It's been an interesting and enjoyable week so far in LA LA land. We spent Tuesday prior to the opening of the Pepperdine Lectures driving up the Pacific Coast Highway. It was sunny but pretty cool as we drove northward. We stopped periodically where there was beach access to put our feet in the water. Nice sun, pretty beaches, but cooold water. We did get our feet in the water but it was just too cold to enjoy any swimming. We stopped near a town called Carpenteria, a quaint small town on the coast. We walked a long nature trail down to the cliffs to see the ocean and down a longer path to see the seals. The bride stopped counting at about 200 seals who were for the most part laying out, enjoying the bright sun. Just off the coast you can see the Channel islands which apparently are home to 1000's of the same kind of seals. We headed on north to the Santa Barbara area where we could see a massive smoke cloud coming from the mountains. It's a big city and we again headed for the coast and enjoyed the beautiful view and large eucalyptus trees. Posted below are a couple of pics. Just north of SB in the Mts it was burning hot, smoke rising upward and coming towards the coast, fortunately the smoke was rising high up into the sky. It was all over the news with many homes threatened and not much to do but let it burn.
The Lectures have been outstanding. There are many of the well known speakers in the brotherhood and the theme is "The Lord of Creation" messages from the book of Colossians. There's Walling, Cope, Atchley, Harris, Keith Lancaster and many more, all very challenging and encouraging to hear. It has been a much needed boost to hear others struggles and encouragement. As at all lectureships the singing is one of the highlights. There's Zoe, Hallal, and all the best singers and leaders in the brotherhood.
Last night we left out a bit early and ventured to downtown to take in the Lakers/Rockets game. Thanks to son J, we had his GPS which led us downtown and even rerouted us around bad traffic so that we got there in plenty of time. The game, well, it was a knock down drag out kind of affair. We really had little expectation that the Rockets would take two in LA but it was enjoyable nonetheless. We both really enjoyed wearing red and representing the Rockets. We were certainly way in the minority in "Rockets" gear. Just walking around brought us a constant chorus of boos and other negative reactions. I personally enjoyed that until it got uglier as we entered the arena. Maybe if we had seats closer to the floor those folks would have been more hospitable. Where our seats were, two rows from the top, well...many of those folks were downright ugly. I think they may have been handicapped because many of them could only lift one finger on their hands. You can guess which one. Not only that but several of them expressed the words that go along with that gesture. And we thought it was just a game! By the time the last 2 minutes of the game came around and the outcome was clear we went ahead and headed out. It just felt safer. No one was happy we were there, except us. Oh yeah, did you know that most everyone in the Staples Center is certain that "Houston Sucks?" That was a constant throughout the game. By the time we were through it was time to get out of there. By the time got back to our motel, it was time to shower and get that 'dirty' feeling off of us.
All in all it was quite a contrast going from the high of the lectures to the low of all those people who were full of profanity and derision. Truth is, we shelter ourselves from what a great deal of the world is ready to give us. I guess for good reason but everyone needs the love of Christ. Given the choice I have to keep my feet and mind centered on why God put me here and here this week in California. Rockets lose, believers win.
cya back in H-town soon,
game pic eucalyptus tree
coast pic seals
nature trail flowers