From Phoenix …

Greetings from sunny Phoenix!

The good news is that I’m writing this around 6:45 pm (MST), but the bad news is my body is telling me it’s really 8:45 pm (EST). And if you knew how much sleep I got last night (keep reading), you’d know that’s not a good thing!

Joleen and I arrived here a few hours ago, thankfully. For some reason we like doing things the hard way — we got up at 2:00 am to get ready and drive to the Pittsburgh airport (on less than three hours sleep) for a 7:15 am departure! Next time, we’ll go to Pittsburgh (or wherever) the night before!

We had a good flight, though, and now we’re ready for the week ahead.

(Let me insert a personal reflection here: my family moved from California to Tennessee when I was 11. I remember the long journey in a Ryder rental truck traveling along I-40. We spent a night in Flagstaff, AZ and the next night in Albuquerque, NM. I remember loving the land of the desert southwest, so it was nice to see NM and AZ from the sky today! And I look forward to seeing more of the area as the week progresses! And since we love Mexican food, it may be just about all we eat this week, for dinner anyway — there are Mexican restaurants everywhere!)

(And while I’m at it, let me insert a second personal reflection: Joleen and I went to the grocery store after arriving to pick up some stuff for breakfast this week and I suddenly realized something — this is the closest I’ve been to California since I left the state in March 1980. It was an interesting feeling. Anyway. Back to the topic at hand …)

Tomorrow morning, we’ll begin our seventh class (as part of our degree program at Asbury). The class is on "visionary leadership" and is being conducted at some cutting edge churches here in Phoenix (more on that as the week progresses).

The first two days of the seminar/class will be conducted at Christ’s Church of the Valley. Tomorrow will be primarily teaching from their pastor (Don Wilson) and staff. I’m excited about tomorrow’s lineup, but I am even more excited about Wednesday’s lineup. And as if it couldn’t get any better, I am most excited about Thursday (but I’ll talk about those days later).

So, check back later for reports on the events of each day. I especially want to reflect on things that are life-changing for me and how I think those things can impact what God is doing bck home in the Juniata Valley!

The seminar/class ends on Thursday night, and as you know, we’re heading back on Monday. We plan to go to the Grand Canyon on Friday and return on Saturday in time to attend the Emerging Worship service at Community Church of Joy. We may also attend one or more of their Sunday morning services (all different services led by different pastors).

That’s what the week looks like from this vantage point. Let’s see what God does!

Well, I have some homework to do now. 🙂

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