Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Tech Support

Providing tech support yesterday
I provide computer tech support for a company here in Hillsboro.  I did some work for them today.  I know a little about computers at least enough to be dangerous.  A fellow pastor here in Hillsboro called me with a computer question and I helped him out then it was my turn.   I had to upgrade my USB modem so it  would work with my new laptop when it arrives.  I followed the instructions for installing the new device and it did not work.  I called tech support and was on the phone with them for 3 hours.  I talked with 3 different tech people and two of them consulted with someone else.  The last one decided that the modem was defective and said he would send me a new one.  I was not convinced so when I hung the phone up I played with it for a while and got it to working. I called to cancel the replacement but they had already shipped it.  One nice thing about this new modem is the fact it acts as a wireless router.  I can surf the net with my iPhone while Janie is working on her orders. 
Feeding a grieving family at our church before the funeral
Yesterday I provided tech support for a man who is a member of our church.  He was having trouble applying for a job online.  He had failed 3 times and so I went with him and helped him get through the process.  After all the effort he put in I hope he gets the job. 
Our ladies Bible study went well this morning. We did not have services tonight at Lorena due to illness there.  Tomorrow Janie and I will provide some tech support for a lady who is helping us type up Bro. Davis' sermons for the internet.  She has 3 of them ready to go and we will get those from her and give her a half dozen more. 
We plan to head for Henderson Wednesday night.  Janie and I will attend a retirement party Thursday afternoon for the lady with whom Janie worked for some 13 years.  It was at this job that Janie became so computer literate.  She knows about as much as I do. 
At the graveside service last week
Monday the funeral went as well as funerals can go.  The music was outstanding and the message a simple one.  I always include in funeral sermons a portion which tells people about sin, death, Heaven, Hell, and how to be saved.  This funeral was no exception.  
Being a pastor is like tech support.  I help people with the problems they have understanding the Bible.  It is my favorite kind of tech support.  God bless you.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Mission Accomplished

Janie and I with Dr. Cloud and his wife Sandra
Our missions emphasis month at church ended today.  The services were really good.  Dr. Randy Cloud preached an outstanding sermon on missions.  He also gave a report and it was all good.  We took up over $800 for ABA missions which was really good for our small church.  Janie and I took the Clouds out to eat after church and enjoyed a good visit with them.  The services went well tonight and I cut them short so we could get to the funeral home for a family visitation.
Presenting Dr. Cloud with our special mission offering
Saturday morning one of our church members died.  That makes two in one week. This one was completely unexpected.  I will preach at the nursing home in the morning and then will have lunch at the church with the family of the man who died.  The funeral will be at 1:00 in the afternoon.  This will be the 70th funeral I have preached since I came to Hillsboro.  This is the 4th funeral I have preached this year.  I was just thinking about how the number of funerals compares to the number of souls that I have seen saved while I have been here in Hillsboro.  Janie and I named 17 that were saved since we came here and we are sure that is not all. There are a number of others that said they were saved about whom we have doubts.  That would mean I see an average of 8 buried a year and only an average of 2 saved a year.  I sure wish those numbers were reversed.  Maybe this year will be better with fewer deaths and more souls saved. 
This is going to be a busy week and I may not find time to blog.  I expect my new laptop to arrive next week.  It was suppose to be here Thursday but when I last checked it still had not been shipped.  I need to head for bed. It is Monday already. God bless you.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Thesis Writing

The Headstone looks good. Janie adjusting the flowers
I went to lunch today with a good friend.  He is the assistant camp director for our summer youth encampment.  I enjoy his company and every year he and I are in the same dorm at camp. I plan to have lunch with him as often as I can when I am in Henderson.
Some serious progress was made on the Song of Songs today.  I love the writing part of my thesis work.  I typed 1 and 1/2 pages single spaced with a 3/4 margin.  Now that may not sound like serious progress to everyone but to me it was outstanding.  By the time I had erased and retyped and reworded things I probably typed more like three pages in all. It makes me want to spend more time on it.  I plan to teach my adult class at camp from the Song of Songs. 
After spending the afternoon at the library in Henderson I went back to my mother-in-law's house and ate some supper.  Janie and I took her mother over to her uncle Trenton's house for a visit.  He has a new ramp that lets her get into his house with little effort.  I expect she will be spending more time over there now that it is easy for her to get into his house.
A visit with Uncle Trenton
We went to the cemetery and were surprised to see that the headstone had been installed.  It looks really good. There was only one problem with it.  They left the name off the back of the stone.  She will call them about that tomorrow.
It is off to Palestine tomorrow for Janie and I.  She is the guest speaker at a ladies tea.  My son-in-law and I will spend some time together while our wives are at the tea.
I am really looking forward to the services Sunday.  Dr. Randy Cloud will be preaching in our services.  Monday I will be preaching at the nursing home. God bless you.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Hot Water

We drove to my mother's house this morning and determined that she did indeed need a new hot water heater. She had called us just as we were leaving Hillsboro and asked if we were coming. I said we were on our way and she asked if she could go to Lowes and look at the hot water heaters for me. I told her that would be good. I started the thing to draining and cut the pipes and disconnected the wires. We had to drive out to Janie's mother's house to borrow her truck. We picked up the new heater and the fittings we needed and headed back to mother's. It did not take long to get the old one out and the new one in. There were some leaks but they were easily fixed. We stayed and visited a little while. We had to pick up a few things for Ms Taylor and now after a good homemade pot pie which Ms Taylor made today I am giving her some computer training.
I intend to make some real serious progress on my thesis tomorrow while Janie and her mother are gone. God bless you.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Two Funerals

We had two funerals today.  The first was one of our church members and I officiated the service.  We ate with the family at noon at our church.  The ladies of our church prepared a wonderful meal.  I preached a sermon which told those present how they can have God's forgiveness for their sins.  I told them from God's word how they can be pardoned, justified, made righteous, and be saved.  It is a message that everyone needs to hear.  Believers have responded to the drawing of the Holy Spirit of God and have been saved.  You will not be saved unless the Holy Spirit of God convicts you of your sin.  You will not come to God unless you are drawn.  God is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.  God wants you to be saved.  If you are feeling guilty and are afraid of facing God in judgment then go to the one and only Savior, Jesus Christ.  Confess your sinful state and ask him to have mercy on your soul.  He is waiting to hear from you now.
Hannah's Birthday Bike revealed
I have gotten a lot done so far this week but you would not know it by the list of things I have left to do.  The lawn needs to be mowed which I may do in the morning.  My mother's hot water heater is leaking and I expect I will have to replace it.  We talked to Jason and Angie this afternoon which made me want to get back to my French lessons.  I have not worked at all on my thesis this week so Friday I hope to see some progress on that project.  My garage needs to be cleaned out in the worst kind of way.  These things wait as I do those things which the Holy Spirit places in my path insisting that His work come first.
Tomorrow we head for Henderson and work awaiting us there.  God bless you.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Bro. Harold Davis' Funeral Sermons

Janie dusting the fan before Bible Study
Today I was looking through a box of sermons that belonged to Bro Davis and found a package of funeral sermons.  I began to look through them and it has made me want to get them on his website as soon as possible.  Many of them were outstanding.  We did not have services tonight in Lorena so we were able to go to a family visitation at the funeral home. 
Monday my mother returned home and made it back without any problems.  I went over to the church and worked on setting up a wireless network so that the computers there can all use the new copy machine as a printer.  My laptop connected to the printer through the network just fine but the older desktop computer just would not cooperate.  I will need to work on it some more and then tackle the one in the Sunday School office. 
My mother loading up to head back to Henderson
I have a funeral tomorrow.  I will go to the Funeral home at 9:30 in the morning and I expect to return home about 3:30 in the afternoon.  It will be a long day. The visitation is in the morning and then our church will serve the family at noon. The funeral will be at 2:00 followed by the graveside service.  God bless you.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Fun Part of Hiking

Wading with the grandkids
A flat tire on the way home
I have not blogged since last Wednesday and a lot has happened in my busy world.  Thursday I went hiking with  Scott and the grandkids.  We hiked around the island at the state park.  It was fun to be with the grandkids.  Their favorite part is the snacks that they get to eat while hiking.  For me it was never about the food on the trail but the sites on the trail and the sense of accomplishment that comes from finishing a long day on the trail.  The park was full of campers so we went back to my mother-in-law's house (just 15 minutes away) to camp out in her back yard. 
I helped Scott set up his hammock by holding the light for him.  I helped Ruth and Joshua set up their tents and then set up my own.  I did not rough it like I do when I am out hiking.  I used an air mattress to sleep on and was very comfortable. 
We got up the next morning and went back to the park and hiked some more.  The kids again enjoyed their snacks and we did walk about three times as far as we did the previous day.  Ruth needed the rest room so she and I left the others and made a bee-line for the facilities.  I had my GPS with me and used it to take the shortest root.  We made it there in time. We got in the car and drove to where we knew the others would be and picked them up.  Next it was off to the picnic area near the beach. 
I brought out a loaf of bread, some peanut butter, Jelly, and 2 cans of easy cheese.  The kids made themselves sandwiches out of the easy cheese piling it on thick and high.  They nearly emptied the two cans.  Ruth took an oatmeal creme pie and put cheese all over it and said it tasted good,  her sister followed her example but Joshua was not having it.  The pies were good just by themselves as far has he was concerned.
The Float as we saw it, the arms are missing

After lunch the kids played for a while on the playground while Scott and I talked.  When they tired of the playground I suggested we go wading in the lake.  We all pulled our shoes off and rolled up our pants legs and went in.  The water was cold at first. Scott stayed on shore and took pictures.  Hannah fell down and got all wet but the rest of us kept our clothes dry.  I was the first to abandon the water and sat and watched the kids having fun.  It was a wonderful day.
On our way back to Hillsboro on Saturday morning we stopped in Palestine to see the float that Justin and Sarah's church had made for the Dogwood parade.  It was really good and they won third place.  We left them at the float and continued on home.  There is a long stretch between towns and it was at this place that we had a flat tire.  There was a piece of steel the size of pencil and about six inches long that went through the tread and out of the sidewall of the tire.  We pulled over and in just a few minutes we had that tired changed and got back on the road.  It is a brand new tire only 2 months or less old. We made it home all right and Monday I will have them order us a new tire. 
Joshua's drawing of the easy cheese.
My mother got up early Sunday morning and drove to Hillsboro.  She got here in time for church.  She got lost a couple of times once stopping to ask for directions.  She is going to head home in the morning.  We have enjoyed her visit. 
Elijah's first birthday, He dug into that cup cake with both hands
We got word this morning that one of our church members died.  I will be preaching that funeral on Wednesday.  It is going to be another busy week.  God bless you.
Tents in the back yard of my mother-in-law's house, mine on the left

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


Janie at the gym today
We had an extra good day on Tuesday.  The Bible study in the morning was good and we had good services in Lorena.  Today we went to the gym and got a workout.  I enjoy exercising there though I am usually ready to sit down and rest afterward.  I paused my workout to snap this picture of Janie on the twisting machine.  This place works you out all over. 
We are heading to Henderson tonight after church.  I will be bringing my camping and hiking gear.  I am looking forward to spending my day off hiking with the grandkids.  I expect we will do some fishing as well.
Janie and her sister back in 1973 a few months before we met.
The sermon tonight is taken from Lamentations the third chapter.  I worked on that sermon this afternoon and can't wait to preach it.  God bless you.

Monday, March 14, 2011

55 to Waco

I took this picture with my cell phone while singing in the choir
Sunday was our second in a series of mission Sundays.  The church bulletin is filled with mission information and the sermons  have a mission focus.  Our services were well attended both morning and evening. We had choir practice Sunday night and I have a partner who helps me sing bass. He is a retired judge and really and really good at singing.  He helps me stay on key. At one point our choir director came and sat on the back row with us and sang the tenor part. I was really nice to have one on either side of me who were really good at singing.  
Janie and her mother taking in an amazing sunset at Waldrop cemetery
Lundi bonne is French for good Monday.  Janie and I went to the nursing home this morning where we did the music and I preached the sermon.  We headed next down to Waco driving 55 mph on the freeway we got 55 mpg at the cost of making others on I35 mad.  We were passed by everyone.  I once drove from Hillsboro to Tyler doing 45 mph and got 63 mpg.  With fuel at $3.75 per gallon I can afford to take more time getting where I need to go.  We went to Waco to visited with a member in l'hôpital there.  Returning to Hillsboro we went back to the nursing home to visit one of our church members there who had just been moved there from the hospital.
We went to the gym to work out this evening.  My heart rate reached 115 and Janie's reached 156.  She wanted to know why my machine showed that I burned more calories than her's did.  My explanation involved the difference in our weights.  Takes a lot more calories to move an elephant than it does a..... well you get the idea. (Stopped just short of getting into trouble there.)
I am planning to go camping and hiking with my son-in-law and his kids on Jeudi and Friday this week.These plans are, as with all of my plans, subject to change.  I have a church member that lies near death down in a Houston hospital and depending on what happens there I may be staying here in Hillsboro this week. God bless you.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Spring Forward

Janie putting new flowers on her father's grave with her mother
I set the clocks that have to be set forward one hour this morning.  I thought I might lose the hour during the day instead of an hour of sleep tonight.  It is not working out that way though.  I have now stayed up to my normal bedtime so I will lose the hour of sleep anyway.  Janie and I went to the outlet mall here in Hillsboro today.  They had a special crafts and antiques show going on.  There were a lot of people there and it was good to see the parking lot half full of cars.  The mall has gone down a lot and many of the stores are vacant.  I would love to see their business pick up.  I got in my French lesson and Janie did too.  I worked on things for Sunday and watched a little news here and there.  I am praying for the people in Japan.  I can't imagine what it must be like to be in the middle of such destruction and loss of life.  It has made me want to get some things in order here at our house just in case such a disaster hit here.
I have turned my attention to writing my Thesis and away from the research and reading that I was doing.  I like the writing part better than the research.  I will repent of this and get back to what I should be doing and that is reading, reading, reading.  It has been a good day and I hope all of our church members remembered to change their clocks.  God bless you.

Friday, March 11, 2011

A $2 Walk

1/10 of a mile into my $2 walk.
After Janie and her mother left the house this morning for Tyler I worked on the sermon for Sunday morning.  After getting that typed up I went to work on the Sunday School lesson.  I got a call from Janie reminding me to pick up some DVD's at TBI so I went to town to take care of that.  I had a hamburger for lunch then headed over to Martin Creek Lake State Park.  I paid my $2 entrance fee and took a slow drive to the lakes edge.  I parked and walked across the bridge to the island.  The walk around the island is very pleasant.  I encountered a couple that were fishing. They had not caught any fish but said they were not really trying.  A little ways down the beach I came across two boys with fishing poles and a tackle box.  I inquired as to where the string of fish was and they said "didn't catch any."  About a quarter of a mile farther down the beach I waved at some men in a boat.  They too were having no luck at fishing.  All in all the walk was very much worth the $2 I paid for it.  Next week I hope to be able to go hiking at this same park with my son-in-law and grandkids. 
Japan was hit with an 8.9 mag. earthquake and the pictures this morning and this afternoon are amazing.  My prayers go up for the people there.  Be warned. The Bible says that earthquakes are going to increase in number and in intensity.  There have been several small earthquakes in Arkansas recently.  We have even had some very small ones near Hillsboro.  God bless you.
Bridge to the island
Ducks passed me as if I were not there
Not exactly tidal waves but it was windy
The shore on Martin Creek Lake
Plants sprouting out of the beach

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Pie Pie

Mother's homemade apple pie.
Janie and my mother admiring the rose garden
Mother's new Rose garden
We did some more work this morning on our taxes.  I say we because Janie joined in and helped.  I think we are done but we are going to give it a couple of days and then review it one more time.  We headed out for Henderson by way of our church's missionary treasurer's house to drop off Jason's monthly report. 
Cookies in the house
We stopped in Corsicana at the fruitcake factory and bought a box of assorted cookies.  Janie drove most of the way this time while I worked.  We stopped in Tyler at Bed Bath and Beyond to pick something up for my mother-in-law.  We then stopped by my mother's house to see her new Rose garden.  She insisted that we come in and have a piece of apple pie.  We did and it was good. 
My mother-in-law's homemade pie
Wal-mart was our next stop so Janie could get her new glasses adjusted.  My mother-in-law was getting ready to cook some steak when we got to her house.  We had brought a load of frozen foods for her freezer and with those put away first thing Janie joined in to help her cook supper.  The steak was very tender and good.  She had also made 2 pies so we cut into one of those and it was outstanding.  Now we normally don't eat much in the way of sweets but today we have had 2 pies and cookies.  I will take a long walk tomorrow to ease my conscience.  I am not sure what tomorrow will bring but I hope to get some reading done and my French lesson.   God bless you.

Taxes Real Close

Janie and her mother at cemetery heading back to the van after setting out some flowers
I have been too busy to blog this week.  Taxes consumed a lot of my week.  I have them done now except for review to make sure I have not overlooked anything.  Monday was fairly normal. I preached at the nursing home and visited at the hospital.  Tuesday the ladies Bible study went well as did the services in Lorena.  Janie and I stopped by the hospital in Waco to see one of our members there before heading back to Hillsboro. Wednesday was all about taxes and I am glad to have the bulk of that done.  Today we will go down to Waco to visit the hospital and then head over to Henderson.  I plan to spend Friday at TBI doing research while Janie is with her mother. 
Our youngest daughter had her first doctor's appointment today.  She has been having a rough time of it so far and I pray things will settle down for her this summer.  She got to hear the heart beat today which reminded me of the time Janie heard Stacie's heartbeat for the first time.  It was an exciting event. 
Janie's nephew singing at Mojo's in Henderson TX
The attendance was low Wednesday night in my adult class. I am a bit discouraged by the lack of interest in midweek services.  I hate to see them go the way of the drive-in theater.  The teens class is doing great on Wednesday night and that is a blessing.
Well it is 2:19 and I had better call it a day and head for bed.  God bless you.

Sunday, March 6, 2011


The blank tombstone picked out for my father-in-law's grave
Weekend has its own word.  It is used so often because most people look forward to it.  They want their week of toil to end and when it does its happy time.  This moment is so popular that it has its own unique name, "weekend."  But to me week beginning is the better time.  When you write it as one word "weekbegin" the computer underlines it in red and says there is no such word.  If people looked forward to the beginning of the week more than they do the end then you would be hearing on everyone's lips "weekbegin" hurray!  The week begins much better than it ends.  Saturday is a day off for a lot of people as is Sunday.  The "weekend" gets two days and not one.  "Weekbegin" could have two days as well.  Sunday and Monday.  Sunday to worship God and then Monday to begin work.  "Weekend" celebrates the cessation of work and the beginning of rest.  "Weekbegin" celebrates the return to work. Weekend tends to be selfish and weekbegin tends to be unselfish.  When working we usually are doing for others and when playing and resting we are usually doing for ourselves.  It is more blessed to give than to receive.  It better to serve than to be served. So how about joining in with me and lets make "weekbegin" the more popular word.

Janie and her sister helping their mother order a tombstone.
Saturday we took my mother-in-law to Cushing, Texas to pick out and order a tombstone for my father-in-law's grave.  The process went very well and the price was much less than what we had expected. It should be delivered in two months. While there we met a family who was picking out a tombstone for their 31 year old son who had died of Strep throat.  He left behind a three month old baby.  It made me count my blessings.

We have had a great weekbegin so far.  Our attendance was up Sunday morning and night. We had the observance of the Lord's Supper and there is no better way to start your week than to remember what Christ did for you at Calvary.  I have a busy week ahead.  There is way more work to do than I can get done.  I don't know what to do to get caught up.  I thought about staying up all night but would that be wise?  I tend to think not.  Well I shall prioritize my work and get started.  God bless you.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Friday Found Me

Me in Library at TBI this morning
Friday found me sound asleep and had to wait until 8:00 in the morning before it saw my eyes open.  She saw Janie head off with her mother for a long day in Tyler.  She saw  me head out for TBI and the library there where I worked for just a short time on my thesis.  She saw me enjoying the lecture on the Tabernacle which Bro. Bobby Sparks delivered.  It followed me with Bro. Sparks and Bro. Brooks to the Smoke House where we had lunch together.  When we parted ways she found me at the public library where I found a quiet place to get some work done.  This evening we are planning to go into town for some food and music at a local restaurant.  I am hopeful that Saturday will find me sound asleep as his sister, Friday, did. God bless you.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday

Janie and Mother visiting, "nerve pill" is working
I have not blogged since Monday due to a busy schedule.  Tuesday the Ladies Bible study was really good.  We continue to critique a sermon by David Jeremiah.  Of the 59 minute long sermon we have covered about 18 minutes. I would like to suggest to the Hermeneutics and Homiletics instructors at the seminary that they use this sermon as a "how not to" example. His arguments for pre-tribulation rapture are extremely poor.  His sermon is well organized and well delivered but his arguments are full of holes.  I will critique John Hagee's sermon on the subject next and his problem is the same.
Janie bought some flowers for her Dad's grave
Tuesday night we had services in Lorena and returned home with a home made loaf of wheat bread and a new pair of shoes.  The bread was really good.  I am preaching through the book of Proverbs on Tuesday nights.
Wednesday we visited at the hospital and those of our members there are making good progress it seems.  I wore the new shoes all day and they were very comfortable.  My son-in-law in Palestine has been sick with a fever this week.  He is better now and back to work.  We talked for a little over 2 hours with Jason and his family in France.  He has been involved in a Calvinist doctrine discussion with the two pastors there.  It is very interesting and I think Jason has a very good grip on it.  I am very proud of Jason and his skill at handling the scriptures.  My class was small Wednesday night but we had a really good service.  We sang extra songs but I still got us out on time.  Those seats in the class room do get hard after a while so I try to keep it down to 45 minutes. 
Sunset at the graveyard
We left after church for Henderson and arrived about 12:40 and got to bed about 1:30 or so.  It was up at eight this morning and off to work.  There were several things I needed to get done.  We went by to see my mother and she is back to her old self again after a small problem caused by her not taking her medicine.  When we arrived at her house she was all smiles and all was well in her little world. 
Tomorrow I will go to TBI and attend the chapel class. I am to meet with my partner in the State Association clerk's job.  We will go pick up the minute books from the print shop.  I will take most of them back to Hillsboro so they will be available at the State meeting which will be at our church in November. 
I am really looking forward to our trip to France in August.  I miss spending time with the grandkids over there.  I am working on my French lessons and so is Janie.  I would like to be able to communicate at least a little bit with the people over there.  It will take a couple of years but I am determined to stay with it.
I have been back working on my thesis.  That thick book I have been reading is slowly yielding some very interesting information on the Song of Songs.  I am not sure what book I will tackle next but it really does not matter.  God bless you.