Friday, May 22, 2009

National Day of Prayer

Angela and I headed off to Washington, DC a couple of weeks ago with Keith and Beth to be a part of the National Day of Prayer festivities with James and Shirley Dobson. We had a great time. It was fun to get away. Although, it probably wasn't very fun for the loved ones who were watching our kids cleaning up puke for about 24 hours while the flu ran through poor Lily Kate's system. And also, it's HARD to be away from your babies when they are sick. They are all better now (and have all officially had said flu).

We got there on Tuesday and headed straight for a tour of Mount Vernon. George's amazing view:

The back of his house (along with Beth's awesome assistant, Michelle):

We got a semi-private tour of the home. And our tour guide let us up to the very top of the house - a place that is not normally open to the public. Kind of like a lookout tower. And the view was beautiful.

We coudn't resist the photo op.

This is Angela trying to get down from the lookout tower, right after she threw her shoes down the stairs and scared the tour guide half to death.

We are nothing if not classy.

After the tour, we quickly changed clothes and headed to a banquet hall there at Mt. Vernon, for a nice dinner. This is where Angela and I got to meet the Dobsons for the first time.

By the way, when we arrived here for dinner, we were in a pretty small SUV. Our driver, Michelle, Keith and Beth, Angela and me. I was in the very, very, very back of the car. Which made me easy to forget. Which caused ALL of them (including my wife, not to mention my boss) to hop out of the car (in the pouring rain) and shut the car door behind them. Leaving me in the back of the car by myself. And unable to pop up the seat and get out. I was stuck. And they just got a BUG KICK out of the whole scene. Laugh it up, people. Yours is coming.

We had dinner. These were the friends at our table...which, by the way, was the hoppin'est table of the night. I'm sure the Dobsons were hoping for a hoppin' table.

After dinner, we heard a guy who taught us an amazing lesson on the beginnings of our country, and the spiritual legacy of George Washington. It was fascinating and extremely informative. I knew in that moment that the Lord was about to put a fire in me to pray for our country like I've never had. I also knew in that moment that I should've absorbed more history and less of The Jeffersons growing up.

The next day, Keith and Beth had some functions, but Angela and I didn't have to be anywhere until that evening. We stayed in our beautiful hotel. I went out for a while and walked around...we were in a beautiful part of the city. This is the view from our hotel room:

That night, we had a dinner and short program to pray for everyone who would be on the platform at the event the next day.

Here we are, along with the most patriotic balloons I have ever fellowshipped with:

Dr. Dobson interviewed Beth.

We were so thankful to get to meet Mrs. Vonnette Bright, wife of the late Dr. Bill Bright (founder of Campus Crusade for Christ), and pioneer in the National Day of Prayer history.

I also was ecstatic to meet Shaun Alexander, NFL running back and MVP. We traded workout tips. Except we didn't.

I sang a few songs, and we prayed. The prayers very impactful. It was a good night.

The next day began early. The official National Day Of Prayer festivities began at 9am at the Cannon House Building. It was a program filled with powerful prayers from very wise and important people...judges, generals, chaplains, congressmen and women, representatives. It was great.

When the brass quintet began playing, and the color guard made their entrance, the weight of the moment hit me, and I had to choke back the tears.

Mrs. Dobson was gracious and articulate warm and wonderful and can we please have Easter lunch at your house sometime?? Except I don't ever plan on exhibiting my parenting skillz in front of the Dobsons in this lifetime.

Beth, of course, BROUGHT IT.

After three hours of praying and singing and praying some more, we hopped on a plane and headed to Lancaster, PA for their NDOP celebration. As a side note, I was so excited about almost throwing up on the plane in front of all these people. It always thrills my soul to go grabbing for a barf bag in front of a crowd. It's always a joy.

This Lancaster crowd was AWESOME. 18,000 people showed up to pray for our country. 18,000! Their great NDOP choir and band were there ready for us. I was worried when I was planning the music with the choir director and event planner that we would have too much music. But I was WRONG. These people were ready to knock on the door of heaven with their worship. It was an unforgettable night. Hey, Lancaster peeps, we can't wait to see you again!

(As a worship leader, I try to never go anywhere without a point, a fist pump, and a sweater vest.)

It was a great day...a great 3 days, actually. I am very grateful to have been a part of it. And my fervor for praying for this land has been renewed. May God fill us with an abundance of grace, wisdom, discernment and compassion as we navigate our way as light in these darkening times.

May Your unfailing love rest upon us, O Lord, even as we put our hope in You. (Psalm 33:22)


Joanne : The Simple Wife said...

Love all the pictures. We prayed for all of you on that trip and even though you missed your kids, you didn't have to clean up after them. Which is always a plus when stomach flu is involved.

Don't you love the Dobsons? We've been blessed to spend time with them (my husband was their son Ryan's best man) and if we can parent in front of them, anyone can!

See you later today in Laramie! Holly, Patty, Georgia, Melana, and I are all looking forward to it!

P.S. Did you pack a sweater vest?

Bridgette Jencks said...

Thanks for sharing all of this with us. You are hilarious. Thanks for the giggles :)

lavonda said...

I'd love for you to share more about George Washington's faith and all that the historian shared about that part of him while you were at Mt. Vernon... those things fascinate me!

Amanda said...

This was awesome! I loved seeing the pictures and reading about it. Thanks for sharing! All of y'all looked so nice all dressed up.

JenB said...

"Except I don't ever plan on exhibiting my parenting skillz in front of the Dobsons in this lifetime." hahahahahaha
You seriously crack me up! Thanks for being REAL!!


Just loved the pictures my heart just weep when i saw the color guard thank the Lord for Our Men and Women that serve us. Thank you so much for the pictures about 1 month and 1/2 before I see you and siesta mama here in Albuquerque NM
cannot wait pray that I get agood seat and meet you and our sweet beth in person have a great time in
Laramie be praying for you all
Carol Albuquerque NM

Anonymous said...

Sweater. Vest.

ocean mommy said...

LOVE the pictures! What a neat thing to get the behind the scenes at Mt. Vernon!

Praying for you all this weekend!


twinkle said...

I'm thinking that George and Martha would have been so proud that you all were there at their beautiful home, Mt. Vernon.
I've never been there, but I think I would have had goosebumps touring that home.

AMENMom said...

Great recap, and fantastic photos. My favorite thing is in the Penn. picture where the woman leading the choir behind you is clearly so into getting down. How fun!

Sharon said...

Awesome pictures, Travis! Thanks for sharing them with us!

Much love,
Sharon, NC

Cindy- My Life HIS Story said...

Great pics and summary. I'm sure, humble brother, that Beth wasn't the only one who 'brought it!"

I can't think of a team I would rather have praying for our nation...the Dobsons, the Moores, the Cottrells.

Carol said...

I had the privilege of watching the full broadcast from DC the morning of the 7th from our school's conference room to join all of you in prayer. It was awesome!! I, too, gained a renewed spirit and enthusiasm for lifting up our country in prayer, as well as being very encouraged by the people who serve our country who shared their prayers and testimonies that morning. Thanks for sharing your "inside" perspective and some great pics!

Fran said...

So so beautiful Travis. Thank you for taking the time to share with us all the pictures and info.

The Dobsons would scare the stew out of me...I'm be really afraid to talk parenting with them. ;)

Hope all is well.

Tara said...

Thank you so much, Travis, for telling us all about your National Day of prayer festivities. I tried to watch it online, but it wouldn't it was so nice to be able to "see" what you did. How I would've loved to have worshipped with ya'll in PA? Looks like God was all over that place! Thanks again!

connorcolesmom said...

So glad your family is better
It looks like an amazing time!
you totally made me LOL about the
bringing the kids around the Dobsons
i would be so nervous about that too - hehe
Many blessings

Anonymous said...

Hey Travis ...

I've been waiting and waiting for you to blog about NDOP in Lancaster! My husband and I and our two girls (aes 10 and 13) were there. What a thrill! My kids kept bugging for the camera, then they'd sneak up front and take pictures of you and Beth. Their first real brush with celebrities!! Seriously, it was an honor to have you there. The worship was incredible, and yes, were were part of the throng up front at the end, who could have worshiped until the Lord returned! Thanks for the sacrifices you and Angela make in order to share your gifts with others. (I was standing a few feet from Angela toward the end of the night and wanted to say hello, but I decided she may prefer anonymity, and I didn't want to come across as some crazed fan, so I let her snap her pictures in peace before she glided away into the shadows of the night!!) I hope you will consider Lancaster a home away from home ... we'd love to have you back!


Deblessed said...

Wow....Thank you for sharing those beautiful pictures. What a memorable 3 days! Speaking of memorable...I have been to Beth/Travis events 7 times now, and Laramie Wyo was the BOMB! Your praise was Awesome (not to mention YOUR voice!) and did the Spirit fill her to fill us! Praise HIM. I was in the front center both days! Two more things I want to tell you...I was also front row last year in Estes Park...WOW your voice in that place was AMAZING. I actually thought you were by far the best there....and I was there 3 nights! And finally, my daughter was married in 2007 searching for the first dance song in late o6'. She was in love with "Annies Song" but told me....MOM I love that song, but John Denver????? NOT! (come on she was 24!)Just by the grace of God in November of 06' who should release that song??? She now calls you by your first name! God Bless you and your beautiful family!!

Kelly S. said...

Thank you so much for sharing! My husband and I went to D.C. for the '04 Inauguration. Even though the secular society has tried to hide it, the spiritual heritage of this country is very evident. I join you in praying for our country!
As always, Angela is absolutley beautiful.

Toknowhim said...

Loved the recap... Great Pictures!
Surely a once in a lifetime experience :)

Lindsee Lou said...

I absolutely loved this re-cap of that memorable weekend! Thanks for sharing the fun stories and all the sweet pictures.

Hope your weekend was great and restful!

Kim Safina said...

The Journey Continues ~

This Siesta in California says ~


Thank you for sharing the journey for National Day of Prayer!

With "Heaven Bound" blessings,
Kim Safina

Kim Safina said...

The Journey Continues ~

Love the Twitter info. :)

A Twitter Siesta !!!!

With "Heaven Bound" blessings,
Kim Safina