I just got back yesterday from a little trip to Chicago. Every year around this time the denomination that PCC is a part of and that I serve in has a conference. It's usually held in the cold of Chicago (my roots) to give true meaning to it's name: MidWinter Conference. It was cold and snowy--and thankfully I got in an out by plane with no major delays. Amidst workshops and large gatherings sessions meant to teach, equip, and encourage pastors and church leaders I got to hang out with family and friends. This was probably the most refreshing for me. Although it is so hard to leave my wife and daughter, I fully appreciate Wendy's sacrifice of being a single mom for five days (not easy with no daddy breaks) so I could go! I missed them a lot but had a lot of time to brag on them and show slideshows of Isella through my computer :)!
The most significant times were spent with a some good old friends from college just praying and talking about what God is doing in their lives, churches, and families. Another highlight was visiting my Alma Mater -North Park University--and doing dinner with the college students from PCC. Along with fellow PCC friends/co-ministers--Gary and Marilyn, we made our way to familiar territory of Chicago's north side. Re-entering the famed Anderson hall dorm was like a dejavu!
Holly, Elle, Christy, Jenny, and Justin (honorary PCC member as a former intern) went out to my favorite Mexican restuarant Garcia's. We had such cool conversation. I was reminded of the "good old days" of college life. Those years at NPU were so formative in my understanding of God and the church. I lived among great lovers of God who weren't just talking--they were walking. Even at a Christian school it is not easy to find people who are serious about their relationship with God. As we talked (over some of the best burritos ever), I was so encouraged to hear these college Christians wresling with issues on campus and dreaming about their future. I pray that this generation goes deep into God's heart (Ephesians 3). I pray that they would truly understand his love and respond appropriately and authentically. I pray that they are protected from the enemy's seduction and deception (Ephesians 6 and 1 Peter 5) and I pray that they enjoy God's love and live in their identity as his Child (Ephesians 1-2)! What a time well spent. Talking about life, future, the church, and good issues. Add some laughs about Christian culture and some good music and youtube suggestions ( I spent an hour on itunes later that night looking up their suggestions and found some new favorites) and it was an all around good night to connect with our church family!
Awesome part is that it snowed and made the town look beautiful.
PS. I welcome your comments--and I am always looking for good music suggestions. What kind of music selections? Any really--but mostly--funk, blues, rock, dance, alternative, Euro, Latin, folk, electronic, jazz, and pop. I'm picky about rap/hip-hop, oldies, classical and country. I like some selected few. I've been into maybe a handful of hard-core. So any you can send my way would be great. I've got an itunes card to use.