April/May 1999 — Sara Faye and I returned home to Houston on Monday evening following a week of physical and spiritual refreshment that included the Annual Bible Lectures at Pepperdine University in Malibu, California, weekend visits with several relatives, and Sunday ministry with the Church of Christ in Long Beach. These were six days of praise and worship, Bible study and some of the richest Christian fellowship to be found on this earth.
To imagine a worship session at Pepperdine, think of 6,000 believers accustomed to a cappella singing, meeting in a university gymnasium, lifting the high praises of God for an hour. Follow that by passionate and Spirit-powered sermons from the Psalms by Irish evangelist Jim McGuiggan, Oregon preacher Mark Love and Tennessee professor Randy Harris (among others) and you begin to get the picture. Outside, the sun-kissed and flower-covered mountainside rises from the Pacific Ocean coast below, with temperatures ranging from 50-70 degrees. A couple hundred spiritual classes supplemented the main lectures, including three which I taught on using the Psalms in Christian worship.
It was a special joy to meet and to chat with gracEmail readers from many states and several foreign countries, including one from Kodiak, Alaska and one from Cuba. By the way, I am pleased to share with the gracEmail family my joy and surprise at being honored during the Pepperdine Lectures with the “1999 Wineskins Award of Excellence” for contributions in preaching and writing. Wineskins Magazine is a leading voice for renewal among Churches of Christ.
On Sunday morning, I was privileged to speak twice at the historic, Christ-centered, ministry-minded and multiracial Long Beach Church of Christ, concerning the guidance of God in daily life and concerning Jesus as a high priest after the order of Melchizedek. Tapes of the second presentation are available for $4 from Long Beach Church of Christ, 3707 Atlantic Avenue, Long Beach, CA 90807. We also enjoyed two nights of hospitality in the home of preaching minister Greg England and wife Janice who, like myself, grew up in North Alabama, and who have faithfully served in Long Beach for the past six years.