My only complaint so far about the hotel is that there are no protein options for breakfast unless you go to the hotel restaurant, which also requires a full month's mortgage. So I had fruit and coffee and my stomach was growling by 10:00am.
BUT it was drowned out by the brilliant teaching of Duffy Robbins, who continues to rock my world no matter how often I hear him. His learning lab was called Teaching that Sticks Instead of Teaching that Stinks, so my youth can now look forward to teaching that doesn't stink, and that may have been worth the cost of admission. Although I am, in fact, in a D.Min program for ministry to children and youth, I've never had the benefit of something like a Youth Ministry 101 class. This was surely it, and I am grateful.
Nick and I made a new friend who lives in Nashville but graduated from Lambuth, and he joined us for lunch. It was lovely. Then we went back to plenary where Mark Yaconelli and Mark Matlock wowed us. I went to marks contemplative retreat last year and would think he was amazing if he just stood up and recited the alphabet. But this was wonderful, and the whole plenary ended with storytelling and fake snow. Not too shabby.
I skipped one of the afternoon activities in favor of a run. I think Dallas hates runners because they don't even have sidewalks in much of their downtown. I did a lot of dodging cars and wondering why the streets can't be on a grid, but I did make it back without getting perilously lost.
Chap Clark. I really appreciate his research and writing, but I wasn't sure what I was going to get out of the seminar since I've read a good deal of his work. But, as usual, sitting in a room with someone puts information in a whole different light than simply reading what they've written. In fact, I was inspired to write myself late this night after hearing him. He reinforced much of what I already knew, but with an urgency that I needed to experience.
We had a dinner at a disappointing Tex-Mex place in the food court next door, which was clearly not expecting a massive descent of hungry youth workers. But it was food and that was what mattered. Then we went back to plenary.
If you've never heard of Bob Goff, you need to. He is the president and founder of Restore International, an organization that works to fight injustice against children. I have honestly never heard anyone like him. I WILL be buying the DVD of that session. If you're ever having a bad day or just aren't feeling all that great about life, come borrow it and I guarantee that your trust in the true, the beautiful, and the good will be restored immediately.
Gungor. I don't think anybody here, even the sponsors of the convention, have figured out how they scored Gungor, but it was unbelievable.
Now I am worn out and ready for bed.