This weekend my mom and I took a magic carpet ride to Orlando for The Gospel Coalition’s first women’s conference. On my flight home, my brain was creaking pretty good, so I thought I would type out some less-meaningful observations that I had. The deeper stuff will be coming shortly. For now, here’s some quirky side notes that a creaking, tired brain captures:
1. Being the first time I had attended a conference of this size, I was totally inexperienced on the issue of which face to look at. Do I look at the massive face on the giant screen to the left, the tiny, but blindingly spotlighted face in the middle, or the other massive screen-version on the right? I just kept rotating.
2.Having listened to many of Tim Keller’s messages on my iPod, and having the opportunity to hear him twice at the conference, I have confirmed the fact that he seasons all his messages with a C.S. Lewis quote. He just can’t help himself. It’s not a bad secret ingredient, really.
3. John Piper loves metaphors, but sometimes they get away from him. In the heat of passion during his message on joy, he blurted out off the cuff, “You now have taste buds on the tongue of your soul…” That drew me in–until… ”and they were made to taste the lollipop of the gospel.” He apologized for that one.
4. Paige Benton Brown is like the gospel on drugs. Now I have a better picture of what those at Pentecost must have been like when accused of being drunk. I’ll have what Page is having, please.
5. Donald Carson is the only speaker who could get away with calling something “unmitigated rubbish.” I wish I could replay him saying that over and over. Maybe we could come out with a doll.
6. Nancy Leigh Demoss was the only speaker who did not use the podium provided. She switched it out for a music stand. With the pretty, Mary Poppins-like skirt she was wearing, and her own beautiful speaking voice, I was ready any minute for her to start conducting us to break forth in song.
7. Thanks to Elyse Fitzpatrick, I will now refer to justification as the “J” bomb.
8. It would be pretty awesome to wake up to the music of the Gettys every morning, including every member who played in their band this weekend. But of course, then I would most certainly have to take up river dancing.
Hopefully these quirky observations are in no way insulting, but do make an important point about so-called celebrity pastors and teachers. They are humans with their own unique peculiarities just like you and me. Their stellar ability to deliver us the gospel message may make their faces seem huge in our eyes. They may be blasted with a spotlight so blinding that they complain they cannot even see the faces in front of their own. But they are just fellow servants of our God standing behind a podium (or music stand), pointing us to Christ. And I’m thankful for the ride through Scripture they took us ladies on this weekend. They sure handed us our theme, Here Is Our God.