Observations at a Bible Conference

So I spent the weekend at the Great Lakes Grace Bible Conference in Wilmot, Ohio. It has become as very special place to me, since it was the exact weekend event where I met my husband three years ago, and the location where we decided to get married almost one year ago. Its always such a great experience, with wonderful preachers sharing their knowledge, meeting friends new and old, and seeing the beautiful landscape that is Ohio's Amish Country.

I really think that this was one of the best conferences I've been to, mostly because I focused on being relaxed, soaking in the messages, and simply enjoying it. I didn't have any pressures of wedding planning, or being so newly twitterpatted that I couldn't focus. I got to go, relax, enjoy every second, and go home afterwards with my sweet husband.

And that is where my first observation comes from.

I notice that I am so much more at ease now. I come with my guy and then I leave with him. Before being married, I thrived on staying up late, being in every part of everything and getting as much interaction with people as I possibly could. I cried when I left events and it always felt like there was a big hole left in my heart. The days after a get-together were hard and sad. Now...I simply enjoy the time that I have, I go to bed at a decent hour and at the end, I go home with my favorite person of all time. I like it better this way. :)

I really enjoyed watching people. I have always been the quieter person that listens more than talks and occasionally interjects when I feel I have something significant to say. That is, unless you get me on a subject I like...then I will talk your ear off. But I find it very interesting to just watch people and observe how they behave.

This is observation Number Two.

I saw that some people have an attitude that, because they are at a Bible Conference, they must behave differently than they would normally.

Yeah, this is a Bible conference, so I have to wear this instead of that.
We probably shouldn't watch that movie, or talk about that subject, since we are at a Bible conference.
Oops, I shouldn't say that word, since I'm at a Bible Conference.

You get the idea. And all I am going to say on that note is this...why do we live in a way that forces us to have to act differently in front of our Bible Conference Friends than we would when we are at home?

These are just my observations.

I also noticed that there are people that come to places like this, sit down to listen to speaker, and then get offended by something the speaker says. Bottom line...don't come to something like that and expect to only hear what you want to hear. The speaker merely gave his opinion, and he stated that it was thus several times. There is no reason to have a fit over something he clearly wasn't aiming at you personally.

Again. Just my observation.

On a happier note, I observed a mother deal with something sensitive in a most gracious manner. Her teenage son was spending a lot of time enjoying the company of a young lady whom she was not acquainted with. She wanted to know who the girl was, so she quietly asked around and eventually became good friends with the girl's mom. Now that, I thought, is a great way to keep an eye out on your children and who they are hanging out with. She found out what she wanted to know in a calm and rational manner. She didn't make a big fuss or become defensive. But she was looking out for her son, and she did it with respect and grace.
I admired that a lot. And its little things like that that I put in the back of mind, in a file marked "See that? Remember that when you have kids."

I also observed that when you do something different in your life, you have to expect people to not understand. And you have to try to find a gracious way to explain to them why you do what you do, because they will ask. You can get upset, because often people ask about your differences in ways that are not always the most gracious. They will be blunt and brash. But the bottom line is that they just don't have a clue. And at times, depending on what it is, you intimidate them, and their nervousness cause them to not really think about the question they are asking. Just keep calm and try to avoid beating them about the head. :)

One last thing. We may not be the largest group in the world. We may not be the most well-loved. We may not be the most talented or have the most advertising. But there is a passion here uncommon in many circles. There is a depth of love, grace and wisdom that you don't find just anywhere. And while so many people are trying to get filled up on some watered-down version of Christianity, something very special goes on here. This is real. This is empowering. And I'm not letting go.



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