Last week passed WAY too quickly! I always come back emotionally spent and physically worn out. This year was no exception. I have had several days now to rest and reflect on the blessings of attending the Pepperdine lectures again, and here are some of the hightlights:
The singing each time we gathered in the Firestone Fieldhouse for a key-note talk. I really believe it's the closest thing to what heaven is going to sound like that I have ever heard. I could stay there for HOURS singing with those brothers and sisters of mine.
Listening to the key-note lessons each day. Don McLaughlin started us out Tuesday night with a POWERFUL lesson, and it never slowed down. I know I am prejudice, but I thought the Harding guys delivered the best lessons, with Randy Harris leading the way. The guy never ceases to amaze me.
Mike Cope with Zoe every day in the Smothers Theatre. Every day a lot of people had to be turned away because there is just not enough seats to hold everybody that wants to be there! This year may have been the best classes I have ever heard Mike do......the topic being "Grace". Each time I hear him I am reminded of how MUCH he impacted my life the years he was here in Searcy......and THOUSANDS of other lives also. If you can only order CD's from one class, I would suggest you order this one.
Sheryl Thomas sang "Redeemer" for the first time in about 4 years, and just like the last time she did it, I don't think there was a dry eye in the place! UNBELIEVABLE!
Our reception went REALLY great, with LOTS of people coming out to reconnect with old friends and classmates from their time in Searcy. Jerry gives us the biggest room on campus, and we fill it up! If you come next year please plan on stopping by and saying hello to everybody. I want to thank the four Harding Board members who took the time to come and visit with everybody........Jerry Morgan, Jimmy Cone, Bill Chism, and Mark Wallis. From what they tell me, they plan on being there EVERY year!
Hearing the folks from Africa tell their stories. Ida Bazoonona from Uganda just about stole the show Wednesday night, and that is according to Randy Harris who had to try and follow her! Hearing her and her husband Richard, Sarah Ageno, and Chi Ekwenye made me feel like I was back home.......home in Africa. If I had to pick one highlight of the whole week to hold on to, it would be that Chi and I got to sing "Send the Light" together in Igbo. I had not sang that with another Nigerian since 1966. If you don't know about Chi and the orphanage she runs in Nigeria, please contact me so I can tell you more about it. She is an amazing servant for the Lord!
Reconnecting with people that I have loved a LONG LONG time and don't get to see very often.......folks like Tommy Drinnen, Lynn Anderson, Marty Farrar, Doug Foster, Steve Cloer, Bruce Morgan, Charles and Nanette Roberts, Ken and Ann Cope,
Gary Selby, James Wiser, Greg Brown, Tom Olbricht, Curt Sparks, Clayton Tuggle, Bud and Jamie Wilson, Mike Bucchi, and many others I know I am leaving out. I so much appreciate the common love and bond we have as Christians!
Thanks again to Jerry Rushford and his staff for the blessing you give us EVERY year!