7.11.2006

closer to God

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There seems to be a recurring theme lately in stuff I've been reading or listening to. The theme is "Sabbath". Everywhere I go I hear people saying that we need to slow down, turn off the cell phone, get away from the office, disconnect. Sabbath is a biblical principal that has been all but ignored by the church. Sabbath is more than going to church once a week. Sabbath is stopping EVERYTHING for one day a week to just rest, relax, and experience God.

There are two podcasts which I just listened to the other day that were on this very topic. One podcast was featuring an interview with Rob Bell, author of "Velvet Elvis", and the other was an interview of Eugene Peterson, author of "The Message".
Both podcasts are from the people who put on the Catalyst Conference. You can go to www.catalystspace.com to download the podcast and sign up for their online newsletter, and you can subscribe to their podcast at iTunes.

Katie and I are going to endeavour to make Sabbath a priority for our family. We are committing one day a week to relaxing. No work, no lists, no errands, no shopping, no church, no cell phones, no email, nothing, just relaxing and enjoying God's, and each other's presence.

When I want to get close to God I try to find a quiet place, outdoors if possible, where I can experience the beauty of God's creation. Last week Katie and I went with family and friends to the Northern Coast of California. We spent several days in one of the most beautiful places on earth. As soon as I got out of cell phone range it almost felt like I could feel my soul batteries being charged. I love getting away like this.

This makes me feel closer to God.

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Our favorite campground is up in Humboldt County. It's called Hidden Springs. It's right next to the Eel River, and it's right on the "Avenue of the Giants". We had a blast so I thought I'd share a few pictures from our trip.

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Here are Obadiah, and Malachi and their cousins Hannah, and Summer. We had the best time going on hikes through the forest!

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The boys called this picture their "America's Next Top Model" picture. Strike a pose!

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Here is the boy's tent. This is the first time the braved the elements in their own tent.

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Here is our swimming hole on the South Fork of the Eel River. It's within walking distance of our campground. This redwood tree fell into the river years and years ago. It landed just right so that it sticks up out of the water like a built in diving board.

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And what is camping without SMORES?!?!?!

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Obadiah prefers his marshmallows EXTRA well done. Cajun style in fact.

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One of our favorite spots to go is a special grove. The ground is covered with sorrel, it looks like four leaf clovers. There are also ferns all over the place. It is so beautiful. This is my favorite place in the entire world.

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Good times.

10 comments:

jamie said...

How fun and beautiful!

Crissi said...

Being around all those redwoods must have inspired some "growth" in you. Seems you are now towering over Katie. ;-P Looks like a wonderful opportunity to connect even deeper with God and His creation. How fortunate!

jimmy said...

I dug a hole for her to stand in for the picture. About a 2 foot hole.

shayne pasaol said...

I agree. A quiet place is strong medium to feel closer to the Lord. A place of serenity forces you to be still and be quiet, and just from experience, that is when God's voice becomes louder.

On a comical note: Hey! You got taller than Katie! :)

Danielle said...

Great photos! Looks like a great time!

I love what Rob Bell has had to say about Sabbath. At first, he struggled. It isn't easy to shut off the cell phone, turn off the computer...such is our world...

My leaders group at church is currently working its way through the book, The Rest of God by Mark Buchanan. Not as hep as Bell but good stuff in there about restoring the soul by restoring the sabbath.

Nice post. Thank you.

Erin M. said...

You know few men would be smart enough to dig the hole. I just figured she was doing the ol' bend at the knees like I did.

Kudos and long time no comment ;)

jimmy said...

Thanks for stopping by Erin. Good to hear from you! How's Vegas treating you?

Erin M. said...

Eh, getting better... Going to concerts, meeting people (well.. guys mostly hah), church stuff etc. Still not my ideal home but hey it's fine for now.

I'll be happier when fall comes around and the heat dies down a bit. Never again will I whine about Cali summers, hehe.

TGL said...

I love the pics of the trees. I have never been to that part of California but it looks great. I like to get away like that too, but for me it is northern Minnesota. Lots of tall pines and lakes.

A true Sabbath day is so hard to keep doing regularly...but you have revived my interest in making it happen.

Wasteland Ministries said...

I'm up late with a sick kid, passing the time by reading a buncha blogs and I came across this post. My Sick Kid says, "That girl looks like a girl at my school" and it turns out, it is! She recognized both Hannah and Summer, but she is only friends with Summer. Crazy!