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Back from vacation May 28, 2008

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Well, we are back home in Texas after a long vacation and road trip of nearly 1700 miles. It was the longest vacation we have ever taken as a family. And our son was able to join us fore the entire time. What a blessing! During our vacation we fulfilled the dream we had nearly 8 years ago when we wanted to take a trip that involved seeing the people that mean the most to us… our family and friends.

We flew to Columbus, OH to join up with our daughter. But before we left Ohio for the rest of the vacation we got to spend some time with our long time friends in a rousing Wii competition of Dance Dance Revolution and Mario Kart. (Be thankful there is no video posted of my attempt at DDR!) We also took advantage of the opportunity to welcome Andréa home from a semester abroad in Brazil.

We picked up some old friends and new friends and made them a part of the rest of the trip. We were joined by our long-time friend Joshua and our relatively new friend, Katie. But, the beauty of how God works is this. They are not really friends. Rather, they are family. We called them pseudo-son and pseudo-daughter throughout the time together. But that title belies our true feelings. They are not pseudo-anything. They are God’s gift to us and we are grateful to Him who added them to our family for that time. And there were others that would have or could have joined with us. But that was not God’s plan at this time.

We headed out for Flint, MI to visit my brother and his family. He pastors a great church in West Flint, MI and God is blessing his ministry there. We had never been able to be with him in the eight years that he has pastored there. So, it was high time we did. And God was good to us there. The weather was unbelievably gorgeous. It was a welcome respite from the heat of springtime in Houston.
From there it was off to the Ontario side of Niagara Falls. God blessed us with a rental house that was a block and a half from the river gorge and about 3 blocks from the falls. In fact we walked down to the river’s edge to watch the fireworks over the falls on Monday night the 19th of May, which was Victoria Day in Canada. We even got a chance to visit the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto, Ontario while in the area. And, yes, we got a chance to see and touch the real Stanley cup!
The last weekend of vacation was spent with my folks in Warren, PA. We met last Friday night for dinner at the Lakewood Rod & Gun Cub for a tremendous dinner. We spent a few days with Mom and Dad and got caught up on all the happenings in the raging metropolis of Warren, PA!

We finished our vacation back in Mount Vernon, OH. We got our daughter somewhat settled in to her apartment for the summer. Plus we had a chance to spend some time with her boyfriend and enjoy a few meals together.

So as I sit here tonight and reflect on the past week or two I realize how blessed I am. God has blessed me with an amazing family. And He has given us amazing friends to share this journey through life with.
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I Saw Love Today June 30, 2007

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I saw love today in the eyes of a man who at 75 years of age and after 53 years of marriage still knelt down beside his wife’s hospital bed to pray with her before the nurses wheeled her away to surgery. This is the love of a man for a woman who models daily what it is to have a Christian marriage and loves a woman who continues to be his partner through life.

I saw love today in the way that a son took time away from his busy pastoral schedule to come and be at the bedside of his mother and secretly slip away and build a new ramp for her so that she will be able to get in an out of the car in the comfort of the garage. This is the love of a man for the mother who brought him into this world and cared for his every need for 18 years and continues to care for him and love him as he approaches his 50th birthday.

I saw love today as the doctors and nurses kindly and gently cared for a woman who was in great pain and who was suffering physically in the aftermath of major surgery. This is the love of a caring professional who takes their life’s calling and vocation seriously and who treats human beings with dignity at a very difficult and vulnerable point in their life.

I saw love today as countless friends and neighbors stopped by to check on a patient and dear friend. This is the love of someone who wants to give back some of the love that has been given so generously to them by the one who now lays in the hospital bed.

But I saw another love today. It was the love of a Heavenly Father who hovered above the hospital bed and watched over one of His precious children. It was the love of the Holy Spirit who was the Comforter as the anesthesia subsided and the pain became intense. And it was the love of Jesus Christ himself of whom it was written, “by His stripes we are healed.”

I was fortunate today to be a witness to that kind of love. I am fortunate to be loved in return by that mother laying in the hospital bed. I am even more blessed to be covered by that kind of love myself as a Child of God.

God, thank you for watching over Mom and helping her through surgery. Thank you God for your blessings and for the way that you show me each day the many ways that you are at work in my life.

Get well soon, Mom.

I love you.

Prayer Request for a Friend June 12, 2007

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I have a very dear friend who is going through a tough couple of days. I am asking any visitors to “Holiness of Heart and Life” to offer up a brief word of prayer for this friend and brother in Christ.

Thank you in advance for your prayers.

Kevin

Mount Vernon In Spring May 19, 2007

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This past week was spent in central Ohio. Wow! It was beautiful. There were gently rolling hills, farms, small towns, and dear friends. We were in Ohio picking up our daughter from college. We also met some new friends. It doesn’t get any better than this!

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We will be back at the end of the summer!