Hi friends! Well, I hope we can become friends. Please allow me to introduce myself. My name is Mary Anna and I am the newest member of the LifeWay Women Team. I’ve only been on the team for about a month, but we’re moving and shaking at warp speed over here—so it feels more like five minutes.
I returned to work on Monday after a weekend in Portland, Oregon for Priscilla Shirer’s Going Beyond event. It was my first time in the Pacific Northwest, and I left with a crush on Portland. Somewhere between a coffee shop on every corner, dedicated downtown space for food trucks, bearded men wearing flannel (I’m single), and enough coniferous trees to make me feel like I was on the set of Twilight, I’m already planning a trip back.
It was the perfect setting for a weekend retreat. This was my first live Going Beyond experience, and I was blown away by the spirit of unity shared by the women in attendance at the event. I met women from all different walks of life, shapes, sizes, ages, colors, and even one who wore a big straw sun hat the entire time (even though we were indoors). In conversation with these women (after they got past my thick southern accent), I discovered the thirst they have for God’s Word and for His transforming power to consume their region. On Saturday morning, Priscilla facilitated a guided prayer time that was very special and personal. At all Going Beyond events, women in attendance are invited to the prayer time, as a sort of “bonus” with their event ticket. I saw women praying over women and was reminded of how precious it is when we carry each others’ burdens.
Priscilla reminded us to “come away from being caught up in the customs of life.” Sometimes we’re so busy doing things for Jesus that we forget to actually spend any time with Jesus. She referenced Matthew 11:20, which says that Jesus renounced the towns that His miracles were performed in, because they did not repent. He doesn’t need us to be super-Christian, heading up every church committee and lead soprano in the church choir. Sure, those things are good, but it doesn’t replace the organic and unique relationship that’s built with Him through a daily exercise of prayer and time spent in His Word.
And y’all, Priscilla’s brother, Anthony Evans, and his praise team, rocked the house all weekend long. That’s worth the price of admission alone.
I hope you will join us for the next Going Beyond event in Lewisville, Texas on August 24 & 25. For more information, click here.
Until then, here are some photos from the event.
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IMG_2954.JPG Bud, Patricia, & Tammy—those crazy LifeWay Event Teammers

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