Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Life With Jesus

Wow - what a time I've had the past few weeks!!! I'm not even going to apologize for missing two weeks of writing this blog. When you are where Jesus is and has called you to be there with Him, life is exciting.

Friday May 20th I attended Messiah Ministries' Fountain Prayer and Praise service in Lexington which included a Blessing Ceremony for newlyweds David and Linda Moore and then I hosted a reception afterwards with the help of my good friend Jo Clem. On Saturday May 21, I drove to Union College and hosted an informal get-together for the school I graduated from - Appalachian Local Pastor's School. Sunday I preached at church and Monday I packed.

On Tuesday May 24, my husband Gary and I headed out to Georgia to visit a dear friend Tracy Ruckman and her husband Tim. We had a wonderful, blessed afternoon, evening, and Wednesday til after lunch with them. Then we headed to Pigeon Forge, TN where we spent two nights. Gary shopped and I completed my course - by DVD - on Stress Management Coaching through the American Association of Christian Counselors.

Friday we drove on over to Gatlinburg and settled in for four days. Friday night, Saturday, and Sunday we attended the Gaither Family Fest where laughter and worship are continually dancing around the throne of Love. We go every Memorial Day weekend and hope we never have to miss it. But it's not for worship wimps. There is usually a 4 hour service on Friday night, 2 hours Saturday and Sunday mornings, and 3 1/2 hours Saturday and Sunday nights! One minute someone may tell a joke and the next you may be standing with 7,000 other Christians singing the Halleluiah chorus. Shortly after you sit down a Bluegrass group complete with banjos and wash tubs may entertain you, and right after that you might enjoy a powerful offering of Italian opera, followed by being led in Because He Lives by the composers.

I can't say enough about the awesome experience of the Gaither Family Fest. For someone like me who formed the "Fun To Be One Club" back in the '70's, to be in a group that large made up of Baptists, Catholics, Methodists, Episcopalians, Pentecostals, 7th Day Adventists, Lutherans, Independents, Charismatics, and every other 'brand' of Christians you can name, all worshipping the King of Kings together, is pure heaven. Well, yeah, guess it's just like that, huh?

Monday we stayed around Gatlinburg - I slept til 1 p.m. and Gary slept til 3!!! Our first year there for Family Fest we headed home on Memorial Day but since it took 5 1/2 hours of being in bumper to bumper traffic to go the distance that usually takes 30 minutes, we agreed we would never do that again but would wait til Tuesday.

Tuesday we headed home at 11 a.m. but since there are so many wonderful places in that 30 minute drive to Interstate 40, like the Christian Book Discount Warehouse, the Tool Discount Warehouse, a Christmas decoration warehouse, a china and doll outlet - well, we finally reached the interstate around 5. Yes, it took 30 minutes longer than the drive on Memorial Day but we spent most of it having fun! Then of course we had to stop at the Lake City Cracker Barrel for supper. I kept asking Gary, "Do we really have to go home?" But he kept saying, "Yes." So here we are.

Now that I'm here I'm not really sad. I'm looking forward to being back in the pulpit at church. I'm planning a workshop "Peace! Be Still" on stress management - God's way. And I'm working on the Woman's Retreat which will be "A Day in Narnia." How fun is that!?! The speakers this year will be my daughters and me. I'm really excited about it.

Life with Jesus is so wonderful. Oh, yeah, that Monday that we hung around Gatlinburg, we stopped into a gallery and I bought a painting. It is already hanging in my parlor where I have my quiet time and meet with friends for prayer counseling with the Lord. It's a picture of Jesus holding hands and forming a circle with a group of children and they are dancing. He is smiling as are the children and the adults watching them.

When I look at it I see us - you and me and all who love Him. And I think of the song "Turn your eyes upon Jesus. Look full in His wonderful face. And the things of earth will go strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace."

I hope you are enjoying life with Jesus - even if you sometimes have to sleep 12 to 14 hours after the dance!

"Lord, show me the path of life; In Your Presence is fullness of Joy." Psalm 16:11

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