Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Lance & Gunny Go to White Castle

(4/23/2007 ... This just in ... free audio of all 20 years' of Desiring God pastors conferences is available for downloading.)

Lance Ward, pastor of Rowlett Bible Fellowship, and I met up this week at the Desiring God conference for pastors in Minneapolis (Dr. John Piper pictured in the middle). It was great to rekindle a great friendship with a brother with whom I attended seminary and shared many great times working at Insurance Depot, a time in my life I might otherwise like to forget.

This year's theme was the Holiness of God. However, I will not give a recap of the sessions, since you may download the audio of each and there are excellent summaries of each session on the Desiring God blog (just check for the dates of February 5-7). Instead, I will interact with some of the thoughts provoked over the course of the conference in a few different posts in the upcoming days, Deo volente.

But, I will tell you up front that RC Sproul was the keynote speaker. For my money, he's the Sam Adams of conference speakers, "always a good choice," but particularly so with the theme.

I was introduced to Thabiti Anyabwile, a pastor in the Cayman Islands. His talk entitled,"The Glory of Pervasive Holiness in the Life of a Pastor" was just outstanding. He was so good, that he was actually our first "victim" with the camera.

Lance and I invited Dr. Piper to come with us to dinner at White Castle, but he couldn't. Mrs. Piper was kind enough later to tell us they had other plans. (And I'm sure they didn't involve taking two groupies from Texas to White Castle.)

With the temperatures below zero degrees Fahrenheit (reportedly -30 with the wind chill on Monday night), we decided to take a cab to White Castle, which is always an experience. We had many great conversations with some interesting people inside. But, I have to thank those local boys for the tip to take the bus back to the hotel.

Incidentally, I'm thinking if I ever need a job, my dream job is available in Minneapolis. (You may have to click on the picture to enlarge it to see me with the sign to understand.)

White Castle wasn't the only fine dining I experienced. I also went to Burger King in the Minneapolis Airport for dinner tonight, where I got a Quad Stacker. That's 4 pieces of beef, 4 pieces of cheese, and 8 pieces of bacon (allegedly 1,000 calories and 68 grams of fat). I had it my way by going with barbeque sauce instead of the slooge sauce, however. I ate like a man, man, 'cause that thing was good.

It was a little messy, but good, particularly due to it's exemplary MTB ratio (Meat to Bun). In fact, it was so good that I had two. But, not to worry, I balanced it all out with a Diet Coke.

Thanks to Lance for going to White Castle and thanks be to God for a great time of instruction, singing, conversation, and getting caught up with some DTS connections (e.g,. Lance Ward, Benji Magness (you still need to come by some time so we can chat futher), and Mike Ernst).

Now, I just have to figure out where's the next conference near a White Castle.



At 08 February, 2007 04:02, Blogger M. Jay Bennett said...

Hold it now. Hold it now. Hold it now. Hit it!

I'm rejoicing with you over both White Castle and John Piper, but especially John Piper.

I enlarged the picture and just stared for a minute. I really really love the guy. He's had such a HUGE impact on my life, even though I've never actually met him. Just seeing his image along side a familiar friend is shocking in a way.

Hey Gun, if the circumstances are right next year, let's plan to get together at the DG Pastor's Conference. Deal?


At 08 February, 2007 09:21, Blogger Rev. said...

Dude, wish I was there wit' you. Would like to fill my head and heart with the good preaching and fill my gut with Castles.

At 08 February, 2007 10:08, Blogger Billie Hartman said...

It must have really been cold, since you never wear a coat.

At 08 February, 2007 13:39, Blogger Lance said...


Had a wonderful time there with you and "The Pipe."
Boy, it was rich! Also found some great music (thanks to the folks at Bethlehem) at sovereign grace music (google it and enjoy). Nothing like rich songs written by our generation.
I'm ready to return.


At 08 February, 2007 13:45, Anonymous Michelle said...

I didn't know you even owned a coat.

At 08 February, 2007 16:26, Blogger GUNNY said...

Jay, God has been good to me this year and last year, in providing a White Castle buddy.

This year Lance hit me up less than two weeks before the conference. There's nothing wrong with organizing such an outing early.

It's typically about this time of year (2007:2/5-7; 2006:1/30-2/2), so mark your calendar(s).

Hopefully, Lance can go again and we can get some more to defray the costs of the cab ride. We had a minivan, so I'm thinking we can get up to six in cramped quarters.

But, if the weather's nice, the walk is tolerable (1.7 miles to last year's White Castle).

I will say this about "the Pipe" as well. Of all the Christian celebs I've met, he is the most approachable. He's always keepin it real.

As I told him a few days ago, it's tradition to get our picture taken with him, so if you go next year bring something nice to wear for the picture.

; )

Also, bring your swimtrunks. Lance forgot his, but they have an indoor pool on the 2nd floor.

So ... 2008's list:

Any other takers?!

P.S. Michelle, with regard to the coat, I lease with an option to buy.

At 08 February, 2007 19:50, Blogger Lance said...

Do you own a coat, Mr. Nugent?

At 09 February, 2007 03:12, Blogger GUNNY said...

What a coincidence. I almost bought this coat.

Then I found out Hopalong Cassidy killed himself in it. Blew it for me.

By the way, what's the spread on the Lakers game?

At 09 February, 2007 10:15, Anonymous Sean Pease said...

Please see my recent post entitled, "Did Gunny use excessive force against John Piper?" @

I have already been contacted by Geraldo Rivera. I will pass around a signup sheet at the Lone Star Founders meeting in the morning if you would like to play a part in the reenactment on Geraldo.

At 09 February, 2007 11:26, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does Piper have any books on healthy eating? Seems that would put you in a real quandry!

At 09 February, 2007 12:31, Blogger GUNNY said...

Sean, your post was hard to click in here, so I linked it.

However, nothing to see here!

The force wasn't working on him (only for the weak-minded), but the Vulcan death grip was getting his attention. Let's just say, if Mrs. Piper hadn't jumped in, The Pipe would have been borderline abducted into our taxi minivan for some culinary delight!

Lance was too skeered to break out the iron claw to ensure success. We'll be better prepared next year, I can assure you.

P.S. You'll have to share tomorrow about your trips to the Sportatorium! That was wrestling in its prime.

At 09 February, 2007 14:20, Anonymous jade said...

So Gunny, I was looking at that five layer burger and did you fit that in your mouth?! :P And how many White Castle burgers can you eat in one bite? :)
As an alternative, might want to Consider the Philly Conference of Reformed Theology at the end of April.(Sproul and Al Mohler will be among speaking) They might not have White Castle, but they do have Philly Steak Sandwiches! :) If you want Whilte Castle, you can catch a ride with us back to NY! :)

At 14 February, 2007 02:41, Blogger GUNNY said...

Desiring God posted the conference song list on their blog, so I'll share it here as well.

Piper ... a book on eating?

Didn't he already do that? Wasn't Don't Waste Your Life about maximizing your meals with regard to enjoying your meal fully.

Isn't the meal most glorified in my tummy when I am most satisfied in it?


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