The feeling of “belonging” is vital to the soul and essential for true community. Everybody wants to feel like they belong. This truth reminds me of the theme song from the sitcom Cheers: “Making your way in the world today takes everything you’ve got; Taking a break from all your worries sure would help a lot. Wouldn’t you like to get away? Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name, and they’re always glad you came; You want to be where you can see, our troubles are all the same; You want to be where everybody knows your name.”
Do you feel like you belong? This adventure, called “life,” is a difficult climb. It’s too dangerous to do alone. While on sabbatical in Steamboat Springs, my family and I have experienced our own set of difficulties. My wife has really struggled with the physical pain of her Crohn’s Disease. It has been hard to watch her suffer. While it has been a sweet time to “be there” for the woman I love, it has been a roller coaster of emotions that have been off the chart for me. I couldn’t imagine Rebecca surviving alone. I need her and she needs me. It has also been hard for us to be away from our community.
We miss our community in Fort Collins. It’s difficult to be away from the family, friends and neighbors we love. It’s hard to be away from the church we love. Fortunately, we have made some new friends here in Steamboat. One of them is Josh, owner of Twisted Trails Running Company.
For me, I have enjoyed the community that has come from running with Josh on Thursdays and Saturdays. Here is a picture of Josh after the Twisted Trails Thursday Night Beer Run. We run approximately three to six miles on beautiful trails. Then after the run we enjoy conversation and community while enjoying a beer or ginger ale. Josh is an Iraq War veteran and a very welcoming person. Can you find my new shoes in this picture? Without Josh, my shoes would not be in this picture. He did a video analysis on my gait, getting me in the correct shoe to prevent injury. But more importantly, he makes me feel like I belong. To experience community one must feel that they belong.
My eight year old son, Paul, has been joining me on each of these runs. He has worked his way up to running six miles without stopping. He enjoys running and spending time with his dad. He is now a better runner than me. People always compliment him on looking and running like “a runner.” That makes me happy. In fact, on the Coffee Run, he completely roasted me on the trail. He ran six miles with ease. Spending this time, running with my boy, gives him and me a regular opportunity to bond as father and son. We feel the bond of being together in community.
My family and I have also enjoyed going to church together here in Steamboat. We miss our church and friends in Fort Collins, so it has been a blessing to make some new “friends away from friends”, in our new “home away from home”. For me personally, it has been vital to have some men with whom I can talk man to man, as well as enjoy the adventure of the outdoors together. Byron and Dustin have been great friends to me. Just being in their presence fills me, and helps me to feel encouraged during the challenging times I have experienced over the past month. I love the times we have spent encouraging one another in the Lord, as well as having a blast mountain biking, fishing, or just having a meal together!
Thankfully, Rebecca is now feeling much better thanks to prayer and God’s gracious and healing touch. She is my best friend (even though it is odd God chose us for each other being that she does not share my love for risk and adventure… as my kids say: “Dad is for adventure, and Mom is for safety”). We are finally being able to go on walks together and spend quality time with one another. I belong to her and she belongs to me.
Do you feel like you belong to someone? Do you make others feel like they belong?
Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near. (Hebrews 10:24-25 NLT)
More essentially, do you feel like you belong to God? Would you like to belong to God?
But to all who did receive him [Jesus], who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. (John 1:12-13 ESV)
Check out the “gospel” tab on my adventurepastor.com home page to learn more of how you can belong to God as His child.
On this Independence Day, as we gather with the people we love and the people who love us, let’s celebrate the interdependence of community. Interdependence is defined as dependence between persons or things and is essential for true community.
Here’s to belonging!!
I recently looked down at the scale and did NOT like the numbers looking back at me. Truth be told, when backed up against the wall, our human instincts usually urge us to either FIGHT or TAKE FLIGHT. But for some reason, my instincts urge me to EAT!
It’s like a man walks in and pulls a gun on me, and my first stress response is… “Let me finish off this slice of pizza.” Unfortunately, I’m a “stress eater!” Everytime I get really stressed, I EAT!!
So, how can I be stressed while on sabbatical? Let me make a long answer short… My wife has an auto-immune disease that effects her intestines. It’s called Crohn’s disease, and she has painfully suffered from this disease since the age of six. Imagine your worst stomach ache, and then imagine experiencing that pain every day of your life. This is my wife Rebecca’s daily experience. Most of the time, she manages her affliction fairly well. She is one tough cookie, and looking at her face, one rarely sees her pain. I greatly admire her ability to maintain a strong faith in Jesus and a positive outlook despite her condition.
Unfortunately, for the past month and half, Rebecca has been really struggling. Stress is a catalyst for my wife’s Crohn’s Disease and causes inflammation in her intestines, which causes her not to eat. Naturally, when her health and weight diminish, it’s a catalyst for causing me stress, because when you love someone, it hurts to see them hurt. When she looses weight as a result of not being able to eat, my stress response is to eat on her behalf, like the husband who gains weight while his wife is pregnant. This is where I get myself in trouble. It can be a real downward spiral. But it doesn’t have to be!
If one of my problems is overeating because of stress, what is the solution?
I like what the Apostle Paul said in his letter to a young pastor he was mentoring: train yourself for godliness; for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. (1 Timothy 4:7-8 ESV) Notice that Paul tells Timothy that bodily training is of some value. He doesn’t say it’s worthless, but that it has value. Paul said this in a different context than mine (although Timothy appears to have had some digestional disease as Paul urged him to take a little wine for his stomach), but the principles still apply.
One observation I have made, regarding when I get stressed, is that bodily training and exercise have a tendency to go right out the window. Recognizing this weakness in myself, I stopped by Twisted Trails Running Company in Steamboat Springs to see what God and I could do about this problem.
Josh, the owner of Twisted Trails, hooked me up with some running shoes and great customer service. He also shared with me some group runs that would hold me accountable to dealing with my stress in a positive way. I bought the shoes, then drank the Kool-Aid, and have gone on every group run offered so far.
However, note that Paul’s primary emphasis to Timothy was to train himself for godliness. So, how do we do that? He says earlier to Timothy, For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, for it is made holy by the word of God and prayer. If you put these things before the brothers, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, being trained in the words of the faith and of the good doctrine that you have followed. (1 Timothy 4:4-6 ESV)
It can be easy, during our times of stress, to let our active relationship with God slip. We can easily give up the discipline and privilege of spending time listening to God speak through His word and through prayer. If we are not seeing a clear picture of God’s grace and who we are in Christ Jesus, we can spiral down into a dark hole rather than setting our hope on the living God. The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance. For to this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe. (1 Timothy 4:9-10 ESV)
Is the stress of this life killing you? It doesn’t have to!
Together, we can train ourselves by the power of the gospel to set our hope upon the living God who continually saves us through the grace of Jesus Christ. Through the gifts God gives, we can fix our minds in God’s word and in prayer, no matter how twisted the trails of life’s trials become. We can train ourselves in godliness, as it holds promise for the present life as well as for the life to come. And we can look forward to the day when the pains and struggles of this life will be forever gone.
Today, my family and I head to Steamboat Springs, Colorado, for 2 months on sabbatical. The hardest part of leaving home is leaving our neighbors. We love walking across the street, or next door, and sitting down with a glass of lemonade and talking with our neighbors. We love helping them with projects, their yards, snow blowing their driveways, or whatever they need in the moment. We love our neighbors, because God loves us, and He loves them as well.
The Apostle Paul writes, For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Galatians 5:14 ESV) Paul was quoting Jesus, who fulfilled the law on our behalf.
This summer, why not just walk across the street and get to know your neighbors. Learn their names. Invite them over to sit on the porch and drink a glass of ice cold lemonade. Have friendly conversations in the neighborhood where you live. God has placed us where we live for a reason.
Like I said, the hardest part about leaving home is leaving the neighbors we love. Here’s to making some new neighbors in Steamboat.
It’s been almost 2 months since returning home from my bike touring adventure in New Zealand…
Revisiting my gear brings back great memories, including this picture taken in front of the South African War memorial in Omarau, South Island, NZ. The lion watching over me reminds me of my constant companion on my adventures, the Lion of Judah, Jesus Christ.
In my experience and preference: GOING LIGHT IS RIGHT!
When I began my adventure, my bike and gear weighed 54 pounds (with water and food). With no water and food my bike and gear setup was 47 pounds (bike and gear only). This made a sizable difference in the enjoyment of riding my bike on tour. It allowed me to cover more miles, at a faster pace, with less fatigue. Ultimately, going light enabled me to keep my head up and enjoy the beauty that surrounded me. My choices also equipped me to travel into the backcountry, ride singletrack, and feel comfortable and fast on asphalt.
So for all the gear geeks out there (of which I count myself among you), here is a gear list from my New Zealand 2015 bike touring adventure:
– Specialized StumpJumper 29er Comp, 2013 (great all around bike for ultralight touring and bikepacking)
– Specialized Chisel Rigid Carbon Fork (incredible on washboard roads and super efficient on asphalt)
– Specialized Fast Trak Control Tires, 29 x 2.0 (tubeless, filled with Stans at 33 psi front and 37 psi rear)
– Blackburn Combo Cable Lock (simple, lightweight, and good for keeping honest people honest)
Scott and I have reunited in Christchurch after the adventure of New Zealand 2015…
Tomorrow is Scott’s birthday! But today, we took a 23 mile bike tour around the wreckage and restart of Christchurch after the devastating earthquakes of 2011. 185 precious lives were lost, and 164 people were seriously injured…
Many homes, buildings and businesses were destroyed. The rebuilding of the city continues as the people of Christchurch strive for its rebirth…
Here at the Re:Start Mall Shops, shipping containers have been erected as storefronts for people who lost their city center businesses in 2011…
My prayers go out to the people of Christchurch. May they, and all of New Zealand, rediscover God’s Everlasting Love in Jesus Christ:
“What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:31-39 ESV)
My heart loves New Zealand, her people, and the guests who enjoy her for a moment in time. During this adventure, I have sought to make God’s ways and grace known through God’s own Son, to the new friends I have met along the way. However, I think the following is an ironic and telling inscription which sits above the entrance to the Canterbury Museum in Christchurch, where the plans for Christchurch’s rebuild are displayed to the public: “Lo these are parts of HIS ways but how little a portion is heard of HIM”…
My New Zealand 2015 adventure concludes with 776 miles of bike touring traveled, plus 137 miles of mountain biking singletrack enjoyed, as well as 3 dream trout caught and released while fly fishing; but, my real hope and prayer is that the friendships I have been blessed with in this country will grow and flourish in time. May God reach this dear country with the gospel of His grace, through a spiritual rebirth that only His Son, Jesus Christ, can provide.
I was awoken by an air horn screaming across the Hanmer Springs darkness. My first thought – New Zealand is under attack!
I have been in countries with civil defense sirens and I have heard them used. As I shook the cob webs from my head, I thought to myself, “Who would attack New Zealand?” I realized this possibility was highly unlikely. Other options raced through my mind as the siren continued to whine into the night – earthquake (possible); tsunami (I’m in the mountains; impossible); flash flood (more possible). I could hear rain rhythmically tapping on my tent!
I rolled over in my tent and tapped my female-voiced companion. If anyone would know, she would know! “Siri… what is this siren I am hearing in Hamner Springs, New Zealand?” She replied, “I am checking on that… Here is what I have found on the web regarding the siren you are hearing in Hamner Springs, New Zealand.” And my iPad, via Siri, revealed the answer… “Fire House Siren.” My iPad also revealed to me it was 5:37AM. I had hoped to sleep in longer, as I complete my journey today, and ride 83 miles returning to where I began this adventure (Christchurch). I wanted to roll back over and go to back to sleep, but the siren had alerted me that I had to go (to the toilet that is). Bummer! I found the whole thing to be quite alarming!!
With that said, Hamner Springs has been a great place to relax and reflect over my time in New Zealand…
It has also been a great place to meet new friends, to share stories, and to share the miraculous love of God through Jesus Christ. The ale in the picture above was brewed in the same city in Ireland that Mark and Amy live, my new friends and fellow bike tourers. Mark races road bikes and Amy races triathlons back in Ireland. They were a joy to have a few conversations with at the Hanmer geothermal pools. I hope that they can come and visit me and my family, and ride their bikes in Colorado.
I also befriended Faizal, from Malaysia, who is on a two-year tour around-the-world on his BMW F800 GS dual sport adventure motorcycle. He has adventure biked everywhere from the tip of South America all the way up through North America to Alaska, through Mongolia, through Asia, Europe, Africa, and Australia (every contininent except Antarctica). And here he is in New Zealand! He is sponsored by BMW, and is 20 months into his 24 month adventure. He has a wife and two teenagers back in Malaysia (with his wife joining him for some of the journey). And he has been to places that even Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman, from Long Way Round and Long Way Down, have not been. He has done it without a support crew following him…
Here in Hamner Springs, I have also developed a good friendship with Thilo and Jasmin from Frankfurt, Germany. They are on a one year work visa in New Zealand, and they make the best pancakes (der pfannkuchen) I have ever tasted! We talked for hours yesterday morning as they shared with me their stories and I shared with them mine. They are both sweet and generous people, and I count them as my German friends! They call me by my middle name… Günther!
I also befriended Chris, a fine young man from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Edmonton is a place that is near and dear to my families heart (as we spent part of a vacation there 10 years ago). Chris’s car broke down in Hamner Springs, and so he was stuck in Hamner for the past several days, waiting for the parts to come in from Christchurch. This gave us the opportunity to have a great conversation the day before yesterday, during gale force winds, while it was pouring rain here in Hamner Springs. We enjoyed a lengthy conversation in the kitchen about life, the world, and Jesus.
During that time I was able to hear his story, and he was able to hear mine. He wants to be a firefighter and spend his life helping people. I shared with him the miraculous story of how God saved and healed my wife and triplets from near death. He was very interested in the story of my wife and triplets. He was also interested in the social justice mission trips the Lord has privileged me to have taken, as he has a real desire to spend his life helping people as a firefighter and beyond. I was able to share the gospel of God’s grace with him through Jesus Christ. It genuinely resonated with him. I asked him if he would like to trust Jesus as his Lord and Savior. He said that he really would like to, but he needed more time to process our conversation. And so I prayed for him and for his car.
At the moment we finished our prayer, with the words, “In Jesus name, we pray. Amen”… the rain stopped… the sun came out… and Chris got word that his car repair was finished. It was an answer to prayer. He genuinely thanked me for our talk, and told me that he believes that things happen for a reason. I agreed with him, and shared with him the words of Romans 8:28: And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. We both agreed that his car broke down so that I could share with him the gospel.
I do believe that Chris will become a Christian and follower of Jesus, as he asked me how he could receive Jesus as his Lord and Savior when he is ready. It was a divine appointment, and it is beautiful how the Holy Spirit worked it all out perfectly. I am thankful for the opportunity to come to New Zealand to be used by God in this way. My greatest joy in life is sharing with others who the God of the gospel truly is, and what He has done on our behalf by his beautiful grace!!
“Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.” (Romans 8:26-30 ESV)
I expected to spend more than two days in the backcountry of the Rainbow Road, but the sandflies were vicious, and I was graciously given far more than what I had hoped, as I hunted for large brown trout. And so the story begins…
I hardly began my journey over the Rainbow Road, when the Wairau River called for me to cast my line upon its waters. I was sight fishing for trout, but without success, when I looked down a 75ft wall of loose dirt and rock at the river below. Were my eyes deceiving me? As I peered through the trees into the pool below, I spotted a monster trout that only rivers of New Zealand can produce. As I stood dumbfounded, a dirtbike rider by the name of John pulled up and asked if I was okay. He was the only person I had seen all day. I explained that I was NOT OK… and then I showed him what I was looking at.
He couldn’t believe his eyes! The size of this trout was unimaginable to me, and to him, as it easily looked to be 14 to 15lbs. It was the largest brown trout I had ever seen. John had a fly rod strapped to the back of his motorcycle. He looked at me and asked, “What are you waiting for? Get down there and catch that fish!” As I carefully scrambled down the cliff, my hands began to shake. This was the opportunity of a lifetime. This was one of the big reasons I had come to New Zealand.
When I reached the river below, I called to John and he relayed to me the location of the fish. I selected my fly, and suffering from something similar to buck fever, I could barely tie it to the end of my line and tippet. I knew my first cast had to count, but the sheer size of this fish had given me casting amnesia. I wish I could say that I had elegantly presented the perfect fly, but my cast looked like it was the first time I had ever touched a fly rod. Aargh!!!
Was my dream fish gone? John said he was still there. So, I cast again. But this mammoth fish was not attracted to my fly. I cast again without success, and then added a nymph. I then tied on a different combination. I cast twice, but without success. I repeated the same process with almost every fly that I had in my small bikepacking box of flies. After an hour of casting to him, he did not flinch, and he did not feed upon my fly. I think New Zealand trout have Ph.D.’s in not being fooled. But this trout was not spooked. He was big and he was confident.
I climbed back up the cliff, and I conveyed to John that I hoped he was not disappointed. He told me that just seeing that fish was the highlight of his day. As we parted ways, I noticed it was getting dark. Had I really spent all day on such a short stretch of river? My journey along the Wairau on Rainbow was only at its beginning, and I was more than twenty miles from the designated backcountry campsite. I had no choice but to set up a clandestine camp hidden in the trees. I left no trace!
After setting up camp, and eating a peanut butter and honey sandwich, I heard the river call to me again. It was dark, but I was hoping my friend would finally be in the mood to eat what I was serving. Climbing down the cliff by headlamp was ten times more difficult than the during the day. One slip, and who would ever know where I had gone? I supposed John would know… when he heard the news of the missing bikepacking angler. It was a risk I had to take!
As the dark night bled with only the sound of rushing water from the run above my pool, it was a surreal experience as I contemplated what fly to use. I decided on a black leech, and my rod threw it effortlessly into the black pool. For a half hour I worked the river… Nothing!! Nothing, but frustration, as the sand flies where eating me alive. I turned on the red light of my headlamp to assess the damage these assassins had done. In the red light, I saw a caddis hatch beginning to come off the water. Nobody tried to sell me on a caddis fly when I was at the fly shop in Nelson. Why didn’t I buy a caddis fly? Ugh!!!
Then I remembered, my friend Crocket Sessions had pulled an emerging caddis fly from one of my boxes at home, and suggested I bring it with me. Fortunately, I listened. As I tied the caddis fly onto my tippet, I saw a trout sip one of the caddis off the water 30 feet in front of me. I cast my fly 3 feet in front of the rise and 2 feet to the right. Was it my dream trout? As the trout double-sipped my fly, I patiently set the hook. Bam!!! My reel exploded as my drag whirred in the cooling night air. I knew it was him. It could only be him!
For the next half hour we negotiated with one another in a style of give and take… He would take and I would give… He would give and I would take. He would dive and I would lift. He would jump and I would lower my rod tip down and to the side. I could hardly believe he had not spit out my tiny fly. My forearms were burning… and so was our resolve!
I have no idea how long we were struggling. I lost track of time in the darkness. And fortunately, he finally appeared to lose his fight. As I brought him close, I did not want to beach such a beautiful fish. I did not want to hurt him. I had no net, as I was touring on my mountain bike. I wanted to return him to the water better than I had found him, with even more knowledge of how not to be fooled. I wanted our struggle to be over. Yet, I wanted to pick him up and hold my dream trout. I had such mixed emotions. I wet one of my hands to handle him, and when I bent to to wet the other… with one last surge of energy, he spit my fly and swam back into the night. It was symbiotic – a win/win relationship!
The next morning, I thought it was raining. I had awoken to the sound of hundreds of sandflies popping inside against the rainfly of my tent. I wished it was raining. I still had the majority of the Rainbow Road to travel, but I fished all morning with only the bites of thousands of sand flies seeking to feast on my flesh. After lunch, I said enough is enough. I took off my fishing clothes, put on my cycling clothes, and raced 55 miles to Hanmer Springs with a few stop offs at the Island Gully Hut and Lake Tennyson (as they caught my curiosity and I had to see what they looked like).
My total distance on the Rainbow Road was 79.5 miles (including fishing and curiosity jaunts), with 6005 feet of total climbing according to the GPS. The second day of that journey was 62 miles with 4651 feet of climbing. It was another hard day of getting beat up by rocks and washboard roads, but I felt energized as I attacked the climbs and flew down the descents and over the flats. I even managed to break a spoke nipple doing it. Fortunately, I had a tailwind at my back as I rode into the sunset, and into the hamlet of Hanmer Springs, set up camp, and lifted a cold one in honor of my dream trout…
My verses for memorization and meditation on the Rainbow Road: “For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience” (Romans 8:22-25 ESV). I’ll let you connect the dots… 🙂
Today, I begin my journey riding the remote Rainbow Road. I will mountain bike from the Rainbow Ski Area near St. Arnaud to Hanmer Springs. There is no cell coverage on this 70 mile backcountry trail. I am not sure how long it will take me, as I plan to fly fish the Wairau River along the way. So it may be a few days until my next update. Until then, I will be bikepacking, fly fishing, eating locusts and wild honey (more like natural peanut butter and honey from the honey factory I toured yesterday), and living the life of adventure and exploration… See you in a few!
“It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them.” – Ernest Hemingway
And boy, oh boy, did I sweat up the hills and coast down them today. I rode solo, 72 miles, with 3623 feet of climbing into a headwind, from the beautiful beaches at Kaiteriteri to the gorgeous and quaint alpine community of St Arnaud. It was the most difficult day of the bike tour for me, even though I stopped briefly a couple of times to tour an off the beaten path sculpture garden and a honey factory.
I would call the day “voluntary suffering”, as I was beat by the ride and eaten by sand flies by the time I arrived at the campground in St Arnaud. However, it was a great day of riding and spending time with God, and sharing God’s love with others along the way, as I went from this…
I also enjoyed my supper with a couple of generous and lovely people from England, who shared watermelon and tea with me. Perhaps I looked a bit tired and pathetic with my one little can of stew and two pieces of bread. They were so generous to share. Meeting people from all over the world has been one of the highlights of my trip.
Going solo – Scott and I decided to go in different directions today during our final week in New Zealand. It gives us the freedom to explore and gain different experiences. I enjoy freedom!
Romans 8:20-21 states this joy of freedom in a different context, but reveals that God wants His creation to be free from the bondage of corruption and sin: “For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God.” I long for, and anticipate with trust, the day that I will be set free to fully reflect the glory of God. I long for the day when His creation will no longer suffer from the sickness that we see everyday throughout this world. I long for the day when all things will be made right, and His children will finally be set truly free. How are you looking forward to this day of redemption?