Vanessa and I are having a great time at Saddleback. Here's a bit of an update from Day One:
1) The facilities are unbelievable - completely different from any church I have ever seen. They have several "venues," places you can go to worship with different music styles. The buildings, especially the children's building, are great. It is big, but it doesn't feel big.
2) The conference started with a worship time on Tuesday morning. It was deeply, deeply moving for me. It was led by Saddleback's praise team who were very good. However, the difference was a group from Destiny Church in Georgia that joined them on stage and danced as they sang. I don't know why exactly but it was beautiful and touching. I am getting choked up just thinking about it. It was so worshipful!
3) My respect for Rick Warren continues to grow. The critics are all wrong. Here is a godly man who loves the word and loves the church. Though I know this material pretty well, I am learning a lot from him.
4) Ideas out the wazoo ... Ithaca, watch out, we're coming back with tons of ideas.
5) It's a small world. Vanessa and I had a bet that the first person to see someone we knew would win $5. I won. Before lunch yesterday, I saw a guy - now get this - that Vanessa went to high school with, then he pastored in FL with Vanessa's brother-in-law, and now is a youth pastor in Lansing. We have never seen him in Lansing ... but we see him in CA.
6) Weather is amazing. We sat on the patio during yesterday's afternoon sessions because V wanted to work on her tan. We're sunburned.
7) I keep getting lost. The way stuff is laid out here is weird. I just can't seem to get the lay of the land. It should take us 10 minutes to get to the church from our hotel. It tends to take 30 minutes, however.
8) Besides the palm trees, I don't recognize any of the other trees and flowers here.
Conference today, and then we are headed to LA for touristy things, including the Reagan Presidential Library, Hollywood, and the Crystal Cathedral. Can't wait!