Monday, August 4, 2014

The Nashville Turnaround

The Main Event is a Christian Men’s Conference sponsored by Lifeway each year.  It has been in Nashville for the past several years, and next year there will be one there but a couple of others at different cities across the country also.

They bring in some celebrity speakers and also some accomplished preachers to speak and inspire the thousands of men in attendance.  I would estimate I joined about 9000 others this year at the Bridgestone Arena.  The primary celebrity speaker was President George W. Bush, but you might also recognize names like Tommy and Bobby Bowden, Comedian Micheal, Jr., or NASCAR driver Darrell Waltrip.

There was a surprise appearance by Lee Greenwood, and of course he sang "God Bless the USA!"  Everyone sang along.  Fantastic!  Micheal W. Smith lead the worship music.

The celebrities all were interesting, many continue to be involved in various ministries.  President Bush told of being in Rwanda and meeting a group of orphan/refugees.  It was an impromptu meeting…he had no speech planned, so he just shook hands with the first refugee and said, “God is good”.  In unison the refugees replied, “all the time”.

Bobby Bowden told about sharing the Gospel with his football team, then one of his assistant coaches coming to his office and asking about eternal life and Jesus.  The assistant coach accepted Christ in his office, and is a well known Christian head coach today.

Darrell Waltrip talked a lot about his relationship with Dale Earnhardt.  He said his wife put a verse of scripture in his car and Earnhardt’s car before every race.  Though retired from racing, he is very involved with the ministry at the tracks.

Micheal, Jr. is funny.  ‘nuff said.  “I haven’t had a cigarette in over 2 years.”  *applause* “I never smoked in my life”.

We heard some good messages from the preachers also.  I came home with a fresh understanding of Ephesians chapter 5 and my role in the sanctification of my wife.

I titled this “The Nashville Turnaround” because the whole trip was about 40 hours.  I picked up my pastor, Bro. Chet Hensley at 4:30 Friday morning, and we were back in Ennis sometime after 1:00 Sunday morning.  Spending 40 hours with your pastor is a rare opportunity…one that I think very few men have an opportunity to do. What a blessing that was for me!

After we got back, God revealed some stuff to me about the 40 hours.  For me, I likened it to the children of Israel following Moses through the wilderness for 40 years.  Pastor Chet would take off up a flight of stairs at the arena with me following behind at turtle speed, and when I finally caught up with him, he’d say, “how’s your knee?”  I’d say fine, then he’d be gone again, and I would catch up with him again, and he’d say “how’s your knee?” again.  This happened several times.  I think Pastor Chet thought keeping up with him might heal my knee.  Maybe I haven’t waited long enough for the miracle yet.

For Pastor Chet, he might liken the 40 hours with me to the 40 days Jesus spent in the wilderness being tempted by the devil.  If you ask him that, please don’t tell me what he says.  I don’t want to know.

Any way you look at it though, it was a rare opportunity that few will experience, spending 40 straight hours with their pastor.  However, any of us have the opportunity to spend 40 hours with someone even greater, the Master.

I have been blessed to have taken a couple of overnight excursions with just me and my Bible…and all of that time to read and meditate on the Word and pray with Jesus.

If you ever get the opportunity to spend 40 hours with your pastor, I would recommend it, but you do have the opportunity to spend time alone with the Master.  Take advantage of it!