Every year, Grace Community Church holds the Shepherds' Conference (for pastors, elders). They are good enough to provide a live stream of the speakers and events in the sanctuary. Last year was the first one, for me. It was great, and I had been looking forward to this year's. It has been fantastic.
Yesterday, when I turned it on first thing in the morning (9:00 a.m. is first thing in my morning, right?), music was playing and being sung. It was quite beautiful. There was a pianist and a cellist. As I listened, I thought, "That voice is very familiar. Is that Fernando Ortega?" I had to look him up on the computer to find out what he looks like. Yes, it was Fernando Ortega. It was kind of exciting, as my entire experience of him was listening to him on Spotify. The first song I ever heard him do was, Give Me Jesus, and it has been a favorite, ever since.
Anyway, yesterday he had a cellist accompanying him. I could have listened all day. Added to this was not only Fernando's singing, but the several hundred men singing with him was about as wondrous a sound as humanly possible, I'm thinking. Today, there was no cello (which was a little sad, because it added much more than I would have thought, not being that much into things orchestral - sorry, Evan), but I still loved sitting and listening to such beautiful singing of wonderful, wonderful songs. He sings newer songs and old hymns, which is the way I wish everyone did it (some of his songs I think are WAY before my time, but I'm not sure, as I've never heard of them until now). The lyrics are beautiful to read and theologically sound. Check him out, here: http://www.fernandoortega.com/.
Back to the Shepherds' Conference. This year, the speakers have been John MacArthur, Al Mohler, Phil Johnson, Mark Dever, Tom Pennington, Steve Lawson, and Paul Washer. These guys are great speakers/preachers. I listen to most of their podcasts. Some are also on RefNet (a Christian internet radio station). Todd Friel, of Wretched Radio, held a question and answer session on the first day (was that yesterday? Sheesh.). Todd is hilarious, so that was fun AND instructive.
Between sessions, the live stream continues with some great instrumental music. I wish I could find out the playlists/artists/musicians/whatever.
Tim was supposed to be there, this year, but it crept up on me so fast, I'm afraid I forgot. Also, with having to take off work for a couple of weeks in April, and Evan's wedding, I confess - I forgot that Tim wanted to go. Weirdly, I didn't forget the conference, itself. I have been getting announcements on Facebook for week. I don't know why it all didn't come together in my brain, but that has happened frequently throughout my life. So. Maybe next year?