Imagine sitting through 16 sermons, classes, and lectures over a three day period. That is exactly what our family did at this year's Tulsa Workshop. All the presenters were relevant, interesting, biblical, and far from boring.
The weather was perfect for travel with sunny skies and temperatures in the 60s and 70s. One of our elders and his wife made the trip as well. It is a long trip from Northwest Ohio to Oklahoma.
The workshop, as always, had something for the whole family including teen classes which our kids enjoyed. Keith Lancaster did a dynamic job song leading in the Pavilion where we heard key notes from several of the "big guns" including Jeff Walling, Rick Atchley, Randy Harris, and Patrick Mead. A theme which flowed through many of the talks was that of risk, faith, and hope as opposed to fear and paranoia. We were constantly reminded, as we may tend to forget in an election year, that our hope remains in God and his kingdom rather than in political structures, material gain, or cutting edge technology.
Tulsa is always a great time for reunions and for meeting new friends. Blog buddies on the program included John Dobbs, Matt Dabbs, and Trey Morgan. I enjoyed hanging out with Brian Nicklaus who is always encouraging. Our family had dinner with a couple of my Kansas connections, Darin Hamm and Ron Davis. Darin once preached in Elkhart, near my old stomping grounds of Liberal, Kansas, but is now in Colorado. Ron is my successor in Liberal. I love these guys.
I am typically impressed each year by a speaker I hear for the first time. This year it was Ryan Butterfield, a therapist whose classes on Pornography and Chemical Addiction were phenomenal. I thought I had a good grasp of those topics, but I learned so much that I didn't know which really enhanced my understanding. You can learn more about the work of Butterfield and his colleagues here.
The shopping at Tulsa was nothing to write home about the previous two years, but this year I bought nine books. I'll tell you what I got in my next post.