Dsc00306I’ve been on a personal retreat the last several days and therefore have been “blogless.” I’ve missed keeping updated on several folks while I’ve been gone.. Matt, Justin, Kenny, and another blog I’ve been following: nextreformation.com. I’ve also gotten hooked on gizmodo.com – a haven for all gadget lovers.

The picture to the northeast is of a small rock on the shores of Lake Degray. I stayed at the lodge there these past few days. An absolutely beautiful place! The family and I took off for Arkadelphia on Sunday afternoon on a whim. Caro was taking pix at a crafts fair in Dumas and called and said, “Wanna Fanta?” uh, I mean, “Wanna go somewhere?” I said, “Sure!” In the next two hours, I’d packed and we were off.

We enjoyed a great 24 hours! Shopped in Hot Springs and walked some trails. Beautiful. Dsc00283 Then Caro and the kids left Monday evening while I stayed for a coupla more days to read, reflect, relax, and refresh.

I typically try to do a couple of personal retreats each year, one in the spring and one in fall. They do wonders for my focus and spirit. This one was no different. I used to be pretty “legalistic” in how I approached these getaways. I’d take my Bible, notebook, and guitar and forbid myself any entertainment or contact with the “outside” world. Almost a monastic experience. However, I’ve learned that’s important to balance myself during these times, and this experience was uniquely refreshing for me.

I walked the trails that my family had walked on Monday, hearing the echoes of my kids’ laughter in the trees. As a cold front blew in on Tuesday, I sat on the shore of Lake Degray, reading Tolkien’s Lost Tales 1, listening to the steady wind gusting through the woods behind me. I was tranquilized by the sun glittering on the lake in front of me… So inspired I actually wrote a poem! (scary!) See it in another post.

One thing I’m sure about… of all the unique and wonderful things I noticed, read, saw and heard over the past several days… I LOVE LIFE. It is only through the lens of faith that a person can truly enjoy simplicity, solitude, and communion with the created. And when that faith becomes personally focused and directed into a humble relationship with the world’s Redeemer and Messiah, Jesus Christ, all of life becomes a gift and a stewardship.

As I packed up to leave on Wednesday, I was struck by the simple declaration of joy that my daughter inscribed on my dusty Dakota… “I love evrybity.” I love everybody. Thanks, Adelyn, for that reminder of simplicity and faith. It’s the same declaration that God made in the cross of Christ.Dsc00303_1

Loving life because of Him who only is life….

On this day...