Sunday, August 1, 2004

August 1, 2004

4:01 PM I’m writing this update from the “docking station” in the lobby of the Administration Building at Mount Hermon Conference Center. Behind me I can hear families coming and going as they check-in for Dallas Week, which begins with supper tonight. This morning I preached on “You Can Stumble But You Won’t Fall” from Psalm 37:23-24. Technically that was not part of Dallas Week, although Mark Bailey (president of DTS) was there along with his wife Barbie, and also Chaplain Bill Bryan and his wife Shirley. Last night I talked with longtime prof Bill Lawrence who is here with his wife to speak at the conference. Jeff Bingham arrives this afternoon. Tonight Mark Bailey opens the conference with a message on “Why Did Christ Die?” Random notes … Our plane was delayed for an hour in Chicago so we were late arriving in San Jose last night. Fred Miller and his daughter Rebecca Wilson picked us up. Steve and Rebecca Wilson and their sons Bradley and Alex attend Calvary. Fred served as the Operations Director at Mount Hermon for 37 years, retiring two years ago … Flying over the vast open spaces of the West reminds you once again of the vastness of America. You go from farmland to prairie to the barren lands of Nevada and Utah and eastern California. I was struck again with how far separated the West Coast is from the Midwest and the East Coast. It’s true that technology makes America seem like everyone is next door, but the long plane ride reminds you that California is truly another world … You enter Mount Hermon by passing through a forest of enormous redwood trees. The conference center spreads across 400 acres in the Santa Cruz. It is a lovely place, more like a mountain resort than a Christian camp. The facilities are first-class and well maintained … I arrived in time to hear a bit of the concert by harpist Greg Buchanan … Here’s the weather: mid-50s in the evening, fog in the morning, upper 70s in the afternoon. Hardly ever rains, but they do get “heavy mist” from time to time … A woman met me after the service and said, “You know me if you listen to my voice.” Marlene recognized her immediately as ClarLyn Morris’s sister. Close your eyes and you think that it’s ClarLyn talking. Her sister lives just a few miles from here … Roger Williams is the director of Mount Hermon. Before that, he served as director of Gull Lake Conference Center in Michigan. He and his wife know Tom and Carol Klobucher very well… . Knowing that I am from Oak Park, a man came up and asked if I had ever heard of William E. Blackstone, the 19th-century Oak Parker who wrote the classic book, “Jesus is Coming,” and authored the 1891 “Blackstone Declaration” calling for the establishment of a Jewish state in the Holy Land. He was the father of American Christian Zionism. The man has written a chapter about his life. I was happy to tell him that Mr. Blackstone once lived in a home on Lake Street in what is now the west parking lot of Calvary Memorial Church. You can read that amazing story here and here.

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