Saturday, April 30, 2016


We traded places sleeping on Tuesday night so that Joe was next to the window.  I wasn't as cold, but I still didn't sleep well.  I got about 3-4 hours of sleep.  Joe was twitching and kicking.  I think he may have been having mini-seizures.  He really needed that medicine.

We got up around 7:00 a.m. and got ready for another (and the last) day.  We headed over to the Dining Hall for breakfast and to meet up with Pastor Sean.  We ate almost every meal with him.

I had forgotten to bring my shampoo so my hair looked horrible.  I pulled it back to minimize the damage but still...

I had two hard boiled eggs, sausage and a cinnamon roll for breakfast.  Joe had French toast. We sure did eat good.  Besides Sean, another pastor joined us and we had a delightful conversation all through the meal.  The other pastor, Pastor John, offered to come help us out with preaching a few Sunday mornings.  We are trying to make that happen.

After we ate, I went back to the room to get my Bible and to call the pharmacy.  They still did not have Joe's prescription, so I called his doctor.  The person I spoke with said that she personally had sent the prescription over and she had the confirmation.  She was going to call again and gave me her name in case there was a problem.

So I was late getting to Fellowship Hall.  When I got there the people were in large groups praying.  I saw Donna so sat down next to her.  Then we broke into smaller groups and it was Donna's two lady friends and me.  We were asked to pray for the Clinton Corners BFC and Hope Philadelphia BFC (which is where I attend).  The ladies asked me what our needs were and prayed so fervently for us that I was moved to tears.

After some singing we began the address.  

The morning session had Pastor Josh Gibson (not related to Tim Gibson from the day before) speaking on "Pressing On... Striving to be Fully Committed to Our Calling."  Another great message.

 (Picture courtesy of Pastor Dan Allen)

We had a break after the message and I waited outside for Donna.

She and I took off and went to the Rite Aid again.  What a sweetheart she is to drive me all around.  This time they had the correct medicine and I was able to get it.  We got back just shortly before the break for lunch.  I got a bottle of water out of the refrigerator and gave the medicine and water to a page who took it to Joe.

Way in the back is a fuzzy Joe in the purple standing to make a remark to the moderator.

We met for lunch and Joe and I invited another pastor, Pastor Bob, to sit with us.  It turns out both he and Joe were in the Marines (although at different times) and were stationed at the same places.  They had a good time talking about things.  Pastor Bob also offered to help us out with preaching duties.
For lunch I had roast pork with carrots and potatoes.  Joe had chicken breast.  Yum!

There were a lot of people standing by the side window and pointing.  I asked what was outside and Pastor Sean told me it was a duck who had laid eggs and they were just hatching.  I grabbed my camera and went over.

Joe went back to the afternoon session and I went to the room.  I was very tired and tried to sleep, but couldn't.  So I began packing up everything since we were going to leave when the session was over.  I got everything together and then decided to go see what was going on.

There were just a few women sitting in the back.  The pastors and elders were going over reports and wording on different rules.  They would change one word, make a motion and second it, vote, change another word, etc.  One sentence took over an hour and it's still not done.  They have to come back next year with better wording.  The other women drifted away until I was the only one left in the room.  I found it fascinating.  It was done by parlimentary rules and I think I learned a lot.

This is the delegation from one of our two churches in Mexico.

They ran over by an hour or so and ended up feeding dinner to whoever wanted to stay.  It was a bare bones dinner of leftovers from the other meals, but it was good.  We sat with Pastor Ralph and talked with him a great deal.  We finally ended up leaving around 7:30 p.m.

I had thought ahead and had gotten a reservation at a nearby hotel.  I was tired and didn't want to drive home  3 hours in the dark.  So we headed over there.

The desk clerk was really nice. I had asked for a handicapped room and it was right off of the lobby.  It was a beautiful room.  It looked like a palace after the room we had at Pinebrook.  The bathroom was four times the size of the one we had just left.  And they had a TV.  Strange but there was so much going on I didn't even miss the TV while we were away.

We were both so tired that we got ready for bed and went right to sleep.  That bed was comfy and I had no trouble sleeping.

And so ends day three.  To be continued...


Friday, April 29, 2016


We got up at 6:30 a.m. on Tuesday.  We were not going to miss breakfast after missing dinner the night before.  I had slept next to the window and froze all night.  It was COLD up there in the mountains!  I had a headache from the cold.  

After getting a warm (?) shower we got dressed and walked over to the Guest Services Building to see where the nearest pharmacy was.  You'll notice Joe had to wear a shirt and tie (and most times a suit coat) the whole time.  He looked so nice each day that I had to take pictures of him.

Joe walked up to get the information (the building was at the top of a big hill) while I sat on a bench and began to take pictures.  This place was a photographer's delight!

Joe heading for the Guest Services Building.

This was a great seating area.  I never got to sit on this swing, but it looked wonderfulThe Adirondack chairs were in a circle.  I saw several men sitting there talking.

The gazebo in the Children's Garden.  My friend, Donna, told me that this garden was made in memory of a Pastor's wife who had passed away.  She was a kindergarten teacher who loved kids.  So they made a play area in her honor.

Another shot of the gazebo area.  It was so beautiful.

The dining hall.

 My brother, Larry, is a great photographer.  One of the things he always says is when you've gotten a great picture, turn around and see what is behind you.  There's probably another great shot.  He was right.  Here's what was behind me.

You can see how overcast the sky is.  It rained off and on all day.  Sometimes just drizzle, but often a downpour.  Fortunately it wasn't as bad as they had first predicted it would be.

Joe was given the address and phone number of a nearby Rite Aid.  He called his doctor's office and arranged to have a few days' supply of the three medications he was missing sent over there.

Here's a picture of the area we were staying in -- Sunnybrook.  We were in the building with the yellow doors in Room 1 at the end toward the other building.

Pretty little violas.

Beautiful hostas.  I wish mine looked this good.

One of the pots outside of the Dining Hall.  It is so beautiful.

Joe took a couple of pictures of me waiting on the bench before the Dining Hall opened.  It opened exactly at 8:00 a.m. and not a minute sooner.

One of the other housing units on the grounds.  This is not where we stayed.
Look at that beautiful twisted tree in front of it.

It was such a cool shape!

I had pancakes, bacon, tater tots and fruit for breakfast.  There is a group called City Concerns Network consisting of the pastors who work in the cities.  Most of our churches are more rural, but there's about six in inner cities like we are.  Joe was asked to join the group and I was invited too since I do Women's Ministry.  I was the only woman at the table, but they were asking me questions, listening to what I had to say and I was asking them questions also between bites of food.  A working breakfast.

After breakfast we had our first session.  Again I sat in the back.  I sort of liked that.  This time I had my Bible and paper with me so I could take notes.  There was tons of prayer all through all the meetings.  That was how we began -- looking at Psalm 51 and then breaking into small groups where we worshipped, praised and thanked God for Who He is.  There were about 8 people in my group.  I was the only woman with a bunch of pastors, elders, and missionaries.  It was totally awesome to hear hundreds of voices all around the room saying, "I thank You for Your faithfulness...  I praise you for your majesty... You are my rock and defender, a strong hold in my agony...  Thank you so much for providing a way of salvation."  I began to realize how heaven is going to be... millions upon millions of voices giving praise to God constantly.  Something inside of me began to expand and my thinking began to change.  I never thought about prayer too much before this week.  Now I think about it a lot.  

After that we broke into even smaller groups of 3 or 4.  Donna had joined me by that time and we were with John, one of our missionaries.  We were to pray for each other until everyone in the group had been prayed for.  Awesome beyond belief.

Following that we had some singing and then our speaker for the morning Pastor Tim Gibson who spoke on "Pressing On...With Prayer."  The scripture was John 14:12-14.  It was a powerful message.

After a break they introduced pastors and elders who were there for the first time.  Each went to the microphone, gave their name, which church they were from and what they did for a living either now if they were working, or previously if they were retired.  Unfortunately I didn't get a picture of Joe up there, but he went.  Then they introduced the missionaries that were there and they each told something about the work they were doing.  Then they started in on all the reports before breaking for lunch.

I will say they fed us good.  Real good.  It was buffet style, so you could take as much or as little as you wanted.  And it seemed as if no food was thrown away.  No one took too much.

After lunch there were lots of reports and voting going on.  I stayed for the worship part at the beginning and for the mid-afternoon snack.

Then I went back to the room and laid down for awhile and fell fast asleep for about an hour.  I needed it.

When I woke up I called the pharmacy to see if Joe's medicine was ready.  They said they hadn't received any prescriptions for him.  So I called the doctor's office and was told the doctor would send them over after she saw her last patient later that day.  I explained that one was Joe's anti-seizure medication and he hadn't had it for 24 hours.  She said she couldn't help that and she would do the best she could.  

As I was in the room, I pulled the back window curtains aside and saw this lovely view.  So I took these photos out of the back window of the room.  Everything there was so pretty.

And here's a video of the brook.

I decided to go outside and take some pictures while the rain had stopped.

The brook was right beside our room.  We could hear it all the time.

The pond was right across from our room.

 I went back to the room and changed my clothes.  Donna had told me that the women would change for dinner and dress a little fancier than in the jeans they wore during the day.  

As I finished changing there was a knock at the door and it was Donna.  She offered to take me to the pharmacy if I could go then.  She was concerned about Joe not having the medicine too.  I called the pharmacy and they said they had just received the prescriptions.  I told them I had a ride now, but wouldn't later so could I pick it up in 15 or 20 minutes and they said yes.  So we walked to Donna's car and she drove me over there since she knew where it was.

The people at the pharmacy were so nice.  They had three prescriptions.  Two were right but the third one they gave me was not his anti-seizure but his cholesterol medication. So I refused to take it.  I took the ones for his tremors though.  I tried to straighten it out, but the doctor's office was closed.  So Joe went without for one more night.  Fortunately there was enough residual medication in his bloodstream that he did not have a seizure.

We got back just in time for dinner.  I had salmon and Joe had beef.  There were veggies, salad, mashed potatoes and rolls.  Each meal we ended up eating with Pastor Sean who has been coming to help us out with preaching.  It was so good to catch up with him and hear how things were going.  He and his family are moving to Chicago next year to be missionaries in the inner city.  Fascinating work he's going to be doing.

After dinner we headed back to the Fellowship Hall for our evening meeting.

The evening was an ordination ceremony.  Five men were being ordained.  It was wonderful.  I've always liked tradition in a church and this was it at it's highest.  The message given to them about integrity and honesty was to all of us too.

Singing before the ordination (Picture courtesy of Pastor Dan Allen).

Laying on of hands and prayer.  (Pinebrook Conference Center photo)

(Pinebrook photo)

Pastors lining up to shake hands with newly ordained pastors.

Afterwards there was a little reception and then we headed back to the room to get some sleep.  I slept with my heavy sweater over my pjs that night.  It was still very cold.

And so ended day two.  To be continued...