Summary: Lessons learned on vacation

“Vacation 2009”

“Blessed are all who fear the LORD, who walk in his ways. You will eat the fruit of your labor; blessings and prosperity will be yours.”

Psalm 128:1-2

Before I share with you about our vacation this year I want to thank all of you who made it possible. Sandy took care of our house, garden and animals - as well as doing her regular work here at the church. The worship team did a great job of leading. Tim and Rob did an outstanding job of preaching for me. I heard some rave reviews. Lisa did the Power Point and Bulletins. All of you who were praying for us – thank you. We need your love and your support so much. Some of you snuck in and did stuff around the church. It is much appreciated – and if no one noticed - God did – and you will not lose your reward.

Above that, my family was so gracious to us. Dave Grossman flew us there and back. My sister, Wendy, chauffeured us around and let us stay with her a few days. We spent a few days with my mom and she treated us like royalty. My brothers were great. I got to spend some quality time with each one of them and we stayed in my older brother’s cabin for a few days up at Sure Game Resort. The pastor of the Nazarene church loaned us his car for the week. Everyone was so good to us. Thank you. I helped with the music at the Nazarene Church last Sunday, but that’s about all I contributed.

It has become my habit to begin each day with prayer and Scripture reading. As I read God’s Word, He speaks to me and directs me for the day. He teaches me a little more about Himself from His Word – not every day – but often. God’s Word is our strength. David said,

“I have hidden Your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” (Psalm 119:11)

There is power in the Word of God; Power to protect; Power to defeat the enemy; power to change lives. The Scripture has the power of life itself. Jesus said in Matthew 4:4,

“"It is written: ’People do not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ [ Deut. 8:3]

Our spiritual life is connected to the word of God. I have learned that it is like the manna the Israelite ate in the wilderness. Remember that? It provided life for them. It provided nourishment and strength. But it was only good for one day. Our daily bread, God’s Word, is like that. We need its strength and power each day. You may not notice much of a weakening if you miss a day or two, but if the absence from God Word becomes days or weeks, you will be depleted of spiritual strength to resist the temptation that comes your way. You will be susceptible to spiritual error and easily lead astray by your flesh. Your mind will not be set on spiritual things – but earthly things. At least this has been my experience.

As I began each day of my vacation I got into God’s Word for my strength and wisdom, but along with the Word needs to come prayer. There is power in prayer. Power we desperately need. Prayer moves the hand of God. One morning I was praying out on the dock at the Sure Game Wilderness Resort. I had read my Scripture and was burdened for some financial needs back home. I was pleading for God’s blessing and in kind of a childish way I prayed, “God if you hear me, let me know with a loon’s call. I guess that was kind of loony to do. I hadn’t heard a loon all morning. But I love a loon’s call. It is so ‘home’ to me. Suddenly one popped up not 30 feet in front of me. It came right out of the water and in it’s wailing, warbling cry I knew God was there. Then another one came sailing in from the left. In a couple of seconds a third loon came in and, to top it off, a bald eagle flew right in front of me and landed on the other side of the lake. I said, “Thank you, Lord. I will expect great blessings.”

A part of my prayer time always includes the giving of myself to God. I ask that He use my hands, my heart, my voice to minister through. I find when I do that – some opportunity comes along where God can use me.

The first day of our vacation we stayed with my sister in her beautiful large home in the suburbs of Minneapolis, in Ham Lake. Her house keeper was going through a rough time and for some reason she felt comfortable enough to unload all her problems on me. After Julie, Wendy and I listened for 15 or 20 minutes. I felt compelled to say to her, “It sounds like you need a hug.” When I hugged her she started to cry and then we had a wonderful time of prayer. I don’t remember her name and we never saw her again – but it was a special moment in our vacation.

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