Today is one of two days a year that I dislike. Mind you there is nothing typically wrong with Thursday, or October 6th that I know of or about. It really isn't October 6th that I dislike. Today happens to be the day after the last day of the IFCA Regional Conference. This means that the conference is over and we have all gone home to our particular "field" of ministry.
The conferences are so special to me. I love gathering with this bunch of guys. Our featured speaker, Dr. Steve Wilt of Fellowship International Missions stated, "What a great regional, no "in-fighting" or squabbling among you. You're just a bunch of guys that love one another. Unlike some conferences I have attended." Really? Wow! Our regional is filled with guys who love the Lord, love His people, love His fellow servants, and love the commitment to sound biblical exposition and doctrine.
The schedule is often gruelling. We gather on Monday evenings for registration, fellowship, dinner, and then a great session. Then Tuesdays are usually very full beginning at 9:00 AM and continuing until 9:00 PM with a couple of morning sessions, a seminar, work shop and lunch. This conference we had some free time between lunch and dinner. Then it was another great session. Wednesday we began at 9:00 and had a workshop and a final session ending at 12:15 PM.
Living just 48 miles away I drove home Monday and Tuesday night and slept in my own bed. That made a long day on Tuesday. It certainly made the conference affordable for me. Wednesday I drove back to Longview charged up to share the gospel in my mission field. I also drove back with great memories of seeing the guys. It is so hard sometimes to come to love and appreciate a number of godly men and then only see them twice a year, in the spring and in the fall. I couldn't afford the spring conference so I hadn't seen some of these guys for a year. Many I had first met in 1984 and 1985 and they are still faithfully serving our Lord Jesus. Most serve in small, obscure, and often overlooked locations and churches. They are faithful men!
Well, I now have the Spring Conference to look forward to in March of 2012 in Tacoma, Washington. In the mean time I am resolved to being committed to the sound exposition of God's Word, the sharing of the gospel, and the building of His church in Longview. I long to be and live to be a faithful man. Thank you Garland Shinn, Earl Brubaker, Jerry James, Gary Taylor, Roy Sprague, Bob Rodgers, and a host of others who had gone before me and have given me such a model of faithfulness and loyalty to our Lord and Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ! I love you guys!
I still dislike the day after the conference ends...