If you can spare 5 minutes, Marilyn and I made a sabbatical slideshow, with the most listened to album of the summer in the background, Zeal, by King’s Kaleidoscope.
There’s no place like home, and there’s no church family like your own. It was refreshing to be gone, and it’s doubly refreshing to be back.
What We Did
Our sabbatical goal was to slow down, rejuvenate our souls, our marriage, and our family through rest, prayer and reading. We did this by lingering longer in our personal time with the Lord, going on regular hikes to enjoy God through experiencing His creation, and worshiping with other churches. We had such sweet times with Chelsea’s parents in Indy, and Chelsea’s uncle, aunt, and grandma in Colorado. The cherry on top of our sabbatical was visiting my college roommate and his family in California.
Chelsea took a two-day silent retreat at a retreat center in the foothills of the rockies. I did as much hiking and fishing as possible. We were more attentive to creation by observing and identifying 39 types of birds. I also took two seminary classes on Biblical Counseling that will count toward my seminary degree from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. In between, we read books. My favorite novel/s of the summer were the four books of the Wingfeather Saga, by Andrew Peterson. My favorite theology book was How Long O, Lord?: Reflections on Suffering and Evil, by D.A. Carson. Overall, I read/listened to 31 books this summer. What a treat!
What We Gained
We have not yet processed all that we gained from this sabbatical. It was rich. We sought to put into practice the attentiveness to the Holy Spirit’s presence that I preached about before I left. Prayer retreats and prayer hikes are so valuable, and we hope to continue that practice regularly and locally.
We gained the gift of slowing down. Not living by a calendar and clock was a taste of glory. Having more time to enjoy our children and go on regular excursions to playgrounds and swimming was wonderful. I am hoping to bring a rested and unhurried heart into my daily life as much as possible. I’ll try not to use that as an excuse for being late.🙂
I gained more knowledge and skills in the area of biblical counseling so I can be a more skillful shepherd. I’ve personally benefited from meeting with a biblical counselor too many times to count, and now I’m more equipped to help others with the struggles and discouragements of life. So my office door is wide open for pastoral counseling.
I heard clearly from the Lord in regards to some sin in my own heart, and I sense God’s help in turning from it. I had a few friends speak helpful words of correction and encouragement to me over the summer that have helped me see more clearly the roots of my sin. It’s always ugly to see your sin more clearly, but hopeful because the Spirit convicts us in order to change us. And there is joy in holiness. You’ll hear more about this in future sermons.
We gained a greater perspective on what we have to be thankful for in our church family and our local community. By God’s grace, we have such a loving and healthy church. The work of “one anothering” has not missed a beat in our absence. We have heard stories of what has happened this summer that affirm that God’s Spirit has been growing us. Christ builds his church, and that building has happened in KCC without us. KCC is not dependent on us. We are dependent on Jesus.