Stuff I Learned From Love Does Stuff 2013

Sometimes your heroes let you down.

And then sometimes your heroes are Bob Goff.

This weekend author/lawyer/”real-life Great Gatsby” Bob Goff led the first ever Love Does Stuff conference in Tacoma, WA. My girlfriend and I were lucky enough to be able to attend, all thanks to the graciousness of a few loving people in our lives.

I’ve looked up to Bob for years. Meeting and hearing from him in person did not disappoint.

IMG_8663Bob has an incredible philosophy and appetite for life. He invited a few of his incredible friends along, and over two days they shared how they do love in the world. Here’s a few things I took away (I did my best to attribute certain ideas to their respective speaker, in case you want to find out more about them):

  1. Bob is way taller in person. And he gives amazing hugs.
  2. Every conference should start with a drumline performance, and balloons make everything better.
  3. Anyone can solve a conflict between two countries. In the conference center lobby were a half dozen tables with Sharpies on top (and balloons, of course). Guests were instructed to sign the table and leave a message of love. Bob later explained that each of these tables would be cut in half. Each half would be given to an influential world changer, including world leaders from countries feuding with each other. Bob can do that – he just happens to be the United Nations consulate for Uganda. The message was that love doesn’t ask just ask people to come to the people – love tells people they are welcome at the table. IMG_1944
  4. The 3 questions we must ask ourself if we want to do something meaningful are: Who are we? What do we want? What’s the first step? (Donald Miller)
  5. It’s ok to be dumb. It’s ok to be wrong. It’s ok to fail. (Don)
  6. Satan plays tricks with our identity all the time. At our core, we are actually amazing people. (Don)
  7. We spend way too much time preparing as a stalling tactic because we are scared. (Don)
  8. Our schedules are not in charge of us. Take orders from love, not from the calendar. This came from Joshua DuBois, the former faith counselor for President Obama. Josh sends a devotional every morning to the President. Because the President asked him to. That’s cool.
  9. Brandon Heath is all sorts of awesome.
  10. So is Propaganda.
  11. Some people are not running from God because nobody is chasing them with His love. (Veronica Tutaj, YoungLives director in Texas)
  12. God doesn’t expect us to save the word, but he does section a territory off for us. (Veronica)
  13. Ministry can kill you. Sometimes even Jesus needed a minute. It’s ok to take a break. It allows others to a chance to step up into their purpose and potential. Set boundaries for yourself. (Veronica)
  14. Whatever you have, it is enough. God looks at it and says, “Awesome – I can use that.” (Kid President and director Brad Montague)
  15. You won’t always know the difference you made in someone’s life until much later, if ever. That’s no reason to not step into their lives. – Randy Siever, Bob’s former Young Life leader (you might remember him from the first chapter of Love Does)
  16. God is present and busy everywhere. Our goal is to be spiritual archaeologists. (Randy)
  17. Life can be like T-Ball. Everyday God places the ball on the tee for us. All we have to do is step to the plate and take a swing. No matter whether we knock it out of the park or dribble it right up to the pitcher’s mound, He will stand up and clap for us. (Randy)
  18. Every person who is saved for something is also saved from something. We need to understand what we were saved from so we can help others. (Dean Curry, pastor)
  19. Experience is not always better. The ark was built by amateurs. The Titanic was built by professionals. (John Cotton Richmond, lawyer specializing in human trafficking cases)
  20. We don’t matter more to God when we do better or less when we do bad. (John)
  21. We don’t own this world. We’re not bouncers, deciding who gets to come into the party. We’re ushers, guiding everyone to their seats at the table. We’re all welcome. (Bob)
  22. Be not afraid. Be not afraid. Be not afraid. Be not afraid. The most common command in The Bible. One which should be etched upon our hearts.
  23. God sees us not for who we are. He sees us for who we are becoming.
  24. Just start. Whatever the next step is, take it. Don’t be afraid of the result. Be reckless with the way you love one another. (Bob)
  25. When you don’t know the answers, respond with an interrobang. An interrobang is the combination of a question mark and an exclamation point. It used to be found on a typewriter. It’s used to express the emotion of confused excitement. As Bob put it, there are a lot of tough questions out there we don’t necessarily have the answers for: “But what about gay people? What about loving our enemies? How can you forgive that?” Maybe the best way to answer them is to say, “I don’t know?! Whatever Jesus did, I’m just gonna do a lot more of that.”
  26. You will be afraid. Find your courage in the doing. (Bob’s wife Sweet Maria)
  27. “What is done today can never be undone.” Bob explained in Ugandan courts, when someone is given the death sentence, the judge will sign their sentencing and break the pen he used in half to symbolize how his order cannot be undone. Jesus did the opposite when He saved us from death. He ripped our death sentence in half and set us free to follow in His footsteps. Ultimately, this was the message of Love Does Stuff – figure out what Jesus did and do a lot of that.


Did you go to Love Does Stuff 2013? What did you take away from the conference? How can you leave fear behind and do more of what Jesus did?


11 thoughts on “Stuff I Learned From Love Does Stuff 2013

  1. Love #22.

    And #25 is fascinating… never heard of the interrobang, would have guessed that word was made-up?!

    Just watched Zombieland last night – yes, I am well behind the rest of the world. I am a dad, so that is where I belong – I loved the interaction of his rules flashing on the screen… #1 Cardio… #2 Double Tap… (and as someone with irritable bowl… I could sympathize with #3 Beware of Bathrooms) …

    It was fun to find your list and think some of these could be rules for my life…

    Hope all is well.

  2. Thanks – there was so much encouragement, love, and joy in that room. I hope we can bring it all out to the world.

  3. Thanks for giving me a little taste of Love Does! I would have enjoyed it very, very much. Now to pay attention to do what Jesus did!

  4. Alex, you did a great job of giving a glimpse into what was, by far, the most amazing, thought-provoking, and thought-altering conference for which I have had the privilege to attend! The whole time I was there I was thinking, “man, I wish my husband could be here for this!”
    I loved that the conference was not one that as I walked out the doors, so did my enthusiasm. Quite the opposite, really. It renewed me. What the speakers had to say spoke to the depths of my being. I carry my Love Does Stuff notebook in my purse, full of the little *nuggets* of inspiration, and I find myself pulling it out often.

    A few of the things said that have impacted me, and actually opened up some additional lines of communication (from me) were:
    1) “I want the people who know me best to respect me the most. / I don’t want to be famous around the world, I want to be famous in my home.” (Joshua DuBois)
    **It has worked out well that what I quit last Thursday was to Stop using *yelling* as a way to communicate — surprisingly, it hasn’t been difficult; and I feel so much more at peace with myself and our toddlers, whom I love desperately!

    2) “Go do what you do scared; go do what you do nervous, but go do what you do.” (Veronica Tutaj)
    **This has been great because it is a confirmation to my husband and I. I quit my job last year to get a new degree, one of which I had never considered, but *know* is the *next step* for me to live out the purpose and passion I have; and my husband put in his notice 2 months ago to finish out his current contract but he will not be returning; and so we have NO income lined up, but we are trusting that our leap of faith was the right choice, and are *excited* about what our 2nd steps are!!

    3) “What have you been saved from that helps me understand what you’ve been saved for?” (Dean Curry)
    **This one CHANGED my life! I have never known how to get past/through the traumatic (to me) events that have forever shaped who I am, how I respond, and how I participate or don’t in things. To have had opportunity to verbalize “The three things you need to know about me to ‘get me'” has helped me, in insurmountable ways – even in a week! I came home and shared these with my husband (of 9 years), and while he knew these things about me, I was able to express how they shaped me. Additionally, I have had opportunity to share with others this week, and have *permitted* them to know me better – I have removed the stick at which I once held them at a distance.

    *I will end, now that I have taken up more room that your wonderful, original post. Thank you!

    • Great words Amy. Thanks for adding to all the lessons, and reminding me of a couple. I’m so glad the conference spoke to you and I hope God continues to do great things through you!

  5. Thanks for summing up all of my notes for me 🙂 It was an amazing life changing conference. My husband and I came home motivated, encouraged and definitely loved on. What are you and your girlfriend going to do to change the world?

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