Archives for May 23, 2022

Church and Family Conference and Trip Home

This past Friday and Saturday, we participated in the Church and Family Conference in the Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina (the dining hall—photo 1). The theme was “Knowing God,” and my assigned topic was “Mary’s Experiential Knowledge of God.” I described how the mother of Jesus obeyed and submitted to God’s sovereign will, and how she experienced His justice and love. Our good friend Rev. Tom Ascol spoke on “The Knowledge of God in the Life of Jonah” (photo 2). Other speakers who examined biblical characters in terms of various attributes of God included Scott Aniol, Scott Brown, Josh Buice, Jeffrey Johnson, Carlton McLeod, John Snyder, Sam Waldron, etc. I also was interviewed for an hour by Scott Brown’s team on next year’s topic, “Glorifying and Enjoying God” (May 4-6, 2023).

The 1,200 attendees of this conference were good book buyers, as usual. A family shared with Mary that they have been discussing her recent book Teach Them to Work (photo 3). She asked the children, “Are you enjoying working around the house?” They shyly smiled. She added, “At least most of the time?” They nodded yes. It is a humbling sense of reward and gratitude when we hear back that our writings have benefited souls—for everyday life, but especially for spiritual life. SDG!

We had another adventure returning home. Our first flight from Asheville to Charlotte was cancelled due to thunderstorms. So we hastily called back one of the drivers for the conference, and he transported us, Elisha Walker (a RHB worker), and Kevin and Bambi Moore the two hours to Charlotte. (Kevin is a pastor in Texas who also spoke at the conference; he and his wife have 11 children [photo 4].) After more delays and mechanical problems, we were relieved and happy to return to our home-sweet-home Saturday evening in time to prepare a bit more for preaching on the Lord’s Day morning to our own flock—it was so good to be back with our family and church family. Then I preached in the Kalamazoo Reformed Church in the evening, after which we had a great visit with one of my nieces and her family after church, and arrived home shortly after midnight this morning.

Thanks so much for praying us through our 2-week itinerary of four back-to-back conferences in No. Ireland, Scotland, Hungary, and North Carolina. Now for mounds of catch-up work, including more than half a thousand unanswered emails… but at least our lives are back to normal!