My friend Kari and I joined a group of her friends for dinner and hang-time til WOF began again at 7pm. Lots of cool stuff going on in downtown Phoenix - Cityscape holds a lot of promise with shops and restaurants and entertainment. Somehow, we found ourselves at the corner of 2nd Street and Washington at Majerle's. So we settled in for some burgers, wings, salads and girl talk. After a quick stop at Charming Charlie's for some inexpensive bling, we headed back to US Airways for an evening of worship and inspiration like none other!
The worship team really did a great job of leading us not just in songs but in worship. They added Mandisa to the line-up which brought an extra shot of energy and enthusiasm and soul. That girl can sing! Now, I don't want to misuse the phrase "variety show" because I don't mean it in a derogatory way, but the rest of the evening was back to back entertainment, music, videos, speakers...thus, variety show is the best way I can describe it. I especially liked all the video clips -- the "porch" line-up, all dressed up and jamming on instruments was super-fun and engaging -- and I loved the video interviews with the speakers. Well done media team!
My least favorite part of the evening was the comedian. I was disappointed in his antics, his choice of topics, his choice of words, his negativity toward his wife, kids, prayer, etc. I know he was going for "over-the-top", tongue-in-cheek, irreverent humor, but it struck me as out of place for this event, although the audience seemed to think he was hilarious. It just wasn't my style and everything about him made me cringe. So, although not a highlight for me personally, his performance was a great foil for the rest of the program which was top-notch.
I really loved Brenda Warner's time on stage. Her story, her "imperfectness", her brutal honesty were refreshing, challenging, heartbreaking, and inspiring. I kept discovering "water in my eyes" and "water running down my cheeks & dripping off my chin" while she spoke. The other speaker who took me by surprise was Lisa Whelchel...what a neat woman of faith she's turned out to be! I was totally a fan of "Facts of Life" and it was so good to see her in real life (looking EXACTLY as she did in the 80's in my mind's eye) and hear just a part of her story. Patsy Clairmont spoke - so wise, so full of life and so talented at making us laugh with one breath and tear up with the next. Andy Andrews spoke -- he brought the house down and was amazing. The evening and my heart were full. I was becoming undone in a good kind of way, needing to nail down some of the main points from the speakers and so I could put them into practice in my own life and share them with others.
Saturday morning came a little too soon and I was on the road again to "Over the Top" and wondering how they'd top the previous evening or if they'd even try. I can totally see the value of using this event as an women's ministry outreach for a local church, with the ministry leader gathering all their women into small groups and having group leaders help de-brief and challenge and pray for the women. I didn't do much de-briefing at home with my husband and sons...and I could have used time to process the things I'd seen and heard and experienced before jumping right back in to it...
[I was given 2 free tickets to this event in exchange for this blog review...thanks BookSneeze!]