I almost bought a ticket for the LifeWay Deeper Still event in Birmingham. It took place this past weekend, and I had the time and money to go. I was thiiiis close to going to withdraw money from my savings account to buy myself a ticket. Then I had to consider whether or not it was really worth it to me. The ticket, gas, and food, when all totaled, would amount to about $120 IF I only bought lunch for myself on Saturday. We’ve got our Lottie Moon offering coming up and end-of-the-year giving to our church, so I decided no. I could not justify it. Because, to be honest, I wouldn’t be going for the same reasons as most of the attendees. According to #deeperstill, women wanted to “hear a word” from their “Siesta Mama.”
Yes, I followed the deeperstill twitter hashtag all weekend. Is that not totally lame for someone not interested (from a pure motive) in going to the event?
You see, I have no desire to get a word from her, or Priscilla Shirer, or Kay Arthur. I can read and meditate on the scriptures without her help, thankyouverymuch. In fact, my quiet times this past week have been extra…terrible. One morning last week, I dreaded opening God’s word because I knew what I was going to find: Ezekial. And, y’all, that’s just not a happy book. And after a month in Jeremiah, (sigh) I just haven’t been all that joyful in my approach to God’s word. Many mornings I’ve winced as I opened the cover.
Please don’t misunderstand me. I love God’s word. But those books are heavy with judgment for sin, images of the terrible sin found among God’s people. And I could see myself all too clearly. As a result, I’ve been asking the Lord, What do I do about it? The answer, of course, is the gospel. I don’t do anything; my efforts are unacceptable self-righteousness. But, instead of joy and gladness for God’s salvation, I’ve been frustrated.
This frustration has been a great spiritual service to me, though. I understand the sinfulness of it, and not wanting to become hardened by it, it has forced me lower and lower, further uprooting the self-righteous desires and inclinations which lie deep in my heart. It has not been pleasant to realize the depth of my sin and weakness, but walking from darkness into a brighter light is good. Plus, moving on from Ezekial to Hosea lightened up my spirit a bit. Amen?
Where was I going with this? Oh, my real motivations for wanting to attend Deeper Still had more to do with observing the event. God told Ezekial to go to the temple, peek through the hole in the wall, and see what His priests were doing. Well, I’m not Ezekial, and I can’t peer behind the walls of women’s hearts to see who or what they really worship (indeed the exercise of peering into my own heart showed me enough), but I wanted to see if God was really there…to see what He’s doing at those events.
But I didn’t go; therefore, I don’t really know what happened.
I continue to follow, however, #deeperstill on twitter (I use tweetdeck, btw). This provides, maybe, a balcony view of its fruit. And I’m concerned.
What I didn’t see: the name of Jesus, mention of the gospel, scripture quotes.
What I did see: lots of tweets about how much the tweeters love Beth; lots of excitement about meeting Beth and her daughters; tweet upon tweet of loving so-and-so or meeting so-and-so and loving her; lots of tweets about Kay Arthur’s age; “bringin’ it”; tweets about how hilarious it is that all of the restrooms have been converted to women’s restrooms; several women sharing that they were weeping; tweets about cute clothes and hair; tweets about note-taking; tweets about finding margin; tweets about cupcake wars; tweets about sex. One tweet, probably most surprising, said that she hoped Jesus didn’t come back before Beth was able to finish her session. Really?
Now, tweeting is tweeting. I shouldn’t expect to get much info from tweets. So, I’ve been watching for the blog posts.
What I’ve seen so far: the main theme seems to be the excitement of meeting a fellow blogger in real life or seeing/hearing Beth Moore live and “Wow, she’s so anointed!” I have yet to read a post with some biblical content. I have no real clue about what was taught (except I know Kay Arthur taught the book of Matthew, but I don’t know what she said about it). The blog post making the biggest ripple in the blogosphere is the one written by Jon Acuff about being a man at a women’s conference.
So, c’mon, Conference Attenders! I want to know what you learned from the scriptures at this conference. I’ve read that it’s going to take a while for the ladies to “process the weekend.” I hope I don’t have to wait for LifeWay to publish it.
I’m seriously considering attending the next (final?) Deeper Still event in Louisville next year. Anyone want to sponsor me?