Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Comings and Goings in NOLA

I arrived here in New Orleans on Friday evening. The main purpose of the trip was to attend the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary Board of Trustees semi annual meeting. However, since four precious members of my family live here I try to come a couple of days early, or stay a few days after the meetings to visit with them.

It's been a nice visit.

I had the funeral service last Friday morning for Beverly White, a dear member of Westmoreland Baptist Church (whose husband's funeral I had done only 86 days earlier). My flight was scheduled to leave at 1:00 so I didn't get to attend the dinner for the family that had been prepared by the ladies of our church. I appreciate Darrell Clark taking care of the committal at the cemetery, and for the wonderful outpouring of love from our church.

Saturday was a great day with Jay. He was scheduled to do the prayer at the opening pre season game of the New Orleans Hornets. That's right! An NBA game that opens with prayer! How about that? Anyhow we got the VIP treatment, food in the hospitality room, and sweet seats in the private sky boxes. My first NBA game - and although I never watch the NBA until playoff time - I really had a great experience.

Then it was off across the parking lot to see the Herd win a solid victory against the Green Wave of Tulane in the huge Louisiana Superdome. That's TWO conference road wins in a row for Marshall! It would be wonderful if the magic continues this Saturday at Morgantown. (I can dream can't I?)

I preached Sunday morning at First Baptist Church of Westwego. Great crowd, sweet Spirit, good music! God has richly blessed Jay and his ministry in this most secular of cities.

Yesterday I had opportunity to show four young folks from back home around the campus of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. Leeah Weber and Garrett Duff are seeking God's leading as they plan to further their Christian Educations. NOBTS is a possibility for them. Had opportunity to set up meetings for Leeah with Dr. Darryl Ferrington of the Music Department, and with Dr. Allen Jackson of Collegiate Ministries for Garrett. Leeah and Garrett sat in on one of Dr. Jackson's classes yesterday afternoon. They will probably head home after Chapel service today.

Joey, on the other hand, is already an On Line student here at NOBTS, but he has never been on campus here. He and his friend Jordan (from Marshall) drove in yesterday afternoon. I spent some time with them and hooked them up with Student Enlistment office for a campus tour. They will be sitting in on one of Dr. Paige Brooks' classes this afternoon. Their itinerary is not as time cramped as the one for Leeah and Garrett, so they will be able to stay in New Orleans a couple of extra nights. They'll be staying at Jay's Church in Westwego. I am so happy that these young folks are considering NOBTS for their theological education.

I have two days of Trustee meetings with Dr. Kelley and the administration team of the Seminary, today and Wednesday. These are important and informative meetings. Our newly elected Trustees will be with us in this weeks meetings. Please pray for us for any decisions that we may be called upon to make. May God bless our fellowship and our focus on the Mission of this Seminary.

One thing I will miss today is the maiden voyage of the USS New York as it passes through New Orleans on it's journey to the Gulf of Mexico, on it's way to New York City. The New York was built in the nearby Avondale Ship Yards and it is constructed with 29 tons of steel taken from the ruins of the fallen twin towers of the World Trade Center in NYC. Officials are welcoming the public to line the levees, in memory of those killed in the terrorists attacks of 9-11, as the USS New York passes by. I'll be in Trustee meetings at the time, but sure wish I had opportunity to be on the levee when she sails by today.

My flight is scheduled to leave Louis Armstrong International Airport at 7:30 Thursday morning. President Obama is scheduled to land there on Air Force One about the same time. He had only scheduled another campaign style Town Hall Meeting here in town for his first post election visit, but local officials demanded that his visit have a little more substance. So, they have scheduled a visit for the President at a school in the Katrina ravaged Lower 9th Ward. It's always a big deal when the President comes to your town - any President. Obama is both loved and deplored by folks here in NOLA. I am personally appalled by many of his policies, but I respect the office, and my responsibility is to pray for those in authority over us.

One of my prayers is that his arrival will not delay my flight on Thursday morning. I have a real tight connecting time in Charlotte!

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