09 November 2006

One of those weeks

by Phil Johnson

ou might remember that I was complaining about interruptions on Monday. I was also grousing about meetings all week.

So Wednesday afternoon the phone rang, and it was a good friend of mine in Mexico City, Luis Contreras. He trains pastors and is himself a gifted preacher. Luis has been helping organize a leadership conference in Mexico City (tonight, starting about 6:00) and a family conference (this weekend) about three hours from Mexico City. But a glitch in scheduling has left him without his main speaker at the last minute.

Luis just learned of the problem Wednesday and phoned me right away to see if there was any possibility Darlene and I could get to Mexico City by Thursday noon. While he was asking, my reflex inclination was to tell him there was no way, because I was thinking of all the things I haven't got done this week. But Luis kept talking. The size of the problem was staggering. He desperately needed someone to speak eight times between tonight and Saturday evening.

I met Luis when he was a college student, and he has been a great friend to me for about a decade. He has done a simultaneous translation of my Shepherds' Conference messages for several years (and I think I'm a real pain to try to translate on the fly). So before telling him no, I looked at my calendar. Don Green is teaching in GraceLife this Sunday. Every appointment on my agenda between now and then can be postponed. So by the time Luis had stopped describing the size of the problem, I had to tell him yes.

That's why Darlene and I are flying to Mexico this morning. We'll be back Sunday afternoon. Luis says I'll have Internet access in Mexico, so I'll try to stay in touch. In the meantime, here are some interesting links to tide you over:



Adios.

Phil's signature

29 comments:

SB said...

That is awesome. I met Luis back in 99, I'm from El Salvador and we had mutual friends(Ed Shaffer, TJ Smith, Jonathan Cross-i believe)-He was always so humble and faithful.

Your willingness to serve encourages me. I've been feeling overwhlemed this week with ministry commitments and other obligations etc.

I will be praying for you-power in the pulpit-that your words would run

Dios Te Bendiga

Scott

Kim said...

Oh man! Darlene's going away again? I miss her when she's gone!

Oh, and I miss you, too, Phil.

Even So... said...

The Lord be with you...

I am very excited about this...

centuri0n said...

Well, don't try this at home. Leave this kind of work to trained professional -- or to idiots like me who no one will miss if he gets sucked into the chipper-shreader.

centuri0n said...

And for the record, nobody ever calls me at the last minute to do 8 hours of preaching or teaching.

There's this bizarre little part of me that is hurt by that, but the rest of me is so relieved that it is ganging up on the little part and taking him out to the street for a beating.

Carla said...

I miss her too Kim! Well, you two have a wonderful time down there, and save some nachos for me. I miss real Mexican food.

TheBlueRaja said...

I'll pray for your time. Luis was probably one of the kindest men I've ever met (we were in seminary at the same time). We didn't hang out, but it didn't take much observation to notice how unusually warm-hearted he is. Tell him hello for me. I doubt I would have said "yes" in that situation - good of you to do so.

DJP said...

Frank -- ...for the record, nobody ever calls me at the last minute to do 8 hours of preaching or teaching

Once again, you and I share membership in an elite little club. (c:

Bring us back again to my life motto (for today): if you can't be cool, associate yourself with those who are.

Phil -- Ooh, my company blocks your link as "Weapons." Cool! For later!

SB said...

Where is the Phil Johnson is my homeboy shirt?

Carla said...

Frank,

does emailing you at the last minute to ask for your html coding help, fall into any similar category?

Steve said...

Luis must be thrilled. Kind of you, Phil, to make yourself available under such circumstances.

May God be glorified in all that happens at the conference!

sparrowhawk said...

Like being swept away like Philip by the Spirit - close your eyes and you're in MX City upon opening. Great story.

Pastor Dave Bissett said...

Phil -- I'm so glad to hear of your trip to Mexico. May the Lord use you greatly there. djb

Pastor Dave Bissett said...

Yikes,
I didn't realize my silly blog photo would carry over here! Must change that soon.
dave bissett
PS - I hope yikes is an acceptible word (I've no idea of its etymology)

Rich Ryan said...

I remember at TMS when a speaker could not make the ABS chapel and Holland came and preached with about 5 minutes notice. Few guys can do that. It was a real blessing and a conviction. Some men are just more ready, "in season."

That being said, being ready for 8 messages with less than one day's notice is being ready "in and out of season." Few men would say yes simply because of the pressure of the request. You are to be commended for saying yes and being able to do so.

On a side note, my former pastor and discipler will be joining Luis in the spring to help with the work at Word of Grace. He says Luis is one of the finest, godly men he has ever met. That is no small commendation coming from this man.

We'll be praying for you, Darlene and the folks in MC.

DJP said...

My record for no-notice was at a very turbulent church meeting; I was basically in the audience. The pastor didn't show (very bad scene), and I was asked (by someone who was very angry at me), at the moment, to get up and preach. I picked the text as I walked downt he aisle.

Second place goes to a chapel speaker not showing up at seminary. I had ten minutes.

Third place, our pastor was ill, and I got about 45 minutes to get ready to go.

Actually, very exciting opportunities. As a seminary prof passed along to me from one of his mentors, "You should be ready to preach, pray, or die, at a moment's notice."

Paul Lamey said...

Luis preached for me last Sunday at the last minute so now I guess he expects everyone else to do the same. I hope you have a great trip.

Blessings

Jonathan Moorhead said...

Who could tell Luis no? I can actually hear him say, "Oh, thank you brother" in that distinct Luis way.

candyinsierras said...

Wow. Woody Allen interviewing Billy Graham. And I read it after my morning coffee even. Surreal.

Pastor Leo said...

Phil,

Please give Luis my regards. It was a blessing to work with he and his family for a while when they were in Charlotte.

Rusty said...

Phil - I'm praying for you, brother. Have a great time in Mexico.

Rusty

Daniel said...

Man, I wish I knew Luis, he sounds like a great guy.

TheBlueRaja said...

This comment thread sounds like he just died!

We'll miss Luis. He was always such a nice guy . . .

DJP said...

I feel awful. I never even met him....

Paul Lamey said...

"Dearly Beloved,
We are gathered here today to remember Luis....he was a legend in the blog world for one day without ever blogging himself...and he was a better man for it. I remember when it all started with Phil giving one of his 'here's where I am right now' posts..."

BugBlaster said...

Luis was never all that nice to me.

Rich Ryan said...

Let's not even get started on Luis' father OR his sister and her husband.

It seems enough to have one saint like Luis in a household. Yet this whole family is sterling - by God's grace of course.

Before I go I have to give a little love to the brother-in-law. ROLL TIDE!

My condolences to PL and JM. Heh!

FrenchCanadianMissionary said...

Phil (or anyone else who has a good idea),

1). I'm looking for a good reference that documents the shift between Jewish commentators before and after Christ. Well-versed Jews today generally have great responses to most messianic O.T. passages, but this is only as a reaction to Christianity's reading of these passages into the person and work of Jesus (and rightly so).

Pre-J.C. jewish commentators did not share these views. I'm simply looking for some documentation showing this reality.

2). What are the best two or three references that document the Trinity and specifically the Diety of Christ? I studied this in school but do not have anything handy to lend to serious students.

In Christ,

-Rob

sumbibazo said...

Your post said ....

"This will be good, I bet."

IT IS !!!!!

OHHH - thank you so much for this link. I just finished watching the dvd copy i ordered of "Awake My Soul".

Memories flooded back - I recognized the sounds from my childhood that I didn't know had a name until now. In West Virginia - we didn't have the oblong books, but I remember the shaped notes in the paper backed worn songbooks. And do I ever remember - that sound - the "sings" and the dinners - and I called my dad right away. He told me his grandpa had talked about teachers who would travel to churches to teach the shape note singing.

Here is an interesting quote from the film: "The old songs of the Sacred Harp were fiery, uncompromising and inelegant. Like a generation before, the music came under attack. Critics fumed that it was old fashioned music and still had not embraced the modern rules of harmony, and the words were as intense as the music. The songs preached nothing but Christ and Him crucified, and were decidedly less optimistic about human nature than were the forward thinking urban southerners who sought to replace them with more cheerful fare. Critics rejected the words as repugnant to modern sensibilities and this must surely describe their attitude towards the music as well."

The replacement style was "Gospel". Interesting.

They did a great job on this film! Thanks again for the link. =)