Tuesday, November 4, 2003

November 4, 2003

8:54 PM Camp Forest Springs, Westboro, Wisconsin: A six-hour drive from Oak Park. We stopped at Culver’s in Portage going and coming and had their famous “concrete” milk shakes. Plus fried cheese curds on the way back home. I’m still not sure what cheese curds are exactly, but they were delicious… . Quick impresisons: Heavily wooded area, oil-packed, well-maintained dirt roads, excellent facilities, a ski slope, tubing hills, lots of deer on the trails. Snow started falling on Saturday AM and continued all day long. I spoke four times: “Show me your glory,” “Joseph and the Providence of God,” “Forgiveness,” and “Judge Not.” The pastors and wives came mostly from small towns and small churches in Wisconsin—many of them serving faithfully in sparsely populated rural areas. Some of them work several jobs because their churches cannot support a fulltime pastor. The yearly pastor’s conference provides a much-needed oasis of rest and relaxation. A good spirit prevailed both in the services and in the free time. Moody Press donated copies of my book, The ABCs of Wisdom, to be given to all the pastors in attendance. Marlene and I spent time with Grant and Fern Brown. He pastors the community church in Westboro. During his student days at Dallas Seminary, he was the songleader at Northeast Bible Church in Garland, Texas, when I was the pastor there… . It rained the entire way back to Oak Park—including enormous storms as we entered the Chicago area. So we’re tired tonight but grateful for the chance to make new friends, to meet the fine folks who make Camp Forest Springs such a wonderful place, and to minister to so many of the Lord’s faithful servents. 8:47 PM Back home from our trip to Camp Forest Springs in northern Wisconsin. Absolutely beautiful setting in every respect—but there was no easy way to access the Internet so this is my first weblog posting since Sunday AM… . Recapping a bit: The Sunday AM service at the Chinese Bible Church was very moving to me. I preached through different interpreters in my two messages—both were very effective. Of course, my judgment is limited in that I can’t understand a word of Mandarin—but I do believe you can tell when the interpreter is really with you. Katherine Tsang really threw herself into the message on Saturday night. I think she enjoyed following along with me as I retold the story of Jesus and the Samaritan woman from John 4. Marlene commented that the man who interpreted on Sunday AM got so much into my message that he even made the same gestures I made. Several people have asked if it is harder to preach through an interpreter. My answer is no, it’s easier, especially when you have good interpreters because the pause between sentences gives you time to think about what you will say next. We rushed out after the service because we had to hit the road for Wisconsin, but not before saying goodbye to many people. I told them that I felt just as much at home preaching there as I do when I preach at Calvary. And it’s true. The language barrier cannot overcome the unity that belongs to true believers in Jesus.

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