Since my daily PTM postings ceased after my fearful announcement that I was driving the church bus the next day, I am sure you will all be relieved to know that all riders survived my maiden voyage as driver of the church party bus. Thank you for your prayers....it was surprisingly easy! I guess it helps that my regular vehicle is nearly bus sized! With a special mix of Christian rock and rap tunes, we successfully "rocked" our way to and from Woodstock, Virginia to work on the Volunteer Farm last Thursday. My children who are allergic to yard work at home, seemed to find no problem digging up beets and turnips for a "worthy cause." We are still working on translating the lessons that they have learned about having a servant's heart into the home :-)
On Friday of last week, I went with a group of girlfriends into Washington, D.C. to attend the Women of Faith conference while the girls finished up their mission week for a final day. I was really sad to miss my last day with Team Beautiful Babes, but I had made plans for the conference a long time ago. The pre-conference on Friday included the incredibly funny Anita Renfroe. If you haven't seen her before, be sure to click on the link. She is truly side-splitting hilarious. The main conference was Friday evening and all day Saturday and included the usual WOF speakers and some incredible musical guests, including Natalie Grant and Nicole C. Mullins. It was such a joy to spend time worshiping, singing, laughing and learning with my Christian sisters....both the ones with whom I attended and the rest of the 16,000 sisters there at the Verizon Center.
When we were finishing up our second day at the Lamb Center last week, I felt very strongly that I didn't want my association with their ministry to end there. I filled out a volunteer application while I was there and I have been offered the opportunity to lead their afternoon bible study on Tuesdays. I started today and it was truly a joy and a blessing. I took my girls along and they spent three hours doing laundry...yet another chore they act like they simply can't figure out at home!! Again, we are working on the "servant heart" attitude at home :-)
I am absolutely blown away by the courage and faith of the guests that I am getting to know at the Lamb Center. Today, during bible study, we were talking about how loving God and loving other people are connected (using 1 John 4 as our text.) We had been talking about how we access the power of the Holy Spirit to help us in loving people who are hard to love, for one reason or another. I asked the question "how has being a believer...having the Holy Spirit within you...made a difference in how you are able to love others?" I wish I could share the specific words and stories that came as a result of that question, but I'm not sure I could capture it in a way that could really do it justice. One thing I will never forget is the one gentleman who said that, as a result of his growing hunger and love for the Lord, he is "not afraid anymore," Although he is homeless and he has to deal with some very difficult people and situations, he is not afraid anymore because he knows God is with him and is changing the way he looks at the world. In my much safer circumstances, I will remember my friend's humility, faith and hope the next time that I am worried or afraid.
I downloaded the new Natalie Grant CD after the conference this weekend. The whole thing is wonderful, but I thought of my friend from bible study when I was listening to this song tonight. Enjoy!