“For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations”   – Psalm 100:5

MPC Family,

Thank you for the gift of a sabbatical. I am very thankful for this time to change pace, pray, play and explore. This update will look at our trip out west. Coming updates will tell about pastors I’ve been meeting with along with what I’ve been learning.

Here are things for which I am thankful:

I am thankful for you. As I write this, MPC has finished an incredible week of VBS. Thank you to all the workers, volunteers and supporters for facilitating another incredible week of ministry. Let’s continue to pray for the children and their families that the Gospel would continue to work within our neighborhood forming and encouraging the next generation of disciples.

I am thankful for RVs. Our adventure traveling west began in a giant box on wheels. In short, it has been fun. This was very different for us. We slept in tight spaces, made meals in a tiny kitchenette, and kept a mini bathroom as clean as possible with three rambunctious boys. We have been driving slowly and are taking our time. The RV is currently getting an oil change.

I am thankful for open space. America is beautiful. Our landscape is an incredible gift. The diversity of sceneries, as well as the variety of colors is breathtaking. It’s like moving from one sanctuary to another. Each landscape is a beautiful creation that makes my heart praise God for this good world he has made!

I am thankful that wrong turns can be made right. I missed a turn in Wyoming that sent us on a 2-hour detour through some remote country roads. There were lots of bumps and mountain lion warnings. Nothing like being the guy in an RV bouncing along a dirt road between ranches in eastern Wyoming. Been there. Done that.

I am thankful for campgrounds and national parks. We stayed at many places along the way. Our national parks are incredible. We went to the Badlands in South Dakota. I’ve never seen rock formations like that before. Yellowstone was another level. Bison, moose, deer, antelope and bears were walking around everywhere. Our South Florida boys jumped in snow for the first time. Old faithful was a crowd pleaser. We also wandered over to my favorite sight along the way, Mt. Rushmore. Not only was that mountain a great work of art but also the wildlife was lots of fun for our kids to see, like chipmunks and prairie dogs.

I am thankful for small towns. They have LOTS of character and the people were very kind. I was surprised how much the arts are valued in many of these communities. It ranged from painting and sculpting to craft beer and food.

I am thankful for new experiences with my family. Whether it was seeing the St. Louis arch for the first time, or watching a moose walk through our campground, having adventures with my family is a gift.

Finally, I am thankful for Randy, our staff and elders for their work in overseeing the church.

Next time I’ll give more details about the class I took and some of the pastors I’ve been meeting up with.

Blessings,

Dan Carlson