Being With Jesus…Living On The Edge

25 06 2011

In the world we live in today, being with Jesus is truly living on the edge.  Our society is completely consumed with being “politically correct:” Almost negatively impacting how we share and communicate with each other.  While it is absolutely important to show everyone respect and use the proper vernacular in conversation, we simply cannot hide our faith or our beliefs for fear that we might offend someone who does not share them with us.  We must be a witness at all times, no matter the consequences.

On Thursday morning, around 9:30, I arrived in Peoria, IL for the annual LWML (Lutheran Women’s Missionary League) national convention.  The theme of this convention was entitled “Being with Jesus.  Living On The Edge.”  I had been booked to come to this convention for over a year and had been looking forward to it and planning for it for weeks.  I had been told there were 5,000 women expected to be in attendance. 

In preparation for my keynote address Friday night, I spent a lot of time pondering on the theme of the event.  My mind went immediately to Bible stories of people who truly lived on the edge for Jesus every single day and did it without hesitation or fear.  I had crafted my hour-long presentation around these very people hoping to use them as examples of how we should be living every day.   I very rarely write speeches, but because of the audience size, I thought it would be best to have something well-thought out and written just in case.  As I started to compose my speech, I kept running into road blocks.  I never knew why until I got to the convention.

Thursday night, after two autograph sessions and several meet and greets, the entire audience came together for a worship service.  Imagine 5,000 women of God singing together in praise and worship to the Lord Almighty…it gives me goosebumps just thinking about it again.  During this particular service, I was feeling a little emotional and moved, but couldn’t place where the feelings were coming from until the Pastor got up to do the sermon.  I have never been more inspired or moved to tears from a sermon before in my life.  His message was very similar to what I had planned to say the following night, yet stated much more eloquently than I could have ever done.  His words were so poignant and pierced me straight through the heart.  It was the Lord speaking right to me that evening, telling me I was to send a different message.  So, as soon as I returned to my hotel room, I gathered up a pen and paper and began re-writing my speech for the following night.  I stayed up way too late, and woke up way too early the next morning, writing up until the very moment I was to leave for my keynote address, but it was all in preparation to be used at a catalyst for my Heavenly Father. 

In this world, we are surrounded constantly by people from all backgrounds, beliefs and opinions.  At this particular event, I was surrounded by 5,000 women who all share my same beliefs, attend the exact same kind of church and have a similar story to mine as to how they were born and raised; yet, there was still a sense of complacency lingering in the air.  The Lord was calling me to live a life of conviction!  This is what He was leading me to discuss.

Feeling much conviction myself, I shared several personal stories of times when I have felt convicted; many of them recent.  I prayed that the Lord would work in the hearts, minds and souls of every woman (and man) in that building and every person they came in contact with thereafter to no longer live within our comfort zones, to no longer accept attending church every Sunday and taking part in church activities as living on the edge for the Lord, to no longer live with complacency…but live with conviction.

At the pinnacle of my speech, the Lord moved me to tears as a way to show total vulnerability.  As tears streaked down my face, they washed away the fear, the selfishness and the guilt of a life not truly living on the edge for the Lord. 

After completing my speech on stage that evening, I sang four musical selections including “You’ll Never Walk Alone,” “Be Thou My Vision,” “I’ve Just Seen Jesus,” and “Via Dolorosa.”  The audience gave the most incredible response with several standing ovations and applause, but in my mind I was constantly thinking, “It’s all You!”  God works in wonderful and mysterious ways.  Open up your heart and let him.  He will not only change your life, but work through you to change the lives of others on your way to transformation.

A huge thank you to all of the women who attended the LWML convention that have sent me personal messages since the event requesting a copy of my speech to share with other groups. As my next blog entry, I am posting pieces from my speech that may be used in context with the LWML convention.  Thank you for your prayers, your guidance, your kind words and your motivation to continue living on the edge!

 

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One response

29 07 2011
Allison Martin

Katie,

My name is Allison Martin and I am a competitior in the Miss America pageant system. I competed in Miss Florida 2009 and 2010, but chose not to compete this 2011 season because I want to truly be ready to take on the job the next time I compete. I know that if I had the opportunity to serve as Miss Florida, not only do I want the title to serve my state, but I want to take the title as a platform to serve Christ. I know that it is a major responsobility so I am working on preparing metally, physically, and spiritually.

I have been following you on facebook for a few months, but today I just noticed a link you had posted that led me to this site. It seemed like such a God thing when the page came up and the first thing I saw was “Being with Jesus… Living on the Edge.” I was reading a book today (I’ve been going through it for quite some time) by David Platt titled Radical. I don’t know if you have heard of it or read it, but it’s great and closely realted to everything you wrote about and spoke about.

The book is all about the American dream and how we as Americans get so caught up in chasing the American dream and living in security, that our devotion to Christ and His calling is overlooked. The book also focuses on God calling us to share His word with all nations and how so many people groups go unreached because we are too focused on ourselves. Those who follow Christ with all of their heart should be willing to live on the edge and do whatever God calls them to do even though it may be outisde of security or outside of their comfort zone. Platt is constatly challenging readers to make a “radical” change for Christ. Everyitme I open the book I am convicted of doing less than what God has asked me to do.

I wrestle with the idea that my hopes of becoming Miss Florida and competing for Miss America may get in the way of what God hopes for me to accomplish. I am wondering if this is something that you ever questioned when you were competing. I admire your stand for Christ and how you are still using your Miss America title as a platform to reach people across our country. Was that your initial intention for competing for the title? Have you ever felt convicted of living the beautiful American dream?

Your blog entries have been a blessing to me tonight as I read several of them and got to know you a little better. I’m excited to know that I have a Miss America with similar beliefs that I can look up to throughout my journey to the crown. I hope that you will get back to me with your take on these questions and concerns, and read Radical if you haven’t already done so.

In Christ,

Allison Martin

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