Well, it's 10:54, local time, and we're wrapping up day 2 of our trip. We woke up early this morning and left our spot at the Ramada (the elevators even worked!). We got out of there by 9:00 AM and made our way out to Cocoa Beach, located on an island off the Florida Coast. Betsy had been to this beach when she was a young child, but thought it would be worth looking into (we also got some help from friends at church that said this was a good place to go to swim).
Han has taken to call any body of water larger than a puddle an "ocean." That means, to her, pools, lakes, ponds, etc. are all "oceans." In preparing her for this trip we told her we weren't just going to a lake or a pool, but were actually going to swim in the real ocean. Since then, both kids have been referring to the ocean as the "real ocean."
We got to Cocoa Beach around 10:30 and were swimming right away. Jamie went into the water immediately, while Han preferred to stay on the beach and search for and collect shells. She decided she would bring one back for each of her friends.
Jamie loved swimming with the waves. He would wait for a wave to come in, jump into it, allow it to knock him over, and then laugh hysterically. He did it over and over again. I hope we get a chance to go back towards the end of our trip. You can see some pictures from today's excursion here (scroll down to see the most recent photos).
We arrived at the Peabody Hotel around 3:00 PM, and proceeded to check out our room. The Peabody is an amazing place, if for no other reason than its sheer size. This place is huge. It doubles as a convention center, so I suppose it makes sense that it's pretty big. There's a grotto style pool (pics from that to come tomorrow), and each room has a TV built into the bathroom mirror. I have to admit that I enjoyed my shave quite a bit more than usual by being able to watch Fox News.
The first session of the Triennial Conference was tonight, featuring Francis Chan. I've said quite a bit about Chan in the past, so I won't go into much of his biographical information here. Needless to say, it was neat to hear about his history with the NAB, and how he actually became a Christian in an NAB church.
His message was very good, and very appropriate for his audience, I thought. In fact, it was very similar to this message presented by Paul Washer, which I would highly recommend you take an hour and seven minutes to watch. The basic gist of Chan's message was this question: is it possible that our ecclesiology is messed up because our soteriology is messed up? Or, in layman's terms, is the way we currently "do" church in America a little off because what we believe about salvation is not right? This is a very important question that has far-reaching implications (too far-reaching to talk about here and now), and I hope the pastors and leaders of our NAB churches (including myself) consider it carefully. I look forward to the rest of Chan's messages this weekend.
After the conference session I returned to our room where Beetz was watching fireworks go off about 10 miles away through out hotel window. I had totally forgotten that today was the fourth of July. We've grown accustomed to not going out to see fireworks anymore. Doesn't really work with young kids who go to bed at 8:00 PM.
On a personal note, I received an email this evening that said that Norm Glewwe, a pillar of faith and service at Riverview Baptist Church is most likely nearing his final days on earth. One of his sons, Matt Glewwe, has become a dear friend of mine, and is one of a few people I feel I can be "real" with when it comes to spiritual things. Matt is facing the reality of his father's impending death and transferrence unto eternal life with grace, dignity, and faith. There is much I can learn from him. May God bless him and his family in this difficult time.