Joining a Ministry Family…12 Days In…

Well, here we are, 12 days into this new adventure of being the pastor of Ridgecrest 4Sq Church! It feels good, very natural so far. I drive around the town and it feels like I’ve been here for a while. Of course it doesn’t hurt that we have had one or more of our kids living here for the past eight years.

It actually got started before the first of the month when I officially took the helm of this dessert ship. I got a message a few days before the 1st from one of the NA members about the toilets overflowing!!! I called my “facilities fix it dude” and he was aware of it the problem. Apparently it has been happening for a while. There is apparently a trick to running the kitchen water and timing it with the flush of the toilets! Gotta love old buildings!!!

So along with the plumbing issues, there have been my first council meeting, internet troubles, water leaks in the swap cooler lines, no air conditioning in what is to be my office…minor glitches (not the council meeting!)…nothing this pioneering spirit and his awesome Honey can’t handle!

The people here are great and very welcoming, ready for what God is going to do! My first message was well received and we’ve even had people who haven’t been around for a while stop by to see what’s going on. Maybe that’s due to the fact that we parked our travel trailer out back of the church!!! Insert “You might be a redneck preacher if…” comment here!

I think our short hairy kids are taking it the worst. I went back over the hill for a school board meeting and took them with me. They were glad to be in their familiar yard and home. They stayed in this position on our bedroom floor though for about two hours…

IMG_1399[1]They are pretty adaptable “kids” though and have fun running around the church property and hanging out in the main building while I do stuff in my office. Don’t worry, they will survive!!!

Becoming a desert rat is not something I ever real figured would be in a description of me. I’ve always been a cool weather person. But hey, my shorts and flip-flops fit in very well here! And besides…there is beauty in the desert that happens no other place…

IMG_1400[1] Even with the wires of the city, there is beauty that only God can provide when you stop to look around!

Shalom peeps!

And remember…always remember…try something without socks…life’s just too short!!!

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Joining a ministry family…part three…

Well, my Honey and I had our meet-n-greet with Ridgecrest 4SQ Church our soon to be new home and family for ministry. It was a very nice and relaxed day with laughter and some tears thrown in for good measure!

We got over there about a half hour before the regular worship service and started chatting with some of the folks, shaking hands and saying ‘hi’ as people arrived. We were jokingly reluctant to pick a seat to sit in as we did not want to take anyone’s desired or preferred location. This happens a lot in churches unfortunately due to the fact that people are creatures of habit!

Well we chose a spot and as it turns out it was where one of the council members and his wife sit! Yeah, say to start out strong, right?
They were good natured about it but we will sit somewhere else next time.

We went out to lunch and shared some more of who we are with some folks, did some shopping, stopped by to see the kids and grand babies…it was a really good day!

Monday we set off to meet more of the big extended family…4SQ Connection 2015, our version of annual convention. Its been a really blessing worshipping with 4,000 or so family members, making connections and sharing our new adventure! This is gonna be a great new season of Gods work!

We know more each moment that where God is sending us is right where He has been preparing us to be over the past three years!!! We are being SENT…

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Reflections of our time in Alaska…

This will be the first in a series recapping my trip to Alaska with my Honey. Technically this was a trip for her 49th birthday. My 48th birthday trip was to Belize back in November. I’m glad to be sharing these adventures with her!

I’ve done a couple posts already about this trip, but as it draws to a close in just two days, I figured I’d do a cursory look back as we chill in our hotel room on this rainy day in Valdez.

This was the first hotel we’ve stayed in and only because Valdez does not have any hostels, plus we had a coupon for one night free! We did the Glacier and sea life cruise yesterday. Walked around and took in the museums today and now with the rain, we are taking time to relax from our adventure thus far.

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According to our Glacier hike guides, Logan and Killian-who we met the other day in McCarthy-Kinnecott, we have been having an epic tour of Alaska. Logan is a native so he knows what he’s talking about.
(I’ll post pics of that journey when I get home to my laptop, hence this being a series)

We have traveled the bulk of the central area of this magnificent state, learned its impressive and sometimes troubling history. I’ve fallen in love with how bike friendly it is here. Even talked with a guy last night after dinner who lives in Soldatna and has ridden most of the state. I’ve got a new bucket list item to accomplish soon!

We traveled the Denali Highway…this is real Alaska! Twenty or so cars the whole two hour trip and more mountains and vistas than you can imagine!

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We traveled into the heart of Denali on a bus and became part of the thirty percent group to actually see the entire mountain of Denali (aka Mt. McKinley). Only 30% of the 400,000 plus visitors a year actually get to experience this!

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We’ve met some incredible people on some incredible journeys as well! The students and families, the professionals and everyday people. The seventy year old woman who began backpacking in Chili and was now at the top of the world not knowing where to go next!

As we have traveled around just this small portion of this enormous frontier I have heard music in my ears, maybe just in my head, but I swear it was really in my ears! Coming through the trees, or off the ice, just in the car driving, or while in Anchorage riding a bike. Even now as I sit in a hotel room with the rain and the traffic outside…I hear it!

Is that what is referred to as when someplace calls to you? Am I hearing the ‘call to Alaska’? Its not in the plans for now…many new adventures await us at home still.

But I do know that I will be back to this place someday, God willing!

And yes, I’ve done this trip with no socks for at least 80% of the time…there’s no better way to travel or to live life!

My hike to a glacier in flip flops!

So today in Alaska, my honey and I traveled from Seward to Girdwood. We checked out of the hostel by eleven and had till six to get to our next hostel. It’s only a two and a half hour drive, we had time to explore!

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We saw the sign for Exit Glacier as we were leaving Seward. I looked over at the road as we passed then looked at my lovely traveling companion…she says, ‘Hey, we can go that way for a while, we’re not in a hurry!’

So I flip a u-ee at the Pit Bar where you get free ice with every purchase from the liquor store (just in case you needed to know where to get free ice while in Alaska).

So we drive up this beautiful Alaskan road for about eight miles and end up at the parking area. We check out the distance to the glacier, and of course, we decide to go for the walk. I mean come on, its a freaking glacier in Alaska! In a few days we will be hiking out on one, it will be a paid excursion and will be a blast!

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My honey needed her extra jacket for the walk, and I had to get our water bottles and some snacks. I also figured that I would get my hiking shoes too. But…

As I was walking back to the car I began to think…’What am I thinking! I’m the guy who lives life with no socks for the most part! Why would I put shoes and socks on to go to a glacier in Alaska?

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That’s right! No socks and wearing shorts on the mile hike to a glacier! I wish I had pictures of all the people we passed on the way up! So many gave me strange looks and my honey told one guy, ‘Yeah, he’s crazy!’ Only one lady said ‘buhhrrrrrr’ to me on the way up!

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So for all of you who are going through life way too fast and wearing socks every day, along with long pants…come on, live a little! Drop the socks and go for it!
You may not be in Alaska, but you don’t have to be! Life happens where you are…live it!
And do it without socks as often as you can!

Shalom!

Sea of Galilee Sunrise

Travels…from the daily prompt…enjoy!

Sea of Galilee Sunrise

Travel…
Any place in the world…

To see this again and repeatedly!

The Sea of Galilee at Sunrise!

It has been several years since being in Israel, but I am blessed to have seen many sunrises there,

this being one of my favorites.

The untouched beauty of that horizon brings peace to my being every time I look at it!

I recall just standing in awe on this day…

it literally took my breath away!