Refreshed, renewed and rested

I had a great time at the Desiring God 2012 Conference for Pastors.  There were about 2000 pastors there:
and engaging in fellowship.

We were:
and energized to be better pastors and leaders.

I attended with 3 other colleagues/friends.  It was so edifying to be able to process with these Christian men about what we were taking away from this event.  I also came home with a lot of resources; a stack of books of which I only bought 4.  Not too bad 🙂

Much of what I learned I am still processing.  The fear I have with these conferences, though, is that I come home so fired up and energized; thinking I am going to change the world RIGHT NOW, but often times I cool off.  So my prayer is that the Holy Spirit keeps this fire burning.  My hope is that the more I process and talk about this event the better.  Last night I shared with my Worship/Music Team an idea and we are already at work trying to implement that idea (more about this will be coming soon I am sure).

I am so thankful for my wife, Salem and Belmont Lutheran Churches for giving me these opportunities to get away and grow in so many ways.  Now…it’s time to return to life and see what the Holy Spirit does through me.

Dear God, please keep fanning the flames that were ignited in me these past few days.  Help me to not forget.  Help me to be a better pastor, husband, leader, friend, son, brother, etc.  May you be praised in all that I do; that all may see your loves in my words and actions.  May my life be a reflection of you.  Amen.

edh -|—

Continuing education time

I am heading to a pastor’s conference for a couple days.  Check out the below link for more details:

Desiring God 2012 Conference for Pastors

I so enjoy these times away to get refreshed because life as a pastor can be draining.

This will be especially fun for me as I head to this conference with a couple close friends.  It will be great to process things with them.  These guys are strong Christian men and I feel blessed to be part of this group.  We support one another and hold each other accountable.  What a blessing.

God bless you this week.  I am hoping to share more with you when I return.

Take care.

edh -|—

Exciting news!

“Leadership in the small church”

When I heard about the above continuing education opportunity I was intrigued.  I serve two small congregations in SW MN.  So an educational event about leadership in a small congregation sounded good to me.  But then I heard it was at Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria, VA.  At that point I lost some enthusiasm.  I mean…that’s a long ways and would be a spendy continuing education trip…something my congregation might not be able to afford (let alone me).  But the title still intrigued me so decided I checked it out…to satisfy my curiosity.  I learned that this opportunity was fully funded by a Lilly Grant (travel, lodging, pulpit supply…everything).  Now my interest was peeked again.  Then I learned that only 25 pastors (and spouses) are selected from across the country.  There was a lengthy application process for me, my spouse and congregation to fill out.  There would be homework before, during and after, but it would be something that would enhance my ministry, offer support for my wife and encourage my congregation.  It seemed like a long shot but we decided to go for it.

And oh by the way…my bishop is the one who put me on to this and encouraged me to go for it.

So I gathered a team from Salem to fill out the church’s part of the application.  I gave Connie her information and I went to work on mine.  We were all very excited but still reserved.  After all…only 25 couples get selected, but what did we have to lose.

I got my stuff turned in by the deadline (Dec. 15, 2009) and we began waiting…and praying.  We would know by sometime in early February.

Well…today is February 1.  The phone rings and on the other end is a woman from Virginia Theological Seminary.  I knew right then and there they probably weren’t calling me to say I did not make it…and I was right.

My wife and I are going to Virginia for the Summer Collegium at Virginia Theological Seminary (check out the link for more information); June 23 – July 1 of this year.  Out of 175 applicants we were one of 25 elected.  PRAISE BE TO GOD!  My wife and I are humbled to be chosen and excited for the opportunity; excited for us and for our congregation.  Now the real work begins.  A packet of information will be coming my way shortly and I am sure you will be hearing much more about this throughout the year.

For right now…Connie and I are super excited and praising God for this opportunity.  I can hardly wait to see what God is going to do with us (and our congregation) through this event.

Praise be to God!

To be continued…