Adventures at Pepperdine 2Author: Bobby Valentine | Filed under: Bobby's World, Family, Lectures
Monday night we walked down Ventura Blvd which was the street our Vue decided to break down. We looked around for a good place to eat. Pamella spotted a cool looking hamburger joint so we crossed the street and walked inside. After ordering we learned they did not take either credit cards or debit cards … so we walked further down the street.
Having an “eagle eye” 🙂 I spotted a sign that said “Fine BBQ.” Apparently they mean something different for BBQ in California than in Memphis!! I was expecting a really fine BBQ pulled pork sandwich! I was I in for a shock. The restaurant ended up being a middle eastern “BBQ” joint. But we had a good time insisting we were eating Iraqi BBQ.
Tuesday: Coming around the bend on Pacific Coast Highway in our rented Nissan Sentra (not our Saturn Vue which needed costly repairs) and seeing the cross towering over the landscape on the hillside was a welcome sight.
We checked into the Towers and took in the sights. We found out later that John Mark Hicks and his lovely wife, Jennifer, were our suite mates. Two guys sharing a bathroom with four ladies … now that is an interesting scenario. During the week our sink stopped working apparently for we had a sign placed around it that read “Plaser No – Use.”
I was real pleased with the turn out for our three part “Late Night” class (we were competing with David Letterman): A Gathered People: Revisioning the Assembly as Sacramental Encounter. I know that is a title that would scare most folks away but our room was completely full every night, with folks standing in the door on the first night. And our publisher should be happy because all together 50+ people purchased prepublication copies of A Gathered People (to be released in September). Blogger Steve Pucket came to our class. My friend Yuki Obata came to all three presentations (thanks Yuki) and he even quoted Kingdom Come in his keynote address–I did not expect that (btw I was grateful that Jerry Rushford asked Yuki to be a keynote … Yuki will do almost anything for Taco Bell). Leafwood Press sold out of all the copies of Kingdom Come they brought to the lectures … Lisa did not tell me how many copies that was but she did say it sold out.
My family went to Coogies for dinner in Malibu. There we ran into fellow bloggers and friends: Greg England, Cecil Walker, Keith Davis, Craig Smelser and Rick Janelle. In the Sand Bar I ran into Tom Perkins who had not seen since I left Mississippi.
On Thursday night we went out with the Hicks to Paradise Cove on the beach north of Malibu. The Rockford Files were partially filmed at this location. We ran into Don McLaughlin and Randy Harris there (Randy will be doing the Men’s Retreat here at PV in ’08).
The People: Giving a list of names is very biblical (cf. Romans 16). I love lectureships for the classes but I love them more for reconnecting with my friends. I had lunch with Charme Robarts and Carisse Berryhill (who also came to all three of our classes). I got to spend quite a bit of time with my friend and encourager Tom Olbricht. I bumped into Joel Solliday all over the place. I visited with Tim Stafford who I have not seen in a very LONG time. We made a new friend, Igor Egirev from Rostov in Russia. I met Al Sturgeon for the first time and went to Danny Dodd’s excellent class on John 18. I got to visit with Greg Taylor of Wineskins.org I spent some time with my buddy Edward Robinson and took in his outstanding class on Samuel R. Cassius … and learned to my shock that he thanked me in the front cover of his biography of Cassius, To Save My Race from Abuse, published by the University of Alabama Press (I was humbled by that). I got a chance to visit with Victor Knowles, Gary Holloway and Doug Foster. I wanted to have coffee with Steve Pucket but that did not materialize much to my disappointement. Another that I had table fellowship with was Greg Demmit (spelling?) whom I had not met previously. I am sure I am overlooking some one but we had a great time.
The Classes: I took in Jeff Walling’s classes and must say I think they are the best I have ever heard from him. They were entertaining yes! But they were beyond that. They were thoughtful and I think much needed. I took in Randy Harris’ first class and got the CDs for the rest. No commentary is needed on Harris. I wanted to take in Steve Pucket’s class but we had to leave prematurely so I missed it. I took in a session with Victor Knowles, Danny Dodd, the panel discussion on the Stone-Campbell Movement and Evangelicalism. I took in a session with Monte Cox. Of the keynotes I really enjoyed Harold Shank because what he said was not only near and dear to my heart but also true to scripture. Oh how I wanted to hear David Fleer but alas I had to miss it. I started to take in a Rick Atchley class but soon found out we are on the same page on the new heavens and new earth. I am grateful that he has been been reading my blog, 😉
What is a lectureship without buying books? So I bought a few. I figured if I am going to spend my money on that Saturn Vue then I am going to get a book or two or three … And I branched out this time. I bought some unusual books for me (some of them any way). I bought Suzy Brown’s Radical Recovery: Transforming the Despair of Your Divorce into an Unexpected Good. This book came highly recommended and I am looking forward to digging into it. Along the same lines I bought Rubel Shelly’s new book Divorce & Remarriage: A Redemptive Theology. I picked up a book I have wanted for a while but simply never took the time to buy, Michael Frost & Alan Hirsch, The Shaping of Things to Come: Innovation and Mission for the 21st Century Church. I broke down and bought Michael Casey’s biography The Rhetoric of Sir Garfield Todd: Christian Imagination and the Dream of an African Democracy. Todd was a Disciples missionary to Zimbabwe, rose to be Prime Minister, fought for the dignity of the African peoples … a good man. I also picked up (like everyone else) Darryl Tippens, That’s Why We Sing: Reclaiming the Wonder of Congregational Singing. On one of the ignored book tables I found a bargin about one of my favorite preacher/theologians, The Legacy of Jonathan Edwards: American Religion and the Evangelical Tradition. Finally I got Robert Brimlow’s What About Hitler? Wrestling with Jesus’ Call to Non-Violence in an Evil World. I have read most of this already and will be posting a review of it. It is a profound and provocative book.
Things we Missed: Pamella and I missed the speakers reception at the Benton home for the second time. Our class schedule made it impossible for us to attend. We were both disappointed. Me-because I want to visit and chat and Pamella because of the good chocolate, 😉 I missed out meeting Pamela Anderson at the Pepperdine baseball game (Al did not though).
I missed out on a few classes on Thursday because I went to pick up my Vue from Livingston Pontiac. We missed out on the Ghetti Museum which we planned on going to.
We had a great time. But Pamella started to feel ill on Thursday night and we decided to come home. Thanks to all my friends out there who took the time to share with me and my family. Thank you Jerry Rushford for another of the best lectureship in the Churches of Christ.