Taste the Wine!


The Las Vegas Strip vs. Red Rock Canyon

My family recently took an overdue vacation.  Okay, in an effort to be completely transparent, the trip was prompted by Florida State playing in the BCS National Championship Game!  However, we planned several family outings as we made our way to the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, CA.  We flew into Las Vegas, went to the Hoover Dam, a comedy show, and Venice Beach, among other places.

But it was in nearby Red Rock Canyon that my family had the most amazing experience.  You must know I fully plan on being a travel agent in my next life.  I like to plan every detail, do as much as possible on vacation, and always find the best deals!  A few rules go a long way – no whining, no complaining, no sleeping in – “You can sleep when you’re dead!”  This has always been the making of a Quinn Family Vacation – do it big, do it all!


So we took the 30-minute drive outside of Las Vegas and arrived at Red Rock Canyon around 9:30AM.  The plan was to drive the 13-mile loop around the canyon, hike a couple of trails, and see the desert terrain of western Nevada.  Time needed to complete this part of the itinerary: approximately 3 hours. After that, lunch, and then to the Las Vegas Strip to take in some of the sights, sounds, and shops before dark.

Proverbs 16:9 (NLT) says, “We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.”  I made our plans, and everything was going according to that plan; that is, until God’s amazingly, beautiful creation hijacked it all!  We drove along the first mile of the Red Rock Canyon highway, stopped at the first trail, and spent nearly 2 hours enjoying the rock formations.  My children climbed rock after rock after rock.




“Over here daddy, look over here!”

“Daddy, let’s go this way; this is fun!”

“I think we can make it to that next rock over there.”

“Can we go over here daddy?”

“Take my picture right here daddy!”

“God made all this daddy?”




That’s when I knew God had become the Quinn Family travel agent.  Nearly two hours later we made it back to our vehicle from that first stop with 12 more miles of road, hiking trails, and rock formations still ahead of us!  Literally, Jesus had taken the wheel and I was no longer in charge.  I spent the better part of 6-7 hours at Red Rock Canyon watching my wife and children bask in God’s creation.  This may have been the best day of my life!


We finally made it to the end of the 13-mile highway that circles Red Rock Canyon.  If we hurried we still had enough daylight to see some of the Vegas Strip (the day before we only had spent one hour).  Tomorrow morning we would leave for Pasadena, CA.

Then, from the back of the vehicle, my son said, “Daddy, can we do it again?”  And everyone else chimed in almost simultaneously, “Yeah, daddy, let’s do it again!”  (Did I mention that part of a Quinn Family Vacation is to see as much as possible?!)  I said to myself, “We need to go,we are already way past schedule.”  And then I heard another voice, “Let the little children come to me,” – Jesus.  My plans thwarted again!


So, I put my left blinker on, turned the vehicle, and off we went down the 13-mile highway to enjoy God’s creation for a second time.  I guess when you give my children a choice between God’s creation and the Vegas Strip, well, let’s just say I was one very proud daddy!  God can be my travel agent anytime.

On that day, I witnessed God turning “water into wine.”  This one happened to be a red wine—for Red Rock Canyon. The message this Sunday is simply, “Taste the Wine!”  I pray you will taste the wine that God provides everyday.  Enjoy the simple blessings of today.  God’s glory is being revealed! 

Do you taste the water or do you taste the wine?


6 thoughts on “Taste the Wine!

  1. I am so proud of you Patrick. In all that you have become and all that you have created (your children). You are a great man, father and teacher. What many saw in you as a young man in Okinawa, Japan you have become and surpassed.

  2. Outdoors is my favorite place to be. When you visit the Grand Canyon (south rim), be sure to ride the mule to the bottom of the Grand Canyon where you spend the night at the Phantom Ranch. Our family did this in the month of October 1996; you don’t want to do this in any of the warm months. Put this on your “bucket list.”

    1. I posted the above comments on Feb 9 at 8:l4 pm not Feb 10 at 2:12 am; I was not on my computer at 2:12 am!

  3. Sir Patrick!
    We’re retired military – members of Frazer since mid-90s. I’m 72 years young and well traveled. My wife and I attend the 9:30 contemporary service after choir. Your messages have been a tremendous blessing to us.You have great gifts – continue to fan those gifts for God!
    Your trek reminded us of a trip we made for a military reassignment in the mid-70s. Itinerary: Tampa, FL to Fairbanks, AK via S.D.(Mt.Rushmore), Badlands, Rockies, NW Canada, Yukon Territory,and Alaska Hwy; back from Alaska to San Antonio, TX, via Hoover Dam, Grand Canyon; Yellowstone, Jackson Hole, WY (Grand Tetons)et al. The trip from Tampa to Fairbanks was a 10-day road trip. God’s creation is breath-taking. We thank God for your calling. Preach and teach on brother!
    Terry & Ginny Roberts, Wetumpka

  4. Sounds terrific Patrick, nothing beats a trek into God’s amazing creations. We traveled extensively as a family from the time the children were babies. Many of those trips were hiking and tent camping and they are the sweetest and most memorable of all our many vacations. Keep up the good work.

  5. Patrick,

    You brought back many memories of living in Layton, Utah working as the Wing Chaplain of Hill Air Force Base. I used to jog regularly through the mountain trails. We lived on the side of the Wasatch Mountains. The area was simply beautiful.

    Blessings brother,

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