What a blessing to spend almost four full days in Vail, Colorado. Amy and I took in our first Acts 29 Planters' Retreat. It was amazing. We stayed in the Vail Cascade Resort, which was beautiful. Everything was totally free, paid for by the kind people at Mars Hill Church (lodging and food). Our friends at The Journey also covered our flights. We can't begin to express our gratitude. The featured guests for the week were Gary and Betsy Ricucci of Covenant Life Church of Gaithersburg, Maryland. They are authors of the helpful book entitled, Love That Lasts: When Marriage Meets Grace. We have had the opportunity to use it in premarital counseling, and it's super. Their humble, loving words were challenging, yet encouraging. I can't wait to go through the old Moleskine and ponder the things they shared. But here's the beauty of the retreat: although I could benefited from hours of their teaching, they only did two sessions, one each on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings. That gave us each afternoon and evening totally free, although one evening was spent in bulk hanging out Midwest Region A29 planters, which was very encouraging. We had a blast, doing some hiking, riding the chair-lift at Beaver Creek (where Cru pals, we oddly ran into Matt and Liz Thiessen!), doing some shopping, and just enjoying being with each other. It was truly a retreat. We love our kids dearly, but Grandpa and Grandma Larson kept them, and that was fabulous for us. Mark Driscoll addressed us on the final morning and shared steps to personal renewal. It was great to interact with him a bit. Despite the fact he's near rock-star status, selling out arenas in Australia, he is loving, humble, and completely down-to-earth.
Thanks to Mark and the other A29 pals for a fabulous week. I'm so encouraged to be back in Columbia working in the coolest city with the greatest group of Christians ever. Praise God from whom all blessings flow.