We just returned home from the Pepperdine Lectures and it was excellent, as always. I struggled some through the weak from losing my voice and having to really try to find some time to rest each day. If I met you and I was extra quiet, I apologize for that…I was just really struggling to keep my voice. My voice completely left the building within 5 minutes of doing the opening prayer on Tuesday night and came back nearly completely just before doing my Friday morning class. If it had to go, I am more than thankful that it was mostly there for the times I really had to have it.
It was great seeing just about everyone you can imagine…from Mike Cope and Rick Gibson who did a fantastic job lining things up this year for the lectures (and I am sure even for next year as well)… to Jerry Rushford (who looked completely relaxed 😉 to Bobby Valentine (who seemed like he was in his element and at peace), to John Mark Hicks (who I just continue to grow in my appreciation of his scholarship), to Sean Palmer, Jonathan Storment, Josh Graves (who helped out by sharing their insights on a preaching panel with me…much thanks guys!), to Walter Brueggeman…who I had no intention of meeting but in all of his humility and gregariousness just walked up and introduced himself (I was floored) to Josh Ross (great checking in with him on a few things…great guy) to Darin Hamm (who is always such an encouragement) to Tim Spivey and Jim Martin and Chris Seidman, Brandon Scott Thomas (who looks more like Kiefer Sutherland than I would have thought), Sara Barton (so full of grace, patience and kindness) and so many others who deeply encouraged me this week. I have to include others like Gailyn Van Rheenan, Stan Granberg, Jason Locke, Charles Kiser, Rex Butts, Mark Adams and Scott Lambert. I know I am leaving out a lot people here and I apologize for that.
I am indebted to every single one of you in more ways than of you can imagine. Thank you brothers and sisters…you are a blessing to the kingdom. I am constantly reminded why I love our fellowship in the Churches of Christ. We really do get theology and communicate it extremely well. Not only that, we have a really good practical theology – we know how to turn the meaning of scripture into reality and that thrills me.
I don’t know what next year’s theme is yet but I hope you will make plans to attend!