I woke up early. Too early after staying up too late. But after breakfast, I put on my shorts and walking shoes and took a long walk I listened to music and a sermon by Sinclair Ferguson. It was beautiful riverfront park. But I noticed a number of people who looked unemployed or homeless. In the downtown area, there were other marks of the recession. Empty, older buildings were commonplace. There was some great architecture in the area.
Eventually I made my way over to the convention center to register and peruse the exhibit hall. Always good to do that before it gets too busy. I was able to spend a few minutes talking with Jason Bobo from Redeemer Seminary, and Ra McLaughlin from III Millennium Ministries. Jason used to be an RUF campus minister in my Presbytery, so I wanted to see how he was adjusting. I used to work with Ra at Ligonier Ministries. Richard Pratt was busy, but I said a quick ‘hi’ and shook his hand.
Then a ‘healthy’ lunch at Panera. The Thai Chicken Chop salad looked interesting. I’ve heard of the jumping cactus, but not the jumping salad dressing. It jumped upon my shirt. Not want you want as you meet people you haven’t seen in who knows how long, and show up at the opening worship service. Thankfully I had 2 new t-shirts to wear when I run out of polo shirts.
The seminar on the Holy Spirit’s work of Gospel Consolation was very good. I needed to hear it, and be reminded of the Spirit work of bringing Christ’s work to mind. It was a very encouraging seminar. The next seminar was more theoretical- John Owen and Confessions. The speaker tried to keep us in balance. Confessions should be in touch with the past, and relevant for the needs of the present. This is pertinent because there are some who consider amending the Westminster Confession anathema. Others would like to see it updated. As mentioned in the previous seminar, the PC (US) updated it years earlier to include chapters on the Spirit and the Gospel. There may be topics that weren’t very important then, but are now.
Then back to the hotel for a power nap. My friend Eddie was late getting to the hotel. So we were late for dinner with the Daltons at Dish on Market. It was hard for me to read the menu with the minimal light. Getting older is just awesome. Great jerk chicken sandwich! I spent less on it than lunch. This really surprised me. It would become the pattern for the trip.
We were a little late for the worship service. Different churches led the worship each evening. It was a very traditional service, a little heavier on readings than I was used to. The outgoing moderator was a ruling elder, so he gave an exhortation instead of a sermon. It sounded rather negative to me. But being quite exhausted, that could be a me thing.
After the worship service, I went to Danny and Jamie’s for a beer and conversation. When you haven’t spent time with a great friend in 2 years, you take the hit to your sleep. But it doesn’t make a good long term plan.
I got back later than expected, and talked with Eddie until Jim showed up with Eddie’s stuff. Then I proceeded to torment them with my snoring. It was bad since I’ve had so little sleep lately. They didn’t sleep. We were not positioned well for Day 3 of General Assembly.