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Posts Tagged ‘Women of Faith’

It was shortly after I began my career at Women of Faith that I first heard the rumor the office was moving. Just shy of 7 years later, we actually did it. I took a picture of my old space, but it seems to have disappeared. Suffice it to say that it had no view, little space, and not a lot of light. But here’s my new spot:

My new cube

My new home away from home

I can glance up from my computer and see trees. Several of them. Big lovely things. I like trees. This makes me very happy. So does my amazingly comfy new chair. So does this:

WoFfice living room

Impromptu meetings, parties, whatever...we've got the room

And this is pretty awesome, too:

arena mural

This shot of a Women of Faith arena takes up a whole wall!

Of course, we would never forget The Revolve Tour:

revolve wall

Revolve gets its own wall

There’s this fun little coffee bar right by the back door:
coffee bar

Which, btw, we actually need access cards to open. Just like a real, grown-up office!
door access

The front of the house, as it were, is also quite spiffy. Check out this hall with pics of our peeps!
front hall

We love our new space. It’s clean and shiny and colorful. There are no roaming gangs of teenagers in the parking lot, just happy views of trees. Was it worth waiting for? I do believe it was.

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I spent the weekend in Billings, Montana at the kick-off of Women of Faith’s Imagine tour. Part of each speaker’s introduction is a video Q&A. The questions (and answers) ranged from insightful to hilarious, but the one that caught my fancy was, “If you could have dinner with anyone from the Bible, who would it be?”

I started thinking about that. There are so many good choices . . . Jesus, of course (as a plus, if you ran out of food he could make more on the spot); Paul (to pin him down on his real views about women in the church); Martha (who could probably be counted on to help with the dishes). But the more I thought about it, I decided my choice would have to be Leah.

Remember Leah? She’s Rachel’s older sister, the one who was so unattractive Joseph had to be tricked into marrying her. I’ve always mourned for Leah. The scripture says “Leah’s eyes were weak.” So are mine. I shudder to imagine what it was like in those days before glasses & contacts, squinting at everything, trying to make out what’s going on around her. But one thing was very clear: Rachel was the princess. Leah was not.

Put yourself in Leah’s place: the household is abuzz with preparations for Rachel’s wedding. Was Leah hoping that once Rachel was out of the way she might get a little attention as the daughter of the house? Maybe she was happy for her sister’s good fortune or resigned to one more event that was all about Rachel. We don’t know.

We do know that at some point her dad must have called Leah into his study (or its biblical equivalent) and bluntly explained that there was no way anyone would ever want her. The only way she’s going to get a husband—and in those days, husband = survival—is if the unlucky guy doesn’t know who she is until it’s too late.

So with Rachel in her room throwing a hissy fit (that’s not in the Bible, but from what I’ve read about her temperament it seems likely), Leah is getting ready for “her” wedding. We don’t know what Leah’s feelings for Jacob were, but it must have been bitterly painful to exchange vows with a man who thought she was someone else. “If he knew it was me,” she probably thought, “he’d run screaming the other way.”

That’s no exaggeration, by the way. The next morning, when Jacob finally discovered the deception, he did exactly that. He must have been pretty drunk not to notice who he was cuddling the night before. (And if the wedding was hard on Leah, imagine what that must have been like for her.)

It would be nice to say that Jacob eventually learned to love Leah, but it doesn’t really look that way.

Genesis 29:31 says, “When the Lord saw that Leah was not loved…she became pregnant.” When her son was born she said “It is because the Lord has seen my misery. Surely my husband will love me now.” But no. Another son was born and Leah said, “Because the Lord heard that I am not loved, he gave me this one, too.” How sad is that? Then son number three came along and she said, “Now at last my husband will become attached to me, because I have borne him three sons.” You’d think! But again, no.

By the time Leah’s fourth son was born she had apparently given up on Jacob, saying, “This time I will praise the Lord.” (Looks as though Leah finally learned to turn to God for comfort, rather than her husband.) She would eventually have two more sons (she called them precious gifts from God) and a daughter. (And that doesn’t count the children Jacob conceived with her servant because, well, that’s just a whole ‘nother can of worms.)

From my perspective, Leah got a bum deal. I’m glad for her that she had so many children, a mark of God’s favor in her day. I’m glad one of those children was Judah, whose offspring would include David and eventually Jesus. But from what I can tell, Leah never had anyone to make her feel special.

That’s why I’d like to have her over for dinner. I’d like to make a delicious meal, serve it on my best china, and spend the evening making her feel important. Leahs deserve to know they are valuable—beautiful, even —in God’s eyes. God loves the Leahs of this world just as much as the Rachels.

So that’s my answer. What about you? Which Bible character would you have over for dinner?

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I know, it sounds like an oxymoron, right? How can pie be fudge? How can fudge be lemon? How can I even think of writing about it when I don’t have the recipe? (Yet. More on that later.)

I can’t help myself—this stuff was amazing. Here’s the story: I was working at the Women of Faith A Grand New Day event in Dallas on Friday. It was lunchtime; I was hanging out in Catering with my new best friend, Yvette Nicole Brown. We were having a grand time chattering away about how to savor food, dead bodies on TV, Claire Huxtable, and more when Marilyn Meberg walked over, dropped a plastic baggie on the table, and sat down.

“You have to try this,” she said, motioning to rough squares of whitish something inside the baggie. “It’s lemon meringue pie fudge.”

Now, I have to confess that at first glance, the stuff did not look―or sound―particularly appetizing. But I know Marilyn well enough to know that her sweet tooth is pretty reliable, so I was willing to withhold judgment.

“In my talk on Friday afternoon,” Marilyn continued, “I say that my two favorite things are lemon pie and fudge with no nuts. So sweet Collin looked and looked until he found a recipe that combined the two and made a batch for me.”

Collin, it should be explained, is Collin Trent, husband of Anna Trent (emcee for the Friday Feature at Women of Faith) and son-in-law of Sandi Patty. He’s a delightful young man and a darn good cook.

With that endorsement, Yvette and I took the proffered pieces of fudge. It was white chocolate, of course, not dark, and studded with marshmallows in lieu of meringue. With our recent conversation about savoring food in mind, I did the real foodie thing and smelled the fudge first. Oh. My. It had a strong, luscious scent that smelled like . . . well, exactly like lemon meringue pie. So I bit into it. Lo and behold, it tasted like lemon meringue pie—only with the consistency of fudge.

It was wonderful. You have to try it. Collin may try to keep it a secret, but a lot of people are clamoring for the recipe. As soon as someone worms it out of him, I’ll post it here. I promise.

Meanwhile, I’ll just bask in the memory of that luscious, creamy, startling fudge.

Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

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At Women of Faith and The Revolve Tour events, we live and die by an Excel spreadsheet called the “minute-by-minute.” This incredibly detailed chart shows exactly when everything is supposed to happen during the course of the weekend.

For example, on a recent Saturday at Women of Faith’s A Grand New Day event, the Worship Team was supposed to take the stage at 2:50, sing 3 songs in 12 minutes, then leave the stage so Mary could spend the next 12 minutes making announcements, giving away prizes, and introducing Luci Swindoll. (I wasn’t there, so I don’t know if it actually went according to plan—but it usually does.) At any given time, a staffer with a minute-by-minute in hand can tell if the program is on time, early, or running late.

Wouldn’t it be great if everyday life was like that? If you could know exactly when your next blessing or trial was scheduled to begin and exactly how long it would last?

Well, no, actually. It wouldn’t. We just can’t handle that kind of knowledge. If you knew for a fact that you had a scary test result from the doctor on tap for next week, would you be able to enjoy that hug from your four-year-old today? Wouldn’t your mind race ahead to the bad news to come and blow past the good stuff staring you in the face?

I’ll bet it would. That’s just the way we operate. I got an email today with an excerpt from the book Jesus Calling by Sarah Young. Part of it went like this:

“Rehearsing your troubles results in experiencing them many times, whereas you are meant to go through them only when they actually occur.”

I’m going to have to read that several times, probably over several days, before it really sinks in. I do know that most of the things we worry about either don’t happen or are out of our control anyway. That doesn’t always stop me from “rehearsing my troubles” though.

Here’s one thing that does help me handle the whole “not knowing” thing: I do not have a minute-by-minute for my life—but God does. He knows exactly when everything that’s going to happen to me (and you) will happen. Not only that, He’s in control of it all. Psalm 139:16 says, “All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” When my father and brother (my only sibling) both died unexpectedly in unrelated events the same weekend, that verse was the only thing that kept me going. “All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” I told myself. “Even this one. Even this one.”

So. Relax. God has your days all mapped out and nothing is going to mess with His schedule.

P.S. If you’d like to pick up a copy of Jesus Calling, you can find it here:  http://store.womenoffaith.com/wofstore/product_detail.asp?sku=1591451884

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