30 May 2011 ~ 4 Comments

Foursquare Connection, Day 1

Yesterday ended quite badly, starting with arriving to my hotel room at about 2:00 am Columbus time. That in and of itself was not entirely a bad thing. It was buffered by a great conversation with a guy I sat with on the plane from Chicago to Columbus and a shared cab ride with one of my best friends, Tim Mossholder. His plane arrived in Columbus around the same time mine did.

Once in my room, I spent some time unpacking and organizing. I like to make the room home when I’m going to be there for more than a night or two. Upon my routine of prepping to go to bed, I went to plug in my cell phone; only to find I could not find my cell phone. Lovely. Called the front desk to no avail. Called the cab company and got voicemail.

I was blessed to be able to keep my calm and enjoy a needed night’s sleep. I resigned myself to the fact there was nothing I could do about this until the morning. I wish I could find the same peace in other times, but a good lesson and experience nonetheless.

This morning, I called the front desk again. No phone turned in. I called the cab company. Voicemail again. Throughout the morning, voicemail, voicemail. I could see where this was going. That would be…..nowhere. I’m not seeing that phone again.

Fortunately, I already knew I was eligible for an upgrade and was waiting for the next version of my phone to come out to do so. Oh well, we’ll go with what I can get and be thankful for the upgrade bringing my smartphone to a reasonable price, which is still more than I wanted to pay.

Closest store was 1.7 miles north. A good reason to get some exercise. After losing a bunch of weight last year due to gastroparesis (look for the category on my blog and you can read those seemingly endless entries), I’ve gained most of it back. Now I need to lose it again, but in a healthy way this time.

If you’ve followed my blog for any more than a month or so, you know where we’ve been with my youngest son. That has equaled no real exercise and too much eating (though after last year, I’m glad to be able to eat at all). Types of food are restricted, but unfortunately, calories aren’t. Much of what IS restricted is stuff on the healthy side of anyone’s diet.

I have anticipated that once Jonathan was safe and secure and well taken care of, one of the routines I would once again return to will be exercise. Enough with the excuses and time to get down to business.

Off to the phone store I went, in Columbus’ 90° and high humidity. 1.7 miles and 1 hour later, I got a lay of the land out one direction from the hotel and the new phone was in hand. A stop on the way back at the grocery store to stock my fridge for the week gave me about 15 pounds in each hand. That equaled the best workout I’ve had in 18 months!!

Once back at the hotel, I picked up my registartion materials and retreated to the cool of my room to dry off, sync my phone, do a good chunk of reading and perusing Convention materials and enjoyed a nap. All just in time for tonight’s opening session, which started at 7:00 pm.

After running into some friends on the way, I was able to get seated in the back and enjoyed some of the opening worship and festivities before the introduction of the speaker. I had never heard of Jon Tyson before this Convention. He’s an Australian who is Pastor of Trinity Grace Church in New York City. They are a church with several campuses through the boroughs (neighborhoods) of NYC.

He spoke a marvelous message out of Revelation 2, where Jesus addresses the Church in Ephesus, telling them He admires many attributes, but is concerned they’ve lost their first love, their passion for Him. He tells them to “repent, return to me, or I’ll remove the candlestick from you.” Jon used that to muse about whether the Church in America is losing her candlestick.

After somewhat philosophising a number of ways the Church can turn that around, he eventually came to help us all recognize again that all Jesus asked them to do to keep the candle was to love Him first and foremost. He mentioned the truth that BEFORE Jesus ever began ministry, at the time He was baptized, THAT was when the Father spoke, “This is my Son, whom I love, and with whom I am well pleased.” Jon went on to say, “isn’t that the real goal for any of us, to hear the Father say, ‘I love you and I’m pleased with you’?”

And, isn’t it interesting that God spoke that to Jesus BEFORE He did ANY ministry and not after? Then why do we keep doing ministry as though we have to earn those words from God, as though He is waiting to see if we have measured up before He will speak those words to us rather than doing ministry out of the overflow of living in that love?

It was quite powerful, and a great way to start the week! The schedule is pretty packed, something that always draws my ire a bit about conferences in general.

I sometimes wonder when I hear messages like tonight’s as a Convention begins, “will this make any difference when we’re at the business session tomorrow?”

“If tonight’s message is really true, why do we have a schedule that would have any one person who attends every session starting at 8:15 in the morning and ending at 9:30 at night with a break only for lunch and dinner?” Hmmmmm…..maybe it’s just me.

Not trying to be a complainer about that. Just seems a little contradictory to messages like tonight’s.

  • Ron Archer

    Paul,

    Hang in there. Love the honesty and creativity of your posts. Have the best “Conference” possible. Enjoy following your posts and keeping up with God’s workings/dealings in your life/family/ministry. Unfortunately we do live in a Post Denominational era. Why do we need/put up with all this stuff. Local/Regional/Kingdom Church is the Now/Future of what God is doing.

    Just my tho’ts in response to your post. I may be totally crazy….

    Ron

    • Paul Kuzma

      Thanks Ron!

  • Veronica Joy

    Hi Pastor Paul,
    From your blogs it sounds as thought you are truly “connecting” with many different people. Making new friends and catching up with old friends. I am glad you are enjoying yourself.
    I feel the same way as you do about conferences and retreats. Sometime you feel run ragged! I have slowed myself down these day’s. What I do now is I seek the Lord as to what session I need to attend. There is no written law that I must attend all sessions. Many times you can get the session on DVD or CD. Then that gives me more time to take in what the Lord truly wants to speak to my heart.
    May the Lord minister to your heart! Veronica Joy

    • Paul Kuzma

      True on all counts VJ! Thanks for the comments and I’ll see you soon!

      Paul