A few weeks ago, my family and I were able to attend a preaching conference at Victory Baptist Church in Kansas City, Missouri.The theme of that conference was “The Work of Christ”. It was unlike any conference I’ve ever been to in my whole life. There was very little singing, and a lot of preaching. But even the preaching was unusual. It was more of a “teaching” conference or a series of lectures or seminars. (I wonder how many synonyms I can think of?) I admit that I felt very ignorant! I had my steno pad and Bible and I was taking notes like crazy! There were a lot of big words used – some I had heard before, but rarely; some I’d never heard before, and some I think I’ve been mispronouncing. I learned a lot and was greatly edified by the teaching. The message was clear: Christ is the center of everything. It’s not about us, it’s about Him.
I got to meet many new people and had some wonderful conversations. I met a blind lady who was telling me how God had enabled her to live quite normally and happily in her blindness. When offered a surgery that *might* have given her sight, she rejected it. “If God wanted me to see, then I would see!” she said. It was very humbling to listen to her and reflect on the things in my life that I have tried to maneuver so I could have my own way. Another woman shared how a drunk driver crashed into her home, her bedroom to be exact, and was nearly killed. Her husband was killed. He left her with a tiny baby and four other children to raise. She tearfully shared how God had met her every need since that horrific day. Again, I was humbled as I thought about how many times I’ve pouted about my circumstances. When I pause to realize that God is in control of every single molecule on this planet, how can I be unhappy? This life, and these problems, are His will for me. But He doesn’t hand me these problems and walk away. He gives me grace and guidance as I follow Him. I have so much for which to thank God! I thought about the song, “I Know Who Holds Tomorrow”. I don’t know what will happen tomorrow – or in ten minutes! – but I know the One Who does! I wish I could have spoken more with these new friends, but time was short for us. We had to get home a day before it ended. I hope we can go back next year!
A sermon/lecture/lesson was taught on each of these topics.
We were late arriving to the conference, so our first evening was rather rushed. We missed supper, so after we unloaded at the hotel, we enjoyed some delicious candy bars from the vending machine! In the process of unpacking, we realized that Matthew’s suitcase got left behind! It was all packed and waiting with the other luggage, but somehow, it was overlooked.
This is how he looked at church:
Fortunately, he is small, so not many people noticed. He didn’t seem to mind at all! A sweet lady in the church heard of our mistake and offered to bring us some clothes that might fit. Her son had outgrown them so she was going to give them away anyway. What a blessing!
Much better. She even had a belt for us! In case she’s reading, I want to say thank you to Mrs. Julie!
It turned out to be a scatterbrained week for sure: We not only forgot Matt’s clothes, but I forgot to bring my coffee creamer (which is my only means of caffienation) and my small fan (which is the only thing that drowns out the snoring of *ahem* certain male children). This means I didn’t sleep well, or have any way of getting coffee in my bloodstream.
Until I saw this at the conference at lunch time… (insert female chorus singing “Hallelujah!”)
It’s my brand AND my flavor! Praise the Lord for the little things!
The church takes a photo of all the kids at the conference every year. Matt was too shy to pose with the other kids in this one.
Here’s the photo they took of us. If you go next year, you might see us on the wall in the hallway. Or somewhere. Maybe.
As I mentioned, we had to get out of Dodge…I mean, Kansas City, pretty quickly, so we didn’t have time to do any sight-seeing. I have several friends in the area, too, but there wasn’t time to say hello. We did manage to swing by the Kansas City (MO) public library and pose for some photos in front of their GIANT books. I’d read about these online and was quite curious about them. They are on the side of the library’s parking garage! The actual library must be amazing. At least I want to imagine that it is. We didn’t get to go inside.
It was quite impressive!
I love trees, but in this situation, they seem to be in the way.
This book staircase was cute.
Matt liked it!
We couldn’t resist the Huck Finn photo op.
We also couldn’t resist taking a photo with Laura Ingalls Wilder’s book. Although, I thought she deserved her own “spine”.
I tried to demonstrate how tall they were, and show that Stephen E. Ambrose was represented. I love his books.
It’s hard to see, but this spine says, “Truman (by) David McCullough”, another of my favorite writers.
Look at this cute bench!
We stumbled upon this statue of Twain quite by accident.
It was a very brief, but very blessed trip. The kids got to go swimming at the hotel, we heard some great preaching/teaching, made some new friends and sweet memories. I am so grateful for each opportunity the Lord gives us do something as a family. Whatever we do, wherever we go, it is all by the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Thanks for tagging along!