Thursday, October 16, 2008

Semi-Live Blogging the Midwest Pastors’ Conference: The Pretty Much Final Word

I love going to the "big" conference in California each year.  Love it, love it, love it.

But I love going to the Midwest Conference even more.

Two big reasons: First, though it's a pastors' conference, there are more than just pastors there.  The regional Calvaries use it as a yearly family reuinion - and it has that very feel and flavor to it.  There are whole families - including very young children - all sitting at the feet of Jesus, enjoying His Word and each other, for three glorious days.  Even more so than the Murrieta Conference, the Midwest Conference is a true retreat.

I love seeing so many old friends that I haven't seen since the previous year (or at least since Murrieta), who are ministering in my same neck of the woods; and I love seeing all the new faces, all the young people (as I begin the inevitable transition from not being quite as young as I was before to becoming one of the middle-aged).  I love the way the youngin's essentially take over the cabins and dorm foyers and worship together into the wee hours of the morning.  I love walking around (or, let's be a bit more realistic: sitting on the shore of) the lake, reading the Word, and watching hundreds of my brothers-in-arms doing the same as the sun breaks over the heavily forested horizon.  I love the discussions around breakfast, lunch, and dinner - from the deeply theological to the deeply practical.  I love sitting around the bonfire at night, eating fresh popcorn, homemade cookies, drinking hot spiced apple cider, and worshipping into the night to the sound of guitars and djembes and fiddles and such played more often than not by the children of my brothers-in-arms (this year a precious family who have several young daughters helped lead the bonfire worship - it was indescribably awesome). I love seeing and holding the new babies born to families young and not-so-young over the previous year, and meeting up with missionaries to the far corners of the earth who are based in the Midwest region and who come home on furlough for the conference.

Which leads into the second biggest reason I love the Midwest Conference - the emphasis on fellowship.

Even moreso than Murrieta, the focus of the MidCon is on enjoying each other & the Lord.

I cannot describe how very much I look forward to this conference each year, and how much of a charge it gives me to carry on for the remainder until we get to meet again, the second full week in October.


...and of course, what would a conference be without catching Chik Chikeles sleeping...?

The family from Carroll County...the Vassar group...the insane - and I mean insane posse from Iron River up in the UP...

Can't wait until next year, when we get to hook up again.

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