Well, it's the last night of our Arizona vacation and I've had a lot a time to reflect since Sara and I left Normal (still funny no matter how many times you say it) almost 11 days ago. Here are a few:
1. God is an amazing creator. Just in the animal kingdom I have witnessed his incredible creativity. We have seen elk (several herds grazing near a watering hole), deer, coyotes, road runners (look just like the cartoon), havalenas (I think that's spelled correctly - basically a wild boar...and it scares you to death if you encounter it on a trail while your jogging early in the morning), and wild turkeys, Condors, and big horn sheep (the last two seen at the Grand Canyon - it's big!). Pretty cool (for a city boy from Indy).
2. Blue skies are awesome. Laying by the pool today (I know now i'm rubbing it in) I simply was lost in how blue the sky is. Unfortunately, I sometimes miss this in my day to day routine (plus I live in central Illinois where there are fewer blue-sky days).
3. The local church is incredible. Of course I enjoyed preaching last weekend at CCCEV, but then Sara and I attended a church on Sunday called Desert View Community Church. The preaching was biblical (grace was the message from Ephesians 2), the people worshipped Jesus, and we felt right at home among complete strangers (because in fact we are related through Jesus).
4. Rest (sabbath) is really a good idea. I am not tired. I am not stressed. I am not in a hurry. I am not on a schedule. I have not set an alarm for an entire week. I have spent a lot of time reading the Bible and thinking about God. I think the slowing down of the body accelerates the spirit. I will return home tomorrow night completely refreshed (even if I know I'm going to jump right back into ministry and i'll probably be exhausted by Sunday night!).
5. A great wife is an incredible blessing to have. Sara is by far (by far) my favorite person in the whole world! I'd rather talk to her, hang out with her, spend time with her just being, laugh with her, cry with her and pray with her than any body else on this green earth. I consider Sara after Jesus, my greatest gift.
6. I miss my family. Miss Mikey and Caleb and mom. Miss just coming home and hanging in that environment and being in a place where we are share a common bond. And along with that, I miss my church family. I miss worshipping together, praying together and preaching at Eastview. To all my family. I'll be home soon. Can't wait to see you...hug you...tell you how much I love you.