Well, here it is, December already, and I hadn’t even finished chronicling my summer vacation!! Mercy! I suppose I got a little carried away with my love story and other exciting happenings. Life gets pretty crowded when you’re busy with things like roasting marshmallows, watching Doris Day movies and helping my cappuccino and marshmallow creme to reconcile. You know, matters of international importance. I believe all is quiet on the morning beverage front, for now anyway, so I can get back to telling you about my wonderful vacation!!!

On July 29, 2008, we spent the day together as a family. It was the fourth anniversary of my Dad’s home going. If possible, I try to be with family on this day. Not so we can all sit around and grieve and mourn, but so we can be busy enjoying each other’s presence. I try to be with others so that I will NOT grieve or mourn. I tend to be sad when I am alone. When other’s are with me, I find myself getting wrapped up in talking, helping, listening, and even laughing. It worked! It did not even occur to me that it was the anniversary until late in the day. I do miss my Dad, but I try not to grieve anymore. After all, he has never been better. Tears of sadness do still sweep over me, but not like they used to. Time may not heal, but it surely does help!

Here are some photos of that day:

Laci is stylin’ in her Mr. Potato Head glasses! I believe it’s the newest trend!

For some reason, whenever Laci hears “Cheese” this is what she does. I see so much of her Dad in her! (wink wink)

Laci and her sweet cousin, Andrew.

All of my kids are just like their Dad! I can’t get over it, they are just carbon copies! Here’s Lauren with her injured cousin, Stephen.

My three nephews! Andrew, Stephen and David Allen.

David Allen was called away for emergency surgery, or something like that, so Laci stepped in to take his place.

On July 30, 2008, we were privileged to attend the Wednesday night service at my sister’s church, Gospel Light Baptist Church in Walkertown, North Carolina. We happened to be there during the National Sword of the Lord Conference! It was amazing. We heard Bro. Bobby Roberson, my sister’s pastor, preach, followed by Dr. Clarence Sexton, pastor of Temple Baptist Church in Powell, Tennessee. My husband attended the morning and some afternoon sessions of the conference. I only attended the regular service times. I know, how terrible! But, you see, I had not been to North Carolina in about ten years. I had to squeeze in all the fellowship that I could! 😉

We heard “Bro. Bobby” (as they all call him) preach on the previous Sunday. I must tell you that this man is the most humble man I have ever heard. His church runs about 2,800 – 3,000 and yet he does not get up and boast about the the attendance. I am sure he has some faults, for we all do, but many of us have one glaring fault.: we are not able to admit that we do have faults. Bro. Bobby knows he isn’t perfect, as the following story will demonstrate. Forgive me for paraphrasing!
“Many years ago when we first started our Christian school, we began hiring teachers. They had Master’s degrees and Doctorates, and PhDs. They spoke good grammar. I became intimidated. I’m just an old country boy. I don’t know good grammar. I went to the Lord and said ‘Lord. I believe I’ve done all I can to build this church. I don’t fit here anymore. I’ll just be happy to go up on some mountain somewhere and preach in a small church.’ It was just then that the Lord got a hold of me and said ‘WHO did you say was building this church? It isn’t you! I’M building this church.’ I said, ‘Lord, you’re right. I’m sorry. I’ll just stay right here if that’s where you want me.”

I had tears in my eyes listening to this godly man say how he felt inadequate. I believe that’s why Gospel Light Baptist Church is the great church that it is. It is a great church because Bro. Bobby let’s God run things. He gives God all the glory for the great things that are done at his church. Yes, Bro. Bobby is a faithful man, but God does all the rest. If you are ever near Walkertown, North Carolina, do stop in and visit this wonderful church. You will not be sorry. My husband has invited Bro. Bobby to come preach at our church and do you know what? He said yes!! He actually agreed to come here to the tiny town of Hope, Arkansas, and preach for a very unknown preacher, in a not-so-large church. He talked to my husband himself!! What an honor! After visiting this church for the first time in many, many years, I can see anew why my sister loves this place so much! There are so many good people, under such a good pastor, serving our Heavenly Father, in that place. Who could ask for more?
After Bro. Bobby preached, Dr. Clarence Sexton came and preached. It was a very good message; very convicting! He preached about how we have lost an entire generation of children in our churches. It was a wake up call for sure. After the service, we were able to go to the gym to see the various booths that were set up with items for sale. We were able to meet Dr. Sexton, and he signed a book that he was giving away. He made a point to speak to Lauren and sign her book. He talked to my nephew, David Allen, for a moment. David Allen now wants to attend Crown College! He was very kind to me and Terry. It was such a blessing to meet him.
Here are some photos of the evening:

What a great photo of the banner!! Yes, it is! You can get great photos of the ceiling when you are on the very tip-top row of the balcony!! 🙂

Here are some of the kids right before church started.

Here’s a photo of the amazing choir! I could only dream of being in a choir that size! I love the “new look” they have given their auditorium. Yes, I know it was several years ago, but like I said, I hadn’t been there in a looooong time!Here is Bro. Bobby preaching! Do you see the couple in the choir loft? Anyone can go sit in the choir loft during the preaching. I would love to do that, but no one wanted to join me. I hated to be all by myself in the choir loft. Wouldn’t it be cool to look out at an auditorium this size that was full of people? I think so! 😉 We could smile and wave and look for folks sleeping! Let me know if you want to try it. 😉

Here is Dr. Clarence Sexton preaching. I guess the couple left. 😦

We had a wonderful time attending the services. My husband learned a lot from the morning sessions. In fact, Dr. Shelton Smith will be with us this coming Sunday. Terry would like to talk to him and get ideas, or counsel. Dr. Smith pastored for many years, and has been down the road farther than either of us have been. A leader should always be learning. I’m thankful that my husband doesn’t believe that he has the corner on the “ideas” market. I’m thankful for the teachable spirit that he has, and I long to be the same way.

See you soon!

8 thoughts on “Vacation Journal ~ Part Five ~ Church, North Carolina Style

  1. What an exciting trip!

    God always knows what we need, even when we are on vacation! Sometimes those are the best times that God pours out his special blessings! It looks like that this was one of those trips!!

    Thanks for your continued post of your vacation and for posting pictures! You know me and pictures. :]


  2. Mother says:

    At last I am finally able to get back online and read your blog. I loved seeing all the photos.
    Love you!


  3. Tori says:

    What an exciting time!! It looks like so much fun. Oh and that baby of yours, she is to die for!!! Way to cute!


  4. Anonymous says:

    You summed up Bro. Bobby perfectly. I am so blessed to be a part of this church. God is sooo good. I loved all the photos. It brought back the wonderful memories of your visit here. It was soooo good to see you all last week. I am praying for your Sunday services.

    Love and miss you,


  5. Misty says:

    A great vacation had by all! Now you need to vacation in chilly Illinois! 🙂 Dr. Smith is a great preacher, I heard him along with Jack Schaap at a SOTL Conference in Louisville a few years ago!


  6. Kristy... says:

    Your kids are just the CUTEST things!~!

    Looks liek too much fun and I think you are right, the potato head glasses ARE the new trend~ SHe wears them well!


  7. Oh Valerie…I wish I'd known you back in August! I was there for that week at Gospel Light. I could have “met” you in person. Oh well…maybe some other time! You're right about brother Roberson…he's a blessing. He preached our Christmas Revival last year and his messages blessed my heart each evening.


  8. Oh…and if you'd taken one of those pictures just a little lower you would have got my head. I sat on the far left, second row from the front, right in the deaf section. 😀


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