A new friend in the Pacific Presbytery had arranged for our family to enjoy two days free of charge at the Disneyland and California Adventures theme parks in Anaheim, California. On Wednesday afternoon we left Las Vegas with some gift money for souvenirs from some dear relatives and a van full of kids overflowing with excitement.
I'm writing to you on Friday evening. We've spent two days at the theme parks and an evening running from the Pacific tide as it crept up the soft sands of Manhattan Beach. We have had so much fun together. It has been plain fun family time that we needed more than any of us realized. Free from the phones, the calendar, and any other responsibilities we ran around for eight hours each day experiencing the imaginative product of those who created the rides that thrilled us and pushed our youngest to their limits. As a family we even rode Splash Mountain, a water flume ride that climaxes with a more than 50' drop into mist covered darkness. The words, "Trust me, kids, you'll like it," don't quite mean what they may have three days ago, but thankfully all of our children escaped the parks without serious trauma. Really, they loved the time and would do everything again except the Pirates of the Caribbean theme ride.
Here is a quick reflection: We really needed this and can't begin to adequately thank our Lord for this provision. We have been hard on the go for more than three years and I'm not sure how long we may have gone without this kind of break had it not dropped in upon us as it did. Church planting is not part time work. It will consume us if we lose the proper perspective that God establishes his church and calls us to a life of balance in the midst of it. In other words, it will consume us if we begin to believe that it all depends on us, and lose track of the rhythms of rest we need. As a church-planting family our whole family will experience the strain of constant service to the community and church family that will surround us. Ahead of this work our children now have a confidence that the Lord who has called our family to this work, who has not guaranteed an easy road, but has rather promised much difficulty, is the same Lord who has an interest in their delights and in their needs. They realize that church planting doesn't have to mean that we stop spending unique family time together.
Rejoice with us over this experience and rest. Rejoice that our children found out that dad still knows how to have fun. The rejuvenation that we all feel is the evidence that we needed this more than we realized. Please pray that we will experience safety on our way to Phoenix on Saturday and then back to Las Vegas on Tuesday.