Back to normal life now...I had a lovely visit with my parents at their home near Dayton, Ohio (hi dad) over Christmas. It was wonderful to have some time to relax, talk with them, visit a few old friends, and generally do little else besides curl up by the fireplace. Too bad there was no white Christmas. In fact, it was pretty much in the 50s the whole time...the entire eastern U.S. has been having an extremely mild winter, unfortunately for the ice-fishing competitions in Minnesota, but fortunately for the golfers in Chicago. Must be global warming. (Oh, wait, there's a gazillion feet of snow over the Rockies...)
(See, Dad, I didn't really complain about the gloomy weather!)
After a much-needed rest and visit at home, I went to the General Youth Conference in Baltimore. As always, it was filled with nonstop challenging seminars and messages from the A-list of truly dedicated, Scripture-based teachers and evangelists. Wow. Some of my favorite parts were the seminars I went to by Samuel Pippin (excellent series on the authority of the Bible and how to deal with some of its difficulties which are often attacked), and sermons by Michael Hasel and David Asscherick.
Speaking of David Asscherick, here's a little description of the kind of young people you can find even in America today.
First of all, it must be said that pretty much every teenage girl has had some "idol" at some point. (Before you get offended at the accusation of "idol worship," let's define this as the kind of crush a girl gets on someone that she really admires, at the point in her life when she is working on maturing emotionally.) If you're a female, admit it, you've had one. Most average girls have crushes on either actors or rock stars. (Mine was Joshua Bell, of course.) If you're a male, I can't speak for you; I don't know what was going through your mind when you were 14.
My friend Jenn put together a chamber orchestra for special music Friday night, and there were a couple violinists sitting near me who were high school girls. As we were onstage preparing for the service, one of the organizers came out and told us that we would be staying onstage for the entire sermon. At that, a few of the girls started piping up, "What!! David Asscherick is speaking, right?? You mean, we actually get to sit right here the whole time while DAVID ASSCHERICK IS SPEAKING!!!??" After the service was over, we exited to offstage, and a couple of the girls just surrounded him, chattering to him with that all-familiar kind of nervous girlish talk, which goes something like, "Yeah, I'm a sophomore and I go to an all-girls private school in Chattanooga but next year I think I'm going to Collegedale Academy and our volleyball team always plays them and my sister goes to..." and so on.
The point is: isn't it refreshing that, if girls will be girls anyway, that there really are girls of the caliber that would idolize...a conservative, Bible-preaching Adventist evangelist?