From your pastor… ‘For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all kings. In his hand are the depths of the earth; the heights of the mountains are his also. The sea is his, for he made it, and the dry land which his hands have formed. O come, let us worship and bow down, let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker! For he is our God, and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand.’ (Psalm 95: 3-7a, NRSV)
As we go about our daily routines, so many times we take our lives and the beauty of life around us for granted. Pastors are encouraged to take vacation time so that we can get some renewal of our souls. Rev. Jeff and I want to thank you for making that possible for us. A big note of gratitude goes to Charlotte Hemard, our Lay Leader, for taking care of worship and for all who do your part in serving in our worship services.
This year, Jeff and I combined the celebration of our 40th year of marriage with a vacation dream trip. On our bucket list was the desire to see whales in the ocean. We did a lot of research last year to discover where and when to go. We booked airline tickets six months ago to take us to Monterrey Bay, California. We stayed in Santa Cruz, and we had a week of pure joy in a place that looked like paradise. It inspired awe and gratitude for the beauty of the earth and all that God has made. We were on the Pacific Ocean next to mountains, and the flowers were all in bloom while we were there. Every yard had flowers, and wildflowers were cultivated on all of the road sides and at the beaches. There was color and beauty in every step. The farmers were harvesting crops, and all of the food we ate was fresh and delicious. The people that we encountered all along our journey were gracious and friendly. The communities were clean and free of litter because in California, they charge a $1000 fine for throwing garbage on the streets.
The day finally came when we boarded a boat, and saw humpback whales. We also saw three different species of dolphins, an albatross, some migrating birds from New Zealand, sea otters with pups, harbor seals, and sea lions. It was the WILD KINGDOM, and I was in Heaven! The whales were being chased by a large number of dolphins as they were competing for the fish in the sea. One whale got aggravated and he trumpeted the dolphins twice, and slapped the water with his giant tale, telling them to back off and get out of his way. It sounded similar to an elephant when it sounds the trumpet through its trunk. It was an amazing experience.
All around us is the beauty of the earth that God has given. I found myself thanking God over and over for letting me see the wildlife, the wild flowers, the redwood trees, the mountains, the farms, the sea, and the wonderful people we encountered. However, we don’t have to go away to do that. We live in a beautiful place with wonderful people and good food and music. Let us bow down and worship our Creator!
Grace and peace,