Sunday, May 30, 2010

Journey of the Spirit

I just returned from another trip to Florida and was blessed in so many incredible ways. I truly can't even begin to describe what a powerfully rewarding trip it was for me (and I feel safe to say-for others too). A lengthy paragraph-style blog won't cut it so we'll bust out the bullets for highlights:

  • Connor & Cameron Barie running to greet me after having to wait an extra day to see that I was actually there
  • Late nights talking with Glenn & Kathy-Jo
  • The many divine appointments-from unexpected hugs in Starbucks, to walking out of a building as someone walks by to seeing a Milledgeville college student in front of a restaurant. It was a God-guided trip!
  • Walking into my old barber shop and sitting down to discuss Gator football-some things never change!
  • Having lunch at the best pizza place I know (Sorrento's-shameless plug!) with a really good friend-I miss Eddie Corns & his family tremendously
  • Having the chance to meet Pastor Bill Collins face-to-face and preach at The Attic. I have an immense amount of respect for him and the work that God is doing in & through him. It was an honor for me to speak there.
  • The joy of hugs (and even tears) as about 60 old friends showed up at The Attic that night-several of them that I didn't know were coming that brought a huge smile to my face!
  • Spending about 5 hours at Mainland High School. So many people there that have been my family for over 20 years. I love them dearly and I am glad that I can be the unofficial campus pastor for them.
  • 40 oz. Angel Food smoothie from Smoothie King. 'Nuff said.
  • Graduation party for Brittany Johnson-she waited for me to be in town to have it! Got to spend 3 hours laughing & talking with people that I miss connecting with!
  • Wedding rehearsal & dinner for Ashlee & Ryan (the true motivation behind the planning of the trip)
  • Two hours of conversation with Adam Bruno at the dinner-convo that we haven't had in a really long time. I miss getting to see him regularly!
  • Breakfast with my brother/friend Mike Roberts-so much history & time serving together-every time we get together it's like we were never apart
  • Coffee with Bill, Paula & Ashley Anderson-one of my very favorite families!
  • A lunch with four young adults that are very special to me-a surprise for three of them that I was going to be there-even now I tear up thinking about it!
  • Praying with a group of college students (including one from GCSU!) as God brought us all together at just the right moment
  • Spending time at the DOC with Ray & Susan Kelley. I have so much respect & love for them and what God is doing in their lives. They mean more to me than they probably know (and had a surprise stop-in from Katlin too!)
  • Coffee with an old friend that was good for both of us.
  • A last minute-decision to stop at the Herbruck home that led to an impromptu jam session with Sam & Jesse. I don't think you could have painted bigger smiles on all three of our faces when we got done.
  • A night hanging out at the Presswood home-great friends & conversation, good food & a blast playing in the pool with their kids & the Barie children-can't put a price tag on the night!
  • A beautiful wedding in Sugar Mill gardens-the love of Ashlee & Ryan is so evident and it brought me great joy that they wanted me to be part of their day
  • A home to return to with a gorgeous wife, three daughters & a church family that I don't deserve.
There will be further unpacking of the impact of this trip, but those highlights (and many, many others) will be with me for a long time. Thanks God for giving me the past four days.

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