Saturday, April 26, 2008

Travels & Updates

It is time to do an update on the blog. This past week I have been in Grand Rapids, MI, Atlanta, GA, and Montgomery, AL. To say that I was exhausted last night would be an understatement. I have actually travelled quite a bit in this past month. It started by going out to Loma Linda, CA to do some certification training for my job. I had a really good time out there. I was able to stay with Norman and Joelle who were very good hosts. We went down to Los Angeles one day and went Griffith Observatory along with seeing some other things in LA. We also celebrated Joelle's birthday and we also heard some very good musical performances throughout the week as well. It is always good to be out in Loma Linda as I feel at times that it is like a second home. I have been there many times now since Norman has been out there. It is hard to believe that Norman has been there for around 8 years now.

As I mentioned above I have been in some other places as well besides CA. Last weekend we were in Grand Rapids, MI. We were there because I sing in a quartet composed of members from the Nashville area. Our leader, Marc Walwyn is a cousin of the person who was in charge of this Youth Conference in Grand Rapds. I think that our songs went well. Our favorite song to sing is "O When Shall I see Jesus" It is our favorite because it portrays the urgency of seeing Jesus come back again and the melody and harmonies portray that sense that urgency along with of course the words. The speakers at the Youth Conference were Keith Gray, (Youth Director for the Southwest Region Conference) Alden Ho, Dane Griffin, and some other presenters who I was not familiar with. Alden Ho had some pretty good presentations. His topic was on the nearness of the coming of Christ. I think that some of the things he presents and sources that he has need to be studied a little further by those who are listening but his overriding presentation is very good. If anything he is getting people to be serious about the times that we are living in.

We finished the weekend by going to my sister in law's parents house for breakfast in Berrien Springs. We spent a good amount of time observing a project that Dr. Damsteegt and Laurel Damsteegt are working on. This project is based on the Great Controversy theme on DVD format. It starts with the prophecies predicting Christ's coming to the Earth the first time and goes all through the Christian church all the way down to eventually the current times we are living in. It is very well done with lots and lots of research that has been done. I was very impressed. A new release is being made but once it hits the Adventist Book Center's I would strongly encourage you to buy it.

As I mentioned I was also in Atlanta, GA and Montgomery, AL this week. I went to Montgomery to finish up my certification training because I did not get all my hours in CA. I was only down there for Friday morning but it was interesting to revisit the place where I started my working career. I only lived down there for 5 months but I have alot of memories there. In Atlanta, we had Southern Union Treasurers meetings. I have to say that there are many challenges that face our church financially but we are not even seeing the tip of the iceberg of the challenges that we will face in the future. One thing we discussed though is the rising cost of fuel and the reimbursements we are paying our workers and how we are keeping up with the rising costs. Economic issues will obviously affect finances in the church and it will no doubt be interesting to see what happens in the future as we face more and more challenges.

To finish things up I thought I would share a few things in relation to our family and things happening here in Tennessee. Our family is very excited for April who will be graduating from Highland Academy in 3 weeks. This will be a very special event for her and we are very proud of her. In regards to Highland that is an item that I would solicit those who are reading your prayers. We are facing a change for a new Principal and also there are some fairly large financial challenges facing the school. On another note, I have been attending the Gallatin SDA church since December when their church Treasurer passed away unexpectedly and I took over duties as Treasurer. The church is small but friendly with a few young people. Recently the church had a nominating committee and I was humbled to accept a position as an Elder in the church. As I said I am humbled by this position because I know that there are tremendous responsibilities in being an Elder in the church. I have no experience but I am excited about the things God can do at Gallatin. There are 3 elders and we are all in our 20's. I am excited about that because I have a lot of respect for the 2 other elders and I think we are on the same page on alot of issues and I believe that God can do some great things if we will just let Him lead. I realize this has been a long post but there is alot to update after 2 months. I will try to not wait so long for the next post.