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.

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This is What Love Does – Part 1

This is the first in a series about the 2013 Love Does Stuff Conference, hosted by NYT bestselling author, justice seeker and Jesus lover Bob Goff.

Photo Credit: Lisa Long

Photo Credit: Lisa Long

On my flight home from Seattle yesterday, I imagined what it will be like when Bob Goff meets Jesus Christ in person.

Of course, I hope that doesn’t happen for another 50 years or so, because I need Bob in this world teaching me how to love people like Jesus did. He’s better at it than anyone I know.

Bob is a living, breathing disciple of Christ, a first-century apostle on a stage with balloons, hollering about fireworks and felons and child soldiers in Uganda, exhorting us to expand our territory and L-O-V-E  people so extravagantly that the world thinks we’re nuts.

Because that’s what Bob does. That’s what love does.

But when he’s done here and we are all weeping and toasting him, I imagine Bob will run as fast as he can into heaven, right up to the crystal lake and do a cannonball.

As the angels applaud and hold up scorecards, Bob will surface and yell, “How cool was that?” And Jesus will nod to Peter and John and say, “There he is, there’s our Bob.”

IMG_3756

My new BFF Lisa Long, Bob and me.

Then I think Jesus will grab Bob’s face and kiss his forehead, exactly like Bob did to many of us over the weekend. I can almost hear Jesus say:

“Thank you, Precious for delivering so many of them to my feet. Thank you for helping them find me, even the ones who have done heinous and horrible things. Thank you for showing them they are not just invited to my table, they are welcome.”

In Tacoma, Washington, at the first ever conference based on Love Does, Bob’s bestselling book, he must have said that 100 times. “You are not just invited here, you are welcome.”

Photo Credit: Lisa Long

Photo Credit: Lisa Long

You are welcome to speak your dreams out loud.

You are welcome to quit stuff, even your job, if it keeps you from Jesus.

You are welcome to not have all the answers about Christianity.

You are welcome to show up with whatever faith you have and leave the rest to Jesus.

Bob Goff is  a revolutionary, reminding us there’s only one four letter Jesus used all the time.

L-O-V-E

In God’s kingdom, love is supreme and without direct, exuberant expression of it, we are just noisy cymbals and clanging gongs. Sadly, the noisy cymbals get a lot more attention than conference speaker Veronica Tutaj does.

Veronica started doing love by handing out programs at church on Sundays eight years ago. Today, she loves on hundreds of pregnant and parenting teenagers in Austin, Texas. She does love with fire in her belly and told all 1,500 of us how to do the same. I think Jesus watched, elbowing Peter and John saying “there’s our Veronica, watch her go.”

Do you want to know how to do love better? Here’s a start.

Pick up Love Does* and let it change your mind about Christian behavior. If it surprises you, then pick up the Gospel of John. Find out what Jesus actually said, not what people say he said. It doesn’t matter what you are currently doing, or who says you are unwelcome. They are wrong.

You are welcome here.

*Proceeds from the sale of Love Does support the school Bob and his friends built for former child soldiers eight years ago. It is now the #1 school in Uganda. For more information visit Restore International.