I led a team-building exercise recently where I instructed everyone to think for a moment about their favorite memories. We took a couple of minutes in silence to catalog a few of the most magical snapshots of our lives, and then I narrowed the search further; “now consider what 30 seconds you’d most like to live again.” A lively discussion followed as everyone shared their favorite 30-second memory.
After 24 years of marriage, four children, countless adventures, challenges and joys, there were several 30-second snapshots that came to my mind, but one seemed to float above the rest.
My brothers and I had the chance, years ago, to travel to Hawaii for a guys-only surf adventure. I’m the oldest of five boys, and it’s an amazing gift to be great friends with all of these…well, men now. Before many of us had families of our own, this long-shot blast to Maui, with our clothes taped around our surfboards as padding during the flight, made an indelible mark in my memory, seeming to somehow weave itself into my DNA. I’ll never forget catching the biggest wave of my life at Honolua Bay on that trip, but it was the small moments, the rambling, spontaneous, gloriously unplanned days we shared as brothers that made the deepest impression.
On one of the last evenings together on the island, we were heading south along a two-lane country road with the ocean on our right, and we spotted a pristine, empty surf break through the thick palms. We jumped out and hit the waves as the sun was getting low in the sky. Sure enough, this spot was perfect; small but glassy peelers crashed one after the other, and there was no wind, and no other people for miles. We shared the waves, swapping boards, goofing around, passing around a straw hat, and laughing at all the inside jokes collected between us throughout the years.
As the sun finally sank below the horizon, we all caught a last wave in and sat on the beach for a moment, catching our breath in the fading light, watching another epic sunset send streaks up across the sky. The temperature between the warm air, the sand, and the water was seamless, undetectable. Our swim trunks weren’t dry yet, but I wasn’t cold at all, even as darkness grew. My brothers and I had nowhere we needed to be, nothing to do, and no reason to rush off. Just resting on the sand, slightly damp, joyfully exhausted, and perfectly content, watching those last colored strands of sunlight fade into the tropical evening…that’s my favorite 30 seconds ever.
It’s time to say
Thank you for your prayers, advice, and donations. After several weeks of waiting on God’s direction, we felt led toward a mini-van for our family, and all of your generous contributions enabled us to buy this beautiful 2003 Honda Odyssey with cash, free and clear! We are blown away at God’s extravagant blessings in our lives – the kids are especially captured by the DVD system 😉
We’re praying for many more miles of ministry and family togetherness in our new van. I had to look outside in the driveway again this morning, just to make sure it’s real. We are humbled and grateful that you’d consider our ministry worth investing in. We are so excited for the fall and all that it holds for us; teen mentoring at three public schools, after-school programs and prayer gatherings around three elementary schools, our homeless community outreach, the youth leadership team, our church unity initiatives, and all the music ministry dates in between!
God is using you to TRANSFORM A CITY!
Thanks again for playing a part!
It seems fitting that this post would follow one I just wrote about God’s provision and walking by faith. Ah, God’s timing! We are getting to live it out now, so here’s the scoop…
It’s time to say goodbye-
to our beloved touring van. 200,000 miles of love, music, laughter, and ministry. She will be greatly missed!!
This 15-passenger Ford Clubwagon has also doubled as our second family car, so we’re in quite a pinch. We’d love your prayers as we seek God these next few weeks for His direction. I’m touring less with the band these days, so we mainly need an around-town family car that gets ok gas mileage. Should we use our small, emergency savings to buy an older 7-seater for around $3,000 – Or, do we wait to see if God will provide somehow in another way? We’re going to take a few weeks, juggling one car and praying for what God has next…
Will you pray along with us? If you know of any cars that could fit our family of six, we’d love to hear about them. Also, if you know someone that fixes and replaces engines, who’d be interested in buying our van, please let us know! Our non-profit ministry can receive tax-deductible contributions, and we’d be hugely blessed with however God directs you.
Have you been fortunate enough to experience a road trip in our well worn van?? Or, do you have a favorite memory? Send us a comment here or on Facebook, and we’ll send her off in grand style!
Our youngest child, Holland, was baptized this Easter. Enjoy the pics. Thanks for celebrating with us!
and on the right…
One of the ways our culture remembers and celebrates a person or occasion is with a “toast”. You may have seen this at a wedding or a formal meal of some kind; someone will stand up, raise their glass of whatever they’re drinking, say something like “To the bride!” and that’s the signal for everyone to clink their glasses with each other and take a sip of their drinks. I was thinking of this custom the other day while getting ready to celebrate a Sabbath family dinner with candles, special blessings, and grape juice. As each of us began to share things that God was teaching us through the week, or things He’s helped us with, it seemed completely natural to want to make a toast after each story – to Jesus! So as my youngest daughter finished talking, I raised my glass of grape juice and declared, “Let’s have a toast: To Jesus!”
“Yay, Jesus!” everyone echoed. Then we clinked our glasses together and took a drink. It was so fun, we decided to do it after each person shared. There were lots of toasts to Jesus that night. He deserves it more than anyone!
P.S. One polite element of toasting is to make sure you look the person in the eye that you are clinking your glass with. So, not only do you get to remember and celebrate Jesus through this activity, you also get a chance to connect with each other, too!
MERRY CHRISTMAS, everyone!!!
We are honored to share this amazing time with friends like you. May God’s deep, lasting peace be yours this season-