My friend Jeff heard about the very first National Pastor’s Convention in San Diego and called to ask if I would like to attend with him. We took the golf clubs and set out for the Town and Country Resort in San Diego. It seems like it was in 2000 but may have been a year later. During that conference I heard about a new website, theooze.com. I began reading articles and message boards in what would be the early years of the web community created by Spencer Burke. Not a year or so later I received an e-mail invitation to take a learning journey with ETREK a new venture by the “always got a new crazy idea” Burke. The format and subject spurred my interest. I applied, was accepted and began a learning journey with eight other people from around the country.
Today, Spencer and I are friends. He will celebrate a milestone birthday next month. I hated to turn down an invitation from the consummate host to celebrate such a moment but plans with the family had been made. Our friendship developed during that learning journey. We have worked together for five or six years hoping to turn ETREK into a leading innovative learning community for small groups and seminaries. We offered a number of ETREK courses at Biblical Seminary.
I always enjoy hanging out in Newport at the Beach Shack. Lisa, Alden and Grace are also great hosts. Waking up thinking, “What did I do to deserve this?” is how I felt helping with the last Soularize in the Bahamas. That’s right. If that was not enough, enjoying meals and conversation with N.T. Wright and Father Richard Rohr were more than icing on the cake. May never happen again – well, with Spencer, anything can happen.
Mike Morrell sent out a note to bloggers with a connection to The Ooze looking for book reviewers. I agreed. I am a bibliophile. So I find out I am an “Ooze Select Blogger.” My first package arrived – about five books. I read My Beautiful Idol and offered some thoughts here on the blog. A research project has slowed my reading and another shipment of books this past Monday has me overwhelmed. I promise to work hard to offer another review or two soon. (Mike and I may not get much other reading and writing done as we ended up in the same online course with David Fitch and Geoff Holsclaw. Not to denigrate any author of the books Mike sent over, but the reading for the course makes some of these new releases seem a bit remedial. After all, reading Derrida will spin most around. Not so much with Pete Gall – and that is a compliment to Gall!)