We didn’t want to go, had things to do, a storm was coming we had to stay home to watch after “our stuff”, but all signs said to “all steam ahead”, so we packed as excitement started setting in. I love it when you are all packed, you go to bed knowing that early in the morning you’re going on the long awaited trip….
It was time to attend the annual conference for Association of Exchange Life Ministries to meet with our fellow counselors. That was the initial reason to make the trip to Myrtle Beach. And of course, to hear our guest speaker, John Lynch, the Author of Bo’s Café, a book I had read and enjoyed so much. If you haven’t read it you must! That was a first for me, to read a book, then get to see and hear the one who wrote it. He turned out to be more than I had expected. As his sessions ended, I sat there still wanting more…I love it when that happens!
You can see for yourself we had the perfect view from our room on the sixth floor over looking the Atlantic Ocean. Just a few feet after getting out of the elevator you could walk out on a long pier and see fishermen trying for their big catch. One interesting fact, at the end of the pier, the fishermen was lined on one side. We were told that in the springtime they fish off to the right side to catch Kingfish. These fish are heading north upstream in this vast ocean, it’s hard to get my head around that. Just think, God made them able to know when to travel and where to travel. In the Fall, the fishermen fish off the left side to catch those going back down for migration. That is such a wonder, but I wanted to lean over the side and shout, “swim for your life”! I wouldn’t have done that because looking at those eager fishermen I might have been “fish bait”, ouch! Well thankfully, while we were watching, I did not see one get caught. Now don’t ask me if I hesitate while sitting in a fancy Kingfish restaurant out on the West Coast ordering one of their delicious dishes made with…”you got it!” Kingfish!!! Ah umm, that’s different!….
The reason we came was evident soon as it got under way. The first night, it was good seeing our friends, being around those of the same “genre”, so to speak. There are people from all over the country and a couple of folk from foreign countries in our Care Giving group. We were all encouraged afterwards saying it was the best one yet! Being counselors, or those “showing the hurting The Way to New Life”, we need to be among each other more often. It’s like the “Iron Sharpening Iron” effect. John Lynch did such a great job, he was such a good presenter, a very humble man. His style was with dramatics, which made me able to see what he was saying so well. Word Picture style of teaching is my unique way of learning makes me retain it longer. It was truly a blessing from beginning to end.
Coming home, I realized how important it is to “Take Time Off” from the routine of life. It allows you to grow and see what is out there beyond our old ways of doing things. That can become a rut, before you know it, if we are not careful. I want to always stay fresh and new, living my life like God created me and with a purpose. One “take away” I had was one statement John made. Speaking from Galatians 6: 1 “Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted”. He said, “as we affirm those we come in contact with we will draw their new nature out of them “. I sat there thinking, what an honor we have to “get” to work in the lives of people Father sends across our path. I don’t want to ever take it for granite, the work He has called us to do.
So this year’s conference came to a close. As the last worship song was sung and the last prayer was prayed I went away thinking how I look forward to packing up and heading out next year to a location somewhere in the USA to join with our fellow workers. We are one when we are together sharing the one thing we do called “Jesus Work”… Taking this time really made me feel refreshed and energized, I can see how Taking Time Off is truly a good thing…..
(Just a side note please visit JL’s website and take in all he has to offer. You will glean from his sharing and love his style go look at http://boscafe.com/?cat=4 you will want to bookmark this one too!!!)