Friday, November 04, 2011

Singing With Thousands

Wow!  I am having a lovely week-end already!

I went to the orientation and training time Friday evening so that I would know what my volunteer duties were to be at the Living Proof Beth Moore event.  Friends of our's, Mary and Jim, are friends of Beth Moore and Travis Cottrell.  When I arrived Mary told me that there were seats with our names on them, literally.  She'd reserved seats for both Mike and me.  They were absolutely the best seats in the house!  We were  in the second row, front and center.  The first row was for the Worship Team but most of them stayed backstage so no one was in front of us.

Before the event my assigned duties were to assist folks with special needs.  My nurse background came in handy as I am a highly skilled professional when it comes to pushing wheelchairs.  OK, so it didn't require any high skills at all but I enjoyed myself.

5 minutes before the event began the volunteers were released to take a seat.  Travis Cottrell and the Worship Team led us in singing and it was really uplifting to me.  I'd been looking forward to thousands of people singing together and I was not disappointed.

At one point, a lady in the row in front of us and a little ways down turned our way and started clapping big and leaning kind of toward us, you know, how someone would do to get you to join in.  I just kind of looked at her and it took me a minute to realize it was Beth Moore. 

I wanted to explain to her that I am a Lutheran and as such, I really couldn't clap big like that.  Lutherans are really quite dainty at that whole clapping thing.  And yes, I realize this is a terrible photo.  I think I must have been moving with the music.  check this one out...

One of the highlights was when Beth Moore was walking down in the crowd a bit, kind of having a little fun.  She went to my friend, Mary, and had her give the call to worship.  Mary didn't know this was going to happen but Beth had her give a "loud whistle", the kind that require you to put your fingers in your mouth.  Luckily, Mary's mouth was not dry and she was able to perform. 

Anyway, it was a fun evening. 

And afterward, our friend, Jim, took me to meet Travis Cottrell.

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Beth Moore, Travis Cottrell and Marriage Encounter

What are your plans for the week-end?   Anything fun?

We have a busy one ahead for us.  Tonight and tomorrow we are going to be at a Beth Moore event.  If you don't know who that is, check here and here.  It will be fun.  I enjoy her speaking style.  She can be earnest and funny at the same time.  I've not heard her live but I've attended many of her video Bible study sessions.  Tonight I am a helper and will be assisting people to their seats or something like that.  My responsibilities end when the program begins so I won't miss any of it. 

Travelling with Beth is Travis Cottrell.  Do you know him?  If you listen to KLOVE you've heard his music.  Our worship team sings some of his songs as well.  Travis stopped in at our church yesterday and Mike got to meet him.  I'd tried earlier in the afternoon to just "happen" to drop by but my timing was off so I didn't get to meet him.  I'm really looking forward to the music part of the evening.  Thousands of people singing worship songs together is quite an experience I expect!

Also this week-end Mike and I will be attending a closing service at a Marriage Encounter Week-end.  Have any of you been to a Marriage Encounter Week-end?  Mike and I think highly of Marriage Encounter.  It is a great organization that makes these week-ends available for couples as a way to strengthen their marriage. 

I was kind of nervous the first time I heard about a Marriage Encounter Week-end.  Working on marriage issues in a crowd seemed like an intimidating thing.  As it turned out, privacy is greatly respected.  The basic format was simple.  You all stay at a hotel for the week-end, leaving the world behind.  It is advised to leave the tv off, leave watches behind and just focus on your marriage.  Our week-end was in 1988 in Denver, CO.  The St. Louis Cardinals were in the World Series that week-end!  It is possible that our tv came on a bit, but what happens in Denver stays in Denver ok?

During the week-end they had sessions where speakers introduced topics and told their stories.  Couples attending are never put on the spot to tell their own stories, though.  Instead, we were all given questions to answer by writing in our own notebooks.  One member of the couple would do this up in the room while the other sat in the conference room or another quiet spot.  After a certain amount of time the couple is reunited in their own room to discuss answers.  That basic format was repeated all week-end, covering various topics.  We were given lots of good information to help develop great communication skills. 

After attending a Marriage Encounter Week-end couples are encouraged to join a small group of local couples.  We had so much fun with our couple friends!   I think the first time we were in a group of 4 or 5 couples and we met monthly to do small exercises similiar to the ones done at the week-end.  We had so much fun, though, and made some great friendships as a couple.  I fondly remember a lot of laughter.

We are not attendees for this week-end but we've been given the names of a couple that are attending.  Mike and I will be praying for them this week-end.  Every great marriage has an influence on others around them.  We will be praying for this couple to develop a great marriage, to learn skills to help them stay close to each other and to always, always keep God in the center of their marriage.  We have a candle that we will be burning this week-end, helping us remember to pray. 

On Sunday afternoon we will meet this couple and give them the candle.  Cool, huh?

Thank-you for stopping by. Feel free to use my photos but please link them back to my blog. I am honored if you wish to share content of any of my posts on Facebook, Twitter, etc. as long as it is linked back to my blog.

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