Winter Pleasures

Winter pleasures have made blogging sparse here at the void. Last weekend I was in -25 temperature with Dave Cleland in White Lake, WI for his annual Snow Fever high school retreat. It was very much a pleasure to hang with Dave (as it always is), including our dinner at Lambeau Field two nights before the NFC Championship.

Last Thursday Andy Bowers, Jonathan Sarr, Curtis Wentling and I celebrated five years of weekly, early morning meetings. Those guys, along with previous summer interns Chris Martin and Micah Lugg, as well as recent addition Jesse Martin are some of my favorite people on the planet.

Of the original guys, two have gotten married since we started meeting, three of us have had kids, and the other has his first on the way. Along the way we’ve talked theology, planned ministry, and seen iron sparks fly. As a group we’ve read (at least that I can remember): Hard to Believe, When I Don’t Desire God, The Forgotten Spurgeon, The Book on Leadership, The End for Which God Created the World, and are a third of the way through a two year tackling of The Institutes. We’ve met mostly in my office, but also frequented Denny’s, Buzz Inn, Cedarcrest Restaurant, and at least three different Starbucks. In my office alone we estimate–conservatively–at least 225 gallons of coffee consumed. I really do give thanks daily for these minister partners and personal friends.

And then today (road conditions depending) we leave for the Double-K Ranch for our annual Snow Retreat and we’re pleased to have Phil and Darlene Johnson with us for a second year. We’re back on Friday, so continuing winter blogging will have to wait until then.

UPDATE [10:40PM February 2]: We did leave on Monday. We barely returned on Friday. It’s good to be home.