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Recently, Carolyn and I had the opportunity for a fast trip to Arizona to vist our son Mike and his wife Vanessa, in Gilbert near Phoenix. It had been almost two years since we were in Phoenix to see them there the first time — which was way too long. Seasonably warm temperatures at this time of year were a delightful contrast to the wintery conditions of home in Prince George. And the scenic drive from Phoenix to Sedona and Flagstaff offered and inspiring study in the 5000 ft. elevation difference between desert and pine forest.

We enjoyed the travel together to and from Phoenix because it gave us time to share with one another in some new and exciting surroundings. Phoenix itself is a prosperous and beautiful city with many new and interesting expressions of local art and architecture. Yet at the same time, one senses that the city is spiritully dry and thirsty much like the desert in which it exists.

By far, the best part of our time away, was the blessedness of sharing time with Mike and Vanessa. Like the affect of the Arizona sun, their love and hospitality warmed our hearts. And being with family like that reminded us again how important it is to love and to be loved — to be part of a close community in which people are able to open their hearts in love and trust to one another.

This short time away to Arizona renewed our appreciation for the importance of family and community. And in the absence of family living near by, it showed us again the tremendous importance of experiencing love and friendship in a church community where we all live. God didn’t make us to live alone. He made us for Himself and for one another. Life is rich in the knowledge that one is loved and able to share love with others nearby.

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