This isn’t about fish. It is some reflections on our time at the BASS Church Workers Convention. We were there to promote mygrandmatime and that included Grandma presenting two workshops on Friday morning. This left me alone to take care of our booth in the exhibitor area. The number of people who came through the exhibition area was many fewer than last year. Instead of engaging in conversation with potential customers I spent much of the time engaging in conversation with the people working the booths next to ours. On one side was a financial planner who was using a prize wheel to gather contact information for his practice. A couple of people were honestly disappointed that he didn’t have the prizes with him and were unwilling to provide their contact information. In addition to his financial planning practice he and a partner work with families to help with financing college. Their business is called College Cash Solutions. He seemed very knowledgeable, but the most interesting thing was his encouragement and the potential partnership that could be formed with mygrandmatime. He and his wife are Japanese and by the end of the weekend he had a full set of Grandma’s books that he was going to pursue getting translated into Japanese for distribution in Japan. He was an incredible encourager and we felt privileged to have him sitting next to us.
The woman on the other side of us was the author of the book “Expecting to be Expecting“. It was wonderful to watch the author minister to people who came by her booth. Her warm and engaging manner made it easy for people to stop and share their stories as she shared hers. The premise of her book is that God speaks to us and when He speaks we need to act in faith based on what He tells us. I do believe that God speaks to us and that we need to obey His voice. However, I’ve learned that God speaks to us both directly and through other people. The challenge is learning to hear God through others when their words don’t match up with what I think I’m hearing directly from God. I believe that we all have deaf spots. These are places where out desires can become the words of God and totally mute the message that God really wants us to hear. The more strongly our perception of God’s voice matches our own desires the more we need those other voices.
One of the real joys of this experience was being able to share it with our daughter. She assisted Grandma in presenting the workshop and helped us in the booth. The picture below doesn’t begin to capture one of the high points of our whole time at BASS. After finishing our lunches our daughter stayed at the table. The table quickly filled in with a group of older ladies who began sharing their experiences at the conference and exploring what workshops they were going to that afternoon. By external appearance our daughter didn’t fit, but she did. These women all shared a love for Christ and a love for children. It is amazing what can happen when we focus on what we have in common.
I only attended one workshop and it was very helpful. The title of the workshop was “Getting your Warrior Back” and it was presented by Pat Sikora of Mighty Oak Ministries. I won’t attempt to summarize the whole workshop here, but only a few key points that really impacted me. One of the steps to getting out of any kind of funk or place where you are stuck is to decide. I need to make a choice and it isn’t a real choice until I take some action to make the choice real. One of the things I have struggled with for a long time is anxious thoughts. My mind can run away from me pursuing one worst case scenario after another. Pat’s instruction was to just say “Stop, I don’t have the information necessary to think about that.” It seemed so obvious. I spend too much time and emotional energy attempting to process situations where I have no information. If I can really make this a habit I know I’ll sleep better and relate better.
Finally, if you’re in the Bay Area I would really encourage you to make time to attend when BASS returns next year. The material presented certainly benefits church workers, but we found many workshops that would be beneficial to anyone desiring to grow in Christ.