Posted in Family, friends, Grace, gratitude, life, loving others, prayer, priorities, Scripture, sovereignty of God, thankful, travel


Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good!” Psalm 136:1

I guess you could say this whole thing started as a surprise. Last year I received an email and then a phone call.  It was from the person in charge of a women’s conference held annually for our Southern Baptist women.  They usually invite one “guy” to join the lineup of speakers.  Since it was a women’s conference most of the participants, obviously, were women. Well, this person reached out to me and invited me to speak at this conference. Ok, let’s just be honest.  This was a big honor and big deal.  I had spoken at a chapel service and several of the ladies in attendance thought I might be a good choice to speak. Can someone say, “blown away?”

Well, we chatted, and I told her the truth.  I was very honored to be asked and that I would do my best although I honestly thought this was just a little out of my league.  I mean, last year they had a nationally known speaker who was the son of a very, very well-known speaker—the kind that cause people to say, “Oh look, there goes so and so.” Anyway, I remember my wife coming home last year from this same conference and telling me what a great job this guy did. Can someone say, “gulp?”

I share with about three hundred folks every week and this would certainly be more than that and to be trusted with this level of responsibility was just amazing. So, anyway, I said yes and set about worrying, oh, I meant to say praying, about what to speak on, etc, etc. Slowly, and yet not so slowly, the clock ticked by and then it was time to pack up and head to the conference. The organization provided my wife Judy and me with a room for the event and I thought that was very thoughtful. So, when we checked in, we got our room keys and even a special “welcome” bag with man stuff like beef jerky and even a car freshener.  Once again, I thought, “How cool is that?

So, up we went…all the way to the top floor.  Ok, I thought that was pretty awesome too.  Surely the view would be nice from that height. The meeting is held in the city of our state capital and in fact very near the state capital.  We zoomed to the top and stepped off the elevator. I checked the room number and it said, “1201.” That sounded like the end of the hallway and that certainly was fine. I was counting down the room numbers as I walked down the hall and sure enough it was at the end.  And that is where the surprise was waiting.

I walked up to the door—or should I say doors.  It was in fact a double door and had a brass plaque on the wall next to the door frame.  And what do you suppose it said?  Let me tell you it said, “Chairman’s Suite.” Well, my first thought was something like, “Rats, wrong room…maybe even the wrong floor.”  My second thought was bigger and better, and I said to Judy, who was just a few steps behind me, “Judy, this is the Chairman’s Suite!” Now I was simply speechless. Well, she tried to open the door and as I suspected—it didn’t work.  “Yup, wrong room” I said to myself and to her. But she tried again and…wait for it…the door unlocked, and we walked in.

What waited on the other side was a suite the size of some houses.  There was a kitchenette, a large living room and dining room combination, a large bedroom with a work area and a large bathroom with a large tub and separate shower. We were like kids in an ice cream shop.  We simply couldn’t believe it. Decorated to the nines and each window held a beautiful view of the city below.  Wow.  I kept saying how I, or we, simply didn’t deserve this and the truth is…we didn’t. But I am kinda used to that because a long time ago I stepped into the world of God’s grace, and it is all about not deserving.

Well, anyway, it was amazing. I assume they did the same thing for the speaker last year and that would have made sense because after all he is famous. But the amazing thing is they extended that same kindness to me—just an ordinary guy from down south and that was extraordinary. The point of all this is to point to the kindness of my Dearest Daddy who arranged all of this to send us a love note. It is also to point to the staff who sponsored the event, who hoped it would be a blessing. It was—big time. Psalm 136:1 simply says, “Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good!” And He sure is. As always, when it comes to surprise blessings…He’s got that!  Bro. Dewayne