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!