Thursday, August 28, 2008

San Antonio, Sunday Naps, and Scolding

Okay Sarah, I heard you loud and clear that I need to post on "The Coffee Group" blog instead of just my own. So I have copied and pasted my blog entry about our weekend in San Antonio. I loved your summarization about the weekend. You are some writer girl!

What a Weekend!

I have just awakened from a marathon nap--it is Sunday afternoon people! I don't awaken well after a deep sleep nap. My brain is not fully functional and I have learned that because of this, my mouth can sometimes say things that people (my family) sometimes misunderstand. I need to be awake so that my "be nice" filter is in place because I tend to be somewhat grumpy when I awake. So while I am in my "no filter on brain and mouth mode" I thought I should quietly write about this weekend and leave my precious family alone.

The reason for the marathon nap is because me and my "Peeps" went on a road trip to hear Beth Moore speak God's words to us in San Antonio. There were around 10,000 ladies from all over the world-even Japan in attendance. The worship was incredible. Hearing all of these ladies praise God was something I won't soon forget. Beth visited with us about our inheritance in God. It was powerful.

I loved seeing Beth-we all got our picture made with her. She had her two girls with her and we bloggers got a special chance after her last talk to sit in a question and answer period. Very fun! I have to tell you all that even though I loved seeing and hearing Beth, my favorite part was before and after the picture shoot with her. You see, I got to visit with "Boo Mama"

Boo Mama has always been one of my favorite blog sites. I love her writing style, precious stories about her comings and goings, and her incredible testimony on the internet. I also felt somewhat connected because she and my husband and about 10 others went to Africa together in February with Compassion International. (My husband, Phil, got to meet our little adopted girl there-Doreen which was so precious) Anyway, I and my Coffee Group friends just marched ourselves up to Boo Mama and before I knew it, I was in a big bear hug with her. I just love that woman even though it was the first time we had officially seen each other in person. Isn't it neat that those that love the Lord have such a common bond that we can't help but love each other.

So to recap the weekend:

Cost of hotel: $244, plus $38 to park; Drive to and from Abilene:12 hours (we had lots of potty breaks); loss of sleep: 4 hours; Friday night supper time: 10 pm on the river walk; Grossness: huge rat on said river walk; Hair: wet and dripping from rain in San Antonio; Walking to and from and all around the Alamodome: three hundred miles (I am exaggerating somewhat, but I didn't have my pedometer so I had to estimate), water for sale in Alamodome: warm and $3.75 a bottle.

Hearing Beth and meeting BooMama: priceless!

Recap of Beth Moore's San Antonio Event

Anytime I want to 'summarize' something (in quotes because y'all KNOW I don't do brief very well at all) I sit for 10 minutes with my fingers on the keyboard not knowing how to start. And you can be sure that a weekend with my Coffee Group peeps listening to Beth Moore is HARD to summarize.

For the record -- our trip wasn't intended to be a Coffee Group trip. It was intended to be 'friends-that-could-make-it' trip. And it ended up being Coffee Group and Robin -- who we consider to be our publicity manager, anyway. So, it turned into a Coffee Group trip. But we invited many other folks to go with us. No doubt, the weekend before school starts is a horrible time to be gone. I had to get a friend to take my kid to 'Meet the Teacher'! How much of a crummy mom am I? Oh, but the word I heard from Beth tells me I am NOT crummy, I am an heiress. (I'm not exactly sure that my son's teacher was thinking an heiress wouldn't even stick around to go with her kid to school).

For me to say it was AMAZING to be in a ginormous arena with thousands of women is a miracle of the Lord in the first place -- y'all know I'm not about the crowds or the huge factor. But, truly, for 10,000 women to be worshipping together -- just a little taste of what the book of Revelation says is coming, friends. Can you just not wait? Okay, Beth did talk a little about heaven, but my life NOW is what really stuck with me.

Many of the things that really touched me have already been mentioned on this blog:

  • We must never allow ministry to take the place of intimacy with God. It occurred to me today -- if we're doing that, we are making it ministry to OURSELVES, not God. If He isn't in it, it isn't for Him. hmmmmm...

  • Your boundary line will never go any higher than our intimacy with God.

That last one really got me, since that is where I am suffering right now. Beth put up the following illustration for Psalm 16:6: "The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance." The box represents our own personal boundary lines, the whole of our lives. All of the 'outside words' are what create our boundary lines -- that are in pleasant places! Boundary lines that are the way God would have them! But our bondary can never go any higher than our intimacy with God.

In talking about our past, Beth also mentioned that we cannot become the identity of our past pain. That really struck a chord with me -- because it's so tempting to do: to drag around hurts that life has burdened us with. But that isn't claiming the victory over those things that God offers.

She also said, "We worship out of the reality of our present." Whether that's pain, doubt, joy, or praise -- we worship where we are. Loved that. And, before I go away from the box illustration, she also mentioned that any place inside your boundary that you haven't fully given over to God, Satan is on. "Satan is on your LAND!!" she yelled! :-) Think about THAT!

In thinking back over the weekend I just have a smile on my face -- not only for my word from the Lord via Beth, but time with my friends. What a wonderful time. So amazing. I do have to say that in my notes, I took A LOT of notes in ALL CAPITAL LETTERS. Because, BETH? Have you NOTICED??? She TALKS in CAPITAL!! LETTERS!! A LOT!!!

We were also able to attend a 'Fiesta' for bloggers (although chips, salsa, and festive colored crepe paper were all conspicuously absent from the fiesta) that Beth and her two girls came to. We took pictures with them by groups, then they sat and "chatted" (much like The Coffee Group does when we speak!!) with the crowd and answered some questions. I did love hearing the 3 Moore women interact. Amanda is SO precious and sweet and soft-spoken, and what I would LOVE to be, and Melissa let me see that 'telling-it-like-it-is' (like I tend to do) can be funny and beautiful, too. She and I are alot alike. Other than the fact that I'm probably 40 pounds heavier, 6 inches shorter, and have strawberry blond to her rockin' brunette hair -- we're EXACTLY alike! :-)

And, since I tell it like it is, I'm gonna throw this out there: we have all heard how awesome it was, and I would venture to say that every woman in there was nodding with Beth and loving what she was bringing, but girls, we have got to be Jesus out in the crowds, too. I was saddened, and in one instance that I won't detail here, apalled to see us 'scratching and clawing' our way to the front of lines and in prime spots in the crowd. What hurt my heart most was that we were all wearing armbands that let all of San Antonio know what we were doing. One man stopped Denise and me and asked what in heaven's name was going on at the Alamodome. When I told him it was a Bible study, I dearly hoped he hadn't been trampled by an armband-clad woman on a quest for her grande caramel latte'. Oh, you knew I couldn't leave here without preaching!

Here are thousands of women (and about 7 brave men) praising the Lord, arms outstretched, and the words on the screen (that we are singing) are, "Here in the power of Christ I stand!" Amen and amen...

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

See You On The Beach

Yall, know I'm not as eloquent as Tammy. Or nearly the writer that Sarah is but I still wanted to put down some impressions from this weekend.

1. Beth Moore is good live! She is funnier, more real, and smaller. I teared up when she touched that baby's head Friday night. I would want to be her friend no matter what.

2. My girlfriends keep me honest. We don't pretend with each other. We can show our insides and the world doesn't fall apart. I can hear Beth talking about crisis in some one's life and think of one of us. It will bring me before the throne everytime.

3. Our Theology Hasn't Become Our Reality. When Beth said this, I wrote it down in BIG letters. I'm pretty sure it isn't original with her but this is where I live alot of the time. I'm praying for the LORD to change my heart cause my cynicism is funny but sometimes it gets in the way. It can leave me feeling empty and wondering why.

4. Get in your Word, Girl! Like Tammy, I want more God. I want more intimacy with the LORD. Beth told us this weekend that our anointing will never go above our intimacy. I want the Anointing! I want the Intimacy! I need to be with Him to receive either.

5. BooMama almost made me cry when she talked about Phil and how much he loves Donna. Yes, it was that tender (no cynicism intended.)

6. When I get to heaven, my property will be on the beach. I've been saying this for years and Beth confirmed it! Yall will come to me to get your cabana, chaise, towel, water bottle, whatever.

I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.
Psalms 34:1

Monday, August 25, 2008

The Fresh Word God Gave Me

Two days of studying the Word with Beth Moore in San Antonio. There was a river made for walkin' but I would have rather been in my bible with my friends than anywhere else. The catch word was Inheritance, one of the really cool things that she showed us in scripture is that we, God's people, are His inheritance. It reminded me of Sally Fields accepting her Academy Award, when she said, "You like me, you really like me." That was how I felt about hearing that of all the things God loves, He loves His people most. He loves each one of us enough to call us His inheritance, and really mean it.
I learned so much this weekend, have about 10 pages of notes and many new underlined scriptures that mean so much more to me than they did just 3 days ago. I had told my friends to anticipate the fresh word God would give them this weekend. I knew He had a word for each of us. He had a place in our hearts that we needed to give over to him with finality. The word He laid on my heart was discipline. The words at the top of my In the Grip of Grace Blog are, "For God did not give us a spirit of timidity but a spirit of power, of love and of self discipline." 2 Timothy 1:7
I chose that scripture to head the top of my blog because I knew I would see it each day and it would call me to places I have not been to. I love each word in that scripture, but what it says to me is that to reach the intimacy with God I strive for, never being complete until He calls me home, but seeking to be closer to Him each day I need to be self-disciplined.
What does self-disciplined mean to me? Jesus must be first in my life in every way. Self-disciplined means to me that when it is easier to go along with a crowd I must not, it means that when I want to sleep in and for go my quiet time with God first thing in the morning, I must not, it means that when I am faced with a difficult situation I must choose the path that God is on, probably harder, but much more everlasting. Most of all it means to me when someone is unlovable I must love them, because that is what loving like Jesus is about. Very importantly it means that I must be disciplined enough to pass on what God has taught me to my own children.
Most of this is out of my ability, but if it doesn't require a supernatural intervention for God then it would be from me and who wants to settle for that, my kids and family need more than I am able to give them, I need to call on God to guide me through this and with His power I can do all these.
Self-Discipline is tough. I loved what someone told me a couple of weeks ago, they were relaying a story they had heard. A man and a wife were in marriage counseling and the counselor asked the woman if she was committed to work on her marriage and she said she would "try." The counselor then asked the woman to go "try" to pick up a chair across the room, she did, she walked right across that room and picked up that chair. With a sense of accomplishment on her face she looked back at the counselor and he told her to put the chair down, she did it wrong, he asked her again, "try" to pick up the chair, so she picked it up again....the story finishes up that there really is no trying, we either do it or we don't. She was either committed to her marriage or she wasn't there is no trying, that is just a wimpy way of saying I really don't want to do this but I want to save face and say I will try.

I will leave with a great quote from Beth, "We must never allow ministry to take away from our intimacy with Jesus." I have to set aside that time to give to God. For me it should be the very first thing, not after I get a couple things done around my house or on the computer, but first means first. The first fruit of my day belongs to God, not something I have left over in the middle of the afternoon. That is a great time for me to study on top of my first fruit offering, but not in its stead. Instead of fitting God in He gets the prime spot. He is so worthy.

Thank you God for calling me to a spirit of power, love and self discipline.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Summer Slacker

Have you been Slacking for the summer? Laid off the exercising? Not made a menu or planned a meal? Picked up your Bible for church only? Forgotten where the vacuum is kept?

Yeah. Me, too.

I had been very good about reading my Bible everyday and spending time in prayer. I had my clock set to get up before everybody else and put God at the beginning of my day. Then summer hit and sleeping in sounded really good. So I did. Hit the snooze and slept instead of talking to the Father. Turned on the Today show instead of reading about Jesus.

Think of this as a confession - I've been on a better path for 1 week now. I would appreciate some accountability from my friends.

Now I'm encouraging you. It seems like the beginning of a school year is always a good time to start over or begin a new project. You can make a decision for your growth, get someone to be accountable to, and get moving.