Each year I anticipate a trio of college conferences—the 20/20 Collegiate Conference (Wake Forest, NC), New Attitude/NEXT (Louisville/Baltimore), and Resolved (Palm Springs, CA). Tuesday I returned from Resolved where about 4,000 students assembled to hear from Rick Holland, Steve Lawson, John MacArthur, John Piper, and C.J. Mahaney. Here are a few highlights from the trip.
Highlight #1: Sunday night in the hotel watching Steve Lawson and John MacArthur start up new Kindles they received for speaking at the conference and listening in as C.J. provided the technical support. These three guys are more comfortable with a fountain pen than an iPod, so this communion of technological discovery was too funny! How I wish I had video! [BTW, upon starting up the Kindle, the first book automatically suggested on the screen to Dr. MacArthur was The Third Jesus by Deepak Chopra. No sale.]
Highlight #2: Hearing Rick lead an impromptu interview with Steve Lawson on church history.
Highlight #3: Hearing Rick’s introduction before C.J. spoke for the first time. His intro was moving because of its accuracy. When Rick asked how many students at the conference had never heard C.J. preach live, I would guess somewhere between 1-in-4 to 1-in-3 raised their hands. And they were in for a treat. On the final evening of the conference, C.J.’s version of his Psalm 42 message (“The Troubled Soul”) was one of the best messages I’ve heard him deliver. But back to the intro, very nicely done!
Highlight #4: To close the conference, Dr. Piper delivered a message “How Sin Serves the Glory of Christ.” It was a clear and concise presentation of the cross-centeredness of biblical history and now ranks in my top-10 favorite Piper messages. Both of his conference messages were pulled from his book, Spectacular Sins (Crossway, 2008).
Highlight #5: Message “A Biblical Strategy For Fighting Sexual Sin” by Rick Holland. Outstanding message!
Highlight #6: Morning devotions on the hotel patio overlooking the empty pool, the palm trees, and the San Jacinto Mountains.
It was a great trip, with comfortable highs in the low-90s (last year it topped out at 117°), and plenty of time to hang out with friends (old and new). But it’s always nice to be home again.