Hey, friends. Hope you all are well. We have been on vacation this past week. Had a fun and relaxing 5 days at the beach. Because of our move and all the craziness that it caused, we were unable to have any kind of get-away this summer. So we took the kids out of school (thanks to some most gracious teachers) and went to the beach with some friends. We had a great time. We did a whole bunch of nothin’. It was awesome. I did a whole lot of lovin’ on these faces…

And flirted with this babe…

And ate a lot of this…

And rode this slide about 9,275 times…

And marveled at this a lot…

Speaking of marveling at things…on our second day we headed to the shore and quickly saw the “Hazardous Marine Life” flag billowing in the strong ocean breeze. Bummer. I’m an ocean guy, and I’ve trained my kids to be the same. We love nothing more than bobbing up and down in the waves for hours on end. So our Tuesday morning dreams were shattered pretty quickly when we saw huge schools of tens of thousands of little minnow-looking fish. I’m talking fish as thick as the sand we were standing on. I’m talking nations of fish. I’m talking LOTS AND LOTS OF FISH.

But, why were they labeled “hazardous marine life?” Granted, I didn’t really want to jump in and roll around in these thousands of little fishies. But I didn’t really understand why they felt the need to tell us they were hazardous. Then I realized what was really going on. Those little fishes were being pursued by bigger fish. And the bigger fish were being pursued by tons of these bad boys:

Mmm hmm. Pretty intesnse. There were a bunch of them. Needless to say, we didn’t do any bobbing in waves on Tuesday. But on Wednesday…

…it was back to normal.

This was the first set of consecutive days in months that I had time to actually think and process thoughts and ponder and evaluate. I nearly pondered myself to death a couple of days, but it was good. It was so needed and so refreshing for me. One of the things the time allowed me to do was look at my life and decide where I could be giving a better effort, and make wiser investments (time and energy investments, not money investments). Recently, my wife has been calling me on the carpet for not being a very thoughtful blogger…and certainly not a very consistent one. After having this break, I’m encouraged and motivated to put my thoughts down on “paper” here more consistently.

It has been a CRAZY year, with our move, with a new, very time-consuming job, and with the writing of the book. But I am feeling settled and spacious and happy now. I think I might actually have more than 3 or 4 brain cells to actually write a complete sentence or two here every now and then.

It was a great week. I love vacation. But it’s good to be home.


  1. Deidre on September 26, 2010 at 9:49 pm

    No pressure, but we love it when you blog 🙂

    I'm an ocean girl and during the last trip we took to Myrtle Beach, we couldn't swim because of sharks. I never remember that growing up and I've gone there all my life. Weird.

  2. Fran on September 27, 2010 at 6:52 am

    I think it should be mandatory to head to the Gulf every 3-4 months. Its heaven on earth.

    The pix are beautiful. I'm so happy you and your precious family were able to do this.

    Welcome home.
    Thomas crew

  3. TanIn in Alabama on September 27, 2010 at 7:32 am

    Ahhh, the blessing of time with the family…..time to ponder…. Wow! A blessing in deed.

  4. Daniel Semsen on September 27, 2010 at 9:17 am

    that shrimp picture looks GROOOOOOOSSSSSSS. (shudder)

  5. Terri Ann on September 27, 2010 at 6:26 pm

    Always happy when you do update this community! It helps us focus in on what we can do to prayerfully support you, your family and your ministry. Glad you had the connecting time. May you have even more to sing about now!

  6. Cindy on September 27, 2010 at 7:07 pm

    Glad you had the chance to get away and recharge and spend time with your family and behold the beauty of the Creator!

  7. Kellie on September 28, 2010 at 7:25 am

    Absolutely love it when you blog. It allows me to keep up with you/your family and our old church home.

    We just found out that we are moving next week to a mere 45 minutes from Gulf Shores. Visited there a couple of weeks ago and the dangerous marine life one of our days were stingrays swimming among those millions of bait fish. Creepy! Plenty of beautiful beaches that were safe, though.

    Looking forward to more updates and can't wait to pick up the book!

  8. karensuenewton on September 28, 2010 at 7:51 am

    You are a great blogger and a great worship leader.
    I'm new to your blog and really enjoyed seeing pics of your kids and lovely wife.
    The pics of the ocean are wonderful. We live in the midwest but love the ocean. It is a great place to recharge and we all need that once in awhile.
    Thank you for your heart for the Lord.

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