I can’t believe July is already gone. Ever since we came back from vacation, things have been moving as such a break-neck pace I havn’t had a chance to sit down and update my blog. Sorry to keep everyone in the dark. Let me do a couple of things in today’s update: 1) Share highlights from my camping trip, 2) Explain my absense in July, 3) Share some Good News! (If you don’t care about my camping trip, or about my July, please at least scroll down to the Good News)
Camping– I last wrote about how excited I was to go camping – and it was everything I could have hoped for. I met up with the guys from Kansas on the 21st of June, and we made our way to Centennial, WY. The next day we were in the Snowy Range – which I might add, is appropriately named. We couldn’t drive to the trail head due to the fact that the road was completely covered in snow. Once we hiked to the actual trailhead, we never found the trail, it too was buried under 8 feet of snow!
From there we hiked to the only lakes that weren’t completely frozen over, found what little dry ground we could, and made our camp. We were camped right next to a large bank of snow, which meant we didn’t have to go far to find water, but it made things even cooler at night. We did some fishing, but the fish were no where to been seen, which made the $14 per day license that much more painful. Our fishing highlight would have to be when, frustrated by a day’s worth of fishing, one of our guys decided to drop through the snow bank he was standing on right into the water – I guess he really wanted to get a fish.
The hiking at Snowy Range was fantastic, the vistas beautiful, and the stars at night were spectacular. My only reccomendation – go in July or August.
After a couple of days in the Snowy Range we decided to head to Pole Mountain/Vedauwoo, just east of Laramie. It was much warmer, no snow to be found, and the trials were incredible. The scenery is incredible. My only problem – the little trail maps they give you at the Park Headquarters are entirely reliable. What I thought would be a 6 mile hike, ended up being about 10, as I found myself a couple of miles off course on a trail that wasn’t on the map, and had to double back to get home before dark.
Overall, it was a great trip. The hiking and scenery were great, but spending time with the guys, and spending time alone with God – there’s nothing better. I’m already stocking up for next year.
July – We took the Northern Route home from Colorado, visiting the Black Hills and Mt. Rushmore. Noah, our 16 month son, was apoplectic when he saw the buffalo in Custer State Park, they were walking right up to the car. Rushmore was amazing, and it more than made up for the drive home across South Dakota.
As soon as we got back to Cherokee, Christi had to prepare for her Tupperware booth at the County Fair. When the fair was done, we started right in on Vacation Bible School. The week after VBS, we had an Adult Mission Trip to Sioux City working with Habitat for Humanity. I’m finally able to sit and reflect on these past few weeks, and that leads me too…
The Good News… After a vacationing in June and then a month like July, I think I’m ready for another vacation. I feel like I’ve got too many plate spinning in the air, I’m overwhelmed by all that we’ve accomplished and all that we have left to do. Just this week I sat down to plan my preaching schedule through Christmas – that’s right, Christmas! When faced with the enormity of this calling, all that I am absolutely sure of is my absolute inadequacy.
But that’s exactly where I need to me for God to use me. We often say to those who are facing difficult times, “God will never give you more than you can handle.” I say that’s baloney. There’s not a day goes by that I don’t face an obstacle that I know I cannot overcome left to my own devices. I counsel families and individuals that are facing financial uncertainty, physical difficulties, terrifying diagnoses; what kind of counsel would it be to say, “God won’t give you more than you can handle.”
The point is, we can’t handle the tough things in life by ourselves. Our strength is not strong enough, our resources don’t run deep enough, our wisdom is not wise enough. But God’s is.
Psalm 62:5-12 (ESV)
 For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence,
for my hope is from him.
 He only is my rock and my salvation,
my fortress; I shall not be shaken.
 On God rests my salvation and my glory;
my mighty rock, my refuge is God.
 Trust in him at all times, O people;
pour out your heart before him;
God is a refuge for us. Selah
 Those of low estate are but a breath;
those of high estate are a delusion;
in the balances they go up;
they are together lighter than a breath.
 Put no trust in extortion;
set no vain hopes on robbery;
if riches increase, set not your heart on them.
 Once God has spoken;
twice have I heard this:
that power belongs to God,
 and that to you, O Lord, belongs steadfast love.
For you will render to a man
according to his work.
In God alone we have our salvation, our strength, our hope. Do not place your hope in your own strength or resources; you’ll end up frazzled, dismayed, and worn down. Trust in the steadfast love of God, the abundant mercy and grace of our savior Jesus Christ, and the sanctifying power of the Holy Spirit to see you through. God will never let you down. And that’s not just Good News, it’s Great News!