This year’s Pepperdine Bible Lectures (PBL) have concluded. Never
in my life had I been as tired going into a PBL (not known for increasing sleep ratios), so the week had the chance to
become a recovery week for me. However, I manage to muster the energy to enjoy
a great spiritual feast.
With all respect to Tulsa and ACU, Pepperdine remains the finest of the Church of Christ-affiliated lecture-style programs. ACU and Tulsa are terrific for other
reasons, and are well worth attending. However, on the whole, Pepperdine is just on another level. It is typically the spiritual highlight of my year.
I taught a 3-day class which I thought went fine…but you’d
have to ask the people who attended. I then spent some time attending several
classes once: Jeff Walling, Evert Huffard, Lowry/Cope, and a couple of others.
But, I also did something I hadn’t done other than the years I’ve been a
keynote/theme lecturer: I attended all of the keynote and theme lectures. I
usually attend all of the evening lectures and at least one or two of the
morning lectures. This year, I resolved to make all of them. I’m really glad I
All of the main lectures had wonderful qualities unto
themselves. I particularly loved the mature, sage, and doctrine-rich preaching of Monte Cox and Rick Atchley. They gave the whole week a “Jesus
is the only way” and “Jesus only is the way” feel. Rich Little brought his typical
exuberance; Brian Simmons helped us understand victory in Jesus better; Curt
Sparks brought a deeply personal sermon from his experience and credibility,
Josh Ross will be a wonderful preacher for years to come, and Mike Cope was…
What makes the Bible Lectures such a wonderful experience
for me is the people. It’s always good to run into old professors, fellow preachers, old
classmates, old friends, old coworkers, and get to meet people I’ve always
wanted to meet. I also love the praise emphasis of the PBL. At Pepperdine, you
usually get to hear acappella singing at its best…and sing yourself hoarse.
And, you usually get to hear some of the best preaching and teaching around –
in or outside of Churches of Christ.
I know that we all need vacations. Vacations are one of life’s
greatest blessings. But, I would encourage everyone to pick at least one event each
year to make a vacation for the soul—one in which you focus on rekindling your
fire for the Lord. Pepperdine is one of those each year for me.
Do you have one of those places or times in your year? If
so, what is it?
I’m back at NCCC now, super tired but full, ready to roll, and rekindled.
Thanks to Jerry Rushford and Pepperdine University for another wonderful year.
See you next year.