Brushy Creek Baptist Church, Taylors, South Carolina

We love getting to share the good news of Jesus across the globe for Celebrate Recovery. I have to say, though, the travel part of it isn’t so glamorous as some may think.

This year so far out of 80 flights we’ve had only 4 that weren’t delayed or cancelled. My heart skips a beat when we receive an alert that our flight is delayed or worse, cancelled.  Lost luggage.  Eating on the go.  Grumpy people.  Weather alerts.  News monitors everywhere proclaiming bad news. 

I reminded myself of the verse I had written down recently: “They do not fear bad news; they confidently trust the Lord to care for them.”  (Ps. 112:7 NLT) So what do you do? You can worry, get angry or pray and praise God. I choose the latter.

Then here we go again: Yesterday, 2 delays in Dallas. We finally made it home last night. I opened my suitcase. Everything was wet. I had packed a brand new large bottle of shampoo. I didn’t take the time while packing to pour some in a small bottle. In the high altitude, the top popped open!

I always take my own comfy pillow with me. It was soaked through. So I put the pillow in the washing machine along with the wet clothes. As I was wiping my suitcase down with multiple washcloths, I heard a loud banging.

Sounded like the washing machine was going to bust through the wall! Mac & I both ran to the laundry room. The washing machine was sideways from the imbalance in the washer.

We had just done a talk on Anger at the CR training event the day before. Both of us looked at each other and wanted to blame each other for something!  Blame stands for Be Lame. Instead, we admitted we both were tired. We needed to keep our mouths shut and go to bed. Tomorrow would be a new day.

I woke up this morning with a grateful, rested heart after a good night’s sleep. We are so blessed in what we get to do through Celebrate Recovery.

We got to share with 500+ people in South Carolina last weekend hearing story after story of changed lives. We wouldn’t know any of those people if God didn’t bring CR to our family. We wouldn’t know the Bakers, the National Team, State Reps, Broken Chains members or church leaders from all different denominations if not for God’s plan in each of our lives.

We don’t have to travel by ship or walk on a dusty road like our forever family did in Bible times. We also have technology to talk face to face, even though we live thousands of miles apart when we need to plan future events. “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11 NIV)

I have to close with a funny memory while thinking about my drenched suitcase…at least my suitcase smelled good. 

Once we were traveling to Canada for CR. We told a friend, Marnie, how liquid smoke was good to splash on food on the grill. She had never heard of it. I wanted to surprise Marnie by bringing her 2 bottles to Canada.

My suitcase was jam-packed. So I told Mac I was putting the liquid smoke in his suitcase.  I didn’t think to put it in a Ziploc bag, oops!

When we were unpacking our suitcases at the Canadian hotel, you know the rest of the story, right?!! Mac’s suitcase, all the contents in it and our hotel room, smelled like a barbecue pit! We laughed all weekend calling Mac, “Smokey.”

Lesson learned: order liquid smoke through Amazon to send to a friend or use a Ziploc bag. Also, no matter what happens while traveling, we want to smell sweet to God and one another.
“Live your life with love, following the example of Christ, who loved us and gave himself for us. He was a sacrificial offering that smelled sweet to God.” (Ephesians 5:2 CEB)