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Recreate 2010 Recap

The 10th Anniverary of cre:ate was ALL that and a bag of chips! By the time I leave every year, I am brimming over with ideas and a replenished soul...this year was no different. The word for the week was "authenticity." I was so struck by that character trait in SO many of our speakers and musicians. There were SO many amazing moments that I cannot recount them all.

I will fail to mention in this post all the details of the wonderful conversations at meals, at our tables, and at late night gatherings with friends and new friends. That is THE BEST part of recreate. So for me, here were some highlights during the conference:

  • IMG_1152  Our morning worship times with Ian Cron, Audrey Assad, and Matt Maher were the most spiritually enriching moments of the week. Look for a new song written by Audry and Matt called "Restless." It's not out yet, but look for it...I can't stop singing it!
  • I was overwhelmed by Stephen Mansfield and Dan Cathy...these men had SO much to say to us as church leaders, I was inspired by their authenticity and challenged by their ideas.
  • Sheila Walsh and Luci Swindoll shared amazing testimonies with us that inspired me and brought such perspective to being in ministry and living life in general.

IMG_8876  However, the most amazing and...well, the only word that I can use to describe it is "transcendent...was hearing Gungor perform their entire new album from start to finish with no talking or transition. What you hear on the recording, we saw and experienced live (including a string section) with amazing video elements that enhanced the musical experience. I haven't experienced any musical event that was as fresh, musical, worshipful, artistic, and as excellent as their performance. GO SEE THEM! It is amazing...I really have no words to describe it. Buy this record.

The founder of this conference, Randy Elrod, released his new book this week. I blogged about it here. It was so meaningful to hear Randy share his personal journey of writing this book. Randy and his wife Chris are life-long mentors and amazing people. They also have a 10 year old Maltese like me so that REALLY makes them special!

I feel so blessed that I have a such a safe place to go every year for 4 days and be encouraged, challenged, convicted, harassed :), to laugh, and to cry...all of this with friends!

I'm ready for what God has for me this year...and I know it is because He had my attention in a big way last week in Franklin, TN...

Mandisa at Recreate 2010

Here is a short clip of Mandisa singing "God Speaking." She also performed a greatest hits of divas through the years that would have OVERLOADED the audio on my little camera..she sang the ending of "I Will Always Love You" by Whitney Houston better than the DIVA herself (sorry, Whit - I still love you!) She had the place rocking!!!

What is re:create?

Most people just don't understand setting aside 4 days of your life to attend something every year even when you have no idea of what it is going to be like each and every year. For me, it is four days of being with friends I only see once a year. It is a time to let my guard down because you know without a doubt that this is a safe place. It is staying up way too late to talk about stuff that I probably don't talk about with other people. It is a time to not take anything way to seriously about myself, my ministry, or my job title. It is a time that I am laughing one moment and maybe crying the next because I was so moved by what someone said or something I experienced. It is time for be away from everything with my thoughts. I have made some life changing decisions here over the last 9 years (I came the 2nd year it started and have only missed one year since because it was the week that Sean was born). I love the surprises, the amazing special guests that we have, and the musical events that we experience...BUT if all of that went away, I would still be here every year. My friends are amazing group of early adopters, leaders, artists, and people that want to make a difference with their lives each and everyday.  I admire them, I pray for them - they are my brothers and sisters in Christ and we need each other...even if only face to face for four days a year.  That is re:create.

My review of Sex, Lies & Religion by Randy Elrod


Sex, Lies & Religion is a must read for those who are wiling to embrace a fresh perspective on the role of sex and how it connects with our spiritual lives. Randy challenges a lot of what you may have perceived as the role sex plays in our lives, especially as spiritual beings.

The first eight chapters give you an overview of some very specific thoughts from Randy on the role of sex, our bodies, and a brief history of how art has portrayed the male and female body as a celebration of God's design. Randy states very plainly how he sees that the church and religion have bound us to the truth of what God designed for the role of sex to be in our lives. He believes this constriction to God's plan for us has contributed to the moral failures that we see so often in our church leaders and in Christians.

Chapter nine really brought some perspective for me that I have experienced in my own life. This paragraph in particular from chapter nine really brought it altogether for me.

"Making love becomes a way of life. It is the spiritual essence of each day. And in this sense every day is foreplay. The soft brush of a fleeting kiss as you awaken,a brief time of thoughtful conversation over a cup of coffee, a warm and close embrace at hello and goodbye, showing affection to unruly children, expressing exuberance about life, practicing serenity in turbulent times, and displaying a sense of compassion to others, are all as much “making love” as when actual sexual intercourse takes place." - from Sex, Lies & Religion by Randy Elrod.

This book is not for the faint of heart. You will be challenged on your personal views on these matters. If you want to engage in a different perspective and are open to those views being challenged, you need to read this book.  To purchase your copy, click here - Sex, Lies & Religion.

I can't win sometimes

There are some things as a parent that I have found are non-negotiable when it comes to my kids. Granted, I have only been a parent for 5 years, but I have learned to listen to what my kids ask me to be a part of in their lives. On Tuesday of this week, Sydney mentioned that one of the moms of one of her classmates had lunch with them. Todd and I have done this once before. But Sydney doesn't usually ask us to come to stuff. But this time, she said, "Mom, will you come have lunch with me at school?" I was thrilled. So, I planned to pick up McDonald's and bring it to her during her VERY early lunch time from 10:30 - 11:00.  Sydney is a child that has to prepared for the schedule to change. So, I told her that I would be a little late, but that I would be there.

Now, we ALL know that McDonald's starts serving lunch at 10:30. They have done this since I was child. So I was sitting in the parking lot at 10:25...waiting. At 10:30 on the nose, I pulled into the drive thru and began ordering my Happy Meals. The lady replied, "I'm sorry, Ma'am...we don't serve lunch till 11." I panic. Syd has no lunch and we do not have a wide variety of fast food on the Island. I whip over to Burger King...order the meals...and they proceed to tell me that the fries are going to be awhile. They were still pealing potatoes :) 10:40 now...

I finally get there at 10:45. Sydney is in tears. She says ," I thought you forgot and were sitting at home." We try to eat, but she is so stressed out because she knows that lunch is almost over (again, she is VERY conscious of time!) We woof down our food and the bell rings. I walk her back to class. I ask her, "Are you mad at mommy?" She says,"'s alright." with a very disappointed look.

I know...the reward is in the trying, but man, I felt like a loser! Note to self...PACK A LUNCH to have at school with your child. Second note to the Corporate offices of McDonalds and tell them they have a rogue restaurant that is messing up people's lives!

Anybody else feel like they can't win sometimes?

Sean turns 3

IMG_0378  IMG_0939 IMG_8848

It's hard for me to believe. It goes a lot faster with the 2nd one, I think. This has been our year together at home, just the two of us. With Sydney starting school this year, I have treasured my time with Sean and getting to know and understand the way God made him. Be careful what you pray just might get it. I prayed for a daughter like Todd and a son like me. Yeah, it happened. I look in his eyes and I know what he is thinking. I see how he learns quick and adapts. I see his quick temper when something doesn't work right the first time. He loves music. He pats the rhythm or just bobs his head when he listens to music. He leads his sister even though he is almost 3 years younger and he doesn't care if the is the smallest kid in the jumpy houses - he is not going to miss out on anything that his big sister is doing. He is so independent and yet loves to cuddle with his mom. I can always count on him for some good snuggle time!

Sydney loved to read with me at an early age. Sean has not cared for it all. But in the past two weeks, he is bringing me books to read to him. We have been sitting for 20-30 minutes at a time (unheard of for him!) and reading together. He is counting to 10. He thinks everything is either orange or blue (still working on colors). Lately, he enters a room and says 'Mom, whacha doing?" I tell him. Then he says "That's silly." He has started praying by himself at night. I love the Boz the Bear prayer. Sydney learned it at his age as well.

As I write this blog, he is out with his dad hitting balls with his first "real" set of golf clubs. They have a program where you upgrade the clubs as they get older so we started that this year. Todd has been waiting for this day for a LONG time! Sean is a lefty, but he plays sports with his right hand so Dad can handle that.

I feel very blessed today. I am so thankful for his health and development. I am so thankful for God giving us the privilege of parenting this precious little boy. Happy Birthday, bubby!I love you so much!