Reflections on Pepperdine 2008
I made the trek back from Pepperdine yesterday. Actually I left about 4:30ish pm and arrived back in Tucson at not quite 2 am this morning. I probably could have done better but I got stuck in L.A. and it took me nearly 2 hours to go 30 miles. I made my way through part of CA behind a Lamborghini for a time. What a sweet looking car!
Pepperdine, as usual, was great. I arrived in Malibu last Sunday evening and camped in the Malibu Motel on Pacific Coast Hwy a couple miles from the campus and not far from the beach. I reviewed, relaxed by taking walks along the beach, spent several hours reading microfilm in the Payson Library and recharged. On Tuesday I checked in and found out that Kelly Carter, from Calgary Canada, was my roommate. We had many delightful conversations. One of the great blessings, perhaps the best, of Pepperdine (and any lectureship) is meeting old friends and making new ones. I laughed with Lisa and Ashley of Leafwood/ACU Press. I visited with Larry Fitzgerald. I saw Albert Lemmons for the first time since my family lived in Grenada, MS. I met Tyler Ellis, a campus missionary. I chatted with Steven Lemley, Melvin Boyd and Charles Siburt about being students of K. C. Moser. I had pizza (and geotracking) with my good friend Daryl Miller from Milwaukee. I had dinner with fellow blogger "Clarke" on the beach. I connected with Tom Olbricht, David Fleer and Randy Harris. Robert Hooper, author of A Distinct People, Steve Wolfgang (scholar on Daniel Sommer) and Terry Gardner (sleuth of all things concerning the Stone-Campbell Movement) all graced me with their presence in my lectures. I saw my old teacher Jim Martin all to briefly. I got to meet Suzy Brown who insisted that she was not a theologian but I beg to differ. I sat at the feet of my friend Edward Robinson. I learned again from Doug Foster. It was good to see Yuki Obata from Japan. Shelly Jacobson of Western Christian College in Canada also blessed me with her presence. I took in Danny and Terri Dodd's class and was greatly blessed by them. I also took in some great classes by Greg Sterling. I sat, visited and prayed, with my good friends Curt and Sue Burton (Sue is the daughter of Carl Ketcherside ... but Sue is worth knowing apart from her famous father).
My classes would have been so much richer had John Mark been there. As it was, though, I was quite surprised by the large crowd that decided to attend our class. Given that our class was at 9 pm I was expecting a decent crowd like usual. But nothing like what came. Class AC 245 was literally packed. I do not believe there was a spare spot. People stood along the wall and even in the door. On Wednesday night there were folks sitting on the floor!! These are the folks who really wanted to know about the "Struggle for the Soul of the Churches of Christ!" Thursday night was a repeat of the first two. God was good in all of this. Jerry Rushford and Tom Olbricht honored me greatly by asking me to address the gathering hosted by Restoration Quarterly ... I shared with them some thoughts on "Jesus, David Lipscomb and the Spanish-American War."
All in all I can say that I was blessed to be at Pepperdine. I was glad that around 20 folks made the journey from Palo Verde to come over to Pepperdine to share the beauty and encouragement. Late Thursday night we all met in the cafeteria for some pie. We visited, laughed and shared thoughts on the week. It was the young people, Travis and Amy, that decided to go to bed ... it was past their bed time!!! There was only one draw back to the lecture and that was not even related to it. This was the first time that I have been to Pepperdine without my girls ... and I did miss them.
Jerry Rushford puts on the best production, hands down, in the Churches of Christ. This was Jerry's 30th year to head the lectureship. Congrats to him and the fine work he does for the Lord through it and the blessings he gives to thousands from literally around the world.
See you there next year,