I left for Dallas (Texas) Saturday night, the second of October and returned Saturday morning, October 9th. I took a greyhound bus line there and back, both trips taking two nights and a day each. That in itself was an experience! I was hoping to only take the bus there and just find a ride back, but couldn’t find anyone at the conference and hitch-hiking wasn’t really working and I began to doubt I would get back to San Diego on time if I kept it up.
There are a lot of interesting people who take buses. Good conversations. Bad ones too. From toothless Texans to Las Vegas gangstas to cultist “Jehovah Witnesses.” I also spent a night wandering around downtown Dallas and sleeping at the East city transit station, meeting all kinds of interesting characters. I love people.
But my main purpose in going was to attend the Free Grace Alliance annual conference and visit Dallas Theological Seminary as a grad school prospect. Visiting Dallas Seminary was good. I’m not sure if I’ll end up there or not, but I was impressed! It’s a beautiful campus and a huge library – I’ve never seen a religious library that big. Everyone I met there was extremely nice too.
The conference was fantastic and encouraging. The theme this year was “getting the gospel out.” You can see the speaker schedule on the brochure on Free Grace Alliance website. They should have mp3 available for sale soon, which I highly recommend. Dr. Jody Dillow gave a talk on the Sermon on the Mount, or better called, “discourse on discipleship.” Larry Moyer gave an inspiring message on things to remember in our relationships to nonbelievers – pray properly, live properly, speak properly! Dave Anderson gave an exegesis the first several verses of Hebrews 1 exalting the superiority of Christ and His grace to allow us to have a part with Him. My favorite talk was from Dr. Michael Eaton about assurance. Dr. Eaton is a pastor-scholar from the UK who lives in Kenya and pastors there. He is such a humble man but Spirit-filled and powerful in his preaching. He noted that every great revival of the Christian faith was begun with a revival of assurance and came from the great joy of knowing that you belonged to God and were saved forever.
He had a breakout session on interpretations in Galatians and had some very perceptive remarks on the Law and Grace… by the way, if I’m being a little vague, it’s to encourage you to get the messages yourself! I attended a session by missionaries from India, Africa, and the Philippines who talked about how the message of God’s grace was spreading widely to overcome the harsh legalism that holds so many pastors and churches in bondage in these countries. I came away with more motivation than ever to believe and live and tell of the good news about Jesus Christ – the most important and joyful message in the world!