My good friend and blogging inspiration Curt, over at The Happy Husband, once told me that I shouldn't agonize over my posts, that no one expects blogs to be perfect. He said it was far more important to post regularly than to post perfectly. So here I am.
My family and I have been through a lot in the last few weeks. But, alas, all I can give you are snapshots. Thank you for caring enough to join us in this journey.
My mom and dad left Seattle last Tuesday. I got a call from them on Wednesday. My Uncle David had died unexpectedly. He was only 64. He was a great man and will be sorely missed by many. I love my family, and I know this has been devastating. Love and prayers go out to Grandpa Hendrix, who never planned to live longer than his little boy, Aunt Nancy, my cousins David, Meredith and Allison and their spouses and children, and my mom and dad, aunts and uncles.... I am so grateful for the love and grace of God. I know my Uncle David is at peace, and that one day he will be raised to new life with Jesus in the New Heaven and New Earth. Let it be, God, let it be...
We flew to San Jose last Saturday night and spent Sunday morning at Peninsula Covenant Church. I led worship at the 11:00 worship gathering, and it was so good to be home. I know it's only been 4 months, but it seems like much longer. So much has happened. It's a testimony to the power and grace of God and the true Call we are following that we could step in for just a few hours and feel so welcome and loved! There were absolutely no weird vibes... and why should there be? We love PCC.
We were with good friends for lunch. Mike and Nicole Hoefer again showed their amazing gifts of hospitality and hosted a luncheon for friends and supporters. Yes, we are venturing into the brave new world of "raising support." But that is a topic that deserves its own post, and it'll get one soon.
Then it was on to one of our favorite places on the planet. Mt. Hermon has long been a refuge for our family. There is nothing like hanging out in the Santa Cruz Mountains for the week, experiencing worship, rest and fun with a diverse group of people from all over the country. It's been fun to see Ernestine Hoyt, Steve & Winnie Wong, Paul Sampson, Greg Yee, Paul & Terry Boudreau and many other old friends. I'm grateful for the ministry of (and our partnership with) Roger & Rachel Williams, Dave & Leslie Burns, Ken Harrower, Dave Talbott, Jack Pearson, Lisa Olson and so many others who make Mt. Hermon what it is... They're going through a lot of changes in programming, and I like it all. I appreciate all the risks they're taking to make Mt. Hermon a thriving, relevant mission for the 21st Century!
And the teaching. Wow. I am grateful for Steve Arterburn (Every Man's Battle, Women of Faith, New Life Ministries), who is passionate about the power of God to heal our brokenness. Here is a man not afraid to say hard things and reveal even his own personal weakness. We need more teachers and leaders like him. Luanne and I had some time to talk with him and get to know him and his wife, Misty, a little bit. I look forward to connecting more in the future.
And I gotta say I loved the mornings. I have always been a voracious reader, and I'm always up to my eyeballs in books... theology, philosophy. I long to go to seminary someday to study further. Well, this week was a step in that direction. Dr. John Stackhouse, of Regent College in Vancouver, was our morning teacher. He talked about light topics like Muslim/Christian relations, the atonement and the humanity of Jesus. Best of all, just when I thought my head would explode with questions and comments and rabbit trails... he graciously spent a whole lunch hour with me talking theology. And then he killed us all by playing some awesome blues piano and guitar this morning.
Thanks to the musicians who joined us and made the music great this week: Ransom & Eileen (Mom) Christofferson, Dave Burns, Misty Arterburn, David Bromberg... and, of course, Luanne and Jacob Nightingale. And it's been great as always to hang out with Ugur and Liesl and their family and have Ugur rip it up on guitar.
We've met some wonderful new friends, including some folks from Houston. We hope to connect with them there.
The best thing has been seeing the kids have so much fun. Josh jumps right into middle school activities and makes friends. This reminds us that he'll be fine in his new context in Houston. Jake played a few sessions with me and has enjoyed all kinds of cool stuff... ropes courses, rock climbing, boating, zipline. He's a great, adaptable kid.
Emily and Zach are in Daycamp this year! The freedom this give Luanne and me is unbelievable, as we no longer have to check them in and out, and they can pretty much roam free.
Tomorrow it's back to Chaos as we fly to Seattle, I lead worship on Sunday and then Luanne flies to CA to supervise loading the moving van and then flies back just in time for our last Sunday and the kick-off to our cross-country adventure. But that's another post as well. We appreciate your prayers.
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