Sep 21, 2008

TRAVEL LOG - Day Two - Tennessee

Well, we made it to Tennessee.  First we went through Chattanooga (one of my favorite cities anywhere) and had lunch with our old friend Marty Thompson.  It was his fifth anniversary at his church.  Marty was the youth pastor at FBC Oviedo when I started there.  He also was our first big booking with Defender at Dallas Bay Baptist Church.  So it was great to catch up with him.  He has a book that he has written that he gave us each copies of - In Search of the Perfect Youth Ministry.  He even mentioned our ministry in one of the chapters.  Even though the time was short together, I was blessed by seeing him and how well he is doing.  He's a great guy and really deserves to have a great place to serve.

After that, we drove the boring trek to Nashville.  I love Tennessee.  I have never been a huge fan of moving anywhere else, just because I am pretty lazy.  But if we ended up in Tennessee, I would be okay with that.  I would prefer Chattanooga, but Nashville is nice.  The drive between the two?  Not so much.  But we got to our La Quinta (Spanish for Triple Points) room - an upgrade from our Atlanta room.  We always try to stay at La Quinta (Spanish for clean rooms) when we travel, because we have a rewards membership there.  In fact, our room in Nashville is free, thanks to points we accumulated.  Overall, their hotels are nice, and they always have internet.  Well - except for the one in South Nashville on Sidco Road.  I made the mistake of booking that one - not once, but twice.  Right next to a train depot.  

We set up our table, and I felt inferior to all the other bigger groups with fancy backdrops and signage.  But we just can't afford to buy all that yet.  Sure, at some point, we would love to upgrade it.  Now is not the time.  There is another group out of Arkansas that is "working the same side of the street" as us - dealing with very similar issues as us.  They have a big fancy setup, which got me in a funk right away.  I had to keep reminding myself that there is more than enough room for several ministries doing the same thing.  And I have no idea what they even do.  But it was enough to star the experience off on the wrong foot - it doesn't take much to get me down.  So I am going to fight that until we get back.

Tomorrow we get to start the actual exhibit process.  I look forward to meeting the youth pastors who are there.  And we are praying we get some good contacts - and that we can help provide some answers and solutions.  So be thinking of us.  

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