A Great Reunion!

J. D. Conley
July 2, 2017

Our recent vacation was by in large a great reunion with family, friends and loved ones, some of which we, [I], had not seen in several decades. We met with the brethren at the Hickory Knoll church in New Orleans the first Wednesday night where my father preached from 1973-1982. The following Sunday we assembled with the saints at the Northern Oaks congregation in San Antonio, where my father preached for fifteen years, and I served as a deacon. The second Wednesday we met with the Lake Country church in Marble Falls, TX. My Dad also preached at Marble Falls from 1960-1962, this is one of my earliest memories. There I was reunited with the George family that I had not seen since I was around seven or eight years old. They are dear friends of my Mom and Dad and paternal grandparents. Fifteen miles north, in Bertram TX., we were blessed to visit my great aunt Ruth who is one hundred years old, she is my paternal grandmother's youngest [and only surviving] sibling. The last time I recall seeing her I was around twelve years old. She regaled us for over an hour on stories about my great-grandparents. Her mind is sharp and she has a wonderful sense of humor. Just west of Bertram is the hamlet of Burnet, TX., and during our time there I was able to visit my mother's grave on the old home place. I had never been back since her funeral in 1994, and had never gotten to see the gravestone. This was made possible by my second cousin who led us to the remote family cemetery where I not only was able to visit my mother's grave, but also the graves of my Conley grandparents. Before leaving Burnet we stopped by to see Darrell Debo, a long time family friend and retired Gospel preacher. He played the Tennessee Waltz for us on his baby grand Steinway piano, which was an impressive feat for age eighty-five. We then drove eight hours north to Amarillo, to see Hal and Aletta Smith. The Smiths too, have been lifelong friends of the Conley's. Our time with them was brief, but precious.

After ninety hours driving, logging 4,392 miles and burning 218 gallons of fuel, we can say it was positively worth the effort. We wouldn't trade anything for these precious memories forged the past two weeks. And the perfect ending is that we are blessed to be reunited with you, our dear brethren here. Thank you so much for allowing us to be away these two weeks.

But as great as this reunion was there is a much greater reunion coming! A reunion that will never end, where goodbyes will never be uttered, or parting tears shed. Let us make sure we make it to the heavenly reunion! It too, is well worth every effort we can make! "Give diligence to make your calling and election sure...For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ" (2 Peter 1:10-11).