I had such a lovely time serving the ladies of Meade, Kansas, last weekend at Countryside Bible Church’s Women Thinking Wisely women’s conference.
Countryside Bible Church
(Used to be the Evangelical Mennonite Brethren Church.
Kinda hard to change your name when it’s “set in stone””!)
I flew in on Friday afternoon and got some quality chat time with Pastor Jonathan Dale and his charming wife, Nora, as we drove from the airport to Meade through the beautiful farmland that comprises much of the area.
I thought Oklahoma’s “where the wind comes sweepin’ down the plain”
but I guess Kansas gets a good stiff breeze too, or they wouldn’t have all of these windmills!
*Nora Dale and me.
The Dales dropped me off at the warm and welcoming home of Roxanna and Darwin who hosted me for the weekend at their family owned and operated farm, Ediger Farms.
Saturday was the big day, and we headed over to the church for the conference. I do not have the gift of decorating, but somebody at Countryside sure does, because you would hardly have known the gym was a gym. The whole CBC family must have pitched in to make everything so pleasant and inviting, and they did a super job!
The centerpieces incorporated the theme verse for the weekend,
Philippians 4:8: Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.*
At last it was time to get down to business, and we began with worship and prayer. Usually, when I teach at a conference, I teach 2-4 sessions on various aspects of one topic, like biblical womanhood or discernment, but the ladies who planned this conference had me teach about thinking wisely in three very diverse arenas – emotionalism, the media, and suffering – which I found to be a refreshing challenge. (I’ll insert a link to the audio for each session when it becomes available.)
Session 1 was Rightly Handling Our Emotions. We explored what it means to live life led by the objective Word of God rather than our subjective feelings and opinions.
In our second session, Rightly Handling Media, we took a look at media and how it can be used as a tool for helping us grow in Christ or creating problems in our walk with Christ.
Next, it was time for lunch- a variety of salads, and one of my favorites, cheesecake. I would have taken a picture, but I was focused on snarfing it down!
After lunch, we dealt with Rightly Handling Suffering in session three. Jesus is our hero in suffering, our hope in suffering, and our way to handle suffering.
Craft time! The ladies got to take a (much needed, I’m sure) break and make these lovely mementos of the conference. Someone even made one for me since I was busily preparing for the last session. (Thank you, whoever you are!)
Following craft time was our last session of the day, Q&A, always my favorite session. The ladies asked some very smart questions that I had fun answering.
Awesome Q&A cards to fill out and turn in!
As the conference wrapped up, Nora presented me with a wonderful hostess gift. These cute dish towels will always remind me of my visit to the Sunflower State and the lovely ladies of CBC. And the candy was delicious!
Before she went home, Hannah, a mighty talented young artist, presented me with this portrait. I am so impressed with the detail- she included my necklace, earrings, and the headset mic, and even captured my incessant gesticulating. Somebody’s got a career in the art world ahead of her when she grows up!
It’s never easy to say goodbye. I met so many precious brothers and sisters in Christ, and even a couple of furry friends!
Great to meet you, Tami and Gina!**
I’m not a cat person, but even I couldn’t resist these two cuties.
Before I knew it, I was headed back for the airport. Big thank you’s to Sara for driving me to and from the conference, to Travis and Tiff, who welcomed me into their home for supper on Saturday night and fed me well, and to Eric and Angela who heroically picked me up at 3:30 a.m. (yes, you read that right) so I could make my 6:00 a.m. flight, then drove all the way back home for church. (I hope Pastor Jonathan will forgive you if you nodded off during his sermon!)
I had an amazing trip to Kansas, and it was such an honor to teach the sweet ladies of Meade. Many thanks to all the folks at Countryside Bible 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 Kansas 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.
Photos marked by a single asterisk (*), courtesy of Roxanna Ediger
Photo marked by a double asterisk (**), unknown
All other photos by Michelle Lesley