**Due to the fact that my computer is on the fritz, I have been unable to load the pictures I took to accompany this entry. However, in the spirit of Thanksgiving, I will just be thankful that my computer allowed me to post this update at all and not worry about the pictures. Sorry. I'll try to get them on sometime!**
It's been pretty quiet on my blog for the past few weeks, and it's not for lack of anything to say. Jim and I spent a week in Florida, flew home, and left out a day later for the Northwest Baptist Convention. What a busy time! Here's a summary of our travels:
Part 1: Jim and Daja's "Adventures in Florida"
Day 1 - We made the awful mistake of flying red-eye to Florida. I say "awful mistake" because we left out of Washington state at 7:00 Sunday night, and pulled in to Orlando at 12:00 Monday afternoon. Let's just say, we were a wee bit tired. Fortunately, we were able to check into our hotel and spent most of Monday sleeping.
Day 2 - Our summer clothes on, we took off to Epcot at Disneyworld. Unfortunately, the weather was overcast and cooler the whole day. It made for perfect weather for Jim while I spent the whole day shivering. Some of the highlights of Epcot: Test Track, a ride/exhibit put on by General Motors that simulates your experience in a car testing facility; the "Figment of your imagination" ride, starring Jim's new favorite Disney character Figment (a little purple dinosaur); and the spectacular fireworks show ending the night at the World Showcase.
Day 3 - Having not worn proper foot attire the day before, Jim somehow hurt his foot and is walking with a considerable limp. So we decide to postpone Disneyworld in favor of a relaxing day in. We head off to an outlet mall that was disappointing, and then playing miniature golf at a spectacular course called "Pirate's Cove". Bahama Breeze was our lunch choice, and we were delighted to experience this restaurant's Caribbean cuisine. That night, Jim and I went to "Pirate's Dinner Adventure", an interactive dinner show. It was a great time, including watching Jim get pulled up for audience participation and doing the Can Can with some other men! If only I had been quick enough with the camera...
Day 4 - We returned to Disneyworld to experience the Magic Kingdom, which really is magical. Highlights from this day include: Daja getting sick right before she was to get on Space Mountain and not being able to ride; the Runaway Train ride; the Buzz Lightyear ride in which you have guns to shoot targets on the wall (Daja 37,000 pts, Jim 433,000 pts); and Mickey's Philarmagic, a 3-D show featuring favorite scenes from Disney movies. We ended the day at the Rainforest Cafe in Downtown Disney, and then drove to Tampa for the next leg of our trip.
Day 5 - The original reason we went to Florida was to attend a worship conference in Bradenton (a town south of Tampa). The conference, put on by Integrity Music, featured some amazing Christian artists and worship bands. Jim and I worshipped with some of today's most influential worship bands and took classes from artists like Paul Baloche. It was a fantastic time of refreshment and renewal for Jim, and we both learned quite a bit about how to better lead worship.
Day 6 - The conference wrapped up in the afternoon, and we headed back to Tampa to catch our flight back home! Unfortunately, Daja woke up with a sore throat and ended up awfully sick by the time we made it home.
Part 2: Jim and Daja's "Adventures at the Northwest Baptist Convention"
Day 1 - We spent the first half our day driving to Portland, OR with Pastor Keith. I slept for most the trip, while Jim and Keith attempted to out-do each other with the worst joke possible. That afternoon and evening was a time of corporate worship and speakers to kick off the convention. Jim enjoyed himself while Daja ended up in the hotel room that night sick.
Day 2 - More corporate worship and speakers. We enjoyed very much a gospel acapella group called Common Bond 5. Keith took us to the Golden Gate Theological Seminary luncheon, which is his Alma mater and Jim's future Alma mater. Afterwards, Jim and I attended breakout sessions targeted at helping youth leaders, but mainly dealing with the questions raised about the proposed new restructuring of the convention. I am not the best to explain this, but the main item of business at this convention was restructuring the convention to better help Southern Baptist churches reach beyond their walls and reach others for Christ. This was proposed by the new executive director, and was apparently very controversial among the convention itself. But more on that later. After our breakout sessions, Jim and I attended a time of more (you guessed it) corporate worship and speakers.
Day 3 - Today was the "big day" at the convention... the day of the business meeting in which the convention would vote on the new restructuring. Before the meeting, I attended a luncheon for Minister's Wives where I defended my case that I am indeed old enough to be both a wife and a nurse. I'm not sure how convinced the other ladies at my table were! After a delightful time of corporate worship and speakers, all calling for the church to be reaching the lost, the business meeting started. For the next three hours, we listened to men and women state their opinions and objections to the new restructuring. Finally, a vote was called and the motion passed. We packed up our car and headed home, stopping off for dinner at Burgerville where Keith found a delightful new sermon illustration on a Burgerville cup.