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Last weekend, I had the privilege of speaking at a Christian women’s conference in Cape Cod, Massachusetts. It was a wonderful time of fellowship with a lovely group of godly women, and, since many have asked about it and prayed for me, I wanted to share a little about the trip.
I arrived in Boston Thursday evening and was met by Maria, one of the women’s ministry leaders. She and her husband were kind enough to open their home to me the first night of my trip.
You know you’re in a good host home
when you find these on the night table!
Friday morning I finally got to meet my precious Twitter friend, DebbieLynne, in person. DebbieLynne is actually the one who recommended me as speaker for this conference. Thanks, Deb! (If you don’t already follow her blog, The Outspoken Tulip, check it out!)
This is what it looks like when, instead of “cheese,”
you say, “Everybody say ‘false teachers’!”
to a couple of discernment divas.
Friday afternoon, we arrived at the hotel in Cape Cod and got settled in. Then the women’s ministry leaders took me out for a lovely dinner. When I travel, I always like to try whatever dish that area is best known for, so, of course I ordered some clam chowder. It was great!
When this restaurant says a “cup” of soup,
that’s exactly what they mean!
After dinner, we went back to the hotel, and I taught the first of four sessions on the topic of suffering: Christ, the Suffering Servant.
Something pretty amazing happened Saturday after the morning session on The Theology of Suffering. I was standing near the exit door as closing announcements were being made, and a hotel worker (I’ll call her “Linda”) opened the door a few inches and motioned for me to come out into the hall with her. Linda asked me what who this group was and what was going on, so I explained that it was a group of ladies from a nearby church who had come to the hotel for a conference.
Linda then began to pour out her heart to me, that, in addition to her father’s recent death, her daughter’s medical problems, and her own health issues, she had been struggling with alcoholism. She felt too shy to go to a group recovery meeting and wanted to know if there were someone in our group who could help her one on one. I stepped back into the conference room and retrieved Julie, the pastor’s wife, hoping she might have some resources that could help Linda.
After hearing Linda’s story, Julie stepped back into the conference room and retrieved Maureen. Guess what? Maureen and her husband have a long standing ministry of one on one discipleship for people with substance abuse problems! We were able to pray and share the gospel with Linda and get her connected to Maureen for follow up.
Oh, and that talk I’d just been giving on the theology of suffering? My closing point was that one of God’s good purposes for suffering is that suffering can cause lost people to cry out to God for salvation. Lost people like Linda.
I was overwhelmed by God’s sovereignty in this situation. These ladies could have chosen a different weekend or a different hotel for this conference. Maureen could have skipped the conference. Linda could have called in sick that day or been too shy to stick her head in the door. My talk could have been about some other topic. But God kindly pulled back the veil a little and let us see how He orchestrated all of these things to bring the gospel to a suffering soul who needed Jesus.
Saturday afternoon, Maria and Julia graciously took me on a drive to see the sights around Cape Cod. Even though it was rainy, windy, and cold, the view from the coast was beautiful, as you can see.
I also got to see Nobska Lighthouse, which was constructed in 1876…
…and the oldest Episcopal church in Cape Cod, Church of the Messiah.
The church was founded in 1852,
with this stone structure being built in 1889.
Some people collect stamps.
I collect pictures of the steeples of churches I’ve visited.
Unfortunately, this “church” now touts itself as “inclusive” (read: homosexuality affirming), committed to “environmental justice,” and is led by the “Reverend” Deborah.
After another awesome seafood dinner (I LOVE SEAFOOD!), we returned to the hotel, where I taught session 3 of the conference: Rejoicing in God’s Promises During Suffering.
Sunday morning was a sweet time of worship and fellowship, and the final session of the conference: The Christian’s Response to Suffering.
After a quick check out from the hotel, it was back to the airport in Boston for the ride home.
What a lovely weekend! When I’m teaching a group of ladies, I can always tell whether or not they sit under a good pastor, and this group certainly does. If you live in the Boston area and are looking for a good church, I could not recommend First Baptist Church, Weymouth, more highly.
If your church is ever in need of a speaker for a women’s event, I’d love to come share with your ladies as well. Click here for more information.