Things have finally settled down enough for me to have time to post about Shallowbrook. There are tons of pictures by me and others.
This year, Tom spoke on Romans 9-11, Sid covered Matthew 1-9, and Al presented a secular defense of the New Testament writings and the testimony of a risen Christ.
Andrew Macy and I were also asked to speak. Andrew spoke on living for Christ from the heart, and I gave three talks on biblical headship, much like the two that I gave earlier in Tacoma.
Many of us also attended the Des Moines conference put on by the Altoona assembly. The recorded meetings can be found here.
I also recorded most of the Shallowbrook talks. Unfortunately, Al's last talk turned out a bit mangled by my MP3 player, and my second talk was lost due to operator error. (Not all the talks are up at publication time, but when they are up, they will be found at the above link.)
This year air fare was more expensive than I remember it ever being, no doubt due to the high price of oil. That, combined with my shortage of vacation time meant that I took a red-eye flight to Illinois. I should have gone straight to bed, but I was at Shallowbrook! Never mind that no one else was there yet, because they had all been water skiing for three days. I did end up laying down for about an hour, but when the water ski crowd arrived, I was inexorably drawn back upstairs.
I blame Michael. He had a cold, and he was one of the four of us to claim the mattresses in the closet (it's a big closet). Mattresses sure beat cots. Anyway, when I woke up on Sunday morning, my throat was raw, and my nose was stuffed up. The air conditioning makes the basement a bit chilly, especially at night, and my immune system was under the stress of not having slept except in the very back row of a plane from Minneapolis to Moline.
For the first half of the week, I was constantly blowing my nose, and tired. Very tired. But I didn't let myself sleep, because for some reason, the best conversations happen after midnight (and often last several hours), and during the day I was spending my time with friends I only see once or twice a year, or preparing for my next talk. Basically, I was a zombie, but I was a happy zombie. My energy hit a low toward the middle of the week, which kept me from playing sports, but at the beginning and end of the week, I was healthy enough to play sports swim.
It's a bit odd looking around and realizing that, not only are you one of the "older" young people, you're pretty much it. I was saved from being the geezer by Todd. I decided that since I was speaking this year, that I would recuse myself of the "roasting" event in the talent show at the end of the week. Every year since I've been there, someone has gotten up and impersonated the speakers, making fun of their mannerisms, foibles, mistakes, and slips of tongue. Since each speaker gives two 45-minute talks a day for five days, we've never been short on material. For the past few years, I have been centrally involved in this event, often recruiting the speakers and writing their scripts, as well as doing Sid myself. This year, I informed Matthew that I wasn't going to be involved, and I must say, he, Sean, Andrew, and Davy did an admirable job. My one criticism was that they didn't do enough of the, as it were, mannerisms of the speakers, but that could just be me wishing I was still in the game. It brings a tear to my eye to see the traditions passed on (not really).
At the last minute on Friday, I decided to go to the Macy's farm in stead of taking the bus to Des Moines. I piled into a car with four other guys, and we headed off to the Maurer's, where we then all loaded into a (french fry oil-powered) pick-up truck--but that's another story, I believe they were running on deisel at the time. We drove that to the Macy's, where we shot some skeet, ate, hung out, let off some fireworks, and then left for Des Moines.
We arrived around midnight, and some of us were hungry, so we found a diner and had breakfast, which was good, because I slept through breakfast the following morning (I probably would have stayed up either way).
Despite my perpetual state of tiredness, I enjoyed both Shallowbrook and Des Moines. I like being a part of a group of friends who know each other well enough to break through the barriers and talk about things that matter. It was also good to sit down and talk to some of the middle-aged (and older) folks that I don't see too often.
I'm still recovering from the lack of sleep. As a co-worker once told me, "You know it was a good vacation if you have to come back to work to recover."
I posted some pictures, and among them some videos, from the 4th of July. As with every 4th of July since I got my camera, I filled up the memory card. It only takes a 512MB card, anything more and it corrupts the card (I went through two 1GB SD cards).
The videos are embedded in the web pages by Picasa in such a way that they don't work in Firefox, or at least I haven't gotten them to. They seem to work fine in MSIE 7.
Someone needs to file a bug report with Picasa or Firefox. I haven't had time.
This 4th of July, David and Becky drove out from Richland to Bonney Lake, where a friend that we know from La Habra (originally from Lancaster) was in town visiting friends for a wedding. When we got there, I recognized a few people from the family, because I pass them in the hallways at work.
It was a fun party. There were lots of kids, but I (uncharacteristically) didn't play with them very much. For some reason I didn't feel like it. It might be that I've been under a lot of pressure lately and I just wanted to relax. Oh, and blow things up. That too.
On Saturday, Elizabeth and I drove down to Richland to lend a hand to David and Becky. We went to the park afterwards.
I posted the photos I took, and also some videos, which Picasa still has trouble embedding. If you can't see the video file from the web page or if you just want to save the video, I added a "Download Video" link.