Fall Conference Day 2/3: Basking in Nature

The top 2 questions that I get asked about Fall Conference:

  1. What is Fall Conference?
  2. What do you do there?

I think it’s best to answer these two simple yet valid questions by illustrating through photos! Here’s a photo an hour (ok, maybe more than just one photo per hour) of my past Saturday at Fall Con:

6 am

The day before: “Who wants to see the sunrise with me tomorrow?”

Silence.

Really, guys? Well, it was my last chance to do it there, so I willingly crawled out of bed at 6:30 am with two other brave souls, Emily and Sherry, and got to witness this together:

sunrise lake nature beautiful colors
The early bird gets the worm! I don’t regret waking up early to see this AT ALL.
sunrise lake missouri ozarks nature
This is so beautiful I could cry…
nature sunrise photography landscape lake potosi missouri
In awe at God’s handiwork.

7 am

The sun was supposed to rise at 7 am that day, but it sure took its time.

sunrise missouri potosi lake ymca
Still not up. But then again, how can I complain about these gorgeous colors?
Sunrise lake potosi missouri
Aaaand there it is!
sunrise lake missouri potosi ymca camp lakewood
These nature photos make me so giddy. I’m such a landscape photo junkie 🙂

As beautiful as these pictures are, they don’t do the real thing justice. If you’ve never seen a sunrise before, what’re you waiting for? Go do it!

Image courtesy of Sherry

8 am

Truth be told, right after I saw the sun rise behind the hill, I crawled back into bed for another precious few moments of sleep before breakfast. So…the 8 am photo didn’t happen. But here’s one that I snapped right outside my cabin before I slumped back into bed:

leaves fall autumn nature yellow orange
Haha I guess this is kind of a cop-out photo. Oh well, enjoy how pretty it is anyway!

9 am

Wolfed down breakfast before morning session started. Managed to snap in between bites:

ymca camp lakewood missouri
A view from the cafeteria. Not bad, eh?

 10 am

what are you waiting for
Question and responses from the night before.

That morning, our speaker continued her message from Act 2:

When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them. (Source)

God wants to connect with us in our own language.

Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard their own language being spoken. (Source)

To me, this message became more relevant when we started worshipping God in other languages besides English. Vietnamese, Mandarin, Korean, Spanish, and my favorite – Lingala (spoken in DR Congo) – were all sung. As tricky as it is, I love singing in other languages because it’s fun and gives just a small taste of what it’d be like when every nation, tribe, and tongue stands before the throne of God.

11 am

During our personal reflection time, I felt most at peace when wandering about in nature. Once again, I was in awe at God’s creation when I saw this tiny frog jump in front of me into the lake:

frog lake nature animals leaf
It was so small and camoflaged so well that I couldn’t even find it through my lens at times!

Now contrast that to the vast landscape photos that I took earlier! Here’s when the word “awesome” is most appropriate to describe our God.

12 pm

I really didn’t want to take a photo of the generic camp food during lunch. So here’s another picture from our cafeteria!!

Lol…enjoy seeing a different time of day and a different point of view!

1 pm

Took an honorary freshman, Debbie, to see the horses.

horses wild field flowers nature
As we inched closer, we caught their attention.
horses wild nature pasture grazing land
Such beauties.
petting horses wild pasture
Making friends
horses pature graze beautiful landscape
Seriously though, how scenic is this?!

We also stumbled upon a cemetery…that dated back to the 1890’s.

cemetery

cemetery hudson family
Everyone buried there were from the Hudson family.
tombstone cemetery
A baby tombstone
tombstone cemetery
I think cemeteries are actually really peaceful. And nice places to hang out and take photos.

 2 pm

Caught these guys chillin’ before I went back inside to take a nap…

Imprompt jam sessions

3 pm

Unfortunately, I had to do some studying.

stationery pen

4 pm

Went back out to enjoy my last few hours of free time. I explored a little before going into the forest to hike. This picture below is one of my favorites from the weekend! The figures look like they’re walking on water!

water reflection sunlight people

5 pm

I gathered a crew of adventurers to go hiking with me.

fall trees colors autumn
So nice to see that fall colors actually exist in the Midwest.
May the journey begin!
tree stub nature hike
A weird looking tree stub
sign tree hike hiking trail
Just follow the signs.
The whole crew
Made it to the top! Aka, to the end of the “infinity trail” because there was no telling where it went beyond that! (Photo taken by Brando)
tree spindles needles
Spindly tree

6 pm

Aaand we’re out. Time to head back for dinner.

horses pasture

So there ya go – an entire 12 hour slice of my day. The rest of the evening was spent in another session that examined the rest of Acts 2:14-40. We took a look at Peter, who had changed a ton since letting Jesus into his life. He went from denying Jesus 3 times to becoming a strong proponent for the Lord:

14 Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd…36 “Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah.”

37 When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?”

38 Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. (Source)

The question is, will I let Jesus into my life and give Him the opportunity to radically change it? My immediate answer is “yes” but doing is definitely harder than saying. I think this will be the lingering question for me as I head towards an uncertain future. Will I let Jesus navigate my future and my life?

I ended my night by making s’mores in a real campfire then played Bowl of Nouns with some pals. Now I’d call that a pretty good day.

Go check out Fall Conference Day 1/3: A Sky Full of Stars and Fall Conference Day 3/3: Farewell if you haven’t done so yet! And as always, more photos may be found on my Flickr page.

Thanks for reading!