I was given the opportunity to be the lecturer at the Sunergoi Conference for leaders at Palm Beach Atlantic University, and the whole event was a string of good times: dinner the night before with my good friend Sam Lamerson and Jim Belcher (both at Knox Theological Seminary), breakfast with my friend and prof at PBAU Vic Copan (brother to Paul at PBAU and sister to my editor at Paraclete, Lil Copan), Randy Richards (whose book on how letters were written in the ancient world) and a great time meeting new folks at PBAU — led by Jon Grenz — and then the lectures themselves: Kingdom Mission, Church Mission. (This anticipates a volume of mine coming out next Fall from Brazos called Kingdom Conspiracy.)
The students were very stimulating because of their biblical and theological awareness — so my lectures on kingdom and church and their relationship set off some good questions, including a good 30 minutes of chat after the second session. As I told the audience, the questions asked of me at lunch with some students were as good of questions as I’ve been asked by students ever. PBAU is doing a wonderful job at education. And a special thanks to “Jedidiah” for being such a great host while I was there — and to Janina Seifel for looking after the details.We need more conferences like this on college campuses. What do I mean? This was a college campus (yes, seminary students too) where the focus was on the church and local church ministry. Some of the widespread diminishment of churches we see so much of today occurs on college campuses, but I’m sure not at PBAU.
Kris and I were in Ft Myers, across the state of Florida, visiting Kris’ sister, Pat. So I drove across the state on Alligator Alley, which permits me now to say how much fun it was spotting the zany birds of the Everglades — vultures galore, anhingas and ibises — but I must have seen 150 kingfishers sitting on electric lines waiting for some unsuspecting fish to get into the kingfisher’s crosshairs. One of these days I’ll spot a red whiskered bulbul down there.