This post is for family and friends just to share a bit of God’s blessings from our vacation. Last night we returned from a couple of weeks of great memories, rest, and unforgettable experiences, and our hearts are full for the time we were able to spend with family and friends. Here are some highlights:
Week One – Gulf Coast
The Lord allowed us to spend our first week with my parents, brother, and his family near Pensacola, Florida. We enjoyed a lot of great memories, laughs, good food, and time together. In spite of weather forecasts predicting thunder storms all week, God gave us sunny weather. And the beaches were beautiful and oil free! We enjoyed crabs, walks on the beach, taking photos, playing games, and seeing grandparents and cousins.
Mom’s banana bread was out of this world—as always. Old Bay Steamed Crabs were a highlight, as was taking Haylee on our traditional breakfast date to Waffle House. Believe it or not, living in a dry climate, makes us actually appreciate the humidity—for a few days. My parents and brother (and his family) really helped us have a wonderful time and we were so grateful for all that they did—from cookouts, to crabs, to fun on the water with the seadoo.
One highlight of the week was getting to preach at Victory Baptist Church with Pastor Tim Fellure in Milton, Florida. I had heard a lot of great things about this church, but we really enjoyed being there and getting to know Pastor Fellure and his family. Another highlight was having the biggest snow crab legs I have ever seen—and watching Larry actually reach his limit and not be able to eat any more.
Week Two – North East
Our second week took us to New York City where we visited Pastor Ray Cazis of the International Baptist Church in Brooklyn. Lance is serving in an internship there, so it was a blessing to be able to include him in on family vacation. While there, we spent a couple of days in eastern Pennsylvania where we visited Amish country, Gettysburg, Sight and Sound Theatre, Independence Hall, Geno’s Cheesesteak, and ran up the steps to the Art Museum on downtown Philly. The three most powerful aspects of this portion of our trip were the Sight and Sound presentation of Joseph, visiting Gettysburg, and then driving through the Amish community that experienced the shooting several years back. My heart was deeply touched by both.
Back in NYC, it’s always a blessing to see the ministry of International Baptist Church and what God is doing there. While in the city, we enjoyed Central Park, the Natural History Museum, and China Town. The Lord did many unexpected little things for us this trip, like giving us free parking spots (very rare), allowing us great discounts on things like museum tickets, and giving us beautiful weather—again in spite of predictions of thunder storms.
One huge “out of the blue” blessing was when a lady approached us near the Fox News building offering free tickets for Mike Huckabee’s show. The next morning we found ourselves listening to Governor Huckabee interview his surprise guest, Coach Tony Dungy, about biblical family values and is new book “The Mentoring Leader.” After the show we were able to visit with Governor Huckabee and receive an signed copy of Coach Dungy’s new book. Being that Lance and Larry had both read Coach Dungy’s other books last summer, this was an amazing blessing that only God could have orchestrated.
Our last day, on the way to airport, we stopped at Coney Island for a famous “Nathan’s Hot Dog” and we said goodbye to vacation for another year. The two weeks were memorable, encouraging, and filled with stories we will cherish often. Nearly every day, the Lord did something for us that just caused our jaws to drop. Most often they were little things that reminded us He was showing favor and that He delights in providing for us.
One late evening, the Lord allowed me to briefly share the gospel with a nice lady who worked as the night clerk at Holiday Inn Express. She promised me she would read “DONE” and email me her thoughts. Pray that she will be saved.
It’s always great to enjoy vacation, and it’s always great to be back home. Saying good-bye to family and friends that we love is always so very hard. We brushed away tears at each leg of the journey. If only I could combine home with every one that I love—all into one place! Now that would be… scratch that… WILL BE… HEAVEN!
Note: I’ve posted a few photos from some vacation highlights… see the side bar of the home page.