Tag Archives: vacation

In-N-Out: My Weekend In San Diego

On June 30th I experienced the best fast food burger I’d ever eaten.  I went to In-N-Out Burger for the first time.  It was as good as advertised and well worth the 28 year wait.  Plus, eating at the burger joint, which has a much deserved cult like following, capped off an extremely great weekend.

The day before, I stumbled out of bed in Colorado, a perfect state to live in, save for the lack of In-N-Out Burgers, and boarded a plane at an unhealthy hour of 6:00-am for San Diego.

The real reason for my early flight was a wedding.  My good friend RJ was to be married on the beach behind the Catamaran Resort.  RJ and I were in a men’s life group in college called Rootz (The spelling is still being argued over).  Over the years our friendship deepened over our love of sports (I have to constantly forgive him for being a Patriots fan) and adventures.  Our friendship grew stronger when I moved to Guatemala.

No, RJ didn’t ever visit, he was too busy trying to find his life’s calling here in the states, and I don’t blame him, because if he hadn’t, he never would have met his future wife.  No, RJ was one of the few from Rootz who stayed in contact with me while I was in Guatemala.  His commitment to the friendship meant a ton to me, and so when I received the invitation to his wedding in the mail, I knew I needed to be there.

His wedding was at 3-pm on Friday, June 29th, the same day as my early flight.  I would’ve loved to have spent more time in San Diego, but on my meager budget I could only afford one night.  I boarded my plane in hot Colorado, leaving the horrible forest fires behind, and half a morning later I walked out of the San Diego Airport.  The clear blue sky and 70 degree temperature instantly made me love the city.

Around 2-pm I started making my way to the Catamaran Hotel with my friend Rob.  We’d decided to walk over to the wedding, only a three mile walk, which is nothing when the sky is clear blue sky and cool breeze comforts you along the way.  Walking is also a plus because Rob found a 20 dollar bill along the way.  My discovery wasn’t as cool, but when I saw that one of the wedding guests was wearing sandals I was ecstatic!  Without hesitation I peeled off my hot dress shoes and slid on my sandals.

The wedding was beautiful.  RJ and his wife, Andrea, couldn’t have asked for a better day.  Andrea was gorgeous and RJ looked stellar.  But I think the wedding could’ve been in bland Wichita (my apologies go out to Marinés, my only friend who lives in the little Kansas town) and I still would have been thrilled to be there.  Yes, it was a blast to dance the night away, to take a ferry across Mission Bay at midnight, but nothing compared to being there for my friend.

I wanted to be at the wedding to let RJ know I supported him and Andrea and that I would be praying for them as they took the next step in their lives.

I haven’t been able to attend all of the weddings that I’ve been invited to, but as I danced, ate, and spent a little time talking to RJ, I knew this was the best way I could say thank you for being my friend.

I believe strongly in staying connected with people.  Sometimes it takes only a phone call and sometimes it takes a plane ride.  I guess that’s why I went to the wedding, but it’s also why I went to In-N-Out Burger.  The day after the wedding, after a great breakfast with RJ and Andrea, I met up with another friend who lives in San Diego.   Kasey and I had worked together in Guatemala.  We hadn’t talked in almost a year, since we’d both moved back, but as we ate, our friendship felt instantly renewed.

Maybe that’s what having a Dr Pepper, animal style french fries, and a burger with special sauce will do.  Or maybe that’s what happens when you reach out to your friends.  After we ate our burgers Kasey drove me back to the airport.  I was exhausted.  My trip to San Diego truly had been in and out, but even though it was so quick, it was very much worth it.

For me, even a quick trip is worth reconnecting with friends and showing them that you care about them.  I mean if we didn’t have friends and family, who would we love and be loved by?  Or more importantly who would take us to In-N-Out Burger?


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March is National Frozen Food Month

Frozen Food Month?  Doesn’t that make you want to go out and celebrate?  Let’s all say, “Amen” for Frozen Food!  Some cooking impaired guy like me must have come up with that idea.  Worse yet, according to national calendars, March 19 has as its only distinction (my apologies to all of you celebrating birthdays today) that the swallows of San Juan Capistrano may or may not return to that island today.

Do you mean to tell me that God has avoided doing fun, meaningful, or cool stuff in March?  Not according to today’s readings.  God is always active and wants us to take notice and then remember and celebrate his actions.

For the second day in a row, Rev. Eugene Scott is acting in my stead as guest blogger…and doing a great job. Thanks Eugene.


Numbers 28:16-29:40
Luke 3:23-38
Psalm 62:1-12
Proverbs 11:18-19


Numbers 28:16-29:40. God seems to love a good party.  This passage is God’s instruction for Israel (and us) to plan festivals and holidays in order to draw near to and remember him.  But these parties are not just for our benefit.  The phrase “an aroma pleasing to God” refers to the smoke from the offerings (think of a barbeque) ascending to heaven which brings God joy.  The book of Revelation then points to this picture and says the smoke refers to our prayers (Revelation 5:8, 8:3).  God enjoys our prayerful, celebratory interaction with him.

Luke 3:23-38. This passage is more than a cosmic version of trivial pursuit.  God wants us to know that through the names of the generations, Jesus’ life and death and resurrection were planned from the very beginning and it holds meaning for all humanity.

Psalm 62:1-12. Some scholars believe the word “selah” means something like “God, make it so” and that the people in worship then raised their arms forming a “v” that would funnel their request to God into their beings.  So they were asking God to be their all in all and then receiving it from him.

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Canadians typically use the word “holiday” rather than “vacation” for the time they spend away from work, say at the beach.  In his book “Your God Is Too Safe,” Canadian Mark Buchanan says these two words, depending on which you use, reveal how many of us view special seasons and events in our lives.  The word “holiday,” Buchanan says, means to remember to make a day special or holy, while “vacation” means almost the opposite in that it has as its root “to vacate” or “make empty.”  One holds the idea of adding meaning and the other subtracting.

Since reading that, I have begun calling my time away (say at the beach!) a holiday, with the intention of recognizing God and his love, grace, provision, and presence.  I want my time away to add meaning rather than just to vacate the stress of work and daily life.

Now, before I go on holiday, I often ask God to help me see him in the landscape, people, events, and day-to-day happenings of that holiday.  I also take my journal to record his answers.  It has made even the most mundane trip richer.

Today’s reading in Numbers seems to show that we as humans have a tough time remembering to commemorate the significance of daily life and daily interaction with God.  We vacate far easier than we “add to.”  Therefore God tells us to place holy days, with complicated rites, into our schedules.  Then in so doing maybe we can better “find rest in God alone” as Psalm 62 proclaims.


  1. What did you see and hear in today’s reading?
  2. Did you see any links between these four readings?
  3. What holidays mean the most to you and why?
  4. When do you best rest in God?

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Michael co-pastors The Neighborhood Church in Littleton, Colorado.

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