I was on Iron Sharpens Iron today, discussing Mormonism prior to heading for Salt Lake and the Compassionate Boldness conference which begins tomorrow evening. Lo and behold who calls but Alma Allred. If such things as blogs had existed back in the 80s, mine would have had a lot about Alma on it. The long, long letters we exchanged were very important in introducing me to the range of LDS apologetic techniques. I had seen Alma last year on Jason Wallace’s cable access program in Utah (I believe I will be recording an episode for the same program tomorrow as soon as I arrive in Salt Lake, in fact), and had noted that Alma is now one of the Three Nephites. (Inside joke Mormons will get). Anyway, it was an interesting program, and can be heard here.
Sometime over the weekend I happened to check on the Ministry Resource List. I sat in stunned silence when I realized that in essence, it was simply gone, with only two currently not available exceptions and one obscure work on Islam. This included an item I had only hoped and prayed would be purchased, a brand new digital projector. Those who have attended any of my lectures (or debates) know how often I use a projector, and the one I currently have, and for which I remain grateful, is an 1800 lumen unit. When I was in Florida I saw a Casio projector (Mike O’Fallon of Sovereign Christian Cruises had it) that amazed me. It is about the same size as the Eeepc computer I will be using to live-stream my debates, and it is incredibly thin, less than half the size of my current unit, and yet it puts out an incredible 2300 lumens (more than powerful enough for almost all the venues I would be speaking in). The clearance of the list was so sudden I was immediately concerned that some problem had occurred with the list. However, some of those items have arrived, and when the projector arrives, I will know for certain that again, the people of God have simply been too kind to this unprofitable servant.
In any case, I put one other “travel” item on that list. In June I am flying to New Jersey, where I will speak at three different churches, then drive to Long Island, where I will engage in the Shamsi Ali dialogue on the 25th in Queens, and then speak at at least four more churches, two different churches on Sunday. I can probably manage the Long Island driving pretty well, as I know my way around, but goodness, driving in New Jersey is enough to make you understand Molinism! Jug handles (and gas station attendants!) and a road system laid out by someone in a drug-induced haze will surely make you long for the nice, easy grid system of Phoenix. In any case, I put a little Garmin GPS device on the list. I don’t mind driving myself places–I’m not in the “elite” crowd that gets to have a driver–but trying to use my BlackBerry while driving is just dangerous. I saw how useful one of these little things can be in London in 2007 as it guided us across the city (using the voice of John Cleese, of course!) in Justyn’s Blue Blurr, and especially when headed for the wilds of the Garden State Parkway and then the interior of New Jersey, that looked like a wise addition to the “travel pack” I have invented over the years. Also, if you would like to help with the trip (we will be carrying the rental car and hotel bills in New York), please know it would be most appreciated.
I hope to have a full itinerary next week for New Jersey and New York. I will be gone ten days, and just off the top of my head I think I will be speaking at least ten times in those ten days, perhaps eleven. Wonderful opportunities, for which I am most grateful.

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