I wasn't much of a live-blogger at True Woman '08, after all. I had a collision of duties about halfway through the conference, but I did enjoy what I was able to do. In fact, my respect for Tim Challies and his live-blogging skills increased immeasurably after sitting next to him and trying to live-blog the same event. Of course, my debut with was with a John Piper message--and Dr. Piper's famous multi-phrase definitions are quite challenging to note accurately. I would only get the first half, but Tim inevitably had it all. Amazing! On Saturday night, after being missing in action all day, Tim leaned over and jokingly said I was the worst live blogger ever. Very true. I happily acknowledge my superior!
It's been a very full weekend, so I only have the energy and brain cells to post the briefest of summaries. I certainly enjoyed the first evening of the conference, when we were challenged to both a high view of God and His plan for womanhood in the messages that John Piper and Nancy Leigh DeMoss gave. These two messages set the tone for the rest of the weekend. Friday was another full day. I was honored by the women who crowded into my first breakout session--sitting on the floor and in the aisles--to hear me speak on radical womanhood. And I was grateful for the women who came for my singleness seminar and stayed for a book-signing. Throughout the afternoon, I kept thinking that there's another item for Tim Challies to note on his list of differences between men's and women's conferences: the request for a hug. Somehow, I don't think this is a common request at, say, pastors' conferences. ;) But there was definitely a lot of hugging going on throughout the event.
Saturday started very early for me. Those of us who were participating on the speakers panel had to be dressed and caffeinated for the pre-session prayer meeting by 7:45 am. The first phone call of the day was from my friend, Kimberly Wagner, who called to say, "This is the first day of True Woman movement." It hadn't dawned on me until that moment what this day would really accomplish. I knew what our agenda was, but the busyness of the conference kept me very task-oriented. I didn't have much time for reflection. Therefore, when a group of us assembled to line up on stage and read each point of the True Woman Manifesto, suddenly I was hit by the importance of the day. As I looked out at the 6200 women assembled before me, I realized we were in an historic moment. I had a overwhelming urge to cry tears of joy, but I kept it together. I needed all my focus to make it up the stairs to the stage on heels and not do a face-plant before I reached the podium. What a privilege to be part of that day! And before it was over, women from around the world joined those of us in Chicago to sign the online version of the Manifesto. (For a detailed explanation of this document, please listen to Nancy's explanation and read it online.)
I know that I often encourage you all to read, watch, or support various items. Therefore, I frequently receive requests from other organizations to promote their goals or groups on this blog, but I won't do it. I feel strongly that I can only endorse or support a limited number of things that I am personally familiar with--or else I lose all credibility. So here I am, once again encouraging you to take action for a good cause. But this is very important. Mary Kassian gave us a detailed overview at the conference as to why God's definition of womanhood was challenged by the women's liberation movement. Then the rest of the speakers addressed various aspects of womanhood in light of God's glory. These are all important messages and worth your time to download (they're free) and hear. Then, if the Lord leads you, please join the rest of us in signing what John Piper called a "magnificent document."
Finally, if you attended or watched the live stream of this event, please leave a comment. I would enjoy hearing from you.
(Photos: Assembled for the Manifesto affirmations at True Woman '08; the speakers panel on Saturday morning with Mary Kassian, Holly Elliff, Bob Lepine, Karen Loritts, and Barbara Rainey; waiting to read my line from the Manifesto; Nancy with Kimberly Wagner in the background.)
P.S. The True Woman theme song, "Truly Yours," was written by my friends Steve and Vikki Cook. It's got a memorable chorus and heartfelt lyrics. I think it will be a great addition to any collection of worship songs you might have that reinforce truth to your soul.