Leaving Las Vegas

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Couldn’t resist the title for this post.

The past two days were spent in Sin City–a well-deserved name. The first night we drove down LV Blvd to see the lights. It was bad, but not as bad as Bourbon Street. I had mixed feelings from being inhibited as though I was a person out of my environment to feeling the presence of sin and evil everywhere.

This led to some wonderful conversations with the children. Their world is far more evil than my world was because their world is smaller, and separation from evil is not possible for themIMG_0416.

We spent today on LV Blvd walking in and out of various hotels. It was different from being there at night. There were a lot of children everywhere we went.

It’s a place of debauchery all the time, but you can navigate around it during the day, while having more control walking in the light.

We had some wonderful conversations with volunteers, taxi drivers, and various workers. We met Mickey, Minnie, a clown, a Storm Trooper, and a Hershey Kiss. The children were able to ride a roller coaster at Circus Circus.

It reminded me of walking the streets of New York. A lot. If that is not your environment, then it could be unsettling. For my brothers and sisters, who live in such places, it’s a way of life.

Sigh.

IMG_0409As always, the people were nice. We have not encountered an angry, snobby, or unkind person in nearly 4000 miles of traveling. The LORD has allowed us to leave Jesus wherever we go, while not being in conflict with the folks He brings across our path.

We parked at the Bellagio, where they have self-parking. It is easy as pie and free to park in LV. The upside to gambling is that many things are free or inexpensive. They don’t want to take you money until it’s time: when you’re in a casino.

Perfect for us!!

We walked to Circus Circus, which was quite the hike from the Bellagio. A Vegas block is not normal. It’s at least twice the length of a normal city block. We passed the Riviera, which is now closed after 60 years. That was sad to me since I was raised on Frank Sinatra, et. al., who made that place famous. (I’m from another generation.)

We went into New York, New York and the MGM Grand. It was kinda cool to see where Floyd and Manny fought last month. It’s hard to imagine so many people in what IMG_0431appeared to be a tight and tiny spot.

They had a real cool rainforest restaurant in the MGM. Large and over the top like most everything else on the strip.

The taxi driver said it was a madhouse during that time. Hard to imagine. He’s from Russia. Been here for 25-years–20 in LV, with the first 5 in LA. Married, with three kids. A nice man.

We visited the M&M store, the Coke store, and the Hershey store. The kids liked that. We bought some M&M’s of all sorts.

As we were leaving and looking back, you could see from the LV Speedway how the strip (and town) is in a desert. A town in the desert with no redemptive purpose. Now, that is sad.

I’m so glad we’re gone, but also glad we went. People intrigue me. Everybody has a story. Watching a man sitting with a blank stare in front of an one-arm bandit motivates me to be a better Christian, while giving me gratitude for the LORD’s transformative Gospel.

We’re in Utah tonight, just before Bryce Canyon. We’ll head out to Salt Lake City tomorrow–another kind of Las Vegas: a place that needs Jesus. Then we hope to be in Bozeman, MT for two weeks of teaching and encouragement with some new friends.

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The pics in this piece:

  1. From a balcony that is in front of the Bellagio Hotel, looking out on the strip–LV Blvd.
  2. Sitting at a fount at the Bellagio, with a replica of the Eiffel Tower in the background.
  3. Part of the lobby of the Bellagio, where they had zillions of real flowers turned into an aquarium.
  4. A Hershey replica of the Lady of Liberty at NY NY resort.
  5. The M&M car at the M&M store.
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About RickThomasNet

Rick Thomas leads a training network for Christians to assist them in becoming more effective soul care providers. RickThomas.Net reaches people around the world through consulting, training, podcasting, writing, counseling, and speaking. In 1990 he earned a BA in Theology, and 1991 he received a BS in Education. In 1993 he was ordained into Christian ministry, and in 2000 he graduated with an MA in Counseling from The Master’s College in Santa Clarita, CA. In 2006 he was recognized as a Fellow of the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (ACBC). He also received certification from the International Association of Biblical Counselors (IABC). His organization is a training center for IABC.