Wednesday, November 9, 2011

A Beth Moore Weekend

I have only been in one Beth Moore study, which was 5 years ago, and don't know much about Beth Moore except that women flock to her in droves and seem to adore her.  I wasn't planning to go to the conference in my state but then my sis-in-law invited me to go away for a girls' weekend with her and I decided it sounded fun.  My mom ended up joining us last minute too!  We had a wonderful day and a half together.  Beth's messages were touching and encouraging, we got time to shop at an actual mall (a big deal here in Wyoming), I got to love on my baby nephew who came along, we ate at the Olive Garden, visited with some missionary friends who hosted us for the night, and had good conversation.  I'm so glad we went!  I had been feeling spiritually dry and overwhelmed and exhausted and this short conference was EXACTLY what I needed.  A shot in the arm to give me fresh energy, vision, and desire to grow closer to God.

Here were Beth's main points:

1.  We are all begging for something
(My name is Beggar Lindsey)

2.  Sometimes we beg for the lesser thing we need
(the beggar in Acts 3 was asking for money instead of healing)
I often beg for peace, quiet, ease, comfort, praise, instead of asking for God's presence and strength in the midst of the chaos of living

3.  Sometimes what we need from a person is just a a hand
(Just listening to someone can sometimes give them a handful of faith)
I'm so thankful for the people in my life who encourage me, over and over, no matter how imperfect I am.  My hubby is one of them!

4.  Nothing will leave us as lame as trying to make gods of people
(In our innermost person, the strongest drive we have is to have a god we can see.  However, when people are worshipped they become a freak show.  Only God can handle our worship.  We tend to either idolize or demonize people, but they are just people.)
It's easy to idolize a famous Christian we respect, or an author, or a friend or family member whose approval we seek.

5.  To experience the true magnitude of our healing, we to stop clinging to people and cling only to Jesus (Col. 2:19) and start WALKING

6.  Those who learned to walk are also called to talk
(Psalm 45:1  Never confuse boldness with meanness, share the Gospel with joy)
We may not all be called to get on a stage, but we need to be willing to share our story and study the Word that we might become teachers of it someday

7.  We can't force healing on people
(We want to make a formula out of our experience, but the more you force healing on someone, the more they will reject it)
How easy it is to "make a formula" out of everything, especially when you are a blogger!  We have to wait on God's timing and His plan for that person in our lives.  Taking them through a book, or circumstance, or to a conference that changed us won't work on them, because it's God, not a formula, that heals.

8.  God can use our healing to make others want theirs.
Being authentic with people and avoiding "Christianese" when talking to them will make them crave the healing we have found in Jesus.

Our homework was to fill in the blanks:

I have no_______________

But what I do have is____________________
(every Christian should have Jesus at the top of this list!)

This was a great exercise for me because so often I feel like I don't have any free time, energy, money, etc. to give.  But it was good to focus on the things I do have....things that God has given me to share, like faith, prayer, encouragement, etc.  Peter and John didn't have silver and gold to give the beggar, but they did have the Gospel and God's healing to give and they did.  God is not asking me to give all kinds of things to others that I don't have, but to take the things He has given me and use them for His glory.  Realizing this is incredibly freeing, especially since I regularly get asked to take on and do more things in a week than I can possibly do. 

I also appreciated how she emphasized that the Greek word in the Acts 3 passage is a continuous action verb:  BE WALKING.  The lame man was a clear miracle of rehabilitation.  We, too, are beggars in need of rehab.  When Jesus heals us, we need to BE WALKING.  Lately I've felt more like I've been sitting down spiritually.  It was a good message for me, that I need to "walk out continually" the healing I've received from my sin.

All in all, a very good conference, though it was far too short!  A few hours in the evening and 4 hours in the morning just felt like too little time to process all the teaching and spend time meditating and reflecting on it.  I think we moms could use a 4-7 day spiritual conference or retreat every now and then!  But, I realize this is unrealistic because of how busy everyone's lives are.  I have to say, I have NEVER seen more women gathered together in my life!  Just goes to show you what a hick I am, but 2,400 women seemed like a sea of people!  And surprisingly, Beth said that 20 different states were represented in the audience!  The most amazing thing, was that 10 women went forward during the altar call and prayed with the volunteers to receive Jesus!  When I saw people going forward, I actually had to avert my eyes.  I was overcome by what a sacred moment it was and was starting to bawl watching lots of women go forward for prayer or for salvation.  I felt like it was too holy to look upon in that moment.  Awesome!

As we returned home, I thought about the conference and wondered, "Why is it that I feel such a need to go to a conference or retreat once or twice a year?  Why doesn't the teaching/encouragement seem to last?"  Then I was reminded that just as we continually need to eat, we continually need to feed on God's Word.  In the same way, if we read the Word once a month, it's like eating once a month, and we need DAILY food.  It's wonderful to have a full-blown feast a few times a year, on our birthday, anniversary, or Thanksgiving, etc.  And conferences are like the equivalent of Thanksgiving.  It's so good to sit down to a feast of God's Word and to be filled with so many good things that we take home leftovers that can sustain us for a while.

Have you ever done a Beth Moore study or been to one of her events?  I'm curious to see what you all think of her?


Thia said...

Thanks for sharing from your weekend. I've never been to one of her events, but I do remember regularly listening to her on OnePlace for a while. But I'm never in one room long enough to do that anymore.

Heather said...

Great words of encouragement! I'm glad you had a good time at the conference. :)

Emily said...

I LOVE LOVE LOVE Beth Moore. I'm not a person who flocks to various popular Christian leaders because they tend to have a idolizing flock, and it's real hard when they opening admit it going to their heads, or starting a religious movement on a certain theological stand. (Rob Bell and John Piper are current examples and both grit me for the same reason.) Beth is very much UNLIKE either of these men, aside from being a woman. I think they could both learn from her.

She has a lesson she's used in a couple of her studies about back-bone and rib-cage theology. There's certain Truth in God's Word about what it takes to be a Christian. This is HUGE to God, it is required to enter heaven. Therefore, these truths should be like a backbone...without them, we're dead or paralyzed at the least. Then, there's other theologies which aren't necessarily gripping to our salvation in God's eyes. They are more like rib cages, where if broken would weaken us significantly, but we would still be able to function. Beth's point is this: too often, we zero in on rib cage theology and pride ourselves in what many call, "depth of our theology and wisdom," but take a rib cage issue and back a backbone out of it. When this is done, we are ADDING to the Gospel plan and simple. Yes, theology is important, but we need to focus on the backbones FIRST and keep them in proper alignment.

I have done several of her studies and love them for her Biblical wisdom, knowledge, and depth minus a puffy language to make her sound smarter. Again, John Piper could take notes from her.... I struggle to read one chapter in any of his books simply because his giant PhD language requires me to be totally distracted for a page while I try to figure out what the word means, give up, and get a dictionary, only to find that he could have chosen a much simpler word. **sigh** Anyways, she speaks very deep concepts in basic language. She also knows her Bible super well.

Thirdly, she doesn't take a stand beyond the backbone theologies. For example, in her Revelation study "Here and Now There and Then" she doesn't spoon feed a certain stand. She spent time researching the facts of the literal and figurative sides and presents both very well. She encourages you to see both sides before drawing your conclusion. It was an amazing study because she explains the lessons so well and encourages you to see what God is gonna show you.

I've done 4 or 5 of her studies. I love them for their depth and the fact she does word studies, cultural context, and presents the whole context not just a topical/verse study like many cheesey feel-good women's studies do.

Another thing that other Christian leaders could learn from her is to always remember they are SINNERS saved by GRACE and not be ashamed to be transparent about them. She opens so much about her family struggles and what God's brought her through, especially in Breaking Free. She is transparent and relevant in that she doesn't want to start a movement. She doesn't want to start a sect. She wants to encourage women to have a relationship with God FIRST and grow SECOND. This is something many leaders really to learn.

This is all in my humble opinion.

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