I wanted to make this a quick post. We got back a couple days ago from vacation. I think my mind is still blown because it was just SO good, so much fun. Literally one of the best vacations we’ve ever had. We went to Disney World. It was just incredible.

I don’t know though, it was so good that there was one evening right after we had come back from Animal Kingdom. The family was asleep and I had this anecdote pop into my head from one of John Eldredge’s books. John was in Oregon looking at some land and daydreaming about building a ranch there. It was like his Eden. He loved it. Out of nowhere he had this thought pop out his heart, “I think I could be happy here without God.” And I remember that night looking out at the palm trees from our bedroom window and had that thought. It was then I realized this vacation has to come to a conclusion. 

I was reminded of Proverbs 30:8-9,

Keep falsehood and lies far from me;
    give me neither poverty nor riches,
    but give me only my daily bread.
Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you
    and say, ‘Who is the Lord?’
Or I may become poor and steal,
    and so dishonor the name of my God.

I had to come back. We had to come back. God loves to give us good gifts. He really does. One of my favorite I love you gifts Jesus has given me was on vacation when I got to actually go up on stage during the Indiana Jones show at Hollywood Studios and be an extra in the cast in front of hundreds of people while Indiana Jones beat up Nazis in 1930s Cairo (that’s me above on stage! So fun!!). Indiana Jones has always been one of my favorite movies. Nobody can take a punch like Harrison Ford can! Well, nobody other than Jesus.

But we had to come back. Real life is not when you get back from vacation. I hate that phrase “Back to real life” that many a person has uttered after coming back from vacation. Real life… God intended our lives in Eden to not be one of where we earn our bread by the sweat of our brow. But we live in a fallen world. And so we must do just that. We also live in a world at war. One where the kingdom of Satan fights tooth and nail against the Kingdom of Heaven for the hearts of the children of men. A war that will have repercussions across eternity. Now is not the time to go on vacation for the rest of our time on Earth. Vacations are great, but not ones that last for years and years.

I can’t wait to go back. I’m so blessed that my sweet family and I got such a great taste of Eden in our vacation. But I’m ready to be back, to pursue God every second of my life and to love my neighbors as myself.

Blessings my sisters and brothers!

Hope you are having a wonderful week! God painted such a lovely sunset over my home this evening. Hope your evening (or morning or afternoon) is lovely too!


A beautiful sunet from my office



8 thoughts on “Landing

  1. “One where the kingdom of Satan fights tooth and nail against the Kingdom of Heaven for the hearts of the children of men.”— this battle is real, and I’ve been feeling it with my teen far away… powerful post! Thanks!!!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. A really good post Joel. I love it.
    Just one question though: How do you teach a child that this “real world” is a good place to live in? That good times has to come to an end because what we already have is good… because honestly, I sometimes wonder if the world we live in is good at all. Well, it isn’t… so, again – how to teach a child who is “too good for this world and for her own good” that this is the world we have to be grateful in (not for perhaps, but in).
    Sorry – I’m not in the best place right now and am struggling with this exact question.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hey Lene, I think I see what you are getting at. I like to do a blend of it for my kids. So on the one hand, yes there are many good things in the world that God created and we want to help our kids to become involved in and attracted to. It’s Philippians 4:8. On the other hand, we want them to have a certain amount of detachment from this world in their heart’s desires. They need to know this is a turbulent world and truly what they desire in their hearts can only be fulfilled in Jesus, and most of that will happen once we are home with him. This is Ecclesiasties 3:11, God has set eternity in the hearts of men. It’s Psalm 37:4, it’s Romans 8:18-30, it’s 2 Peter 3:10-13. And our role in this world is is a blend of longing for life to come and fighting for his Kingdom here, while falling deeper in love with him aren’t being one with his believers. And then packaging all that at age appropriate level that the child would understand.

      Does that make sense or align with what you were asking originally? I’m sorry your struggling here friend! I hope that helped, let me know or push back if you feel I’m off base here!


  3. Joel, never forget that’s where we’re headed too, not just where we’ve come from. The real vacation (Sabbath) is coming, so hang in there! These “mini-vacations” serve to remind us that something even better awaits us. Whooohooo!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Matt! Yes, amen to this! Big amen to this! We have to let the mini vacations point us to what is waiting for us when we come home to Jesus.

      Hope you are well and drinking good coffee!

      Liked by 1 person

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