Reflections on the last seven days . . .
Last Sunday morning I preached for my friend Colin Smith at Arlington Heights Evangelical Free Church in suburban Chicago. This was my third time to preach there on Sunday morning, and I commented that by the third time you no longer feel like a visitor but more like an extended member of the congregation. In his videotaped introduction, Colin mentioned that he and I have helped each other out during some difficult moments. I am happy to say that the church is doing well and making big plans for the future.
On Monday I managed to survive my interview marathon but it was a close call in terms of my voice. After doing twelve radio interviews and an hour-long TV interview, I got a taste of what many political leaders go through almost every day. I guess they just get used to talking all the time. One good thing about doing so many interviews back to back to back is that you get to hone your message because you answer so many of the same questions.
I did get one unusual question during a live interview on a radio station in Minneapolis. A caller wanted to know if Satan is on the earth, and if the astronauts were in the space station, could he somehow leave the earth and go to the space station and tempt the astronauts. No answer will be quite sufficient for a question like that.
On Tuesday night we had a board meeting for Keep Believing Ministries. We added two new members–Steve Wilson and Skip Olson, and we voted to order a reprint of An Anchor for the Soul from Moody Publishers. This is a huge step forward and an answer to many prayers. Once the books arrive in a month or so, we will reopen the Book Depot that has been closed since September 2005. We plan to offer the books for prison ministry, military ministry, disaster relief and missionary outreach. During the meeting we also approved the brand-new KBM logo designed by Vince Cook. You will see it on the Keep Believing website before too long.
While we were driving back on Wednesday, I reflected on a comment someone made while we were in Chicago that travel must be so exciting. Not exactly. Travel itself is mostly exhausting. I remember a trip I made to Miami in late 2005 to speak at a conference. When someone asked me how I liked Miami, I said I didn’t know because all I saw was the inside of an airplane, the inside of a hotel room, and the inside of the convention center. I do remember stepping outside and feeling the warm, humid air. I didn’t go anywhere near South Beach or any of the other hot spots, but I can say that they have the same shows on the hotel TV in Miami that they have everywhere else. But I digress. Marlene drove most of the way home because I was almost falling asleep behind the wheel.
Dudley was very happy to see us when we picked him up on Wednesday night. He was even happier when Nick arrived yesterday with Gary, a basset hound the boys at Samford have been raising. So it’s been us and Nick plus two basset hounds this weekend. They play together, then they lay down in the gravel for a nap, and when I come outside, they hop up and follow me wherever I go. They have big floppy ears and long tails that they wag when they see you coming, and they jump up on the couch when we’re watching TV. How could you not love dogs like that?
Yesterday we went to a bank and got approved for a mortgage because we’re planning to buy a house in Tupelo. That’s the end result of many months of thinking and praying and waiting for God’s guidance. A year ago I didn’t think we would be staying in this area, but now we’re about to buy a house. And we’ve got to do it soon because after Mark and Vanessa get married in July, they plan to move to Tupelo in August. They’ll be living in the cabin where we’re living now so we plan to find a house and move in June if we can.
Our family seems to be going in all directions at once. Nick graduates from college in two weeks, Mark comes home from China in June, Mark and Vanessa get married in July, Josh and Leah go to China in August, Mark and Vanessa move to Tupelo in August, and Nick will be here also unless he ends up somewhere else. And sandwiched in between all this coming and going, I’m the Bible teacher for the Word of Life Alaskan cruise, Marlene is going to Montana for a couple of days, and I’m speaking in AL, TX, NY, KY and MI.
This afternoon I made a list of things we have to do to get ready for everything over the next few months. It was long but doable. That’s what Marlene said and she’s usually right about things like that.