My family and I recently returned from our summer road trip through the Midwest and, along the way, I was reminded of some things about my faith, my family, and myself.

I was reminded that some friends are in it for life.

It had been 20 years since I had seen Chase and Melany. We attended college together in Illinois and, other than catching a glimpse of pictures on Facebook, haven’t seen each other since they tied the knot in 1994. I asked my wife, Julie, who had never met them, “What do you say to friends you haven’t seen in 20 years?” I found out that you just pick up where you left off. It’s neat how that happens. While a lot has changed in 20 years, with God at the center of our lives, it was effortless to reminisce, catch up, and share the joys and sorrows life has brought our way. It was Chuck Swindoll that said,

“I cannot even imagine where I would be today were it not for that handful of friends who have given me a heart full of joy. Let’s face it, friends make life a lot more fun.”

I was reminded that if the Bible says it, I believe it!

The reviews we heard about the Creation Museum, just west of Cincinnati in Petersburg, KY, were glowing. If you’ve not heard of it, the Creation Museum is a ministry of Ken Ham’s Answers in Genesis. (You might remember Ken from his recent public debate with Bill Nye “the Science Guy”.) This state-of-the-art 70,000 square foot museum brings the pages of the Bible to life. While we are a work in progress, when it comes to forming our opinions about history and even today’s headlines, the Sharp’s do our best to start with the Bible. Seeing Bible characters and animals in dynamic form and in familiar settings, like Adam and Eve live in the Garden of Eden and the serpent coiling cunningly in the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, strengthened our faith.

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” Genesis 1:1

I was reminded to have great resolve for what I believe God is calling me to do.

Growing up in Illinois, and having a late grand-father who was an officially licensed Abraham Lincoln impersonator, I was anxious to learn more about our nation’s 16th President at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield, IL. You’ll remember that Lincoln led the United States through its Civil War—its bloodiest war and its greatest moral, constitutional and political crisis. In so doing he preserved the Union, abolished slavery, strengthened the federal government, and modernized the economy. But, it wasn’t easy. “Honest Abe” knew the right thing to do and didn’t stop until it was accomplished. The Emancipation Proclamation reads, in part:

“And by virtue of the power, and for the purpose aforesaid, I do order and declare that all persons held as slaves within said designated States, and parts of States, are, and henceforward shall be free.”

I was reminded about the circle of life.

My parents are in their mid-to-upper 60’s, no, it’s not that time yet but I noticed that things are affecting them today that didn’t bother them in the past. Perhaps you know what I mean. Both retired, they continue to do well in my hometown of Sterling, IL but things just aren’t as easy for them as they used to be. I have great parents who raised me in a godly home and I’m forever grateful.

I am reminded that I am blessed.

In a world of turmoil and uncertainty, it is more important than ever to, after God, make our families the center of our lives and the top of our priorities. Family’s lie at the center of our Heavenly Father’s plan and the family is the most important unit of society. I am grateful that God has entrusted me with mine.

“But from everlasting to everlasting the Lord’s love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children’s children.” Psalm 103:17

We’re already thinking about next summer’s road trip! What would you suggest?

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