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Monday, April 28, 2008

Tale of Two Brains

A friend sent me a link to this clip some time ago. It is so great. Isn't it comforting to know you're completely "normal?"

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Inter-Church Holiness Convention 2008 -- I was there!

It was a great gathering. The Dayton Convention was graced with God's presence and warmed by the greetings of friends. My family arrived with a huge degree of anticipation. We love all of it, well, most of it. Lugging enormous amounts of luggage to our room; combing, brushing, and spraying ourselves so we can make a presentable appearance; jostling through crowded doors with many an "Excuse me;" traipsing from one display to the next (remembering which tables have the best candy -- oh, come now, you do that too!; receiving ecstatic hugs and sincere handshakes from people on every side; basking in the joy of praising God as we listen to excellent music and stirring sermons. The Inter-Church Holiness Convention has to be experienced to be understood.

I didn't grow up in the convention crowd. My first time there was as a freshman at God's Bible School and College in Cincinnati. I was overwhelmed with the sights and sounds; I didn't know many people there. God has been gracious and allowed me to travel and minister with my husband in so many different places. Because of our college days and pastorates, we have gotten to know so many great folk. Every year it is our joy to strengthen those ties of friendship a little more at the Dayton Convention.

This event is more than a mecca for conservative holiness people. It is a microcosm of what we believe in -- faith (we come to worship), family (we love to find out who just got married and how many children we all have and compare stories), and ministry (we buy resources, we schedule revivals, we lean on each other's expertise and leave more resolved than ever to jump back into whatever God has called us to.)

To me, the Inter-Church Holiness Convention is a place to experience both the love of God and the love of others. And that's what the Christian life is supposed to be about.

Read some humorous and insightful comments about the convention from my friend, Sarah Fry:

Watch archived convention services:
The convention venue -- main entrance.

Ashley looking at the Dayton Daily, the convention paper.

Banner on the backside of the main bleacher section.

Women of Worth display table in the exhibitor's section.

Ashley, Autumn, Stewart, & Kaley with cousins Shannon and Meghan and a friend on the end.

Dayton People

Autumn and Kaley on the escalator going down to the main convention floor.

My brother Jim (James)Bender (GBS Alumni Vice-President) serving pizza at the GBS Reception.

My cousin Jonathan Bender, his wife Rachel, and their boys -- Ethan and Scott. Jonathan works at a Cincinnati area hospital as well as assisting in ministry at Loveland Wesleyan Chapel. Rachel is a dedicated home-school mom and an avid scrapbooker --she captures great Kodak moments.

Ashley and friend Emily.

My brother Jim and cousin Joy acting "unconventional" (hah!) while her husband Matt Barnett observes the craziness. Jim is a pastor in Cincinnati; Matt and Joy are song evangelists. I have an awesome family -- when they're sane or otherwise!

Convention Settings and Services

Charlotte Frederick directing the Chapel of the Children.

My alma mater -- GBS Combined Choirs and Symphonic Wind/String Ensemble.

Children's Mass Choir sings on Thursday.

The College Mass Choir in the finale service under the direction of Don Quales.

All the Bible Colleges choirs combined -- the music was absolutely great.

Glimpse of the Patriotic Service on Wednesday.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Updates, photos, and musings to be posted after the Inter-Church Holiness Convention!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Coffee is not just a drink; it’s a lifestyle.

It’s become a chic way to gather with friends. “Having coffee” is not just a cup of joe down at the corner diner; it’s bistro tables, leather chairs, snappy descriptions, and gourmet flavors. It’s latte and cappuccino and iced. It’s specialty shoppes and cozy nooks. It’s sleek carafes and mugs that have “bling.” It’s a culture.

Inviting a friend for coffee is a gesture of friendship, a request for companionship, an offer of intimate conversation. Sitting down to talk over cups of steaming java promotes vulnerability, confidentiality. Sometimes we need to discuss a difficult issue and at other times, we simply want to enjoy a friend’s laughter. At any rate, relationships benefit from coffee time.

Imagine sharing a cup of coffee with Jesus. Think of what a delight it would be to discover His perspective on the perimeters of your life and to enjoy the glow that comes from being wrapped in the presence of one who loves you.

Most of all, He would tell you how much He is working to complete you, to gather up the raveled ends of your daily life and make you look more like Him in your words, attitudes, and actions. He would talk to you about being holy. And holy is….Christlike.

When you and I spend time with Him, we begin to absorb the aroma of Christlikeness. Instead of the stench of self, we radiate the fragrance of obedience and love. And just like our favorite coffee shop, the scent spreads out and blesses those with whom we interact everyday. And God continues His work of conforming us to the image of Christ. Because it’s not the mug, but the essence it holds that gives the aroma. May the fragrance of His likeness grace our lives.

Happy Birthday, Duane!

Duane's birthday was Friday, March 28. We were ministering in music during a revival at the Findlay, Ohio Bible Methodist Church. Pastor and Mrs. Cravens and a few of the staff threw a little party for Duane, complete with candles on the cake and some very useful (!) gag gifts. (Notice the ties he's modeling.) So, Happy Birthday, Hon. Every celebration means another year God has given us to share. Love you.....
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