Speaking Engagements

Report Back: Building Godly Women Conference

I had such a wonderful time of fellowship recently with the delightful ladies of Tangent, Oregon, and the surrounding area at the Building Godly Women conference. The hard working ladies from Grace Bible Fellowship put in lots of hours and elbow grease to host a warm and polished event that was enjoyed by all.

Hi ‘n’ ‘bye, San Francisco! Hope I get to stay longer next time!

I don’t know if you realize this or not but Tangent, Oregon, is really, really far away from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where I live – 2,435 miles as the crow flies. Fortunately, I was flying on an Eagle, not a crow, that took me from Baton Rouge to Houston to San Francisco to Eugene, Oregon.

It was my first time in San Francisco. I did not leave my heart there, but I did leave plenty of tracts, and that’s pretty much the same thing. I hope I get to see more than the inside of the airport next time, although it was one of the nicer places I’ve changed planes.

When I arrived in Eugene, I learned that everyone was worried I might not make it in due to a snow storm which had passed through the area that day, but God was very kind to skirt it around the airport somehow. Sadly, only a few flakes were falling as we left the airport. This Southern gal likes to visit her snow.

My kind hosts for the weekend, Dee and her husband, Mike, picked me up and welcomed me into their lovely home, where they treated me like royalty for the weekend.

Dee sure studied up on me and blessed me with my favorite snacks and thoughtful gifts, including some goat’s milk bar soap made by her daughter, and a beautiful water bottle adorned with cherry blossoms, the official decor flower of the conference. And check out those gorgeous (real) tulips in the background!

See those chocolate covered hazelnuts? Hazelnuts (filberts) are grown right around the area I was staying in (and they were really good!).

Friday, I had the opportunity to rest up a bit before some fun outings…

Lunch with some of the planners.

After lunch, Dee was so kind to take me to see a couple of local points of interest. We stopped at the Larwood Wayside, a gorgeous little picnic area on the banks of Crabtree Creek, which is adjacent to the Larwood covered bridge, built in 1939. Covered bridges are a dying breed in the United States. Only about 750 remain.

We came to a fork in the road, so we took it! Ironically, this fork was on the side of the road rather than at an actual fork in the road. Why is it there? Who knows?

Behind me you can see one of the many grass fields in the area. Grass is grown as a crop for seed, hay, and sod.

The beautiful snow dappled mountains we saw as we left the fork are the Cascades.

Friday night, it was conference time!

Charcuterie cups for the ladies to snack on – what a great idea!

Our first session was Hooked on a Feeling: Living by God’s Word Instead of Our Feelings, and it was a great way to kick things off. Scripture is our authority as Christians, and we shouldn’t let our feelings lead us around by the nose.

Pastor Tom Pennington (no relation) was so kind to welcome and pray for the ladies.

Friday night fellowship:

Saturday, we hit the ground running with How to Study (and Teach!) the Bible. This is such a crucial skill for Christian women today. We’ve got to be good students of the Word so we can disciple our own children and the women and children of our churches.

Between sessions, we were treated to a scrumptious brunch of quiche, coffee cake, and fresh fruit.

Feast your eyes on these exquisite table settings. Each of those cherry blossoms (on all of those tables!) was made by hand from tissue. Can you believe it? If someone hadn’t told me, I wouldn’t have known they weren’t real.

Our final teaching session was Discernment 101: Learn to Discern. We talked about what discernment is, and how to use it – identifying false teachers and false doctrine – to the glory of God.

We rounded out the day with lots of fellowship and pictures.

The cherry on top of this wonderful weekend was a trip to breathtaking Multnomah Falls, the second tallest waterfall in the contiguous United States (Yosemite Falls in California is the tallest). I’m so grateful to Mike and Dee for going out of their way to make sure I got to see it.

On the way to Multnomah Falls, we caught a glimpse of majestic Mt. Hood, completely blanketed in snow. Mt. Hood is actually a dormant volcano and is the highest mountain in Oregon.

After a lovely dinner with Mike and Dee, it was time to say goodbye. My deepest thanks to them, the conference planning committee, pastor Tom, and all the men and women of Grace Bible Fellowship who worked so hard to host a fantastic conference, took care of all my needs, and made me feel so welcome. If you’re ever in the area and need a good church to visit, make plans to spend the Lord’s Day with these wonderful brothers and sisters.

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, or to find an upcoming event near you!

Photo Credits

Many thanks to Dee and other conference attendees who took most of the photos above. You may assume that if I’m in the picture or if it’s a good quality photo that I didn’t take it. The remaining photos were shot by me.