As I write it’s less than 48 hours before the largest ladies seminar ever hosted at our congregation. We are very excited, but, by the time you read this, it will all be over. We will be reproducing the audio and video and those who were blessed to have come will be back in their respective congregations and we hope the lessons by Sheila Butt will be resounding and the ripples of influence will be touching even those who were unable to attend.
But, as I write, the dust is not settling and the frenzy of preparation is a little chaotic. For the past four days, my husband has been preaching in a gospel meeting in Adairsville, Georgia. This is his first meeting since the marriage of our daughter, Hannah and since our son, Caleb’s, return to the University of South Carolina. So, I told Glenn I was turning over a new leaf and that I was determined to travel to more of his gospel meetings with him. Now that there are fewer demands presented by children with clashing schedules, this should be feasible, right? Life is short and, since this is probably the only husband I will ever have, I just planned to spend more time enjoying the bond we share…and I told my husband this very thing.
So I went. Right off of a recent wedding and then twelve lessons and a humptazillion hours of talking through problems at PTP, I got in the car again and went with Glenn to this gospel meeting. Looking back, the meeting was a blur of activity, too. We went to worship every day, but in between we went to our daughter’s and her Ben’s house for the first time (amazing blessing to just be there), we went to my Dad’s, which was an hour-and-a-half away and worked like crazy one of the days (amazing blessing to be there, too…he’s 89) and we spent lots of phone time there working through issues, too. But it was the homecoming that really messed up the groove. I have learned that anytime you really are living on the edge, the devil is trying to knock you off. When you start getting way too busy and scheduling way too much stuff, there comes a time of reckoning. Ours began on the way home last night…
There was no way we could spend one more night in Adairsville. Glenn had to be home this morning to fly back out to South America where some issues in the church on the island of San Andres had really demanded that a couple of elders fly down and work through some questions in the church. He had less than twelve hours at best at home. During those twelve hours, we had packed in an appraisal of the house (we’re refinancing), reloading the suitcases, filling a bunch of book orders, and a signing at the bank (for the sale of the old church building)…very tight, but typical. And I was to go in full gear for our biggest-ever ladies seminar in the new building! Whooosh!
We were hungry as we left Adairsville for the drive home. There had been no time for supper before services, so we decided to drive just for a few minutes to clear our heads and then stop for supper; only there was no restaurant between Adairsville and Valley Head, AL! We finally pulled into a Jack’s and they said they were closing in three minutes. We’ve never been so thankful for greasy fried chicken…ever! I can’t remember many times we’ve been more thankful for a night at Serenity, either. We were going to be fine…
Then the unthinkable happened. A pipe in the basement had sprung a leak while we were gone and water was spraying from the basement ceiling. Now, if you have ever been in my basement, you already know that there is no good place in there for this to be happening. Wherever it is happening, a LOT of stuff is getting wet. No way to fix it last night, so all of the water had to be turned off and the husband had to be up early and at the hardware store at seven a.m. That would give us three hours to accomplish all the aforementioned before we had to leave for his flight to Columbia, South America. We could not drop, trip over, forget, or stop to eat anything, but if everything lined up right, this could be do-able. But the hardware store did not open till eight. That trip was a dry run (not DRY enough yet, though). So unpacking, repacking, filling book orders and working on the seminar all occurred in the hour before the hardware store at the four-way stop opened its doors at eight. Glenn got the needed stuff to patch and solder the pipe (I don’t even know what I am talking about here) and strangely asked me for some bread. I gave him all the bread in the house and he disappeared into the basement.
Then the doorbell rang and it was the appraiser (actually two of them)…the ones about whom I had completely forgotten in the flurry of excitement. Glenn got the door and asked them to come on in. Yikes! Of course, with no water, there had been no cleaning, no toilets were flushed and I looked a wreck. Glenn said I could lock myself in my bathroom, where he hoped the water would work now and he would try to keep them out of there. That was music to my ears. I had all of about thirty minutes now to get ready to leave for the airport via the bank (for the signing) and I was going to get a bath! It had to be a bath and not a shower, at this point, because the bathroom in which I had locked myself only had a tub and I was stuck at this point. So I turned on the water and it was a trickle! I called to my husband and his response was one of the funniest parts of my week… “Oh, I guess I stuffed too much bread in the pipe…. That’s what you do, you know…You stuff bread in the pipe to keep it dry so you can solder the leaky part.” This left my mind to wonder about what was going to happen to all this bread in the pipe. Is it coming into my bathtub as it disintegrates?
At any rate, it was a slow go and very soon, Glenn came back and knocked on the door and informed me that they DO have to come in the bathroom and take a picture and asked could I please be out in about 30 seconds or so. So I got my head in a towel and my body in a robe and scurried to the back porch where I would wait (hide) during the photo shoot; only when the photo shoot was finished I was going to hurry back through the bedroom and back into the bathroom and they were going out to measure the back porch. So there, in the doorway, we bumped into each other, me in my robe and big towel on my head and he in his freshly pressed designer shirts and khakis. “Well, good morning!” By this time and with the clock ticking, there is no time for explanation. You just let him assume whatever he wants about the way you generally prepare for appraisals.
I have never been so happy to get through at the bank, where, in my disheveled state I got to meet all the bank executives for the first time and visit with all the elders. I have certainly never been so relieved to get somebody to the airport in the nick of time.
Remember that earlier post about the blessing trail? I am trying to find that trail as I write. Here’s the trail:
- I got to plan a wedding with my daughter. Everyone who gathered on that stage was a Christian or a child. What a huge blessing.
- I got to speak twelve times at PTP and I was only one of a whole bunch of speakers? Do you know what that means? It means there are hundreds of women who are traveling yearly to this great collection of seminars to learn how to be better for the Lord. I am learning, too.
- I call it hunger when I am two hours late getting a meal. Enough said.
- There is running water, hot and cold, in my pipes at Serenity almost 100 % of the time.
- My husband knows how to fix things.
- There was bread in my frig when it was needed.
- Glenn is going to the mission field to solve problems with a preacher rather than being the problem in a mission field.
- There are about 400 ladies who are coming to a seminar about protecting our families from the devil. That’s very reassuring for the future of our families. Many are coming hundreds of miles.
- I am rich enough to have a lot of superfluous stuff under that leak in the basement and to stop and get fried chicken anytime I am hungry.
- We live in a culture of convenience where stuff you need is just down at the four-way stop and far-away places you need to go are really not that far away when you can get on a jet.
- Interest rates are down (thus the refinancing) and that’s one positive for home-owners in a lagging economy.
- The old church building finally sold (thus, the signing) and so we are going to get to use that money for the Lord’s interests in West Huntsville.
But probably the biggest wake-up-and-smell-the-coffee for me was at the bank when Glenn introduced me to one of the loan officers. I recognized her name and realized we had prayed for her at West Huntsville because her husband had been critically ill. This woman told me about her life-changing crisis. She told me about a tiny inflamed diverticuli that had caused a bowel eruption in her husband and about the subsequent septic state of his organs. She talked about moments of crisis and four days of doctors telling her that he would likely not live. She spoke of the fact that he would not ever go to work again. She told about their nineteen-year-old daughter who had learned so much in the last few days…the one who was on her way to take her dad to dialysis at the moment. She talked about God and about gratitude for prayers. The clincher was when she expressed her thankfulness for what had transpired, because when they removed the necessary damaged portion of intestine, the doctor discovered that the part of the bowel that had erupted contained cancer and would have likely claimed his life. Because of the diverticuli, the malignancy had been removed from his body. There she was—right there on the blessing trail.
And, no. Unfortunately the bread and solder was NOT effective. The husband left me with a leak that was worse than before he “plumbed”. (I love him and he is so good at so many things, but he cannot “plumb”…not a lick!) John Hunt, the plumber (and my brother in Christ), after four tries, stopped the leak. He was blessing number 13.
Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen (Rev. 7:12)
More Bible Study Tips from BYH readers:
“When my husband and I go fishing I can just concentrate on the Word real well… also early hours of the morning when no one is up.” Anna Adams
“One of my favorite ways to study the bible is on topics that either I am going through or something that I came across and I am interested.” Sandy Pritchett
“I recently received a copy of Halley’s Bible Handbook, and I decided that I would just read it from cover to cover. I have to preface what I am about to say/suggest with these statements: I do not endorse all of the material in the book, especially as it relates to ideas on creation and some doctrinal issues. Also, it was written quite some time ago, so the language and grammar usage, while certainly understandable, is not typical in today’s speech. That being said, I have found the book to be quite helpful. The archeological notes can really assist a Christian’s arguments for the Bible being the inspired, inerrant word of God. I did not grow up in the church or any other “church” for that matter. Reading through a brief outline of the books of the Bible along with Mr. Halley’s commentary linking those books has really helped me in understanding how people, places, and events fit together. In adult Bible classes (and even high school) I think we often assume the audience has some basic level of Bible knowledge. Although I have been a Christian for many years, there were just some things that remained fuzzy. As a sidenote I think this is a testament to the importance of taking children to Bible class and teaching them from infancy at home. It is harder to teach an old dog (to alter the saying). I am not done reading Halley’s Bible Handbook, but I am confident it will help me in the future during Bible classes and personal Bible study.” Dana Ethridge