Linda Cooper’s Final Annual Meeting Wrap Up

Linda Cooper1Linda Cooper was elected president of Kentucky WMU in 2010. Each year she has closed out Annual Meeting with a witty and challenging summary of things that were said during the meeting.  Here is her 2014 wrap up before passing the gavel, ring and WMU pin to Susan Bryant.

Linda Cooper w torchThe beautiful flag processional led by the torch set the tone and reminded us that we do have a “story to tell to the nations because these are the days of Elijah ‘til the whole world knows that Jesus Christ is Lord.  Thank you Jason, you led us to the throne.  We’ll have you back any time!  He said that we were the highlight of his year last year.  I think he’s a Wise Man that Understands!

Can you believe that I found out that Larry Lee was stressing over playing for our meeting!  He was concerned about ruining my last meeting to preside….well Larry, I have some news for you…I can do that all by myself!  God has given you a talent.  Thank you for sharing it with us.  My husband said that if he could play like that, he would just play so he could hear himself.

Speaking of my husband…he is not here today, he left early this morning to go to Indianapolis to umpire some college women’s softball games.  He does that on the side…I accuse him of making friends everywhere he goes.  Since he is not here, I can talk about him.  You see, yesterday I had to be over here before he needed to be and besides, he was pulling the U-haul that we had of the 84 buckets that my association did and he needed to unload it.  But before I left the hotel, I gave him 2 instructions.  Don’t be late and don’t go to sleep during the sessions.  Well, first thing, he was late!  I finally see him come in.  I see a vacant place down front by Lee Bolton and he knows Lee so I motioned for him to come on down.  Well, he didn’t see Lee but sat down on the pew behind him.  There happened to be a sign on the end of that pew where he sat that said “visually impaired.”  He held the sign up to me with this puzzled look on his face….He is an umpire so I just told him, “I guess all those people at the games were right all along!  Maybe he is “blind” as they have yelled at him all of those times.

Thank you Wanda for sharing about our early beginnings of how the women knew their calling and trusted God to provide.  You shared about their faith, courage and vision.  There have been many Anns.  Are you an Ann?

We learned that some women sold eggs so that they could give to missions.  Well, that is still going on today.  I was stopped by a former board member that shared with me that she still does that very thing!

Dr. Drake welcomed us and showed us his neon green ribbon he was wearing so proudly, that signified he wanted to help us this weekend.  Well, I read between the lines and what he really meant was you better find someone in red that was wearing one of those ribbons if you really needed something.  Thank you Central Baptist for being such great hosts.

And that Peggy Craycraft and her team, well, they outdid themselves to help us feel welcome.  Did you all see the water towers?  They must have hired someone to paint them just for us…I was traveling back to the hotel and there it was, big as life…W  M  U!  My husband tried to tell me it stood for Winchester Municipal Utilities but I know better.  They wrote it so big that someone could see it without their glasses. Hey, they even put a glasses holder in our registration bags…a FREE gift…for everyone!  Not just those sitting on the pew with my husband, the blind umpire….and that little bag had a dual purpose. She even explained it to us… You not only can put your glasses in it but you can clean them with it too.  Well, it was worth coming, just for that free gift!  I guess since we were offering the conference on Dementia, she felt she should explain how to use it.

Speaking of that conference…you know, I was down stairs yesterday and saw this big long line that was leading into that conference.  Well, I went over to visit with some that were in that line and asked them what was going on?  They said, They didn’t know….they forgot!  I calmly explained they were headed in the right direction.

Did you notice the committee had someone in charge of the restrooms…wonder what they do?  They did have cute little pansie containers.  One was a purse and one was a high heel.  I don’t know who chaired it but they didn’t do a very good job.  Bertha was taking toilet paper from somewhere!  That Bertha and Berniece…with all those interuptions, I thought we were going to have to elect a sargent at arms during the business session just to control them.

I love to tell the story.  Whom shall I send?  Here I am Lord, Is it I, Lord.  I have heard you calling in the night…and I will go, Lord.

I hope you wore those ribbons proudly.  I feel cheated.  When I was a child, my home church didn’t have GA.  Well, I got here early today and I decided well, they’re firing me anyway…so I’m wearing them all!!!

The Bruckerts reminded us how important our ministries to missionaries offering is.  The offering gift let them know they were not alone.  So, you better get ready, we are going to pass that plate in EVERY session!

I’m sure glad they told us the conference leaders were going to slip out early…I was about to take it personal.

Didn’t we learn a lot about Gordon Fort.  I didn’t realize we were so hard to find…He said getting here was an 8 year journey!  I don’t know how it took so long for someone who can out run canables.  But he did say that it was an incredible opportunity to be here…smart man.  He even married a WMU girl…..after people prayed, of course.  You did marry her didn’t you Gordon?  Well?  He said that he spotted her over there and asked her would she consider being his partner for life?  This day and time, that phrase means something else.  So, I was just wondering.

I guess they did marry because he said that when he asked her, she said 1,000 times Yes…No no no, that was the book that he said that he would sign but for us not to believe everything that we read in it.  Well, I’ve met Gordon and I’ve read the book…I believe it’s true.

Our missionaries have saved up important decisions for their birthday…we MUST pray.  Thank you Gordon.  We in WMU ARE totally His. We will go, Lord, if you lead us.  We will hold Your people in our heart.

They’re in Africa and they need a bucket!  Are you going to do some cleaning or are you going to pack it?  If a 13 year old can pack 4, surly you can pack one!  You’ve got all year to do it….. that is, if you can find the pads.  Don’t forget to pray for Mavis!  God is going to do some incredible things through those buckets!  I can’t wait to hear the stories!

The Bruckerts encouraged us to pray for the buckets…they even said that if we add a couple of r’s, we can pray for the Bruckerts, too!

We learned so much this weekend.  One thing, if you’re going to say something during the meeting, you better come in person.  Your video might not play right and Bertha and Berniece will make fun of you for saying the same thing 3x. 

Bertha and Berniece said they knew why they asked the WMU to head up the bucket project…because women get things done!  I’m glad they found the notes page in the program because we added that page this year since someone suggested it from last year’s meeting.  See, we do read those evaluations.  

Bertha and Berniece  need to get it straight and write it down that I did not spend that woman’s money for pizza!  Joy has always said that this meeting is all about outcomes…we may need to rethink that.   There’s no telling what Bertha and Berneice are out there telling people.  Can you believe there was someone here that admitted that they knew them?  However, they did sit in the back and were trying to hide???

Send the light, because He is Lord!  There are about 40 countries that have WMU now, they newest one being Burkina Faso.  And if you want to meet their president, well you’ll have to come to Baltimore.  Well, we have a whole bus load going!  Remember what a great partnership we had with S. Korea?  We even trained Soonsil Back!   God is at work in our sister countries.  They have found the one thing that works…WMU.

Wow!  You really gave to the ministries to the missionaries offering.  And oh those mite boxes!  Aren’t we thankful for our Mama’s…now Twyla is going to fill a mite box next year, and the next year…on and on.  Wasn’t that a beautiful site seeing everyone come forward with their mite boxes.  I got accused of being an overachiever.  I didn’t bother to explain that I had brought not only mine but our WOM boxes and our mission friend’s from my home church.

Houston, we have a problem!…but it’s a new project! “Adopt a bucket!”  The word is:  we cannot pack anymore completed buckets because we are out of pads.  We’ll work on that Lori Funderburk, Herb and Wanda Edminster.  Thank you for leading us in the bucket project.

Didn’t you just love the style show?  And wasn’t it interesting to learn that hem lines have and still go up and down.  Mine did this very weekend!  But Bertha and Berniece said that we needed to add a conference next year on how to wear undergarments for young people.

Wanda encouraged us to prayer walk and come to FamilyFEST this summer…we, here in KY are professionals at doing FamilyFESTS, now, so don’t miss it!  The nurses will be there because remember, once a nurse, always a nurse!

Joy said to turn those cell phones off!  We’re about to have officer installation and they are going to make a huge flag??  Wanda warned them that they were called to hard work but that God would provide the words to say to those discouraged.  For they have been called to service of kingdom work because He is mighty to save!

Missionaries are still telling the stories.  What obstacles are in your path hindering you from the great commission?  Ask God to remove them because He can move the mountains and only then will the celebration continue.  Because we have the men coming!!!  They’re finally getting it.  Although Chuck McAlister, from the KBC was out of his “wheel house” with the pads and undergarments conference he was wondering why he was here.  Well, he learned we had something in common…we both love winning souls to Christ…even those buckets will allow someone to hear the good news of Jesus.

Did you hear those qualifications for Missionary of the Year?  I’m surprised anyone can win that award!!  But, then we met him.  It’s plain and simple…he just loves the Lord and loves to see people get saved!  I’m going to have to get me some of that green spray paint!  Because, Jesus cares! 

Did you know that even doctors can look at your heart and tell there’s been a change after you are saved?

Didn’t you just love the commissioning service!  They’re teaching school kids, during the school day about Jesus….and doing it legally!  There is life after drugs because we commissioned people to shine the light of Christ into the darkness of addiction.  God can turn your mess into a message.  He can even wash the mess of your life away in a laundry mat, if necessary.

We were sinking deep in sand, far from the peaceful shore.  Very deeply stained within, sinking to rise no more…and then there is a BUT! But the master of the sea, heard my disparing cry.  From the waters lifted me, now safe am I, because Love lifted Me.  Now that’s a miracle!  Speaking of miracles…did you hear about the miracle in Zambia?  They asked Gordon to preach longer and the worms he had are not itching!  Thank you Gordon for challenging us to listen for our trumpet blast. 

Should I stay or should I go?  Don’t waste your time trying to figure that one out…just ask God, where.

If you weren’t recognized and didn’t stand up at least one time, then you better check your pulse!  Please turn to page 38 and read about our program guests!!!

Thank you KY WMU.  You say well I didn’t nominate you; I wasn’t at the annual meeting in 2010 to vote for you…I didn’t even know who you were!  But yet you invited me, you loved me, and you prayed for me and for that I say THANK YOU!

One of my goals in WMU has been to help you with the missions work in your church and association.  I hope in some small way, I have done just that as you have invited me to speak… in your churches, at your women’s retreats, and during your association meetings, your children’s events.  This has been such a challenging calling, but so fulfilling.

When I received the call to consider serving as your president, I felt so unqualified but you know, God doesn’t always call the qualified, He qualifies the called.  Serving as your president has brought me to the end of myself because Linda Cooper could not do this job…but God through me has allowed me to serve.  We are ALL called to missions.

There is a song out right now by Matthew West entitled:  Do Something.  It goes like this:  I woke up this morning, Saw a world full of trouble now; Thought, How’d we ever get so far down; How’s it ever gonna turn around; So I turned my eyes to Heaven; I thought, “God, why don’t You do something?”; He said, “I did, I created you”; If not us, then who; If not me and you; Right now, it’s time for us to do something; If not now, then when; Will we see an end; To all this pain; It’s not enough to do nothing; It’s time for us to do something; I’m so tired of talking; About how we are God’s hands and feet; But it’s easier to say than to be; Live like angels of apathy who tell ourselves; It’s alright, “somebody else will do something”; Well, I don’t know about you; But I’m sick and tired of life with no desire; I don’t want a flame, I want a fire; I wanna be the one who stands up and says,; I’m gonna do something”; We are the salt of the earth; We are a city on a hill; But we’re never gonna change the world; By standing still; No we won’t stand still; No we won’t stand still; No we won’t stand still.

We’re gonna DO SOMETHING!

To me, WMU is vital to a church.  But we must remember that we are not serving an organization, we are serving our Lord Jesus Christ!  Live with passion the call to be a part of God’s story.  Passion is contagious.

Linda Cooper2Now, let’s get ready to help WMU go forward in the next 125 years as a great missions force within your church, our denomination, and around the world.

You’ve heard people say that they want to be the kind of person that when they get out of bed, the devil says, “Oh me, she’s up.”  I like that one but I’ve found another one and I hope you feel as I do because I want to be so full of Christ that when a mosquito bites me, it flies away singing:  There is Power in the Blood!

May God Bless each and every one of you.  Now Go out and do something!!! 

Thank you, Linda!  Well said!!

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About Joy Bolton

Joy Bolton is a life-long WMUer! Through Woman's Missionary Union, Joy has has served as a church, association, and state leader. She has coordinated many international missions teams and is available as a conference leader, speaker, Bible study leader. Joy is now retired and lives in Summerville, SC.

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