How did the Thirst Conference go? Glad you asked. First, allow me to set the scene for you:
Due to my health issues (and, let’s face it, the fact that I have six young children), I haven’t done an out-of-state speaking engagement in almost a year. Being out of practice combined with hardly getting any sleep the previous week, and the result was that I was a little nervous about my talks. I reminded myself that speaking to a group of just 100 or 200 people in a small room isn’t so bad, since the intimate setting is conducive to a receptive and friendly audience. That helped. I was ready to rock.
Then I got to the convention center. I noticed that the location of my second talk said “Arena,” which I thought was an interesting name for a room. I wondered if this “Arena Room” was near the huge concert arena at the center of the place.
And then I realized: I was scheduled to speak in the arena.
In front of thousands of people.
And I was following Cardinal Dolan, one of the best orators of our time.
Just after that realization, I ran into fellow speaker Fr. Scott Traynor backstage. I begged him for some words of wisdom, then asked him to pray over me. It made all the difference.
The talk went well — amazingly well. It was 1,000% more fun and easy than any speech I’ve ever given, and the audience responded very well. It was also the first time I’d sought a priest’s blessing beforehand. Coincidence? I think not.
The entire conference was amazing. I made new friends and feel energized and encouraged to have been around so many people seeking to take their faith to the next level.
While I recover from the awesomeness overdose, here are some great links:
– Megan Tietz wrestles with feelings of guilt about focusing so much on her own household, asking, “What difference did my little family make in the grand scheme of the Kingdom of God?”
– An interactive timeline of the history of St. Nicholas as a Christmas figure.
– Eve Tushnet gets a powerful lesson about sharing the Gospel in the trenches of the real world.
– For families or organizations considering doing garage sales to raise money for adoption, charity, or other needs, these tips will make sure you get the most cash and end up with the least leftovers.
– Need reassurance that you’re not the only one who has a bad habit of getting yourself way overbooked? Maybe some tips for how to scale back, too? Here you go.
– This cave is so huge that it has its own weather patterns.
– DarwinCatholic talks about seeing the hand of God in evolution.
– I’ve heard that A Pattern Language is one of those books that fundamentally changes the way you see the world. It’s been on my wish list forever. Anne Bogel has convinced me that it needs to be my next read.
– Check out this short video of Fr. Scott Traynor, the amazing priest I mentioned above, talking about what it means to have a personal relationship with Christ. The speed boat / sail boat analogy at 1:40 hit me right between the eyes: