I’ve arrived home safely, thank the Lord. It’s really late (early) but I’m still a bit wound up from the trip home. So, I guess I’ll finish my Tulsa Report. Saturday was another super day with some great messages.
I enjoyed Don McLaughliln’s message on Jesus: the Life to the World in which he challenged us not to overlook those arounds us in order to reach the “ideal” people – people like us. It was a great testimony to North Atlanta’s journey into a more multi-cultural church.
Robert Cox’s final message of the week was Jesus: How To get To The Going Part! Robert really motivates me. He is someone who’s message may not be as polished and pretty as some are, but it is a gritty message packed with the power of experience and truth. I love Robert’s enthusiasm to embrace sinners with the love of Jesus and allow it to show them the pathway to a better life. I did discover that his church is online HERE, with sermons available for listening.
Wade Hodge’s message To Live In Resurrection Power We Must Die was a courageous and needed message. He related their struggles at Garnett in a very vulnerable and honest way. I could identify with much of what he said and I was thankful for his presentation. His thoughts about the workshop can be found on his latest post.
Todd Box’s message How To Walk The Talk To Reach The Hurting was awesome! Todd is the Recovery Minister for the Contact Church of Christ in Tulsa. His personal testimony is very powerful as he recognizes the power of one Christian loving one sinner and helping them to find their way to a new life.
The AIM flag presentation is always a moment for tears of joy and thanksgiving for me. I am so moved by these young people who will go across the globe ‘aiming’ to preach the gospel. This presentation never fails to take my breath away.
Terry Rush and Jeff Walling on Saturday night at the workshop … really … what can you say? They were both on the top of their game. I thought there was some prophetic preaching going on as they addressed our need to be courageous in our freedom. They also talked about moving beyond tiny specifics of worship details and into daily outreach to the hurting all around us. The praise and worship for the night was fantastic as well. It was far and beyond my favorite of the three evening sessions.
We enjoyed worship at Memorial this morning before hitting the road for home. Before we left the parking lot a man came up to the bus. I rolled down the window and he introduced himself as Art. Art is a brother in law to Charlie Whitfield … one of my favorite brothers who volunteered down here for six weeks last year. It was great to meet Art – a blog reader!
HONORABLE MENTIONS. Here are some classes I heard great things about, and will be buying the CDs: Robert Peek’s series on small churches, Buddy Bell’s series on small groups, Roger Thompson’s series on The Holy Spirit and Us. I’m sure there were other great messages and I would love for you to post your honorable mentions here in the comments. These were the ones getting ‘buzz’ when I was listening here and there!
BOOK BUYS. I decided not to buy a lot of books this year because (a) I have too many books now that I haven’t read yet (b) I didn’t see many books in the fields I’m currently interested in, and (c) I was going to receive some books as a gift (that’s in the next paragraph). But with my interest in recovery and the spiritual disciplines, I did find some volumes that looked interesting enough to purchase:
12 Steps To A Closer Walk With God by Don Umphrey. Supposedly there is a workbook. I’ll have to get that sometime.
Sacred Rhythms: Arranging Our Lives for Spiritual Transformation by Ruth Haley Barton. Her previous book on spiritual transformation was a winner, so I’m thinking this one will be as well.
Healing Is A Choice by Stephen Arterburn. The appeal to me for this book can be stated in the subtitle: ‘Ten decisions that will transform your life and ten lies that can prevent you from making them.’ The ‘ten lies’ go along with some of the teaching in recovery that we tend to believe certain lies in life that help to form a ‘false self’. One of the keys to overcoming this is to recognize the lies.
Spiritual Disciplines For The Christian Life by Donald S. Whitney. His website is located HERE.
Now for the story on the gift books and to wrap this post up. Dusty Rush related in a funny post that he had received a gift of some boxes of books from a retired minister. I commented on that post that being a book lover, this made me green with envy! A few days later I received a comment on a post on this blog from Doug Townsdin that his mother had some books that belonged to his dad – a preacher – who had passed away some time back. She wanted to give those books to me. So I met his mother and recieved four big boxes of books. Of course I’ve already scanned them, but I can’t wait to go through them. Isn’t that the neatest thing? I really felt blessed by this sweet family. Doug was the first person I bumped into when I walked into the fairgrounds Thursday morning. I may post some of the ‘best of’ books from the boxes … but I’ve got a lot of catching up to do.
While I was gone Cornel Johnson preached in my place. I did him a nice power point slide up with his name on it. However, I always get confused. Is he a “Cornell” or a “Cornel”? So I always second guess myself and change whatever I put first. I had it wrong on the slide, of course, and this gave him great delight as an opportunity to razz me while I was out of pocket. Brother Corn___ had a great message, as expected. I appreciate his help this weekend.
Back in Pacagoula. It feels good to be home. Lance Temarius is here with a dozen college students and there are three from Hope Missions in Pennsylvania here. Lance will speak for us Wednesday night. He is a great brother doing a super job on campus. Well, I think I will try to go to bed now … too many things running through my mind though!
Thanks, God … it was just what I needed.