Reflections From A Season of Rest

About a decade or so ago, our family made a decision that has turned out to be one of our best—to spend all of our vacation in one shot. Abundant Life has been gracious to allow us to continue this tradition, and we want to thank you. This summer was especially sobering, because it is our last full summer together as a family. Around this time next year, we will be sending our oldest son off to college, and thus will begin the steady, and prolonged “see-you-laters.”  If all goes according to script, 5 years from now, Korie and I will be empty nesters. It’s hard even writing that phrase.

So you can imagine as we began our vacation on the Big Island, we wanted things to move like those sea turtles we visited in the evenings as the sun was setting, slowly, so we could soak up every moment. Through the graciousness of a friend, we were able to enjoy Hawaii from his home overlooking the ocean. Our days were spent reading, golfing, swimming and enjoying the company of close friends who made the journey with us. A few days in, our family turned to each other and said this was the best vacation we ever had. The following weeks offered more of the same, just in different settings: A Christian camp in Texas. Sitting in the stands in a not-so-Christian place known as Las Vegas, cheering our youngest on as his team finished in the top eight of his national AAU tournament. Spending a weekend with one of my best friends, laughing and talking about Jesus. These are but a few of the gifts God gave us this summer.

As I prepare to re-engage Abundant Life for the next season of ministry, there’ve been a few things God has put on my heart:

  1. A renewed commitment to our value of “Going.” During my time away, I felt a constant nudging in my spirit to become more vocal about the gospel, both personally and at our church. God’s given me a vision for what this looks like in our body, and I can’t wait to share it. My prayer for us is not so much for opportunities—we don’t exactly live in the Bible belt—but for boldness. As I’ve prayed to become bolder this summer, I’ve seen God move in exciting ways.

  2. There’s a word I kept hearing for us as a church, and it’s the word “sticky.”  We’ve taken strides to be an equipping and sending church, but God also wants us to be a connecting church where we go deep with one another in community. When there is a sense of belonging, this is where the church becomes “sticky.” Later this month, for our state of the church address, I’ll share more vision about this.

  3. The third thing I both reflected on and took better strides in, is my health.  Korie, Quentin and I are getting into the world of CrossFit—and it’s killing us. Of course when I say “us,” I’m talking about the forty-somethings, and not our oldest who gets a kick out of watching our near-death experiences, as he floats through the workouts. Every year, I fuss more at Adam and his eating of the fruit that brought sin in the world. Paul was right when he said our bodies were wasting away. As a mentor once said to me, “Our ministries will only last as long as our bodies do.” Sage advice I’m trying to live by. Our family loves you all so much, and wants to steward well what God has given us so we can be with you all for a long time.