August 7, 2017

Today's Theme: FAMILY

One of the hardest Mondays is the one where you go back to work after vacation. That’s me today but I am thankful to be here where God has placed me. I know God has you in your spot today for a reason. I am praying that He will use you today, right where you are!

As I sit here this morning my face is much more tanned and my clothes are a little tighter than I want. These are the results of a vacation at the beach. I’m not looking forward to the intensive dieting and workouts that are coming today and in the weeks to come but that’s my fault for enjoying vacation a little too much. But I already miss the beach today. I miss the smell of the salt water and the feel of the sand on my feet and the warm sun with the cool breeze. The waves are almost mesmerizing and the freedom to just do whatever you want is invigorating. I truly could become a beach bum and would love to live on the ocean. I doubt if that will ever happen and if it did I might find out I didn’t like it as much as I imagine in my brain. But I have had a lot of wonderful memories that have been made at the beach. I do realize that much of those good memories are not necessarily as a result of just the beach. They are a result of being able to spend time with family and just enjoying being around them. Those family relationships are so important in all of our lives. I still remember when our kids were younger and we would go to the beach almost every year with my parents who had a time-share condo and it was just an amazing time each year. One year we couldn’t go and my parents went by themselves. They didn’t have a good time. I think they came home early. It wasn’t the same without family.

I do miss the beach today but I also miss the routine that we had settled into. There were 8 of us adults and 3 children there. Each morning we got up . . . err, were woken up a little earlier than I wanted to be by the grandkids but even that became something we looked forward to. The work to set up “camp” at the beach and all the other parts of the day were simply an extension of that fun that came from being together. Whether we were playing volleyball or paddleball or football or throwing the Frisbee or riding the waves or just playing in the pool, at the core of that was family. I already miss seeing each of them every day. We all need those relationships. We need our family and we need our church family. The great part about being back was seeing so many people we love here. Yesterday we got to see our church family and those we love here. We got to see a couple of our kids and grandkids that didn’t get to go with us so that was fun too.

God made us all in such a way that we need each other. As the old saying goes, There are no Lone Ranger Christians. Relationships are essential. I pray that today you will make an extra effort to expand and increase your relationships. God wants to use those to expand and increase His Kingdom. He also wants to use those to encourage you and show His love to you through family. Relationships are work, sometimes hard work, but they are also the thing that can bring us the greatest joy and contentment in life. Don’t miss out on that. You probably aren’t on vacation today and maybe you wish you were (who doesn’t?). But you can still experience joy and happiness and fun and contentment through those relationships in your life. Work on those today!!

Thanks to those of you who expressed how you missed my blog last week . . . OK, it was only my daughter, but I’m sure there had to be a few more. Just to let you know there most likely won’t be a blog next week either as I will be attending a conference. Hector Patino, Gayle Libby and I will be at the Missions Intensive Conference here in Fort Worth next Monday and Tuesday so pray that God will use that not just in our lives but in the life of our church as we seek to become more intentional about Missions.

Speaking of family, come join us this Sunday night at Central Park at 5:00 PM for our annual Church Picnic. I know it’s going to be a fun time of eating and fellowshipping. Bring your favorite food and we will share what we have. The church will provide water and watermelon. The next Sunday (August 20th) will be Movie Night! We are hoping to have it on our new screen downstairs where we will have snacks and drinks and a movie! What great opportunities to continue to expand our relationships with each other and maybe even invite some more people to join us and increase our scope of relationships.

Lastly, let me touch on a few of my own family birthdays. Happy Belated Birthday to my daughter-in-law, Amanda Hixon, who celebrated her birthday yesterday, August 6th. We thank God for her and are grateful she is a part of our family! And since I won’t be writing a blog next week let me wish my wife, Jennifer, an early Happy Birthday! Her birthday is August 19th and I thank God for her every day! As I get older and uglier each year she seems to get younger and more beautiful and godlier every year. What a blessing she is to our family and to our entire church family!!

Have a blessed week!