Beautiful Life™ 2013 – Greensboro, NC – Yahoo!

We are thrilled to announce the date for  Beautiful Life™ North Carolina 2013:

May 31 – June 1, 2013 
Westover Church
505 Muirs Chapel Road
Greensboro, North Carolina, 27410.

More details are coming soon, but today we can tell you Charles Billingsley and his band will be with us all weekend leading worship.

We’ll begin on Friday night around 6:30 and end Saturday about 12:30.

Ticket prices are $25 in advance and $32 after May 1, 2013. There is a group discount of $2/ticket with the purchase of 20 or more. Use the code “GROUP20” at check-out. Tickets are only available online at www.ticketderby.com. People tell us the conference will sell-out this year. Only God knows what He has planned, but it might be a good idea to get your tickets early if you can.

A note about online ticket sales: We wish we could sell 2800 tickets from our little office but we’re sure it would become a disaster for everybody! Our office has chosen TicketDerby to sell the conference tickets as they did last year because they do a great job and make purchasing so simple for all of us. Like all online ticket companies, TicketDerby adds their fees plus the cost of credit card processing. We tell you all this because we don’t want you to feel mislead about the price of the ticket. Better to know in advance before you click! We are also hoping that the group discount will help recoup the ticket fees for some of you who are able to buy in quantity.

As we have it, more information will be posted here about the concert artist, hotel discounts, etc.

So call your girlfriends and plan to be with us. Can’t wait to see you May 31-June 1!

Beautiful Life™ 2013 – Greensboro, NC – Yahoo! 2018-02-21T12:26:37+00:00

People Change

People change, you know.

I have never been interested in gardening. Too busy. Too many people in my house for flower growing. Too little time. All these homeowner years, I have only maintained my flowerbeds by plopping some annual color in the ground that faithfully turned brown by mid-July.

Then something happened a while back. I decided that I really like roses.

Everyone said, “Don’t think about roses, they’re too hard.” But. But. But. But my heart had changed it’s mind. Roses had become beautiful to me, something like the sweet, simple, complex, grandeur of God in a flower. I wanted to try, just one time, to grow a something beautiful, so I planted roses.

Actually, I bought roses (the kind that were half-dead, on sale, at the back of Walmart so if they died I had only wasted five bucks), read about pruning and feeding, then stood smiling while Scott dug a hole in the ground where we planted all my rose-growing hope.

Here is what I found in my backyard this morning . . . mid-July.

I have a feeling the months of this rose lesson is intended for something deeper inside of me. People can change. What has long gone unnoticed can finally, one day, be seen. Appreciated. Loved.

I am changing. And I hear the Lord whisper . . . Open your eyes wider. You’ve missed so much. I have greater things to show you.

Are you changing too?

People Change 2018-02-21T12:26:38+00:00

To See a Picture. Then to Meet Your Child.

We weren’t prepared.

We thought we were. We were eager with anticipation. We had brought gifts. We had prayed and prayed. We had flown and driven and walked and waited and sat on the edge of our bumping SUV seats, to see if we could see yet. Our family couldn’t wait to meet our sponsored children in Bolivia.

And then we did. Rosario first.

Then Miriam.

And finally Erik.

But we weren’t prepared. It is one thing to see the picture of your sponsored child on the World Vision packet. To read black and white words about their lives. To assume (because we’re all a little skeptical about relief organizations) that where they live is probably not that bad. And to think of them and pray for them . . . really far away.

It’s an entirely different thing to walk into their home. And everywhere you look is worse that you ever imagined. Worse. Times a hundred.

World Vision is not making things up. If anything, the page they send about your child is reality-light. They give you the run-down without the dirty hand holding yours. Without the smell of sheep housed beside where your potatoes were cooked. Without the cold that multiplies inside mud bricks underneath thatched roofs. We visited three World Vision communities in Bolivia, only three. With hundreds more around the world, this amazing organization is working to build self-sustaining communities, where food supplies are secured. Water is clean. Nutrition and heath are taught. Education is increased. And people, real, genuine, kind, beautiful people are being helped.

Everywhere we went, we were thanked and kissed and hugged. Two villages held parades for our family. There were speeches and recitations and gifts. At the second parade, the entire village lined the street to greet us. A band played as we exited our cars. The town leaders blessed us with traditional white confetti on our heads. Families cheered as we walked and ran to hug us at every step.

In the middle of this second overwhelming walk, my daughter, AnnaGrace, looked at me and asked, “Mom, why are they doing all of this for us?” When we finally made it to a quiet spot I told her, “The parades and food and music aren’t really for us. We have just met these people. This is the beginning of our love for them. They are doing all of this to say thank you to World Vision. World Vision began changing their lives long before we ever got here.”

I too want to say thank you to World Vision. Thank you for running toward poverty and oppression with the compassion of Jesus. Thank you for serving the least of the least. And thank you for taking my family to see what our big God can do when people give a little each month. Your work in this world is a world of integrity. I am honored to be a tiny part of your family and your mission.

With great humility, and with even greater passion, I will keep telling about the beauty of World Vision’s ministry. And beauty of sponsored children.

God keep you safe tonight sweet Rosario, and Miriam, and Erik. Be warm. Be fed. God is near to you, stay underneath His wings.

You can sponsor a child in Bolivia today by clicking the link at the right of this post.

 

To See a Picture. Then to Meet Your Child. 2018-02-21T12:26:38+00:00

A week since Bolivia

I think I’ll let them stay dirty.

You’d think I’d be finished unpacking by now. We’ve been home from Bolivia for almost a week and mostly I have put things away. But my boots. They were new when we left, now they are worn and straight out of my suitcase, covered in Bolivian dirt. I tossed them in the corner of the bathroom to be cleaned.

This afternoon, I reached for a wet cloth, hesitated for a second then decided the dirt needs to stay. I probably won’t wear those boots again until winter and I’m sure by then, I’ll need to be reminded of God’s assignment to my family last week. Where we have been. The roads we walked. The homes we entered. The work being done by World Vision so very far away.

I still can’t understand why God sent us. To Bolivia. All I know is that He did. I am small and the need is so great, why didn’t He send someone bigger? Someone with connections. Someone who has more clout. Or politicial influence. An economic advisor, perhaps. An industrialist or an international figure. But a mom with her husband and four kids? God. He is mysterious.

The dirt on my boots reminds me I am forever responsible for what I have seen and where my boots have walked. I belong to the family of God and He made a very big deal of taking us to meet more of His family. Today, I don’t yet know all this new assignment means, I only know I cannot close my eyes. Or forget.

Every night this week, I have laid on my bed and thought of our sponsored children, Eric and Miriam and Rosario and Ashelin. I know they are happy in their beds, snuggled beside their sisters and brothers. Topped with mountains of blankets. But God took us to their homes so we could understand how much they need us. And how many others there are with great need.

Without hesitation and with great urgency, I ask you to help the children in Bolivia. I can ask boldly because I walked in those boots down their roads. Having now seen, I’ve just got to tell you with these words. Or stand on something and shout. Loudly.

You can help World Vision care for the needs in Bolivia by sponsoring a child. The link to sponsor is at the right of this post.

 

 

A week since Bolivia 2018-02-21T12:26:38+00:00