NOTE TO SELF: When setting the alarm clock for 4:15 AM to catch an early flight out of LAX, verify with hosts that said alarm clock is the working alarm clock. The fact that there was two of them should have clued me in. Nevertheless, we raced to the airport and made the flight.
This evening I connected with a bunch of my Alpha leaders from VCC. Tim Urmston, who stepped in for me (at least in that portion of my portoflio) when I left the staff, has done a KILLER job. They're talking about doing Alpha for 500 people at ONCE. It was good to see these high quality leaders and good friends - especially the wonderful Pamela, who deciphered my bizarre instructions and made sure I was in the right place with a sharp #2 lead pencil for most of my tenure at the Vineyard.
On the plane today, somewhere over the front range of Colorado, I was cruising Isaiah and praying. The following jumped off the pages and attached itself to my heart:
The Sovereign LORD has given me an instructed tongue, to know the word that sustains the weary. He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being taught. The Sovereign LORD has opened my ears, and I have not been rebellious; I have not drawn back.
I offered my back to those who beat me, my cheeks to those who pulled out my beard; I did not hide my face from mocking and spitting. Because the Sovereign LORD helps me, I will not be disgraced.
Therefore have I set my face like flint, and I know I will not be put to shame.
I was almost stunned by the intensity of the impact this had on me...can't go into the depths of it yet, because I'm still plumbing them myself, but I do know this: I am being prepared, in the natural and the spiritual, for the scorn of many as a result of writing and speaking from my heart. Like Isaiah...like Ezekial...I must set my face like flint.
I'll see you