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Life Notes—August 22, 2013 

  “And whenever you pray, do not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, so that they may be seen by others.  Truly I tell you, they have received their reward.”  Matthew 6:5

Many families take an annual vacation.  It is an opportunity to get away from the daily routines of work and home.  Vacations provide time for rest, relaxation, and renewal.  My family tries to take a summer vacation each year, but it is not always easy.  There have been lean years, financially, where the cost of an extended vacation was out of the question.  As our children have grown the larger problem has become matching schedules.  Some years the best we can do is a long weekend together.  Even a long weekend together is better than no vacation at all.

As the costs of travel continue to increase, the idea of a stay-cation has become popular.  When a family stays home, or opts for a short trip near home, they experience a stay-cation.  Among the typical benefits are less cost and easier scheduling.  Done well, a stay-cation brings a measure of the rest, relaxation and renewal a vacation is intended to accomplish.  Upon returning from a well-orchestrated break, we face our daily routines with revitalized energy and enthusiasm.

Of course, vacations can create more stress than they relieve.  Sometimes families spend more money than they should, or the work involved in making the vacation happen is not shared equally. When internal strife builds from too much time, too much togetherness, or too much money, the best part of the vacation is when it ends.

When our underlying need is for a break in our routine, there is another possibility.  It costs nothing.  It is easy to schedule, even with little or no preplanning.  There are no lines and there is no traffic.   It is a pray-cation.  A pray-cation is time with God.  It can occur in the car, at a workstation, while washing dishes, or anytime the need occurs.  It can last a few seconds or extend over days and weeks.  A pray-cation can be taken alone, or with family and friends.  There is no matching of schedules or reservations to make. God is available 24/7.  There will be no comparisons with extended family members or co-workers over the quality of your most recent pray-cation.  It is not a competition.  It is a time of rest, relaxation and renewal.  It is a break from routine.  A pray-cation prepares us to meet life’s challenges with new energy and enthusiasm.

Tom will be preaching downtown where Life worship is at 10:00 in Brady Hall and traditional worship is at 8:30 and 11:00 in the sanctuary.  Mitch is preaching at the west campus where contemporary worship is at 9:00 and 11:00.

Come home to church this Sunday.  Take a pray-cation with us.

Greg Hildenbrand, Life Music Coordinator

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