Last Friday evening and Saturday morning, I attended “The Last Twelve Verses of Mark: Original or Not?” Conference at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. I’m still thinking through the plethora of information that was presented at the conference itself. I plan to publish a post sometime next week reviewing the conference and presenters and reflecting on my thoughts after the conference. However, in this post, I want to discuss some of the times of fellowship that we had surrounding the conference.
Late Friday afternoon (or was it early Friday evening), my family had dinner with Lew (from “The Pursuit“) at Over the Falls Deli in Wake Forest. At the deli, we ran into Christy, who owns the deli along with her husband John and who we met a couple of months ago. Plus, it turns out that one of my Greek students, Kevin, works at the deli. The deli suffered smoke damage due to a fire in the basement a few months ago. We were glad to be able to support John and Christy, and we had a great time fellowshipping with Lew. My son especially enjoys spending time with Lew.
Just before the conference started, Steve (from “Theological Musings Blog“) and his wife Christy (from “Until My Last Breath“) arrived from western North Carolina. I had never met Steve and Christy before, but unfortunately there were only a few minutes before the conference was scheduled to begin. Plus, Lew and I planned to live-blog the conference, and we had a few more things to prepare. We had to settle for simple greetings. Also, before the conference started, a few more friends arrived, including Theron (from “Sharing in the Life“), Rob (I wish he had a blog I could list here), and MaÃ«l and Cindy (from “The Adventures of MaÃ«l and Cindy“).
For the Friday evening session of the conference, the presenters were Daniel Wallace (my summary and Lew’s summary), Maurice Robinson, (my summary and Lew’s summary), and Keith Elliott (my summary and Lew’s summary). After the conference, I had the opportunity to meet Josh (from “A New Testament Student” – see his report here). Unfortunately, we only had a few minutes to talk.
After the conference, Rob and his wife, Brandi, invited us to come to their apartment for coffee. So I, Steve and Christy, MaÃ«l and Cindy, and Theron and his wife Cheryl went to Rob and Brandi’s apartment. Plus, Leah (from “Our Payneful Memories“) joined us for coffee and fellowship. Leah and her husband Ed (aka tenjuices) had previously agreed to allow Steve and Christy to spend the evening with them. I appreciate their example of hospitality. It was a pleasure to get to know Steve and Christy, and to spend time with our friends. I had to leave early (11:00 pm, if that’s early), but the others stayed to talk until after midnight.
The next morning, the first hour of the conference included bagels, muffins, coffee, and juice. For those who know Steve and Christy, you will be happy to know that they found a Starbucks for their breakfast coffee.
For the Saturday morning session of the conference, the presenters were David Alan Black (my summary and Lew’s summary) and Darrell Bock (my summary and Lew’s summary). The conference ended with a panel discussion (my summary and Lew’s summary).
After the conference, we had lunch at a local pizza restaurant: Alan and Margaret (irrefutably the best wife in history), Lew, MaÃ«l and Cindy, Theron and Cheryl, Josh (one of my Greek students), Dave Black (from “Dave Black Online Blog“), David Nelson (Dean of Faculty at SEBTS), and Jim Baird and Ray Clendenen (from Broadman and Homan Academic). (See Dr. Black’s post – with photos – on his blog from April 14, 2007 at 7:38 pm) The food was delicious and the fellowship was wonderful!
Following lunch, Steve, Christy, Theron, Margaret, and I found our way to Starbucks. For those of you who are counting, that is two trips to Starbucks for Steve and Christy in 8 hours. We spent another couple of hours enjoying conversation and fellowship – along with coffee, frapuccinos, and ice cream. The weather was beautiful, so we sat outside and talked about how God had brought us all to this point in our lives, and how He continues to teach us and encourage us and lead us.
The conference was exceptional. But, I think what made this weekend most memorable for me was the times of fellowship that surrounded the conference. Thank you everyone for allowing God to use you to impact my life this weekend!