We left Huntington before daylight this morning, for the five hour trip to Martinsburg, WV, for the Annual Meeting of the West Virginia Convention of Southern Baptists.
I traveled with three of my fellow pastors and one of my deacons. The company was excellent, the conversation was lively, and the drive was beautiful!
Martinsburg is about as far away from Huntington as you can get in West Virginia. It is in what is known as the eastern panhandle, and the city is quickly becoming a bedroom community for Washington, DC. It's hard to get to Martinsburg from Huntington, without traveling through parts of Maryland or Virginia. I have traveled both ways, and they both seem to be about the same number of miles.
Cledith Campbell was driving us in his van, and he chose to take the southern route, which took us through Charleston, down the West Virginia Turnpike, and continuing to follow I64 East until we came to I81. The route took us through the famed Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, and was that drive ever beautiful!
Church and denominational business meetings always carry the danger of there being tension and sharp differences on issues. Our Annual Meeting this year holds some potentially volatile issues. I for one, needed that ride up the beautiful Shenandoah Valley to be reminded of the beauty of God's handiwork and His abiding presence with His people.
Thank you Lord for speaking to me today through nature. Thank you for speaking to me tonight through your messenger, and thank you for placing me back in my home state in your service to your church. Thank you for the fellow laborers with whom we are blessed to serve.
Bless us through our times of worship tomorrow, as well as the sessions of business. Strengthen our fellowship, and give me a Christ like spirit in how I deal with others.
Help us to always keep the Great Commission before our eyes and in our hearts. If we differ on methodology on some issues, help us to be able to disagree in a spirit of Grace.
May we be a great spiritual force for You in this great state, until the nets are full!