Ahem, now that that is out of the way, I can get down to the nitty-gritty of it all. I am sure I will forget some things, but I'll try to give you a good picture of what it was like. Also, we didn't get as many pictures as I thought we might, so please excuse any apparent gaps. :)
This story starts last Sunday when the four ladies of our household piled into the red car and pointed our faces toward St. Charles, Missouri. We had an uneventful, roughly six hour drive.
We arrived at this huge hotel/conference center (Embassy Suites) someplace around 6:30 or thereabouts, got checked in, and immediately went out to supper. I got soo sick...I wasn't nauseous, but I was buzzy, the inside of my mouth felt swollen, and my legs were shaking so bad I wondered if I was going to fall down. I have had food reactions before, but never anything like that!
I was supposed to meet up with my friend Andrew H. to discuss a certain film project that evening, but after a few minutes, Mama told me to forget about it, call Andrew back and cancel, and then me go to bed. Well, I felt totally unable to call, so I had Savannah do it for me. Andrew was very gracious (as usual) about the whole situation.
Anyway, his first session was a short history who he was, where he came from, and, of course, the famous battle of the "right" to display the Ten Commandments. Here is one interesting quote I managed to capture from that session:
A distinction must be made between...religion as an institution and a belief in the sovereignty of God.
~~ February 10, 1954; House Report #1693
Judge Moore's second lecture was entitled: Jurisdictional Aspects of God's Sovereignty. In other words, God rules through different jurisdictions, each one having their own sphere of authority--family, church, and state.
As I mentioned earlier, his third session was not as billed and wasn't overly memorable...however, as I glance over my notes here, this quote sticks out to me:
"...we believe that all men are created equal because they are created in the image of God."
~~ Harry S. Truman; Inaugural Address, 1949
The only other speaker I listened to that day (Monday) was Bill Potter. His topic was, Was WWII a Just War?: Franklin Roosevelt, Imperial Japan and Pearl Harbor. He opened up a whole new world of conspiracy theorists for me when he remarked that some people think that FDR provoked, planned, and conspired for Japan to attack us so we would enter the war. (Thankfully, and to my great relief, Mr. Potter believes that's a bunch of baloney as much as I do.) The long and the short of the story, without getting into all the most fascinating and terrible details of the attack on Pearl, December 7th, 1941, WWII was a just war because it was a defensive war (on both fronts). We declared war on Japan in defense of our soil and we engaged the Germans in warfare because they declared war on us!
Monday closed with the "Officer's Ball"...and no, it wasn't swing dancing, but rather English Country Dancing (ECD). Some of the young men/boys came in uniform, though really not too many of them. My above mentioned friend Andrew came in an actual WWII uniform (very neat). In fact, I did my best to track down extra information on Cpl. McPherson...
Anyway, Andrew's elder brother came in uniform (didn't catch his rank) and his younger brother as a Navy captain. I will admit that the number of officers of rather high rank made this enlisted man's daughter smirk a little...most of those guys, if officers, would have held the rank of 1st or 2nd Lieutenant in real life. But what ho! If I were a lad, I would have gone as a Master Sergeant (in honor of my father) and at my age, I probably wouldn't have held much over the lowest sergeant rank in the book...so I guess there isn't that much difference. :D
I regret to inform you that there are no pictures of the ball...but regardless, we all had a wonderful time (even though there were only seven dances). Katherine and I sat out the first one, but joined in as a "couple" on the second one (I love the Spanish Waltz!) and thereafter didn't have to rely on each other as dance partners. I only got to dance with two uniforms...but oh well. I had a delightful time dancing with a charming little man by the name of James, and then twice with a little girl named Elizabeth. Kids like me for some reason. :D
When the ball was over, we all fell into bed and went to sleep (at least I did).
Tuesday morning, a couple of friends and I missed the first session because we were sitting around a table in the breakfast room talking filmmaking.
After the session, Katherine and I caught up with a friend who we haven't seen for several years...the main topic of discussion was Lyme disease, of all things.
I find Mr. Potter extremely hard to take notes from--he is a fabulous story teller, but that doesn't mean that notes are easy. In essence, he told his audience the story of Winston Churchill, and left us with three lesson we can learn from the man's life. 1) Always aim high. 2) There is no substitution for hard work. 3) Never allow mistakes/problems to hinder you.
I next headed (by the way, I'm skipping vendor/snack/lunch/dinner breaks here...I'll talk more about that portion separately) to a session on bee-keeping the natural way. I do have an interest in keeping bees, but I need to do some research on how much effect GMO's have on bees and/or the make up of the honey.
In any case, it was an informative session and I scrawled two pages of notes and came away with a little better idea of what I might be getting myself into if I actually do decide to do bees.
The next session was a general session and my first listening to Dr. Paul Jehle speak. Regardless of topic (which was very interesting indeed), I came away with a huge appreciation for Dr. Jehle's presentation style...he is really quite engaging and grabs your attention firmly with both hands, so to speak. The lecture was on Bonhoeffer, but covered more than that. His headings were (my rephrasing for speedy notation): "Nazism and the Church", "Nazism and Economics", "Nazism and Religious Liberty", "Nazism and Propaganda", "Nazism and Education", "Training Heroes or Robots?" It was after this set-up that he really began to speak about Bonhoeffer himself. I like Bonhoeffer's description of Hitler:
"A madman, set on fire by Hell."
The event of the evening was a talk by the Duggar's and a musical presentation by some of their 19 children. The music was scheduled for after the talk, but got flipped around. I may be scorned for this, but really found the Duggar's talk rather boring. Not to mention that I disagreed with some of their theology, but overall, I easily could have skipped that session and never regretted it.
After it was over, tired as I was, I decided to do a little socializing that evening and basically drug Katherine with me. :D That's not exactly true, because she and a friend were quite happily engaged in conversation, photography, and hair styling while I attempted to play Dutch Blitz with some Dutch Blitz whizzes. (Fast games when your eyes are having trouble focusing aren't exactly recommended.)
Then...someone, I forget who, suggested going down into the lower lobby and dancing for a while. Needless to say, I ignored the fact that I really needed to go to bed and headed downstairs with some of the others to dance for a little while. (It appears there are no pictures of that either...at least that I borrowed off Kt's camera.)
That was blast! Even when I was confused, couldn't keep up, or out of breath. I'm afraid I don't turn under with the left hand very well. I get confused and forget to let the gent get me moving. My apologies to the young gentlemen who had to put up with that foolishness on my part. (I am still used to dancing the gent's part!)
When Katherine and I finally did go upstairs (all the way to the eighth floor) and to bed, it was 1:30 our time, though only 12:30 locally in Missouri. I guess I dropped off pretty fast.
Wednesday morning, I woke up with a start as Mama's cellphone (acting in the capacity of alarm clock) went off full blast about two feet from my left ear. I was awake...no doubt about that! Even had I been interested in drifting back off to sleep, I couldn't have done it I was so thoroughly awake.
We all headed down for the first session of the day, Dr. Morecraft's sermon on the Solas of the Reformation. As with anything Dr. Morecraft does, it was good. :) For some of us, it was recap (though not boring!), but I'm sure some folks were hearing it for the first time.
It would not surprise me if the majority of families with children of marriageable age headed into Dr. Paul Jehle's next most informative (and amusing at times) session: Courtship, World War II and the Dating Game. Granted, my notes weren't very good, but I highly enjoyed this session and did come away with some new items of knowledge tucked up under my hair. I continue to laugh each time I remember Dr. Jehle (you would have had to seen his expression to really understand why this is so amusing) remarking about the young people "scouring the halls" and parents thinking that three days is a long event and the young people are like: "Only three days???" I guess it was so funny, because it a way, it is really very true. There isn't a young woman (or man) I know that isn't interested in getting married at some point. And yes, we're looking around because it's natural. Still, it does help when you consider that yes, God has ordained whatsoever comes to pass...and that nice young man or young lady is a brother or sister in Christ.
I next betook myself (all alone) to Bill Potter's lecture on two historical characters from WWII. Jacob DeShazer and Fushida (the top Japanese pilot who led the attack on Pearl Harbor). It was a highly interesting talk about these two men who's paths eventually providentially crossed. It would go beyond the scope of this blog post to tell their story however...
The final two sessions/tribute had me in tears. Dr. Jehle spoke of Iwo Jima and drew life lessons for the Christian from the struggle...his headers being Cause, Character, and Courage.
The Patriotic Tribute that followed Bill Potter and Dr. Jehle doing a joint talk, was really pretty good. The Sentimental Journey dance band was outstanding and I wished they could have played more/had more air time. Dr. Jehle gave a first person impression of Francis S. Key that was quite engaging.
All in all, it was a grand event...and I would very, very much like to attend next year, for the topic is that of the SOUTH. As you here all probably know that I'm a southron born and breed, I doubt that comes as a surprise to any of you. :) Besides that, the fellowship was very great.
Which leads me to tell a few stories that took place in the vendor hall...
Katherine and I were wandering around (I believe it was Monday) and as we peered at a particular table, the young man behind the table addressed me rather as if he knew who I were. That was rather, well, odd at first, but it soon became apparent that Mama and Savannah had already visited this table and told him about me (the majority of the books were about the WBtS) and my documentary. :D (And they apparently told him what I was wearing...and I was the only girl there in a sailor suit, so I guess it wasn't too hard.) We talked for a little bit and I ended up purchasing Robert L. Dabney's In Defense of Virginia and the South. I would return the next day and buy a couple more books from Sprinkle Publications...
And he laughed.
He did remember...and I think he was slightly surprised (or something) that a particular joking phrase had continued to be used fairly regularly amongst a certain number of us. (Evan apparently doesn't waste as much time on G+ as some of us do! :P) Anyway, to continue conversation, I made one of those rather inane comments: "I see you play the guitar..." I made it not so "duh, obviously!" by tacking on, "So do I..."
From there we talked about guitars and music a bit and when I said I played classical, he asked me if I would play him something as he likes classical (and wants to learn himself)...so I gladly sat down (guitar players are like that you know...it is rather a social instrument.. :D) and picked out a few things out of my embarrassingly small repertoire of memorized pieces.
My sisters came over and we had a pleasant four way conversation (along with his adorable little nephew) for a few minutes before it was necessary for Evan to get back to the work he was there to do--selling Dr. Morecraft's books. :)
It is always nice to meet other reformed young folks...and I thoroughly enjoyed doing so this past week...but now, I really am in need of sleep (again). I will have to tell you what Katherine and I did this afternoon in a post tomorrow. So, until then, farewell!