Thursday, June 26, 2008
REVIEW ON THE PRAISE BREAKFAST THIS MORNING
Well, I had a nice friend who gave me a ticket to go to a Praise Breakfast this morning at our convention center. Breakfast was to start at 6:45am, so I got up at 5:45am to get ready for what I anticipated to be a really inspiring and precious morning. The keynote speaker was Ruth Graham, you know, Billy Graham's daughter, and the breakfast was sponsored by Scenic City Women's Network-A group that serves to equip and support business and professional women. Okay, good enough. So I was off. Found great parking, only had to walk a short distance to the breakfast, and found my table and seat right away. They had a nice, light breakfast of fruit, eggs, bacon, muffins, juice, and coffee. You know I had to ask if they had tea instead. And...thankfully, they did. Yea for me! Anyhooty, you know how it feels to have your mind and heart all ready for something, expectations, anticipation, etc., but you get there, you sit through it, and...well, I wouldn't go as far as saying letdown, but I guess what I received wasn't what I imagined it to be. There, that's a fair assessment.
So let me tell you about it. The theme of the Praise Breakfast was "God's Endless Love." Great theme. There was a welcome, special music, and other things, and then...the message from Ms. Graham. She started out by saying that she wanted to address wives and even wives of high-profile men, like her father, how difficult that is for some women, and how God would have you respond. We're good so far. She starts out talking about her mother, what she remembers over the years of her mother, and giving her mom's testimony. Although I've heard her mom's fascinating testimony before, I was willing to hear it again because I thought that it would lead to her speak of something else, closely related to that or to go with that, that was Biblical. She had said prior to talking about her mom that she only had an hour to speak, so I sat back to take it all in.
Well, in an hour, her mom's testimony was the only thing we heard about. Again, her mom's testimony is fabulous, and in her defense, I know she was using her mom's life and how she responded with Godliness to different situations in her lifetime as the way to give the answer to what she said she initially wanted to address--how to be a (or a picture of a) Godly woman, wife, mother, supporter, what that entails, and how God would have you respond. It's fair and creative to do that; it's not what I expected, but it was creative. But, and here's my biggest problem with the whole thing, Ms. Graham didn't once (that I can recall-if she did, somebody comment and correct me) quote relevant Scripture to her mom's life and testimony, she didn't once use Scripture to back up or convey her message, she didn't use Scripture at all! She quoted some of her mom's favorite quotes from favorite authors that were relevant to the message, she told some of her mom's witty comments and jokes and how she always went around with joy, she talked about Christ being all-sufficient for her mother's life, she even talked about how her parents always imparted the Word to people whenever they had the opportunity, something appropriate for where the person was at right then in their lives, but she didn't.
Okay, okay, fair enough, she isn't her parents or her brother Franklin, and I'm sure she has to live up to certain expectations and people's opinions herself, I know she is her own person with her own character and way about things, I know that she is an individual, BUT, who doesn't need to use the Word in their speech, and when isn't appropriate for the Word to be used? Do you have to Bible thump, give an old-fashioned "hail, fire, and brimstone," or appear to be Ms. Religious of the year? I think not and that wouldn't have been necessary, but again, how do you give a speech at a Christian woman's (or any Christian for that matter) breakfast or venue without injecting the Word where appropriate throughout? Hey, I'm usually not critical or judgemental (remember, this is just a "review" on the breakfast:)), and I can usually see the significance and/or logic in stuff that other people can't but...I'm just saying...
There were a couple of other things, like timing of soliciting (oops, I mean "informing" about products for sale and upcoming events), that I thought would have been better at another juncture in the schedule, but who am I and what do I know. I'm not criticizing Ms. Graham, because apparently the lady can speak and is clearly popular; she's also been through a lot and can be transparent and encouraging, but...I guess we need to answer the question, "Do we NEED to quote Scripture or give Scripture references at any and every Christian venue we speak at? Is there a time when we can just tell a good story, skip the Scripture injections (and the expounding on maybe one or two of them--something folks!), receive the accolades given from the audience, and even get a standing ovation (which Ruth did get)? Yeah, I guess you could depending on what you came to speak about, what was expected of you, and what type of event you were at. What say you, my readers, about this? I want to hear from you.
All in all, it was a good morning. I got to see Ruth Graham, whose family I have the greatest respect for, and I got to sit at a nicely decorated and set table with ladies whom I didn't know prior to the event, but seemed really nice. They all knew each other, so of course and naturally, they talked to each other a lot. I think I interjected something twice, but I've never had a problem with being somewhere alone and not knowing anyone. I usually just like to focus on what's being said or what's going on anyway.
Well, on with the rest of my day. Hopefully, it's uneventful. I'm tired. We've had a full week and I think the weekend will be the same. Since I had to get up so early for a talk, maybe I'll lay down early and rest with a talk...with Jesus and His wonderful, needful, life-changing, transforming, all-important Word.
Have a good day!