Sunday, October 01, 2006

DG: Conference Reflections #1

The conference ended with some final goodbyes and Alex Chediak driving us to the airport after lunch. We had eaten at Brit’s where Challies ordered himself the shepherd’s pie. Now this is something I have never understood… first of all, how restaurants can serve this and secondly, why anyone would order it!

When I was a boy, shepherd’s pie meant mom was cleaning out the fridge of leftovers, and – boy, do I love my mom – I was never a fan of the pie. Unless there was ketchup. But that is another story.

Challies is reading (surprise!) beside me and I am left with that happy feeling one gets after sitting under wonderful, Christ-exalting preaching. That is precisely what John Piper did today and I must admit that this whole conference reached its pinnacle then.

One of the things that marks great preaching, in my mind, is that moment when the preacher fades and the glory of God becomes something almost tangible. That happened on several occasions today and made me doubly glad I was here – my soul was blessed and my heart was fed. It makes me want to preach better, too.

I think that is one of the indefinable benefits of a conference like this. It is not that you “pick up a few pointers” on preaching. Rather, you experience great preaching and it inspires you to work harder and pray more and seek the presence of God more.

I am a firm believer that pastors need that. If all you ever hear is your own voice I think you are prone to repetition and a comfortableness with less glory. Get around those that are closer to God than you – that is best thing you can do!

Today is also the 14th birthday of my oldest – I can hardly wait to get home! I remember the birth of my child like it was yesterday and can not believe how the years have flown by. 29,000 feet and 330 knots. Here we come Milwaukee! The descent begins…