I didn’t blog while traveling. I know, organized bloggers plan ahead, write posts in advance and publish them on the road. Organized bloggers do that. I don’t. I didn’t even bring my computer (and I have a dumb phone).
If you were praying for me, I really appreciated it. (If you weren’t, why not?)
First, Shannon and I spoke on “God Behaving Badly in Jesus’ Parables” for a group of about 100 students from my seminary. I thought I gave a good talk Friday evening (Nov. 18) on “God the Naive Vineyard Owner” (Luke 20), but the next morning, Shannon’s talk on “God the Loser of Precious Things” (Luke 15) moved me to tears. Afterwards, my older son Nathan said, “I think Mom one-uped you, Dad.” Story of my life.
Saturday afternoon I ditched my wife and flew to San Francisco, arriving about 10 pm local time, then drove over the mountains on wild Highway 17, in the dark, in the rain, in an unfamiliar rental car (“Where are the wipers?” “Where are the lights?”), in a body that thought it was 2:00 am. Got to sleep about midnight (3:00 am ET).
I preached three times (9, 11, 7) on Sunday (Nov. 20) at Vintage Faith church in Santa Cruz, where Dan Kimball is the pastor. I had a great time there. It was delightful to see God at work there. The church ordered 48 copies of God Behaving Badly and they sold out between the 1st and 2nd service. (In the afternoon, I napped in my rental car.) After the evening session, we had a Q and A discussion in their uber-cool coffee shop from 8:30-9:45 pm.
I left Santa Cruz about 10:00, drove back up Highway 17 to San Francisco International where I dropped off my rental and then took BART to SF for the Society of Biblical Literature conference, arriving at my hotel a little after midnight to wake up my friend and roommate Paul Joyce (a professor of Old Testament at Oxford).
Monday I breakfasted with old friends from Penn InterVarsity (JD Atkins, Stephen Russell), then hung out with contacts at IVP. I found out that IVP sold out their copies of GBB on the first day and had to say no to “No” to NT Wright who was looking for a copy of my book. He was probably jealous of my book sales.
Tuesday, I traveled down to Palo Alto where I hung out with Alex and Susan Van Riesen and their 3 wonderful children. I lead a discussion on a few problematic passages from the OT with about 20 leaders from their church in the evening.
Wednesday, I flew back, Shannon picked me up and we arrived at home about midnight.
On Thursday, I thanked God for a great trip. On Friday, I refrained from shopping.