Vance Havner often said, “If we do not take time to come apart, we will come apart.” Terrie and I are thankful that we have been able to take some time away from the normal rigors and challenges of ministry and spend some time together as a family the last several days. Our oldest son Larry and his new wife Ashley stayed faithful here in the ministry at Lancaster Baptist, but we were able to take Kristine and Matthew and spend some time resting and relaxing with them. Our oldest daughter Danielle and her husband Peter were able to join us for a few days of our vacation as well. It is always such a blessing to spend time one-on-one with our family members, reminiscing about God’s goodness and enjoying time with one another.

family-vacationIt was a blessing to get some time of physical rest and do some fun things together as a family, like play board games and go miniature golfing. Personally, I always enjoy reading when we take family vacations. I was able to read about a dozen books on a variety of topics. The book I enjoyed the most this summer was a book entitled Amazing Grace. It was the life story of William Wilberforce, an English man who was used of God to help abolish the slave trade in England and throughout the British empire.

Wilberforce was a man who was not content with the dead orthodoxy in the church in England, and through his friendships with non-conformists (i.e. Baptists, John Wesley, etc) he was able to come to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. When he became a Christian, his view of the slave trade radically changed.

I was amazed to read of how John Newton, the author of Amazing Grace, encouraged Wilberforce as he made his fight through the British parliament to abolish slavery. The British poet Cowper wrote poems to aid in the process and even John Wesley wrote letters of encouragement to this man in his fight.

The chapter that described Wilberforce’s salvation was called “The Great Change.” It is my desire that through the ministry of Lancaster Baptist Church many lives will experience such a great change that they will affect the lives of others, even as Wilberforce’s life did.

I hope you will have some time this summer to come apart from the normal routine and spend some extra time reading God’s Word and perhaps some good books as well. Have a great day!

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