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I’ve spent the past month having a stranger call me “Dad.” We had an exchange student from Japan spend a month with us as part of a 4-H program. It was a good experience, but wore us out a bit. He went with us on a family vacation, to the beach, a day trip to Washington, D. C., to a baseball game, on guys’ night out. Whatever we did, he was there with us. Sometimes he was with us more than our own kids.

It was odd to have him call me “Dad.” He was instructed to do whatever his host sibling did. I don’t know if calling me “Dad” was part of that or not. Maybe he wasn’t sure what else to call me. He quickly became a part of the family. His last day here, he asked my wife if he could come back to this home. She said, “Yes.” I said, “Great! Now we’re gonna have him come back and spend four years of college with us.” We’ll see.

I found this quote helpful.

“Sometimes we experience a terrible dryness in our spiritual life. We feel no desire to pray, don’t experience God’s presence, get bored with worship services, and even think that everything we ever believed about God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit is little more than a childhood fairy tale.

“Then it is important to realise that most of these feelings and thoughts are just feelings and thoughts, and that the Spirit of God dwells beyond our feelings and thoughts. It is a great grace to be able to experience God’s presence in our feelings and thoughts, but when we don’t, it does not mean that God is absent. It often means that God is calling us to a greater faithfulness. It is precisely in times of spiritual dryness that we must hold on to our spiritual discipline so that we can grow into new intimacy with God.”

We’ve been living in a whirlwind lately. A couple of weeks ago we picked up a visiting international student from Japan. It’s part of a 4-H exchane program. It’s been a good experience, but we’ve been keeping really busy. We picked him up on a Saturday and the next day, after church, we headed for a family vacation in Gatlinburg. We spent the week in National parks, splash country, and various other vacation activities (Dixie Stampede, horseback riding, swimming, gem mining, strolling Gatlinburg).

Since we’ve been back, we’ve kept up a comparable schedule. There have been concerts in the park, shopping, karate, and 4-H, along with the typical schedule of life. Tomorrow we head for D. C. for a day of sight seeing. We only have about 10 days left on his visit. If the first half of the visit is any indication, it will go very quickly.

I was contacted last week about the possibility of teaching Weekend College at PCC again. I’ve missed teaching. I had called the person earlier in the year to see if it was a possibility and received a rejection. I thought, “Enrollment is up. They only offer on section of Old Testament and one of New Testament. Maybe they could offer another section of each. It wouldn’t even have to be in Weekend College.” The person didn’t seem to think they would need me and didn’t want to bother.

I had stopped teaching because the schedule of teaching every weekend had become a burden. I was missing my kids’ games at different sporting events and several activities from church. After this semester I will see about turning these classes into hybrid classes. Hybrid classes are a combination of in-class and on-line. I can’t picture how to do the entire class on-line at this point, but I can see doing some of it that way. If it was entirely on-line I think I would miss the interaction with the students.

We’re actually coming at this offering a bit late. We’re not sure if the classes will make. I will find out in the next few weeks.