IF:Table by Keri Early

Have you ever noticed what you give up in exchange for convenience. Pay at the pump, online shopping, google, iEverything. All of these modern conveniences allow us to move through our days with little or no human interaction.  We are busy, we are connected, we have the world at our fingertips… and many of us are lonely. Even when I was well established in our former community, I would often struggle with loneliness, even in the middle of a crowd. I had connections a mile long and about an inch deep. I was longing for relationships with depth. That’s where the table came in.

Years ago, I gathered up a group of women. Some I knew well, others were mere acquaintances. All had a shared ministry interest. The invitation was to come and sit at a table. We ate together, learned together and shared our hearts with one another. God grew this group in amazing ways and continues to bless this group even as the faces around the table have changed.

Last year, I was invited to 2 new tables. One table gathered women with Valley Church connections in different ages and stages of life. Over the course of the year we have learned much, laughed much, and been so encouraged by one another.  The other is a smaller table, light on eating and heavy on accountability with a friend and a mentor. Three very different tables, all gifts in the midst of a disconnected world.

Just to be clear, this isn’t an original idea. Jesus, the author and perfector of our faith, led the way: an impromptu meal of fish and loaves, inviting himself to have dinner at a wee little man’s home, arranging a special meal in an upper room. Jesus was in relationship and it often happened around a table. Tables are not always convenient. There is some level of preparation required. But tables are worth the effort.

Who are you sharing a table with? Keep your eyes open for information about IF:Table coming soon to Valley Women’s Ministry. Valley Church is also offering a wonderful opportunity to sit at a table with women from around the Des Moines area and feast on the teaching of some of today's most dynamic Bible teachers. The IF:Gathering is happening February 6th-7th right here at Valley Church. Come alone or bring a friend, but consider yourself invited to the table.

So come, taste and see that the Lord is good!

To register for the IF:Gathering on Friday, February 6 and Saturday, February 7, go to www.valley-church.com/ifdesmoines or for additional information email anne.e.summers@gmail.com or debil@valley-church.com

Keri is wife to Brandon (a full time job in itself) and Mom to 3 BOYS with a capital "B"!  Keri and her family are beginning their third year at Valley Church.  Keri has a hunger and thirst to learn God's Word and how she can apply His Word to her life as a wife, mother and in ministry.