There is something magical about northern Michigan!  Everywhere you look, you see the beauty of God’s creation all around you….

We spent many summer vacations up there at our family cabin.  And I’ll tell you something:  you’ll be hard pressed to find a better fireworks display than what you’ll see at Mackinaw City!  You get there mid- to late-afternoon to get a good spot out on the northeastern point of the municipal park area.  Here you have a good view over Lake Huron, with the Mackinac Bridge and St. Ignace on your left and Mackinac Island eight miles out in front of you.  What you have at this location is the unique experience of seeing a triple fireworks show!  As darkness settles in, you get to see the fireworks begin over the bridge at St. Ignace; as you’re watching those, you suddenly notice the show starting out across the water at Mackinac Island; and then right in front of you in Mackinaw City, you get to see the biggest of the three fireworks shows–a spectacular event overall!

As busy as that time of year can be, though, it is always relaxing to come back to the cabin at Paradise Lake after being in town.  There is something very peaceful and serene about Paradise Lake and the atmosphere that surrounds it.  Many years have come and gone and life has a way of changing things.  But it’s always nice to come back to this place.  Thing is, many people who visit Paradise Lake feel the same way.

So now, between the last conversation we had and this one, you have a physical stage of sorts that has been set for you (revealing in stages, remember?).  But there is actually one more thing that you need to know to truly get the significance of what I will eventually tell you when we talk of northern Michigan in the future.

My wife and I have made some poor financial decisions over the years (as I know everyone else has, too).  It got us into a very tight place financially and it took us a long time to get out of it.  But God walked through it with us and helped us to grow and change, living within our means and learning to become the best stewards of what He gives us that we can possibly be (an ongoing process for sure).  And it has been worth it!  If you were to look at our finances today, you wouldn’t even know it had been so hopelessly tight.

I’m telling you:  God is faithful!  We trusted Him to see us through to the other side….and He has.  I know many people out there are in a horrible place financially, and they have become experts at hiding it.  But even if you have to go down that same road we did,  take courage!  You are not alone.  Above all, the God of the Bible is there, ready to walk it through with you if you’ll let Him.  And there are people like us who have been where you’re at and can assure you that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.  Of course, if that’s not you, then well done, my friend!

So, forgive my nostalgia lately.  This time of year does that to me (you get up there, you’ll see what I mean).  Join me again and I’ll tell you some more….umm….stories….of my youth and stuff.