In the almost 11 months since the storm I’ve only taken a couple of days off. Heading up a disaster relief effort of this magnitude requires constant vigilance and attention. Hosting, housing, feeding, and directing thousands of volunteers, fighting to provide the essential needs of an entire community, putting on multiple vacation bible schools, planning and implementing community wide events, rehabbing over 50 houses, rebuilding houses from the ground up, stocking, staffing, and running a food distribution center that sees 400+ people a day and has given out millions of dollars worth of goods, maintaining a blog, keeping a church going amidst the controlled chaos, performing weddings and funerals, preaching twice a week, counseling the distressed, and making plans for the future leaves me reluctant to take any time off.
I hate to walk away from Lakeshore, but for the sake of my family I finally surrendered to a vacation. After church this morning my wife and kids will head toward Gatlinburg Tennessee for the week.
In addition to trying to catch up on some sleep, spending time with my family, and taking in the sites of Gatlinburg, I hope to make time to get in some much desired reading. Sleeping in your office amid eager volunteers means you have to wake-up, shower, and prepare for the day mighty early. With my sun-up to way past sun-down schedule, I’ve only been able to squeeze in reading before 5:00 am. In the last several months I’ve only had time to read a hand full of books. I’ve read:
- Today’s Gospel by Walter Chantry
- The Doctrines of Grace by James Boice and Phil Ryken
- Sex, Romance, and the Glory of God by C. J. Mahaney
- This Little Church Went to Market by Gary Gilley
- The Invitation System by Ian Murray
- Ready for Reformation by Tom Nettles
- Stop Dating the Church by Josh Harris
I’ve never been to Gatlinburg. Taking a trip with no plans of what to do and see there goes against my nature. My wife booked us a room and we have the google map directions printed out. That’s about it. After the service we will head that direction. Lord willing we will breathe mountain air before nightfall and wake up tomorrow morning to His refreshing mercies.