The date: February 23, 2015. The place: Calvary Baptist Church in Normal, IL. Thanks to Pastor Matt and staff for making room for us on Monday. The occasion: Gospel Centered Family.com bloggers first face-to-face(-to-face) meet up since launching the blog.
Why February 23? It's a date we were all available. Why Normal, IL? It was about as centrally located as we could get. Why Calvary Baptist? We have a mutual friends and they were gracious enough to accommodate us. Why get together? That will take the rest of this post.
We pray for each other on a regular basis. It's different when we are together. In order have the impact we desire, we need to be praying and praying together. This morning we read Scripture and prayed. We prayed for the day, for the blog, for our families, and for each other. I (Pat) am always encouraged by the way these guys pray with and for me, encouraging me and challenging me; basically pastoring me (... and I pray that I've done that for them as well.)
We spent some time planning out where we want to take the blog over the next month as well. Our desire is to be a resource for both parents and pastors; that doesn't happen without a plan. While this can (and has) happened via Google hangout, there just a different feel to it when we are in the same room. As we talked, we got more excited about where we're going and how we will get there. Dreaming and brainstorming seem to happen easier when we are all in the same room ... go figure, right?
We can't get together and not find a way to goof off just a little. After dinner last night Jeff and I came to the conclusion that we have failed as Jared's friends because he hadn't seen Guardians of the Galaxy. So even though is was later than we were planning on staying up, and huddled around a laptop, we got our "geek" on and laughed all the way through it. Ok ... when I was awake I was laughing, when I wasn't I was probably snoring.
We plan to get together as often as we can; which isn't as often as we would like, hopefully a few times a year. It's a time of refreshment. It's a time of encouragement and challenge. It's a time to rest and to write. It's a time to bless and be blessed by friends that God has brought together for His glory and our good.
Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another. (Proverbs 27:17 ESV)