Oregon for our event. God brought together one of the most wonderful, enthusiastic, Jesus-seeking, gonna-get-a-word-or-else groups ever. One of my top ten favorite groups in all fifteen LPL years. I could have cried when it was over.
(I just happened to remember that I have a few pictures on my iPhone of various shots from this trip so I’ll pitch a few in here for those of you like me who love visuals.)
(In the above picture, we took that State-famous “O” for Oregon and made it into a few divine adjectives for an “Omnipotent,” and “Overflowing,” “Overcoming” and “Out-breaking” God.)
Try to wrap your mind around the fact that God incited 7300 women by His Spirit to attend that event. That was nearly twice what we would have expected in that part of the United States for a gathering of this kind. Travis, the praise team, and I knew within about 2 minutes that Jesus was planning to be there whether we came or not. We felt completely incidental to the whole thing. He has something huge stirring in the Northwest. I can’t quit thinking about it. I got a DM from my good friend, Louie Giglio, last Friday saying that he and Chris Tomlin and their team had just been to that part of the country and were blown away by what God was doing. We left feeling the same astonishment.
I got to spend a little more time in the area than I usually do because I couldn’t get a flight out on Saturday night. That meant several walks in several different parks.
This scene was walking distance from the Holiday Express where we stayed in Eugene. Your blog mama is in there but it’s kind of like “Where’s Waldo?”
Most of our team went to Mount Pisgah Arboretum on Saturday afternoon and, honestly, it was like we were caught in the hobbits’ glen in Lord of the Rings. If Frodo Baggins had stepped out from behind a tree with his short legs and long hairy feet, the whole scene would have been complete. The trees looked just like the ones that talked in the trilogy and they groaned and creaked in the wind like old men trying to get out of a low chair. It was crazy. I didn’t even bother taking pictures with my iPhone because it would have been a travesty but our friend David got some great ones with his grown-up camera. This one doesn’t even give a hint of the gorgeousness that was surrounding us in that park but I think it is especially gorgeous because I love this group of women so much. These are some of the hardest working girls you’ll ever find on earth. They are part of the LifeWay women’s event team that actually puts on Living Proof Live events. (As well as Priscilla Shirer Live and many others.) They don’t often come to the platform but trust me when I tell you that no one would serve on that platform if not for these women doing all the front work, sight inspections, training, praying, and city coordinating. Then, once the weekend arrives, they are busy behind every scene, down every hall, and all over the arena. I am nuts about them. There are at least a dozen others who weren’t assigned to our Oregon event over the weekend. I wish you could see them, too. They are all stellar women.
I could have stayed a solid week in Oregon. Or, if all my people had been there, a month. But Bibby gets cranky for the grandbabies after too many days away. I saw them right before I left for Oregon and the day after I got back. Thank you, thank you, thank you to my beloved Amanda and Curtis, who always make room for the grandparents in their hyper-busy pastoring lives. I happen to be typing this post about five feet away from this picture right here. Now, I ask you, who could stand to be far from those two for very long?? My point exactly.
Oh, one more thing about the trip. On the rare occasions when much of the team gets to stay an extra night after the event, there is considerable foolishness. With God-fearing people, especially of mixed company, off-color humor is out so we have to go with just plain stupid and it works for me every time. This is Travis with his good friends Clay (who played the mandolin for us at this LPL! We loved him!) and Seth (who we always love and get to have on the team most of the time).
I bet Travis wore those glasses for 15 minutes in the drugstore. (Yep, that’s where all this stuff was.) Long enough to where I found myself talking to him normally as if he didn’t look like an idiot. Of course, it might be a tad hypocritical for me to say he looked like such a thing since…
Tragically, that’s not plastic you’re seeing there below the glasses. That’s my real nose. (I made myself laugh.)
Well, I could talk on and on but, the fact is, we have Scriptures to do today, Sisters! I love mine this time around. Remember how we talked about the importance of choosing one to memorize that really means something to us personally? This one’s really speaking to me right now. Lately I’ve been especially aware of the contrasts in the Christian public square between those who build up the Body of Christ and those who tear it down. If we’re going to be builders in a world tearing apart, we’re going to have to be deliberate. We’ll also have to accept the materials we’re working with. We’ll never have a flawless body of believers to edify. Not this side of our completed state. As my friend Carlos Whittaker says, we’re all crazier than we think we are. It’s a mess out there. Oh, for crying out loud, I’m a mess in here. But we do have a flawless Savior and we are indeed God’s chosen people, loved and planned for and accounted for in the Kingdom agenda. We’ve got to decide how we want to treat one another on this thorny journey. This verse says it well.
Beth, Houston. So with yourselves, since you are eager for manifestations of the Spirit, strive to excel in building up the church. 1 Corinthians 14:12 ESV
There He says it: don’t just take a stab at it. Strive to excel in it.
Oh, Sisters, I love you so much. I truly do. I’ll talk to you soon!
Tags: Scripture Memory 2013