Relax, Recharge, & Revive

Anabelle is contemplating whether she likes the beach or not.

 Some of my favorite childhood memories revolve around our annual summer family vacations. My Dad has always been a very hard worker. I have never known him to have the regular “9 to 5” job. As far as I can remember, he’s always been the “go-to guy” wherever he worked. A great work ethic is defintely a trait my father has modeled before me. 

Because it seemed as if my Dad worked all the time, he always made sure that every summer we would spend time (away from work) as a family. It became a time that we looked forward to and when we got to our vacation spot, it was all play and no work for Dad. I love and cherish those times.
As a husband and a parent, I too have developed a habit of sorts when it comes to our vacation schedule. Because our ministry calendar is so predictable, it affords me the luxury of knowing exactly when to plan our vacations. Typically, vacation time for the Zarate family is between VBS and the Spiritual Leadership Conference in Lancaster, California. As a result, it becomes easier for us to vacation in California.
Last week, we were in Oxnard, California. Once again, my calling to be in Arizona was tested because of the cooler weather and relaxed atmosphere. We stayed at a beachside resort that had much to offer families. It was absolutely beautiful! We even had a chance to catch up with family (Brian, Anna, Cailyn, and Makynna Leversee). That was a bonus!
We played at the beach, in the pool, in the room, and at a park that was just a block away from the resort. I can still hear Anabelle’s giggle and Amy’s laughter. I pray that someday my family will look back at this time with fondness as I looked back at my vacation times as a child.
I love vacationing during this time for this reason, it is a sandwich event. Coming off of a busy ministry schedule really forces me to relax. Our life as a ministry family can be so fast paced that it’s good to just slow down and sometimes, even stop! I won’t lie to you, our idea of vacation is just to sit around and do nothing. If we feel like seeing an attraction, we will. But we don’t tie ourselves down to a schedule. For fifty-one weeks of the year, that’s how it is; and just for one week, we have no schedule. For the most part, we don’t even keep track of time!
Have you ever been on vacation and feel sluggish after you get back?Typically, our vacation ends when the Spiritual Leadership Conference begins and this conference snaps me out of the vacation mode. Let me pause here to make a pitch – if you can, you should attend this conference. I have never been to a conference that seeks to serve its delegates as much the people of Lancaster Baptist Church does. Most conferences want to promote their agendas, their philosophies, and their products. At the Spiritual Leadership Conference, it’s all about how they can help your ministry reach its fullest potential for Christ. The products they do promote, they are pretty much giving away! And it is during this time that I snap out of the relaxed mode and start the recharging process.
As a ministry leader, I need to keep myself sharp. It’s amazing that so often in ministry, we try to improve everyone else and forget about ourselves. Paul said it best when he told Timothy to “take heed unto thyself.” I love this conference because it helps me become a better ministry worker for Christ. The sessions, the preaching, and the fellowship truly elevates me to the next level of my spiritual growth.
I’m looking forward to the sessions, the preaching, and the fellowship the Spiritual Leadership Conference provides. I am praying that God would work in my life. I am praying that because of what God will do in my  heart in the next few days, many more souls can be brought to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. And it is when I seek His face and seek souls as Christ sought my soul that I feel the closest to Him. And that, my friend, is true revival

"That wave looks scary, Daddy!"



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