I met this morning with "my group of elders." I can't tell you what a blessing it is. They're there to encourage me and to support me. I remember an experience from another time in life when "my group of elders" was often upset. It was a scolding session. One time one of them barked at me, "When are we going to get back to preaching about the gospel?" I was preaching a long series on the cross. And he wanted to know when we were going to talk about the gospel. The frightening thing is that this man had been in many places of spiritual leadership. It's so nice to have trust for the 40 brothers who serve as our elders. At times I miss a meeting and find out decisions that have been made. Even when I don't understand, I have no doubts about the prayer and spiritual discernment that went into it. If it doesn't sound right to me, my assumption is that there is something I don't know. For that I'm very thankful. But most meetings don't center on decisions, anyway. They center on prayer, affirmation, commissioning, and encouragement. Especially, prayer. I'm a better man for being allowed to peek in these past fourteen-plus years. - - - - Yesterday I sat next to my buddy Eddie Sharp, one of the world's great ministers, during the ACU Preacher's Workshop (or whatever it's called). As I listened to Paul Scott Wilson -- author of The Four Pages of the Sermon, God Sense, Broken Words, and Preaching and Homiletical Theory -- I was transported back to when I was 20. It was like a wave falling over me as I was swept up in remembering how eager I had been to preach. I was all of a sudden in the Harding library reading my Greek New Testament. I was listening to Jim Woodroof preach at the College Church. I was bug-eyed listening to the passion of Terry Smith and Landon Saunders. I was underlining in my first NIV New Testament. I was soaking up the words of Neale Pryor and Jimmy Allen, Tom Eddins and Jerry Jones. I was sitting in chapel listening to the powerful words of faith from Cliff Ganus. For just a brief moment, I got to be twenty again.