Sunday, September 11, 2011

We Also

Yesterday was the Living Proof Live simulcast--I didn't make it to Lubbock, TX, to the live version, but I did attend a screening here in town, along with, I think if I had to estimate, about 500 other women.

The theme of the message was Luke, the good doctor, and his example to us. Scriptures were Luke 1:1-4, and Acts 1:1-4 (among many others).

Seven main points:
1. We were created for good company (that is, with "those who call upon the Lord from a pure heart)
2. An individual calling can only be fulfilled in a "we" context.
3. God never overlooks a single "me" in the bigger "we."
4. (my favorite point--more later on this) Jesus became a friend of sinners so we could become a friend of God.
5. We can revel in the certainty of the things we've been taught.
6. Jesus has passed us the salt also.
7. (my other favorite point) We can also be the many convincing proofs that Jesus is alive.

I probably have more notes on this Living Proof conference than any of the others I've been to.

For #4, Beth spoke about the chapter in Luke where the Pharisees accused Jesus of sitting down to table with drunkards and being the friend of sinners. She showed a picture on the screen of this tiny creature that you couldn't even tell what it was, that her sister-in-law's cat had dragged in. (It was a squirrel.) She told the backstory of that but then related it to this chapter in Luke and how right after the Pharisees accused Jesus of being the friend of sinners, Luke tells the story of the dinner with the Pharisees where the woman comes and anoints Jesus. She said that the Pharisees had no idea that actually, they were the sinners that Jesus sat down to table with. She asked us to identify ourselves in that story and then said this, which I think I will remember forever, "What's your story? Can you look at yourself and say, 'Just look at what the Lion of Judah dragged in?!'"

For the closing, #7, Beth had spoken about Luke and how he never made a big deal about himself or tried to insert his name into the gospel or the book of Acts. All of a sudden he'd be using the term "they" and would then change it to "we." She said how as Christians, we want to be the main thing and do something big for God and go where no one else has gone--except Christ has already gone there. So, we should be content to be as Luke, a "we also"--then she read many verses pertaining to the things "we also" will receive through Jesus, and "Oh, to be a blessed 'also'!"

She said that an ancient historian described Luke's death this way: "at age 84, he fell asleep in Boasha (Greece), full of the Holy Spirit." She then said, "Luke spent his life telling the story of Jesus Christ as the only One. Don't you want your story to be Luke's story, simply this: 'I love You, Jesus.'"

This last point is something I am thinking about in my own life lately, particularly with all the forms of social/personal media available to us--how much do I want this life to be my story? How often do I check my blog stats (I resolve to stop doing this any more)? Do I need to be always checking my facebook to see if anyone is noticing me and what I say? Really, just any of the countless ways I endeavor to insert myself into the story. So gross. Please let me take a page from Luke and revel in being an "also"! Let my life story be: I love You, Jesus.

And of course there was a lot of worship time during the day, which I love. This conference covered 48 states, 12 countries, 3 military bases, and 1 women's correctional center, for a total of 180,000 women (and a few brave men).

We sang this one, which, as worship leader Travis Cottrell says, "you need some elbow room for." Just imagine 180,000 people around the world, singing it together. Here in Illinois, we were singing along with women in Canada, in Guam, in South Africa, in prison--all around the globe. A little foretaste of heaven. It's one of those where, if I can't sing along with this, the rocks are going to cry out!

I've already blocked next July when Living Proof will be in Moline, IL!

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Fall Still Lifes

Usually we are in Memphis over Labor Day weekend, but this year we stayed home and actually labored. Darren worked on the yard, and I worked on fall cleaning inside the house. This also meant I got to do one of my favorite things, which is change all the little "still lifes" that I have scattered on various end tables, mantletops, etc. Believe me, I'm happiest doing this project when it is spring, but I can get behind fall, too.

I switched out a blue floral wreath with butterflies for this on the front door:

Got out the pumpkin sisters to go by the candlesticks on the dining room table:

This is the library table in the front hall. Now that I'm looking at them, these pictures I took are pretty crummy. Pretend they're blurry for artistic reasons.

This is the entryway table. You can't tell (because of my awesome photographic skills), but I swapped out books, such as Someset Maugham's The Painted Veil and C.S. Lewis's Letters to Children, for spookier fare, such as Charles Todd's Duty to the Dead and the classic by Shirley Jackson, The Haunting.

Autumn issues of Victoria magazine for the living room coffee table:

Fall flowers for an end table:

And here is the mantle. I exchanged my Midsummer Night's Dream teapot and some yellow chintz pieces for a more fall-themed look. Then I went upstairs and cleaned there for awhile. When I came back downstairs, there was a black cat sitting on the mantle along with the rest of the stuff. Apparently he felt we needed more of a Halloween look than I had originally designed. Unfortunately, I didn't get a picture of it because I made him get down.

On the coffee table of the room that is affectionately known as "The Little Room," "The Library," and most commonly, "Mom's Room," I put out this classic from Longfellow. I used to read this to Lucy when she was an infant. "Listen my children, and you shall hear of the midnight ride of Paul Revere..." I wished I had a good illustrated copy of Irving's Legend of Sleepy Hollow to put out, but this will do for now. Notice the black cat's paw on the left. He is determind to be part of the decor.

Worn out from decorating with me, I find him here instead.

How about you? Do you decorate for fall? And would you like to borrow an authentic black cat?