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Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Shepherds' Conference

Some have wondered why I have not reviewed my first experience at the Shepherds' Conference. It was an amazing week that could comprise a month full of entries. However, I thought I would list the things that struck me the most from the week:
    1. My amazing wife.
Not even 12 hours into the trip, my wife was battling a flu bug (and the subsiquent mess) in our oldest daughter. Not only did she deal with our ill child (at 2 am), but she cleaned everything up and cared for her through the rest of the night. Needless to say, she had a very long first night of what she knew was going to be a challenging week. Yet she did it, believing that I would benefit greatly from the trip.
    2. Family
I can't give enough thank you's to those who helped by watching kids, driving up to our house, making dinners and providing piggy back rides for our kids while I was away. The way family and our church body supported Charity was a blessing for me, from many miles away.
    3. Friends
The trip would not have been the same without Tim, David, Matt and Kelly. Not only are these brothers a tremendous support, they have quickly become good friends (not so quickly with Matt, we've been friends since high school) and are the kind of men a soldier needs supporting him in the battle field. It is a privilege to lock arms with these guys. (Incidently, this trip would not have been remotely possible if not for the generous financial support from these brothers!)
    4. One Wise Brother
I had the privilege of gleaning wisdom from a man I had never before met. David encouraged a meeting with this brother, who guided us both through his thoughts on faithful ministry in the midst of a pragmatic culture. He provided much food for thought and was very candid. This alone, may have done the most to reinvigorate me as to the need for Biblical exposition. Personally, unbeknownst to him, he gave me some terrific personal advice. (Which I'll be sharing in my next post.)
    5. The Main Sessions
No speaker disappointed, though some stood out more than others. Perhaps later, I'll review the messages, presenting my thoughts on their content as well as my impressions. But for now, you can find a review here. All I will say for now is that the preaching was truly refreshing. (Of course, it probably didn't hurt that it typically followed an insane amount of special music, making even the musings of Gilbert Godfrey seem soothing.)
    6. Fellow GBC Shepherds
Though the food was the worst of the week (Denny's), the company was outstanding. Nearly 15 Grace Brethern men gathered together to discuss the conference, our ministries and our love for the Grace Brethren Fellowship. It's good to know there are like minded men throughout the country, even if some are considered "flaky whackballs."
    7. Books.
Read here.
    8. Shepherds' Soapbox
Apparently, this was a first. From the response, I assume it's not the last. After the very last session, the speakers were spread out among the Grace Community campus. Each was then interviewed by a host. This segment was not recorded so the speakers could be a lot more personal, candid (and funny). I'd tell you what Mark Dever had to say, but I'd have to kill you.
    9. Seminars
I enjoyed a very enlightening children's ministry seminar, and was enjoying an amazing seminar by Phil Johnson when my cell phone called me out of the room. (At least it was worthwhile, an invitation to be on a panel to discuss the emerging church. [Tongue planted firmly in cheek as I realize I gave up the chance to finish hearing Johnson speak on Calvinism so I could say yes to being executed in front of my district!])
    10. In-n-Out
That's not a typo. Though it may possibly be the best option ever for cattle placed between wheat, it paled in comparrison to the other ways which blessed my socks off during the week.

[Not making the list: an encounter with a man named Chris, flying first class on the way out, being told "go back to work, Daddy" by my son when I first arrived home.]


  • At 8:54 AM, Blogger ~d said…

    tell me more about this panel invitation....is this something that has already taken place or something that is to come?

    we were so encouraged to hear how meaningful and refreshing this conference was for you. energy flowed through your message sunday morning. again, it was excellent. i keep thinking about it this week....

    and yes, your wife is amazing! so glad she decided to give greenville a chance :)

  • At 9:26 AM, Blogger danny2 said…

    next tuesday.

    it's a room full of local grace brethren pastors. to date, the panel is three guys, two of which are very pro-emerging in view. i suppose i was asked to provide "balance."

    i know our staff's perspective but i have no idea where other local pastors stand...should be interesting.

  • At 9:42 AM, Blogger Looking Upward said…

    Is it just for "local grace brethren pastors"?

  • At 9:49 AM, Blogger danny2 said…

    local is certainly not a requirement...though i doubt it is something people would want to travel for.

    as for gbc pastors...i would assume it is available for anyone, especially anyone of a brethren flavor!

    9 am at Centerville Grace.

    are you volunteering to be my wingman?

  • At 11:00 AM, Blogger TheReformedThinker said…

    Looking forward to your thoughts about each of the sessions. Just curious, do you have a favorite one from the week?

    By the way, have fun at the conversation about the emerging conversation. Maybe you could invite Phil Johnson to it, I am sure he would have some things to say...

  • At 7:14 PM, Blogger Journeyman said…

    So the "panel" will be meeting next Tuesday (3/20) @ 9am at the Centerville GBC. That about eliminates almost all of the laymen that may have been interested to hear the information God has blessed you with in order to share with others who didn't have the opportunity to attend the Shepherds Conference. See, the vast majority of us work for a living! Just a suggestion for future scheduling of this kind of stuff within the district: Make it a week night and/or possibly a Saturday morning. Also, advertise it on more than the blogosphere If you'd do that, you may just be surprised at the interest and eventual turnout. Pastors and pew sitters alike.

    The Journeyman.

  • At 8:23 PM, Blogger danny2 said…


    i feel your pain. this is actually a concern we have talked about before. this meeting is primarily pastors and obviously is difficult for other to make.

    however, pastors are typically using their evenings to minister to those in their congregation who have jobs during the day...or occassionally hanging out with their own family...

    so it's definitely a tension.

    but don't feel bad. let's wait and see how it goes before we determine if you should be pitied for missing, or i should be pitied for attending...

    it's about 50/50 right now.

  • At 8:17 AM, Blogger Looking Upward said…

    I can't be your wingman, although I'll pray for you. And... I may come even at 9AM IF Bro. David will go...


  • At 10:49 PM, Blogger Dale Harris said…

    Who's on the panel for the emerging thing?


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