3,500 more miles…

August: back on the road again with our first deputation meetings since the beginning of June. We’d asked people to pray for Owen to travel well. In general he did, but by the end of the trip this two-month old was really getting tired of his car seat. Especially with all the driving; we stayed in 9 places in just over 2 weeks.

We’d assumed that, going north in NY as far as Lake Ontario (for a meeting with the friendly people at Sunnyside Baptist Church in North Rose) we’d get some cooler weather. But we arrived in the middle of a heat wave. When we drove up to a park on the lakeshore, the 90 degrees-with-no-shade didn’t refresh us very much. Bella stepped into the water; the boys didn’t want to get in and the stones were too hot to walk on with bare feet.

Pastor Terry Beckwith at GraceBibleChurch in Cohoes, New York, talked about the counseling ministry the Lord has given him. I gleaned some good ideas, and we were glad to see how the Lord has used his willingness to counsel people.

Both in NY and then in AL (when we went to FL to celebrate my Grandpa’s 80th birthday), we revisited churches who’ve partnered with us. We thank the Lord for their prayers, friendship and gifts. At The Bible Church of Port Washington, NY, we were looking forward to helping them for a Saturday work day, even though we had to leave around lunchtime to get to another meeting. As it turned out, we could only spend about half an hour there, so we didn’t contribute much except for pulling a couple weeds! In both places we enjoyed the time to build our relationships with like-minded believers.

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Am I becoming someone I used to make fun of?

Today I had a date with my wonderful wife. 9 holes of disc golf, followed by coffee at Starbucks!

The first time I realized that frisbee golf was really disc golf, played with special discs, I could have laughed. You mean there are people with extra money who need special frisbees (as in, more than one) to play this game? Like those would really help, anyway. They’re just to show everyone that you’re ‘in’ and pretend you’re doing a real sport, like golf, right?

Then my brother-in-law introduced me to disc golf. With a disc. Not a frisbee. Actually, with more than one disc. One for long shots. One for medium plays. One for short approaches. A putter. And guess what? I found out they’re not just for looking cool carrying a bag of discs. After having played a handful of actual disc golf games spread out over a couple years, today on our date we played with regular frisbees. It was disc appreciation day. I’m still too cheap to buy a set of discs, but the difference is noticeable, even to a poor player like I am.

The other people I belittled (only in my mind, of course!) were coffee drinkers. Well, not really all coffee drinkers, but Starbuckers. They go to the popular coffee shops and buy expensive cups of coffee. Which they sip while appearing to do important stuff on nice computers. This allows them to flaunt their coolness, right?

That’s what I thought, anyway. But I’ve learned to drink coffee occasionally – even enjoy it. On the road we sometimes stay places that don’t have reliable internet access. So if there’s a Starbucks or something like it in convenient range, for the price of a cup of coffee I can get some work done in a public office of sorts.

I’ve also discovered places like Starbucks provide a comfortable place to meet people and talk. So when I want to talk with someone without the formal-ness of going to their office (and of course I can’t usually invite myself over to someone’s house), I have a comfortable setting to offer and a way to do something nice. And most people like, if not coffee, something a coffee shop sells.

So going to a coffee shop, I guess, isn’t just about paying for a popular brand of coffee. I’m paying for the chance to say “hey, can I take you out for coffee?”