Saturday, November 19, 2005

NYWC Nashville

So here i am at the Youth Workers' Convention. 7500 people. It's been kind of odd because I got to spend a couple days backpacking in the Smokies before the Convention. Thursday morning I woke up on top of a mountain to the beautifully freezing air and snow falling. Complete solitude. Hiked out 11 or so miles by noon and drove to the Convention to meet up with 7500 people. Talk about culture shock. Wake up by yourself on a mountain in the snow and end the day in a state of the art convention center with 7500 loud people. All in all I think I've adjusted pretty well.

Got to meet up with some forumites from the wannabe YS forums. Thankfully it wasn't anyone that I've (recently) offended on the boards. It's fun to try to put screen identity's with faces and real names. A cool bunch of people.

I still don't really like the vendor/exhibitor area. It smells of most things that I think are wrong with the world, or at least our little christian corner of it. It astounds me the amount spent on silly trinkets to give away in an attempt to get someone's mailing address. There was actually one organization that I wanted to get info from, so I went over there, saying "no" to countless others offering me free crap. I went up to the table. The dude there said "hey, you want a free wristband?" "No." "How about a free sticker? Or water bottle?" "No." "Well, what can I get for you?" "Actually, I'd like some info."

It struck me as odd, sad, and extremely funny (not funny haha, but funny in that ironic, odd, sad way) that actual information was the last thing offered, and only then when I asked for it, but so much other junk that doesn't amount to anything was offered freely. It kind of makes me sick. But enough about me and my issues.

I went to Tony Campolo's seminar on Apologetics yesterday, then his seminar on Politics today. He is an amazing person to listen to. If you ever have a chance, do yourself a favor and go listen. Beautiful and inspiring. Also, it makes you feel like a jerk, or, more specifically, it makes you realize you are a jerk. Which is a good thing.

Last night I was wondering around the city (didn't go to the general session - just wasn't in the mood) and met a man (I'm pretty sure his name is Darren. Or maybe Donnie. I'm horrible at names). Anyway, he, his girlfriend, and his 4 year old daughter were displaced from New Orleans. Their Red Cross help had run out and he had been getting odd handy-man jobs to get some money. Basically, with the money he earns, every day they choose whether to use that money to eat and then sleep in the car, or to get a motel room but not eat. I happened to have enough cash on me to cover 2 nights at a motel, so I gave him that. We (me, him, his daughter, and his girlfriend) are meeting for a pizza lunch at Sbaro today. That's exciting. I want to hear his story.

That's all for now. More if/when I get the chance. I have no laptop, so I only get a little bit of time at the "Digital Lounge"...

Pax from Nashvegas,


Blogger Tony Myles said...

Sounds like you're off to a great start!

12:54 AM, November 20, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

and that is the heart of the gospel. you saw him with the eyes of god and had compassion. well done

3:29 PM, November 20, 2005  
Blogger The Thief said...

Re: the convention center/exhibit area:

Doesn't that happen a lot? People want (need) to be in relationship with God, yet we (the church) try to give them all sorts of other crap instead. We try to give them a certain style of church service, we try to give them behavior modification, we try to give them a new vocabulary, and we try to give them religion, when what they really need is to experience God...

3:33 PM, December 15, 2005  

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