10:36 PM Nick and John Mark Edwards and Caleb Fields arrived back in Oak Park several hours ago from their “senior trip” to visit my brother Alan who lives in Tupelo, Mississippi. They stopped in Tupelo to pick him up, and then they headed down to Destin, Florida, for a few days of fun in the sun. Nick said they played golf and rode “wave riders,” a sort of jet ski, I think. He came back tired and sunburned, which means they had a great time. They also stopped at one of America’s great restaurants both going and coming—Lambert’s Family Restaurant in Sikeston, Missouri, home of “throwed rolls.” The Food Channel named it the best restaurant in the America if you want to pig out. They call it the “Home of Throwed Rolls” because the waiters throw hot yeast rolls across the room and you catch them and eat them piping hot and slathered in butter.
Now that Nick is back home, that means the whole family is together—which is rare these days. Next week Nick leaves for Samford Unversity in Birmingham, Alabama, and Mark returns to Moody Bible Institute. The days when we are all together are becoming few and far between—which is the shape of the future as time rolls on and the boys prepare to leave home for good. These are happy and sad days, but even the sadness is tinged with the joy of seeing Josh, Mark and Nick move out and find their own place in the world.
1:57 PM Just had lunch with Ralph Wingate, pastor Calvary Baptist Church in Normal, IL. We first met via e-mail after he read some of the sermons on the Calvary website. He drove in from Normal today and we had a fine time talking about the two Calvarys—one in Normal and the other in Oak Park. I took him on a little tour of our buildings and then gave him a brief history of Oak Park while we walked down Lake Street to Fuego Loco, my new favorite Mexican restaurant in Oak Park. In the 20 years he has been in Normal, the church has grown and expanded its outreach, including a college ministry that reaches 300-400 students.
8:24 AM Nice article by Rebecca Hagelin on the gay marriage controversy. One excerpt:
The family unit – beginning with a marriage between one man and one woman – has been the basic unit of every civil society since time immemorial. Make no mistake: There is a concentrated effort afoot to alter this foundation, that if successful, will be the single greatest social experiment in the history of mankind. Americans are sensing that the family is now teetering on a precipice, and instinctively seem to understand that the consequences of such a fall would impact every other area of our lives and destroy all other institutions we now hold dear.
8:04 AM Here’s the Legacy Campaign prayer request for today: “Praise God that He works not by might nor by power, but by His Spirit (Zechariah 4:6).”
Several times I’ve mentioned the Civil War tour that Cliff Raad and I are leading, June 14-19, 2004. We’ve reserved a 56-passenger deluxe touring bus for this trip that includes visits to Gettysburg, Antietam, Harpers Ferry, Monocacy, Washington, DC, Manassas, Fredericksburg and Richmond. Cost: $600 per person, includes two meals per day plus all admission fees and five nights in Holiday Inn motels. If you are a Civil War buff, don’t miss this trip. Open sign-ups begin September 1.