2010-10-16 16.49.39 I am back from a blogabbatical – defined as a short sabbatical from blogging. I felt it important to give my wife of 10 years my full attention on our 10-year-anniversary trip to the Bay Area. It took us about 6 weeks from our actual anniversary to get a trip on the docket that also provided for capable grandparent coverage for the kiddos.

Needless to say, we had a great time. As I warm back up to “serious” blogging, I will stretch out a bit today with my bloggabbatical rationale and a few highlights from the trip.

  • Eating. I must admit, San Francisco and Napa have some unbelievable food. If you’re ever in the area, a couple of places that are really good without breaking the bank are Pinnochio’s in Little Italy, and the House of Nanking in Chinatown. We sat at Pinocchios for 4 hours and never felt rushed. We also had one of the greatest conversations we’ve ever had.
  • The views. Em and I walked across the Golden Gate a couple of years ago. This time, we rode bikes across and spent the afternoon in Sausalito. We took the ferry back on a perfect evening at sunset. Bay Area views are second to none. God’s creation declares His praise in a unique way in the Bay. I took the picture above on my cell phone on the ferry ride back from Sausalito. That's the Golden Gate in the background.
  • As fans of art and literature, we went to the DeYoung museum, where we viewed post-impressionist works from the Musee D’Orsay on exhibit. We got to see Van Gogh’s originial Starry Night, and saw other works by Toulose LaTrec (my favorite artist), Picasso, and the Pointalists. After that, we went to North Beach’s City Lights Bookstore, Kerouac Alley and the Beat Museum. Though it wasn’t one of California’s better eras, some great literature was produced during that era. It was neat to stand where they stood and imagine all the crazy times that happened around that neighborhood in the 50’s and 60’s. Glad I wasn’t there, but can read about it.
  • As fans of cities and churches, we felt a burden for the city and enjoyed talking about how a church could prevail in San Francisco. It’s always amazed me to hear well-meaning Christians talk about cities as though they were Sodom and Gomorrah—and as though God has a bias for the burbs. In truth, God has a heart for people, and because there are so many of them in the cities, I have to imagine He really loves cities. He more than anyone knows their sins and afflictions. But, if Christians stop believing that God wants to redeem fallen people and places, we’re in deep trouble. We also need to reconsider our fear of cities and willingness to live there. Also, let’s remember the suburbs have their own problems. The sin may be more “white-collar,” but in my experience, it’s every bit as messy. It’s just three times as private and often covered up by social veneers. We need viable, vibrant churches in the suburbs and cities. We just typically have far more in the suburbs. Churches of Christ seem to fear the ocean and concrete. The coasts and the cities should become domestic mission focal points for the next 50 years—even as we remain open to possibilities in the suburbs.

There’s a ton more I could share…but I like seeing 3-5 pictures from someone’s vacation, not an album. So, I’ll stop here. Thanks to those of you who gave us some great ideas for Bay Area romance. May God bless his cities…even the weirdest ones.