This past weekend I got to travel to Spartanburg, South Carolina, on behalf of Herald of Truth. I presented my seminar on “Christ and Culture” to a men’s retreat from the Central Church of Christ in Spartanburg, then taught Bible class and preached on Sunday morning for the whole congregation. Great weekend, with a group of guys that were interested and engaged. Made for some great discussions. And, as I told them, not only did I get to do my seminar in jeans for the first time, I even wore shorts on Saturday. (That’s significant not just from the point of view of doing the seminar in shorts, but also because my legs hadn’t seen the sun in years! :-)
The retreat was held at the Palmetto Bible Camp. It’s an amazingly beautiful camp run by the churches of Christ in South Carolina. Great setting for a retreat.
I’ve added to the seminar some excellent material by Matt Dabbs on ministering to adults in their 20s and 30s. It’s material that he presented this year at the Tulsa Workshop, and I’ve found it to be very helpful. I placed it at the end of the seminar, watching the time to see whether I could present that extra material or not. Had to rush through it a bit, but I think it was worth it.
Had an interesting trip home. After a significant layover at the Greenville-Spartanburg airport, I was anxious to get to Dallas, hoping to catch stand-by on the 8 p.m. flight to Abilene rather than waiting for the 10:05 flight that I was ticketed for. I set up a notification on American’s website so that they would send me text messages with the gate information for that earlier flight. Unfortunately, we took off late and landed even later; it was 7:40 when we got to Dallas. I sent Carolina a text telling her that I probably couldn’t make that flight. Then I saw the texts from American and realized the flight was delayed and was leaving from a gate just seven gates down from where I was arriving.
I hurried to that gate and spoke with the gate agent about getting on stand-by. He said, “We’ve given away the stand-by seats we had, but you can wait and see if someone fails to show up.” I found a place to stand in view of the counter and returned to reading on my iPhone. (The Betrayal (Precinct 11), a mystery by a Christian author. Not bad, especially since I got the Kindle version for free)
The gate agent came up to me with a boarding pass, saying, “Good news, Mr. Archer… we had a no show.” I texted Carolina and let her know the good news.
After the plane came in, though, the agent approached me again with a chagrined look and apologized. “I’m so sorry… one of the seats is broken on this craft, and I’ve got to take back your boarding pass.” Ouch! That had never happened to me before. However, he did say that I could stay around to see if anyone else failed to present themselves.
Again, I communicated with Carolina, telling her the good news turned sour. They kept paging one passenger who was #3 on the standby list. Since I was #1, I wasn’t real appreciative. However, at the last minute the agent said, “OK, I’ve got a seat for you. Go ahead.”
With the delay, I only got in an hour earlier than I would have, but 10 p.m. is better than 11 p.m.
All in all, a great weekend.