Friday, April 17, 2015

Gospel Coalition Conference in Orlando

Well, I thought that it was odd for me to give a first person narrative of my trip to Rolla a few weeks ago.  Now, I have a 5 day trip I took without any family that I get to post (chock-full of selfies though it be.)   I didn't take too many photos, due in part to the fact that others in the group were already capturing photos, but primarily because I was too lazy. :P

Okay, so here's the quick overview of the trip.  I flew to Orlando with friends to attend the 2015 Gospel Coalition Conference.  I stayed with the Thomas and Niednagel families as they were incredibly gracious to adopt me as a member of the family for a few days. :)

 Boarding the plane

I took a snapshot of the cockpit and the pilots as we boarded

Wait...why do they look like Matthew and Micaiah?

Are they reading the safety instructions?

Welcome to Orlando!

Taking the airport shuttle
I'd be a hypocrite if I posted this photo without letting you know that I actually didn't hold to anything while I rode the shuttle. No small incidental for this rule-following first born. ;) 
"Look, Mom!  No hands!" 

After leaving the airport, we visited Whole Foods to pick up food to eat during the trip.  The exuberance (pictured) was overwhelming.

Marscel and I had a room to ourselves, and greatly prided ourselves on its tidiness during the trip.  Definitely a welcome difference from the norm.

He and I enjoyed a very relaxing morning which included eating breakfast in bed.

We visited Celebration Community Church on Sunday morning

One of my favorite parts about traveling is getting to meet other believers and visit churches far from home.

We visited a beach in Clearwater, FL

Time for a photographic intermission:

We took a walk on the beach as the sun set and passed by the home of former baseball MVP, Ryan Howard, born in St Louis and raised in Wildwood, MO.  News article about the house here

We arrive at the convention center for the first day of the 2015 Gospel Coalition Conference. (#TGC15)

There were 6000 attendees and a large majority of them were pastors

This is the face of book-table overload!!!

An ice cream treat after the first day

A morning selfie with William. :)

The resort where the conference was held was beautiful

Eating a picnic lunch during a break

My 21st birthday was last Tuesday, but this was only a root beer!

A panel discussion on justice
 Don Carson, Miguel Núñez, John Piper, Thabiti Anyabwile, Voddie Baucham, and Tim Keller

This was definitely the best panel discussion that I've ever seen.  You may be able to watch it at some point on the Gospel Coalition website,

(This event had a lot of discussion on recent events from Ferguson to New York and on racial issues.)

Voddie Baucham announces that he's been "kicked off" the Gospel Coalition council, because of his upcoming move to Africa!

It was a really great conference that focused on the gospel (of course) and on the new heaven and earth.  I especially enjoyed the talks by Tim Keller, and took a couple of his books home with me.

Time to fly back home!

Overall, the trip was incredibly refreshing for me and I was so thankful that I was able to go.
I learned from the speakers at the conference, but I also learned a lot by spending time with the Thomas family.  The way that they accepted me into their family was an enormous blessing to me and I had an incredibly fun time hanging out with them!

Follow J. Andrew's board #TGC15 on Pinterest.


Marjo B said...

I love travel posts! Yours captured the excitement of both travelling and attending a conference...looked so fun and worthwhile! (best combination :) )

You know, the first thing I thought when I saw the pic. of the pilot and copilot was ''I would so not trust them to fly an airplane I was in''... ;)

Selfies in a blog post do give a personal, fun moments touch!

The beach pictures are absolutely beautiful!!! That sunset!
I only just realized 2 years ago that on the East coast, you just can't ever get a sunset picture like that, with the sun and the ocean. :P

Rather amazing building for the conference! With that courtyard and staircase and all...of course with the palm trees too....

It would have been interesting to hear that panel discussion you mentioned; I've read a really good book by Thabiti Anyabwile- would have enjoyed hearing him in person.
And of course Voddie Baucham is always great.

Anyways. Thanks for sharing!

V.S B said...

Your post made me want to travel right now. I don't know if I can wait till June:)

The first thing I thought of when spying the pilots was " do they really have to trust Google maps to know where they are headed!" Glad you made it ok!

Next April I jsut might go with the family I nanny to Florida. It will be a first for me. I have to see sunsets like you captured!

Glad you had a grand time with friends at the conference! See you Sunday!

J. Andrew Wong said...

Thanks for the comments!

Haha...yes, we made it even though our pilots were navigating using Google Maps...had to make 3 "legal U-turns" before we found the Orlando airport.

I really do love traveling and this trip was very refreshing. There's nothing like walking along the beach while the sun is setting!

Kristine Scharven said...

I used to live by the beach and I miss it so much! What a beautiful part of Creation! So glad you had a great time at the conference!