Wednesday, August 5, 2009

This Week at Twin Cities - August 6, 2009

Hey Gang,

Thanks to everyone who talked to me recently about backpacking. There is nothing more exhilarating than the feeling I get from being “in” the Sierra as opposed to looking “at” the Sierra. As I mentioned Sunday, the trip I went on was excruciatingly painful in many ways. Blisters, strep throat, altitude sickness, falling in the creek, hoards of mosquitoes, and snow all contributed.

At the end of the trip, when we got to the showers at Twin Lakes, I told my son Ryan, “This will be known as the ‘Overcoming Trip.’” We persevered through some very difficult and challenging moments – both physically and mentally.

What I didn’t expect was this benefit. As we were about to begin our journey back home and after a bacon cheeseburger dripping with grease, french fries, and Sprite, Ryan said to me, “I am closer to God than I’ve been in a long, long time.” He was beaming, full of the kind of belief and faith that comes from being tested and tried. He had a certain gleam in his eye that comes from seeing God at work in trial and difficulty. I love that boy, and it made every step I took in my tennis shoes with blistered feet disappear behind me.

This Sunday, in Revelation 3:7-13, we’re going to look at a church that persevered in the face of discouragement and difficulty. We’re calling it “The Gap Between Opposition & Opportunity.” There’s always a gap between our acceptance of difficulty and opposition and the gain our Father has in store for us. Difficulty is actually part of what He wants to do in us to help us grow. The Bible calls the process a “refining fire.”

I know Ryan will always remember the “overcoming trip,” and so will his proud dad. The beautiful thing is that blisters heal, and in the refining fire, I did lose over 10 pounds which I sorely needed to lose. I love that part.

See you Sunday!

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