Greetings from Camp Bee, home of the Sojourners National Conference and Workshop. I'm honored to be here, even though I am about 30 years the junior of everyone else attending the conference.
The Sojourners have invited me in to speak to them about the mindset of the 35 and under generation(s). It is a daunting assignment, but the reception to my first presentation was unbelievably encouraging.
It is so good to be reunited with Gary and June Thorson, Buddy and Jo Childers, and Johnny and Sandy Milligan. Tomorrow, Clyde and Linda Berry arrive, along with Mama D and Papa Ken.
I'll never forget this past Sunday for the rest of my life! What an absolute blessing to return to my roots, to my brothers and sisters at the Johnson Street Church of Christ in the Southside community of my hometown, Benton, Arkansas.
Johnson Street is an African-American church. Someone has said "the most segregated hour of any given week in the south is the hour of worship on Sunday morning." Sadly, that charge is by-in-large accurate.
In the 60's, my home church decided to do "mission work." The mission was to plant another Church of Christ on the southside of town, across the railroad tracks, where the "coloreds" lived. I'm sure the intentions were grand and the motives were pure, but I so wish we could go back to the 60's and undo church plants such as these all over the south.
I shutter to think of the impact the church could have in my hometown if the racial and cultural barriers that continue to segregate Caucasian and African-American Christians could be eternally torn down.
Unfortunately, old prejudices seem to die hard.
Fortunately, the Johnson Street church remains a beacon of hope and an outpost of the kingdom. Brothers Hannah, Cunningham and Richardson continue to provide sterling leadership as elders. Brother Norman continues to feed the flock with dynamic preaching. And the congregation continues to sing old spirituals like "Mansion, Robe and Crown" with fervor unlike any church assembly I've ever experienced!
Thank you, Johnson Street family, for giving a young guy like myself so many opportunities to hone my skills as a preacher in your pulpit. Thank you for loving me and encouraging me and welcoming me back to your pulpit last Sunday. You will never know the eternal difference you've made in my life and in the lives of all those whom my ministry for Jesus has touched.
My division series predictions weren't so hot. Who woulda thunk the A's, Tigers and Cardinals would all play as well as they did? I was especially excited to see the Tigers dispatch the $200 million, "best lineup of all time", Yankees.
Now it is on to the League Championship Series'. I'm thinking the Tigers will dispatch of the A's in 6 games. The Tigers bullpen is just pitching stellar. The A's will have to win in the first six innings of the games to have a chance because the Tigers bullpen is simply slamming the door shut in the final three innings.
As for the NL, I'm siding with the Mets, though I think the Cardinals will take them to seven games. Chris Carpenter is pitching well for the Cardinals but, in the end, the Mets lineup is just too potent to pick against.