Some places are just like home. There is no other way to describe it. Clearwater, FL has become like one of those places for us. Our family began taking a yearly vacation there about four years ago, made possible by the gracious hospitality of Sam and Joy Burch as they welcome us like family into their home for those days, and we are graciously indebted to them and have such a deep love for them. I have heard it said that you are either a “mountain” person or an “ocean” person, and our family has definitely been captivated by the peace, beauty, sunshine (I totally get the retirement thing in Florida now!), and restfulness of the beaches of the Clearwater area in these years --- one of our favorite places in this world.
Honeymoon Island, Clearwater Beach, Pier 60, and morning runs on the Dunedin Causeway. But as much as we have an attachment to the location, I believe it is a love for the people that makes us so at home there. Of course, Sam and Joy continue to be like family to us. But Clearwater First Church of the Nazarene (CFN) has quickly become like this to us as well. What a place of blessing, warmth, love, and encouragement it has been to us, even capped off in the closing service on Sunday night as our dear brother, Pastor Pat Glenn, asked Sam to pray for our family as the congregation gathered around. The Lord Jesus really touched our lives through these people! After being at CFN for revival services in January and so enjoying our time then,
we were excited to get to go back for vacation in August, with the added opportunity to teach for a weekend prayer conference at the church August 20 and 21. This was after getting to share at the church on Wednesday night and then joining in a fellowship meal with a group at the church on Friday night. This was my first time to lead a prayer conference, and we were all quite overwhelmed with how God worked in this time and in our lives. As we shared on prayer from the Word for three sessions on Saturday, the presence and anointing of Jesus through His Spirit left us nearly speechless and overwhelmed. It was a time of deep learning and all of our lives being deeply impacted.
Jesus continued to touch us and demonstrate Himself to us through people after the service, and this continues even now through words and conversations. Thank you to Pastor Pat and Barbie, Sam and Joy, and everyone there for these precious and life-changing times, and thank you the Lord Jesus Christ for how You worked in our lives in these days. It was certainly like no “vacation” we have ever experienced before, and while we miss the sun and beaches of Clearwater, it is the people that we miss the most and hold dear in our hearts as we continue,
Running together in Christ,