Saturday, November 01, 2008

From internet to interstates - Ohio - Summer 2009!

I can't tell you all how wonderful it's been to get to know you by interacting through blogs, comments, emails, phone calls, etc! The internet has been such a great tool that has allowed so many of us to connect with each other and share the life of Christ and His Grace with one another. Since we're all scattered around the U.S. and the rest of the world, we obviously can't be in the same "space" together most of the time.

But this summer we want to change that, if only for a few days! Thanks to RJW (Better Than We Know) and a few others who have helped to start this ball rolling, we're planning an extended weekend get-together (most likely Friday thru Sunday) sometime in the summer of 2009 (most likely the last weekend in June) in a community called Lakeside in northern Ohio (north of Sandusky, near a town called Marblehead - see map below), and we want as many of you as would like to be a part of this, to be a part of this!

No matter where you live, if you are in any way involved in our growing online community (hopefully you feel a part of it, and not excluded in any way), whether as a blogger or as someone who comments, or if you're a lurker (you read but don't generally comment or interact)... or if you're a "real life" friend or family member of any of us... we'd love to have you there to be a part of our huge "group Grace hug," as RJW calls it!

The purpose of this is mainly to be able to meet and chat with each other in person! It's also possible that you may even want to extend your own personal time there into some sort of family vacation, as there are lots of things to do in the area, including Cedar Point amusement park, beaches, ferry rides to nearby islands, etc.

As I said, RJW (Ryan and Jamie) have really gotten this rolling and you can find their "invitation" here. (Consider this post as your invitation as well!). Check out the Lakeside link above for more info on lodging and such, and if you have any questions or would like to let us know you're coming, feel free to contact me by commenting here or emailing me (address on side column) or by contacting RJW. Now is the time to plan this, although we'll be sure to remind you in the months to come in case you're needing time to think about this and talk it over with family and friends!

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  1. Thank you!! What an awesome thing to look forward to.

    I will plan to be there, even if it's just me alone (hopefully not!). I would like nothing more than to actually meet you others who are learning to walk in this freedom that grace offers! I have longed for personal interaction with those who don't demand my religiosity.

    Thank you to RJW and any others who are behind this effort. I'm excited about it!! I feel a wind in my sail!

  2. Joel, you techno wiz, you!!!

    Thank you for making the invitation so user-friendly and official; you make us look good by association! ;)

    My mind can't really comprehend how WONDERFUL this is going to be...I'm glad Jesus threw a party and invited us!!

    Most especially, Joel, thank you for inviting us into your circle of online friends; we're enriched by all of you. The circle just keeps expanding!! How cool is that?? :)

  3. Wow you guys just nailed that down :-) thats awesome! And only 3.5 hours north of us at that. I am with RJW Joel, was a very user friendly, from the heart, offical sounding, all around nice invitation, it even makes Anne and I feel like we cold climb out of our shell for a couple of days. :-)

  4. I'm really, really, really, really, really, really looking forward to meeting all of you! Did I mention really, really, really???

    Seriously, I think this is a very GOOD thing (stealing a phrase from RJW!) and I'm wishing next summer were here right now!

    Free Spirit... alone or not, it would be absolutely wonderful to have you there with us!

    RJW... You've got it right... This is Jesus' party and He's been so gracious to set this all up for us!

    Ron... How cool is that?! You and Anne are so very welcome to join us. I think there will be a lot of people for whom this will be a coming-out-of-the-shell experience, including myself, so you'll be in great company. :)

  5. Any party Jesus' puts on gets me excited. Ummm how cool is guys are running with it and not just talking about it....I am seriously thinking and praying about it...a little frightened by some of the posts out there :) but definitely interested. Besides sounds like you might just need an older ahem...voice of reason amongst you to keep you from hurting yourselves. It is in my neck of the woods ...sort of...Hmmmm....I'll let you know for sure ....soooooooooon. I love this idea! Besides a Canadian in the bunch is never a bad thing and I surely could use a vacation. ;)

    In Him,

  6. ICA... Be afraid, be very afraid of those posts. LOL. I figured if I can act like that in front of my wife and kids sometimes (well, a lot of the time), then I can act like that in front of my friends! ;)

    It would be stupendously AWESOME if you could make it next summer! Out of all my current blogging friends, I'm pretty sure that you and I go back the farthest, along with Bino and Dave L, and I've often thought of getting over there to see you, Bob, Alvin, etc. But if I can't make it to Canada, I'll gladly have Canada here! :) And yes, it's true, we may just need someone there to keep us in line!

  7. Joel,
    Sounds great. Will a Southern boy(by the Grace of God, I will say) be welcomed?

    I would love to come.

  8. John,

    Wouldn't that be "I say hey by the grace of God")?... ;) A little southern fried Foghorn Leghorn there.

    You are absolutely welcome to come along. In fact it's been those NC southerners - RJW - who have really gotten this ball rolling.

    I heard from California as well the other day; someone who listens to my podcast and is a myspace friend is wanting to come... so it looks like people from all over are hoping to come. Should be an excellent time!

  9. Joel,
    I just checked the distance from our home and it's about less than 3 hrs drive. Not bad at all!
    I am not a very good planner in general :). But for now, my wife and I think we can make it!
    Thanks to you and RJW for taking the initiative.

  10. Bino,

    I was just telling my parents the other day that one of the reasons we don't take many family vacations (we mainly visit my parents - about a 6 hour drive) is because we're terrible at planning! So it really, truly is a great big "THANK YOU" to RJW for taking the reins on this! I've 'talked' about figuring out some way to try to meet you all, but that's all it's been up till now!

    Anyway, I'm really hoping you guys make it, and I'm looking forward to meeting you!

  11. Awesome job Joel - you truly are the grace networker!! What would we all do without big brother Joel!! I too am glad my sister girlfriend took the reins and said let's do it!! I am a dreamer, and don't always make stuff happen or plan stuff, so I am excited about these developements!
    This looks like a great location! Can't wait to meet everyone!!

  12. Lydia... I'm so excited that this is coming together in the way that it is! I imagine how surreal it will be to have all of us people who essentially only know each other through online communication, and perhaps phone calls, all together in one place! In many ways it will take a while for this whole idea to sink in!

  13. It's about 2400 miles from me, so I'm not sure we'll be able to make it. Bu it does sound like fun...

  14. Hoping to go, and cant wait...

  15. Richard... theres NO excuses! LOL.

    But seriously, there's no excuses! At least two others from Cali are seriously looking into this. =D

    But really seriously... I know the distance would make something like this difficult. Would love to see you but I truly understand. My brother lives in San Diego, so our chances of meeting would be more likely if/when I ever get out that way!

    Leonard... I really hope you make it! It will be great getting together with the people we've only known online.