This morning Marlene and I are flying to Reno, Nevada for the Spring Bible Conference at Sierra Bible Church. This is our fourth time to visit this fine congregation. It all started almost ten years ago when I spoke for Dallas Seminary Week at Mount Hermon Conference Center in California. Someone from the church in Reno heard me and invited me to come for their Bible conference in 2006. That turned out to be such a wonderful time in the Lord that the elders asked me to come back again in 2007. Last year we traveled to Reno a third time. And now we are going back a fourth time.
When you return to a church multiple times, it must be because God has caused a bond of deep friendship to develop. Even though Reno is a long way from Tupelo, we don’t feel like visitors. We feel like part of the church family. Senior Pastor Greg Kuehn and his sidekick (Is that an official title?), Executive Pastor Dave Smith, have gone above and beyond to welcome us. Greg kept telling me back in 2007 that I needed an iPhone. He was right. Last year he told me I needed an iPad. Right again. I am sure he’ll have more ideas for me this year.
Things are a little different in Reno. I remember that on our first trip in 2006, we met with the elders and their wives at a dining room in one of the local casinos. Great buffet, by the way.
The church is warm and friendly, with a real heart to minister the Word to the community. We have many friends in Reno and many who pray for Keep Believing Ministries. I look on it as one of God’s serendipities that a “chance” meeting at Mt. Hermon led to a lasting friendship in Reno.
And that’s why we’re heading west today.
PS Check out those “All In” chips. Pastor Greg had them made up after I preached my “All in for Jesus” message on our first trip to Reno.