Wow! What a terrific adventure the Pepperdine Bible Lectures were for me and Terri. We came away greatly encouraged and spiritually energized.
Obviously just being on this campus overlooking the Pacific Ocean is amazing, but the fellowship, worship, and sharing of the word of the Lord in Jeremiah was equally amazing. Of all of the large gatherings in the fellowship of churches of Christ this lecture is the most intimate. This was Jerry Rushford’s twenty-fifth year of directing and I think it is through his personality and influence that this intimate feeling exists.
Okay, I could gush on, but I do want to mention folks I encountered while there. Of course, my beautiful bride, Terri accompanied me for the first time and she also had a wonderful time. We shared an apartment with my mentor, Bud Myer and fellow Gateway guy (and fellow presenter) Jim Miller- so we spent quite a bit of time with them and with buddy, Al Sturgeon of Ocean Springs, MS (when he was not hanging out with Pamela Anderson). It was great to meet fellow bloggers Donna Gossett and Steve Puckett. Nice seeing them, if but briefly. I enjoyed seeing my old friend from our Mississippi days, Tom Perkins who is now the worship leader for the University church in Tuscaloosa, Al. I saw Debbie Martin whom I first met in Vienna, Austria. It was such a blessing to again be able to spend a little time with two of the dearest people in the world to me, Ronney and Sylvia Wheeler. Terri and I had a blast over Mexican food with them one evening. I got the chance to visit with two of my predecessors at Gateway, Buddy Bell and Chris Seidman. I saw friend Barbara Barnes. She is so sweet. We shared a mission trip together back in the day. It was great to see Bobby Valentine again. I only made one of his class sessions, but plan to catch-up by buying his book when it comes out. It was nice to visit with Doug Edwards and Mike Westerfield of Rochester College.
Here is a pic of me standing in the memorial 9/11 garden on campus. It is dedicated to the memory of a Pepperdine alum who died in one of the attacks on that day.
One of the highlights for both Terri and me was the reception hosted by the Bentons. Dr Andy Benton is the president of the university and graciously invited all those participating to his home. What a view overlooking the ocean. There we met chatted with others on the program and met several interesting folks- including preachers from New Zealand and Greece.
I enjoyed a wide variety of classes and keynotes. Especially powerful was the Friday night presentation by David Fleer. He is an incredibly gifted communicator.
Outside of the lectures Terri enjoyed visiting Rodeo Drive and Beverly Hills. Brooke Chandler whose family attends Gateway is a student at USC and gave Terri this tour. We drove one afternoon through some beautiful canyons and ate right on the water at Dukes- a famous restaurant there. Saturday morning Terri and I had different flights home. Mine was later so I walked around Santa Monica- on the peer and down the promenade- guided by Jim Miller, before heading home.
I am an unabashed fan of these lectures and would encourage anyone who has the opportunity to attend!