Posts Tagged writer

Green Lake Christian Writer’s Conference Refreshes and Inspires

In August I spent five wonderful days at the Green Lake Conference Center in Wisconsin. I had wanted to go there ever since my friend, Don Bynum, told me about it.  I was attending the 68th Annual Green Lake Christian Writer’s Conference. Green Lake is a beautiful place far away from any population center. It took no time to feel relaxed. Carol and Jan joined me on the trip. They toured while I attended sessions.

The people I met were gracious, interesting, thoughtful, and creative. I made wonderful new friends including Rev. Jim Wooten and his wife, Becky. Jim is the pastor of First Baptist Church of Beaufort, SC. and a fantastically funny story teller. The three of us were there for the first time. Jim is the former pastor at Earl Street Baptist Church in Greenville, SC where I attended as an undergraduate at Furman University long before Jim’s tenure.

Kris Wood did a great job organizing the conference. The speakers were both helpful and inspiring.  Lin Johnson and Wendy Walters both offered wonderful assistance.  Dr. Linda Locke, a former public school administrator, is a crusader against bullying. We talked a lot about the importance of words. She writes and speaks on the subject. I bought a recording of soothing piano music by fellow attendee Darlene Davis. I continue to play it. It is wonderful.

An unexpected bonus was the number of well-mannered college students there from Bethel University attending a leadership conference. One young woman took the time to educate me about Converge Baptists which is the former Swedish Baptist General Conference.

The morning meditations led by Rev. Karen Gygax Rodrigues, pastor of the local Federated Church were very thought provoking and instructive.  She also played the piano, guitar and sang. The church is supported by American Baptists, United Church of Christ and United Methodists.

I welcomed the opportunity to promote Say Something Nice Sunday. Before I left I was excited to learn that the Green Lake Conference Center (American Baptists) will join our movement as will the Immanuel Baptist Church in Minot, North Dakota. Rev. Brian Skar brought a group of volunteers from his church in Minot to do work on the buildings and grounds while he was in sessions. He led a series of devotional services for teenagers in the evenings.

I learned a lot. Met wonderful people, but most of all I was refreshed and inspired, I was reminded daily of the goodness of people and the splendor of God’s creation

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Thankful Thursday – The Rev. Dr. Scott Walker

On this Thankful Thursday, I am grateful for the gifts that the Rev. Dr. Scott Walker brings to my life. Scott was our pastor during the most difficult time in my life and during Hurricane Hugo.  When my late wife was in intensive care at St. Francis Hospital, he came to visit every day. After her death he was a rock and helped me through it, but he was never intrusive. Scott is a marvelous speaker and an accomplished writer. He still inspires me with his writings in the annual editions of Guidepost Devotionals. Scott spent much of his childhood in the Philippines where his parents were missionaries. That is another connection because Liz’s parents were also missionaries in the Philippines and she and her sister grew up there. Scott started college at Furman but graduated from Mercer where he now works. Scott is a Bible scholar and weaves that knowledge into his sermons and books. He left Charleston for Waco, Texas. When my brother-in-law, Joe Gilliland, and I visited him there, the first things in the church he showed us were the spacious, modern restrooms. If you have visited First Baptist in Charleston, you will understand that remark. While Scott was at FBC, we also had a writer’s group that met at the church that included Bret Lott. Beth, his wife, and he love dogs. Beth is a gifted, gracious lady who works with international students. Scott’s latest book is, The Edge of Terror. On this Thankful Thursday, I am thankful for the gifts that Scott Walker brings to my life.

Thankful Thursday is a day set apart to recognize the importance of someone to our lives and to let her or him know of our gratitude. Develop an attitude of gratitude. Say Something Nice; Be a lifter. You will be glad that you did.


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Thankful Thursday – Carol Ezell Gilson

Carol GilsonOn this Thankful Thursday, I am thankful for the gifts that Carol Gilson brings to my life. Carol grew up in Charleston after the death of her father, atomic energy scientist, Dr. Kay Ezell. This has always interested me because her father grew up in Woodruff, my home town. Carol’s mother is Jane Hamrick. Carol graduated from First Baptist High School and studied painting in Philadelphia and New York City. She is married to Tom, retired librarian at the College of Charleston and an avid hiker. Carol is an artist, teacher, tour guide, historian and an excellent writer. She spearheaded the First Baptist display for Congregations in the Civil War Project imitated by the National Park Service. It is an outstanding display. She writes excellent, “Moments in History” notes for the church’s anniversary celebrations. Carol is always upbeat and willing to help. She was instrumental in getting Josephine Humphreys as a speaker for the Hamrick Lectureship. Carol’s Japanese paintings are huge, colorful and striking. She sings in the FBC choir. I have not found anything yet that Carol will not tackle. I applaud her spirit of go for it. She will have an exhibition of her paintings at Rick Rhodes Photography Gallery at 1842 Belgrade Avenue from October 3 – 30.Belgrade is in West Ashley off Sam Rittenberg. On this Thankful Thursday, I am grateful for the gifts that Carol Gilson brings to my life.

Thankful Thursday is a special day set aside to honor the presence of someone special to your life and to let her or him know of your gratitude. Say Something Nice; Be a Lifter. You will be glad that you did.

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