One of the great privileges of the Christian life is we are place, not only in the body of Christ, but we are also put into the family of God. This weekend I had the privilege of meeting some of the nicest people as I traveled to Grove Level Baptist Church (Dalton, Ga.) and to Burnt Hickory Baptist Church (Powder Springs, Ga.) to teach Bible study.
On Friday morning Craig and I headed to the airport at 6:30 IN THE MORNING, for heaven sakes! You know I am not a morning person. We jumped on a plane and headed to the Atlanta airport. As you know, this particular airport and I have some history. But this time I have no stories to report. And frankly, I am a bit disappointed. But I digress. Once in Atlanta, we proceeded to the car rental counter and picked up our car.
This is what I wanted.
Well at least we are doing our part to save the environment.
We arrived at the hotel in Dalton and found this goodie from the Women's Committee. Thanks ladies.
Oh boy! We got settled in and then got ready for the Women's Retreat at Grove Level Baptist Church, where I might add, has hosted Anita Reinfroe. I'm just saying.
I spoke on Friday night and 2 times on Saturday on "Restoring Your Spiritual Passion." (Interested in hearing this series? You can order the 3-part CD set right here and listen to your heart's content. Content, I tell you. Your heart's content. Their opening skit was hilarious. Sadly this is the only picture I got that turned out.
The ladies sang their welcome and introduction of me to show tunes like "Hello Dolly" (pictured). My intro was sung to "Tonight." Hum that in your head and read these words. You will be transported to the retreat.
"Tonight, tonight. Jean Stockdale speaks tonight. She'll tell us all that God has her say. Tonight, tonight. We'll learn a lot tonight. How to live, how to serve, how to love." It was cute I tell ya.'
Grove Level has a ministry to the hearing impaired. All their services are signed, including my messages. Now if you have ever heard me, you are already concerned for the interpretor!! I talk FAST. And I never breath. Once I get going, words are flying. Flying I say. I had my picture taken with this special group and their interpretor, Clarius.
I cannot wait until these ladies see Jesus face-to-face. The first words they will ever speak will be "Jesus." I promised we would all shout it together when we were gathered to His throne. Now that is enough to make me want to shout!
One of my former MOMS Bible study members, Janie Ghaffari brought several of her friends from Middle Valley Baptist Church (where I will be speaking in August along with Donna Gaines). Middle Valley Baptist Church is using my Bible study for moms called "Joy in the Journey". (If you are interested in doing this study or bringing it to your church you can click here for more information.) Here is Janie and her sweet buddies. Love you gals!
Saturday afternoon Craig and I drove our "mid-sized" selves over to Powder Springs, Ga. where Burnt Hickory Baptist is located. I got to have dinner with my new lifelong friend that I did not even know I had (again, being a part of the family of God is so cool!) and 7 of their minister's wives. So much fun. Sadly I forgot to take their pictures. But imagine if you will, me with eight darling women!
On Sunday morning I spoke 2 times at Burnt Hickory Baptist Church. Oh what fun!! This is how to meet the nicest people. Then I had lunch with their MOMS group. Oh my heart. What precious women!! About 2 Mr. Stockdale scooped me up in our "mid-sized" ride and we headed to the Atlanta airport, returned our little car, jumped on a plane and headed to Memphis. Home is always good to come back to.
But this is not our home. Craig and are a part of the family of God, having met God and received Him on His terms of repentance and faith. As a part of the family of God, we are " aliens and strangers" (1 Peter 3:8) in this world. We are looking forward to "the city which has foundations, whose architect and builder is the Lord" (Heb. 11:10). We are simply passing through to my real home where we will dwell with the family of the redeemed, in the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ forever and ever.