This week, Lori and I got back into the swing of things in the Rocky Mountain District. We are thankful for a few months of sabbatical where we enjoyed a wonderful time away with the Lord, our family and our beautiful country.
We had the privilege at Christmas to see most of our kids and grandchildren. We had great visits with Lori’s Mother (80) and mine (94). We were thankful to spend time later in January and into February, in Minneapolis – St. Paul, with our two younger adult children and their families and welcome our seventh grandchild, Nora Ann Moser, into the world on February 1st. We enjoyed some relaxation for a week or so in Florida and also thoroughly enjoyed visiting the Ark Encounter – about 40 miles south of Cincinnati – in Northern Kentucky. Finally, we were back in Billings for a week or so before a last quick trip to Arizona to relax and also see long-time friends from days of ministry gone by. (Yeah, I know, we traveled during sabbatical, imagine that :D). We did many other things while gone and enjoyed seeing places again that we had lived at, and ministered in, and also worshipped at a variety of churches. All in all, we visited twenty-one states and return re-fueled and ready to navigate whatever the Lord has ahead.
Someone asked me if I was eager to get back to the office and district. I said, “absolutely,” and went on to say I had been missing our office team, our pastors, leaders and congregations! It was great to get away and re-align a few things, rejoice over some things, deal with some things and remember that many things are yet to be accomplished in our own personal lives and in the ministry the Lord has entrusted to Lori and I.
I am thankful for the new discoveries and old reminders that the Lord brought to us during this time away. We did not enter it fried, or discouraged or desperate, rather thankful for the opportunity to back off a certain pace and in doing so create space for the Lord to renew, refresh and re-invigorate us for these incredible days in which we live.
I am deeply thankful to Chris, Eric and Mary at the District Office for their willingness to “pick up the slack” in the ministry here. We have a great district team, and I am thankful to be able to serve you on this team. I’m thankful, too, for the folks at the C&MA National Office and our District Executive Committee (Dexcom) for allowing me this special time off with the Lord and Lori.
Over the next few months, in various venues, I’m sure there will be numerous insights shared that were gained on sabbatical. New things coming into focus, old things being remembered and embraced, and above it all, a fresh sense of just how incredible the love and redemption of God truly is. May. We. Never. Forget. That! A passage of scripture that really ministered to my heart is found in I John 3:1-3. I’ll not pontificate on these verses, here, but just think about some of the words, The Apostle John writes to Christ-followers –
How great is the love the Father has lavished on us that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Dear friends, now we are children of God and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when He appears, we shall be like Him for we shall see Him as He is. Everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.
Thanks for the privilege of serving Christ together with you as we seek to become more like Him and be found ready should He appear while we live for Him on this earth, or He calls us home!