This weekend my family got a rare opportunity to take a weekend and get out of town. Thanks to Rodney Hunt, Small Groups Pastor at WestRidge Church for filling in for me and kicking off our Entourage series. He did a great job! Thanks too to Jerry and Wendell for holding down the fort. Thanks to all of you Ridgers who volunteer so faithfully…especially on weekends when we are short-handed.
Labor Day weekend is always a “low” Sunday attendance-wise, but it wasn’t as low as we thought it might be. Heck, when the Whipple’s are gone, there’s a significant drop in average attendance! 🙂 Giving was actually pretty good and we are thanking Jehovah Jireh for His provision and meeting our needs in order for us to continue doing what He is calling us to do. Looking forward, now that summer is “officially” over, to getting back into full swing for the fall! College football has started. NFL starts this week. Temperatures and humidity are down a bit. Life is good! Fall is upon us! God’s beautiful canvas of color will soon appear before our eyes!
That was very evident to us as we traveled up to “God’s Country” in East Tennessee. At the invitation of a good friend who lives and works there, we went to Pigeon Forge for the weekend. We drove up to Toccoa Falls College (in N. Ga.) and picked up our college-girl and made our way through the mountains late Friday night. We got there pretty late (almost midnight) because we had a late start getting away from home. Our van had been in the shop all week and it took WAY longer to fix than it should have. We didn’t get it out of the shop until late Friday afternoon. That was quite a headache, but that’s another blog. 🙂
Our friend graciously hosted us in her home and was able to get us into Dixie Stampede and Dollywood. We had a great time. We were able to go up to Cades Cove up in the Great Smokey Mountains National Park for a picnic on Saturday afternoon too. We are thankful for the blessing God provided for our family. We realized that it was only the second time our entire family has been to an amusement park together (the last time was 2 kids ago!).
I am thankful for the mental rest, the emotional refueling, the family time together (even if it was just a couple of days away). I’m thankful to a church that cares about my family and is a blessing and allows us needed time away. I’m thankful for our team who doesn’t miss a beat when I’m away. I’m thankful for friends like Rodney who are willing to come and teach. I’m thankful that God has blessed me beyond what I deserve.
I am so excited about what God is doing and is going to do @ The Ridge this year! There is a renewed excitement in the air! There is an anticipation of God doing something miraculous in our midst! I truly believe that and I am refueled by His Spirit! I can’t wait to see what’s next. Ridgers, hold on to your forks, cuz something “sweet” is around the corner!
Here are a few pics of our weekend: