This was originally an in-person talk, presented to a group of ladies on February 25, 2022.
I’m Lori Ferguson – a person who writes, I read a lot, I make things out of paper, and in life, I’m a wife, a mom to grown children, and a grandmother. Those are some of the things I “do”.
But GOD is at the center of my life. HE is what’s important.
What God, His Son Jesus, and the Holy Spirit teach me filters through (I hope) into the “who” I am in every aspect of my life regardless of where I am, who I’m with, or what I’m doing…
GOD was and is the constant.
So here I am, with you all, and as I look out at your faces – some of you I know and some of you I don’t – But that’s OK – we’re going to get to know each other a little better today… right?
Just in case you’re wondering, I’m rarely at the front of a group – my comfortable spot is way at the back – in the corner.
but GOD is going to help me today – I’m trusting that – as I’m in a spot that isn’t naturally comfortable.
And for you, maybe you know the person beside you, or in front or behind – or perhaps you only know their name. Regardless. Today we all can get to know a little bit more about each other – whether deeper, greater or just a small friendly introduction…
Here’s what’s special…
Today we are going to get to know each other through the filter – the perspective – of the phrase… “But GOD”…
And here’s what we have in common…
We all have something in common – hah! – you think I’m going say we are all women, and yes we are, BUT GOD
has made us all His children! and that’s more important. We’re all women, we’re all children of God, and here – today – we can encourage each other to grow as women – as children of God.
This weekend’s organizers have done their part, they’ve put together this event and I’m imagining you, like me, are a combination of excited and nervous — to be a part of what is going to happen for all of us… fear and fun, right?
Let me share what makes me excited!
What’s going to be our focus?
I’ve already said it, but let me say it again – The topic – the parameters – the concept that we’re all considering is the phrase
You’ve known phrase this since you signed up. It was there in the intro slide in your congregation and on the Eventbrite page where you signed up…You’ve learned this phrase from reading what the team have sent in emails. And even if you didn’t know it before this morning, you can read it on your pamphlet right now!
Let’s just unpack the phrase a bit –
First – you might be interested to know (but not surprised) that the phrase “But God” has a Scriptural context – it’s there both in the Old Testament and the New Testament. It’s referenced more or less often depending on which translation of the Bible you look at.
Today I’m going to be referencing the New King James version because that’s what we hear in services – and also the New International Version because I happen to find it easier to understand.
Regardless, wherever you find it in the Bible, in whichever version… it’s not an accident. It’s not on a whim when both those words are used together…
When used in Scripture the phrase “But GOD” is used to underscore two things:
- What comes from God is different – always better – than what we, as humans do or provide.
- and that He is always with us, always faithful, never changing.
So today is about…
The “but GOD” perspective…
Really – the “But God” perspective brings so much more into our life when compared to the “but me” attitude…
Usually, a Scripture in this context has a statement before and another, “GOD” kind of statement after the words “BUT GOD”… The first is a contrast to the second part – What comes after the “but GOD” is, —- basically, the better part.
Here are two examples that are in your booklet:
- Genesis 50:20 – But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive.
- Psalm 73:26 – my flesh and my heart fail; But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
There are many more instances referenced where the “but GOD” is implied or spread out in the Scripture in the various translations. If you’re ever bored, just use BibleGateway and search “but GOD”.
What’s going to happen in the next hour or so?
Today I’m going to introduce three “But God” Topics (3 are enough for us to explore today.)
- But GOD… is near.
- But GOD… hears.
- But GOD… helps.
Sometimes it’s not the ending of the story – your story, my story – that’s the most significant.
Often it’s right in the middle that GOD is there – close by – and makes the difference. Whatever we’re experiencing, good or bad, HE is alongside us to make the difference.
Not just “a” difference – THE difference.
GOD makes the difference.
I’m going to use Noah as our example here –
- just think of Noah’s journey from living in a society that had forgotten about honoring GOD,
- receiving seemingly crazy instructions to prepare for something that had never ever happened before,
- because of what GOD asked, he endured ridicule and hard work for decades
- and ended up with only his own family saved from an incomprehensible event…
- and then, in the middle of that event, when there was absolutely nowhere to turn…
God made the difference.
Here’s a “But GOD perspective…”
At the end of chapter 7…
Everything was dead on the earth except Noah, his family, and the animals on that ark. The waters flooded the earth for a hundred and fifty days.
“But God remembered Noah and all the wild animals and the livestock that were with him in the ark, and he sent a wind over the earth, and the waters receded.” Genesis 8:1 NIV
Right there, in the middle of everything bad, GOD was there – HE made a difference in every living human’s life, all the creation left alive and to continue for a future to come. Which includes us!
His promise – a rainbow – showed up as a reminder that HE would never flood the earth again – HE was there then and always moving forward meeting us until today in the present and HE is already waiting for us in the future.
Florida has so many rainbows —– God’s promise, represented by a rainbow, is in the sky as a reminder that HE was near then, made a promise, and continues to be near to us, keeping that promise. Next time you see a rainbow in the sky – remember that!
Have you felt God is near?
We have felt GOD near to us – For our family – our adult children, Alex and Alisane – this past year has been a difficult time. Some of you may be aware, and others, maybe not…
Our third grandchild, Charlie, was born a year ago on January 26th – he lived for 33 days, and then passed away. The grief has been heavy to bear – impacting every day of the last 396. It’s not something any of us would have imagined, but from those who have shared their stories, many (maybe some of you here) have experienced the loss of an infant, a child, a loved one so young you may have never held her or him in your arms.
So many reached out in person and online to encourage, strengthen and support Alex and Alisane through the days of Charlie’s life –
- when he was born sooner than anticipated because of his health complications,
- as the health professionals went to extraordinary lengths to make a difference –
- during surgery and care in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit,
- and then when we realized Charlie would not have a miracle to make him whole. His future was not on earth with us, but rather to precede us into eternity.
So many reached out then and they continue to reach out with words of love and hope.
Yes. It’s been hard.
But GOD was near.
At every step, GOD was near.
And GOD is still near, as Alisane and Alex grieve and work through that grief. It isn’t a straight line – at times it’s not neat and pretty, all wrapped up with a bow – rather it’s raw and complicated.
God is near.
How do I know this?
How do I know that GOD is near to them?
Well, do you know what happens when GOD is near?
We change when GOD is near.
And the changes we experience aren’t all pretty and smooth – sometimes the changes are weighty. Significant.
Uncomfortable for us and those around us.
But GOD is near.
There’s a well-known Scripture in the New Testament – Philippians 4:6
6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
You might already be familiar with this verse… but do you know what comes just before that – in verse 5?
… the Lord is near.
part of Philippians 4:5 NIV
In our NKJV translation, it says, “The Lord is at hand.“
It was only this year that I realized what came before the instruction to “not be anxious about anything“…
It’s funny how our eyes can gloss over details. We can miss things in Scripture until GOD is near…
— so as soon as I put one in front of the other – that GOD is NEAR – it all fell into place.
Sure, on our own it’s so easy to be anxious. To worry.
But GOD – HE is near, at hand, and HE makes it possible in ways we can’t imagine to not be anxious… to pray and ask and give thanks as we request things from GOD.
The prayers we experienced, surrounding us then – a year ago – and even now – asking GOD for care on behalf of Charlie, for his mom and dad and sister and brother – allowed us to go through those days in new ways, sometimes incomprehensible ways…
Were we sad, angry, desperately anguished?
Are we still sad, sometimes angry, and at times deeply hurt?
Do you know what made walking through this last year possible?
God was near.
GOD’s presence changed us – deepened our understanding of His will, His power, and how to navigate life experiences. We see the difference in Alex and Alisane. They remark on what has changed in them during Charlie’s life and passing and up to today.
It isn’t pretty.
It isn’t easy.
But when GOD is near, we change.
I’m sure that was true for Noah and his family – as it was for King David, like we heard about on Wednesday evening – and for Martha – remember Mary and Martha, friends of Jesus – Martha was changed after talking with Jesus…
And all the other people in the Bible we read about and will meet someday – yes, someday they will be able to share with us, as we will with them, all the ways in which our encounters with GOD, His Son, Jesus and the Holy Spirit changed us!
What about you?
I’m sure, as I look out at you all, there have been bumps in your road of life. None of us are exempt.
Maybe your concerns and challenges are new – maybe they’ve been years in the making. Perhaps they’ve become a lighter load to carry and now you can reflect back to see those moments with clarity that though you suffered and were almost overcome, maybe you see now that GOD was near to you at every step.
Or maybe you’re right in the thick of the trouble – the concern – the devastation.
And it’s hard, really hard.
Harder than you’ve ever thought it would be to feel that GOD is near.
How do you feel that GOD is near?
Sometimes it’s easy to feel that GOD is near – other times it’s harder. Why?
Well, let me tell you a story that will illustrate my point:
One summer there was a family who was on vacation in Washington State. They had the opportunity to visit Grand Coulee Dam on the Columbia River, – it’s the 5th largest dam in the world, and generates 21 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity each year. That’s enough power to supply about 2 million households with electricity.
And this dam is big. There’s so much concrete in this dam that with the same amount of concrete you could build a highway from Seattle Washington to Miami Florida. Yes. It’s impressive.
Anyway. Their kids were with them, so it was supposed to be an educational experience too… they planned on stopping in at the Visitor Center to do all the interactive activities. Apparently, it was quite an impressive experience, including laser light shows, a movie, and guided tours and more. Everybody was excited.
Once they drove into the area, found the parking lot, parked, and everyone walked to the front door of the Grand Coulee Dam’s Visitor center, they discovered it was closed. Yes, they got there during the “open” hours of 9AM to 5PM. Yes, all the workers were there also. And yes, everything was in working order.
The Visitor Center right next to this massive hydroelectric dam – generating billions of kilowatts of electricity…
Didn’t have power. There was no electricity.
No one could go into the building to use everything provided… because, basically, it wasn’t plugged into that amazing generator of power…
So, using that story as an ANALOGY– to have a “But GOD” experience we need to be plugged into HIM – into the source of everything.
It’s like having a lamp – and to make use of the lamp, with a working lightbulb, it needs to be plugged into the electricity. The power!
YOU know that GOD is near if you’re “plugged into” HIM.
And how can you plug into that creator of everything – the GOD who has all the answers…
– here are two ways:
1 – Prayer plugs you into experiencing that GOD is near.
A conversation with the ONE who has all the answers, who knows the path, the ONE who loves you more than any human ever could, prayer can help you experience GOD being nearby.
I’ll give you more insights on how prayer connects you to the source of all good things as we go through and talk….
2 – And sharing with others is the second practical way to remind yourself that GOD is near…
Sharing good things with others helps you realize that GOD is near.
One practical way I’ve heard is about a mom who, at every meal when she sits with her family asks each person to share one good thing that happened in their day – it brings everyone’s attention to how GOD is near to them all day long – even in the really horrible days. We shared the good things even amongst the horrible days during the 33 days while Charlie was alive.
All through the time in the last year, all the voices, the words of comfort, the special gifts and care have shared love.
Yes. The blessings in our life are evidence that GOD is near. We all need to notice and acknowledge the blessings GOD provides – that way we know HE is near.
But GOD… hears.
We pray – we all pray. Some of us pray in a formal way, others of us have an ongoing dialogue of prayer with our Heavenly Father. That’s how we stay plugged into HIM and know GOD is near…
But does He hear us?
Does HE know our thoughts?
Basically, the whole of King David’s Psalm 139 is about how GOD knows us fully and hears and understands who we are from before we were in our mother’s womb.
Yes He hears us – If we have a thought, HE knows it.
However, sometimes there’s a problem with our thoughts…
they‘re NOT always GOD’s THOUGHTS!
Meaning – what we’re thinking about – what we want to happen or believe to be right and good – could be different from what GOD wants for us.
It’s important in a “But GOD” kind of perspective to be aware that our Heavenly Father is not a “Genie in a Bottle”. He’s NOT a white-haired Santa kind of benevolent gift-giver.
Yes. He delights to know us, and wants us to be close to HIM – with Him… — our well-being is important to Him and if it’s in His plan, which is greater than we can imagine, GOD does provide what we’re asking for…
Yes, sometimes we ask, we seek, we knock and if it is His will, we are blessed to be given what we think we need…
Oh, how much we rejoice then.
You’ve all had that kind of experience, right? (I see you nodding.) Yes, I’ve also had those kinds of responses – where everything just goes most beautifully, and I have an immediate understanding of how much God knows what I need.
There are times when it seems like HE provides exactly what we were hoping for in such a short time we could say it’s easy. Sometimes it takes longer – some requests, and prayers, are expressed over years and even decades before, in His good timing, He provides.
I remember talking with a woman in our Charleston congregation who had married an American soldier, came to the USA with him, and all through their married life from when she was a young newlywed to when they were into retirement age, she had prayed that her husband would take an interest in faith.
For decades she asked GOD to make a difference. She continued faithfully practicing her belief in GOD, showed up on Sundays and Wednesdays with her children – and then later on just by herself. Always In the pew, sitting alone, asking GOD to move her husband’s heart to be there beside her in faith – in all ways – physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
Finally, one normal, unremarkable Sunday morning he got up with her, dressed in his suit, and came along. And he never stopped coming. Was baptized, sealed and there he was – with her – physically, emotionally, and spiritually beside her – they had been married 55 years when I talked with her. We were in a restaurant in Charleston, and yes – her husband sat beside her as she told her story of praying for him for decades. I remember his smile.
Oh, we all love those kinds of examples and experiences, don’t we?
So much to give thanks for… It feels so good. So much to share – it reminds us of that but GOD perspective – that GOD is near And HE hears…
And then there are the other times.
Sometimes the answer to our prayers – those requests that GOD already knows and hears us asking – is a “no”.
“No” is an agonizing word to hear when an outcome is especially important to us.
But GOD… knew
GOD heard us!
– both what we were thinking and praying for, and what was going to happen.
Even though we prayed for our little newborn Charlie’s health while he was growing inside Alisane, GOD knew that Charlie’s brain was not developing properly – way before we did.
He knew the outcome, and even though we prayed fervently, asking GOD for what we wanted, AND HE HEARD US, what we wanted wasn’t in His plan for Charlie.
He knew the ups and downs, that roller-coaster of emotion we would ride from day to day as Charlie had surgical interventions for his brain, and then more complications arose.
GOD heard our prayers.
I’m sure of it.
He heard everyone’s prayers for a miracle for little Charlie.
And yet, HIS plan for Charlie needed to go forward, even though it wasn’t what we wanted.
We are not alone in not getting what we want –you know that, right?
Sure – all of you know that — all of us, we all, even as God’s children, even when it really matters, and it seems like a good idea,
We don’t always get what we want.
Sometimes the answer is “no”.
And it hurts. It might not make any sense in our understanding. GOD could – but he doesn’t.
But let’s just look at GOD’s only begotten son – HIS son, Jesus – who did everything right – no mistakes at all – even He didn’t always get what He asked for.
Easter is coming… remember the time leading up to Christ’s sacrifice on the cross?
How Peter, his disciple who would become the one to lead the others, didn’t think Jesus would die on the cross? I’m sure Mary, Jesus’ mother didn’t want to watch her son die… I’d imagine, though it doesn’t record it, that they also were asking GOD to change things for Jesus.
And GOD heard them all. All of those prayers.
None of those who loved Jesus could imagine how the story could go so horribly wrong in their eyes – even though Jesus was telling them exactly what would happen all the way along…
And then, even Jesus asked for his crucifixion not to happen – but it did! In the gospel of Matthew, it’s recorded that Jesus prayed,
“O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.”
Did you catch that — Jesus also prayed, as we all need to – that it’s not what we want, but as GOD wants.
How can we know what GOD wants?
Not only does God hear us —— We need to hear GOD too!
How can we know what to pray so we are “in” HIS will? How can we tune into what GOD is thinking – how can we pay attention to grasp, even a little bit, a little part, of what His will is? Sometimes it’s easy – if we’re tuned into HIM – if HE allows us glimpses…
Yes. We need to do our part too – What is our part?
What can we do? HOW can we tune into hearing what GOD wants – how to do that?
Let me tell you a story to illustrate:
I’ve heard of an orchestra conductor who spent time at home with his young daughter listening to his favorite symphony pieces. One day he said to her, “Listen, listen! Aren’t those flutes just so perfect? They make all the difference for that whole orchestra piece!”
Of course, that young girl couldn’t immediately pick out the flute notes amongst the sound of all those other instruments.
To be fair, she didn’t even know what a flute sounded like.
So, a little while later her father took her with him to his orchestra rehearsal and introduced her to the fellow who played the flute. That flutist/flautist showed her the instrument, he played a few notes and then a whole page of the flute’s part in the symphony. She heard the flute. She could identify it because she’d had the opportunity to hear it and she took the time to really listen and learn!
Then, because she knew what the flute sounded like, this little girl was able to differentiate that sound from the strings and brass, the percussion, and the other instruments. Once she practiced listening to the flutes, she could point out to her dad when the flutes were playing and when they weren’t!
And that’s what it’s like for us as children of GOD – we need the time and quiet and practice to be able to tune into what GOD wants from us – what HE is telling us – what His will for our lives is…
We need quiet, prayer time – listening time to hear GOD over the cacophony of life’s noise.
Quiet Time with GOD
Yes, God hears and knows what we want, and what we need – HE knows our very thoughts!
But what kind of effort do we put into knowing what GOD wants?
And when HE does speak to us, do we recognize His voice?
Do we ever give GOD a chance to respond?
Or do we just talk/talk/talk/talk/talk…
Yes. We do talk a lot. Interact. Converse. Some of us more than others…
However, even if our mouths are closed, our minds are probably busy, busy, busy!
We hold this device – our phones – in our hands so much of a waking day… rarely is it far from our eyes. (Hey! I’m also so guilty of this all – no criticism toward you.) What does this phone – this device with all the options NOT do? Rarely is it something that facilitates a quiet time with GOD. In fact, I’m guessing it’s hard to be quiet in your mind if you’re holding your phone.
Time for prayer can also be time with GOD – waiting for Him to respond. It’s preparation to hear HIM.
So I’m going to give you some practical ways to not only talk with GOD – because as important as that is, we also need to HEAR GOD…
Quiet Time in a Divine Service
The obvious way to hear GOD is in Divine Service – from what we hear coming from behind the altar
– but even that may not really make an impact – if we don’t do the work to prepare…
We have a kind of Sunday morning in our Divine Service experience that is unique in life. Rare. What is rare?
There is a good amount of quiet built into our time here at church on a Sunday morning.
- Our service experience includes a few moments of silence before we sing the opening hymn…
- it includes time for reflection when the choir sings,
- we have the time to reflect and be quiet during the hymn of repentance.
- And if we choose – we even can build in time for quiet on a Sunday morning…
We have friends who deliberately arrive at a church a half hour before everyone else arrives. Sure, when you have kids it’s hard to do this. When you work it’s hard. We need to be deliberate to overcome or address the hard things that are worth a lot.
But I am going to say it – sorry – but if you have time to scroll on your phone for 30 minutes before you get ready for church in the morning, you have time to arrange a quiet, contemplative space (at church or at home) to prepare to hear God’s Word.
So – we have the opportunity to arrange a time to be quiet – even just once a week.
- It can be a special experience.
- A time to let our minds (and hands) rest.
- It can be a time to cultivate a reverence for GOD’s Word and His will in and for our life.
Cultivating Quiet on Sunday morning to prepare to hear GOD
1 – So, if you were to only try some quiet time on a Sunday morning before a divine service, that would be a good way to start to hear from GOD.
And it’s already available to use. Maybe you already do this – but you’ve never really thought about it this way… or maybe you could do it more – greater – deeper!
But maybe sitting in silence isn’t your thing.
Many fall asleep if nothing is happening – if it’s too quiet.
Here’s another way to prepare to HEAR GOD:
2 – Praise and worship.
Another way to find quiet time with the Lord – to hear His will for our lives – is to use praise and worship music. Whatever style you enjoy.
One suggestion – pause between songs.
Reflect on how you feel – reflect on the lyrics. Let the HOLY Spirit prompt you… to hear what GOD is sharing with you.
3 – Reading Scripture
A third way to find quiet time with your loving Heavenly Father is through reading Scripture – I’d suggest the Psalms. And I know some of you might say you don’t understand them – or the phrasing of the words are not easy to read – … Here’s my response – everything we aren’t used to is odd at first. And you’re not fully reading the Psalms to read and understand the words – you’re using the practice to prepare your heart, mind, and soul to hear from GOD. Like everything else in life that’s worth a great deal, it takes preparation to become proficient. Nobody decides to run a 10K one morning after sitting on the couch for years – that takes preparation. Hearing GOD takes preparation too. It’s the “Still Small Voice”…
4 – Write – listen and think with a pen in your hand.
And a fourth is through writing out Scripture – or just your thoughts – or favorite hymn lyrics or… basically, listening with a pen in your hand, with the intent of hearing from the Lord.
For me, this is how I “listen” for what GOD wants. I have boxes of plain composition notebooks filled with my “listening to GOD” words. I write out what’s in my head until there’s nothing else. And then I wait. I’ve written Scriptures till they’re memorized. And then I wait with that pen in my hand. But I also have in those notebooks – written down to look back at – answers. What I believe was GOD being clear in what HE wanted me to be and do… And to be transparent – it’s why I’m here – doing this… even though speaking in front of a group is such a stretch for me. I really feel I was told to put my fears aside and is what I was to do. So here I am.
5 – Movement
Finally, here’s a fifth way to be “quiet” and wait for GOD – is with movement – walking, running, even driving. Many people spend time walking in nature. They walk, they talk with GOD there – in the forest, on the beach, or even in the neighborhood. Maybe it’s during drive time. I know that Rob, my husband spends many hours talking and listening for the Lord’s will while he drives along the road – oft times it’s here – to Florida!
For this perspective – the But GOD – perspective – be deliberate!
FIND your own way to hear God’s will for your life
Because no matter what’s happening
– how good, how bad,
how short or long we’ve been praying and asking HIM
No matter what we begin the sentence with, there’s always something greater – not necessarily easy – when we have the perspective to say,
But GOD – hears and understands!
Because He will also respond.
If we’re listening.
Now it’s your turn – find someone to share with – someone beside or in front or behind you…
You have two choices – either
share what you wrote at the end of the “GOD is NEAR”’
Share a way in which you cultivate quiet time to hear from GOD
– what works for you to become closer to GOD.
This is the second part of the statement – remember, in this “But GOD” perspective, the second part that comes after is the better part?
Here’s the first part of this statement from verse 7:
“Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person, someone might possibly dare to die.”
Yeah. Whom would you die for?
This last point in the 3-part “But GOD” perspective is going to be my shortest…
Basically, this verse – this concept – sums it up.
We, as humans, messed up BIG.
We continue to mess up.
Sometimes in small ways – sometimes they’re huge ways – we continue to make great, big, hurtful mistakes…
You know the saying,
Well, that’s us.
We are all people who are hurting – sometimes the hurts are so immense we have a whole train-load of baggage we’re towing. Sometimes the hurts are tiny cuts all over our spirit – and they’re leaking. If we were wearing bandages, the blood from all those tiny cuts would stain everything. And that constant hurting and leaking of hurt can smudge our relationships with others. We are hurting and figurative blood from those hurts causes us to slip – or transfer over into what we say or do…
But GOD – HELPS!
No matter what we’ve done – how we are hurt – or hurt others – GOD loves us enough to have helped. He knew us before we were born – he knows our thoughts – and HE still sent His SON to die for us – to help us leave our hurt behind – to heal – and come close to HIM – for all eternity!
Sure – his help may not put food on our table tomorrow, or heal our illnesses, or give us what we want when we want…
BUT GOD loves us…
And if it’s in HIS plan, and His will,
- He has helped by putting food on our table,
- He has healed us or those we love
- He has made a way for us where there wasn’t one
- He has brought those we love into the fellowship – again –
- He has made what was wrong – right – regardless of outward issues
- He has brought us out of our own issues even though we didn’t deserve it
- He has provided what we needed through the hands of others…
- And more…
How do you recognize that GOD loves you and is helping?
But GOD is near. You’ve experienced in the past where and when He has helped you when you had a need. How? You make the time to notice all the blessings you have that GOD has given. You’ve changed – grown – become deeper in Christ – because you’ve become aware GOD is near.
- But GOD hears. Because you’ve been talking to GOD and listening for His will, you are aware of how well HE knows you – and you know His will in new ways – in greater ways – in deeper ways…
It all works together for our good – from GOD
And that’s the three parts of this “But GOD perspective –
There are many more… maybe we can chat with each other this afternoon…
I was privileged to speak in front of a group of 80+ ladies in Florida for a women’s conference – they were so kind and supported me with their smiling faces and words of affirmation. So, this was my first “public presentation” – and I’d be fine if it were my only time. LOL —
The day continued with more activities – including planting some succulents to be reminded to “bloom where we are planted”, and also a painting exercise on a canvas to go with the “but GOD” theme. Our painting activity was facilitated by Katie from JoePicassos in Florida – and her instruction was much better than my outcome… The day concluded with this endeavor, but my favorite part of the whole day was when some ladies began spontaneously singing hymns and most joined in… That was beautiful – women, bonded in conversation, activity, and honoring GOD in song.