Friday, June 26, 2015

Our Trip to The SBC Convention

A funny photo from our trip.  

Two weeks ago I had the awesome privilege of tagging along with the happy hubby on a business trip to the SBC Convention.  It was wonderful.  We were in sessions most of the time but it was so much fun just hanging out as the two of us.  I thought I would enjoy attending the conference with Brandon but I was actually REALLY surprised by how much fun it was actually being at the convention.  I ran into a handful of friends that I attended school with back in the day before Brandon and I were married.  I did attend the convention six years ago when it was in Louisville, KY but I spent the majority of my time racing to the nearest restroom since I was expecting Eli.  This convention was so much better!

This year the convention was held in Columbus, OH which is only a few hours from our home.  Hooray for a nice short trip!  This marks our fourth trip to Columbus together.  We have attended the amazing Ohio State fair twice and we also spent our Babymoon in Columbus just two weeks before Eva was born.  

Brandon tried baklava for the first time!

One of my favorite parts of the conference was the Pastor's Wives Conference on Monday morning. It was wonderful to sit under the teaching of such godly women.   I was reminded of how much I really do miss being a part of weekly Ladies Bible Studies and the time that I spent in seminary studying women's ministry.  There is something wonderful at sharing what Christ is doing in your life with other women.  During the session they did an interactive pole where we all texted in answers to various questions that I found so encouraging.  It was neat to see how many other women were in very similar situations to myself.  We all came from very different walks of life but we all shared many of the same struggles.  I also appreciated the fact that we didn't have to play any of those awkward get to know you games.

Hands down the speaker that impacted me the most was Pastor Saeed's wife.   If you are unfamiliar with the story of Pastor Saeed he has been imprisoned in Iran for the past three years for preaching the Gospel.  The fact that blew my mind was the fact that he is a U.S. Citizen.  I remember briefly hearing the story a few years ago but I never realized that Pastor Saeed is a citizen of the USA and yet he still sits in jail.  His sweet wife has worked tirelessly on his behalf trying to get him freed and spends much time interceding on his behalf.  She even spoke to Congress within the past few weeks.  Please join me in praying daily for his release and that the Gospel would continue to take hold of the lives of men and women in Iran.  Mrs. Saeed's story was so moving that I found myself brought to tears and wanting to rejoice all at the same time.  The Iranian government continues to do all they can to quiet him but so many people are coming to know Christ as their Savior.

Throughout the entire convention I felt so encouraged as we had the opportunity to hear all about what God is doing throughout the lives of people in Columbus, the States, and around the world.  Honestly I had expected the conference to be a little dry.  So much so that I lugged around a large book with me so that I would be ready at the precise moment that things got a little boring.  The funny thing is the fact that I never cracked open that book the entire convention.  Not even a peek!  I was to busy meeting new people, chatting with the hubby, and being encouraged by all that has happened in the last year.  The happy hubby was so sweet that he even arranged for us to attend two special luncheons while we were there.  We attended the NAMB/IMB luncheon on Monday and the Baptist 21 luncheon on Tuesday.  I especially enjoyed the banter between David Platt and Kevin Ezell.

Convention Swag

I also enjoyed looking at all of the booths and meeting new people.  As you can see in the picture above we also received a lot of free materials and books!  We even met my sweet friend Emily's pastor who lives in Chattanooga.  I couldn't resist taking a picture and sending it to her.  Ha, ha!

I am incredibly thankful that I had the opportunity to attend the convention with my sweet hubby.  It was so nice to get away and take part in something that we both enjoy doing together.  On the other hand it also made me strangely excited to be a part of the SBC.  I've always been glad to be Southern Baptist for the most part but that was mainly because of where I personally land theologically.  (I'm also a big fan of church accountability.)  I have also enjoyed many of the experiences that I have taken part in through the SBC like Baptist Campus Ministries, being a summer missionary on an Indian Reservation, and working at the University of Louisville BCM.  Attending convention helped me to really feel like I was really a part of something bigger.  It's so neat to hear about what other Southern Baptists are doing throughout the world and to realize that I am part of all of that.

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