Well, here i am sitting in a New York City hotel room getting ready to go to dinner in a few hours with a bunch of Sr. Pastors and their wives. Sara and I have spent much of the day travelling and wandering around Times Square. We are here to look at the church planting efforts of the Orchard Group and just talk ministry and be refreshed (and write a sermon and keep up with e-mails:-) I started Sunday's sermon today at 35,000 feet - closer to God, better studying :-)
But I wanted to reflect yesterday on my visit to East Tennessee and our campus visit for Caleb to register at Johnson Bible College. God willing he will be a student there next Fall (and God willing I can afford it:-) Anyway, very cool roaming around this scenic campus in the hills of the smokey mtns - the fall day was perfect - 65 degrees and sunshine and fall colors. Anyway, we spent time walking through the old part of the campus - the old main building that has stood since 1905! This is always such a blast from the past for me and Sara - such formative years in our lives. I learned to preach here, met my wife here and grew up in so many ways here!
Mom went with and every once in a while, I'd see a tear come to her cheek..you see her and my father were newly weds here in the early 60's and she has nearly fifty years of memories that come flooding back. Beyond that, my great uncle Frank Baker (my grandpa's brother) was a student in the late forties and early fifties here. Lot's of tradition and preaching in my family of which I'm honored to be a part. It was a very relaxing and renewing time.
If Caleb is a student at Johnson, I hope to have several such trips over the next few years. My greatest tempation of the weekend was to stay and go the the Tennessee game at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday (that would have put me back into Normal around 4:00 a.m. on a Sunday morning - not a good idea for any preacher), but wiser heads (Sara) prevailed!