Last night I had the honor and privilege to present some information to the women of my church. I cannot begin to tell you how much I love and appreciate them. The seminar I did was on fear. God is clever and He had me present the information to them because I needed it. It's not that I don't want to study things for my own benefit and growth, but whenever I do a topical study to teach it, I see how badly I needed it and how much more I have to repent of than I realized. Sometimes you don't know what you don't know. That's a topic I want to return to in another post.
I want to talk about the ladies for a moment. They are an incredibly loving group of women. Women who seek God and are teachable. They have gone out of their way to include me and love on me, which speaks volumes of their characters because I am not all that lovable. I am not being self-deprecating here. I am a mix of endearing and maddening qualities like anyone else. What I am telling you is that I have a difficult time being loved. I don't make it easy. I honestly do not know what to do when someone is kind to me. It makes me uncomfortable and I want to run away. That's one of the reasons I have always preferred the company of men. I understand them and they know how to keep their distance. When they don't, I know how to remind them thanks to learning pain-compliance holds at the dispatcher's academy. (Just kidding. I did learn how to cuff and manage prisoners and to help them decide to be compliant, but I am not an amazonian type who goes around arm wrestling men.) Anyway.... the women of our fellowship and community bible study are an encouragement to me. God uses them to keep me soft and pliable and I am actually learning to like it.
It is a very different thing to give seminars and present information to people in your own fellowship. I found it a bit nerve racking- which is ironic since the topic was fear, anxiety and worry. It's far easier to go in, set off an information bomb of ideas that are new and will cause folks to have reaction whiplash after I have gone than to "return to the scene of the crime" so to speak and see the same lovely faces. Especially having been vulnerable about my life, struggles and craziness while up there talking...it is going to make it more difficult for me to be invisible.
I have someone to thank in particular. She is not a part of my local fellowship but she is a part of my cyber-fellowship. Carla, over at Reflection of the Times, was my constant encourager, sounding board, critic and personal graphic artist. I told the ladies last night that they would be able to tell the slides in the PowerPoint presentation that I did from the ones Carla did in a nano second. The 5 that were mine were just plain information in bullet form. Carla's were gorgeous. She had a beautiful background, the information easy to read and a joy to behold. You really should check out her t-shirts and other things at her stores. She rocks. Just don't make her so busy designing for you that she doesn't have time for my next seminar on hope!
Lastly, to my pastors and to those pastors I know who faithfully cut the Word of God straight and deliver it to their congregations every week. I don't know how you do it. Yes I do, God is the only way to do it correctly. Oh how I pray that you will continue your work in the strength of our Almighty God! Three seminars and lots of time to study before I deliver them and I am exhausted. I didn't have a funeral or wedding or church discipline or boarding meeting to attend. I didn't have anyone in crisis or confused about a decision they needed to make. I am so much more appreciative of your service to the Lord and ministry to us.