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Friday, April 25, 2008

Women of Joy

Last weekend I was blessed to attend the Women of Joy Conference in Branson with an incredible group of women from Covenant. I haven't laughed that hard in a long time! As my friend Sherry said, "What happens in Branson, stays in Branson!"

Some specific things I want to remember from Priscilla Shirer:

  • What have you stopped expecting God to do in your life? As God to make Himself flesh to you in this part of your life.

  • Unconfessed sin is like putting the veil back up in the temple.

  • If I don't "get anything" out of a passage of scripture or a lesson, what does it teach me about the character and personality of my God?

  • Priscilla Shirer calls her grandparents "Twodaddy" and "Twomommy". Precious!

The next speaker was Liz Curtis Higgs:

  • Her story of falling out of the airport bench/seat. Make-you-cry-hilarious!

  • Liz spoke on the passage in Mark about the woman who had been bleeding for 12 years. That is 4,380 days of being considered unclean and untouchable.

  • Touching Jesus would have meant she was breaking the Law. Perhaps she was healed the moment she reached forward so she wasn't actually bleeding by the time she touched Him - thus not breaking the Law.

  • Jesus had his "back" to the woman, but He still healed her.

  • When a person is trying that hard to find joy [by using drugs/alcohol, etc.] and settling for fun, that person is a seeker on the path to God.

Kay Arthur brought the house down, in my opinion, and she looked INCREDIBLE!

  • She spoke for probably 15 minutes and quoted scripture after scripture. I was again convicted of my laziness in regard to memorizing God's Word. I was also energized about teaching Bible study.

  • I actually got within a couple of feet of Kay while she was signing autographs and taking pictures. She was RIGHT THERE! It was a big moment, I'm telling you!

  • She recommended a book by David Bossie about Hillary Clinton. If Kay Arthur says to read something, by golly I'm going to read it!

  • My favorite quote from Kay: "Believe the Word, obey the Word, and eventually you'll wear the enemy out."

The Jeremy Camp concert was incredible. If you were there, you know what I mean. Indescribable.

The last speaker was Karen Kingsbury, who is incredibly tall and very gracious.

  • I had a book autographed by her and we spoke for just a few seconds. She is my favorite Christian fiction author of all time.

  • My favorite quote from Karen: "A vibrant, joyful life always puts priority on the people God has placed in your life."

  • Click the link for the videos she referenced on YouTube: old lady and the airbag: http://youtube.com/watch?v=cAQiu9i_Wpw and the one about anencephaly: http://youtube.com/watch?v=aB8Ti-Dhpco

  • The entire auditorium was one blubbering mess when she finished by reading her children's book, Let Me Hold You Longer. I don't even have kids and I was a total wreck!

What a weekend! My prayer is that the Lord will enable me to put what I learned into action in my life. Otherwise, it was just an expensive shopping trip. I want the experience to be much more real than that. I can hardly wait until next year!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

That's my man!

The most recent photographic evidence of Joy's "spring sport"...and no, I can't tell you where he caught them because I have been sworn to secrecy!


A wonderful, wise, fellow-scrapbooking friend (thanks, Naomi!) sent this to me not long ago and I have been mulling over its meaning:

Separation is not isolation
it is contact
This quote expounds on the scripture from 2 Corinthians 6:17, ""Therefore, come out from among them and be separate," says the Lord." To be honest, I think I prefer the safety of isolation. However, isolation is a lonely and is completely ineffective in ministering to others in the name of Christ. I think I fear contamination. Sometimes it is easy for me to fall into sin and I don't want to be exposed to people or places that are a temptation for me. How to find the balance?

Friday, April 4, 2008

Thoughts for the day

Some things I want to remember from my quiet time readings this morning:

"Sometimes we're so quick to try to get people into heaven that I think we go after a profession of faith rather than allow the Holy Spirit to bring conviction. We fail to let others grapple with their total inability to save themselves through their good deeds, religious sacraments, and impotent wrestling with fleshly desires. We present the blessings of belonging but fail to point out the consequences of rejecting Christ." --Kay Arthur, Lord, I Give You This Day

"Every song you love, every memory you cherish, every moment that has moved you to holy tears has been given to you from the One who has been pursuing you from your first breath in order to win your heart. God's version of flowers and chocolates and candlelight dinners comes in the form of sunsets and falling stars, moonlight on lakes and cricket symphonies; warm wind, swaying trees, lush gardens, and fierce devotion. This romancing is immensely personal. It will be as if it has been scripted for your heart. He knows what takes your breath away, knows what makes your heart beat faster.

The culture of women in the church today is crippled by some very pervasive lies. "To be spiritual is to be busy. To be spiritual is to be disciplined. To be spiritual is to be dutiful." No, to be spiritual is to be in a Romance with God. The desire to be romanced lies deep in the heart of every woman. It is for such that you were made. And you are romanced, and ever will be." John and Stasi Eldredge, Captivating : Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman's Soul

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Bless those who curse you

Like I do almost every morning, I drove through McDonald's to pick up some breakfast. I noticed an older white car following closely in my rear view mirror. Just after I placed my order and pulled ahead, a young man in the white car yelled, "Hey! Hey!" At first, I didn't realize he was calling to me. I looked back at him in my side mirror and he yelled, "Why did you cut me off back there? Didn't you see me or are you just BLIND?"

Needless to say, I was stunned. Apparently this guy thought I had cut him off as I turned into the drive-thru lane. After a second or two, several possible reactions came to mind:

1. First, I thought I should yell back at him.
2. Second, I thought I should just get out of my car and walk back to his opened window and straighten him out. I quickly nixed that idea because he could be a crazy person and decide to shoot me or something. Weird things happen, I know.
3. My last idea was a very strong impression that obviously had a Divine Source - I should pay for his purchase as well as my own.

In the ensuing few seconds, I had quite a little war with myself in my mind. Thoughts like, "If you pay for his breakfast, he will think you are admitting to cutting him off and you know you didn't do that." Or, "What if he yells something else at you again?" Or, "He is going to think you are a complete idiot if you do this."

Mind you, this whole episode took place in a matter of 30 seconds or so. My heart was pounding in my chest and I knew what I had to do. I paid for my breakfast at the first window, and told the McDonald's worker that I wanted to pay for the car behind me as well. She was surprised but took my money and promised to pass along my message to the white car, "God bless you."

I was so afraid that I wouldn't get out of there before the man in the white car would have time to yell at me again. As I was getting my Egg McMuffin from the second window, I watched in my rear view mirror as the man was told that his breakfast was already paid for. I wish you could have seen the expression soften on his face. It was remarkable. I drove away and my heart eventually went back to its natural rhythm.

I will likely never see that man in the white car again and I have no idea as to his spiritual condition but I hope that a tiny seed was planted in his mind today. I could have (and honestly wanted to) repay his angry words with some of my own but Jesus took that moment to bring His Word to life before my very eyes. Jesus says in Matthew 5:44, "But I say unto you, love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you..."

Thank you, Lord, for this opportunity to be obedient to Your leading this morning. May the young man in the white car find his mind returning to You over and over again today.