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Sunday, July 31, 2005

Firing Back Up

After being at conference for an entire week, I'm finally back on line...with too much (yet not enough) to say:

10. Cedarville's internet was a HUGE TEASE. It would show up in my airport status, it would claim to be connected, it would not let me go anywhere on the web. In fact, for one moment I was connected to 'ichat'. But I couldn't send or receive anything. (Pretty useless when you can't send/receive email.)
9. I LOVE expository preaching...LOVE it. It's pretty much to the point where a topical sermon bores me. It's so thrilling to hear a message directly from the Word of God. Conference was great, but it seemed devoid of expository preaching (of course, maybe it's the same as every year, I'm just more sensitive about it now.)
8. I WILL NOT preach in sweatpants...ever! Seriously, it happened at conference (not me, but a speaker). Brutal.
7. I really love our students (students is what I call teens, i hate when they are called kids, I don't really like the term teenagers or teens). We really have a mature group of students. As one who is generally repulsed by an over-indulgance in emotion (typically at about any conference involving students), I really sensed our students count the cost before making any decision, then develop a game plan to see it through. It is a gracious gift from our Lord to have these students.
6. Fantasy Football is really, really close. We set up our draft for the end of the month! I'm excited about this because I will care about my team for a good 3 or 4 weeks. Then, after that, the NBA season will be upon us and I'll really care. In other words, the NBA season is "fan-tastic" and almost upon us!!!!!!
5. I'm an adequate speaker. I absolutely love preaching, love it. But after listening to Francis Chan, Josh McDowell, Dan Gregory and Jim Brown, I realize I'm really not that good. Hopefully my enthusiasm for the Word, and for God's institution of preaching the Word, will make up for my lack of giftedness.
4. I'm getting old. Some of my students have recently mentioned my gray hairs showing up (which I don't mind. My dad turned gray just out of high school, so it would really be an odd badge of honor to me that says I'm atleast becoming more like my dad in one way). But some of the guys I knew from college are becoming gray too. And we're all starting to have multiple children. Am I actually going to have to start thinking of myself as an adult?
3. If the hardest week of my life wasn't that hard, is it still the hardest week? Here's the scoop. This week brought some of the greatest trials of my life (nothing to do with our home, the church or the youth group), but they didn't seem that tough. We'd heard from Chan about seeing trials as maturing and completing us (James 1). It was surreal. I knew the situation should be tough. The situation made me physically ill to think about and deal with. Yet, it didn't seem like that big a deal. Many people face tougher things. My heart still breaks over the situation, but I'm thrilled to think what the Lord may do with this.
2. Everything reminds me of my kids. It wasn't fun to be away from them for a week. And every speakers' illustration about children just reminds you of your own (Especially when two of Francis Chan's children are named Rachel and Ezekiel...honest, I had no idea, and named our son Ezekiel before he did). It's hard to hear about your kids' week and what developments they are making when you aren't there.
1. My wife is amazing. Eight months pregnant and chasing around a fifteen month old and a 3 year old. I'm gone all week and she totally takes care of them and even takes them around to other places. Talking on the phone just isn't a substitute (though it was nice to have her at the conference for one day). Then I'm home for a day and a half, and she's gone for a day and a half. (Thus the sappy post.)

Also, we potentially have an amazing opportunity to get a bigger house for less money. It certainly has some risk involved, and requires me to make a sales pitch to the bank...but if it works...WOW! Please pray for us and the Lord's leading.

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