Skip to content ↓

Wrapping Up a Road-Trip

It was a busy day, yesterday, my last full day down here in California. Or out here in California. Or whatever the proper terminology is. I spent most of the morning preparing my chapel talk for today, eventually settling on a message about distraction in the digital age. I was asked to speak as much as possible about technology and Christian living, so thought this would address a genuine concern most students have—or at least a genuine problem they are dealing with. I’ll be preaching that message in just a few minutes. It’s not expositional, but draws on Scripture throughout.

After preparing that message (and finally taking care of my In-N-Out fix), I headed for The Master’s College. But back to In-N-Out for a moment. In-N-Out is a great California burger chain. I went through the drive-through and they asked me, “Will you be eating in the car.” Because I replied “yes,” they gave me a place mat to put over my knees and then put the food in a kind of tray; the burger was wrapped in such a way that it could be eaten with one hand. I was duly impressed. And kind of surprised. And kind of grossed out. What does it say about us as a society that restaurants are serving food in packaging specifically to be eaten in the car? Nevertheless, I went ahead and ate it, and enjoyed every bite.

Back to The Master’s College. I was given a tour around the grounds and told all about the philosophy behind the school. What a great college. It has 1010 students and is at maximum capacity until they build some new dorms. The student-to-teacher ratio is ultra-low which means academic levels are ultra-high. I was duly impressed and kind of felt a bit envious that I never got to experience this kind of a school. I’d be thrilled if my kids wanted to come out here some day.

After the tour I had dinner with some of the faculty so we could do a bit of a round-table on some of the unique challenges and opportunities that come with this digital world. And then I wrapped up the day with a Q&A with students—rather a fun event that allowed me to interact with some great young people. It was a full day, but such a good one.

Today is much simpler. I will speak at chapel until about 10:30 AM and then head for the airport. After waiting around there and after a five-hour flight (which will kind of cost me eight hours since I’ll be crossing three time zones) I’ll be back in Toronto at last.

Before I left for this trip I put together a series of little gifts for my kids, so that every day they’d be able to open something simple but fun—a gift certificate for dinner at McDonald’s, candy or chocolate, and things like that. Today is the grand finale. When they get home from school they will find a puppy waiting for them. The kids have been wanting to get a dog for years now and Aileen and I figured the time was right. They’re old enough to enjoy it and to hopefully remember the experience fondly. I’m very eager for the kids to have the experience of owning and raising a puppy.

By the time I board my airplane, the kids should be coming home and finding out that they’ve got a new friend—a Chocolate Lab who is only just old enough to be taken from its mother. As of now they have absolutely no idea. Aileen has promised to video tape it for me.

Thanks to all who have prayed for me this week. I’m glad to say that my voice has pretty much held together, despite a pretty good cold. I’ve really felt the Lord’s favor as I’ve spoken both in Boston and in L.A. The Lord has been kind. And I’m trusting that his kindness will bring me back to my family later today.


  • A La Carte Thursday 1

    A La Carte (May 30)

    A La Carte: Seeking wisdom without training wheels / Zealous polemicists / The actual divisive ones / What is Christian Nationalism? / Are the stories of Jesus borrowed from pagan myths? / As for those rich in books in the present age / and more.

  • Three Respectable Sins of Pastors

    Three Respectable Sins of Pastors

    Over the past few years, there has been a lot of attention given to the ways that pastors may abuse their parishioners. Such attention is appropriate and every pastor ought to prayerfully guard himself against such abusive behaviors. Every church leadership structure ought to build rigorous systems of accountability and follow biblical guidelines in the…

  • A La Carte Collection cover image

    A La Carte (May 29)

    A La Carte: A coward’s guide to evangelism / The great dechurching will hurt poor people / The unique experiences of pastors / Three words for Christian parents / Save the world, have a baby / The conquest of Canaan / Kindle and book deals.

  • A La Carte Collection cover image

    A La Carte (May 28)

    A La Carte: What to do with the nice things people say / Old age syndromes to avoid / The amazing navigation skills of the dung beetle / 7 kinds of sacrifices / Hope in the grief of dementia / and more.

  • Managing Kingdom Causes with Sound Business Principles 

    This week the blog is sponsored by Redeemer University. The word “management” conjures up images of executives leading large corporations with the goal of generating wealth for shareholders. Think of “sustainability” and the lens widens to benefiting other stakeholders like customers, suppliers, community, and the environment. Now, broaden your view even wider. Pan out–way out!…

  • Comparative Suffering

    Comparative Suffering

    It is something you tend to hear a lot when you have endured a time of significant sorrow or suffering: “I know it’s nothing compared to yours, but…” We have a natural tendency to compare—to compare our experiences to another person’s and to rank or rate them accordingly. The person who has suffered the loss…