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leaving the snow, and friends, on the mountain

I do not know the name of the mountain, but I do know it was covered with snow.

I had to leave the gathering this afternoon and return to civilization.  I was sad, but I was also glad to have been there.  To be a part of a gathering like this stretches your thinking.  You do not have to agree, but you do have to listen to what is being said.  In fact, this gathering is a place where people can, and do, say they disagree.  We question, wonder, push back, pull forward, go over, mine under and sometimes we forge new ideas or affirm old ideas.  I like that.

I also like the fact that I was blessed to see people I had met in 2006 at our gathering on Orcas Island, Washington in the northernmost reaches of the Puget Sound.  Jarod, Jim, Dave, Leonard, Landrum were all there, and then there were the new friends from everywhere including New Zealand.

I like interesting people like my new Kiwi friend, Hamish Divett.  Surfing NZ says of Hamish, winner of this year’s Short Board Surfing Championship (over 50 division), “The event was deservedly taken out by local short board exponent Hamish Divett surfing more like a 28-year-old.” Hamish also leads a community of faith in Auckland, confirming that all pastors are not boring stiffs that can’t do anything outside of being a talking head.

Alan Hirsch, our conversation igniter this week, is a native Australian who grew up in a non-orthodox Jewish family, then became a Christ-follower in a significant and ecstatic experience with God.  Alan led a very non-conventional church that made connections with many people you would not associate with church.  He wrote a book a few years ago called ‘The Shaping of Things to Come” and more recently, “The Forgotten Ways.”

Of course, our host was again the unequalled Leonard Sweet, author, futurist, minister, professor, sage,

and networker extraordinaire.  Len brings people together from anywhere and everywhere to experience the Kingdom of God in person. I truly enjoyed my second experience with one of his ‘advances’ and look forward to our next ‘water advance’ on Orcas in March.

The food was great!!!  Thanks Sharon, John, Melissa.  The people were wonderful!!  Thank you, everyone.  The setting was incredible!!  Thank you, Len.  The weather (snow) was exciting!!  Thank you, God.  And thank you Jim for my new Bulldog shirt, even if it is the Gonzaga University Bulldogs.  Finally, thank you to WSB Radio (AM 750) in Atlanta for being a 50,000 watt strong clear channel and letting me listen to Larry Munson as i traveled from West Virginia to North Carolina hearing my beloved Georgia Bulldogs beat the ever-living daylights out of the poor old Auburn Pussycats from the loveliest village on the plains, 45-20.

Go Dawgs!

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