AWE of the Grand Canyon

I was amazed at the beauty of the North Rim of the Grand Canyon.  The shear beauty caused me to sing for joy.  On July 7th I had the privilege of going to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon.

Grand Canyon 2

North Rim

I could not help but stand in awe of the LORD’s creation.  I spent the rest of the day rejoicing in the LORD’s creative majesty.  The Grand Canyon is amazing.

Grand Canyon 4

North Rim

Even in black and white the different vantages in the Grand Canyon are breathtaking.  Point Imperial was impressive.

Grand Canyon 7

Point Imperial

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The Destination or The Journey

While hiking in the Rocky Mountain National Park I had some time to think about many different things.  One of the items that I contemplated was “Am I focused on the Destination or the Journey?”  The hike was the catalyst for this train of thought.  I would pass groups going up and down to different destinations and wonder why it took them so long.  Was it just my long legs that carried me farther and faster or was it my drive to get to the end?

As I contemplated this on my hike I came to the conclusion that I was a destination focused hiker and also destination driven as an individual in life.  In hiking and in life, I typically think of what I want the end goal to be and then just go for it.  I do not often stop on the way or look at scenery along the path but keep on striving for the final destination.  This leads to the end result of getting to where you are going faster than others but not always seeing the beauty that you passed getting to your final destination.

Walking Perspective 1

Beautiful Waterfall Destination

I am not typically the kind of person who enjoys the journey to get to the destination.  The one who enjoy’s the journey at times does not get to the final destination in an expedient manner or by the most direct route.  However, their view of the journey is probably more enjoyable than mine as my view is normally of my own feet making sure that I arrive safely to the next mile marker or interim goal.

Walking Perspective

My View on the Way

As a destination person there are some issues. Some of these issues are that I can forget the beauty along the way, miss unexpected opportunities, and hurt people as I drive towards my final destination.

I hope to be able to enjoy the journey more in the future.  Not only when I am on a hike but also in life.  I know that I tend to be driven to arrive or achieve a goal but there are many great things that I know I am prone to missing along the way.  I hope to enjoy the best of both being destination and journey focused in the future.

Sharing with Salina Bible Church

Having friends all across the US is amazing and getting to visit them is even better.  I was able to stop in Salina, Kansas and visit with my friends Kyle and Stephanie Sanderson.

Salina Bible Church

Salina Bible Church

Kyle is the pastor of  Salina Bible Church. I am so encouraged by the growth of my dear friend as a pastor/shepherd.  It was very encouraging to hear him preach at his church.  I was blessed to be invited to share with the church at their evening prayer service.

Salina Bible Church 1

Pastor’s Final Preparation

It was sweet to be able to present to these people and then to have them pray for me and to be able to pray with them.  The prayers of the people at Salina Bible Church were a great encouragement to me.

Salina Bible Church 2

Evening Prayer Service with Salina Bible Church

 

Evangelism while Traveling

While on my journey I have had the opportunity to share the gospel with a few people.  The gospel is defined as the good news.  The good news that there can be salvation for people who have rebelled against a Holy God and justly deserve his punishment or wrath.

Each and every person has broken the law and rebelled against the Holy God.  The consequences of this rebellion is that each and every person deserves to feel his wrath for eternity.  The good news is that Christ died on the cross and bore the wrath of God that you deserve.  If we would repent (turn from our sins in thought and action) and trust in Christ we can be saved from the wrath that we deserve.  Not only are we saved from the consequences of our sin but we are welcomed into God’s family.  I love to be able to share the gospel with different people.

There have been 3 primary ways that I have gone about sharing the gospel while on this trip.  I use gospel tracts, life situations, and intentional notes.

Gospel Tract

Thank You Gospel Tract

As I travel I have to stop and eat.  While ordering food I have had the opportunity to give a Thank You gospel tract to many of the servers.  I have had some great responses.  My favorite was from a lady who asked if she had to pass this on to someone else.  She wanted to be able to keep the gospel tract.  I told her ‘No’ you don’t have to pass it on and that I just wanted to say Thank You and for you to be able to read the gospel.

Rocky Mountain National Park 2

Rocky Mountain National Park

While traveling I also have an opportunity to interact with people over different life situations, the gospel opportunities abound.  I was hiking in the Rocky Mountain National Park and I got tired.  I sat down on the side of the trail and an older couple came by and I asked how they were doing.  They said they were doing good.  We talked about how I was a Missionary to South Brazil.  Then I began to share the gospel with them.  After sharing the gospel we parted ways and I continued up the trail as they went down.

Loveland CO

Lake in Loveland, CO

The final way that I have been able to share the gospel is with intentional notes that I write to them.  One time I was staying at a person’s house in Loveland, CO that I found through airbnb.  After I stayed there I left a note with a gospel tract.  I got a response the lady saying that she was offended by some of the things in the note and that Jesus would just love her where she was.  I then responded to her with another note.  In the note I shared with her that Jesus would visit people where they were but that people did not stay the same after Jesus visited them.  I specifically shared about how Zacchaeus  was visited by Jesus where he was at.  However, Zacchaeus was completely changed by the experience.  He renounced his sinful ways and his life was changed forever.

Cornerstone Jackson Hole

On Sunday July 10 I had the privilege of sharing about going to Brazil at Cornerstone Jackson Hole in Jackson Hole, WY.  I have previously visited Cornerstone about 5 years ago and I was greatly encouraged to see the growth.  It was easy to see that the church has grown numerically but the most encouraging part for me was to hear the individuals in the church talk about how they have been impacted to repent and grow in their walk with Christ.

Cornerstone Jackson Hole

Worship through Song

I was also greatly encouraged to hear my friend Eric Davis preach on Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43.  It was a challenging sermon on Christ’s Plan in an Evil World.  I would encourage you to listen to the sermon (just click the link) and hear a shepherd plead for people to repent and trust in Christ.  I love listening to pastors who truly care for their congregation.  I am so encouraged that there is a pastor like this in Jackson Hole, WY.

Cornerstone Jackson Hole 1

Worship through hearing the word preached

Family in Las Vegas

I had the pleasure of going to the Beerhaus in Las Vegas to visit my cousin on July 6.  The restaurant is located near the new arena and reminded me of an american version of the beer gardens that I had visited in Germany.

BeerHaus

Beerhaus Resturant

The food was great.  I recommend the brat and the pretzels.  The brat had great flavor and snap.  The pretzels were fantastic with the beer cheese dip.  I would recommend that anyone coming to Las Vegas stop and eat here even if you don’t like beer because the food and ambiance are awesome.

BeerHaus 1

Beerhaus Brat and Pretzels. WIN!

I have never sat with a Chef at a restaurant before. It was great to be able to talk with the chef.  The Chef also happens to be my cousin Nathan.

BeerHaus 2

Me and Nathan

Towsley Canyon

I have enjoyed hiking Towsley Canyon very much over the past few months.  Every time I get back into the Santa Clarita Valley area I get to take a walk on this trial.  Here are a couple of the best views, in my opinion, on the trail. This time there happened to be some cloud cover which was over the Santa Clarita Valley.

Towsley Canyon 1

Towsley Canyon View

Towsley Canyon 2

Towsley Canyon View

Encouraging Discipleship

Discipleship is normally thought of as a very hard and discouraging.  During discipleship you get to hear about the difficult life circumstances, sinful personal actions, and answer hard questions about the bible.  This is normally all that people think about.  However, discipleship is so much more.  You also have the joy’s of hearing about the victories over the life circumstances, leaving of sinful patterns in a person’s life, and watching men grow up and use their spiritual gifts.

I have had the privilege of watching Pat grow up over the past 8 years or so.  We have walked through difficult issues together.  We have also walked through some joyous times together.  On June 29 I had the JOY of participating in one of those joyous times.  Pat is candidateing for a youth pastor position at Christ Community Church.

Pat Faus 2

Pat preaching

A part of the candidateing process was Pat preaching at the Wednesday night service.  I made a point to attend his preaching.  I know that it was difficult and encouraging for Pat to see me at the service.  I can’t help but feel so encouraged because I was able to see the LORD work in Pat’s life.  This is one of my greatest JOY’S.

Pat Faus 1

Pat making a point

Officially Rare!

For most of my life I have been told that I am rare or unique.  I have a few things that I would say are unique to me. One of the easiest things is that I am 6’7″ tall.  This means that with an average height of a man in the US being 5’10” and a standard deviation of 3 that I am 3 standard deviations away from average.  This means that I am a rare guy.

A couple of months ago I noticed something growing under my beard.  I had thought that it would simply go away but it didn’t.  I went into the doctor’s and had it checked out.  They took a biopsy of the growth and it came back as Hidradenoma (Acrospiroma) with  Atypia.  I was very concerned that this might be cancerous but it came back clear.

Surgery

It just kept growing

I then made an appointment with a dermatologist to have it removed.  When he saw the growth and the results of the biopsy he was excited.  He said that I am a very rare guy.  This confirmed my own thoughts that I am unique.  He said that he had not seen this type of growth in many years.  He told me that it was a sweat gland growth issue.  The doctor removed it and sent it away to be tested again.

Surgery 1

It has been removed

Thankfully the results of the retest were the same and that I should only have a little scar near my beard line.  I am very thankful that I was able to get this taken care of quickly.  I am also very encouraged to now have more definitive proof of how rare I am.

Surgery 2

All stitched up