These words are coming to you from the winter wonderland of Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Along with my wife and several other adult sponsors I have the privilege of chaperoning a group of teenagers from Delaware, Pennsylvania and New Jersey in attendance at Winterfest 2007.
While it still feels like today, it is actually already become yesterday’s tomorrow. To make this cross-country journey we boarded our bus at about 4:30 AM on Friday. We’ve traveled a ‘fer piece’ today.
Today’s (yesterday’s) highlights included:
— A nasty fall while helping load the bus this morning. Actually, I was on my way to help load the bus. Our church facilities are positioned on a relatively small but steep hill. The road up the hillside has a couple of sharp curves which prevented the driver gaining enough speed to cross the ice barrier created by runoff in order to reach the parking lot. So, we had to load the bus in the roadway at the bottom of the hill. When I was making my way down the icy drive down to the bottom of the hill, I was being so careful. I was getting reasonable traction with my brand new Adidas walking shoes. I thought I was out of danger, having reached a relatively level spot at the bottom of the steepest part of the drive. What looked like a blanket of snow was actually a rock-hard frozen sheet of ice. One instant I was feeling my oats, like I’d conquered the hill. The next, I was giving the night sky a look at the bottoms of my brand new sneekers. The fall didn’t really hurt. But, man-oh-man did the landing hurt! Fortunately, no one saw a thing. So, I was spared the embarassment of everyone talking about the preacher’s crash landing before we’d ever even taken off!
— An uneventful but long bus ride from the right coast to Tennessee. I still need to get our bus driver’s permission to post his photograph. Stay tuned for breaking developments.
— Waiting in line outside the Gatlinburg Convention Center in 20 degree weather for more than 30 minutes before our first session got underway. This photograph shows a few of the almost 6,000 people who joined us for the wait.
— Listening to a really funny comedy group called 321 Improv.
— Soul-stirring worship led by Watershed.
— Vibrant preaching from Philippians by Mitch Wilburn.
— A concert by this group you might have heard of: Jars of Clay. Check out these two photographs I took during the concert:
Please pray for our safe return trip tomorrow!
Blessings to all,