Friday, December 31, 2010

The End

Elijah eating breakfast at our house a few days before Christmas
This is my last blog post for 2010.  It has been a good year.  It saw the death of my father in the ministry Bro. Harold Davis.  It saw the birth of 2 of our grandchildren, Elijah and Ariana.  It heard the eye doctor tell me I had cataracts.  It heard me preach 243 sermons.  It saw our attendance at church hold its own.  It found me and Janie in France for two weeks. 2010 saw me driving a church bus packed full of kids to church camp. It saw me write about 50 index cards on the Song of Songs. In 2010 we moved the furniture in our living room. I hiked a couple of times with my brothers in 2010.  Tonight is the end of 2010.  I hope you all have a joyful New Year.  I will now cough my way into 2011 praying for God to bless us in this coming year as we serve Him.
Me and Ariana in France
Here are my top ten New Years resolutions/goals (if the Lord is willing:):
1. Read the Bible through twice,
2. Learn to speak at least a little French,
3. Finish the reading portion of my thesis research,
4. Work out at the gym at least three days a week every week,
5. Take two long hikes, Palo Duro Canyon for one,
6. Make the tent I designed,
7. Get the rest of Bro. Davis' Matthew sermons on his website and more of his audio sermons moved to MP3.
8. Learn SQL database programing.
9. Spend more quality time with my wife.
10. Take one day off each week. (This is hardest one of them all to keep)

Me and Bro. Harold Davis at church camp
I have many other things which I do in the normal coarse of my life like prayer, Bible study, visitation, personal evangelism, etc. which I will continue to do.  These top 10 are the things I need to focus on.  Well it is almost midnight and since I got very little sleep last night due to coughing I need to head for bed.  Here in just a few minutes it will be 2011 so I will get ready to kiss my wife and wish her a happy new year.  Hope to see you in 2011, God bless you.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Cough Cough

Joshua reading Luke chapter 2 before opening presents
Coughing is the lot of my life today.  My cold is worse from that point of view.  It has been a good day in spite of the cough.  We came to Henderson by way of First Monday Trades Day in Canton and then a doctor's office in Tyler to pick up a prescription for my mother-in-law.  We went by to take a Christmas present to my  mother and enjoyed a good visit with her.  She did not come to the door when we knocked so I went to the window and saw her playing her keyboard.  I tapped on the window and she looked surprised to see me.  Janie's parents are doing as well as can be expected. Janie's uncle Trenton is not well having had very little sleep last night.  
Playing a game with the grandkids
Tomorrow I plan to spend the morning at the TBI library doing research for my thesis.  I have a sermon ready for Sunday.  It is a New Years sermon that I preached 11 years ago.  Tomorrow afternoon I have a conference call with some tech people and I am trusting that will go well.  I have been learning new things about Internet databases.  I just wrote my first one and am about to tackle a second, more complicated, one.  I may later post a link to these two database programs so you can check out my handy work.  It is good to learn new things.  Between French lessons, thesis research, and websites my mind is staying busy.  On New Years day I am going to order a hard covered book of my 2010 blogging.  This completes my third year of blogging.  I plan to keep it going as long as I can.  God bless you. 

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Rain and Fog

Joshua play with his sidewalk chalk
It rained today.  Janie and I overslept the alarm this morning and so we were a bit rushed getting ready for the arrival of the ladies Bible study group.  It was a good time as usual.  We are getting close to the end of the study of the end time events.  I have really enjoyed covering this subject with them.  I worked this afternoon as did Janie.  We stopped to head down to Lorena for services there.  It was foggy and raining so we had to drive carefully.  We had really good services. We have the boxes about ready to mail to Jason.  We will take them to the Post Office tomorrow.  It is going to cost a lot to send these two boxes but it is worth it.  I just wish we could carry them over ourselves.
Christmas eve 2010
Janie's father fell out of the bed yesterday and her mother had to call 911 for help getting him up.  He stayed in bed all day yesterday.  He did get up today and is still a bit confused in his mind due to some medication he was taking. We will go over there tomorrow night.  I plan to spend several hours in the library at TBI working on my thesis on Friday.  We need to stop in for a visit with Sister Davis if we can work it in.  My mother is doing well.  She spent Christmas alone turning down an invite from my older brother.  She is staying busy and seems to be enjoying her life.  It's off to bed for me.  I felt bad yesterday but much better today.  God bless you.

Monday, December 27, 2010

December 27, 1973

Janie and Paul the summer of 1973
What a wonderful service we had on Sunday morn.  The attendance was very low as was the outside temperature. Our attendance Sunday night was as great as Sunday morn much to my delight and surprise. I have undertaken the task of teaching lessons whose subjects come from happenings in the news.  The sound room man shows upon the big screen a video clip of some news event and then I endeavor to shine the light of Bible truth upon it.   The people of our congregation seem to love this new venue and have shown so by their attendance and obvious interest. I could not help but notice that many lingered after the service Sunday night and visited in the foyer.  This is a thing that brings me joy as it is a sign of harmony and brotherly love.
December 27, 1973 at County Line Baptist Church
I have been sick today.  I caught a cold over the Christmas holiday and felt very poorly today.  I slept little last night and just did not have the energy to get my work done.  I spent much time in bed and feel much better now. This is not the way I intended to spend this day.  It is the 37th anniversary of our marriage.  God has blessed me beyond measure with a good wife.  My sister, Jean, introduced us on July 11, 1973 just after the close of the Wednesday evening services at Calvary Baptist Church in Henderson, Texas.  I still remember the spot on the porch where we met.  I remember watching her during the service and how smitten I was with her beauty.  It turned out to be that her beauty within far excelled that without. I asked her to marry me on August 25, 1973 at the Lake Forest Park in Henderson, Texas.  She said yes and 37 years has gone by so quickly.  Having her at my side walking with me each step of the way has made the journey wonderful. She is still beautiful to me and I love her so.  Thank you Jean Farrington and Charlcye Taylor for getting the 2 of us together.  God bless you.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Day

Hannah loved her Pillow Pet

It has been a great day. I got a knife, bread machine, Some gift certificates, a flashlight/alarm clock, DVD player, among many other gifts. I enjoyed playing with the kids and Skypeing the ones in France. I enjoyed cooking a corn casserole, roast, and peas for lunch. It has been a Merry Christmas indeed. God bless you.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas Eve Eve

I took the kids to Whataburger for breakfast this morning.  They all wanted pancakes.  We went to the bank and the church then back to the house where I made them chicken nuggets for lunch.  They watched a cartoon movie while I got a short nap. Come evening time I built a fire and sat by it until Sarah and Justin arrived.  We had supper and then visited out by the fire side until bedtime.  I had a little work to get done and with that out of the way and this blog done I am off to sleep.  God bless you.
Jonathan at Whatabuger.  He put a hash brown in his milk then poured half out trying to retrieve it.

Ruth and Hannah, breakfast at Whataburger in Hillsboro, Texas

Toasting Marshmallows over the fire

Joshua and me at Whataburger this morning.  Ruth took the picture.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Grand Indeed

Jonathan at Mcdonald's this morning
Janie came to bed about 5:00 this morning.  She stayed up wrapping Christmas presents.  We were awakened by the grandkids and so I got up and took them for a ride.  I gave Hannah a hard time about tying her shoes.  She is five years old and I told her that when I was five years old not only could I tie my shoes I was teaching my younger brother how to tie his. We went to McDonald's for breakfast and I let them play there for a while. We went to the church next where I needed to take care of a few things.  I have a bowl of candy in my Sunday school classroom.  The kids saw it and of course wanted some.  I allowed them 2 pieces each. After consuming these they desired more. I gave them a long biochemical speech on the function of the pancreas and how too much sugar may lead to type 2 diabetes.  They listened patiently somehow knowing that after Papa finished with his soap box he would put it away and yield to their desire.  They were right of course for their pancreases are the responsibility of their parents not Papa.  After our work at the church was done it was off to the bank and the Dollar Store.  I let them spend $2.00 each on toys there and then we returned home.
Hannah watching "How the Grinch Stole Christmas
I made them spaghetti for lunch.  I was a bit concerned when Jonathan came up to me at the stove where I was making the spaghetti sauce and he said "I smell Hannah's socks."  If the sauce smelled like socks you  would not have known it by the way they consumed the meal. Grandchildren are grand indeed.

Shoe Tying 101
We had our usual crowd at services tonight plus my daughter's family.  Absent were Janie and Ruth.  Ruth had a temperature of 102.1 and so Janie stayed in with her and Elijah.  On the Wednesday night before Christmas I bring refreshments and after singing and prayer we have a fellowship.  We did that tonight and had a good time.  After getting the kids in bed the adults of our house watched a Christmas movie.  The last thing before heading for bed is blogging and now that's done.  God bless you.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


Scott losing a game of table soccer to Hannah.
Stacie and Scott arrived Monday night and got settled in.  We went outside and started a fire in the fire pit and stayed up to see the lunar eclipse.  They got the older kids out of bed and let them see it as well.  We had a good time and slept fairly late this morning.  I took the kids to the post office and the grocery store.  At the grocery store Hannah kept asking me if I knew the person to whom I would speak.  I spoke to everyone in the store and each time the voice from beneath the cart would say "Do you know that person?"  When we got home we made fruitcake and homemade rolls.  I also made some hot sauce.  Janie went shopping with Stacie for four hours and poor old Elijah was really missing his mom.  The pictures below are some I have taken today. God bless you.
Jonathan playing with his Sidewalk chalk
Watching the lunar eclipse
Me and Joshua making rolls.
Grocery Shopping with Papa
It was 85 degrees today, the kids are shelling pecans.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Christmas Services

Flowers given to us by the Bible Study girls.
Janie and her mother working on Christmas cards
We had outstanding worship services today.  The choir remained in the choir loft during the sermon.  Tonight we had a good crowd for the Christmas cantata.  Everyone seemed to have a good time.  I sang a solo entitled "Joseph."  I made it through it with only a couple of fairly minor mess ups.  The rest of the choir sounded great.  Janie and I will have a very busy day tomorrow finishing up some shopping and some chores getting ready for our company and the Christmas.  I will not be at the nursing home services tomorrow due to my busy schedule but will see them next week.  Well its off to work now. I will try to blog each day during the week to keep you posted how the visit with the grandkids is going.  I have a lot of activities planned for them.  It is going to be great fun.  God bless you.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Good Secrets

Janie and Hannah
I am certain that everyone has secrets.  I am talking about secrets that you will take with you to the grave.  Some of these involve bad things like sins you have committed or embarrassing moments you tell no one about.  Some are thoughts that you share with no one. Some of these thoughts would be considered bad and embarrassing.  But there are secrets that are good.  Things you have done and experienced that are godly, noble, joyful and which go unknown by those who are apart of your public life.  You never bring them up and never tell a soul.  These secrets will go with you to the grave.
Janie and Elijah
There are wonderful things that only I know.  There are wonderful things I have done and experienced that will never be known.  Part of what makes these secrets so wonderful is the very fact that they are secret.  If they were told it would diminish and degrade their value.  What helps them to remain concealed is the fact that it would be impossible to describe them.  Without a proper frame of reference or some commonality you simple cannot express such secrets.
I believe that God puts these secret things in our lives so that we may have a special relationship with Him.  God knows all my wonderful secrets having given them to me and shares them with me.  He knows what joy and satisfaction they bring. I thank God for my blessings.  I would guess that a full one half of my blessings are secret and will not be known by this world.

My mother and father would have been married 64 years this Sunday.  My father has gone to his "long home" (Ecc 12:5) and I wonder what wonderful secrets he took with him.  I wonder what joys he had but never shared and could not share.  I think that my life surely is not unlike his.  These secret blessings, though not the same as mine, must surely have filled his life as well.
Mother and I had a good day together.  I fixed her plumbing problem and took her out to eat.  After the work was done we enjoyed a cup of hot tea, a slice of  caramel pie and good conversation.  She gave me some homemade bread, a Bible in a wooden box, and also sent a loaf bread by me to the Taylors for their Christmas.  
Janie is working hard helping her mother.  We will be heading back to Hillsboro tonight.  God bless you.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Christmas shopping

This picture was taken at Cabelas. Janie and I went to Kitchen Collections, Ikea, Cabelas, and Wal-Mart Christmas shopping. We still have more to do but we are getting close. Traffic was bad in Dallas and Fort Worth. We are in Henderson now and tomorrow I will be with my mother and Janie will be with her's. God bless you.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Breakfast with Friends

Janie wanted to take my picture with the Christmas lights
I had breakfast with some friends this morning.  I really enjoyed it.  The one who bought me breakfast also served as a great example to me.  In spite of circumstances that would normally bring one down this one chose to keep a sense of humor and right off the bat met me with words that caused me to laugh. This one will be reading this blog and I want them to know that I needed what they gave me.  God is amazing.  He knows me so well and knows exactly what I need and I needed the experience of this morning.
Happy Snowmen to greet our guests
I have spent this day getting the sermon ready for tonight and it is a text from 2 Chronicles chapter 20.  The story found there just amazes me.  Next I worked on the sermon for Sunday.  I have it printed out and ready to go.  I took a break and hung up some Christmas lights outside.  I am definitely in the Christmas spirit. I am really looking forward to seeing the grandkids next week.  I told the group down at Lorena at the services last night that we would be having the grandkids at our house most of next week and then added that their parents will be there too but we don't pay them any mind.  That is of course not completely true for we do enjoy visiting with them when the kids are in bed.  My son-in-law, Scott, is a great guy.  I enjoy hearing him tell about his work at the school between driving a school bus and fixing computer problems it sounds like he never has a dull day.  I am so proud of Stacie and Scott and how they have raised their kids.  Scott's patients in the Lord's work has amazed me. 
Sunset in Lorena last night
This brings my mind to my son in France.  I wish that we could see them for Christmas too.  We will most likely talk to them by means of Skype during the season but it is not the same as being with them in person.  I am very proud of Jason and Angie. They have dedicated their lives to God's service and have paid a high price for it.  They truly have forsaken all to follow the Lord and He will bless them. 
Let me not leave out Sarah and Justin.  Justin recently demonstrated steadfastness in the faith and it has cost him.  The price is worth the benefit for by standing his ground and keeping the faith he will be blessed of God.  Sarah is sweet, kind, smart, witty and faithful.  She loves the Lord and supports her husband while he pastors a church. Justin and Sarah are a blessing to us and I am proud of them.
Sunrise this morning in Fort Worth
Perhaps these blessings are why I am in such a Christmas spirit.  God has blessed me so.  God bless you.

P.S. Janie, I LOVE YOU!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Nap Time

The ladies Bible study at the parsonage
Janie is taking nap right now.  I had gone to the store to do some shopping and she was working when I left. She left me a note on the refrigerator saying to get her up at  3:00.  She worked the night shift going to bed about 5:00 this morning and then getting up at 8:30 to go with me to the nursing home.  I believe that entitles her to a nap.
I am doing a strange thing.  I have downloaded onto my cell phone the Shakespeare play "Hamlet" and am reading it in sessions of 1 to 2 minutes at a time.  I read a few pages just now while waiting in line at the store.  I like Shakespeare and reading his work improves my language and writing skills.  Most of my non-Biblical reading time is spent on books about the Song of Songs.  The few minutes here and there of idle time waiting I use to either pray or read Shakespeare.  I just figure that these few minutes here and there each day add up to hours in a week and should be put to good use.
Janie's new table cover
Our Sunday was an outstanding one.  We had great services in the morning and fellowship afterward.  The food was really good and the company was even better.  I sat beside Clint, the young man who was burned so severely a year and half ago.  He is doing very well and has a great sense of humor.  Sunday night was exceptionally good and the crowd that was there seemed at first to be small until I had them all to sit in the center section together.  I made it look like there was twice a many there.  I showed some videos of some things that were on the news and it really caught their attention.  They all seemed to really like and enjoy the service.
My mother called today and she is having a plumbing problem and wanted to know if I would be coming to Henderson.  I told her that was my plan and so I will try to get over there on Thursday.  She has baked some bread for us and that will be a big hit with my grandkids next week.  Well it is time to awake my lovely wife and then I am headed out to do some visitation.  God bless you.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Parents, a blessing from God

Mother eating at the Smoke House in Henderson on Friday
Janie took her mother to the beauty shop on Friday and I took my mother out to eat lunch.  I enjoyed my visit with her.  She is doing very well.  Janie's dad was not doing as good.  He was hurting and really did not feel like going to the eye doctor on Thursday but was forced to go anyway.  He is having a rough time of it.  He was still hurting on Friday so spent the day in his chair. 
Parents are a blessing from God.  They bless you when you are young and tender and need their care.  They bless you again when you are old and graying and need your care.  I had great strength and vigor to care for my children when they could not care for themselves.  I thank God for that.  I sure could use that same strength and vigor now as I help to care for aging parents.
Janie's mother looking for something to watch.
Today I have been working on the lessons for Sunday.  The Sunday School lesson was first thing on my agenda today and with that finished I tackled the sermon.  I will be preaching from the text where Simeon meets the baby Jesus. Sunday night I plan to show some video clips of things that have been in the news recently.  These are things that have disturbed me and I want to shine the light of God's word on them.  I plan to do this each Sunday evening for a while.  The object is to help our church members to know how to deal with the things of this world.  The church needs practical application of God's word.  The world is being deceived and someone needs to stand up for the truth. 
Christmas lights in Athens 2010
We have a fellowship tomorrow after our morning services.  I am cooking a pork roast and making some beans.  Janie is making a salad and a chocolate cake.  I am on a low sodium diet but I have used salt in the food I am preparing. I will just have to go easy on the portions.  Well its off to bed for me, then up early for prayer and meditation.  Merry Christmas everyone and God bless you. 

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Dr and Dentist

All went well at the eye doctor today. My father-in-law got a good report there. Janie and I had a good trip to the dentist also. One might think it impossible to enjoy a trip to the dentist. If dentists and dentist office personnel were all like a certain one in Center Texas enjoyment and dentists would not be such an oxymoron. God bless you.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Christmas Shopping

Elijah inside one of our new foot stools
We had a really good time at the Bible study this morning.  We got some work done this afternoon and then went down to Lorena for services there.  I really enjoy preaching in their services they are a really good group of people and we have grown very attached to them.  We are praying for God to send them a really good pastor.

Justin cooking hot dogs on the fire pit
We did a little Christmas shopping today and plan to do some more tomorrow.  It really is hard to work it in with our busy schedule of things we need to get done.  We did not go to the gym today but did yesterday.  I am hopeful we can work it in tomorrow before we head to Henderson. 

The dentist in Center, Texas will be visited by the pastor of Walnut Street Missionary Baptist Church and his wife on Thursday.  The good folks of Tyler, Texas may see them also doing a little Christmas shopping in their fair city on their way through.  Those two sure are in the Christmas spirit.  They have been making and list and checking it twice. The parsonage will have some outdoor Christmas lights if the pastor gets around to it this week.  Stay tuned for the pictures will most likely be posted here.  God bless you.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Attendance Up

We enjoyed our stay with the grandkids on Friday and Saturday and the talent show they were involved in.  The food was good.  We arrived at our daughter's house and went to work helping her get everything ready to go to the talent show.  Janie and I with help from the kids got the food ready to go and then got loaded up and headed out.  The talent show was real good and the three older grandkids each displayed a booth showing their talents and interests.  The next morning we went with them to Karate classes.  That was real interesting.  They had Jonathan, the three year old, test for a belt and he passed.  His "kata" was fun to watch.  I will place a video of it here if I can.

Joshua and Ruth by their booths at the talent show
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We had great services Sunday and it was good to see our attendance up even though we had several out sick.  Today I went to Fort Worth to be there with one of our church members who was having surgery.  Every thing went well and I got home, after a stop at the bank and the grocery store, about 3:00.  I had to run back up town to get some stamps and some envelopes for the France mission's treasurer.  The minute books were ready so I picked them up and will get them off in the mail this week.  All in all it has been a productive day.  I did a small amount of thesis reading and I have 2 more things I need to get done before I hit the hay.  The first is a trip to the gym and the second is my French lesson.  My conscience will be clear if I can get both of those worked in before my day ends.  God bless you.
Friday after Thanksgiving at our house in Hillsboro

Thursday, December 2, 2010


My aunt Laverne, my mother's sister, is in a hospital in Houston and is in very serious condition.  My prayers go up for her and her family.  This picture was taken in 2007 of her with her husband, Jesse, daughter, Judy and her son-in-law.  Her son, Keith was not able to attend the reunion that year. 

In my childhood years we did not see much of Laverne and her family.  Mostly we would see them during the summer time at my grandparents house.  I have nothing but fond memories of Laverne and Jesse. 

Janie at Canton Texas 1st Monday Trades day December 2010
Janie and I came to Henderson this afternoon by way of Canton.  Trades day was not crowded at all and we were able to park real close to one of the pavilions. We enjoyed shopping and this second picture is of Janie at one of her favorite booths.

I have been told that my mother now has a cell phone.  I am glad that she does and just hope she will not have any emergency where she will need it.  Maybe she will buy a computer next and join the blog-o-sphere.  I can just see her using Facebook and Twitter.  God bless you.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Its Fixed

Sunset on our way to Lorena, Texas
My Rosetta Stone Software has been malfunctioning.  It would not recognize the headphones until I restarted the computer 2 or 3 times.  Once it did let me in it would lock up after 3 frames.  I called tech support and the man on the phone had a heavy British accent.  He found the problem and gave me the solution so now it works. This process took 2 hours out of my day so I did not actually learn any French today.

The Grandkids helping Janie make pies
We had 2 young men to come to the front door this evening.  They were Mormons.  I talked to them briefly and told them where I believe they are wrong in what they believe.  I pointed out a few of the contradictions between their book and the Bible. I knew that I would not persuade them from their beliefs but at least they have heard the truth.  I told them what they must do to be saved and they seem content to believe that they are saved. Janie asked them to remember when they come into eternity what we had said to them.  The young man that did all the talking was 19 years old and has been a Mormon all of his life.

I am on a no salt diet.  It has been fine so far.  I made some chili with no salt and it was good. This no salt diet has me eating a lot of fresh veggies and fruits since those in cans are often salted.  My Thanksgiving meal consisted of a plate with cucumbers, carrots, tomatoes, jalapeno pepper and no salt.  It was good.  God bless you.