When my friend Emily sent me a message to tell me that Bob Goff would be speaking at St. Luke's in Indy I had to spread the word. Bob has been one of my favorite people since I first read Love Does two years ago. Since then I helped get the whole Camp T staff to read the book, led a book study with several groups of Junior High girls, talked to Bob a couple times including a birthday voice mail from him and met him in person last winter. If I'm going to endorse something--Bob is it.
I met KCraig and a whole crew of Young Life kids (Julia, Haley, Molly, Nat, Sherisa, Chad, Jacob, Milly, Emma, Liz, Kendal, Nat Rat, Audrey) at the HS to carpool. We went to Chic-Fil-A for dinner and met up with Hannah, Riley and Ben. More Junior High girls showed up at dinner and we filled up the back half of the restaurant.
We made it to St. Luke's about an hour early because we wanted to get really good seats. The first three rows were reserved but we were right behind that. I went to find the restroom and opened the door and immediately started screaming. There washing their hands were Kayla, Mac and Emily--three of my old Young Life girls from Carmel who are sophomores in college. It's been probably a year since I've seen Kayla and several months since I've seen Mac and Emily. I had no idea that they would be here tonight. Talk about a great surprise.
I think that tonight for me was low key like what your wedding would feel like when all the people you love are under one roof. Every time I turned around I spotted someone else that I really love from all different parts of my life. Tecumseh friends love Bob Goff and a whole crew of CILTs from last summer showed up and shared a row-- Anna, Natty B, Rachel, Taylor Fischl, Emily Peterson, Amanda and Em's sister Ava.
Camp people continued to roll in-- Katherine, Odle, Anna and Monica from Cathedral. Counselors Jamie Z, Grace and Alicia were all there. I saw Emily and Eric, the ones who first invited me to this event. Sarah Desautels was here with her grandma. I saw Lindsey Junk. Camper Lexie Parrott came with her mom. Katie Pimmler, a CILT from several summers ago that will be on res this summer was there too.
Julia and Taylor Fischl finally got to meet in real life. Bob Goff was Carmel's Young Life event of the night so I got to see Claire Neterer and Ricki along with friends like Jenna Perkins, Audrey Gleason, Shana and Devan. Katie Swanton, a CILT girl, came too and was so excited.
HSE Young Life and Wyld Life friends packed several rows, squeezing in more friends as people showed up. Most of them had read the book--either over the course of a semester with a group of friends or in one day like Chad Davis because, "It's the best book ever." We were all so pumped.
And then Bob was there! He has this amazing aura around him that just makes you smile. You can't help but want to be friends with this guy and keep hearing his stories. Julia and I rapidly tried to write down every word he was saying as he spoke. Even if you weren't there, I hope you can still get something from what he shared tonight. It's long but it's chock full of such good stuff.
I'm a note-taker and a hugger. Don't try to shake my hand. We're going to hug. I want you to write down the things that ping you, the things that make sense.
Matthew 13 says to never talk to someone without telling a story because stories have shelf life. I think you should surround yourself in life with the people that will surround your bed when you die.
Jesus wants this whole room tonight, he doesn't want to share with anything else. Can we give him that? Let's be a family. Jesus called the disciples his friends. Jesus doesn't need you to be polite to him. He wants you to be his friend. People who are comfortable don't need the comforter. Let's get to the point where we need him.
I don't know how much you know about Somalia. They have no government. They won't teach the girls there. So I'm going to build a school for girls there. I went there to visit and I hired these guys with machine guns to walk around me like body guards and I got this car with tinted windows. It's scary and I'm just thinking, "Yikes!" the whole time. What if we were living on the edge of Yikes cause we need God? If you're not on the edge, find someone who is, hold their hand and climb out to Yikes with them. You'll end up bumping into Jesus.
I love the book of Acts. I love that it's called the book of Acts and not the book of Opinions. I think God doesn't really care about my opinions. God just wants to talk about our hearts.
I got a letter from someone who has been reading Love Does and said it's changing their life. Do you know how it is? It's the 5th pirate from Somalia, the only one that didn't get shot in the head. He's in prison here in your state and he's reading my book. It's wild. I asked him what his favorite chapter is and do you know what he said? Jailbreak! Ha- of course!
Let's just take the next step. These guys asked me to come climb Kilimanjaro so I said yes. I googled it twice, did a push up and that was my training. Ha. I got off the plane at 4am and we were climbing by 8. I was pulling the tags off of my new coat as we started up the mountain. They told me how tall it was and how many steps it would be and how far I would fall to my death and it was too many facts. I needed just 5 minutes of yikes. It's got "Kill" in the name! But you know what, I just needed to take the next step. I followed my guides feet because I trusted him. In 70 miles he never tripped. I just followed his feet. If you can trust your guide then you don't need to worry about the path that you're on.
We're not defined by our mess ups. We're not defined by our successes. We're defined by love.
Just try to be like Jesus. Galatians 5:6, have you ever noticed it's always verse 6? The first five are always, "Hi, how are you?" But verse 6, that's where it always gets good. Trust me. It's always verse 6. Galatians 5:6 I'm surprised you're so quickly deserting the one who met you in grace. Live in Grace. This is love, that we walk in obedience and that we walk in love.
Churches are always telling us to turn off our phones but I think that when you walk in we should turn it on. Talk to someone that's bummed at you. Jesus says that if you disagree with anyone go and make it right before you come to the alter. We're wired to love people . You just need to make things right again-- here's what you say, "Sorry." Hit send. Here's the long version, "Really sorry." Hit send.
Instead of seeing what people are you see what people are becoming.
When we've met 1 person we feel like we've met everyone. If my taxi driver in Seattle is really nice then I'll say that everyone in Seattle is awesome. If he's kind of a jerk than I'll think that everyone in Seattle is that way. I want people to meet you and me and feel like just met heaven.
I think serving people is like crowd surfing one another. We lift each other up and we don't let go till 6 other people have got them.
Jesus told Joshua and Abraham and four dudes in a row boat, "Be. Not. Afraid." Do you know what I'm afraid of? Balloons. I'm such a wuss. I'm to barely blow it up, like this. But God wants us to go BIG with our faith. He wants us to trust him.
Proverbs 4:23 Above all else, guard your hearts. What if we guard each other's hearts the way they guard the White House? We should be talking behind each other's backs constantly. We've just got to talk about the right stuff.
My friend Don asked me to write a book and I told him I'll swap a book for a school in Uganda. 340 students and 14 teachers. He said, "That's a big school." I said, "It's going to be a big book." Can you believe this? We built this school out of a book!
Jesus kept making himself more available to people--the woman that touched his coat in the crowd, he spotted Zacchaeus up in the tree and said, "Hey, lunch is on you!" So I asked if I could put my phone number in the back of the book. They thought I was crazy. I get about 80 calls a day from people. It's cost me millions. And you know what? I try to never let it go to voice mail. I'm trying to be perfect like Jesus. He never lets us go to voice mail when we want to talk to him.
Jesus healed this groups of lepers and told them, "Tell no one." He raised a little girl from the dead and told the family, "Tell no one." Jesus is telling us we just don't have to keep score anymore. That's the message of the gospel. If we keep making it all about us it'll never be about Jesus. Just do awesome stuff. What is done in secret will be rewarded by our father in heaven.
What is it that God's got you positioned for? What are you really good at? Do more of that. What are you bad at? Do less of that. You know I'm getting all these phone calls every day and I really want God to call me. But you know what, I think that instead of God calling me he keeps sending me all of these people. We need to talk to each other. We get to tell each other what we're good at.
In Uganda 863 kids were sacrificed last year by witch doctors. They take these little kids out into the bush, cut off their private parts and leave them there to bleed out and die. They don't get prosecuted because people are scared of them. But we're not scared because they're punks. God's got all the power.
There is this little boy named Charlie that survived. I met him and asked if he would speak in court. I told Uganda that I wanted to take Kobe to court, it's never been done before. I told them I want the Ugandan Consult so they let me. This 4 foot kid stood up to this giant and said, "That's the man that tried to kill me." We won. Kobe is in prison for life and he will die there.
One of my friends is a doctor and he called me up and told me he could fix Charlie. I said, "No, you don't understand what happened to him." He said, "No, I'm the chief of surgery, I can fix him!" I asked him how much it would cost and he said that the price would be outrageous, but he would do it for nothing. I can afford nothing. So I flew to Uganda and became Charlie's legal guardian and brought him to LA. He got the surgery and then I took him to Disney Land. Then later this year we got a message from the White House, they wanted to meet Charlie. So I took him to the Oval Office. God wants to blow your mind.
Do we just agree with Jesus or are we going to do something?
I think that God doesn't want us to be mad at anybody. So I had to go meet with Kobe. He's in this high security prison, no windows and no visitors. But I'm the Consult of Uganda so they let me in. Kobe looked at me and said, "I know I'm going to die in here and I need forgiveness." And I'm like really?! He gets into heaven too? But I hate this guy. He hurt my friend. I'm trying to keep him out. But God's grace doesn't pick and choose who gets it. God's forgiveness is for everyone no matter what.
I asked if I could share the gospel in the prison that Kobe is in and they told me no. But they said that one of the prisoners could talk, so you know what happened? Kobe shared the gospel of Christ with 3,000 men. And he totally screwed it up. The only thing he got right was Jesus. And then he took a bottle of water and tried to start baptizing people and I said, "No! No you can't do that!" Ha. Get on the edge of Yikes. You'll bump into Jesus all over again.
Philippians 1:6 He's begun this great work in you, let him complete it.
I take all of my kids on an adventure when they turn in. So Charlie got to have a ten year old adventure and he wanted to climb Kilimanjaro. He made it to 16,000 feet. But I didn't tell him that he didn't make it to the top, I told him how far he made it. We've got to tell each other how far we've come.
What's been done today will never be broken-- that's the gospel of Jesus on the cross. His love will never, ever, ever, ever, it's like a Taylor Swift song, ever be broken.
Who is it that creeps you out? Let's go wash their feet. We're the body of Christ. That's how we roll. I started a witch doctor school because these guys didn't know how to read and write. We graduated 24 witch doctors last year. I gave them each a copy of Harvard's diploma, what's Harvard going to do about it? I kissed them each on the head. I don't want to have any enemies.
On my street every year we have a parade. Everybody is in it, no one watches on the side. Do you know who got to be grand marshal this year? A little four footer named Charlie. We tied 1,000 balloons to his chair and lifted him off the ground just like Up. It's was awesome. We've got to keep lifting each other up.
After the big group picture our whole HSE Young Life and Camp T crowd just became this mob around him getting pictures and hugs and having him sign our books.
It was beyond surreal. He is one of the nicest guys you will ever met. He is genuine and sincere and was so excited to meet every single person. He signed all of our books but when it was taking too long said, "Hey let's take some more pictures! Who's got a camera? Everybody get in here."
Nat Rat, Audrey, Julia and I all made friendship bracelets for Bob and tied them on for him.
He said, "Wow, you're really good at these wrist things." I asked him if he would promise to leave them on for at least a day. He told us he has a big business meeting tomorrow and he'll wear them there.
I got my picture with Bob! Julia went to get hers just as Bob went to sign Chad's book so Bob just kind of hugged her as he signed the book. So awesome and hilarious.
We all took turns getting our picture with Bob. It's amazing the enormous impact that one man can have on so many people. He makes faith real and tangible and exciting.
Right before these 8th grade girls got there picture with him they said, "I think I should read this book." I think they're right. Jamie Z loves Bob's stories and together we've shared them with dozens of our campers.
We all just kept piling in to every picture with Bob. He even answered his phone once while we were taking pictures since he never lets it go to voice mail.
Someone from the event came over to our mob and said, "We've got a line of people waiting in the other room for you too. What would you like us to do?" Bob just held out his arms and smiled and said, "I have no idea!" He took a couple more pictures and asked us to go join the line if we wanted him to sign our books.
We gathered up all the HSE Young Life people that were still there for a picture up on stage with the balloons. I'm so thankful for a community of kids from 7th grade to Seniors in HS, of leaders and parents who are all about loving God and loving people and doing stuff. Getting to be a part of their lives is what I want to keep doing more of. I'm thrilled that we all got to share this together tonight.
Elise, Maggie, Laura and Hannah are some of the girls I read the book with this past year. Bob talked to all of these younger kids telling them that they were going to change the world and how much they mattered. It was awesome.
Meeting Bob tonight was such a big dream of Julia's and I'm so glad that I got a front row seat to watch her freaking out. Julia lives out Love Does every single day and I'm so encouraged by her. I love that I got to spend time with Jamie Z tonight, a friend that I've been sharing Tecumseh with the past two summers in CILTs. She loves God with all her heart and soul and mind.
It was a shocked to see Chrissy Crowe here tonight along with the Molly, Alli and the rest of our Tecumseh friends. These girls are all such beautiful examples of people who are making the world more awesome.
It didn't take long before my girls rounded up the balloons from the stage and started sucking the helium out of them. They're nuts.
Julia and I went and found her mom and brother in the next room waiting to meet Bob. We may have joined them in line partially for the lemonade but mostly because we still didn't have our books signed. Bob was hugging and signing and smiling with his striped socks and no shoes. He noticed us talking about them and told us that in the Bible the only guy who didn't get in to the wedding was the one who wasn't dressed for it so every morning he puts on his socks so he's ready.
Jack, Julia and Janelle got a family pic with Bob. I got Bob to sign a new copy of Love Does that I'll give to someone at Tecumseh this summer. He and I both call everybody friend-- I love that.
Julia and I got a picture together with Bob and he made sure to pull up his sleeve so that we could see the bracelets. Such a big moment.
One last picture with the 8th grade girls and Bob before we headed out. He fits right in with all of us I think.
The girls took several bundles of balloons with us when we left--they wanted to fill my whole car with him. Rather than just leaving them in my car at the end of the night I suggest that we ding-dong-balloon someone on the way home.
After brainstorming several people we unanimously agreed on the Andritschs--Audrey and Grace are the sisters I know the best but we love their entire family. We sneakily ran up to the front door and left all of the balloons on their front step. Someone had spotted us from the upstairs window so we ran away without knocking on the door. We saw them come to the front door but they never opened the door! They'll have a fun surprise when they go outside tomorrow morning. It was the perfect secret caper to finish a night of Bob Goff and Love Does.