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Summary: Spiritual insights from a family vacation

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“The Grossman’s Beach Adventure”

July 20, 2008

“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.

In the heavens he has pitched a tent for the sun, which is like a bridegroom coming forth from his pavilion, like a champion rejoicing to run his course. It rises at one end of the heavens and makes its circuit to the other; nothing is hidden from its heat.

The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul. The statutes of the LORD are trustworthy, making wise the simple. The precepts of the LORD are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the LORD are radiant, giving light to the eyes.”

Psalm 19: 1-8

Jesus said, "Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest." So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place.” Mark 6:31-32

Why is it that when we relax – sometimes we feel guilty? Maybe it is that there is always so much to do. Maybe it is that there are so many needs out there. Maybe it is that we think our world just couldn’t function properly without us. We’ve got to keep things moving. We got to keep the plates spinning. It helps that even Jesus needed to get away occasionally to a quiet place to rest. I got to do that this past week with my family. Our experience was described as ‘AWESOME!’ ‘FANTASTIC!’ ‘WONDERFUL’ ‘NEEDED!’

I could use all those words to describe how I felt about it. Julie and I, our son and daughter, and all our grandkids, rented a house, near Brookings, Oregon, within walking distance of the beach. We began each day with devotions and prayer and then each one shared what they would like to do for the day. We called it our “Family Forum”. It was really very cool. And God was so good to us. He blessed us with great weather. Each day was hot and clear until the very last day when we began to pack. Then the fog and cool air rolled in. The fires delayed us a little on the drive home. But it was like each day was a special blessing from God. I want to share some of that vacation with you. Hopefully God has some lessons or encouragement or something for each of us this morning.

I began this message with the beginning of Psalm 19 because God’s creation really does declare the glory of God. From the beautiful ocean, to the sunsets, to the joy on the children’s faces, it all glorified God to me. It made me desire to draw closer to our magnificent Lord.

I’ve divided our vacation into four points. The 1. Babes, 2. The Beach, 3. The Boscage, and 4. The Bomb.

First, the Babes. Our happy little group consisted of all of our grandkids. Our five, Cheyenne, Cassidy, Breauna, Caleb, Nate and our adopted granddaughter, Chelsea. There was both of our kids, Monica and Ben, and Ben’s fiancé’ Rachel, and Julie and I.

One of high points of the trip for me was to see the joy on the kid’s faces as they played in the surf and built sand castles on the beach and discovered ‘things’ in the tide pools. As you look at the pictures – notice the joy on each face.

Monica had the most fun of us adults and loved our vacation at the beach. She said she needed the rest, too. Julie and I need the rest and relaxation more than anything. Julie has been working so hard and so long on her Dad’s house, often getting only a couple hours of sleep at night, that she just need to get away and relax without an agenda. And did you notice she looked a lot different returning home? She did find time to get her hair done.

Those are our ‘babes’. This is our family. I want to encourage you to work on your family. If you don’t do it – who will? I had a choice to make each and every day. Should I just relax and let whatever comes – come? Or should I provide a little leadership? I chose the later. I say that to let you men know that a little word here – and suggestion there – means a lot to your family. My family appreciates me giving a little gentle leadership. One morning I decided not to go to the beach. I was just going to stay home and read a western paperback – but everyone was just milling around – waiting for some direction. I put my book down, and said “Let’s go!” Everyone jumped into the cars and off we went.

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