Enjoy! I’ve done that this week and I did that one year ago.
Yes, one year ago this past Sunday we celebrated one of the most wonderful days ever in the life of our family…
What a wonderful, wonderful day that was! In fact this past Sunday is the 25th anniversary of when I asked Pam out on our first “date.” Amazing how time flies! We know that…and yes, we say that to one another, but do we really “enjoy” life or do we just live for the next big adventure or fun thing?
I’m trying to enjoy life. I really am. I’ve been far to guilty of living life for the “next thing.” So, we decided to take some time and come down to Cherry Point and see our “kids.” For that’s what they are to me.
They are still my kids. I’m learning more and more that just because they are no longer living with you, it doesn’t change that they are still your child. Yes, we let them go so they can “leave and cleave” to one another. But, I tell Katy and Josh that “We’re always here for you!”
We’ve had a wonderful week with them. Josh has had to work, but we’ve had some time to spend with Katy. We spent some time at the beach where we made our “Christmas picture” that we’ll mail out shortly. Can you believe that’s it’s less than a month and a half until Christmas? We trudged down and back to the ocean to do so…
That was a blast! This picture IS NOT the Christmas picture! I’m not allowed to show it yet… 🙂 But, I thought this one was good too!
Pam was coming back up the path and she had the tripod. She was pointing it at me and said, “I’m gonna get you!” I think I’ll let her! Doesn’t she still look great after 25 years of knowing me! 🙂
I’m a blessed man! And I’ve enjoyed the wife of my youth and I now enjoy the wife of my middle age.
It’s also a blessing to have a Marine in the family. How about a condo for 5 days for $279. And get this… The Lord worked it out that we were here visiting with our family at the same time that Dave Black was doing some surfing about 20 minutes from us. We had dinner together on Tuesday night. Dr. Black is the best! What a mentor, friend, confidant and brother in Christ!
For those of you who didn’t know, Dr. Black just lost his wife of 37 years, Becky to cancer. He is so transparent about how he’s dealing with her death on his blog. It’s ministering to literally thousands of people, including this pastor/elder. I read Dr. Black’s blog every day. He’s mentoring me from afar. Thanks so much Dave!
I wrote the sermon for this Sunday on Tuesday. The rest of the family went to Pet Smart where Katy (and Josh) got a beautiful kitten they’ve named Teddy.
Two cuties! That picture was made in Katy and Josh’s home at Cherry Point.
Speaking of Andrew, this past Sunday at church he had the privilege of running the words on the screen as the children’s choir sang.
He was soooooo excited! Thanks Albert McGee and Jacob Church for mentoring him and most of all for Pastor Brad Cordray for having the vision to mentor and train up or young people. You see, Mt. Pleasant is not just my church, it’s Andrew’s church. He calls it “my church.” Why? Because he has a part in the church. He’s valued and he’s given a job and is being trained and cared for. His counterpart is Ty Bryan. He’s working on Jacob’s “board.”
And Pastor Brad is leading the choir…
He’s on his knees there in the middle. Doesn’t the choir look good! And they sound just as great! Well, the kids have enjoyed the indoor pool.
You can tell that no one is around. Of course it’s a whopping 41 degrees outside! I was able to read a book manuscript for my wonderful publisher, Henry Neufeld of Energion Publishing on an upcoming Study on Ecclesiastes. He needed it back pretty quickly. He’s a blessing to work with to say the least!
Let me show you something that once again struck me this week. See this picture…
Those are men working on the condos. They start at 7:30 and stop at dark…around 5:30ish. They are amazing workers. And guess what nationality they are?
Drum roll please…
I’ll give you three guesses and the first two don’t count.
Why is that the case? Well, I think you know. You can’t find anyone else who’s willing to work those hours and do that kind of work. And why should they? You can get on government assistance and ride the train. I watched those guys work in 30 mph wind gusts on Tuesday afternoon when the cold front was coming through. They never stopped! What happened to the “American” work ethic? I think we will probably need to start calling it the “Mexican” work ethic if we want to be fair.
We had some nice walks on the beach.
There are mostly fishermen at the coast in November. I got to play a game with the kids on the playground.
I was the dragon/alligator and they had to keep me off the ship. They did with their special wands. They saved the kingdom and the flag. Clara said, “We did it with the help of the Lord!” Gotta love it!
Here we are…
…the three amigos! Making memories!!
Can I tell you something. 10 years ago, I would have NEVER done this week. NEVER! Why? Because I’m a recovering workaholic. I still work a ton of hours. More than I care to admit. But, nothing like I used to…even five years ago. I have learned as a Pastor, I’ve got to get the time when I can. There are no days off and being “on call” means that there are no weekends. I’ve worked this week. I’ve counseled via email. I’ve checked on people. Made phone calls. Even counseled over the phone for several hours this week. It is what it is. If you weren’t called by the Spirit of God to do this job, you couldn’t do it. Being an Elder/Pastor/Shepherd is not for the faint of heart. It’s the greatest blessing in the world for me to be a part of this wonderful work…but, again…I’ve got to get the time off when I can get it in and that’s not usually when everyone else does it. So, this week I have had the chance to enjoy!
Isn’t that a great sunset? You know what I did? Yep! I enjoyed it! Enjoy!! We’ve got to do more of that. Enjoy our work. Enjoy life. Even in the struggles? Yes. Even in the hard times. Yes. Reading through Ecclesiastes helped me see that this week as well.
Let me show you how Eugene Peterson put it The Message:
1-2 Honor and enjoy your Creator while you’re still young, Before the years take their toll and your vigor wanes, Before your vision dims and the world blurs And the winter years keep you close to the fire.
3-5 In old age, your body no longer serves you so well. Muscles slacken, grip weakens, joints stiffen. The shades are pulled down on the world. You can’t come and go at will. Things grind to a halt. The hum of the household fades away. You are wakened now by bird-song. Hikes to the mountains are a thing of the past. Even a stroll down the road has its terrors. Your hair turns apple-blossom white, Adorning a fragile and impotent matchstick body. Yes, you’re well on your way to eternal rest, While your friends make plans for your funeral.
6-7 Life, lovely while it lasts, is soon over. Life as we know it, precious and beautiful, ends. The body is put back in the same ground it came from. The spirit returns to God, who first breathed it.
8 It’s all smoke, nothing but smoke. The Quester says that everything’s smoke.
9-10 Besides being wise himself, the Quester also taught others knowledge. He weighed, examined, and arranged many proverbs. The Quester did his best to find the right words and write the plain truth.
11 The words of the wise prod us to live well. They’re like nails hammered home, holding life together. They are given by God, the one Shepherd.
12-13 But regarding anything beyond this, dear friend, go easy. There’s no end to the publishing of books, and constant study wears you out so you’re no good for anything else. The last and final word is this:
Fear God. Do what he tells you.
14 And that’s it. Eventually God will bring everything that we do out into the open and judge it according to its hidden intent, whether it’s good or evil.
One last thing. Have you heard about the movie “Noah” that’s coming out? It’ll be out this March. It’s starring Russell Crowe. Check out the trailer and ENJOY!