Sunday, November 06, 2005


Plane rides are always similar in their formality, but unique in the mosaic of people assembled. One of the passengers in first class was a star from the TV sitcom "Everybody Loves Raymond."” I cannot think of this name, but he plays the part of Robert's father-in-law, a very conservative Christian.

I filled like an ant through the narrow aisle. For this ride, I was placed at the back of the plane next to the engine (the perks of a free ticket with flier miles).

My row of three seats stayed empty and I hoped to have some extra room. Clicking the overhead light, it would not turn on. I had a few hundred pages left to read for the course. It was night. I needed the light! The flight attendant's solution was to shrug her shoulders. I started using the light in the vacant seat next to me. Eventually, two singles one male and one female sat next to me. Thankfully, they talked for the entire flight, hovered towards one another and eventually exchanged phone numbers. I was able to lean in toward the middle seat and share the light from the middle seat since they were hovered toward one another.

I arrived in Southern California at 8:00 p.m. This week I am taking a class with Brian McLaren and Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California. McLaren is a noted evangelical speaker, pastor and author of a number books (A New Kind of Christian, More Ready than You Realize). I began coming out to Fuller about once a year beginning in 2001. I am working toward a Doctorate Degree in Ministry. My course work has emphasized ministry, spirituality, postmodernity and mission. I have learned at the feet of some great professors: Terry Walling, Dallas Willard, Richard Peace and now Brian McLaren. I will do my best to share bits and pieces of my experience.

Once on the ground, I made a quick call to Donna. I was sad to be learn about Mary Tom Price passing away in her sleep. She is a sweet gentle soul, who was always there with a hug and a word of encouragement. We will miss seeing her life continue here, yet we can rejoice that her life moves on. Death is not much different from a plane ride. You get on in one location and you get off in another. The only differences: it is a one-way ticket to infinity and there is no luggage. All you take and all you leave are the things that you have done and most importantly the person you have become. Remember you are becoming the person you will be for all eternity.

Live God'’s story of 1 John 4:19

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