This season was the busiest in recent memory. Our church just began building an addition to our facility. Though excited about breaking ground, I sensed the construction was adding bricks to a growing wall between my family and me.

My wife, Cheryl, and I lamented how detached our family had become. The kids filled their days in the isolated world of television. And the growing numbers of people at church were tyrannizing my calendar. A new youth pastor, youth camps, additions to buildings, new member classes, Bible studies, discipleship, visits … aaaahh!

I decided we needed to get away—to rescue our ministry from burnout and to retrieve our marriage from strain. We took our Sunday evening through Monday evening "day off" and journeyed to Willow Creek—the one in Beaverhead National Forest, not the one in Illinois. A day and a half to find our sense of family again. No phones, no computers, no people, and no TV.

S'more family time

The first indication of the Lord's blessing on our trip was our ...

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