September 23, 2009

Summit 2009 Recap/ Don Miller

Wednesday afternoon. Summit is almost officially over and next year's theme will be announced in a few short hours at the close of tonight's speaker. It has been a wonderful year of speakers and learning. Every year I look forward to heading up to ACU during the daytime to glean insight and learning from people who come from all over to teach and lecture. This year has been even better because the main speakers in Moody Coliseum have been broadcast via UStream on line. So the night time lectures which I generally miss due to my kids needing to be in bed at a decent hour have been broadcast for me to enjoy.

I went Monday and Wednesday (today), and rested in bed with Gilmore Girls keeping me laughing on Tuesday. It has been a grand week. I am fighting a cold since Monday night but haven't let it get the best of me. It is not the flu of which it seems is at every corner waiting to impose itself on innocent people everywhere. To that I am grateful.

The classes I attended were amazing.
9am was taught by Dr. Jackie Halstead from ACU. She is truly gifted in SO many areas. I first heard her last year when Dr. Wray invited her in to speak to the Spiritual Formation class on Spiritual Director's. The non-guru type as she added today. A spiritual director is someone who journey's along with others, walking alonside and offering insight and listening to God on their behalf. I knew when I saw Jackie's name in the Summit catalog I would attend no matter what she was teaching on. She taught 3 classes on Discernment this week. The two I was able to attend M & W were great, I plan to order the 2nd day which was on Examen. Jackie has a voice that is comforting and loving, inviting to others and a spirit that is calming and full of wisdom from God. Her class was a true joy.

The 10ish class I attended on Monday was taught by Dr. Daryl Tippens. It was wonderful also.

The afternoon class I attended was with Dr. Randy Harris who is always thought provoking and very straight forward. He taught on Christian Ethics. Very interesting. As his class was busting at the seams they moved his final day to Cullen, although myself and about 75 other people missed that announcement, so there was a 2nd wave of people who entered once we found out we were in the wrong place. Here is Randy speaking words of wisdom. I always say that he has the only wardrobe I envy. Black, every day. Simple.

Then the reason I brought my camera today was to take some pics of Don Miller. He is the author of Searching For God Knows What and Blue Like Jazz, among other books too. I have loved all of the books of his I have read. When I bought "searching" at Lifeway they had a disclaimer in the book stating that they might or might not agree with all in this book, but they were carrying it due to popular demand....I thought every word of it was thought provoking and interesting.

Here is the first picture I took of Don. He is sitting while Brady Bryce is announcing all of his accomplishments. That is a very uncomfortable time for humble people, I don't know his personality well, but by the look on his face he looks a bit uncomfortable. This however is the only time Don looks uncomfortable. Once he got to the microphone he was at home, which is not always the case with a writer.

Don takes the microphone and is speaking to the theme of Summit. The mountaintop experience of Exodus. I LOVED what he had to say that we as Christians will never have our mountain top experience while we are still alive on this earth. The mountain top experience for us is at the wedding feast, the day we see Christ face to face. He talked about conflict and the importance of it in any great masterpiece, and that is what our lives are here and now. He spoke of conflict in the Garden with Adam before God formed Eve. The conflict of being lonely. He talked a bit about how we search for the mountain top experience within our world, sex, drugs and rock-n-roll, or in our churches where we expect to have everything just perfect, but that we will continually be let down if our expectations are so high that we expect our needs to be completely met by whatever vice or even our church assemblies that our expectations are for perfection. We are trying to fit a square peg in a round hole. There will always be conflict until we meet Christ face to face. He said it much better than I can write it.

Here are some pics during the first part of Don's talk.

All the while Don is talking there are 3 bat's flying around Moody. They are flying over the people, in front of Don, in front of the screen's. They were worked up. Once the crowd noises alerted Don to the flying critters and he realizes they are BATS, he decides to make a joke out of it and says, "Now would be a good time for me to go ahead and tell you that I am secretly a vampire and that is my girlfriend flying around." Here he is laughing at that joke, looking proud that he came up with a one liner that made everyone laugh out loud. I was impressed that his talk didn't skip a beat. Right back where he was handling the bats with grace. At one point a couple minutes later, someone shrieked at a bat that must have flown too close and Don asked if the bat had bit her, was his girlfriend cheating on him, another laugh for all of us. He was funny and full of great insight, what more could we ask for?

Here is a picture of one of the bats flying in front of the big screen.

Once the Don finished his talk then he and Brady headed to the camping chairs to have their one on one discussion that is filled with Brady's questions and questions of those who text or email in. Don made a comment about the interesting choice of camping chairs, and said that maybe he could donate some chairs to ACU.

Here Don and Brady are having the "chair" discussion. Great laughs all around.

Here is a pic of the big screen with the bat flying at Don's forehead on the screen.

Once the main event was complete, Don was quickly moved over to the Hunter Welcome Center to give a bit of a more informal talk along with a reading from a chapter out of his book, then some Q&A and autographs. I couldn't stay for all of it as I needed to pick up Derek from football practice but it was a lot of fun listening to a bit of what went into making his latest book, "Million Miles...." and then I left towards the end of his reading. I would have loved to hear the Q&A but alas, I was blessed to hear and attend what I did, so no complaints.

Don is on the 7th city of a 75 city tour, Susan Isaacs is touring with him for all engagements but Abilene. She is the author of Angry Conversations with God: A Snarky but Authentic Spiritual Memoir. If you get a chance to hear them speak, go!, you will be blessed and will laugh. I follow both of them on twitter and enjoy reading their posts. I logged onto Susan Isaacs website from her twitter page a couple of weeks ago and saw that I had seen her in dozens of commercials over the years, but the most memorable place I had seen her face was in an 8x10 picture held by John Candy in Planes, Trains, and Automobiles, she was his wife whom he was traveling home to see. Also on a side note, during the wildfires in California a couple of weeks ago, Susan tweeted that the fires were heading in their direction. I tweeted her back and said that many of us in Abilene were praying for all those touched by the fires and I would be praying for her too. She quickly replied back thanking me for my prayers. Then a day or two later replied again telling me that they were out of danger. I was surprised to have ever had her reply but then to follow up with me a day or two later, wow. That is when I went from calling Donald to Don, because I tweeted her asking if she would be in Abilene with Donald and she responded that "Don" would be coming to Abilene solo. So "Don" it is.


Anonymous said...

I am so jealous....My Mom had a plane out of DFW at 1 PM. We drove up and back today. Thank you so much for capturing the essence for me.

Tim Archer said...

I enjoyed hearing Don Miller… even with the bats flying around. Great pictures, as always.

Grace and peace,
Tim Archer

Leah said...

GREAT recap. I loved Donald Miller's thoughts. I am SO glad I am not at the climax in life. I hope to see more of Summit next year.

Dee Andrews said...

Tammy -

Just got caught up on your blog. Great posts!

I was most uplifted about your walk to Emmaus. (Did I write and spell that correctly? Probably not.) I'd love to get more info on that and do that.

Any info you can give me would be most appreciated.


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