Another one of those Encounters with God! I rose very early one recent Saturday, threw on clothes, gulped breakfast, brushed teeth, and with Bible and notebook in hand headed toward Ash Flat, AR. About midway I picked up two delightful teen girls, Lindsay and Jaycie.
What could be going on in Ash Flat, AR, that would cause teen girls to roll out of bed early on a Saturday?! Or for that matter a woman of age? We were about to find out.
Ash Flat is a small town - we're talking small. It's just on the other side of Evening Shade (remember that one?), settled in among the hills. The Church of Christ there - also small in number - has stepped out of the proverbial box, gone beyond expectations, and allowed the Lord to extend their horizons regarding "Ladies' Day."
On Friday evening the God-filled weekend began with local speakers, storytelling, drama, music and snacks! Although I wasn't there on Friday, I believe a potter highlighted the session by throwing a pot, applying a spiritual lesson while doing so. About 600 filled the fellowship hall!
The keynote speaker for the weekend, Jennifer Rothschild, has been featured on Dr. Phil, ABC’s Good Morning America, and the Billy Graham Television Special, and on other national TV and radio programs including Hour of Power, Life Today, Family Life Radio, TBN, and others. Her life story and message has been the cover story of numerous national publications including Today’s Christian Woman, Virtue magazine, Becoming Family magazine, HomeLife magazine, and others. She has authored six books, including Self Talk, Soul Talk, and Lessons I Learned in the Dark; you see, Jennifer has been blind since the age of 15.
Another young woman, her traveling companion, assisted Jennifer to the stage, then returned to her seat. We would never have guessed this lovely lady could not see if we hadn't already known. She was poised, graceful, looking out on us as if she had faultless vision. I did not detect a smidgen of self-pity; only intense thankfulness to God for his blessings on her life. She is a fan of Jesus Christ!
We were so blessed also by the worship sessions led by the praise team of the Ash Flat church. Composed of 8 or 10 men and women, they helped us lift the roof with songs of adoration for our Lord.
Lindsay, Jaycie and I left with our hearts full! (Our tummies too, a delicious feast was spread for us.)
Here's few excerpts from Jennifer's lesson:
Speculation and assumption never lead to faith in the Lord.
Sometimes God calms the storm; sometimes he calms my heart in the midst of the storm.
We are sometimes delivered through trials - not out of them.
REST versus RESIST: the only letter not found in REST is "I."
Jesus' response to unanswered prayer was commitment. When God didn't deliver him from the cross, he set his face to obey the Father. So should be our response to unanswered prayer.
The Ash Flat church hopes to have Max Lucado for next summer's Rock This House. Check their website for updates, and make your plans to attend!!!