Tuesday, June 30, 2009

So far...

Been on Sabbatical one month now. First week was "detox", second week was "detox and vacation", then, we got out here to Colorado and it really started!

The theme for this sabbatical has really been spiritual and physical renewal driven more by the leadership of the Holy Spirit than my own laid out plans. There are certain things that you just cannot plan for. That is just the nature of life in the spirit.

Well, we have been in Colorado 12 days and so far......
  • I am spending the first 4-6 hours of every day with God! Praying, walking, staring at mountains, reading the Bible, studying it, writing, and devouring and engaging the scriptures in ways I never have in my life. (Basically, 5am-10am, it's me and God!)
  • Found a sweet coffee house with huge glass windows facing the mountains. Their seating is stupid-comfortable and their coffee is great. Needless to say, this has been a positive contribution to my experience! ;-) Some days, a few hours of my morning routine are spent here.
  • It is becoming clear to me that much of what God is showing me so far in this sabbatical is to be preached, not blogged. Already have 4-5 sermon series and 20+ sermons in the pot cooking! Loving this time to pour into messages that are flowing out of time with God. There is no way to measure the eternal value of these moments!
  • I am totally and absolutely loving the time that I am getting with Tricia and Davis. Just about every day when Daddy is back home, we go do something special together. We are making memories and really bonding as a family. I have seen a difference in both of them for the better and I attribute it to our together-time. This whole experience is a blessing that we do not take for granted!
  • We LOVE Colorado!! Perfect weather, no humidity, outstanding scenery, friendly people, loads to do and see, and due to the elevation, it feels like the clouds are within your reach! We highly recommend this as a vacation spot!
  • It is pretty tough to breathe if you do any intense exercise in these elevations when you are not used to it...but, who cares!! Quit your crying and do it anyway!! And we are. We are kicking our butts working out and hiking. May my stomach shrink and my heart grow! ;-)
Oh and so far....

We miss you!!! As much as we are loving this experience, we are people people and we miss you!!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

A Video of Davis (and my 1,000th Blog Post)

Hello all! I've had a great Birthday today with my two sweeties! We are getting ready to go have dinner in an airplane! Decided that we would film a video of Davis. They develop and learn fast at this age and some of our family and friends are beginning to feel some Davis Withdraw.

Oh, this is also my 1,000th blog post!! Wow! I thank God for the many memories and thoughts captured here. Thanks for reading.

Friday, June 26, 2009

I spoke too soon!

Remember the other day when I blogged about the mountains and the views. Well, I spoke to soon. That was before I drove to the summit of Pike's Peak and through Rocky Mountain National Park. So, allow me to amend that blog with these masterful pictures of God's wonder!!!

I also posted a bunch of pics on facebook tonight. See them here!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

A Divine Appoinment

I think that what happened over the last three days was a divine appointment, not a coincidence, and I want to tell you about it. Probably best for me to put the story into chronological order:
  • We arrived in Colorado Springs on Friday.
  • We started researching churches on Saturday. We even drove to a few of them so we knew where they were. I forget how, but we decided to go to New Life Church first. (Now I know it was the Lord.)
  • We worshiped there on Sunday and LOVED it! While we were there, one of the Children's Pastors was incredibly kind to us. She asked us if we were here for the conference? Of course, we said "what conference"? (Mind you, we know no one and nothing here in this area. We just randomly selected it because of its beauty!)
  • So, Christine (the Children's Pastor) takes our cell number and says that she will call us in the morning.
  • She calls with excitement on Monday morning and tells us to come to the church to pick up our free passes to this conference (that people paid big money for).
  • So, Monday, Tuesday and Today, I attended (Tricia and Davis came to some of it as well) the Ascent Conference at New Life Church.
  • This week was a divine appointment of worship and hearing from the Lord!!
  • This morning I heard Bill Hybels speak a powerful word on the whispers of God.
  • Tonight we attended a Chris Tomlin concert at New Life. Outstanding night of worship!
After feeling thoroughly welcomed by this massive church of 10,000+ people....who treated us like we were royalty...and the sense of authenticity and revival in this church was stunning....we found out 2 things that shocked us:
  • This is the church that Ted Haggard started many years ago before being exposed for being in a homosexual relationship about 2 years ago. Haggard was also the President of the National Evangelical Association.
  • This is also the church that had a gunman walk in and open fire killing 2 and wounding many just 13 months after their Pastor (Haggard) had a moral failure.
  • (You can google either one of these topics and find more than you will ever want to read.)
After these 2 massive blows to this church, New Life has experienced healing, restoration and now revival! It is obvious that God is at work in this church! It has been our honor to be here this week and I was also blessed to meet their new Lead Pastor, Brady Boyd. Great guy!

So, here is my shout out to New Life Church, the Ascent Conference and the Lord Jesus for orchestrating this divine appointment for us this week! What a warm welcome to Colorado Springs. In 4 days we have favor and relationships! PTL!

Monday, June 22, 2009

These Mountains...

Since arriving in Colorado on Friday, I have struggled to find adjectives for what I am seeing. These views and these mountains are absolutely.....ummm....I had to look up words that seemed to get close to describing them:
  • Magnificent
  • Grand
  • Resplendent
  • Glorious
  • Statuesque
  • Majestic
I am in awe of God. I keep pulling over, pulling out the camera and and looking like a silly tourist. We intentionally selected Colorado for our Sabbatical for these glorious views. They have delivered.

Here are a few pictures with verses that I have been quoting every morning as I sit at "my spot" and stare upward to the mountains and the Lord (with a jacket on as it it 45-55 in the mornings).


Psalm 65:6 “You formed the mountains by your power and
armed yourself with mighty strength.”

(Pike's Peak)

Isaiah 55:12 “You will live in joy and peace. The mountains and hills will burst into song, and the trees of the field will clap their hands!”

Psalm 95:3-4 “For the LORD is the great God, the great King above all gods. In his hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to him.”

Psalm 121:1-2 "I lift up my eyes to the hills—where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth."

Finally, if you look closely in this picture you can see Pike's Peak peeking above some other mountains. Pike's peak is the 2nd highest mountain is Colorado and we are climbing it today...
In our van!!!
Fooled you, huh?
This should be a great day.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Pursuit of God

The Pursuit of God. That is precisely what I want this sabbatical to be about. Pursuing God. Not pursuing man, ministry, technique, or experiences, but pursuing God.

Not sure if I shared this yet, but before I left for this trip I packed only the Bible, Bible reference books and old(er) books on spiritual growth or spiritual formation (unsure of whether I would read any of them). I left every book on church ministry, church growth or leadership laying right on its shelf. I have had enough of that in my reading diet over the last 10 years. It is time for pursuing God and his heart; not man and his techniques.

Over the last few days, I read a book by A.W. Tozer entitled, "The Pursuit of God." It was written many years ago by a man who struggled to make something of himself and became an anointed Christian Author.

Due to the fact that I wrote in the margins of nearly every page, I will not even attempt to do a review of this book, but suffice it to say that reading it turned out to be a divinely appointed task for me. This short little book rocked my world in a big way. It is profoundly anointed and had me in deep reflection and tears several times.

Read "The Pursuit of God" by Tozer.

Go to the library and get it.

Buy it here for $7.79.

Borrow it.

But, whatever you do...read this book!!! Other than the Bible, I rate it as the best book that I have read in years, maybe ever!!! You will see why once you read it.

Practical Update:
  • We had an amazing cruise.
  • I am officially disconnected! On Sunday, I forgot it was Sunday. Made it to Church just in time. Attended Severn River Church where my friend Ben Rainey Pastors.
  • We left Monday to start our drive to Colorado.
  • We are taking our time and making a 3 day trip in 5.
  • Arrived in Nashville, TN today to stay at the Gaylord's Opryland Hotel. There are no words for this place. 45 minutes and lost 3 times just to walk from one end to another.
  • Truly enjoying Tricia and Davis and nice to be largely disconnected from technology.
  • My heart is heavy for Lisa Savoy's family and friends after her passing this morning. What a dear saint who will be truly missed. Read about her on my blog here, here and here.
  • Perhaps I will blog again in a week or so.
Love to you all!


"The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD turn his face toward you and give you peace." -Numbers 6:24-26

Thursday, June 4, 2009


I know some people that always insist on taking all of their annual vacation at one time because it is the only way that they can maximize it. For some of us, it takes 3-5 days just to unwind, let go, disconnect. Usually I can disconnect in about 2 days. This time, it is going to take me longer (probably because I know I have the time to do it).

Unwinding. That is precisely what this week has been about so far:
  • Been home or doing anything that I think of when I think of it.
  • I have nothing on my CCF task list.
  • Have not read a single work email all week.
  • The only "appointments" I have had all week, have been personal friends and family.
  • No blogging, no twittering, no facebooking, not even thought about it much at all.
Tomorrow, we finish packing for a week out at sea. Really looking forward to celebrating our 7 year anniversary this week out on the ocean blue, in the Caribbean and with my love!

After that, we start our trek west to our Summer Destination in Colorado where we will spend the majority of our Sabbatical.

I may check in again in a week or two.

Signing off again for now...

"I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ." -Eph. 3: 17b-18