Another Nerd Alert

As I have said before, my children think I am a nerd because I actually like to go back and read the literary classics I should have embraced more in high school and college. Recently, I picked up a copy of “The Scarlet Letter” by Nathaniel Hawthorne, which is historical fiction set in 17th century puritan New England. The story revolves around the adulterous affair between the local minister and Hester Prynne, and the child that resulted. What strikes you about this period of time was just how harsh, judgmental, and ungracious people of this era were toward struggling and flawed sinners. The whole culture, including civil and religious leaders, forced her to wear a “Scarlet A” on her chest as a constant reminder of her very public shame. We know they possessed the same 39 books of the Bible we do, so you wonder if they ever read John chapter 11? Let him who is without sin cast the first stone! That is not to say we are to be lax about sin because every sin every one of us commits, breaks the heart of God! But where is the grace? What about taking a look at ourselves before casting a condemning gaze toward others?

Personally, I am glad our SPBC family has “SHOWING GRACE-SHARING CHRIST-BUILDING BELIEVERS” as our mission statement, because we want to be a gracious church. We want to came alongside flawed, struggling sinners, and try and help them get to where they need to be. Why? Because we know we ourselves are flawed, struggling sinners trying to find God’s way and we need people to come alongside us and help us sometimes.

“For by grace..” we have ALL been saved. Grace is God’s undeserved favor! Grace is God’s Riches at Christ’s Expense! Grace is something we do not deserve and can never earn! Be thankful  for Psalm 103: 8 which says, “The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness.” He certainly knows I am a recipient of this grace and I know I need to pass it on to others!  

He Provides

As far as I know, Genesis 22:14 is the first time the term Jehovah Jireh is mentioned in the Bible. , This is in the context of God providing an animal sacrifice to Abraham in place of his son Isaac, after the Lord saw Abraham’s faith. The word pro-vision means that God sees our need, even before we do, and He has the provision on the way before we even know we have a need.

He applies this attribute to every area of life, including our physical and financial needs. As some of you know, several years ago South Park began by faith the process of sponsoring Emmanual Lafelkima in his desire to obtain an R-1 visa, and we did so because we believe in E and his family. As we trudged through the laborious, government process we realized just how much faith this would require. As his sponsor we learned we (SPBC) had to guarantee a minimum of a $2,500/month salary and show it in our annual budget.  Listen to what I am saying. SPBC and only SPBC will be held responsible for this commitment by the US government. Here is where Jehovah Jireh shows up. The Southern Baptist of Texas committed $1000/month for another year; The North Texas Baptist Association has committed $250/month for another year; a friend of E’s has committed $50/month, and hopefully SPBC will increase our part to $400/month in 2019, and now the Mizo church is in a position to add $800/month and if you add all that up you will see that Jehovah Jireh showed up again.

Praise be to Him! If God is in something, there will never be any lack!

Like a Good Neighbor!

We, like many of you, are part of a neighborhood internet network, which most people ask about good plumbers, lawn care, and handymen, etc. I ignore most of the posts, but I listen with great interest when I see a lost or found dog, because I have a soft spot for dogs. Recently I watched several posts of a lady who expressed a great urgency in finding her much loved fur baby. What struck me was her sense of URGENCY, because she greatly valued her pet! She was reaching out and searching with a mighty passion!

So what is the point? Well, this made me think of the lady in Luke 15:8-10. She had ten coins, but she searched passionately for the one lost coin! She lit a lamp, swept her floor and she searched ever so carefully, until she found her lost coin. Again, what is the point you ask? Look at verse 10! The passion was for the ONE lost soul who would repent! We should have such an urgency and passion for the lost!!!   

"Our Upside Down Country"

The Prophets of old often would say things like “Thus Sayeth the Lord!!” or they would pronounce “Woe” upon a stiff necked and rebellious people. Well, during my quiet time with the Lord this morning, I discovered a verse that should be a pronouncement of “WOE” on the United States of America! Isaiah 5: 20 says, “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.” Tell me, does that not describe the direction our country is going in today? Every day, I hear something that reminds me what used to be right is now wrong and what used to wrong is now right! Things that used to be white are now black and what was once black is now white! What was once up is now down and what was once down is now up! There are so many current examples, but I am asking you to just look at current events through this lens and see how many examples you can identify. So what is happening? Well, I think it is a demonic, herculean effort to undo every thing good this great country was founded upon! Hollywood, pro sports, the news media and leftist politicians want to destroy this great lighthouse for the Gospel (that we call America) to the ground so they can rebuild it in the socialist, humanistic and atheistic society they want. Will they succeed? Only if God and His people give up on her. We know God is in control and maybe this is part of His plan to make us irrelevant in the last days, but even if that be so, we Christians must continue to be “salt and light” until the very end. Maybe today!!!     

Look, See, and Believe

Please excuse the absence of a blog over the last two weeks, but we were on vacation. Speaking of vacation, our dear friend Dana, once again blessed us with use of her beautiful cabin in Angel Fire, New Mexico, and I truly enjoyed the cooler weather.  As always, the scenery was spectacular!

None of us can understand how anyone could look at the beauty and grandeur of the mountains and not see the hand of God. Of course, we also accept the opening words of Genesis, “In the beginning God created the Heavens and the Earth.” That is all I need to know. We believe that He spoke the universe into existence out of nothing. No evolution, natural selection or billions of  years to do it. Now we know the humanistic, academic world usually rejects and ridicules any mention of God in this regard, so they have to invent some naturalistic explanation and if they tip their hat to God at all, they think of Genesis as a nice little allegory with no basis in science. But as Bible believing Christians, it is critical that we get this one right, because what we believe shapes the way we view the world and how we think. Logically, if we cannot be sure Genesis 1 is accurate and authoritative, then we have to question the rest of the Bible, including the Gospel.

So I accept by faith that our Lord created those big, beautiful, majestic mountains because He said He did, but on the other hand all you have to do is “look, see and believe” who put them there!  “For thus says the Lord, who created the heavens, who is God, formed the Earth and made it, who has established it, who did not create in vain, who formed it to be inhabited: ‘I AM THE LORD, AND THERE IS NO OTHER.’ Isaiah 45:18  

No Fear

I typically arrive at our church around 5-5:30 a.m. each Sunday.  Obviously it is still pitch black outside.   I have learned something that every woman should know, and it is called “situational awareness.”  Simply put, it means we scan our surroundings and do our best to not put ourselves in a vulnerable position. So each Sunday I will sweep the parking lot with my headlights, peek around Glowing Heart vans, and illuminate the entrances. I am not a chicken, but I have encountered an occasional homeless individual sleeping at the church door.

A couple of Sundays ago, I was walking toward the entrance when I saw the movement of a figure out of the corner of my eye, walking at my same pace.   I must admit my body reacted with the “fight or flight” syndrome.  Of course, it passed quickly when I realized it was only my shadow moving along the  building. 

That got me to thinking that as a child, shadows were scary things, but as adults we know that we have no need to fear shadows.  Psalm 23 then came to mind and verse 4 which says, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil for Thou art with me…” You see, as Christ-followers we do not fear death because it is merely a shadow, and we are not afraid of shadows any more.   Plus, when that day comes, our Lord will be right there with us and leading us to our eternal home with Him!

Hot as _______ ?

I said to my wife the other day, “I don’t know if it is me, but this summer has seemed particularly HOT!” I can’t walk into Kroger without breaking out in a sweat. I sometimes wonder how the snowbirds, who laugh at our inability to drive in ice and snow, would handle a brutal August in Texas. Oh well, just wondering.

We sometimes hear those suffering through a Texas August with us say something like, “It is hotter than Hell today!”, and although I appreciate the figure of speech for effect,  I think the statement minimizes Hell. Yes, this Summer is miserable, but it doesn’t even come close to the torment, horror, and suffering for those who choose Hell. You say, “I don’t believe in Hell” and you would join the 94% of those polled, whereas 76% polled believe Heaven is a real place.

Listen, Hell is just as real and eternal as Heaven, and it is reserved for those who reject the substitutionary death of Jesus Christ as punishment for their sins. Since they rejected the Savior they must face the eternal retribution for sin themselves, with perhaps the greatest torment of all being separation from God and every thing good for all eternity.

So I ask YOU, why would anyone reject this free gift of eternal life, in a place called Heaven, that is being offered to them today?

Another Nerd Alert

As kids growing up in Pleasant Grove, every boy had a BB gun, and we would shoot anything that moved, some times even a brother or sister.  I am not proud of this, but while stalking big game in the Grove, a likely target usually was an innocent bird.  We were told however, to never shoot a Mockingbird because it was the State bird of Texas and we could go to prison or something like that.

Which brings me to another nerd alert. As you know, my children think I am a nerd because I like to go back and read the literary classics I should have read and enjoyed more back in high school, like To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. I always try to find the root of the title in a book like this, and I think I did on page 103. After giving Jem an air rifle, Atticus, his Father, told him, “I’d rather you shoot tin cans in the back yard, but I know you will go after birds. Shoot all the blue jays you want, if you can hit ‘em, but remember it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.” Why? Is it the state bird of Alabama too? No, as Miss Maudie explained it in so many words, Mockingbirds don't hurt anybody or anything, they just sing their hearts out making music for us to enjoy. (My paraphrase)

This foreshadowing makes sense in two characters later in the story.  The first, in the context of Atticus defending a good-hearted, good-living black man named Tom Robinson in a court of law, after Tom was falsely accused of raping a white woman in 1935. Tom lost the case and was executed. This was the case of a good person, like a mockingbird, being killed.

On the other hand, we see an example when the mysterious and reclusive neighbor named Boo Radley stepped in and protected Jem and Scout, while they were walking home one night, by stabbing the attacker with the attacker’s own knife. Later, the sheriff wasn’t going to arrest Boo, over Atticus’s objection, and he maintained the story the man fell on his own knife. This is when the title came together, because Scout told her Father that arresting and prosecuting Boo would be, “… sorta like shooting a mockingbird wouldn’t it?”  Here is a case where a good- hearted person, like a mockingbird, was not killed.

So what Pastor? The Bible says that all people are “created in the image of God” and that gives them dignity and worth, even if they are different from us, or even a bit strange to us. It does not mean they are good apart from Christ, but every person should be treated with respect and fairness because they are created in His image.

Here's Another One!

Several years ago, when James “Ace” Alexander was our Worship Leader/Youth Pastor, we went to lunch once a week at “Mama’s Daughter's Diner” in Irving. For some strange reason, from time to time, I or we, began to notice just one shoe in the road.  I am sure “Ace” did not give it much thought, but it puzzled me. If someone ran out of or walked out of one shoe, why wouldn’t they go back and retrieve it? If it fell out of a vehicle, shoes are usually in pairs and you would think both would be on the ground, at least sometimes. Nevertheless, I have spent the last few years ”looking for” them, and when safe, I take a photo and post it on Facebook. I have posted dozens and have seen many more that were not safe to photograph or I blew by them too fast and didn’t want to go back. Now, I actually have people “looking for” them and sending me photos. I received one recently from Illinois and hope to get one in Arkansas soon. (A friend told me there was one on their street.) So this is a universal phenomenon and I am asking you to send photos to me when you see “another one”!

Now what is the point of this nonsensical navel gazing? Well, I find these because I am “looking for” them. Maybe like Abraham in Hebrews 11:10 is “looking for” the city whose architect and builder is God- which is Heaven! Greek scholar, A.T. Robertson says the phrase “looking for” means “steady and patient waiting in spite of delays and disappointments.” Abraham’s faith was forward-looking! He kept his eyes on the future and eternal things and not the present or temporary Earthly things. I guess I would say Abraham was Heavenly-minded; yet you have heard it said that we can be too Heavenly-minded to be of any Earthly good, but I think some Christians are too Earthly-minded to be any Earthly good.  Keep your eyes on the Eastern sky and keep “looking for” that city whose architect and builder is God.

Going the Extra Mile!

We Christians in America are so spoiled, but none of us would want to worship with no air conditioning in this 110 degree heat. So last Saturday, when our aged A/C unit for the worship center decided to blow a hole in the condenser coil, we suddenly had the whole down stairs of our church blanketed in a smoky haze. I was in my office when Anthony, our custodian, came and told me the smoky substance was coming out of one of the A/C vents near the children’s area. Since we had one of the other units on the opposite side of our facility worked on the day before, I decided to place a call to Halley with Fast A/C. He said, “Don’t call me, if there is smoke call the fire department.” I did and that is when the excitement really began. We had seven fire units, two battalion chiefs, one ambulance and one police car swarm our church parking lot in two minutes. Actually, I was surprised I had only one church member call and ask what was going on, because there were a lot of flashing red lights.

Well the good news is, it was not a fire, but the old unit pumped $500 worth of refrigerant into the building!   I wish it didn’t take money to keep this place going, but it does.  Hint! Hint! But what I want to emphasize in this story is how Halley and his guys are working 12-13 hour days in this 110 degree heat, but when I called him at 6:30 pm on Saturday night and asked if he could come and get us ready for Sunday morning, he came! He was exhausted but he came.

His actions made me think of what the Lord said in Matthew 5:41, “Whoever forces you to go one mile, go with him two.”  Halley went the extra mile for us! Thank you my friend, and if anyone needs A/C work, call Fast A/C in Grand Prairie.  

Anger can be good!

-ast evening in Grief Share, we talked about how some people experience the emotion of anger as a part of their grieving process. Some are angry at the departed loved one, or a third party, and some are even angry with God. We know anger is a real part of the process sometimes, but we struggled a bit with the appropriateness of being angry with God and if so, to what extent.  I finally said that anger is a God-given and neutral emotion, and it cannot possibly be intrinsically sinful because the Lord Jesus experienced anger. In fact, anger is a great motivator, but the question is, in what direction does it motivate a person to go. I think God understands our anger toward Him if it motivates us to turn to Him for help and answers with a tenacity and determination only anger can motivate us to do. However, if that anger drives us to turn away and run from God, which will cause us to look for help and answers in all the wrong places, then that is neither healthy or helpful for the grieving person left behind. I hurt for people who choose the latter option because they have sentenced themselves to a life of bitterness and pain that will never be healed. Pray for the hurting!  

Finally Did It!

As most of you know, I was not raised in the church, but as I look back on my public school days, with the understanding I have now, I am certain that a few of my teachers were most likely Christ-followers. One was dear, sweet Mrs. Mitchell who taught me English my senior year.  Looking back I can just sense the Spirit of God on her. During that year, she assigned us to read the book, “The Caine Mutiny” and we would have a quiz over our reading. So I read the first few chapters and the last few chapters, and I made an A on the quiz.  When Mrs. Mitchell congratulated me on my work, I felt guilty.  It was at this point I determined that I would read the whole 537 pages at a later date. Well, just 47 years later I finally did it!

Recently, I have been going back and reading the “classics” just for fun (my kids think I am a nerd) and I discovered I really liked the book.  I always like naval stories and this one was set in the Pacific during WWII on an old mine sweeper named the USS Caine. Obviously, the author had a naval background because the details of life on a warship came through each page. Of course there was the romantic sub plot of the main character, but the book really was about the tension between the spit and polished regular Navy and the so-called citizen sailor/soldier so prevalent during WWII. The skipper was Captain Queeg and he was a hard line, vindictive, harsh, strictly-by-the-book kind of guy, except when the rules applied to him. He was also a coward under fire and seemed to freak out under stress. When the Caine found itself in a severe typhoon and the skipper was making errors of judgment, some of the citizen sailors under his command decided to mutiny and take control of the ship. Needless to say, a court marshal ensued  and the chapters describing the trial which proved to be even more interesting than the mutiny chapters were very good. If you are wondering how the court marshal turned out, you will have to read the book for yourself! I think Mrs. Mitchell would be proud to know I finally finished the book and perhaps may even have encouraged someone else to sit down with a good read. Maybe I will see her in heaven some day and I can tell her myself.

VBS was a success!

So many of our people and their family’s have been touched by the Lord through V.B.S. over the years, so it was heartbreaking last year when tight finances caused us to cancel. So we are so thankful we were able to have V.B.S. this year. Of course Pam and Lisa and their leaders worked very hard and it resulted in an average attendance of twenty eight per night with our highest night being thirty kids. You say, well that doesn’t sound all that “successful”, but it depends on how you define success. Last Sunday morning we had an unplanned (by me) and totally spontaneous time of people sharing their hearts about the blessings of our V.B.S. week and it was beautiful to hear how the Lord had worked in the lives of our workers as well as the children. As for as visible results, we had one precious soul come to Christ, a family’s return to our church, two young girls who had never been to church came away very excited and asking a lot of questions, and the kids learned the importance of helping others, by raising $347 dollars going to meet basic essentials of families over seas and they brought 400 water bottles for the homeless in Ft. Worth. Plus, we all agree that there was a lot of good seed planted and we are sure more harvest will come even if we never see it. The Bible says, “So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes the growth.” Therefore, we know we are to plant and water but the Lord gives the increase. We stand on that and believe it! So what might not seem like a success to you, we think is seen as a huge success in God’s eyes.   

Step Up Fathers

This will be my last blog about our trip to Mexico, but it tied in so well with Father’s Day, I felt led to do this one last one.

One beautiful morning my wife and I were enjoying breakfast on an outdoor patio when something caught my eye about two tables over. There was a Mom, Dad and two children.  Sounds like an average all American family, having breakfast. The girl was about 7 or 8 and the boy was 4 or 5 and they looked like many other families, except for one thing. The little boy had on a dress! Probably his sister’s dress. It appears that he was spoiled and was not receiving much discipline or guidance from his parents because what I heard in a loud, shrill voice over and over was, “I don’t want to eat that!” “I don’t want to leave!” “I don’t want to take a nap!” It wore me out just listening to all that. So I surmised he woke up that morning and announced, “I want to wear my sister’s dress.”   OK. I don’t get it. No boy I knew growing up in the Grove ever woke up with that thought, but I think this family was from the West coast.

But here’s my question, where were the parents? Especially the Father! The Bible says we fathers are to “…bring the children up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.”  Where was the discipline?  Where was the loving but firm instruction of the Lord?  Why not sit him down and say, “Son, God created us male and female. We are equal but different because that is the way God made us. Let’s put on this pair of pants and go eat.”

We now have a generation that eats Tide Pods and can’t figure out if they are a boy or a girl. How sad is that? But maybe it is not totally their fault, but rather it lays at the feet of a generation of parents who have abandoned any moral guidance for their children because they are so determined to be politically correct about everything.

In closing, I could say God Bless America, but instead I will say God Help America!

Men Can Be Jerks

I have not dated since I was dating my wife back when I was 18-21 years of age, so I have never filled out a dating service profile, but it seems like people put down things like- “I enjoy candle light dinners” and “I like romantic walks on the beach.” I don’t know what my wife would put down, but I do know she likes to walk on the beach, usually looking for photo ops, and she likes for me to go along. So on our recent vacation to Mexico, she wanted to walk early one morning to try and catch a nice sunrise, and I joined her. As a general rule, I do not care to walk just to walk! It is a primitive form of transportation to be used only when absolutely necessary.  Plus, when you are on the beach it is more like trudging through cold molasses and when you are on an incline it is even harder on the old body. But remember, I went for my wife and so I trudged onward.

After we had walked about a mile, I had to take a rest and sat down on a rock. I told my wife, “I am only doing this for you.” To which she replied, “ I wish it didn’t look so painful on your face.” Now my pride was hurt along with my hurting hips, knees, and the searing pain down my left thigh, but she was right. So I decided to “suck it up buttercup” and try to have a better attitude as we walked back. I still hurt and didn’t enjoy it, but I tried to engage and talk and not be so grumpy, because I do love her (which God says is choosing to put someone’s happiness, needs and desires ahead of your own), but doing it like a big grump negates everything. So I am sorry babe, but we men can be big jerks, and I am so thankful you love me unconditionally!   

 

Take My Man Card!

On vacation, I did something I thought I would never do. I got a pedicure! Yes, I confess even in fear of having my  Man Card revoked. Aside from all that, I do not like people touching my feet and don’t like lotion of any kind on any part of my body, but my wife was doing the massage thing, and since I had nothing else to do, I took the plunge. Of course, I had been softened up the Sunday before when a friend at church enthusiastically extoled the benefits, but I was still wary. But I put on my shades, pulled my hat down on my head and did my best John Wayne walk, and approached the desk. I plunked down 1,492 pesos (go to currency converter app if curious) and I was offered some floosey water with stuff floating around in it, but I declined. I took a seat and waited. This was when the urge to  bolt came over me.  Too late. I had a very friendly senorita asking me if  I was ready. I wanted to say I am not sure, but stood up and followed her into the room.

The first thing I noticed was a display of more colors of finger/toe nail polishes than I knew existed. The urge to bolt hit me again. She sat me down and put my feet into some warm, circulating water with some added crystals. Then she yelled something in Spanish which I thought sounded like, “Bring in the grinder!” but a dude came in with a hot compress and put it behind my neck. Hey this is not too bad! She assured me that my feet were not the gnarlyist she had ever seen, which made me feel a little better. After a nice, long soak she began to clip, strip and shape each toe nail with great care and precision. Then she went to work on the cuticles. Man, did those cuticles need some work. She picked up what looked like a stick of butter and polished my toe nails. Then more cuticle work and the removal of dead skin on the bottom of my feet. She only hit my tickle  spot twice and she always said she was sorry and remembered not to go there again. Next came the lotions and the foot massage! O.K. I am hooked now!

So you can revoke my Man Card, but I am going to do it again, because that is the best 1,492 Pesos I have ever spent. So the question is, “What makes a man a real man?” A real man is a stand up guy for his Lord, his wife, and his family! “Love the Lord God with all your heart, body and soul and love your neighbor as yourself.” Who is a closer neighbor than your wife and family?

Good with Not So Good!

While the church family at SPBC were observing the Lord’s Supper, I was attending a Roman Catholic service in Mexico because it was the only one offered at the resort. Now I am not one to bash other denominations, but I do want to make some observations and draw some distinctions.

The first thing I noticed was just how ornately decorated and furnished the little chapel was, with some very large and impressive paintings on the walls which depicted scenes in the life of Christ. The other thing that struck me as I entered was how very quiet and reverent the people were as they awaited the start of the service. The only exception was the bird that flew into the open door and roosted in the expansive beams above and chirped the whole time. Some of the people, but not all, would “genuflect” (bending the right knee to the floor as they entered) as a show of reverence. Even the priest (who was running late) rushed in with his Bermuda shorts and polo shirt, and a fellow carrying a gym bag, with what I assumed were his liturgical vestments, failed to “genuflect” as he entered. There were about 120 folks jammed into this little chapel and they began by singing “It is Me Standing in the Need of Prayer Oh Lord” and “Kum Ba Yah” with the priest leading the music a cappella. The priest offered men or women the opportunity to step up and read scripture in English and Spanish, and two men and two women stepped up and read from Acts 2 and an assortment of Psalms.

Yes they passed the basket and had a “Meet and Greet,” but it involved giving each other a kiss of peace on the cheek, which I demurred. There were some written prayers read and a lot of standing, kneeling and sitting, which the vets seem to know when to do what and they knew when they should verbally respond to the priest. We rookies were lost. Part of their confessions of faith were spot on, like their views on the Trinity, but I could not verbally profess a belief in “one Catholic, Apostolic church and one baptism for forgiveness of sin”. Again some good with some not so good. The homily was essentially about the importance of receiving the Holy Spirit in order to love God and people like we should. No problem there, but then he added in some Mary-ology and praying to saints and other unbiblical practices which I had to reject. When it was time to partake of the elements, the elderly priest prepared the table and took a seat down front with a basket of wafers, and each person lined up and came forward to partake. I declined of course. Then he went back to the table and partook of the wine by himself. They closed by singing “Dance for You” ?? and it was the first time I saw the elderly priest smile, as he did a little jig.

In conclusion, I believe when they stick to the Scripture they convey truth, but when they intermingle extra Biblical beliefs with the truth it becomes dangerous. After all, Satan’s greatest tool of deception is to “add to or take way from His truth.” So I guess the biggest distinction is our belief that the 39 books of the Old and New Testaments, and them alone, are our FINAL source of authority in matters of faith and practice. This is not intended to be a bash of anyone, but to clarify our beliefs in contrast to others.  My faith was actually strengthened by the experience!

Life Changes Quickly

I did not produce a blog last week. Why? Because I couldn’t think of any thing to write about. Call it “Blog Clog” I guess. However, this week I want to write about an experience I had at the end of last week and really continues to the present. Last Friday afternoon, I was in my home office working with my blinds open to the front of the house. I noticed a mail truck go by out of the corner of my eye apparently to our community mail boxes two houses down.  The next thing I see is a fire truck with lights on in front of my neighbors house along with three police cars, one ambulance, and two public safety officer’s trucks. Well, that required an investigation. So I went outside and learned that my neighbor Mike was backing out of his drive way, while the postal truck was backing up to deliver a package to our house, and they bumped rear bumpers. Here is where it gets strange. Mike accelerated across his yard, through the neighbor’s fence and hit the neighbors house. The EMT’s checked him out but Mike refused transport and they left. Then as he watched them pulling his car out of the neighbor’s yard, his legs gave way, and two police officers helped him into his car with the intention of letting Mike’s sixteen year old son drive him to a Baylor Emergency ER near our house. I could tell the boy was overwhelmed, so I followed them to the ER and stayed until they transported him via CareFlight to Baylor in Dallas. I asked my Christian friends to pray for Mike and so many have responded beautifully. We even prayed as a church for Mike in our service last Sunday. Well, I went today to see him and Mike is having some feeling back in both hands but only one leg. Once feeling is restored, he will have a lot of Physical Therapy ahead, but we are praying for full restoration and an opportunity to minister to this family. I say all that to say this: “Life can change so quickly!” and we are able to cope better when the storms come if we are walking close to the Lord!

 

Graduation Party

Last Sunday evening, nine lovely ladies, and a guest who will be joining us in our next cycle of Grief Share, had a graduation party after completing thirteen weeks of the Grief Share ministry. I started to second guess my use of the word "party" because of the obvious subject matter, but then I thought, everyone of their loved ones would want them to go on with their life and be happy! So we had a party to celebrate their graduation! Grief Share is a ministry the Lord used greatly with our people and even two delightful ladies who attend other churches. We learned so much about the grief process and drew strength from the sound Biblical teaching of the experts on video, our own shared experiences, and by faithfully doing our daily work book exercises. This class happen to be all women, which made it interesting some time for the only man in the room (ME), but they became very close during this time together. By the way, men are certainly welcome! But this cycle went so well, we have decided to do this three times a year as long as their is a need and interest. We will begin our summer cycle this Sunday (4/29) at 5:15 to 7:15 p.m. as we meet in our "Bride Room" and will meet for thirteen weeks with some breaks for summer holidays. Each session is self contained so you can break into the thirteen week cycle at anytime. If you or anyone you know has lost a loved one to death and you think this ministry might help you, please contact our church office at 972 262 2641 for more detail. God bless you all, Pastor Randy

Daddy/Daughter Trip 2018

Once upon a time there was a little girl with “lello” hair and blue eyes and she and her Daddy went on a trip together. They stood in a long line and got on a big airplane and flew to a place called Nashville.  Since the weather was gorgeous they had a nice lunch outside at a place called the “Double Dog” and there were several people who brought their pet dogs there. They had wonderful one-on-one quality time to talk. Next they went to their air B&B which was a house built in 1899.  It was very nice, but had old plumbing, so they had a sign saying “Don’t Flush Anything but Toilet Paper” which made them chuckle because- well think about it. They then Uber'ed to Broadway and ate at the Acme Feed and Seed and listened to some very talented Country and Blue Grass bands just hoping to get a break. The next morning they got on a 15 stop bus tour of the city and learned some very interesting facts about the city of Nashville. They saw the “Marathon Motor Works” which has artifacts from the American Pickers TV show, The Pantheon, which was a replica of the real one built for their bicentennial, and 5th Avenue where MLK and others led a sit-in for three months at the Woolworth’s lunch counter which is still operational today. They tried to eat at Hattie B’s Fried Chicken but the line extended half a block in a driving rain, so they declined. They went back to the place and put on their boots, Uber'ed back to Broadway and did some souvenir shopping, ate, listened to another band and then met some of her friends at the Thompson Hotel. They finished the evening at Station Inn and listened to a very talented Bluegrass band and went back to the place. They did not know, but their Uber ride from the hotel to the Station Inn was half a block. Their driver laughed! The next day was devoted to travel and they ate pizza at Castrillo’s before heading home. They didn’t do a lot in two and a half days but they did just enough. Good night sweetheart and Daddy loves you!

Authors Note: When my daughter Lisa was little, if we had done something big that day, like going to Six Flags, I would recap the day in the third person for her bedtime story and she would listen very intently.  If I skipped something or got facts wrong, she would immediately correct me. She will probably read this and I am sure she will edit it. I love you Lisa!!!