Today was a very early morning after a very late night. But with that aside I was still able to wake up enough to remember why I hate all alarm clocks and take out any and all aggression on it.
Eventually I got myself down to the main floor where there is a Starbucks so that I could get my coffee on. 30 minutes later I had finished my devotion while still in line ready to order. You gotta love convention Starbucks shops where everyone at the convention is addicted to coffee :)
I had an 8:00 am seminar that I wanted to go to put on by Dan Kimball. I am really glad I got up early and went to this because it was well worth the lack of sleep that i received a night earlier. Dan shared with us the idea of what happens to our post-youth group teens as they leave their comfortable youth group situations and enter the 'real world'. After being confronted by an old student and told to his face that he was a liar this convicted him to start earlier and talking with youth about tough but important topics. He gave a layout of main key issues that he saw important to talk about and gave some detail on them. I walked away from this session feeling very encouraged and challenged to really take more time planning out what I am teaching and how I am teaching and is this relevant to my students, and how do I make this more relevant for them?
The first main session that we had was really good as well. The worship was led by a band called Lincoln Brewster and the main speaker was Mark Yaconelli who challenged us to do like his young son wanted to since a young age and live life a little bit more slow. Away from all the distractions in life so that we could focus on God's creation and the wonderful person of Jesus who is all around us every day and that we sometimes have to put down all the devises and distractions to really truthfully connect with God. Somehow this all ended with a huge disco ball and Mark dancing in a disco outfit in front of a few thousand youth workers. More on this tomorrow.
After this I went to a Super session than focused on Middle School Students and this Middle School ministry that is at the center of my life right now. It took us all from the bottom up. It reminded us of some of the things that we knew, forgot, or maybe even thought we heard but didn't. And for others the talk was fresh and brand new. My point is, is that no matter what your background this session was valuable for every Middle School volunteer or potential volunteer.
And it was LUNCH TIME! So Ty and I decided to get a big hot dog or brat from one of those street carts. It was delicious except for that everything food wise is really good and expensive in Nashville.
We also had the joy of spending some time in a very vintage guitar shop where people sit around talking about the memories of sitting around the campfire with their kids after a long hard day of hunting and shooting a big ol buck. I promise you this actually happened.....no exaggeration.
The evening convention was very interesting. The person speaking was a Christian and also a genealogist; furthermore, he had appeared on the Cobert Report. His name was Francis Collins, I really enjoyed the first half of what he had to say even though much of it was very controversial with modern evangelicals. He was also trying to explain the connection between Christianity and evolution. This part really lost me. Not that I did not understand what he was saying but I thought his points were weak and not supported in a well fashioned way. Although I appreciated his willingness to be honest with his struggles and his desire to work through his struggles.
The best part of the night was shooting finger rockets at Marko and Tic.
At the end of the night my friend Ty and I had great conversations at the 'bridge' to discuss what he had experienced and learned that day. We also had many other discussions about faith, church, and ministry.
It was a great day!