July 19 – Wow, wow, wow! So, I spent the last week preparing for today’s talk. Then last night I got the email that I shared with you last time so I put together a response for it and just thought I’d cut a little from the presentation to answer the question. I couldn’t have been more mistaken! The youth came loaded for bear this morning and it was awesome. And, in full disclosure, my ADD really kicked in today. We started off with the age of the earth and went to “Which came first the chicken or the egg?”, to the days in Genesis whether they were real or not, to Carbon Dating and other dating techniques, to different colored people, to . . . It was AWESOME and totally different from what I’d prepared. After it was over a number of young men and women spoke with me. One young lady waited to the end and then we spent 30 minutes talking. Man, I wish you could have heard the conversation. She had asked a couple of questions during the presentation time and came up and went after a bunch of new areas. It was a great time and I was really blessed by the experience. There were two more services and activities during the day. My teaching part was over though. Instead of going on the activity, Dollywood, I spent time working on Camper Questions and Academy of Hope! God is so good. I just got back from the evening activities. I met a man who has a booth at the conference. As we were talking he looked at me and said, “So you’re the one they’ve been talking about!” I asked him what he meant. He then told me that after the morning session he listened as a group of youth standing in front of his booth starting telling their friends that they’d blown it by not coming to my session! That’s encouraging.
July 20 – During the day I worked on presentations for the questions that came in. I also had 2 meetings. One was with our staff working on Academy of Hope and the other was with a man that I met at the Conference here. He has a unique ministry called Helping His Hands. They take people ministry trips here in the US where they’re helping those who are recovering from various catastrophes. At the moment they’re rebuilding two homes that were burnt by the recent fires in Pigeon Forge. One is for a single mother and the other for a veteran. I like what they’re doing and really appreciate Scott’s heart to touch lives. In the evening there was a concert for the conference attendee’s. The band that played this year was “Unspoken”. I was blessed to have met them a couple of months ago when I was visiting my friends, Casting Crowns. They just so happened to be on tour with them. I was super impressed with them then from what I saw off the stage. When I found out they would be at Teen Rev, I was pumped. I was even more impressed with what I saw tonight. I’m definitely a fan now! I look forward to being with them next week in Hot Springs, AR. It’s so encouraging to meet folks who love the Lord and are serving Him with all that they have. I speak in the morning tomorrow and then hit the road so I can get home in time to speak tomorrow night to a group of Japanese who will be at our home! God is good, thanks for praying!
July 21 – I am dragging today!! This morning I was up at 7 AM, showered, packed and got to the convention center by 8 AM to set up my projector and computer. The room was full again today, that’s good. The session went SUPER! During the session one young man made the comment that, “This means that if evolution is true, there’s no hope!” It was like he had an “Ahh Haaah” moment. It really was pretty cool to see him working through this. We were able to talk about how God gave us a reason for hope! I also had a number of young men and women come up and talk after I was finished. One young lady was one that I picked on during my talk. She was so kind. She told me that she was so happy that she came to the meeting and felt so encouraged and emboldened after it was over. That meant a lot. I was able to get on the road and drive 5 hours to get home by around 3 PM. I had to work on the talk that I was giving tonight to a group of Japanese that are over here visiting the Creation Museum. One of the ladies on the trip is the daughter of a man who had a big impact on me. As a matter of fact, I’m in ministry today in part because of her father! It’s a long story, but her father actually was the first one to encourage me to speak AND he gave me my first laser pointer. You’re officially a speaker when you get a laser pointer!! It really was a blessed time. After they left we had some folks stop by that we lent our museum passes to. We had a nice talk for about 30 minutes with them. I then got everything packed up so I can leave in the morning for Little Rock, Arkansas. I’m beat, but God is good! THANK YOU for your prayers and support. This isn’t happening without them.
July 22 – I was up early today and caught my flight to Little Rock, Arkansas. I got in about noon and was picked up by Pastor Don who took me to lunch and then drove me to Hot Springs. I spent the afternoon on phone calls and working on the talk for Wednesday night. At 6 PM Pastor Eric picked me up and we took off for Little Rock to drop off a car and then have dinner. I got back and worked until midnight on the presentation for Wednesday again. God is good.
July 23 – I was blessed today to speak at Gospel Light Church in Hot Springs, Arkansas. Pastor Eric is the head of Teen Revolution and has been a big blessing to us. The responses were huge this morning. What was really encouraging was the number of folks that preordered the new Fast Facts devotional. Pastor Eric really promoted this and the people responded. Praise God! I went to lunch at pastors house and that was a blessing for sure. His family is so kind. That evening a dear family took me out for dinner. It was fun. They had a great sense of humor and the conversation was fun.
July 24, 25 – I didn’t have any speaking on these two days so I worked on my talks and got everything set up at the meeting place in preparation for the Teen Revolution Conference.
Teen Revolution Worship Team
July 26 – Tonight I was the opening speaker for the Teen Revolution Conference. There is nothing more intimidating than speaking to a group of Jr. High and High School students. In full disclosure, every time I speak to this age group it is with fear and trepidation. I see a growing gap between the older and younger generation. Whenever I get up I’m asking myself if this will be the time that the gap is so big that they don’t understand what I’m saying! During one song an evangelist named Billy Wayne did a hand painting. It was really powerful. He’s also speaking on the final night and it’s been a blessing to get to meet him.
I was totally blessed by the responses. There were a number of young men and women that came forward making a variety of decisions.
During the decision.
It’s very humbling to have the conversations that I had with the folks after the service.
July 27 – This morning I spoke again at the Conference. It was received amazingly well. We had one group that attended that had come all the way from Dallas, Texas. This youth leader really engaged with me because he has a number of students who don’t know the Lord and are challenging him. It was a blessing to have such a hungry audience. That afternoon I was able to hang out with the gentlemen from the band, Unspoken. They did a concert in the evening. I’m blown away by their hearts and it was a privilege to be with them. The concert in the evening was AMAZING as was the invitation. So many young men and women made life-changing decisions. What a blessing to be a part of this ministry outreach.
July 28 – Today was a busy day. I spoke again in the morning and the responses were just as good as the previous two days. I am so grateful for these opportunities. That afternoon one of the other speakers took me to Little Rock so I could fly back home that night. It was a pretty crazy night. My flight was delayed due to thunderstorms. I made it to Atlanta just in time for my other flight and made it home at 12:30 AM. It was a long day for sure.
July 29 – Truth be told, I was totally beat and did nothing but catch up on correspondence and start working on new talks for the upcoming England tour as well as other meetings. My heel has been killing me for about a week now making it very difficult to walk. That’s super frustrating because I’ve been trying to exercise more and this pain keeps me from being able to do it. I also worked with my son on the new Fast Facts DVD so that we can get that to the printer.
July 30 – It was a blessing to be in my home church this morning and hear Pastor Mike preach. He is such an amazing preacher/teacher. After church we had lunch with my son and our 3 grandchildren who’ve I’ve not seen for almost two weeks with the travel. They’re such a blessing and growing up so fast! That evening I working a little on the talks for upcoming meetings.
July 31 – Today was a “honey-do” day. We had to go to the bank to make a deposit, go to the hearing doctor to get my new hearing aid since I lost one while in Pigeon Forge, go to the hardware store to get screws to fix the back deck, take the car to the shop, took our son out to lunch, work on the finals draft of the Fast Fact book with the printer so we can print it. That took me all the way up to the afternoon. Then I finished up one article on showing how the latest research on Canaanites doesn’t prove the Bible wrong as the headlines say, but actually proves the Bible correct. I also started another article on critical thinking using an image showing a giant squid found on the shores of Lake Michigan. Yeah, it’s pretty sad!
August 1 – I finished the article on the Giant Squid and we sent out the article on Canaanite research that supposedly proves the Bible wrong, but in actuality supports what the Bible teaches. You can read it here. The no fun part of the day was going to the doctor for my annual physical. I don’t like needles so giving blood for blood work is a major undertaking for me. Some issues were found so pray for me as I really need to make some lifestyle changes! Hey, God is good and I’m still blessed. There’s a responsibility that I need to take though on my health! I’m working on some new talks for upcoming meetings as well, but, truth be told, I’m taking a break today from the computer. I’m really looking forward to being in Yadkinville, North Carolina this weekend for the first time. What a blessing it is to serve.
Thank you for your prayers and your support. As always, make sure to let me know what we can do to better serve, inform and/or encourage you.
Blessings and . . .