>> david nasser: hey, kyle kupecky has beenwith us this morning as well, and kyle led with the worship collective. kyle, outside of also being karen kingsbury'sson-in-law, travels the country and does all kinds of concerts in arenas a lot bigger thanthis one. he actually leads and has been on tour withmercyme and steven curtis chapman, and max lucado, and it's just an awesome thing tobe able to have him. he'll be up here in just a second as well,but can we thank kyle for being hereâ€”liberty's own? man, we're honored to have you, buddy.
thanks for being here this morning. every year, you know, we get the privilege,at least for the last few years, we've had the privilege of getting to have karen kingsburywith us. that really comes out of a strong partnershipwith karen and her ministry in that she's more than just an author who's sold 25 millionbooks to date, more than just a person that has seen a lot of her book be turned intomovies. she's an adjunct professor for us, and sowhen you go to liberty university that's one of your rock-star professors. and so every year, because of that partnership,we get a lot more opportunities to sit under
karen's teaching than the average places do. but karen called about a month ago, and aswe were preparing for this particular convo she said, â€œhey, i know that that's goingto happen the day after the election. and she said i certainly don't know who'sgoing to be our president, but i've been praying about it.â€ and karen said it dawned on me that this momentright here that we're in this morning is literally six weeks before christmas. and she said and i feel like god's given mea word. i feel like god's given me a real insightthat's going to connect the election season
with the christmas season. and she'd written a poem, and anytime somebody'swho sold 25 million alâ€”i mean books tells you that they've written something down andthey have something, you kind of, you know, perk up and listen. and she read the poem. it's actually become an op-ed in the usa today,but she wrote it really for us here at liberty. and when she read the poem she said, hey,i would love to be able to do that and then sing a song that really brings that wholething into perspective for us, and then, and then speak to the room.
and we just said, â€œman, we can't wait forthat to happen.â€ karen, is just a real great champion for you. i want you to know that. she watches convocation on a week to weekbasis. i hear her all the time. like, she'll text and say, â€œthat was a greatspeaker!â€ â€œwow, what an anointed song!â€ she watches campus community sometimes. last wednesday she texted me and said, â€œwow,god is all over that young girl.â€
and it was rachel, while she was leading worship. and she was like, â€œwow, what just an anointedyoung lady.â€ and so, we just really have a person who'smore than just an author with us today. she's a mom of four of our students that arehere right nowâ€”from freshman all the way to senior. but, can we just welcome karen kingsbury? come on up! >> karen kingsbury: six weeks before christmasand all through the land tensions were high, despair was at hand.
outlandish taxes were taken with glee. division and factions, and no one was free. not free to talk about god or his word,not free to question corrupt deeds theyâ€™d heard. how, they all asked, will our troubled landmend? who will make israel, prosperous again? for this was the way the world was long ago. young mary and joseph had heartache and woes. first was king herod, a cruel wicked man.
he hated his own and gave romans a hand. the jews were oppressed, there was violentunrest, vicious attacks that were senseless at best. mary and joseph, like all of their friends,prayed for safety and peace and the nightmare to end. the people were hopeless from morning to night,wanting a leader to make all things right. but god had a different plan, greater indeedthan humans could master or try to conceive. it happened in bethlehem beneath the moon'slight. instead of a king they got christmas thatnight.
christmas that came with a baby so true. a savior, messiah, to make all things new. six weeks before this christmas, things arethe sameâ€” corruption and scandal and government shame. you wanted a leader; you wanted a fix. a commander-in-chief who would change allof this. i voted, you voted, we prayed for this day. we wanted a president to set it all straight. but like that first christmas, that cool starrynight,
the answer won't come from the left or theright. the world is watching how christians willcope. it's time to start healing in faith and inhope. we have our strong leader; our troubles willend. we have one who'll make the whole world greatagain. not in a person, or party, or place, but inchristmas. yes, christmas, for all of our days. for here in this room, peace has begun. our king, our great ruler, has already won.
because of christmas, whatever you voted yesterday,we are all winners today. amen? at the same time, it's okay to rejoice ifthis is something you prayed about. i know i woke up with a one-year-old littlegrandson, kyle and kelsey's little boy, and i thought, i really thought, thank you lordâ€”thesupreme court. like just so many, right? thank you. so many reasons to be thankful, but at thesame time, god had already given me a message that i did not know how it would play outtoday.
and it was a message on what it looks liketo be a winner in christ. and i know this: it looks humble. it looks kind, and it looks merciful. and the first thing that god gave me is thatwinners in christ celebrate their faith. the day before jesus was arrested he wentto a quiet place and he prayed. he prayed for the people, but he prayed foryou and me. and in john 17:21 it says, "i pray that theywill be one." unity, that is what jesus prayed for us. why?
â€œso that the world will believe you sentme.â€ and so here we are today, on the morning afterthe most historical election of our lifetime, and the world is watching us. what will christians do? what will liberty university do? because there's fear our there still, andthere may still be fear in this room as to what happens next. and so, for us, the work has just begun. we will have the chance now to speak love,and life, and truth into the lives of those
around us. and so, that's what it looks like to be awinner who celebrates their faith. when our family was very young, we had a revivalat our church. and it was really fiery. we had this incredible pastor who was visiting,and he came and told us just these beautiful reminders about the truth of jesus dying onthe cross. and at the end of the day, it was just a longday. we were tired. we were headed home, and we had the musicoff in the car.
it was just quiet taking it in. and in the backseat, we had kelsey, who wasfive, and tylerâ€”raise your hand tylerâ€”he was two. i'm going to embarrass him. and from the back seat we heard kelsey say,"so tyler, you made up your mind yet, where you're going? you going to heaven or hell?" apparently, you know, the nursery and sundayschool classes were also under revival that day.
so, tyler had his pacifier in his mouth. he was in his car seat, and he just kind oflooked at her, slightly concerned. and she said, "well, tyler, you can't justsit there? i mean where are you going, heaven or hell?" so now the pacifier's moving faster and fasterand his eyes are pretty big. and she says it one more time. "tyler, you have to make up your mind, youknow. where are you going, heaven or hell?" slowly tyler takes the pacifier out of hismouth, and looks at her, and he says, "disneyland."
as winners in faith, we don't want to presentthe gospel in a way that leaves the world wanting disneyland, because the truth is itreally is heaven or hell, and it's up to us to be the hands, and feet, and heart of christas we look to the worldâ€”winners in faith. and winners also celebrate their friendships. also in john, 15:13, "greater love has noone than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends." for me, her name was faranaz. my friend, faranaz, was the mother of a littleboy who was best friends with my little boy, austin.
austin's here today, a freshman, hello. but back then, austin was in kindergartenand faranaz was the mother of his friend avery. and we had baseball and school in common. and faranaz had been brought up as a muslim,and i did not feel comfortable talking about jesus with her. and so, we would go to baseball games, andwe would go to coffee dates, and we would work together on craft projects in our littleboys' classroom, and i never talked about jesus to her. and sometimes i would give her one of my novels,and i would just pray, like, lord, could you
kind of come in through the back door of herheart and let her find you through one of my books? because i wasn't brave enough to tell herabout jesus face to face, even though she was my friend. and then i got news, when the boys were insecond grade, that faranaz had cancer, and it was serious. we prayed over her. we told her we would be praying, but still,i never said, â€œhey faranaz, do you want my jesus?â€
time passed, she started to get better. and then we ended up moving to nashville,and her cancer came back. this time it was terminal. we prayed for a miracle, and i can remembergetting down on my knees and saying, lord, if you would free up my schedule and let mehave a moment, i promise you i will fly to portland, oregon, where we used to live, andi will talk to faranaz about jesus. but it didn't look like i was going to havethat chance. and then the day came when i got a phone callfrom faranaz's sister. and she said faranaz is asking about you.
she would wonder if you would come and seeher. and this was the moment. it was the moment i had prayed for. and so, i had a friend who was visiting atthe time whose child, whose daughter, was a missionary to muslims, and she gave me ahandful of tracts. and she said, this is what you want to say. this is what you want to tell them. and when my friend left at the end of theweek i left â€“ me, and my husband, and austin, and we flew to portland oregon.
went to the house of my friend, faranaz, thenext morning. they ushered us up to her room, and she wasjust so sick. 80 poundsâ€”i mean just nothing left in her. they gave me a chair by her bed, and i satdown, and i said, "faranaz!" she opened her eyes, and she saw me, and bythe grace of god somehow she sat up and gave me a hug, and she said, â€œkaren, you came!â€ and i said, â€˜yes, faranaz, you knew i hadto come, because all this time we've shared baseball, and coffee, and i've shared my bookswith you, but i never talked to you about my jesus.â€
then i said, â€œfaranaz, would you like tohear about my jesus?â€ and with a full heart in her eyes she nodded. she said, â€œyes, yes.â€ and so, i told her about the saving powerof jesus christ and how she could have a relationship with him and know that when she passed fromthis life to the next she would be well, and whole, and in the presence of our lord andsavior. and she accepted christ right there in thatmoment. praise god. we flew home the next day, and when we landedin our home, we got the news that she, too,
was home. no greater love has anyone than to lay downoneâ€™s life for one's friends. who are the friends in your life who don'tknow jesus? winners share their faith. winners celebrate and share their faith withtheir friends. i wish that i would've been a different personand i would've shared my faith with faranaz sooner, but i can only look back, and sayif god can use me, then he can use any of usâ€”even donald trump, right? in humility, in kindness, and in mercy, winnersin christ share their faith.
they celebrate their friends, and they celebratetheir families. now i've had times where i've gotten it rightwith my family, but i've had so many times when i've gotten it wrong. and one of those times was a trip that wetook to sea world over spring break. we were, you know, this was this trip thatwe had been looking forward. to. now kelsey was about 8, and tyler was 5, andaustin was maybe one. and to prepare for this trip, i went to acamping goods store, and bought a backpack usually reserved for 30 days in the wilderness.
i brought this backpack for one day at seaworld, because i knew we needed to have all of our necessary supplies. so, i filled it with five coats in case wegot cold, sunscreen in case it got too sunny, an umbrella in case it rained, a first aidkit, water bottles. i mean it was all in this enormous backpack. as we got to sea world that day and got outof the car, my husband had this front pack contraption, and austin was in that facingout, his legs, you know, dangling to the side. and i had the huge backpack on my back, andas we get out of the car, we each have a child by the hand, and we looked like nomads froma lost land, with all of our worldly belongings
on our backs. and we got to the front of the line, and wepaid our way in. they gave us a schedule, and the schedulesaid the sea lion show was at 11:00. that was in 10 minutes. so, i said, â€œwe need to hurry! that's us!â€ we've got to get to the sea lion show. it's around the park; we've got to run. and i was just so obsessed.
i don't know why it mattered so much thatwe get to the 11:00 sea lion show. but as we stepped through the gate, to theside, right there, were some swings and a slide like you can find for free in your neighborhood. and my husband, who is sometimes the oldestof the children, sometimes, said, â€œswings! we have time to swing!â€ and the children run after him, and go tothe swings. and i'm following behind just looking at mywatch. nine minutes. nine minutes until the sea lion show.
eight minutes, seven minutesâ€”finally i said,â€œthat's it! we've had enough fun! it's time to go!â€ and so now it's more crowded. we begin to pull the children through thecrowd, hurrying our way around the park. we get over to the other side by the sea lionstadium and there is an ice cream stand. and my kids and husband are in line beforei can say anything, and the music is already starting on the sea lion show. so, we are in line for ice cream, and behindthe counter that day were two teens from stepford
on low battery. robots, they were robots on low battery, andit took two of them to put the cone under the machine and pull the lever. and the soft-serve ice cream would go aroundand around the edge of the cone, but never in the cone. and it would get so high, and then it wouldjust fall to the ground. and they would look at it like it would jumpup and get back in the cone. we finally had our three cones and so nowwe began to run toward the front of the stadium to find out if we can get a seat, and oneof the cones i'm carrying, the ice cream falls
down and goes right into my shoe, and settlesbetween my toes. and i never broke stride, just kept running. we grabbed a bowl of ice cream to replacethat cone, and now we're at the top of the stadium. we're looking down, and its sort of like thesestairs. they build those stadiums very deep to geta lot of people in them. and as i looked down the stairs i thoughti'm almost going to need a lead rope, you know, just to get down the stairs here. the place was packed, and there was only onerow open, about three-fourths of the way down.
so, i said, â€œthat's us; let's go!â€ now, how they do thatâ€”that lots of peoplein a little people with the deep stairs, and i found this out that day, one regular step,one half step, regular step, half step. and i have regular feet, so the regular fitwell on the regular step, and then i hit nothing but air. and i began to roll and tumble down the stairs. and at first people thought i was part ofthe act, because i saw their video cameras, and all three sea lions in unison. rolling, tumblingâ€”it was about that timethat i realized that my backpack was unzipped,
because things are preceding me down the stairsâ€”thefirst aid kit, umbrella, coats. rolling, tumbling. and i think that's what tipped the crowd offthat i was not part of the act, because i saw them go fromâ€” and then they began to try and help me, andthey'd stick out an arm, and a leg, anything to get me to stop rolling and tumbling downthe stairs. i finally came to a stop, and i am right atmy row. and so, i got up, and i brushed myself off,and you know if i'd had two broken legs i was going to be fine in that moment.
and i waved off the crowd, and then i turned around to where my husbandwas sort of with a catatonic look on his face at the top of the stairs, and i just saidâ€” to which he released the children to gatherour belongings, and i don't remember anything about the sea lion show except that halfwaythrough it austin, who was eating the chocolate ice cream from the bowl, sneezed. and if you or your family was the person withthe white shirt in front of us, i apologize, because i didn't say anything. and when it was all over, i turned to my husbandâ€”aswe do to the people we loveâ€”and to his eternal
credit he still had not cracked a smile. and his eyes were just on the show. and i looked at him, and i said, "so, howdid that look?â€ just â€¦ and he began to laugh, like laugh you all. like tears coming down, and then he was laughingso hard he slithered all the way to the ground, and he couldn't breathe. and when he finally caught his breath he lookedat me and he said, "you, you looked like a sea turtleâ€”the back pack."
winners in faith celebrate their families,and that means that maybe i could have looked at the program and noticed, yes, there wasa 1:00 show that we could have gone to. and maybe i could have spent a little moretime with the people i love. see, i just wrote a book called, â€œa baxterfamily christmas.â€ thank you all, but god gets all that. and the line that gets me every time in thatbook is the one that the little girl says when she says, "you don't know what i wouldgive to hear my mother's heartbeat again." now for most of you, you'll be going homeat christmas break, maybe even thanksgiving break, and you will hear your mother's heartbeat.
but some of you have heard that song alreadyfor the last time, because we don't know how much time we'll have with the people we love. and if we are going to show the world whatit looks like to be a christianâ€”to be a christian who has already won because of kingjesus, then we need to celebrate our families and spend time with them. see, your families feel like i do. you're here, because they love you so much. you're here where only 20% of the kids thatapply even get in. what a privilege that someone back home ismissing you.
and it was because of that, that i wrote abook that i love to read when i'm here for convo. itâ€™s a reminder of how those people feelabout you. and my admonition and my request and pleadingto you is that later today you will call home. text, call, and let your families know howmuch you love them. what a beautiful picture of how christiansare supposed to win in jesus christ. this is let me hold you longer. long ago you came to me,a miracle of firsts: first smiles and teeth and baby steps,a sunbeam on the burst.
but one day you will move awayand leave to me your past, and i will be left thinking ofa lifetime of your lasts . . . the last time that i held a bottleto your baby lips. the last time that i lifted youand held you on my hip. the last night when you woke up crying,needing to be walked, when last you crawled up with your blanketwanting to be rocked. the last time when you ran to me,still small enough to hold. the last time that you said youâ€™d marryme when you grew old. precious, simple moments andbright flashes from your past â€“
would i have held on longer ifiâ€™d known they were your last? our last adventure to the park,your final midday nap, the last time when you wore your favoritefaded baseball cap. your last few hours of kindergarten,those last days of first grade. your last at bat in little league,last colored picture made. i never said good-bye to allyour yesterdays long passed. so what about tomorrow â€“will i recognize your lasts? the last time that you catch a frogin that old backyard pond. the last time that you run barefootacross our fresh-cut lawn.
silly, scattered imageswill represent your past. i keep on taking pictures,never quite sure of your lasts . . . the last time that i comb your hairor stop a pillow fight. the last time that i pray with youand tuck you in at night. the last time when we cuddlewith a book, just me and you. the last time you jump in our bedand sleep between us two. the last piano lesson,last vacation to the lake. your last few weeks of middle schoollast soccer goal you make. i look ahead and dream of daysthat havenâ€™t come to pass.
but as i do, i sometimes misstodayâ€™s sweet, precious lasts . . . the last time that i help you witha math or spelling test. the last time when i shout that yes,your room is still a mess. the last time that you need me fora ride from here to there. the last time that you spend the nightwith your old tattered bear. my life keeps moving faster,stealing precious days that pass. i want to hold on longer â€“want to recognize your lasts . . . the last time that you need my helpwith details of a dance. the last time that you ask me foradvice about romance.
the last time that you talk to meabout your hopes and dreams. the last time that you wear a jerseyfor your high school team. iâ€™ve watched you grow and barely noticedseasons as they pass. if i could freeze the hands of time,iâ€™d hold on to your lasts. for come some bright fall morning, youâ€™ll be going far away. college life will beckonin a brilliant sort of way. one last hug, one last good-bye,one quick and hurried kiss. one last time to understandjust how much youâ€™ll be missed.
iâ€™ll watch you leave and think how fastour time together passed. let me hold on longer, god, to every preciouslast. would you pray with me? thank you. father, we come before you and dedicate thisseason to you. lord, let us be your hands and feet, and heartto a hurting a fearful world. lord, you've paved the way that we can beinstruments of your peace, and i pray that for each one here as the world watches. lord, let us be winners in christ, becausewe have you jesus.
winners that celebrate our faith, and celebrateour friendships, and celebrate our families. let us live in a way that celebrates everyprecious last. in jesus' name, amen. thank you all, thank you. >> nasser: thank you, karen.Coloring Books For Adults New York Times