>Back to life, back to reality?

>Well, the last of my speaking travels is over, and it was a great time. The students were sincere, the community was natural, and the partnership with the other pastors was precious. Despite the crazy heat and lack of A/C(!), it was a joy to speak and help explain to students a big picture of the theology of the Bible. 

Shortly after I returned from GA, the family and I whisked away to Mexico for a family reunion of sorts with my in-laws and my brother-in-law and his wife. We stayed at a large metropolis of a resort as part of an all-inclusive package. This basically means that everyone tries to eat and drink to gluttonous proportions in order to justify some ambiguous target amount of money that was paid to have such privileges in the first place. I found it hard though to really enjoy the resort. I don’t know if it was the sheer amount of people there, or just the constant eating. I do know that all of my recent advocating and work for Compassion International has had a deeper impact on me than I realized. It was hard to see SO much food and so much food being wasted when literally right outside the walls of this fortress of food lived people in abject poverty and hunger. It’s even harder to think about the fact that a small portion of these folks were serving the food to us, watching as we ate to our heart’s content and left over whatever we didn’t feel like eating. This hung over me at almost every meal, and I felt uncomfortable at several points.
As the Lord was impressing these things on my heart, I thoroughly enjoyed taking my son snorkeling for the first time (although Calvin didn’t want to put his head in the water). He just kept pretending that I was a boat and that we were escaping a fire. Even more precious was taking my son Noah into the sea for the first time. To see the wonder in his eyes as he felt the saltwater on his hands and stomach was worth the whole trip. 
Although the trip was nearly as restful as I would have hoped for, it was a much needed time to just reconnect with my wife and kids, to just be with family, and to not think about all the things that need to get done when I’m back (which I am). 
On a final note, I read three books over the last two weeks that were more pleasure reading. I’ll give you one line summaries/critiques of the books in hopes that you will be captivated more by the process of being engrossed in the story than any ‘takeaway’.
“Same Kind of Different as Me”: a beautiful story about how faithfulness and longevity, mixed with a ton of self-denial and humility can absolutely transform a life. MUST READ.
“The Kite Runner”: depicts the drama of human life (particularly the dynamics between a father and son) and gives a snapshot of the history of Afghanistan and the human corruption that has left this country in such poverty.
“The Shack”: a controversial story that attempts to deal with problem of evil and suffering. A good reminder about the love of God and his beauty, but could the same goal have been achieved without throwing some important doctrine out the window? 
Well, now I’m off to celebrate with my community the marriages of two couples who are dear to us. It will be a whirlwind of two weeks as we celebrate and worship God together! Somewhere in the next week, I will post a full review of “After You Believe” by N.T. Wright – promise!

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