Patty and I have recently acquired a camp trailer, our first in 40 years of marriage. We have only been able to use it once so far, but we are certainly thankful and blessed to have such a wonderful provision for our lives.

Several years ago our daughter lamented that she was a deprived child. We asked why and she said, "We never got to go camping when I was growing up."  She was right.  With Patty working Monday through Friday, and my responsibilities on Sundays, we never had the time to take off and go on weekends.  When we vacationed, we usually spent time with friends or family due to limited time off.  This isn't to complain, just the reality of our lifestyle. (She did marry a camper, and she has since had some of the romance wear off due to tent camping and mosquitos in Minnesota!)

I heard Gary Smalley, a family specialist say that the one thing that bonds families together most is camping.  He said it was due to the fact that usually camping trips have issues of bad weather, break-downs, various unforeseen problems that occur, but often when people experience crisis together they bond deeper.  I suppose that is true.

I write this to encourage all who are reading to definitely take time to experience the great outdoors, to savor the creation of God.  I also admonish some to be mindful of commitments to your local church when you make plans.  And for some people like myself, learn to have some fun without feeling guilty. I confess that in my earlier days I felt like I had to prove myself to everyone else, and I couldn't afford to let people think I was goofing off.  The truth is, rest, fun and relaxation are spiritual pursuits that should be experienced in order to keep our minds and hearts rested and eager to serve the Lord.  After all, it was God who made Sabbath rest for us.

So in this time of year with long days and warm weather, have a great time. Keep your heart fresh in love for Christ, and be renewed in the blessings of God.