Monday, February 07, 2011

There and Back

This past weekend I had the privilege of preaching at Bell Shoals Baptist Church in Brandon, FL. I have always enjoyed my time with the leaders and students from this church and was greatly looking forward to being with them again. However, on Friday morning, I wasn't sure that I was going to make it there.

At the end of last week, Houston experienced a serious(?) ice storm. Now, Houstonians have a rough enough time driving in rain, so you can imagine their struggle when ice forms. My flight was scheduled to leave Friday at 12:05 pm from Houston's Hobby Airport (HOU), so I left extra early in order to make sure I had adequate time to get there.

My wife, Steph, was a bit worried about me driving through the ice, but I told her that the Gospel of Jesus Christ was compelling me to at least try and make my flight. I assured her that I would take my time and be extra careful.

On my way there, I was shocked by how many accidents I saw.  It seems that the 'ol boys down here in H-Town got a bit impatient and decided to slam on their brakes when things got slick.  Whoops...

After taking the scenic route through South Houston and over the ship channel, I finally made it to the airport and was overwhelmed by how long the lines were.  By the time I made it to the counter my flight was scheduled to have already left.  So, they took my suitcase and put a 'Transfer' tag on it.

I then proceeded to enter into the 45 minute+ security line and slowly made my way through the maze.  Security was a breeze once I got there and I got through without a hitch.

As I was going to the desk to find a later flight, I noticed the door was still open for the gate I was supposed to leave from almost an hour earlier!  I went up to the guy and said, "Is the flight to Tampa still here?"  He answered that it was and I replied, "I want to go to there." (or something like that).  As I was going over to the desk to get my original boarding pass printed up, I was allowed to cut in front of a huge line (made tons of fans) and got my boarding pass.

Once on the plane, I felt like I was re-enacting the school bus scene in Forest Gump with all of the boys and girls having middle seats open shifting their weight in such a way that let me know that they were not going to let me sit without a fight.

Finally, I made it to the back of the plane, and had no other choice but to sit between two, although I'm sure nice, but large folks.  I'm no lightweight myself, so as I was getting in, I assured them that I could make myself super narrow.  Apparently they liked the idea and took me up on the offer.  After getting settled (squished) in, they got on the intercom to inform us that our pilot was running late due to traffic (later than I was!?) and that we would be leaving in a few moments.  Phew!

I landed in Tampa, picked up my rental car, and then headed to the hotel.  I didn't have a change of clothes, but fortunately, they had an event T-shirt that I could wear.  So, I donned the new shirt, went on stage, and preached.  Afterwards I was informed by my friend that when she went to the airport that they still had not located my luggage...  Grr...

So, I did what anyone would do, and went to Target™ and bought a new shirt, socks, under-roos, etc.   Later that night I received a phone call from the airline that my bag had arrived and that they would be delivering it overnight.

Overall, it wasn't that horrible, but definitely a bit inconvenient.  The ministry event, however, went very well and I pray that as the seeds are watered, that the students and leaders will bear much fruit and that God will bring the harvest.


James Lane said...

My dad used to tell me "Evangelism is often not pretty". The first time he told me this I was a teenager an he was sending me over to a disabled man's house to dig a dead cat out from under his mobile home. :0)

Anonymous said...

So glad you made it safely and the event went well. Now I can breathe a sigh of relief! Mom

Chris said...

We had some bad weather last week and we are about to get some more snow tonight. Living in Houston I always looked forward to cold weather, now I am ready for spring.