Carrie-Anne and I are headed up to Tulsa for our annual time of spiritual renewal and ministry rejuvenation. The Tulsa Workshop has long been a favorite destination for us. Every year we are encouraged, uplifted, inspired, equipped, empowered, enlightened, and educated. It’s in Tulsa where we sing our lungs out, we “amen” some of the best preachers in the faith, and we’re transformed. We grow in Tulsa. We change in Tulsa.
I’m approaching this year’s three day event with the same anticipation. I’m so privileged to sit with Terry Rush in his office at 6:30 Thursday morning; what encouraging thing will he say to me this time? I’m so blessed to call Rick Atchley a good friend; what valuable advice will he give me when I see him? My life is more meaningful for knowing Rick and Beverly Ross and their whole family; how will Josh challenge me this year?; how much of their broken hearts and enduring faith will Rick and Beverly reveal to inspire me?
How much of Jeff Walling’s sermons will I steal? Who am I going to run into that I haven’t seen in ten years? How hard will Randy Harris make me laugh? How long will Chris Moore’s beard be, and how many rubber bands will be holding it in place? How many tears will roll down my cheeks as Keith Lancaster leads us in “It Is Well With My Soul” while I realize that my sin — not in part, but the whole! — has been nailed to the cross?
I’ll get to see Dan Bouchelle for the first time since I took his old job at this wonderful church in Amarillo (hopefully, nobody’s told him yet that I referred to him in a sermon two weeks ago as Central’s interim preacher). I’ll get to sing praises to our God with my wife and with our old friends from Mesquite and with new friends we haven’t even met yet and with hundreds and hundreds of Christ’s redeemed. Is Marvin Phillips still alive?!? I’ll listen to Jay Guin and Don McLaughlin and Patrick Mead. I’ll come back with books and CDs and a refreshed understanding of my own salvation and a renewed enthusiasm for the mission to which our Father has called me. And we might run into Garth Brooks again at the Mexican food restaurant.
I love the Tulsa Workshop. I highly recommend it.
My friend Jerry Schemmel, the play-by-play voice of the Colorado Rockies, has just released a brand new clothing line with a Bible-based theme. This is his baby: 1925 Sports — workout gear with logos inspired by 1 Corinthians 9:25. “…to get a crown that will last forever.”
Here’s the link. Check it out. Way to go, Jerry. Very cool. I know your schedule’s about to get really hectic. Enjoy the relative calm of the final two weeks of spring training. Someday, when you get out of baseball broadcasting to enter the full-time preaching ministry, we’ll talk about hectic. Have a great season.
The above Tim Tebow joke was submitted earlier today by Josh Penn. Thanks, Josh. See you at the Warrior Dash next month.