“Aloha” – I found out is both a greeting and a salutation. And in this case, I’m back and it is good-bye to Hawaii. We had a great time. While gone, I was spoke at a Pastors Conference for churches of 1000+ in attendance. Bob Russell, the Senior Pastor of Southeast Christian Church was the other featured speaker. I made some good connections at this conference and also have some stuff I want to share with you over the next few days. After the conference was over Sue and I spent the next four days hanging out in Maui and celebrating our anniversary. This pic is of us at a luau in Lahina.
We flew into Honolulu the week before the Pro Bowl. While we were waiting in line for our rent-a-car I noticed people surrounding a couple other guys in line asking for their autographs. Turned out that one of them was Cato June a Pro Bowl linebacker for the Indianapolis Colts. So I walked over and got an autograph for my youngest son, Caleb. Then I turn around and realize standing right behind me is Jeff Saturday, a Pro Bowl lineman who also plays for the Indianapolis Colts. So I asked him for an autograph for my oldest son, Josh. What was cool about Jeff Saturday was he signed it “God bless”. So I asked him, “Are you a believer?” And without hesitation he responded, “Absolutely!” I got the strong impression that if I had given him half a chance that he would have given me his testimony on the spot. Kinda Cool! And along with the Pro Bowlers also came the Pro Bowl cheerleaders!?! I’m afraid to even ask what it takes to become a Pro Bowl cheerleader. But guess who was staying at the same hotel as us? Here is a pic (that Sue took!) of the cheerleaders modeling for a photo shoot around the pool. Notice right behind the girls is green canopy. This was a concession stand and there was a guy working there and as I’m walking by he says, “tough job, but somebody has got to do it!” Obvious line, but still funny. Well, I have already gone on too long about our time in Honolulu and we did do more than just get autographs. We went snorkeling at Hanama Bay – that was awesome! We took pics with a cheap waterproof camera, but we haven’t developed any yet – so use your imagination.
We spent the next three days in Kauai at the Pastors conference. The place we stayed was great! I did get in a round of golf and that was fun. The people at the conference were an exceptional group. But I’ll save comments on that for a post in the next few days.
Then we flew to Maui for the last four days. I loved Maui! One of the highlights was going out on a whale watch. We were there during the peak season for whale watching. During the months of January thru March the humpback whales return to the Hawaiian waters for mating season. We must have seen at least thirty whales while we were out on the boat. This is a pic that Sue took while we were out. When they poke their heads out like this it is called a “spy hop”. I wasn’t that pumped about going out on a whale watch, but I have to say it was a really cool experience.
Another highlight of our stay in Maui was the road to Hana. This 52 mile trip took us over 8 hours to complete. Why? There were 617 curves and 56 bridges. Along the way were some tremendous waterfalls. Here is one of them. I don’t think this pic does it justice. It was while we were in Maui that we did a luau – great food and good entertainment. We ate at some fantastic restaurants and hit a few other cool sights. We took in a lot of sun and found a some time to read and listen to God.
One of the guys on staff asked me if I God told me anything while I was gone. I told him “not really…nothing real big.” But the question got me thinking. And I think God reminded me that I need to create more space in my life to feel. Most of the time my life is just crammed with events, meetings, speaking etc. And most of those events, meeting and speaking engagements are important and great opportunities for difference-making. But when my life is that full I don’t have the time to really feel. I speak about important topics, but may not feel it in my gut. I dedicate time and energy to my kids, but I may not feel as passionate about them as I could. Same with Sue. I am committed to loving her the best I can, but when you are just hustling from event to event your emotions can become numb. Just a few days away have allowed me the space to feel again. And that feels good.
Enough. If you are planning a trip to Hawaii and want some recommendations – I’m ready to give my opinion. “Aloha”.