Most of the body at RCG knows my family and I had the incredible opportunity to take a major road trip across America this summer. We left our driveway just after 4 a.m. on Wednesday, June 18, and pulled back into it about 5 p.m. on Wednesday, July 16. During the four weeks of our adventure we traveled in and through 28 states, toured lots of interesting places and historical sites, enjoyed meeting up with numerous friends and family along the way, and logged a total of 8,549 miles. The bulk of our trip was spent in the northeast. We stayed in the Washington D.C. area for about a week, and then the surrounding areas (mainly Pennsylvania) for another week. Our farthest point visited away from Sacramento was Kennebunkport, Maine, which is about 3100 miles from our home (there’s a great Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream Shop there – worth the trip!)
This trip was the fulfillment of a few years’ worth of desires, prayer, and planning. Needless to say, it was a very special time for our family, and has given us countless memories that we’ll be grateful for the rest of our lives.
While it is still so fresh in my mind, I thought I’d use this space to pass on a few of the key thoughts and observations that impacted me from the trip. In no particular order…
This country is BIG!! Driving across these United States does give a perspective of how vast and diverse the geography is. We certainly didn’t see everything, but what we did see was awesome – and BIG! The church is bigger than any local congregation! One of the blessings of our trip was worshipping with four different congregations during the four Sundays we were away. We first were at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, MN with Pastor John Piper; then at Fellowship Bible Church in Chester, NH with Pastor Terry Wragg; then Capitol Hill Baptist Church in D.C. with Pastor Mark Dever; and finally at a Calvary Chapel near Colorado Springs with our friends. It was good and refreshing to be reminded that God’s work is so much greater than my limited perspective of it.
There is much work yet to do! By way of observation and also interaction with numerous folks along the way, I was struck by how great a need there is for Christ-exalting, Bible-preaching, Spirit-empowered, Gospel-centered churches throughout the country. While there are many, many churches across the land, the number that are striving to be genuinely faithful to the Gospel seem to be few and far between. This reality has spurred me on to be all the more diligent in working for the progress of the Gospel, and all the more prayerful in asking the Lord of the harvest to raise up workers for His harvest field (Mt. 9:36-38).
The blessing of family and friends! We enjoyed a very special weekend in Minneapolis with my Dad, and also rich time with friends new and old in various places. Who can measure how our lives have been so strengthened and encouraged in Christ through the people given us special friendships with? Particularly those with whom we share union in Christ – wow, what a refreshing blessing!
I love my wife and kids!! Every day of our journey was special, mainly because of the joy of sharing it together as a family under God. Whether it was just the six of us, or sharing time together with others along the way, I’m more in love with my wife Laurie and our four kids Lindsay, Zach, Jordan, and Tyler, than ever before. Family is not ultimate – the glory of God in Christ is. But family is a great blessing, and I’m thankful to God for the kindness He has shown me with these five special people. I sure like being with them, and am glad they are willing to put up with me!
So the trip was great, and it’s really good to be home and re-engaging with life and ministry in Sacramento. Praise God!
See you down the road,