It was such a joy to serve the ladies of Nashville, Arkansas, last week at Maranatha Baptist Church’s The Feminization of America women’s conference.
Friday night, the men of MBC kicked things off just right by cooking and serving us a hearty dinner with a choice of bacon-wrapped chicken or pork chops. I couldn’t help but think about some of my readers who have jokingly complained that when men have a conference, they get steak, but women’s conferences serve delicate “froo froo” food that leaves you just as hungry as you started off. You ladies would have been proud…and full!
Lovely centerpieces decorated the tables at dinner.
After dinner, I taught my first two sessions. The ladies were so kind, welcoming, and receptive. (Nobody threw rotten tomatoes even though I taught what might be considered hard biblical truths!)
Look what was in the wonderful “swag bags” attendees received! So much great reading material (and other goodies!), including The Grand Design: Male and Female He Made Them by my friends Owen Strachan and Gavin Peacock. I highly recommend it (even though I’m only on the first chapter!).
When the Friday evening sessions were over, I was whisked away to Margaret and Tom’s beautifully rustic home in the country. They were incredibly kind to me, and I can’t thank them enough for their hospitality. I’ve never stayed at a nice enough hotel that fresh flowers were among the amenities, but take a look at these gorgeous jonquils that graced my bedside table. These florist-quality beauties grow everywhere in Arkansas as wildflowers.
On Saturday morning, the men of MBC outdid themselves, serving the ladies an extensive breakfast bar. What a feast! Then it was time for sessions 3 and 4:
Not everyone was able to make it back on Saturday morning,
but it was still a great group of ladies!
I’ve never spoken from behind a “preaching desk” style pulpit,
but now I can see why pastors love them so much. So roomy!
It’s always so great to meet online friends and the ladies attending the conference. My “tweeps,” Trina and Camille, came all the way from Texarkana to attend!
One of the ladies of MBC shared her testimony with me and gave me these precious gifts. Can you guess what’s in the ornament and the pendant jar to go along with Matthew 17:20? Hundreds and hundreds of mustard seeds! That’s a lot of faith! :0)
Some charming gifts from the conference hostesses
When the last hug had been given and the last goodbye had been said, we hit the road, and my family and I got to spend a few relaxing days with my parents, not far from from Nashville. It was a wonderful visit. One of the days we were there, I took a brief walking tour of nearby downtown Hot Springs.
Yes, that’s steam coming off the hot spring.
Can you believe this enchanting natural
area is in the middle of downtown?
I had to cross the busy main street to get to it.
These incredible murals grace the sides of two older buildings
If you saw the 1988 Tom Hanks movie, Big,
(which I’m not necessarily recommending), you know what this is.
I thought it was fun to see one in real life. After I took the picture and began walking away, it started yelling at me!
Another beautiful spot in downtown Hot Springs.
(Cherry blossoms? I’m not sure.)
I had an awesome trip to Arkansas, and it was such an honor to teach the lovely ladies of Nashville. Many thanks to Margaret, Stephanie, Jeanne, Pastor Bruce, and all the hard-working men and women of Maranatha Baptist Church for your sweet hospitality and for putting on such a wonderful conference. I highly recommend this warm and welcoming church to anyone in southwest Arkansas who is looking for a doctrinally sound body of Believers to join.
If your church or organization 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.
Photo of Maranatha Baptist Church courtesy of Maranatha Baptist Church website.
Photos of Michelle speaking by Margaret Byrd.
Photo of Trina, Camille, and Michelle courtesy of Trina Armstrong.
All other photos by Michelle Lesley