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I'm taking two summer vacations.  For the July vacation I'm going to Worlds with my wife and daughter.  Kelsey and I are both playing MA1 because we want to compete head to head for a World Championship in the Brakel Family division, BF1. 

For my second vacation I'm going to Black Mountain, North Carolina for a five day conference, and that is what I wanted to talk about.  But I'm not sure what I want to say.  I'll just testify.

A year ago I was a little bit dead, which I suppose is like being a little bit pregnant.  I don't really know why.  But I was definitely "going through the motions, walking through the part; nothing seemed to penetrate my heart" if you recognize that show tune.  I was still going to church and all, but I was cold inside. 

One day at work I had the thought that I ought to see what Clay McLean was up to.  I had not thought about Clay in a long time.  He spoke at a church I was attending 30 years ago a couple of times.  He was a traveling preacher man and he had a pretty good show.  I was surprised I even remembered his name.  He could be dead now for all I know. 

Well, a little internet searching and I found out that Clay was doing a conference in Black Mountain, NC, that I had no interest in going to.  It looked like it was going to be five days of a lot of strangers crying.  Unfortunately, from my perspective at the time, I knew I had to go to it or something worse would happen, and my wife said, "Go.  Send me an e-mail." 

I went.  It was much worse than I had imagined.

Since then, I've been enjoying an extended period of personal revival.  Normally I struggle with episodes of mostly untreatable depression, and since last summer I've been mostly free of that.  I cry once or twice a week, but I'm happy to be crying about some things and out from under the grinding weight of depression. 

I'm writing this to invite someone to join me on my Black Mountain vacation this year.  I'm not sure who, but you know right now, reading this, if it is you.  For some reason, I think if you recognized that show tune, you're the one.  You can google "clay mclean ministries" and see for yourself that you don't want to go to that.  Then it's definitely you! 

I'm working on Step 12, by the way.  I just read Step 12 and got teary eyed. 

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