Great Weekend!

I had a terrific weekend in the Bay Area. It was really great spending time with friends and catching up. Everyone was a huge encouragement to me. The retreat was a lot of fun. The campground is stunning. I love being around redwoods. That has to be God's favorite tree. At Redwood Christian Park there is this one truly incredible spot. It's a little out door meeting area. There's a small stage and some simple benches. There's also a simple wooden cross nailed to a tree behind the stage. The things that makes this spot so special is that it sits in the middle of a small circle of redwoods. The trees are pretty close together so they form a natural cathedral. They shoot 70-80 feet into the air (or more) and the top branches criss-cross with each other forming a kind of God-made fresca. It's one of the most beautiful spots on the planet.

I had a blast preaching at the retreat. I spoke on discipleship and used a poker theme. The theme was All In: Are You Willing to Risk it All? My messages were:
  • All In: Am I a Disciple?
  • The Flop: A Life Without Accountability
  • The Turn: The Priorities of a Disciple
  • The River: Making Disciples (with an emphasis on discipling your family)

One of my favorite parts of the trip was my quick tour of restaurants. Before the retreat started I tried to hit as many of my favorite spots as possible. I landed around noon on Thursday and had:

  • Lunch at In-n-Out in Pinole (my all-time favorite burger joint)
  • Afternoon Snack at Noah's Bagels in Pinole (Asiago Cheese Bagel w/Sun-dried Tomato Shmeer & Plain Bagel w/Pumpkin Shmeer)
  • Dinner at Hunan Villa in San Pablo (my all-time favorite Chinese restaurant)
  • Evening Snack at Central Perk in El Cerrito (This one was new to me, but I loved it. Coffee shop with wall-to-wall pop-culture memorabilia. Very kitsch.)
  • Breakfast at Cafe Soleil in El Sobrante (Best breakfast in El Sob. I had an omelette that included avocado. I was surprised how much I liked it)
  • Lunch at Chevy's in San Pablo (Decent Mexican food. They call it Fresh Mex. But I really love the little pile of smashed up sweet corn they put on your plate - yummy.)

Anyway, it was a great time!

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