Finally!! a post to our amazing trip down to Indiana for Faith Bible Church's counseling conference. It was a great trip - we all learned just so much! it's hard to remember it all.... I hope that each of those who went is seeking to put into practice what they learned. To be sure, it is very hard to do this - actually it's impossible! that is, it's impossible unless the Holy Spirit is working in us. I pray that each of us would strive to follow the Lord's leading in our lives, and that each of us would be "ready always to give answer to every man that asks a reason concerning the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear" (1 Peter 3:15)
Faith Bible Conference is a great conference for any growing Christian (and we all should be growing in our faith!!) - not only for those seeking to go into counseling. Biblical counseling is something that we as Christians do all the time - coming alongside our friends, helping, encouraging, counseling from the Word of God. I used to think of counseling as something that only "special" people do - trained people who get paid to counsel. But now I really believe that we as Christians truly care for each other, and in caring for each other, we bear each other's burdens. And when we bear each other's burdens, we take those burdens to the Lord, and "cast them on Him, for He cares for us" (1 Peter 5:7). But when a brother or sister, or even one who does not know the Lord, is struggling, we ought to come alongside them and bring them back to the word of God - to bring God's word them them and let the Lord speak through His word. It's good to prepare oneself for these situations and be ready to give our friends the only hope that really lasts - the hope that we have in God and in His Word!
Jaclyn was sad to leave the fun companionship and spaciousness of our car (which was actually quite squishy I thought) - the poor girl - soon she was to be spending another 17 hours in the back seat of a truck, with 3 other children! brave soul... but at the end of it was the reward of being wrapped in sunshine and pleasantry, whereas we had to stick it out in the icy cold north. So she really wasn't too badly off after all's said and done....
Arrive at: TownePlace Suites, our home for the week :)
The staff there was extremely friendly and hospitable - even going so far as to hand out cookies, chocolates, valentines candy, and flowers each day during the week, when we got home from church.
The next day was stunningly beautiful - Michele and I could not resist taking a walk and exploring the surrounding area! We strolled first down a quaint little quiet street, after which we happened upon a park where a steep ravine cut through the woods, with a little creek down at the bottom. What a walk that was! there was something mystical about the area... the natural beauty surrounded us, transforming the day into light and warmth. The sun shone warmly around us casting a shimmering light on all it touched.
The celestial beauty was somewhat darkened to my eyes when I realized that I had lost one of my mittens... oh tragedy! for these were not just any mittens - they were prrreeecccciosuuusus to me. Last fall when Ruth and Charlene and I took our road trip to the Maritimes, I allowed myself no souvenirs, with the exception of a small change purse and a pair of mittens with a matching hat and scarf. I promptly lost one of the mittens the very first time I wore them. However Mrs. Boonstra, one of the elderly ladies in my church, sweetly made me a set of mittens to match - and now I've promptly lost one of them - AGAIN! no no matter how long or hard we searched, my mitten was nowhere to be found.
...though this seems (no, it is) so insignificant and almost silly, I learned to a small degree to hold onto things with an open hand, to be thankful in whatever state I'm in - though there's still so much more to learn!
well back to the conference... :)
the load of books that we lugged everywhere :)
Sarah and her mountain dew - need that caffeine :)
Dan and Joyce, the now happily engaged couple
playing CARDS??!! at a BIBLE conference?!
we may need some counseling here... ;)
and not-so-beautiful Louise...
great job guys!
with the exception of Kevin who had to put the kids to bed, and Tim & Charlene who were otherwise occupied on a date that evening... but they were excused, since it was after all, Valentine's Day :)
and now, driving home....
Mom insisted on having the back seat, while Michele and I took turns driving the 8 hours down and back. Halfway home we paused for a quick dinner at Wendy's with K&C and the kids...
The end :)
We all arrived home safely, and all had a wonderful trip!