Kendra told a cashier how cute her accent was. She asked, "What do y'all say instead of y'all?" Kendra said, "You all". The cashier shook her head and said that was a waste of time. We had a good laugh, but it was odd because we were laughing at the absurdity of each other. Which leads to my wisdom of the day:
In the eyes of someone else, the way you do things is totally appalling. Yes, you. We are all messy in some area where we are not aware. Sometimes others are right though. It's not healthy to take anyone's advice, but it is healthy to consider everyone's advice. If any ONE person points out a flaw, then brush that off your shoulder. However, if EVERY one is pointing out the same flaw then guess what... you should consider the possibility you need some course correction.
Before I get too far I want to say thank you to Ouma for making our trip possible. Without her manning the Casa de Webb and Uno and Dos we would never have been able to be gone. Also, thank you to Aunt Mary for making our trip possible in her own special way. Kendra and I felt very strongly about the importance of being here. We made our plans and just trusted it would work out.
We spent six glorious days without the kids and with our Pastor and his wife. The four of us spent nearly every second of every day together. You can really get to know somebody well doing that. The biggest "shift" for me was that we became friends. He's been my Pastor and mentor for several years now and I will continue to be fully submitted to his authority as the leader. Even so, we unlocked a new achievement this week and added "friends" to our list of how we relate.
Kendra and I were alone for a few leisurely meals. The burger joint was empty so I had to take a selfie. We held hands, walked slowly from place to place, and had conversations about anything and everything. You know... all the things people without kids do.
With an extra hour open in our schedule we didn't know what to do so we went shopping for souvenirs for the twins. We found an awesome toy store packed full of practical, fun toys. They gift wrapped for free!
I have never experienced as much church in one week as I did in Texas. And I never grew tired of it. First two days were participation in an event called Kairos. It is a two-day conference to experience God’s presence, power, and truth through worship, teaching, testimonies and inner healing exercises. We covered a variety of topics including:
Appetite for the Eternal
Living Without Regret
Breaking Soul Ties
Freedom Through Forgiveness
Healing Father/Mother Wounds
Talk about an intense inward journey. I found several answers to questions I've had for years. I also unpacked my own issues with brutal honesty to figure out another layer of how I got where I am and why I am who I am.
I got to meet the visionary and designer of the whole process. As we talked she walked into the book store, picked up her book, signed it, and gave it to me as a gift. How's that for a personal touch/
The next two days were filled with behind the scenes views of how these three campuses pull off five services per weekend. We were given full access to the entire staff (600 full time!), all of their processes, curriculum, and wisdom. The four of us together were given a private tour of the entire facility across three campuses. I was astonished by their coordination, structure, friendliness, and willingness to help us with everything we asked.
The next two days was the official pastoral conference where 3,800 pastors converged on this campus to connect, learn, and get refreshed. Ministry is hard because it is a life of pouring into others. Everybody needs to refill from time to time. The conference provided the atmosphere to do just that. I spent a week of my corporate job vacation, but because I'm a good steward of my time and I had my sabbatical thrown in this year I have plenty of days to cover such an incredible opportunity.
This is as close to the main stage as I ever got. They never offered to give me the mic before or even after Joel Osteen was on.
The most thought provoking question of the week came from Perry Noble. He asked, "When were you called to be a pastor? if you don't know the answer to that then your life of ministry is going to suck." I really had to think about this because my life choices of non-ministry work in the computer world was based on an inner vow I made growing up. I said to myself, "I will never be a pastor." What I meant back then was I will never be a senior pastor doing what my Dad did. I didn't make that inner vow because of anything negative Dad portrayed about the ministry or any particular event that wounded me. I just saw the amount of time and extraordinary effort required of him and knew that I don't have that in me. that's not my personality or my talents or my desire.
So how did I end up here and when was I called pastor? Stay tuned for the next post for the rest of the story.