It’s just two hours. The time difference is only two hours between Texas and California. And I’ve already been here two nights, plenty of time to get acclimated, but my body is waking up at 5am. And that’s not good when we’re not getting to bed until midnight. California time. I can do six or seven hours of sleep. I’m not that good on five.
We’re well into Day Two now of the Spiritual Growth Workshop out here in Fresno. I’m being blessed by meeting and getting to know brothers and sisters from all over the Central Valley. I’m encouraged by the young and talented preachers proclaiming the Word out here and inspired by the older guys who are sharing their faith and wisdom. I’m excited to be speaking on my favorite gospel, Mark, to a hungry group of men and women. And I’m enjoying some of the local cuisine. Armenian schwarma Wednesday afternoon. Some kind of spicy steak sandwich thing at Piazza del Pane last night. And then tri-tip later today (anybody ever heard of tri-tip? I think it’s a California thing. BBQ brisket by a different name). I’m not leaving until I get an In-And-Out burger. Hopefully sometime tomorrow. The very first Chick-Fil-A just opened up here in Fresno two weeks ago, about a mile from the church building here. So we’ve been there twice already, dinner Wednesday and lunch yesterday. It’s a Woodward Park cult thing right now. And Gardner’s leading the charge. The way he promotes it—EVEN FROM THE PULPIT!—I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s getting some kind of under-the-table cut from that place.
It’s great getting caught up with Jim & Mandy Gardner and their sweet girls. And Jimmy Mitchell. I can’t imagine being in charge of organizing and orchestrating a huge workshop like this. But Jim seems to thrive on it. Being out here is a true blessing for me. And I’m grateful for the opportunity.
There are a few things that would drive me crazy if I lived out here. None more than the fact that prime time football games kick of at 5pm. How would anybody ever handle that? We got out to the car at 8:20 last night and USC was just then atttempting that desperation on-side kick with 71-seconds left in the Trojans upset loss to the Beavers in Corvalis. We were home by 8:30 but had missed the entire game. DVR is one thing. But on a consistent basis, that would just be too much.
It is wide open now with USC going down. Texas has an outside shot now. ‘Bama and LSU are in prime position to take advantage. But OU has the best opportunity to make a case for top billing tomorrow. The Sooners will be out to “hang half a hunnerd,” as Barry Switzer used to say, on TCU. Life would be pretty lousy if Oklahoma’s ranked #1. Go Horned Frogs.