A couple weeks ago, I had the privilege of attending a gathering hosted by Beth Moore and her team at Living Proof Ministries. How did this happen, you ask? Well, let me explain.
Every other year on the Living Proof blog page, Beth (I feel like we should be on a first name basis by now) hosts a Scripture Memory challenge. Basically, if you are up for the challenge, you commit to memorizing 24 Scriptures with her. You can choose your own verses to memorize, but the “rules” are that on the 1st and 15th of each month, you post your Scripture on her blog page and then memorize it. At the end of the year, if you’ve memorized at least 20 of the 24 required verses, you are invited to Houston to be take part in a conference with Beth and her worship team.
A few years ago, I participated in the Scripture Memory challenge and had planned to attend the gathering in Houston. However, I was pregnant with Vivienne so I wasn’t able to attend. I didn’t think I could travel to Texas without throwing up the entire weekend. (I’m sure Beth and the 500 other ladies appreciated my staying home.) So when Beth decided to do the challenge again in 2013, I jumped at the chance. I memorized my 24 verses and I traveled to Houston. It was an amazingly intimate experience and I met some friends whom I continue to stay in touch with.
In January 2015, Beth again invited her readers to take part in the Scripture memory challenge, and I again participated. And a couple weeks ago, I traveled to Houston for the celebration weekend. I’m thankful that I was able to attend this year. Because Peter is deployed, I wasn’t sure if I would be able to go, but my parents saved the day by coming to keep my kids. I’m not sure what I would do without them! And it was such fun reconnecting with the women that I had met at the previous celebration two years prior. I am grateful for the way the Word of God can bond you to people you never would have met otherwise.
This year there were about 860 ladies who attended the event. If you have ever been to one of Beth Moore’s Living Proof Live events, you know that there can be upwards of 15,000 women in attendance, so to be able to sit at her feet with less than 1000 other ladies was certainly a privilege.
It is no secret that she is my favorite Bible teacher. But let me make something clear: I do not worship her. (Are we clear on that?)
However, I certainly feel that she has an anointing on her and she has been gifted by the Holy Spirit to speak Truth into the lives of women around the globe. Her heart is to teach the Word of God to people and I believe she is living out this calling. And the way she loves Jesus – it is beyond anything I’ve ever seen. I want to love Him like she does.
(Travis Cottrell and his worship team)
This was such an intimate gathering. Travis Cottrell and his team led us in worship throughout the weekend, and Beth brought us a Word. (And can I just say that the woman is stinkin’ hilarious? Oh my word. I would love to have even half of her energy…)
(And her clothes. Man. I texted a friend during the event just to tell her about the shoes Beth wore Friday night. I know, I know. That’s not very godly of me but I really wish I would’ve taken a picture of those shoes…)
(A friend and I were on the 2nd row for Saturday’s sessions)
The theme for the weekend was NEVERTHELESS. Now, I am not even going to attempt to repeat all the things she taught us because I would not be able to do it justice. Just know that we dove into Scripture, jumping all over the place, from Psalms and Jonah to Matthew and Luke and 1 Corinthians. We wrote “nevertheless” statements like these:
“The godless seem to prosper; nevertheless, God is our prize.” (Psalm 73) Do you find this to be true in your life? Sometimes, it seems that those who don’t believe in Christ are thriving while I am flailing around, trying not to drown. But Beth reminded us that the Lord is our portion and prize. We have Him, so ultimately, we come out as winners. Genesis 15:1 says that “God is our exceedingly great reward.”
“Followers of Christ share certain rights; nevertheless, sometimes He leads us to lay them down.” (1 Cor 9:8-18) This statement spoke volumes to me. I have a tendency to want to be right. All the time. And if I think I’m right, I will argue with you. Because I’m right. Hello? Anyone? But just because I may be right about something, doesn’t mean that I need to argue my point. Sometimes I just need to Shut. Up. I need to stop talking and instead, listen to others. And love them. I mean, do I want to be happy or do I want to be right?
“I’m free to plead this cup to pass; nevertheless, I bow my will to my faithful Father’s.” (Matt 26:36-46; Heb 5:7) Right before Christ was arrested and taken to be crucified, He cried out to the Father, asking to be relieved from a horrifying death on the cross. BUT, He also said that if it was God’s will, then He would do it. Sometimes we go through terrible trials and we can’t understand why the Lord would allow us to walk through them. But a huge purpose for why we are on this earth may be on the other side of our “No.” God obviously knows something we don’t know and He will redeem whatever has broken us.
Beth also reminded us that we should be persistent in prayer. But she left us with a few thought-provoking questions:
If all of our prayers get answered in the way we think they should, what will that do to our faith? Will we believe that God met our needs or will we believe that we were the reason our prayers were answered?
And when what we pray for doesn’t come to fruition, will we continue to believe in God? Will we still be faithful? Will I still be faithful?
(We were divided into groups to take pictures with Beth)
Let me encourage each of you, my friends – if Beth Moore decides to offer a Scripture Memory Challenge again next year, step up to the challenge and join in the fun. You will memorize Scripture, which is always a good thing. And you will have the opportunity to attend an exciting, meaningful event with a few hundred other sisters. I will keep you posted if she decides to do it again. I want all of you to join me!
And friends, remember: There is nothing the enemy wants more than our faith. Let’s determine not to give that up.