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Thursday

Thursday morning consisted of study. Not hard core study, but a solid hour and a half perhaps. I reckon that's a pretty good effort.

I caught the train to college and studied more as I traveled because I'm a bit of nerd. My train came late but I only missed the role call.

The exam wasn't too hard. Which probably means I failed. But what can you do? I'd studied for two of the questions that morning, so things were pretty fresh. That's when cramming really comes into its own.

After the exam I found a place to give me an early dinner (a resturant called "Chicken Quicky" or something; it was full of flies) then meandered my way to the Sydney Superdome. It was TD Jakes night. I got there about an hour and a half early so I walked slowly from Concord West to Olympic Park. I enjoyed the walk through Bicentennial Park. The grass was green, the fountains bubbling and the there was no one about. I stopped along the way to read a monument to King Cyrus who lived around 550BC. I learnt about him at College and was wondering why he managed to get a monument in Homebush. It was from Persian Appreciantion month in 1994 or something. I like the monument though.

When I arrived at the Superdome I had to run a gauntlet of cheery CCC volunteers. They were all smiling and every single one of them said "Have a good night" to which I inevitably replied "I'll give it a shot." It sounded like didn't think I'd have a good night, but that wasn't the case. I did. I just didn't want to promise I would. When I'm given a bubbly command to "Have a good night" I don't want to commit to it as having a good night is not wholly in my control. So I gave it a shot and ended up succeeding.

I went into the Superdome and found three seats about 2 thirds back from the stage and but near the floor. I watched the ads on the big screens and noticed that every CCC ad is big. They have big orchestral music, footage of mountains, waves and wild horses and every conference seems to be advertised as "The once-in-a-lifetime moment when your life will be changed." That said they have good production values. They did well with the ads.

It was fun sitting in the Superdome imagining that I may be back there in a few months time to see U2 play. How exciting.

Anyway, the show started. Howie and Jenny arrived. I didn't know any of the songs we sang until Darlene arrived.

TD Jakes was cool. He's a big, noisy, Black American preacher. People say he's the next Billy Graham. I disagree. He wasn't much like Billy, but he was cool. And he was powerful. He preached about the Prodigal Son. He was quite theatrical, using the whole stage, sometimes preaching with his back to the audience, or sitting on the choir stands behind a rack of guitars. And he'd say things like "I don't think you're hearing me" when he wanted the audience to clap more.

It would be fun to preach like he does. I'm not sure my church would cope. Nor would I have the courage.

At the end he made the altar call and it was great to see heaps of people go down the front. He did an interesting thing where he said "Imagine this is the last 60 seconds of your life. Would you be sure of you're destiny? If not, come down now, you have 60 seconds." Then he counted down. People came running. I was getting nervous. It was effective. I haven't decided if it's a good idea, but it was smart. It added drama to an altar call too, but I doubt that was its intended purpose.

I'm glad I saw TD.

We came home after that. I had a Caesar salad and yoghurt for dinner.

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