I’m just two days away from the biannual Church of the Brethren Church Planters Conference. Just to be clear, I am not planning on planting a church and I m very happy in my current church. This year I am going for two purposes: 1. To learn as much as I can about outreach strategies and anything else that will benefit the church I pastor. 2. To sow into church planters some of the creative ministry things I have been learning over the past 18 years. My week will consist of doing some live painting in worship, an arts ministry presentation and two workshops.

I’m also really excited to see some old friends who I don’t get to see nearly often enough and I am going to get to sit under the teaching of Mandy Smith, author of Making a Mess and Meeting God. This was one of the first true arts ministry books (in 2010) I got to read and it fired up even more ideas in my already agitated, creative mind. I’m really looking forward to it.

Of course as with most things in this life, before I get to what I am looking forward to, I have to get through something I am not looking forward to at all. Tomorrow I have a medical test. It’s very routine and no I’m not having any problems that I know of. This is a test that people my age should all have and while the preparation is becoming unpleasant, I know this is the right thing to do. So why do I share this?

In this life, there are things that are both unpleasant and necessary. The best thing we can do is get through these valleys of life and get back to the mountain tops. After all, the mountaintops prepare us for the valleys and the valleys help us to appreciate the mountain tops. I am going to try to post from the conference so stay tuned. In the mean time, remember, mountaintop of valley, God is good!

To get your copy of Making a Mess and Meeting God, click the image!

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