2017: Page 178

Page 178 has been a long day . . . I know, they all have 24 hours in them, but there have been a lot of awake hours in this one. 🙂  As I start to write today’s page, it doesn’t look like I will complete it before the day is done . . . unless I quit writing after the next sentence. 🙂  Anyhow, I began the day making a cup of coffee and then promptly burning the inside of my mouth trying to drink it.  After my cup of coffee and a bag of Famous Amos chocolate chip cookies for breakfast, I headed over to the convention center to see what kind of tweaking I could do to my display.  I made a few adjustments to provide better visibility of the resources displayed to those walking by.  The convention had a very slow start and by mid-afternoon there had only been a few people stop by to talk about the prayer ministry and pick up some books.  

With the hope that evening would be better, I took a break late in the afternoon to get some lunch/dinner that would hold me through the rest of the day.  The BBQ I had yesterday was so good that I walked the 2+ mile round trip again to try some different things from the menu.  For me, returning to the same place to eat is nothing unusual — I like routine.  But ordering something not only different from before, but something I have never had, is very unusual.  But there I was ordering a new combo that was completely different from the day before.  Not to be too courageous, for the two meat choices I got the pulled pork as one of them, which was a familiar choice for me, so I knew I would have at least part of my meal I could eat.  The second meat choice was lamb ribs.  Given the only lamb that I know of that I’ve eaten before was lamb burger, this order was a stretch for me.  My server yesterday had recommended them as her personal favorite, but I wasn’t yet ready then to take the chance.  Anyhow, the pulled pork was very good and the lamb was exceptional!  Now that I’m on a roll, I might just have to go back another day and try something completely different again — although it would be hard to pass up the lamb ribs as I don’t see those on the menu anywhere I’ve gone to before.

After my meal, I made it back to the display and talked with a few people before the evening main session of the convention.  As it turns out, my display is right at one of the two entrances to the main session seating area, so I was getting a lot of people going by the display but because they were headed in for the worship session, few of them were stopping by.  After the main session, traffic did pick up for a while and I had a number of good conversations with people who eventually took some books with them.

Today’s photo is one I took yesterday as I stopped for a walk before finishing my trip to Kansas City.  It is a sculpture just outside the Chillicothe library and because I have loved reading as far back as I have memory, it caught my eye.  Having crossed the Mississippi River at Hannibal, Missouri just the day before, this sculpture was even more meaningful as some of the first “full length” books that caught my attention as a young boy were The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn.  As I thought about the role books and reading have played in my life, I marveled at how God has given me the gifting and privilege to write resources that encourage people to pursue Him.

As I reflect on the day, here are some thoughts/lessons that stand out to me:

  • I shouldn’t need a “caution, this coffee is hot” warning on coffee that I expect to be hot.  Rather, I should pay attention to what I’m doing. 
  • While it is easy to talk about “long days” and “short days”, it is God who gives the life to be lived in each day.
  • God wants us to present ourselves as workmen who need not be ashamed because we are correctly applying His Word.
  • It is one thing to make my ministry display as attractive as possible.  It is even better to make my Christian witness as attractive as possible to those who need to see Jesus.
  • Our comfort zones are easy because . . . well, because they are comfortable.
  • Many times God wants us to step out into something new so that He can surprise us with His goodness.
  • People passing by doesn’t always mean people stopping to learn, but you can pretty much count on them not stopping if they never pass by.
  • To quote an old book series my daughter loved having read to her when she was young, “Reading is the magic key that takes you where you want to be.”  While this can be true in the the things we read and then imagine, it is even more true when what we are reading is the perfect law of God’s Word which has the power to give true and everlasting freedom.

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