Your Fears Are Punks.

Yesterday, at the Storyline Conference in Chicago, I got permission to slip off some little handcuffs I didn’t know I was wearing.

For four years, I’ve gotten up every morning (well, ok most of them) before the sun and studied the Bible for hours. This is just about the only arrow in my quiver. Most of the time, if I hit the mark on a tricky target it’s because of that.

But I realized, I’ve made a law out of it.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/strandloper/

Photo Credit Steve Crane

Somewhere along the line, I came to believe if don’t read and study everyday, in exactly that way, God will reject me. The light he gave me will go out and the word will slip from my mind like soap down the drain, and quite frankly, I’m afraid of that.

But as I watched the orange leaves flutter to the ground, and considered the orderly march of creation through its seasons, I felt the spirit say, “Why do you think studying and praying is holier than writing and praying? Isn’t it all the same thing? Use that time in the morning to write.”

And with that, I got a little bit free. Free to worship him differently – using what he gave me, to do what he told me. No lies. No fear. Just grace.

This may sound like such a simple thing, and like all great truth, it is. As a child of God, I am completely free to move into new seasons without remorse or fear, just as the leaves do in fall. The process is in fact necessary to keep me nimble, humble and growing.

Plus, I already know this is right because the place where God speaks clearest, the Holy Spirit moves quickest and my own words surprise me the most is right here, in front of a glowing blue screen, in the dark, talking to you.

So that’s where we’re headed.

Creating something beautiful that doesn’t exist yet, requires freedom and stillness and courage, but that can’t happen if we’re terrified to step across lines either we’ve drawn or others have drawn for us. Remember, where the law of the Lord is there is liberty.

Or as Bob Goff put it earlier today.

“Your fears are punks. Give them the boot.”

Want to Quit Your Job? It’s Thursday.

New York Times Bestselling Author Bob Goff is famous for saying, “Quit something on Thursday. Maybe even your job.”

Bob believes that in order to make space for things you want, you have to clear out some things you don’t – even big things. So at his Love Does Conference in Seattle last year, I took him up on it.

“All right Bob,” I said, and quit my job, with my new BFF Lisa Long standing by.

The Culprits.

The Goff Unemployment Index rises by two.

I heard from that raven haired beauty Lisa Long today, AND GUESS WHAT SHE DID?

She quit her job…And it’s not even Thursday. Now, Lisa didn’t exactly work at the mall, she’s had a very big job for the last 22 years, so quitting was no small thing. But I’ve never heard her more excited.

“I have so much joy today and now I’m like Ok Jesus, whatever. I’m ready.”

Try praying like that some time.

Here’s the fun part.

This wasn’t a whim, Lisa’s been considering it for a while. Yesterday¬†morning she got up early to pray it over and wound up watching a couple of videos Bob posts. This was one of them. It’s 30 seconds. Watch it!

Six hours later, I posted the same video on my Facebook page and she saw it – again. Then she picked up the phone, called a meeting and pulled the chocks like a boss.

It’s not that Lisa isn’t scared, she is, but because she believes the Kingdom of God is a way of being in this world, right now, she is brimming with hope about what is next, and I CAN NOT WAIT….(How about a big white ship? hint hint.)

If you choose to live in the Kingdom of God – and by the way Bob would say, you’re not just invited, you’re welcome – it’s ok to reject coincidence. It’s ok, when people who love you post on Facebook things you’re already thinking, to believe that may just be God saying,

“Let go baby. I’ve got this. I’ve got plans for you.”¬† Jeremiah 29:11

Without the confidence I gained from reading Jeremiah 29:11 a thousand times, I wouldn’t have had the guts to quit selling insurance. If I hadn’t done that, I wouldn’t have gone to Zambia, which led me to Mercy Ships, and nine out ten people agree, bandaging the feet of lepers in West Africa is more interesting than selling insurance.

So, where do you need to pull the chocks and who are you trusting to help you?

Bob’s pal author Don Miller put it like this at the Love Does Conference:

“Are you being too careful? Is it robbing the Kingdom of God of something? We don’t want you to be careful anymore.”

Happy Thursday.

Come Do Love in Austin…And Pensacola!

Have you ever met a perfect stranger and three seconds later decided you ought to be best friends?

That happened to me in May, in Tacoma, Washington, as I wandered through the first ever Love Does Stuff Conference looking for a seat. Plunking down next to the raven haired beauty pictured below, I evidently flipped my hair and said,

“Hi, I’m Erin.”

“Hi, I’m Lisa.”

Boom. Friends.

Look out world!

Love Does Stuff Conference – Tacoma, Washington

Not only have we been BFF’s ever since, but the two of us will be speaking together this Sunday at her church, First City in Pensacola Florida.

The topic is the third person in picture – Bob Goff and his Love Does mantra “Love God. Love People. Do Stuff.”

Ever since I read Love Does, I’ve been in full enthusiastic agreement. However, the HOW can be tricky, because loving people extravagantly requires the surrender of our native human selfishness. Believe me, it’s a process.

That’s why I’m excited about the second Love Does Stuff Conference, in Austin October 31-November 1st. Regular people who have busted out of their own cocoons with atomic results, will gather to help the rest of us do the same.

Author Donald Miller laid it out in Tacoma like this:

  • Who are we?
  • What do we want?
  • What is the first step?

Lisa and I have been walking that out for a while now. You can read about some of my attempts here, here, here, and here. On Sunday, with the help of Rick Hazelip, her Jesus-loving Pastor, we’re going to talk about doing love Goff style, intersecting well with other humans, and why it is SO…MUCH…FUN.

“You are becoming love, that’s why you’re going to walk out of here worked,” Bob said in Tacoma. “Let your default position be love… see people for who they are becoming.”

Stay tuned.