Posted tagged ‘Louisville’

Reflections on My First SBC Annual Meeting: 10 Lowlights

June 30, 2009

At the SBC 2009 in Louisville, there were far more highlights than there were lowlights, as seen in my previous post.  However, there were some significant moments and observations I came away with from my first SBC Annual Meeting that were rather discouraging.  Here are some that I jotted down:

1.  Morris Chapman

What Morris Chapman did as a part of the Executive Committee report should be enough to bring about his resignation.  It was that bad.  Seriously.  Whether he claims ignorance or spoke with such ill-informed knowledge, the level of incompetence and grandstanding for political agendas as the most influential bureaucrat in the SBC is appalling. There is too much power and pulpit for one man among a convention of autonomous, local churches to continually say such things without accountability to the convention he is positioned as the Executive Committee CEO.

2.  Motions & Moralism

It has been pointed out already by several that motions can be made by any credentialed messenger at the SBC and that the motions do not necessarily represent the common voice of the SBC populace.  While that is true, I do believe the motions reveal a lot about the ongoing need for the recovery of the gospel in the SBC.  The Pastor’s Conference centered a great deal on gospel unity, passion for mission, and a commitment to seeing renewal in our local churches.  The motions, however, focused on education, boycotts, homosexuals, drinking, cussing, flags, etc., all of which leads me to the next lowlight.

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Reflections on My First SBC Annual Meeting: 10 Highlights

June 26, 2009

As usual, I’m one of the last people to get around to writing a summary of their experience at the Southern Baptist Convention Annual Meeting in Louisville, KY.  I mentioned in my previous post that this was my first time ever attending one of these, so I was eager to make the most of it.  Each day began around 4:45am and did not end until midnight, and due to the high volume of tweeting, texting, and emailing, I was recharging the iPhone 2-3 times a day.

Generally speaking, this was an off-year and expected to be a down year in attendance as a result.  However, the news of the Great Commission Resurgence task force coupled with the strategic location where there is a higher concentration of informed and interested younger Southern Baptists, the economic recession and off-year scheduling could not keep back the 8,500+ messengers, many of whom were in my generation.  This is significant because it is over a thousand more than last year when a key Presidential election was taking place.

During the flight back, I took some time to bullet point some of the highlights and lowlights of my first SBC experience.  In this post, I want to mention some highlights to be followed by some lowlights in a follow-up post. Now for some highlights.

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SBC – Louisville

June 21, 2009

Today I leave for Louisville, KY to participate in my first ever SBC Annual Meeting.  That might surprise some of you, but after this week, I will have walked the aisle and accepted fried chicken into stomach.  But seriously, I am really looking forward to seeing many friends (too many to mention here) and meeting other folks for the first time.

I will not be live-blogging the deal, but I am thinking about posting a little video journal if I’m given the opportunity.  I will try to keep the Twitter birdie active for those who want to get the sights and sounds of my travels.  I promise to keep it light-hearted and fun (and plenty of pictures). I might even give you the scoop on how I am single-handedly marshaling the GCR from the smoke-filled room behind the security guards. 😉

For those wanting to watch what goes down live, you can catch the live feed here.  I’ looking forward to being in the city where I spent four years of my life and being enriched with godly influences.  And no, Joe Thorn, I will not have an Olan Mills picture taken with you.  Sorry.

See you in Lou-ah-vul.

POTW :: gettyup!

May 24, 2008

View in Flickr (see it LARGE)

View in Flickr (see it LARGE)

View in Flickr (see it LARGE)

Yesterday evening, my father and I finally arrived in Cape Coral, Florida after four long days of packing and moving. Tuesday afternoon, we traveled up to Louisville in a little U-Haul carrying some stuff we had stored away in Alabama. Wednesday morning, we, along with six other brothers, loaded the trailer which was completed by dinner time. After cleaning up the apartment and loading up the cars with stuff, we headed south Thursday morning to complete the first leg of our trip–our destination being Blakely, Georgia–home of the world-famous youth pastor/politician/movie producer Brad Hughes.

Brad and his sweet momma were kind enough to allow us to crash at their place. Not to my surprise, Brad was not home because he, according to his account, was traveling back from Panama City Beach where he had taken some actors and actresses for the day. You see, his county (Early County) has this thing going called EC2055 which is a 50-year plan of revitalizing their county, and Brad is a key player in the implementation of this vision. One of the industries being brought to their county is the film industry, and currently there is a horror film being produced just a few miles from Brad’s house. The executive director of EC2055 has asked Brad to help administrate this aspect of the vision, meaning that Brad is working with a production company–something which he has called something like “Freezer Locker Productions” (don’t ask me why). So now the pastor/politician can add another p to his repertoire, viz., “producer.”

So this explains the photos above, for, while we were patiently awaiting his cowboy boots and perfectly parted bangs, we did not expect to hear the sound of a train coming down the road. It wasn’t a train, of course, but rather the biggest honkin’ truck I have ever seen in my life. Brad says that it is the moving billboard for EC2055; I say it is their toy to make every NASCAR fan of Early County jealous. This thing is monstrous (you actually sit higher than the truckers) and even has a Caterpillar engine in it. So this goes out to all my homies in Limestone County, Alabama–check that. 😉

Getting up the next morning, we hopped climbed into the monster truck, and headed to the actual wooded area where the movie was being shot. We were allowed to watch about an hour’s worth of the production which was pretty cool. I’ve seen the making of movies on television documentaries before, but seeing it in person gives it a whole new perspective, especially since Brad reneged on his oh-so solid commitment to come to Louisville, eat some Q-doba, and help me load the trailer (instead he hung out with the cast and crew on Panama City Beach!). Brad, just think: if you were still the editor-in-chief of P&P, you could edit this post, but . . . 🙂

All in all, there were not too many problems or obstacles this week in the move, except perhaps the excessive number of old people in Florida who drive 55 miles an hour in the left lane of I-75, causing the traffic to function like a big slinky (don’t get me started). We arrived in Cape Coral to 95 degree temperature with sweltering humidity (and I would have you know that I was wearing sweat pants!). Not cool (seriously).

For those who may not have heard the story, my move to Louisville was one of the worst days of my life (at least in recent history). It was terribly hot, and there was a steady downpour during the entire time of moving. Thinking I had my library of books safely covered in a tarp in the back of my truck, I chose to unload them last. Little did I know, water had been accumulating in the bed of the truck, and by the time I recognized this problem, three inches of water had soaked all the boxes of books, causing me to lost approximately $800 worth of valuable material, many of which had marked my spiritual journey significantly.

The last day in Louisville could not be any more different. Partly sunny and 72 degrees with a gentle breeze, we had the perfect weather for loading. More than that, God provided some of the most gracious brothers who gave of their time and energy to help me move out. Men like Kyle Barrett, Toby Jennings, Micah Childs, Dan Canales, Terry Delaney, and Stephen Newell are reasons why my heart has been refreshed and overflowing with gratitude. Their labor of love was a gift of encouragement and blessing that allowed me to close the door of this chapter of my life with a smile on my face and joy in my heart. None of these men (and many others) I knew four years ago, and Lord willing, these friendships will continue for many years to come.

Upon the encouragement and exhortation of some of my friends, I am thinking about taking the time to blog about the transitioning seminarian turned pastor and the situations, struggles, adjustments, and lessons I have learned during this time. I am not quite sure how that would work out or what it would look like, but if some of the things God has and continues to teach me during this time could be an encouragement or help to others, then I think it could prove to be a fruitful exercise. We’ll see.

Sorry for the late POTW, and I pray you have a blessed Lord’s Day!

POTW :: dandunk

March 29, 2008

View in Flickr (see it LARGE)

View in Flickr (see it LARGE)

View in Flickr (see it LARGE)

As I mentioned last week, I along with my bride and boy, enjoyed Easter services at Sojourn here in Louisville, celebrating in the occasion of Dan Canales’ baptism. I have been meaning to visit Sojourn for a long time, and I was excited to finally have the opportunity of worshiping Jesus there. I was really encouraged to see how Sojourn handles the ordinances of baptism and Lord’s Supper (they partake of the Lord’s Supper every Sunday). Before each baptism, their community group leader reads their testimony on stage. All the testimonies are provided in a nice pamphlet in the bulletin (here’s the cover). After that, the church affirms their testimony and confession of faith, and they are baptized.

On a lighter note, does anyone else think that Dan looks like he is driving a boxcar in the middle photo (go speedracer!)?

On the photographer side of things, I quickly realized that I was needing to shoot in high ISO mode (3200 ISO) because it was so dark (plus with the stage light being a strong back light, I was concerned about Dan being silhouetted and miss capturing this moment for him. The bad part is that such high ISO’s produce lots of noise (grain), especially when you are shooting a worn out 20D like mine. I figured, instead of trying to get rid of it to use it to create a better feel for the images. Anyway, you can see about a dozen of them in this set which I created on Flickr.

In other photography news, you have noticed on my sidebar some portraiture. My friend Lindsay (not Lindsey) Swartz (not Schwartz) asked me to snap a few photos for her upcoming graduation here at Southern. So we walked around downtown Louisville a bit as well as the waterfront park to take some pictures. It has been a long time since I have taken portraits, and I think the first time doing a session like this. However, I am pleased with how they are turning out. To view the images, you can go to this set on Flickr or watch them in a slideshow. I will be uploading some more as I complete the post-production of the images.

So I got my bike last week too. Really fun. Really painful. I marked a couple of short 3-5 mile rides for beginners like me, and man the wind was brutal. I rode in the rain a couple of days ago and didn’t realize how much the tires kick up water and mud on your rear end. Lessons learned. My goal is to be able to ride 10 miles (in an hour) before leaving Louisville, and a far-fetched goal is to do a Sprint Triathlon (I know, yeah right) by the end of October of this year. I have gone ahead and marked the races in Florida for 2008 on a Google Map which, if you are interested, you can find here (they are various kinds of multi-sport races, such as duathlons, triathlons, aquabike, etc.).

Lastly, I can’t help but post a pic or two of my little boy Nolan. Here’s a couple from Easter Sunday morning. 🙂

POTW :: Benchmark

March 22, 2008

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View in Flickr (see it LARGE)

Two photos: one from last week and the other from yesterday evening. Actually, the top photo was my favorite from my shots of the snow as I really liked the feel of it. The funny thing about it was that I was riding down the road with my window down when I took this shot (not recommended). The second photo is from downtown Louisville when I was checking my gear before taking photos for a friend (graduation time). Actually, it was pretty fun as we walked through downtown a little, taking shots here and there and finally ending up back at the waterfront park (which right now is water-logged park after all the rain!). I will be posting some photos from yesterday’s excursion on Flickr soon.

The month of March marks two 3-year anniversaries for me. First, this month marks three years that I have been blogging. In real life, that is not very long, but in the blogosphere, I think I am old enough to be grumpy and hard of hearing. But alas, after all these hours clocked in on the laptop, the faded letters and lasting imprints of my palms remind me of the investment made on this small corner of the evangelical blogosphere. Seriously, I have learned a ton, met some wonderful people, and been given some amazing opportunities to encourage and help other believers love Jesus and grow in their relationship with him. I really look forward, Lord willing, to being a greater influence for the glory of God, the building of His church, and the stewardship of the gospel of which we have been entrusted.

The second 3-year anniversary is my friend with Dan Canales. Funny thing, if you look closely at today’s header, you can see Dan in the lens (he took the photo). Actually, Dan is the one responsible for getting me into photography and taught me everything I know. As of yesterday, he has also gotten me into cycling (no Dan, I will not join you for your 112 mile bike ride today – sorry brother). But three years ago, God allowed me to get Dan into Jesus, and the past three years has been a wonderful time of growing in the Lord together (Dan was the first person God put into my life at UPS). Tomorrow, Dan is going to be baptized at Sojourn here in Louisville, and I, Dusti, and Nolan are super excited about going to Sojourn tomorrow to celebrate what God has done in the life of our dear brother. Times like this, I feel a little like John who said, “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.” I am even more excited now, three years later, than the day I witnessed the grace of God arrest and change the life of my brother. Knowing that our days are few here in Louisville, this anniversary is bitter sweet, but I know that God will continue this work and raise up folks to accomplish his purposes.

My heart is full, and there is so much to say about life these days. Really exciting, really busy, really good. All because of Jesus, who died and rose again for my sin and to bring me to God. Everything counts because of the resurrection. I just pray that I live like it.

POTW :: Frozen Serenity

March 14, 2008

View in Flickr (see it LARGE)

View in Flickr (see it LARGE)

View in Flickr (see it LARGE)

View in Flickr (see it LARGE)

Last Sunday after church, I decided to go for a ride into the country with my camera. I figured that it would probably be the last significant snow I will see in a long time, so I took a spin around the backroads of the bluegrass state for about three hours, snapping a few pictures whenever it was possible. It was a really great time of silence and solitude, except for the fact that bathrooms were hard to come by when you are way out there. The pictures above are some of the scenes of my little excursion. In the future, I hope to have a bicycle as my main means of transportation, especially since I have sinned against the god of global warming with my carbon footprint (no really, I just need a bike so I can start exercising more).

I want to say again how much I appreciate all the wonderful support and encouragement we have received from you regarding our transition to Grace Baptist Cape Coral. We could not be more overwhelmed and overjoyed at where God has us in our lives. During these next 2-3 months, we will be working hard to make this transition as smooth as possible.

A couple of things to note coming up. Several have asked for some tips about “live-blogging”, so I am planning on writing a post in the next day or two. It will just be my take on the deal, providing some tips for before, during, and after the live-blogging of the event. Over the next couple of weeks, I am teaching on “intentional evangelism” at church, and I thought maybe we could discuss it a little on the blog as well (post maybe forthcoming). Also, I have talked with Owen and Jason (who blog with me here) about doing a mini-series on missional work, building off the post from last week on evangelism in the workplace and how that relates to one’s vocation. In any case, I am looking forward to that. There will be another post on Blue Collar Theology, focusing on recent resources on Christology. Finally, I have a post scheduled to go up entitled “ministerially speaking” where I will raise the issue of Southern Baptist statistics and biblical church growth (the two do not appear to be the same).

Hope everyone has a fantastic weekend! Grace always . . .

“Thunder Snow” in Louisville!

March 8, 2008

My wife and I had been hoping that we would have one more nice snow before we leave Louisville, and lo and behold, last night we got a “Thunder Snow” where a foot of snow fell on the ground. I think it was the first time I had seen snowfall with thunder and lightning. But here’s the deal. My wife and son are in Alabama this weekend for our nephew’s birthday, so I am left here by my lonesome self to figure out what to do. 😦

Project 1: Take the snow from the balcony and build baby Nolan his own snowman for him to see when he gets back.

Project 2: Shovel snow on the walkway so that my neighbors and elderly can get around easier.

Project 3: Build the biggest snowmen on the block to make all the other kids jealous.

Needless to say, I have a lot of work to do! If I could get around, I would take some pictures, but these will have to do for now. Maybe tomorrow. Here’s the view from my couch. Looks like fun!

Project Updates:

Project #1 was completed in roughly 1 1/2 hours. From the snow on our balcony, I was able to make this 3 1/2 foot snowman for baby Nolan:

Project #2 was completed in two hours. In all, I shoveled approximately 75 yards of snow and two stairwells. Funny thing was, after I was done, our apartment maintenance guy came around the corner with a suped-up snow blower. Then again, he was slower with the snow blower than I was with the shovel. 🙂 Oh, and I listened to Darrin Patrick’s message “Gospel-centered Churches” which he gave at Acts 29 Bootcamp last year as well as Daniel Montgomery on Jesus engaging the world (from Matt. 9:36-10:5). Both messages were excellent and encouraged me to live more missionally with my neighbors. Here’s the results from Project 2:

Speaking of living missionally, in case you missed it, Dr. Bill Wagner, who will be nominated for president of the SBC, argues that if you are a Calvinist you will be less missional. To counteract that claim, and in the spirit of the call of the whosoever will, I made sure to call my snowman to repentance. 🙂 He seemed to like my message:

Project #3 has yet to be completed. I’ve got to do some grown-up things like study and shave, so the abominable snowman will have to be put on hold for now.