June 09, 2006
What a wonderful week at the Foursquare Convention. Every day was full of great ministry, times with old friends, rest with family, and awesome sights to see in Washington, D.C.
Steve and Tucker flew into town a few days before the rest of the family to start setting up for convention because Steve produces the whole thing. The girls and I joined them on Friday. That evening we were lucky enough to get a tour of the West Wing! Our friend, Catharine Ryun, whom I met on my last trip to DC with my brother, Casey, set the whole thing up and gave us the tour. We also invited Steve’s longtime secretary of 18 years, and our friend, Elaine, to join us.
It was fascinating. I’ve been on the regular White House tour many times over the years but this was especially exciting. To actually see the Oval Office and the outside of the Situation Room and visit the Rose Garden was a thrill. Of course, like most everything you see on TV, everything was a lot smaller than I imagined. (Keep that in mind the next time you see me on TV, okay.) It was also a lot less glamorous than I would have thought. (This is equally true of me.) The White House really is an old building and, in many places, it looks like a really old building. The Press Room was especially run down, but that is also the place where we had the most fun as a family. (Did you know that this room is built over the old swimming pool?)
While Steve worked really hard preparing for the start of convention, the kids and I took a decidedly relaxing weekend. Instead of facing the Memorial Day holiday weekend crowds at the sights around town, we decided to enjoy the hotel. We slept in late, took afternoon naps, short walks to grab bites to eat, read books, watched movies, and hung out with friends. I think it was just what we all needed.
Haven participated in something especially exciting while in town. She rode on the back of a Harley with “Big Al” of a Christian Motorcycle Club in the “Rolling Thunder 2006.” Almost 500,000 motorcycle riders rode down Constitution Avenue to remember the Veterans of War. She had a fabulous time and came back to the hotel telling me about all the wonderful people she met, declaring she wants to ride in a club when she grows up. Yikes! Not my baby – on a motorcycle – on the street!
Convention started on Monday and every morning and evening we were privileged to enjoy amazing worship and awesome teaching. In between sessions we made fun day trips. Tuesday, the girls and I joined my sister-in-law, Cindy, at the National Cathedral for “Tea and Tour.” The cathedral was breathtaking and I’m always up for a delicious tea. Throw that into time with adorable Cindy and it was a great day all the way around.
Wednesday, Haven and I drove to Purceville, Virginia to visit Patrick Henry College, where she plans to attend school in just a few too few years from now. We had lunch with the president, Dr. Mike Farris. This visit only sealed the deal in Haven’s mind and it made me feel a lot better about her moving so far away so soon. By the way, I would highly recommend you consider this college if you have a child thinking about higher education. It is a smaller college, but I like that. The education is unparallel, the environment is uniquely Christian, and the opportunities to make a substantial difference that are available to their graduates are higher than normal. For more info check out www.phc.edu.
Wednesday evening was definitely a highlight, for the whole family - the whole convention, for that matter.. The Newsboys led the worship. In one sense, it was hysterical. For starters, someone had the bright idea to honor the pastors who had been in ministry 50 and 60 years on the same night. This meant the 70, 80, and 90-year-olds were all seated on the front row. Clancy was sent to the drugstore just before the service began to purchase 25 pair of earplugs.
But these oldtimers (or forerunners, as they are called around here) loved it! It was so funny to see them on their feet clapping, singing, and dancing! Yes, I did say dancing. Actually, the whole crowd was way on into it. Which is especially interesting because the median age was somewhere around 40. According to my children that is really too old to be dancing and jumping and lifting your hands, but that didn’t stop any of us.
Tucker was privileged to spend the day hanging out with the band and their crew. He even got to be “assistant guitar tech for the day.” After the concert, we all got to attend a little reception for the band. What amazingly nice guys!
Every year, the Lord uses this convention to give me a fresh spiritual focus for the upcoming season of my life. This year, He impressed upon my heart a deeper commitment to discipleship and mentoring, especially moms. (I wrote a bit about this in my latest E-letter.) This fresh call came through the teaching of Dr. Daniel Brown during one of the Tuesday morning messages. (By the way, to download some of Dr. Brown’s fascinatingly relevant teachings, visit www.coastlands.org/teachings.php) Allow me to share a handful of the notes I took of some of the things he said that resonated within my heart.
· “The very first command in the Bible is ‘Be fruitful and multiply.’” (There is a law of “firsts” in Bible study that basically says, “Pay special attention to the first mention of something in the Bible.” The fact that this is the first commandment, and its inherent importance, had never crossed my mind before.)
· “The higher that God lifts someone up, they are incumbent to raise up that many people.” (I have always felt a grateful responsibility to use the platform God has given me to tell other about Him, but this message prompted me to set my heart to press in beyond evangelism to discipleship.)
· 1 Chronicles 29:12b, “It is in Your (God’s) hand to make great and to give strength to all.” (This encouraged me because my most important “disciples” are my children and I often feel like it is up to me whether they turn out right, or not. This scripture reminds me that it is in God’s hand and He is willing and able to do what I cannot do in my own strength.)
· “It is not about where I’ve come from, it is about who comes from me.” (Wow! I needed to hear this. When I get to Heaven, God is not going to be as pleased with all the places I’ve been and my accomplishments. His heart will puff up when He sees the people I’ve brought along with me on this amazing adventure.)
· “Maybe the things we are going through aren’t so much to prepare us for our future, but that we may prepare others for their future.” (This statement confirmed my suspicion that God has allowed, and will continue to allow, me to go through things for the bigger purpose of helping others who experience the same challenges. Just like my struggles disciplining Tucker resulted in my book, “Creative Correction,” my challenges during these teenage years will also result in your good. Even if it is simply to encourage you that it doesn’t necessarily mean you are a bad parent.)
I believe this last note I took will mark a difference in the way I write from now on, especially in my weekly journal entries. Yes, there will still be many entries when I simply share what is going on in my life. But, I am asking the Lord to teach me things so that I can specifically pass them on to you, and perhaps help or encourage you.
With that in mind, I also want to be more sensitive to the season of life I’m in and how that might be different than where you are these days. I’m dealing with teenage stuff, whereas you may be in the middle of diapers and bottles. I don’t want to forget what those days are like. I would like to offer my perspective in hindsight.
I’ve already set up the “Personal Mom Coaching” ministry, but I would like to extend this idea of Mommy Mentoring. I cannot answer emails personally, (because I would no longer have any time to actually be a mother.) I would like to be able to address areas of concern, confusion, or curiosity, though.
As you go about your days, you may think to yourself, “I wonder what Lisa did in this situation?” or “I wonder what Lisa thinks about this?” or “How did Lisa handle this challenge?” If so, send me an email with that question. I will store them in a special place and occasionally I’ll pull out a topic that seems to be creeping up more often than others and simply offer my point-of-view. After all, I think that is what discipleship is all about - walking together on this parenting journey and learning things along the way. Can I join you on your journey?
Posted by weblion at 07:33 PM