Sound Religion


Well this week was spent in Arkansas at the Annual Team Leadership Conference of the SWDCMA. I was running Audio/Video for the event. It was really a great conference all about dialoging with others as opposed to having dual monologues. I learned a lot about how I can have better conversations with others. I hope that this will help me to argue less and discuss more. I did greatly miss talking to my girlfriend though, because of the timing of the conference I haven't been able to talk to her on the phone since Sunday and I was only able to talk to her online for a very brief point in time. Of course, even though I'm back now, I won't be able to talk to her on the phone tonight either because it is Thursdays and I can't call her on Thursdays. I greatly look forward to talking with her on Friday.

I went over there Sunday Night to help get things setup, I rode with Dan & Iris Wetzel both ways. On the way up there we first stopped at DFW Airport to pickup the speaker for the week, Jeff Rosenau, then we stopped at Saltgrass Streakhouse to eat. They didn't bring my meal out with everyone else's meal instead it came about 15 minutes later. Instead of comping my meal like they should have, they gave us all a free piece of cheesecake to share. This was a surprisingly good cheesecake as I normally dislike cheesecake.

After a few more hours of driving we stopped in Host Springs, AR for dinner at a Cracker Barrel. About a half hour or so after leaving Cracker Barrel we ended up at the resort and after checking in and leaving my things in my room I headed to the convention area where I worked on getting things setup.

Monday I continued working on setup until about the event began at 6 p.m. At 6 we had a banquet in the banquet hall. We had chicken that was smothered in rice and olives and other such things, it was ok but not great. Of course with all things like this, we had iced tea, which I don't care for. We had a couple games we played to have a little fun. Since the theme of the conference was Building Bridges not Walls, we played a game of Name That Bridge where I put up photographs of famous bridges and the goal was to see who could name the most of the 12 bridges.

The Bridges were as follows:

  1. London Bridge - England

  2. Sydney Harbour Bridge - Sydney, Australia

  3. Golden Gate Bridge - San Francisco, CA

  4. Brooklyn Bridge - New York, NY

  5. Tappan Zee Bridge - Nyack, NY

  6. Arlington Memorial Bridge - Virginia

  7. Rialto Bridge - Venice, Italy

  8. Rainbow Bridge - Tokyo, Japan

  9. Fort Rail Bridge - Scotland

  10. New Bidwell Bar Suspension Bridge - Oroville, CA

  11. Fremont Bridge - Seattle, WA

  12. The Bridge from the Three Billy Goats Gruff

After playing this game we played a game of Celebrity Couple Connection, which is similar to the newly wed game. 3 Couples were "randomly" selected, the selected 3 couples were the Seckinger's, the Wetzel's, and the Moore's. The 3 couples then selected one of 3 bridges from the screen, behind each of which was the name of the celebrity couple they were going to have to pretend to be.

The Seckingers selected Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy behind Door #3. The Wetzels selected Door #1, behind which was Fred and Wilma Flintstone, which left the Moores with Bridge #2 which contained Popeye and Olive Oyl. We asked 4 questions to the guys while the ladies were out of the room to see how many ladies would answer the same question with the same answer when they came back in the room, then we did the same, asking the girls 4 questions while the guys were out of the room. At the End of the Game the Wetzels lost with only 3 points. The Seckingers came in second place with 3 points, and the winners were the Moore's as Popeye and Olive Oyl who had 4 points. Chris and Tammy were each given a chocolate bar shaped like a pair of lips.

There was then a drawing to give away various prizes to more people and then we had a short break and then reconvened in the meeting area for the opening worship session. Jim Cantleberry led worship for us and then our guest speaker for the week shared his testimony.

Tuesday there were 3 sessions. I woke up early (for me anyway) at 6:30 a.m. and had breakfast with several of the people who were there, then went to get ready for the opening session. We had a session from 8:30 to 10, then after a 30 minute break we had another session from 10:30 to 12:30, then we had lunch as a group (Turkey Wraps that weren't all that good) and then we had free time until dinner at 5:30. I used my free time to first hop on the internet and catch up with my e-mail and talk with my beloved a bit and then I spent some time at the pool and hot-tub. I got back to the room about 4:45 and leisurely got ready for dinner.

Dinner consisted of Catfish and Ribs. I don't like Ribs and someone else at the table didn't like Catfish so I traded my ribs for her fish and actually quite enjoyed that meal, although the service was incredibly slow and I was definitely tired of iced tea by this point. It was a very long time before rolls ended up at the table. And by the time they brought out Tartar Sauce just about everyone had finished their fish. And by the time they had brought out hush puppies ( a common side dish) just about everyone was finished with their meal including their dessert.

We had one more session Tuesday night and then when we broke for the evening, most people went to bed and I went to the Business Center to check my e-mail and work on powerpoint presentations for Wednesday Morning. Wednesday we had the final 2 sessions and a communion service. Then I tore down while Dan had a meeting to attend before we would be ready to drive back. On the way home I enjoyed talking to them for a while and then we stopped to eat at Carrinos which is an Italian restaurant. Shortly after continuing the trip home Iris decided to nap for a while, so I was able to spend the next couple hours talking with Dan. It was really nice to be able to pick his brain a little.

By the time we made it back to my house and I had gotten everything inside and gone up to my room, it was after 10:30 and I was very tired. I briefly talked with Lori on-line and then I went to sleep.