A HUGE thanks goes out to the anonymous folks at C4 who gave us a cruise for our 25th wedding anniversary.  I told Ronda, our admin, that I was probably more relaxed after a few days into the sail than I’ve been in 10 years or so. It was a good time to decompress and just celebrate our marriage commitment and also God’s creation.  For those who live in the Houston area; the ocean water really does turn blue once you get a few miles out from Galveston.  It was incredible to see and experience the colors of the sea, sky, greenery and animals of Cozumel and Progreso.

But beyond that, it was amazing to see the international makeup of the crew on the ship that carried us on our anniversary adventure.  I had heard of cruises like this before.  The complement of the crew was comprised of people from all over the world. Western and Eastern European nations.  Russia and Slavic nations.  People from the UK, Australia, and South Africa.  Countries from Asia, South America, and other were all represented.

Some very special new friends we met were:  Fred from the Philippians who worked as our cabin steward and has served on the ship for 12 years.  We were able to see Fred’s faith almost immediately.  It was exhilarating being able to talk with Irena in Russian as; well, she’s from Russia. We were able to connect with Irena on a special level because of our time living in Moscow where her family lives just outside the city.  There was Simona from Croatia whom we talked with in the Olympic Gold Dining room each evening and laughed with.  LOT’S of fun meeting Nichole from the UK. Yes, Nichole, you’ve probably got me talked into getting one of those weird bamboo massages sometime in the future.  I truly hope to meet each of these four beautiful people again.  It was just an amazing time being in God’s creation and being with different people from all over God’s earth that He made.

Many times I was reminded of Revelation 7:9-10 where the apostle Paul speaks of “a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne” in the future fulfillment of the Kingdom of God.  What we experienced this past week is just a small taste of God’s design and the fact that the Kingdom of Heaven is not a geographical state, but rather the rule of Jesus in the hearts and minds of any and everyone who have and will follow him. Someday, when Christ comes back and all things come to an end, we have that promise of God’s reconciliation of everything.  We have the promise of a new heaven and new earth where people from all races, ethnics, and backgrounds who have given their hearts to Christ will be united in the love of Jesus.

The beauty of God’s creation and the beauty of God’s created people? That is definitely something that excites me. For Fred, Irena, Simona, and Nichole; thank you SO much for your work, time, and new friendships. I truly hope to see you again someday. Beyond that, I hope to see you in the fulfilled Kingdom of Heaven on the other side.

For all of us, where is your most favorite place in God’s creation? Lake Tahoe in Nor Cal is one of my top picks.