We were recently blessed to be able to go down to Phoenix and see our dear friends who left us over the course of the last year to do the noble task of infusing a GC church with their energy, love, faith, and talents. It was great to see the fruit that God is bearing in their midst, mostly through relationships.
While we were there, however, we enjoyed the crazy restfulness of tagging along with Eddie and Jen, two of our best friends who just happen to be married to each other. Here are some of the treasures we found along the way…
Treasure #1: Warmth in the Winter
When we left, it was 19 degrees in Colorado. We spent the weekend in the beautiful mid-winter 70s. And it was glorious. Another trip is already on next winter’s to-do list.
Treasure #2: Annual VNSA Used Book Sale
The Volunteer Non-Profit Service Association (VNSA) has put on an annual used book sale for 56 years now, collecting books throughout the year by way of drop boxes throughout the city and using the proceeds to help the Arizona Friends of Foster Children Foundation and the Literacy Volunteers of Maricopa County. We went on a whim, thinking it would be a few folding tables on the streets downtown – and we missed the mark a bit on our expectations.
The sale had more than 500,000 items this year, from books to movies and music, and the selection is something quite impressive. If you know what you want, there’s a good chance that it’ll pop up somewhere in the well-organized sale. And, even though we stood in line for more than an hour just to get in, going with friends allowed for a great chance to talk in the sunshine. It’s a good thing we came with room in our bags because if there’s anything that Chris and I love, that would be books at a great price.
Check out http://vnsabooksale.org for more and details on next year’s sale!
Treasure #3: In-N-Out Burger
I didn’t used to understand the appeal, but maybe I grew up or spent more time on the West Coast or something, because I do sincerely enjoy the simplicity of the burgers at In-N-Out. Arizona is close enough to a distribution center that they have quite a few – not bad when you live in a state where there are none.
|from Arizona State Parks web gallery|
Treasure #4: Sedona
True, Sedona isn’t in Phoenix, but it’s an easy day trip when snow isn’t a consideration. We stopped by the Chapel of the Holy Cross, which is built in the rock formations just outside of the city, and drove a bit further north to Slide Rock State Park, which was a great little afternoon hike. The water’s a bit chilly to take advantage of in the middle of the winter (even in Arizona), but it’s still incredible to look around at the glory God has displayed through His creation.
|The Antiques Plaza, from Google|
|Gotham City Comics, from Google|
Treasure #5: Main Street Mesa
While a lot of the church played Ultimate on Sunday afternoon, a few of us ladies wandered to Main Street in Mesa. We checked out the Antique Plaza, a coffee shop, and Gotham City Comics. It was a great way to spend the afternoon, but be aware that not everything is open on Sunday afternoons. Saturdays or weekdays are better days to see even more of this great downtown.
Treasure #6: Desert’s End
This growing group of believers is full of good friends, both newer and older, and has a heart centered on the Gospel in great ways. It’s a great place to stop in when visiting the city or to suggest to someone who is looking for a church in the area. There is good fruit growing here, and that is perhaps the greatest and most encouraging treasure of all. Every Sunday includes a service, pot-luck, and Ultimate – all resulting in life-giving fellowship. For more info, check out the church’s newly launched web site at http://desertsend.com.