Happy new year! We had a good time over the holidays. Got entirely too much stuff. Different versions of Scrabble and Blokus for me and Ellen. Josiah got Lego Star Wars kits and built a Jedi starfighter and a Naboo starfighter, but more impressive was the fact that he used random bricks to build a mini B-wing fighter with wings that fold and a cockpit that swivels, just like the big B-wing. And he built a docking bay for it that opens and closes. Very cool. And Elijah got a LeapFrog phonics magnet set that identifies and pronounces letters. He put in the "H" and said and signed "hot." Then he put in a "Y" and signed "yes." So he's now able to correlate words with the letters they're spelled with! That's a pretty significant developmental milestone, and we're pretty thrilled.
Now I'm in St. Louis for InterVarsity Christian Fellowship's triennial national staff conference, held in off-Urbana years. The theme this year is "I am not ashamed of the gospel," with expositions based out of the book of Romans. We started off last night with a history of InterVarsity and a walkthrough of IVCF's experience and commitment to evangelism and gospel witness in proclamation and action. It was encouraging and inspiring to think about the decades of faithful service in campus ministry and lives changed through InterVarsity staff.
We also celebrated IVP's 60th anniversary, and IV staffer and IVP author Don Everts gave a testimony about his calling both to minister to students on campus as well as to readers via his books. He talked about how both ministries require a community of fellow workers - he has staff and student partners in campus ministry, and when he is writing and revising his books, he feels the presence of IVP colaborers like his editor (me). Don's a pal, and I'm honored to be able to work with him on his books. (His most recent books are a four-book series of postmodern apologetics called the One Guy's Head series with his musings about truth, Scripture, evil and tolerance - just came in from the printer a few weeks ago.) We had a good time catching up over meals today.
Just being here is a reminder of how much I love being a part of InterVarsity and IVP. I've been running into dozens of friends and fellow staff, and it's great to hear what's going on in their various areas of the country. I'm not sure I'll have much opportunity to blog from the conference (I'm using a borrowed laptop right now) but things are going well so far and we're having fun.