Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Home from Biola Chapel

Was it really only 24 hours ago? I never expected to feel so calm as I walked into the middle of Chase Gymnasium at Biola University and looked up into the thousands of students, some teachers and one big video camera stage center right in front of me.

I had been praying and thinking about this message for over a month. Biola had flown me into LAX for this moment and, amazingly, I felt no fear or anxiety... I believe that was because of you, your prayers and our God's provision.

My message was "God Wants the Broken" (it will be podcast on iTunes under Biola chapel, Mar 17th in about a month) a tapestry of three stories: St. Patrick, my broken engagement and Mary of Magdala. I went overtime about 5 minutes but no one moved. Afterwards I did not feel anything but deep joy... I did what I was asked to do. I know God used it.

At the end I invited students to sign-up on our Soulation table and take any of the free CDs. By the time I got to the table (and I hoofed it to get there), all the CDs were gone and a hoard of students surrounded the little table. I felt overwhelmed and amazed. Students came up saying things like, "God has been showing me how much he values brokeness, your story just reminded me to press into that with God." "If I were your husband I would be so encouraged. You honored him so much by what you said." One couple who supports Soulation both with finances and prayer came up with these words, "We prayed for you for 15 minutes while we were on the freeway yesterday, that God would give you calm."

Boy did He ever! I've never felt so at peace in a presentation and I've never spoken to a crowd of that size. I called Dale afterwards letting him know we got 68 new Soulation "Fledge" sign-ups, almost all students. Other details, like connecting flights, rental car, hotel, navigation all went so smoothly. I even bumped into a hotel manager who had attended the Ruby Slippers Luncheon last week. She wrote a kind and meaningful note telling me how much Dale and I inspire her to find "balance in her soul."

So what can I say? I'm still all aglow from that engagement, those 24 hours in Los Angeles. Now, back to the work of inputting these names, reading, praying, thinking about our next bout of talks. Please pray for us as . . .
1- We finish up our local 4 part series on Loving God with all of You, Thursday, Mar 27, after Easter. We need to carve out time to write this talk in the next week and 1/2.
2- Our new Soulation website it coming together very well, but we'd ask for prayer for David (artistic director/designer) and Joaquin (programmer) as they push through in these final stages. We can't wait to show it to you!
3- We need discipline to carve out time for emails, writing blogs, writing Fledges, but most especially time for writing our books and reading. We have company arriving tomorrow, so I'm not exactly sure how this is going to get done. But I'd ask for wisdom for both of us. Wisdom to know when we need to just relax a bit and when we need to buckle down and work.

Thank you for being the ones who lift us up!

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