I have that bleary-eyed tiredness that only comes after a full day of good stuff.
After our two-day drive, I was in pretty rough shape this morning - not just tired, but my neck was really stiff. I treated myself to a gentle start of stretching and espresso, and arrived at the Elijah Conference during Allison's first performance training session.
The focus of Elijah is to train people in music ministry to balance their dual role as Artist and Servant. The core of the conference is Performance Training. Designed like a classical masterclass, each participant performs one song, which Allison then dissects and tweaks to bring out that individual's personal strengths and artistry. It takes real courage to allow yourself to be critiqued in public, and the singers today were awesome. I'm looking forward to singing for Allison later this week, but even as I say that, I can feel the butterflies doing a salsa in my stomach...
The training sessions are separated by guest speakers and lecturers. Stephen Hill dropped by this morning to share his passion about singing the Gospel. Stephen is huge, odd, and chock full of wisdom (and no, I'm not speaking about him behind his back - he'd be the first to say he's odd). I took tons of notes, and then marvelled (as usual) at his killer chops and awesome songs. Yes, I'm a fan.
This afternoon, Pastor Ken Dove spoke about "The Traveling Musician Through the Eyes of a Pastor." What makes a pastor love having a certain artist at his or her church? What can I do that will make sure I get invited back? What could I do that could prevent me from receiving a return invitation? Lots of wisdom, more notes.
And of course, one of the best things about Elijah Conference is the people! It's been awesome to see so many dear Stamps-Baxter friends, and meet all the new folks too. And we are in the South so, you know, there's some eating going on...
I had to miss last year's Elijah Conference. After our accident, we just couldn't afford to make the trip to Nashville. I'm so, so, so very happy to be here!