October 8, 2006

This morning we started the Bible conference at Sierra Bible Church in Reno, Nevada. I was informed later (by my sweet wife) that I had mispronounced the name of the state. I called it Nev-ODD-da. It’s supposed to be pronounced Nev-ADD-uh. I guess it’s sort of like outsiders pronouncing Illinois with an “s” on the end.
We are staying with Tom and Sue Standlee who have a beautiful home on a hillside overlooking the town. Tom informed me that the locals don’t go downtown much. That’s where the casinos are, and it’s a whole different feeling from the rest of the city. Tom and Sue are delightful hosts who, among other things, dance the tango. Tom is the president of the Truckee River Tango Club. One thing we learned very quickly is that being located at almost 5000 feet above sea level takes some getting used to. Marlene and I were both huffing and puffing a bit yesterday. It’s also extremely dry here–this is high desert–so you need to drink extra water.
The church has two worship services–a “more traditional” service at 8:30 AM that nonetheless features piano, drums, two guitars, a violin, and a choir on risers. We sang a jazzed-up version of “Victory in Jesus” along with several other choruses and hymns. I still am not sure where in the service they receive the offering because I never saw any ushers. Marlene told me I was just daydreaming when it happened, which is always possible. Greg Kuehn has served as pastor for almost nineteen years. He is genial, an encourager, a storyteller, and a pastor who clearly loves his people. We had two services this morning (the second being contemporary) followed by a potluck in the gym. I speak again tonight at 6 PM. Tomorrow they are taking us on a tour of world-famous Lake Tahoe where the water is cold year-round and the scenery is spectacular.

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