A BRIEF TALE OF TWO BISHOPS: ONE ANGLO– BISHOP N.T. WRIGHT OF ENGLAND and ONE AFRICAN– BISHOP JOHN RUCYAHANA of RAWANDA.
Julie and I spent last week in San Diego visiting two of our daughters. Elisha, our second daughter, lives in Lakeside and is married to Bryan and has 3 children: Ben, Zachary and Lillian. Shamar, our fourth daughter, lives in Le Mesa and works for the Residence Inn near Hotel Circle. While Julie had more time with the family, I attended the National Pastors Convention. We did some sight-seeing and the picture above is of the museum/church in Presidio park overlooking Mission Valley.
At the NPC, I had breakfast with Scot McKnight and a long-time friend, Ken Kemp. I also attended two breakout sessions in which Scot did some teaching: one about fixed hour prayers (Scot’s co-leader was Phyllis Tickle) and the other about Scot’s forthcoming book The Blue Parakeet (which is about how we (mis)use the Bible). I attended sessions led by N.T. Wright, Shane Claiborne, Gregory Boyd, David T. Olson and Bishop John Rucyahana of Rawanda.
I met a couple of Jesus Creeders that I knew via blogging: Jim Martin and Dana Ames. I hung out for a while with Mark Riddle, Tony Jones and Doug and Shelley Pagitt. I had a delicious supper one evening with John Raymond and Dan Kimball. To my surprise Dan reported that he had a connection to Bella Vista Church through acquaintance with Craig Fox. Dan was youth pastor in a California church that Craig Fox served after BVC.
I heard some challenging and encouraging messages from Irwin McManus, N.T. Wright, and John Ortberg. One morning I heard the most stunning overview of the whole Book of Acts from N.T. Wright in the brief time of 45 minutes. You had to hear it to believe it. I’m still feeling the tremors of that pedagogical earthquake. When I listened to Bishop John Rucyahana of Rawanda speak, I felt like I was holy ground. Did you know that Rawanda was almost 90% Christian when the genocide occurred, killing over 1.2 million people? Pastors were actually slaughtering other people. Bishop Rucyahana pressed us to think about the insanity of evil in the world and he survives with a Gospel more than comparable to the unimaginable sins of his country. He has been and still is working faithfully to bring Christian forgiveness, reconciliation and hope to his beloved country. N.T. Wright and John Rucyahana are both Anglican bishops.
We got to see our grandsons, Ben and Zach, do their “talent show” for school. They did a yellow-belt Judo demonstration. They were awesome and were the most talented in my humble opinion. We enjoyed our granddaughter, Lily, who is a strong magnet of grandparenting love! “Nah-naaaaaah!” Her face is populated by a million and one expressions…all of them adorable. We met Shamar’s friend, Chris, who is in the Navy and works with the Navy SEALS. If I tell you what Chris does, I’ll have to kill you, so I won’t bother telling you. Just kidding. He’s a tremendously admirable young man and has excellent taste in girlfriends. Bryan, our son-in-law, is a cardio-vascular technician and works with doctors, patients and pacemakers. When we were boarding our plane this morning, he was on his way to a surgery where a pacemaker was to be installed. Elisha, our daughter, is a busy homemaker and is a strong contender for an Oscar for the Best Actress in a Local Church Comedy video series. We saw the proof. Look out, Hollywood!
We had our first “California” burrito. Who among you knows what one is? We also had some cold Jamaica…yum. We visited Pacific Beach for the first time and watched some larger than usual waves crashing in.
As we were driving back into the Grand Rapids area this evening, we actually thought we saw snow on the ground. How can this be? Alas, we’re still east of Eden and way east of California.