I am here primarily to take part in a training and accreditation seminar next week in Arlington sponsored by the National Association of Church Design Builders, which is an industry trade group that, obviously, focuses on the specific needs of churches in the construction of worship facilities. This is a sizable slice of my company's business already and it looks like thsi will be a worthwhile affiliation. At the end of the week, if I behave myself and pay attention, I will be a Certified Church Consultant. That, and about $3 will no doubt entitle me to my vente Americano, black and hot, at the local coffee shop, but still, it looks like the NACDB may provide some good leads and networking opportunities. I have accumulated a number of such "credentials" over the years, and they are largely meaningless in terms of really impacting what I do. But I remain open-minded and optimistic, because one cannot always judge the future by the past. Only time will tell whether or not this was a smart move or simply 4 days out of my life that I'll never get back.
Regardless, it is fun to visit Texas, land of my birth, the crucible of my formative years, the backdrop for the first couple of decades of my adult life, etc., etc. I could go on an on about how the Dallas/Fort Worth area has changed so much over the years. It has been one of the most dramatically expanding areas of the country for several decades, now, but in the 8 years, more or less, that we've been gone it has really just gotten crazy. There are whole towns and cities that used to be on the periphery, like Grapevine, Lewisville, Flower Mouond, Mansfield, and Southlake, tht are now fully immersed and integrated into one sprawling, amoebic organism of commerce and community. The traffic is pretty terrible, but I am kind of enjoying the death-race aspect of it, so far. Roads that used to be two lane country highways are now congested six lane arteries into and out of various concentrations of industry and residential regions.
I am especially enjoying seeing the great diversity of international cultures, merging and contrasting - something I have always appreciated about this area. This makes for an amazing mixture of eclectic art, great food, interesting music, and fascinating personal interactions.
It is a great place to visit, but I'm glad I don't live here. I like living in rural Indiana.