Sabbatical has been a true blessing. The time away to finish a book which actually became several books (counting ebooks), to reflect, to be stretched and refined, and to teach across the globe have all been needed and helpful.
The time of reflection has been especially helpful. I enjoyed teaching at Kiev Theological Seminary in Ukraine, the Canadian Baptist Theological Seminary, and at Anderson University, but I am more than ready to be back at my beloved Southeastern. I love my local church, and I especially love our Young Pros ministry there. At the same time, I realized after reflection how my calling from age 18 to now has always involved service as an itinerant, and no matter how I sometimes try to fight against that, truth is I love to go and minister to leaders and churches, student ministries and college campuses. So, this fall I will be a little more focused on traveling, while still taking care not to overschedule. I particularly love traveling within 3-4 hours of SEBTS because I can take my awesome students with me.
I have made a fundamental change, one that took a long time because I am so pig headed. My fantastic secretary Peggy Loafman will now handle all the details of my traveling ministry and appointments on campus. I realize that traveling and speaking, because it is my calling, gives me a good does of Eustress, the good stress an athlete gets in a game or a musician in a concert. We all need that. But the logistics, the details, that gives me Distress, or weariness. Peggy will help immensely there.
So, this next year I will be doing some DNows, parent or leader conferences, and speaking at various church, student, or college events. I am excited! In the fall I still have some openings for Sunday nights, some Wednesday nights, and an occasional Thursday or Friday night. I don’t typically advertise as God has been good to use this Alabama hick for His glory, but I do have a few dates for the fall and early spring available. If interested shoot me an email at areid@Sebts.edu.
One more thing: In the late spring I will be doing a tour of sorts related to the book I wrote for NavPress, to be released around April 1. I am already nailing down dates for that, so if interested please let me know. Thanks and may God give you all a great 2012-2013!