Saturday, May 31, 2008

Work Works


Work is good and today was a good day. I walked to the church this morning and that was good. I worked at my study and that was good. Then we helped some one move and that was good. I got to visit with dear friends and that was good. I watched people working hard at the church fixing air conditioning, setting up a class room, fixing the bulletin, restocking the visitor's cards in the pews, and practicing the music for Sunday services. It has truly been a blessed day. This Sunday is going to be amazing! I believe the Lord is going to bless us more than ever before.

I gave my grandchildren some trail mix that I had made and they just love it. I told my oldest grandson to have his mother google turkey creek hiking trail. It is near to where he will be living. I will try to go down sometime and hike it with him. The picture is of Joshua enjoying a hot dog at the end of our days hike. I look forward to hiking with Caleb, Micah, Andrew, and Jonathan some day. God bless you.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Guard Duty


The picture if of my father-in-law when he was in the Marines during World War II. Often he would have to be on guard duty. It would be his job to protect a location and keep unauthorized people out. I have enjoyed the many war stories he has told over the years. He has seen more of the world than I will ever see and has experinced things I will never experince. His generation is truly amazing. I honor him and my own father, pictured below in his navy uniform, as Father's day approaches. These men were raised during hard times and then volunteered to join the military and go to war. They were and are truly patriots.
I am now on guard duty. I watch over these two men and guard them and their welfare as they guarded mine even before I was born. The Bible teaches us that we should respect our elders. I was at the dentist's office this morning and my dentist is about 80 years old. He came out to the waiting room to bid me fairwell and I stood when he entered the room. There was a 24 year old man in the room who kept his seat and did not acknowledge him in any way. When did we stop teaching young people to rise at the hoary head?
I will be back in Hillsboro late this evening and while I am here with my father-in-law watching over him, I will be putting the finishing touches on Sunday's sermon taken from Romans chapter 3. I will also start Sunday night's sermon and will finish it Saturday morning. My wife plans to run the bulletin Saturday and so we will be at the church quite a while on Saturday. God bless you.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Gas prices


I believe that we should fight back against oil prices. My Jetta is averaging 46 mpg and has saved me a ton of money. I have taken to walking to work a couple of days a week. I told one of my neighbors as I walked past his house that I was protesting the oil companies. I will be driving to Spokane Washington a distance of 1900 miles one way. I dread the trip but it is very necessary that I go for there will be some very important business taken care of there and our missionary work may be questioned. Being virtually all highway miles I should average about 53 mpg on this trip. I had to fix a flat tonight. There was a nail in the right rear tire.

My grandson and I enjoyed the hike and the paddle boat. We rented a boat and due to a strong head wind we had a hard time getting back to the dock. The camera ran out of battery power and I did not have a replacement. I would have loved to get a picture of us on the lake. This picture is of us taking a much needed break. We had consumed a gallon and a half of water by this point. We had only covered about 2 1/4 miles when we took this break.
We plan to go to Canton on my day off and then go over to Henderson for our dentist appointment and checkup on our parents. We will be back in Hillsboro Friday evening. God bless you.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

I see a rod of an almond tree


Jeremiah was shown an object by the Lord and the Lord asked him what did he see to which he responded "I see a rod of an almond tree." You have purhaps heard the phrase "it loses something in translation"; Well that is certainly the case here. There is a play on words from the Hebrew language found here. The route word for almond means to hasten. Jeremiah was smart to pick up on this and the Lord commended him for it in Jeremiah 1:12. I have seen a rod of an almond tree. Every time I look at my children I see it. Every time I look at my grandchildren, I see it. Time is hastening by so fast. In four years all my children will be in there thirties. My oldest grandson will be getting ready to drive a car in just five years. When I drive up to the church building here at Walnut Street I see a rod of an almond tree. I have been here almost six years and time has gone by so fast. When I look at the news on TV and see all that is going on in this world I see a rod of an almond tree. The Lord's coming is at hand even at the door. Dear reader, I hope and pray that you are ready for the coming of the Lord.
This picture is "a rod of an almond tree" to me. It is of Janie and her sisters with their mother and uncle. It was taken earlier this year. I met Janie on July 11, 1973 and will never forget that day almost 35 years ago. God bless you.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Got-r-dun

The picture is of me and my grandson at the entrance to the park were we began our hike. He left his hat at the ranger station and was worried about it but we recovered it the next day and all was well. It was cloudy and rained on us briefly when we were not far down the trail. I gave him the hat that I am wearing in this picture. It has LED lights on the bill and I suspect that by now the batteries are dead. I told him the history of Davy Crockett and he seemed impressed.
Another Lord's day is finished and all went well. Our music/youth minster is gone and will be missed. I put a list in the bulletin of jobs that will need to be done now that he is gone and already two persons have stepped up and volunteered for two of them. I pray that others will do the same and we will not miss a beat. I have a busy week planned as usual. I will be at the nursing home visiting and helping in the worship services there. I plan to visit a couple of our shut-ins to check on them tomorrow. I will be preaching to the church in Waco Tuesday night. I have not seen them in over a month and am anxious to visit with them again. I will get my hair cut Tuesday Lord willing. Wednesday I will preach a sermon from the book of Ezra and will get that sermon ready Monday night. I need to mow the yard on Monday and start cleaning out the garage. Thursday night we plan to drive over to Henderson for our dentist appointment Friday morning. While there we will check on our parents and help them with a few things and then head back to Hillsboro. Tonight I will work on "From the Pastor" for the bulletin and will try to settle on a text for the sermon Sunday morning. I will tell more of the hike in posts to come. God bless you.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Back from the Hike

I am back now from my hiking trip with my grandson. The video I have here is of the most precious moment on this whole outing. It had turned dark and we had bedded down for the night. Joshua was too excited to sleep and it did not matter to me if slept or not. I was tired and was working on going to sleep letting him do whatever he wanted. He asked me if he could borrow my Bible. I handed it to him and he began to read aloud. I listened to him helping him with an occasional word. I sat up and got the camera and took this video without his knowledge. I wanted to remember this moment and share it with others. He kept miss pronouncing a word and I did not want a miriad of questions so I did not correct him. If you pronounce the "w" of this word which is silent it sounds like "war". It was after this reading that he discovered one of many seed ticks on his body. The first one was bad but when he discovered a few more he began to panic. I calmned him down and helped him remove and kill the ticks. Afterward he fell asleep very quickly and I did not hear anymore from him until I opened my eyes in the morning to see him staring me in the face. He was ready to start another day. God bless you.
video

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

A good morning


I walked to the church this morning leaving the house at 7 and got to the church at 7:20. It gave me a little exercise and some prayer time as well. Janie picked me up at lunch and after lunch I worked a little bit in the yard. I need to run back over to the office for a little while to finish up a few things before tonight. I plan to get my back pack ready this afternoon to go for the hike on Thursday. Not a lot to take for what will amount to about a 20 to 26 mile hike. It is going to be enjoyable and I will make a movie of the adventure when I get back. I noticed that my youtube video has had 34 viewings. If you go to youtube search for "paul and steve hiking on the pct" and our video should be the first on the list. I am making a video about the tent I made and I stuck the youtube video on the end of it. I may post it on youtube as well. I most likely will post my hike with my grandson on youtube when it is complete. I have been playing phone tag with my sister Peggy. I hope to catch up with her eventually. Peggy if you see this please keep trying.

I will not blog Thursday but will Friday night Lord willing. The picture is of my wife at the John Wayne airport two years ago when I went out to hike the PCT with my brother. God bless you.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Made it home


We made it home and all went well at the pre-association meeting. I plan to walk to the church in the morning early and spend the day studying. I have chosen my text for Sunday and will get that sermon finished in the morning first thing and then I will work on the Wednesday night sermon for both my classes. If I have time left I will work on the Sunday School lesson. The hike is Thursday and Saturday is mow the yard day. I sent word to my grandson that we will not need our sleeping bags. The over night temperature is going to be 73 after a high of 91. I will bring a small light blanket if he should need it. He got bit by a lizzard today and his mother had to stomp on it to get it to let go of his thumb. He loves to catch things and take a closer look at them. I do not plan to let him out of my sight when we hike. I would not want a snaping turtle to take off one of his fingers. The picture is one my grandson took with a really cheep digital camera. The swing is one I made modeled after one that my grandparents in New England had when I was a kid. God bless you.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Update from Texarkana

We made it safely to Texarkana and the meetings today went well. There were some fireworks but none of the arguments were overly heated. There are about 100 in attendance and 25 of those are on the standing missionary committee. The meeting is suppose to be over by noon tomorrow but they are so far behind I expect it will not end until about 4:oo pm or so. Our missionary to France will not be voted on until noon tomorrow and I do not expect any questions. The hotel is nice though the first room they gave us was not acceptable and they had to give us another one. I expect to hear the same things I heard today at the national meeting in Spokane on Tuesday and then again on Wednesday. At least I will know what to expect.

My grandson and his dad went for a 10 mile hike and they said it went well. It was very hot but they made it. I expect that he will have no trouble keeping up with his 54 year old granddad. God bless you.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Off to Texarkana


In the morning at 8:00 we will leave for Texarkana. Janie is unsure about attending the meetings with me and there will most likely not be a need for her to do so. I am going to be there to answer any questions that may arise about our missionary and his work in France. I also want to know more about the recomended missionaries and their works and this will give me that chance. I will be spending a lot of time watching the booth at the ABA meeting and may miss some of the sessions even though the booths are closed during the sessions I may have to grab a bite to eat and miss some of the sessions.

Our music and youth director resigned tonight and we will miss him very much. I wrote in "From the Pastor" that I regret that I did not spend more one on one time with him. I really do regret that. The picture is of Bro. Josh and one of his 2 children (Ethan I think) taken around Christmas time. I officiated at his wedding and was with him at the hospital after the birth of each of his children. I have some great memories of him and his family and will cherish them in the years to come.
I will blog again on monday night to let you know how things are going in Texarkana. Till then, God bless you.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Back to the Hotel


A hotel is a place where one stays when they are away from home. Our home in Hillsboro is really just a hotel. Our home is in heaven and we are pilgrams and sojourners here on the earth. In John 17 Jesus told His Father that His followers were not of this world as He was not of this world. We are headed back to our hotel in Hillsboro, pictured here with me standing out front. Was able to get the plumbing job done without injury and all went well. Will spend this afternoon, Lord willing, putting the finishing touches on the Sunday School lesson and the Sunday evening message.

Monday morning we are headed for Texarkana for the pre-association meeting. Expect some fireworks there but hopefully will not get burned. The ABA meeting this June is in Spokane Washington which will be a 1900 mile drive for us. I do not look forward to that drive at all. It is expensive and hard on this 55 year old body. There are some very important things to be done at this meeting and so we must go.

Due to the travels I have planned for this week I will be having to study when and where I can. I may not blog much this week even though it only takes a few minutes per post. I need the time to study and meditate on the messages. God bless you.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Homily

I prepared a homily this morning from John 17:20-26 and it was a great way to start the day. I was told, if I remember correctly, that one of the former pastors, Paul Owens, prepared a homily every day. I usually prepare three a week not seven. I will preach this one Sunday and am looking forward to it with great joy.


My grandson and I have done our shopping and are now ready for the hike next week. If the Lord is willing and the weather is good we'll be off. He is very excited as am I. It will be a very memerable time. Check back here for pictures and the movie. My brother called me yesterday wanting to know if I was going to come out to California next year to hike again. I told him I would be thinking about it. I would like to but will have to see wait till the fall to make up my mind.


Today I plan to do some much needed plumbing for my in-laws and will go by my father's house to help him with a computer problem he is having. The picture is of my parents at their 60th wedding anniversary. It is good to help others, especially your parents. Injury is a real possibility with this plumbing job so I will have to be extra careful. I better go now and get to work. God bless you.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Luxury

I want to make the hike with my grandson an enjoyable one. The kind of hiking I do normally is ultra lite. I take only those things that are needed. I do not take luxury items. Ultra lite hiking is not comfortable hiking. One tries to hike as far as he can each day so that he can finish in the fewest days possible. The more days you are on the trail the more food and water you have to carry. The hike with my grandson will find me carrying a pillow and eggs. We will only be on the trail for a day and a half and so we will be able to bring along some good food and a few comforts. This will make for an enjoyable first time hike and as he grows he will discover the benefits to ultra lite hiking. We plan to go over to Henderson tomorrow so Janie can check on her parents and I can check on mine. My grandson and I need to go to Wal-Mart to pick up the things we need for the hike so we will do that as well.
The picture is of my granddaughter trying on my back pack from 2 years ago. This pack weighed over 2 pounds and the one I made and use now weighs 12 ounces. The tent I took 2 years ago weighed over 2 and 1/2 pounds and the one I carry now weighs 25 ounces.

I plan to finish the 17th chapter of John on Sunday and will pause the John series for a while. I must preach, and people need, the whole word of God so for the sake of a well balanced spiritual diet I will put John on hold. God bless you.

Car Care

The car has new tires and a new fuel filter. I was not looking for a bargain nor was I looking for the best places to have my car repairs made. I was looking for prey. The Bible says for us to be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. A serpent carefully draws close to his prey before striking. Little do those who worked on my car today know that I am seeking them for Christ. Jesus loves them and if they do not know Him they need to. I visited with a lady over near Blum tonight. I helped her with a computer problem and she wanted to pay me for my trouble but I refused. She said she would do something kind for someone else as my payment. I heartily agreed.

I posted on our church's blog an article I wrote for the bulletin. There is a link on this blog to that one. I plan to post my "From the Pastor" articles there each week. I enjoy finding some small but oh so precious gem in the scripture and sharing what they mean to me.

I preached a mother's day sermon from 2 kings 5 on the subject of "The Unknown Mother". It was the mother of the little maid in this chapter. She is not mentioned anywhere in the Bible and goes unsung and unpraised by this world as do many mothers. I looked at this text to find clues from this little girls actions about her mother. I chalenge the reader to make a list of what you would say about her based on this text.

I have just about finished the sermon for Wednesday night. I will preach from 1st Chronicles 24 on the subject of "Training for the Worship of God". I will return to the book of John chapter 17 on Sunday morning. The picture is one of those 3d pictures if you look deep into it you will see a Cross. God bless you.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Is there no Balm in Gilead

I preached at the nursing home and the title of my sermon was "Is There no Balm in Gilead".
I also led the singing and just had a great service. One of the ladies came up to me with her son pushing her in her wheel chair and he said that she wanted to talk to me. In tears she began to praise God for His goodness. She was so moved by the sermon she just had to say something. I love it when God's word moves others as it has moved me.

I was able to get the lawn mowed today and am glad I did for there is rain in the forecast for the next three days. I have not seen my Wal-mart prospects lately so we are going to make a quick run there for a visit then its over to the church to make copies of the France Mission Report. Then it is over to the missions secretary's house to deliver the reports so he can mail them out. I will finish my part of the bulletin tonight and then get my sermon ready for Wednesday night.

My grandson called me a little bit ago and said he had walked 3.6 miles today. He ran the last stretch of it so I know he has plenty of energy for the hike. I will go over to Henderson on my day off and shop for hiking supplies with him and then next week, Lord willing, we will be on the trail. In the picture you can see my grandson who was the ring bearer at the wedding. Also pictured are Janie's parents, both my daughters and their husbands, two of my granddaughters, and my wife and I. God bless you.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

A good Mother's Day


It was another great Lord's day. Enjoyed a great meal at lunch with friends. Enjoyed a short worship service at the nursing home. Enjoyed the morning and evening services. It was so good to see one of the ladies that I visit in the nursing home in our services. Even the deacon's meeting went well. I have much to do this week and will get started tonight by getting "From the Pastor" ready for next Sunday's buletin. What excites me so is that before me lies the Bible and I wonder what marvelous thing the Holy Spirit will reveal to me next from God's Holy Word.
The picture is of my daughters wedding, her husband preached his first sermon today and I hope they recorded it. I am going to invite him to come and preach for us as soon a he is available.
I will be preaching monday morning at the nursing home and am looking forward to that.

I plan to go to Henderson on Thursday to take my grandson shopping. We need to get a few things for the hike next week. I miss visiting with the church in Hewitt and will try to give them a call tomorrow to check on them. God bless you.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Serving


There is a fountain filled with blood drawn from Emanuel's vains and sinners plunged beneath that flood loose all their guilty stains. I love the words to that old song. It is so comforting to know that my sins have been forgiven and my soul is saved. There is a freedom which comes form knowing that your future is secure and full of hope. I am free to concentrate on serving. To serve God is done by serving others. I believe that the secret to church growth is found in individual spiritual growth. The more we become servants like Christ and of Christ the more people will want to be a part of that work. When one realizes the truth that it is more blessed to give than to recieve they will never want to go back to living for self again.

There are just 14 hours and 20 minutes until the sermon Sunday. I am as excited about this text as I am about hiking with my grandson (pictured at his 8th b-day). I hope you have a great mother's day. God bless you.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

HELPING


We are headed for Henderson today to meet my niece and her husband. They are moving to Texas to attend Texas Baptist Institute. I will spend a day with them HELPING them to get situated. They will be very tired from their long drive and yet will have to hit the ground running to get the utilities turned on and furniture picked up and moved in. It will be tough but they are young and can handle it. I will HELP them while Janie is HELPING her parents. I believe that it is our duty to HELP one another and that is what will count when we stand before God not what we have done for ourselves but what we have done for Him and for our fellow man.

(Luk 10:36) Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves?

I have offically moved the hike up to the 22nd of May, Lord willing. That does not mean that I will not move it up to the 15th. I feel strongly that it is of the Lord that I have this time with my grandson. It will mean much to him in the years ahead and will give me a chance to know him better. I will HELP him and he will HELP me; a real win win arrangement.

The picture was taken at my daughters wedding. This is my sister-in-law keeping the nursery during the wedding. She was a big HELP. She came all the way from Mississippi for the wedding. She HELPED her parents to get to the wedding and then HELPED out by keeping the nursery. Thanks Trish for all your HELP. God bless you.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Planning another hike


I called my grandson and began to talk to him about hiking. He is so excited he ran home and started making a list. It will be good for him to help plan the hike and I will call him with things to add to the check list. My daughter will hopefully be able to show him the website about the trail and let him read a little about it. This whole exercise will be good for him. Planning and preparing and then the actual hike itself will teach him much about the sport of hiking. We will go to the store and shop for camping things and that will be exciting to him as well. I set the date as May 29th but I am as much a kid as he is and I may move that up so we can go sooner. Be watching this blog for the pictures and the video of my hike with Joshua. I really am excited about this and may have to take him often. The picture is of me and Joshua nine years ago. God bless you.

Back to walking


Well I am going to get back to my daily routine of walking. I will only do about 3 miles a day. I am planning a 2 day hike with my grandson Joshua. There is a state park over in east Texas that has a 15 mile hiking trail. The trail follows a creek and the pictures I have seen online look great. It will be fun for him and a joy for me. He loves the outdoors and being 10 years old he will enjoy camping and cooking out in the wilderness. He will lead the way down the trail and I will let him help set up the tent and cook the meals. I plan to take lots of pictures and let him take some as well.

I am looking forward to hearing my new son-in-law preach. I hope to have him over to the church on a Sunday night soon. I have an Idea he is going to be very good at it. The picture is of my daughter and her husband at their wedding rehearsal.
We have a really good lesson for tonight and I will be talking to the Kids about the text I have for Sunday morning. Those who will not be in my class Wednesday night are really going to miss a blessing. I just love the verses we will be covering. God bless you.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Office time


I am in my office and thought I would take a break from my studies and blog a bit. I love to study. It is work, hard work, but I love it so. I started my SS lesson first but before completing it I moved to my Wednesday night lesson. I finished that and then went looking for a mother's day sermon. I have a great text from which I have never heard a mother's day sermon taken. It is exciting to find such a gem in the scriptures. This text has really worked me over and I have repented and asked for God's help to overcome the weakness upon which this text has shown its light. God forgive me for the many mistakes I made while trying to live a godly life before my children. As a parent this text tears me up. I am so glad that my children had a godly mother. I will not use this text for Father's day though it would work just as well. I called Janie and asked for her input on this sermon for I wanted a mother's point of view. She will call me back in a bit and I am sure will shed much light on this text. The picture is of my mother several years ago. God bless you.

Monday, May 5, 2008

46 MPG


Today is a day that I am glad that my Jetta has averaged 46 mpg. We plan to travel to Waco this morning for a surgery and then to Tyler to return the wedding rental things and then to Henderson to pick up the pictures of the wedding and then back to Hillsboro. If I have time I may swing down to the Anderson County court house to return the marriage license. Should be about a 400 mile day.

The services went well Sunday and we had a vistor Sunday night. The visitor was a man who stopped by on his way through when he saw our steeple he felt the need for pray and I prayed with him before our services began and then he asked me if he could stay for the services and he did.

Next Sunday is mother's day and so this week I will be preparing a mother's day sermon. I am not sure which text I will use but am sure the Holy Spirit will lead me to the one He wants me to use. Well it is time to awaken my wife from her slumber so she can go with me on this 400 mile trek. The picture is of 2 of our granddaughters, Hanah and Ruth, who were in the wedding. To the far right is 1 of our grandsons, Joshua, who was the ring bearer. God bless you.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

The Wedding is over


Well the wedding is over and we are glad. It went very well and the cakes were wonderful. In the midst of the reception I got to hear a great sermon by Bro. Harold Davis and what a sermon it was. It was worth the wedding just to hear his sermon. The sermon was interupted by the noise of some boys catching a garter but interupted only breifly. I really like my new son-in-law and wish the best for them. My 2 daughters are in the center of this picture and my niece is to the far left. My son-in-law and his father and 2 grandfather's are pictured on the right. God bless you.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Return to normal

I am very ready for things to return to normal. I miss getting to spend time alone with God in my study at the church. The picture is of the front of our church building. I really enjoyed the texts we covered Wednesday night and I am going to have to preach a series of sermons from 2nd Kings. I will spend this evening at the motel reviewing my sermon for Sunday and going over the Sunday School lesson again. It will be a good way to end the day.

We are in Tyler taking care of last minute wedding chores. The desasters are few and can all be overcome. There is a problem with the cake decorating, there is a problem with freezer space for the punch, and the list goes on and on. All of these things are minor and in a year will be insignificant. The vows are the only truly important part of a wedding ceremony and those are completely under control. We will spend the night in Palistine tonight so that will cut down on the driving somewhat and may allow us a little more sleep. God bless you.



Thursday, May 1, 2008

Six Flags over Texas

I use to like to go to Six Flags over Texas amusment park. The 2 minute ride would be worth the 45 minute wait. Now I am not willing to wait 45 minutes for a 2 minute ride because the rides are now more pain than pleasure. My son took his kids to an amusment park in France and they had a great time. I am spending this day with my wife and Father-in-law. We are waiting even now for him to see the doctor. We will wait an hour for a 5 minute visit. Sounds like Six Flags. When we are through here we will go over to the hospital for him to receive some shots that hopefully will help him with his back pain.


My brother is talking about offering a shuttle service to and from the Pacific Crest Trail in Southern California. It would be a really nice thing to have. Getting to and from the trail can be a problem and to have someone who has a good knowledge of the trail to help with the logistics would be a great asset. It would take a lot of planning to get such a thing up and running and if there is anything that my brother likes to do it is planning.


I will be preaching Sunday from John 17 again and should finish that section I started last Sunday. The Sunday School lesson is going to be a good one as well. Sunday night I will return to my series of sermons on the life of Christ. I have a trip to Texarkana coming up soon to meet with the missionary committee of the ABA. It will be interesting for sure.
The picture is of my daughter who will be getting married this Saturday. She played in the band and was very good at it. I am somewhat glad that my Friday nights are not taken up by football games anymore but those day were fun as well. All three of my children were in the band. They all were good at it and that talent must have skipped my generation for my dad plays the Harmonica very well but I am not so musically talented. Well I must get back to work. God bless you.