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.
Bob 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):
- Bob is way taller in person. And he gives amazing hugs.
- Every conference should start with a drumline performance, and balloons make everything better.
- 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.
- 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)
- It’s ok to be dumb. It’s ok to be wrong. It’s ok to fail. (Don)
- Satan plays tricks with our identity all the time. At our core, we are actually amazing people. (Don)
- We spend way too much time preparing as a stalling tactic because we are scared. (Don)
- 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.
- Brandon Heath is all sorts of awesome.
- So is Propaganda.
- Some people are not running from God because nobody is chasing them with His love. (Veronica Tutaj, YoungLives director in Texas)
- God doesn’t expect us to save the word, but he does section a territory off for us. (Veronica)
- 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)
- Whatever you have, it is enough. God looks at it and says, “Awesome – I can use that.” (Kid President and director Brad Montague)
- 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)
- God is present and busy everywhere. Our goal is to be spiritual archaeologists. (Randy)
- 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)
- 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)
- 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)
- We don’t matter more to God when we do better or less when we do bad. (John)
- 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)
- 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.
- God sees us not for who we are. He sees us for who we are becoming.
- 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)
- 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.”
- You will be afraid. Find your courage in the doing. (Bob’s wife Sweet Maria)
- “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?