Very pretty, but they aren't real! IT'S DIRT PUDDING! Complete with gummy worms!

Last weekend (May 6-7), was the 28th annual Ladies Extravaganza at Fairview Baptist Church in Great Falls, MT. I was privileged to have the opportunity to speak to the teen class about submitting to, accepting and committing to carrying out God’s will even when it is hard to swallow. (Matthew 26: 36-46, John 18:11) We had a great time together and I was greatly blessed by the attentiveness and receptive hearts that several of the girls showed. From conversations after the lesson, I know that some of them are dealing with some serious personal struggles. Please, be praying with me that the Lord will continue to work out this lesson in their hearts. Since our topic was “Everything On Your Plate” (which you may recognize from an earlier post, but which was taught from a much different perspective, since the audience was much different), I felt it was appropriate to supply everyone with a good cup of dirt pudding while sharing a story about drinking raw egg and tea leaves in Russia. 😉 No one seemed to mind the combination – gummy worms and all.

Another special moment was the “crowing” of “queens”. Each year, Mrs. Dion crowns queens and princesses to honor pastor’s wives and various church ladies for their service to the Lord. This year they crowned three queens: a pastors wife (Jeannette Brown), a lay-pastor’s wife (Jennifer Beisecker), and a missionary (not married 😉 ). It was a very special moment. Not only did they give each of us a beautiful bouquet of roses and a tiara, a put a “royal robe” over our shoulders, but they gave our families an opportunity to share some very kind thoughts. I was very surprised when my Dad appeared! Now I know why he was so emphatic about me giving him my car keys before we left – he needed to be able to get there himself! It was very special to have both of my parents there. One of the blessings for me, was that it gave me an opportunity to thank all of the women who helped with the Job 31 project, most of which I have not seen since returning from Kenya. It was at last years extravaganza that we announced the need for seamstresses and that the ladies from four churches volunteered to help. (Thank you all again!)

The roses and tiara that they gave each of us. So pretty!

It was all really overwhelming. Humbling. I know that it is only by God’s grace that any of the things that have happened in my life have come to pass in the manner that they have. I have blundered and fallen and messed things up often enough along the way for my life to have been in shambles a million times over, but God is faithful to continue the work HE has begun in us.

As I lay in bed that Friday night, thinking back over the evening, I was reminded of the lessons I taught in the fall, both at our church’s ladies retreat and in Kenya, about the “king’s daughter”. How, not unlike each of us, she did not start out as royalty, but was made royalty by the mercies, favor (grace) and redemption of the King. I was also reminded of the path that she took after He placed His beauty upon her – what a warning!

I have been wanting to put this lesson into written format for months now, but it has been difficult to find the time to sit and focus on it. I tried earlier this week to spend a little extra time going over it, but found that some of my initial notes have disappeared and I didn’t have the time to start over – re-tracing the many threads that eventually brought about the lesson. But I would still like to share it with you. So, I am going to take the next few posts to share the lesson from my teaching notes. Please, feel free to share thoughts and feed back, it is something that I would like to develop further. It has had such an impact on my own life, I want it to be a blessing to others. Looking forward to getting started!

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