The springtime sun rises over the California coast, gradually warming the invigorating morning breeze. A rainbow of flowers adorns this mountainside that slopes gracefully down to the Pacific Ocean, on which is nestled Pepperdine University. Halfway up the mountain, a tall white stone cross signifies to all who see it the faith commitment and purpose of this distinguished institution of higher learning. This past week (April 29-May 2, 2003) the university hosted its 60th Annual Bible Lectures and Sara Faye and I were among the 4,000-5,000 believers who gathered to share four days of fellowship, worship and Bible teaching at the Malibu campus not many miles from Los Angeles.
Twice daily, praises reverberated from the Firestone Fieldhouse as thousands of voices accustomed by tradition to acappella singing blended in four-part harmony suggestive of an angelic choir, followed by sermons based this year on the Book of Genesis and delivered by preachers originally from three continents. From early morning until late evening, attendees chose from more than 200 different classes on biblical and spiritual topics. This year I taught three classes on the gift of Christian prophecy, beginning with God’s ancient promise found in Joel 2:28-32 and the beginning of its age-long fulfillment described in Acts 2:16-21. (Tapes of the entire Lectures program are available from Gaylor MultiMedia, Inc., 3026 Owen Drive., Suite 108, Antioch, TN 37013; phone 615-641-6411; www.gayloronline.com).
A personal highlight of the week was meeting and visiting with gracEmail subscribers — from every corner of the USA and many points between; from Ontario to British Columbia in Canada; from England, Ireland, Africa, Europe, the Caribbean and elsewhere. Your generous words of encouragement warmed my heart, stoked my zeal and inspired both gratitude and humility. I am exceedingly fortunate to be entrusted with this stewardship of divine grace and I pray daily that God will see fit to bless many of his people through it.
As is our custom, Sara Faye and I concluded the week with a restful getaway with my California brother Benjamin and his wife Susan — this time on the rustic island of Santa Catalina. I am writing this gracEmail en route home to Houston aboard a Continental 757, some 35,000 feet above planet Earth. May the day soon come when it will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea!