Now that I have some time, I just wanted to go over some highlights from this past weekend. I know it's almost the next weekend, but it's been a wild but great week!
On Friday night, my wife and I finally went to see the Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit at Discovery Place in Charlotte, NC. This was amazing, but I'm not sure exactly what I expected. To begin, the group gets to watch about a 10 minute film that relates some of the background (for the uninitiated!). This was a fairly high-level overview, but was good. Since I've been putting off going (the exhibit was from February through Memorial Day, so we went on the last weekend), I've been taking the time to read up on this. I had a couple of books on the scrolls and acquired a couple of others since the beginning of the year. Two good ones you should try to get your hands on are Second Thoughts on the Dead Sea Scrolls by F.F. Bruce and The Dead Sea Scrolls by Millar Burrows. I don't believe you'll be able to find these in B&N, though. I've been trying to find a decently priced edition of the Bruce book on eBay for a while and finally did find one in April. After the short film we were able to go into a large room with different stations set up to see many artifacts from Qumran and other generic ancient artifacts. Highlights (for me) from this room include a replica of the Copper Scroll and coins from the era. There was also a good deal of pottery in there.
After this we were able to see about 15 samples of the actual Dead Sea Scrolls. They were enclosed in a case with lighting that would only illuminate the case for about 10 seconds at a time at 15 second intervals. The room was also extremely dry to emulate the conditions that sustained the scrolls for nearly 2,000 years. It was truly amazing to see these historical documents. Offhand, there were samples from (a) the Biblical books of Numbers, Psalms, Genesis, and Isaiah, (b) the apocryphal book of Enoch, and (c) the sectarian writings of the community such as The Rule of War and The Community Rule.
Sunday, my wife and I took a road trip with our church's worship leader to Villa Rica, GA (about 20 miles on I-20 from Alabama) to lead a worship service with our youth group (about 100 kids were there). We discussed a lot of songs on the way and were up in the air on one to do for "humility". Fastforward to about 5 minutes before the service, the youth minister asked a youth (the worship leader's daughter actually) to give a testimony about humility. During the course of her speech she stated that the song Facedown (also look here) by Matt Redman really speaks to her of humility. WOW! That was the song we had decided on in the car ride down there. It was really awesome!! The service was great and 4 youth made decisions to follow Jesus.
I've already posted about what I got on the way back too...