Last week I took my first ever solo vacation and media blackout. It was wonderful. I started my trip with my entire family (except my son-in-law Dustin who had to work, bummer he couldn't go, yea God he has a great job!) My youngest of my 3 nieces got married and I had the wonderful privilege to help with all the festivities. It was a great 3 days of not only spending time with my mother and my immediate family but also I got to reconnect with some wonderful extended family and long time family friends. The highlight for me though was spending Father's Day with my girls and my wonderful grandson.
That afternoon after we delivered my mother back to Birmingham, Yancy, Julie and Sparrow flew off to minister at a camp in Dallas, Cory and Whitney drove back home to Nashvegas to work and I left for 5 days I am calling my Macation. No phone calls, emails, twitter or facebook posts to anyone but family. The purpose of this trip was to rest, relax, hear from God and check a few additional things off my bucket list.
The first stop was Jacksonville, AL home of the Chief Ladiga Trail. Julie and I got to ride our first Rails to Trail route several years ago in Mississippi called the Longleaf Trace. It was the longest trip either of us had ridden at the time 41 miles. When I heard about the Chief I wanted to ride it because it would cause me to accomplish another one of my bucket list items which was to ride my bicycle from one state to another.
Monday I started my journey at the Jacksonville community center and rode to Piedmont, AL then rode back to Jacksonville then on to Weaver, AL and back to Jacksonville. All in all it was almost 35 miles. During that ride I heard the Lord tell me I needed to stop trying to do so much. I had already known that I was to not do very many conferences next year but as I rode the Lord showed me several other things beside conferences I needed to do differently. We talked about how Children's Ministry today has changed from where it began and what my part needed to be in the years ahead. He reconfirmed my commitment and calling to the local church. In the early days there were only children's pastors and evangelists. If you were seeing success you helped others by sharing what had worked for you. I appreciate blogs and social media but I feel that many of them have turned into a means for self promotion. I can not and will not judge the motives of others but I do have to judge mine. I am not going to be blogging as much and promoting myself like I have been. I will use my blog to help others through what I am doing in my local church and my walk with God as a husband, father and minister. My heart has always been and still is the local church and I am to be true to that calling. I want to be a man my grandchildren admire and want to be like more than a children's ministry guru, poobah, or hero. I belief that my fruit should be based on what I do not what I write. It matters more who I am, than what I say. The rest of the day I rode around taking pictures and looking at guns and knifes then went to bed before it even got dark.
Tuesday morning I drove over to Piedmont, AL to put in and ride northeast uphill to Georgia. The ride back was wonderful, you got to love going downhill when your legs are tired. I ended up doing only 29 miles but during the ride I had some wonderful prayer time for my family and ministry but on the way back the Lord showed me my next 8 books, as well as what to do over the next few years of theClub and reconfirmed His call on me to do Infuse.
Before I knew it I was back at my starting place and headed back to Jacksonville to pack up, clean-up and reload the truck to head to Macon, GA. Once I got checked into my hotel and headed to the grocery store and went and took a look around the city. I had wanted to come to Macon for more than a day for years all my other trips had been to fly in and do ministry training and fly out. Once again some more items where about to be checked off my bucket list.
More to come...