Update #4: Out West
It is with mixed emotions that we share this fourth update of our renewal leave. We spent some wonderful time with dear friends and family out west, we learned that our daughter back home was in the hospital facing some serious health issues, and we say good bye to a dear friend.
Arizona, Utah, and Idaho
Linda and I made our way to Scottsdale for some rest and relaxation. We had a wonderful time enjoying the sun, eating some great food, taking in the sites, and getting some much-needed relaxation. During this time, we spent a couple of days with my uncle Paul in Prescott, Arizona. Paul was a great encourager to me as I was growing up, and I will be forever grateful for the positive influence he has made on my life. Linda, Paul, and I sat around a table for two days recounting memories, sharing laughs, and catching up. It was a rich time of enjoying one another, and Linda and I both came away feeling very blessed.
After our time in Scottsdale and Prescott we headed north through Arizona and Utah enjoying some scenes along the way: the ancient cliff dwellings at Montezuma Castle National Monument, the unique mining town of Jerome built on the side of a mountain, the beautiful red rock buttes of Sedona, the soaring red cliffs and weeping rocks of Zion National Park, and the scenic rock formations of Red Canyon in Dixie National Forest. We finally ended up in Trenton Utah at our friends Noel and Paula. Noel was an associate pastor for several years at our old church in Aurora. Noel was a great role model for me as an associate pastor and was one of the influences in me choosing to be an associate pastor. Pastor Noel and his wife impacted both my wife and I during a critical time in our life and our marriage. We had a great time catching up with Noel and Paula and getting to know their five horses and 6 cats. On Sunday, we headed 15 miles north just over the border into Idaho, to Preston Presbyterian Church, where Noel serves as the pastor. We got to know this wonderful congregation a bit as we worshipped together and as we sat down to a delicious potluck afterwards. In all, we thoroughly enjoyed our time with Noel and Paula and feel refreshed by our time with them.