The past few days have been a whirlwind.
On Friday night we had a late dinner and discussion with some key church leaders who are navigating a congregation into uncharted waters. It was healing, strategic and challenging. It was a quality time together, because of the love that we all have for each other. We were all surprised to see that it was 11 p.m. when we headed home. We had enjoyed the best corned beef of all time.
I dragged myself out of bed at 6:30 the next morning, planning to at least take a look at the surf at Camel Rock. Before leaving I packed a bag of clothes — clothes for the memorial service, the track meet and then for church that evening…& I brought along our dogs (who love to go with me anywhere I am going). Cece – our border collie & Pastor Jack – our Jack Russell Terrier.
As dawn was breaking I was thrilled to see a nice swell pumping through Camel. The parking lot was already filling up with surfers who shared the secret understanding that comfort and sleep are overrated. I paddled out through the cold waters and ended up getting a few waves that left me really stoked and filled with adrenaline. There was one wave that I kept recounting throughout the day.
From there I drove back to Eureka, arriving at Faith Center at 9:30. This gave me an hour and a half to pray and run through my sermon a couple of times. I always need that time on Saturdays to finish preparing for the weekend services.
At 11 a.m. the memorial service for Scott Eskra started. He was tragically killed in a logging accident. He was 42 and left behind a daughter, a wife & a ton of heartbroken friends and relatives. By 10:30 our auditorium was already filling up. There were 500 people there for his memorial service – standing room only. Scott loved the outdoors and his memorial reflected this with photos of the ducks, the deer, the elk and the fish that he harvested. With Scott’s passing, we’re likely to see an increase in the waterfowl population based on the photos I saw. It was good to see all his friends there to pay their respects. Scott was a great baseball playing – a slugger who is in the Crabs Hall of Fame & played for Olde Miss on a full ride. My prayers are with his family. Scott knew the Lord and although he wasn’t “religious”, he was generous, caring, hardworking and devoted. He lived life fully. His death sent shock waves through our community.
Following the memorial, I raced up to McKinleyville for the Cougar Relays track meet. This is my third season coaching the distance runners at Eureka High. The kids did well and we didn’t get rained on. We have quite a few kids who have never run before but came out for track. I love the risk-taking instincts of young people who are exploring life.
If you don’t have kids in your life, find a way to make them a part of your life. Coaching, scouts, grandparenting, or teaching Sunday School all work. It will keep you young and relevant.
Between Saturday night and Sunday morning we had three services at Faith Center. We also served green pancakes (St. Patrick’s Day). In a large church you have to be intentional in creating fellowship, fun and community building activities. Surprisingly, our local newspaper had an article with a photo, reporting on our event. I love small towns!
I spoke from John 11, the story of Lazarus. It isn’t too late for God to work in your life. Belief is the key to opening the door for the miraculous. I am thankful for the help of the Holy Spirit in communicating God’s word. https://www.facebook.com/eurekafaithcenter/videos/10156247893042959/
After church we went to Gill’s by the Bay for lunch. Then I put in a couple more hours in the water (surfing) before sleeping very well on Sunday night.
So today I got up early and drove to Santa Rosa. I caught a flight to LAX and drove through the traffic to San Dimas for a couple days of meetings with denominational leaders. We are discussing education and discipleship. Then it is back home tomorrow night.
After a funeral, preaching, baptisms, surfing, coaching and travelling, I am thankful for the opportunity to walk with Jesus through the challenges and the blessings of life. Live life fully. Kingdom living isn’t boring. It is exciting. When we walk with Jesus we walk in the light, no matter how dark our world may seem. Let us make the most of today.