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Checking in from Nashville, TN

I’m a little bit later than usual in updating this site, but I’m also a timezone removed from where I usually update it. Yesterday, after spending over a hour shoveling out the car, the house, and a neighbor’s driveway, I left behind the cold and the snow and caught a flight to Nashville (where it’s merely cold—there doesn’t seem to be any snow). I am here for the Nashville Conference on the Church & Theology where I’ll be speaking tomorrow afternoon. We’ll also be hearing messages from D.A. Carson and Steve Lawson. I’ll be spending much of the day preparing for my message tomorrow. The conference kicks off this evening with Dr. Carson giving a message on “Keeping Up with the Conversation”—an overview of the Emergent Movement and the Emerging Church.

Whenever I travel I tend to buy myself a book at the airport and it’s usually something popular and easy to read. I love to just veg out on the plane by reading something enjoyable but not too serious. I typically spend just about every moment between the time I get onto the plane and the time I get off reading. I’m so boring. Yesterday I browsed around the airport bookstore and couldn’t find the right book. Nothing really leaped out at me. Eventually I settled on a book called Sugar. It is a 400+ page history of sugar. Needless to say, it is quite fascinating. No, really! The author shows just how great an impact sugar has had on the world and through the first couple hundred pages I’ve learned a lot. Honest. I’ll write a review when I’ve finished it.

Yesterday’s flight was interesting. Because it was Air Canada, it was an hour late leaving the ground. They compensated for their tardiness by offering free alcohol—something I’ve never seen before (and a deal I’m not interested in taking advantage of!). I was sitting next to a guy who staked his claim to all neutral ground and to about 30% of my space. He wasn’t a particularly big guy, but somehow he seemed to overflow. The seats on this plane were particularly narrow so perhaps that didn’t help. Before we even left the ground he had already fallen asleep and was continually moaning rather than snoring. He’d take a deep breath and then go “Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.” Again and again. It was kind of funny, really. He didn’t say a word the whole time but did take the time to scowl at me when a little corner of the packet of the snack we had been given blew over into his area. You never know who you’re going to be rubbing shoulders with (quite literally) when you fly. I’m never sure if a prefer the surly, quiet types or the happy, chatty types. I’m always hoping for the opportunity to have some good conversation, but so far that has usually eluded me.

And that’s all I’ve got for you today. I will check in with some conference updates over the weekend. Meanwhile, if you would be willing to pray for me, that God would bless me as I seek to share His Word tomorrow, I’d be grateful!

And by way of P.S., since I did not have opportunity to write an A La Carte today, I thought I’d make you aware of this. Boundless Magazine has just published an article I wrote called Involuntary Community. It is based on an article I first wrote here but has been extended, tidied up, and I hope, made better.


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