05 May 2006

buzz day two

another FULL day today in D.C. at the buzz conference at ncc. here's a brief rundown from my day.

8am - blogger's breakfast - got to meet a bunch of great bloggers. some of my favorite blogs were represented there. i did think it was kinda weak not to see gary lamb there. he said he slept in. psh. weak. but whoever had the idea of doing that breakfast had a stroke of genius. very cool laid-back opportunity to connect.

then it was off to the regular sessions - great teaching from mark batterson, and some way incredible guitaring from babyface russell. got to run into a friend of mine from WAY back - richard green - from my bible college days - he's planting a church in iowa city. got to spend a good bit of time talking with john hasler, who volunteers at ncc - great guy - really great guy. he runs a bunch of outreach to the many homeless people in the union station area. his heart and his passion for social justice and caring for hurting people just pours from him when you hear him talk. and what i love so much about this dude is how he's the one that stood out to me when i first got here - he was working like crazy getting chairs set out for everyone who was coming in late to the theater church forum deal. may not sound like much, but if you had seen the energy and the heart he put into trying to take care of people, you'd know that it was much deeper than just getting a chair out. i love that guy.

then i went to lunch with mark kerner, who is at a church in my old hometown springfield missouri. wild to meet him and get caught up on the old stomping grounds. he's also quite a food critic aparently (wish i'd realized that before i offered to buy him a mcD's lunch. oh well, just being myself. authenticity.)

brad abare

then it was over to the afternoon sessions - brad abare was there - from church marketing sucks - talking about marketing, etc. this dude's resume of what he's currently doing is like what most people list for what they've done through their whole adult life. communications director for the foursquare denomination, cheif honcho for a company called personality, as well as the top dawg for church marketing sucks. amazing individual. spent some time talking with him later in the day - he's chock full of great ideas that i think as he's able to put flesh on them will be instrumental in the continuation of the revolution of how we do church today making use of advances in communication technology. simply put, he's smart and has a touch of God on his life.

david russell and me

then i got to spend some time with david russell and a friend of his from 'bama, byron berry. it was really cool to spend some "live" time with them - i've known david only via blogging and a couple phone calls until yesterday. he gave me the "insider's" tour of the d.c. sites i hadn't been to yet. the metro - my first non-airport subway ride inside the united states. and to the declaration of independence (yeah, i was reliving nicolas cage national treasure). pretty cool. then it was over to 1600 pennsylvania. walked like 47 miles today. plus, david bought my kids some d.c. t-shirts - what a guy. thanks david. you are incredible.

mark and me

then we went to the batterson home (great place, mark and laura - thanks for opening it up to us) for a little cinco de mayo dinner with a few of the buzzers. the dudes from granger were there - got to talk with tony morgan and moby (tim stevens) a little bit. bunch of cool people. we kicked off the dinner by singing the doxology together as a prayer for the food (i thought it was pretty cool). lance did his george w. impersonation - actually did really well with what had to be a really rough crowd for that kind of an off-the-hip entertainment gig. most cinqo de mayo party entertainers have audiences that are buzzed in a different way. proud of ya lance.

i'm so impressed with how ncc pulled this conference off. i'm impressed with how they've shattered any concern about whether northerners can show hospitality. i think they're all closet southerners really. incredible. i was encouraged and challenged by the teaching sessions. i was refreshed from the connections i made with others here. and i was inspired to never ever settle but instead to continue to dream, to learn from others, and to go for it like there's no tomorrow.

joel schmidgall and me

a quote that sums it all up for me was one that went something like this: "God doesn't regard the magnitude of our acts but the magnitude of the love with which they are done."

thanks mark, joel, david, dave, heather, tim, john, and the tons of other ncc'ers that helped swing the bat on this home run. you guys are awesome.


Gary Lamb said...

Dude, I suck. I wanted to be there and flat our overslept

Dan Ohlerking said...

i say again, psh.

okay - i'll cut you some slack - i don't want to miss my plane in the morning cuz God curses my alarm clock for mocking you.

great to meet you here in DC.

David Russell said...


It was incredible to connect with you dude. I just thought you were cool in the blogosphere... You are even better live. :) Next time, you're up and we hit the sights, I'll try to save the 47-mile walks and drive us. :) I do realize the ball is in my court now. Missy and I will have to plan a trek to HPC. :)

Glad you Mike, Lance and Mark got to come hang out in D.C. for a couple of days. Good to meet and chat with them as well. I can say for sure that Dino has a great team and I totally appreciate him letting you dudes chill with us for Buzz.

Hope you're making plans for Buzz '07. :) Peace out.

Dan Ohlerking said...

russell - i owe you big time. whenever mark gives you a vacation, come visit and we'll add 20lbs to you.