Posts filed under ‘Christian’
The weather the last several days has been more like Washington then what we are used to in Western Oklahoma. We have had some beautiful days along the way but cloudy and drizzly days have been the norm. Hasn’t really rained a lot and we need it here. (I wrote this last night and it started raining early this morning and is still at it.)
Item one. This is tornado countryand May is the busiest tornado month of the year. A couple of weeks ago there were several tornadoes that touched down just north of us about 25 miles. Here is some great videoof a couple of those tornadoes:
Item two. Linda had an enjoyable Mother’s Day. Church of course, then dinner with good friends and young families who stand in on days like Mother’s Day for our kids and grandkids that are a long ways away. Then Linda spent an hour talking to her parents on Skype, then an hour or so with Traci on and finished up the day talking with Brad. Saturday night she talked with Summer for a while as well. She is a great mom and Nanny and I am proud of the way she cares about her natural/Spiritual children and grandchildren, as well as her Spiritual children.
Item three. One blog I read often is written by Seattle pastor Eugene Cho. He is insightful and thoughtful and has a good grasp on the culture. Andy often says that out here in the Bible Belt we are the last to know about major changes and shifts in the American church. However if you are trying to “do church” in the Northwest, like Eugene Cho, you know you are on the front line. Eugene writes about several recent secular press articles about young Christians abandoning the church. It is a good read and actually makes me hopeful about real change. Find the article HERE.
Item four. I know I have been out of touch lately but I had no idea I missed the last day of church. Who called it?
I suspect Pastor Bobby would not like my recent posts on Matthew 24!
Item five. It has been at least 15 years since I first heard the Newsboys. I remember it because our kids and their friends were listening to them during the days after son Paul was lost, nearly 15 years ago (I think it was Mike Settle who brought the disk over). The Newsboys song I seem to remember most was about heaven. I can’t find the song in their discography so maybe it wasn’t them. Something about a big, big yard to play football… Anyone know?
Anyway, here is their most recent release called “In the Hands of God”. Maybe I don’t get it but I think the Newsboys still got it!
Have a great week. More 24 coming up! Don’t get behind or catching up will be brutal. It is really going to get good in the days ahead!
Our time in Arizona is coming to an end. We leave early tomorrow morning for the 2 hour drive to the Phoenix airport and a flight to Seattle, where we will spend a short week with our children and grandchildren. Next Tuesday we will return to Payson, pick up our trailer and begin the trip back to Western Oklahoma, arriving just in time for tornado season! Don’t want to miss that!
Item one. When we left Sayre a couple of months ago I believed I had heard God about what we were supposed to do with our time. It was not a wishful thinking plan but one we felt was simply going the next step with some individuals and groups we had been sowing into for some time. The first month went according to plan and in fact, things happened that we didn’t expect, and were a real blessing to us.
This last month has gone a completely other direction from what we thought would happen. It is easy for me to question if I heard God right when things don’t work out the way I planned and it is hard for me to just go with what is, rather than being disappointed with what isn’t. Any one relate? But I have learned a lot about staying in step with the Spirit, doing what is right in front of me, as my friend Doug encourages me to do, and being ok with not accomplishing the plan. Never easy for me but I am learning. Here are a few things God did while we have been in Payson, that I didn’t plan on or expect.
- We have spent a lot of time with Chuck and Nancy, more than I imagined and that has been good. We have poured into them, been poured into by them and had some really fun relaxing times which I think they needed maybe more than we did. I have been able to work several days helping Chuck with their business which has been fun and I helpful, I think. We have shared a lot together, hearing the Spirit about their future and ours. While I knew we would spend time together it has been encouraging to do more than expected with them.
- I love to worship and I love to participate in leading worship. I have played very average guitar for years and have had a desire to do more worship leading but there are always people more gifted than I am around to lead. Chuck is a guitar player and a worship leader and leads regularly at two meetings each week and he invited me to join him. So I have been practicing a few times a week and participating in leading worship a couple of times every week and it has been a lot of fun. My fingers are toughened up, I have increased my skill a little, had a lot of fun and helped some folks enter in to worship.
- When we arrived in Payson our hosts were in the process of training and certification to open a Healing Room here in this part of Arizona. I was familiar with Healing Rooms (find out about my experience HERE) and wanted to know more. Each week we participated in a small group training time with the people who will lead and staff this new ministry in Payson. Then this past weekend we went to a large group training in Phoenix where we were led by the Southwest Directors for Healing Rooms. It was a really good learning experience and a good time of ministry in the Spirit. We now have some experience and training we can use in ministry wherever we are and the potential of starting or being part of a Healing Room ministry in Oklahoma.
- Payson is a beautiful place. As nice as any where we have been. The weather is nearly perfect and the sky a beautiful blue almost all the time, with very little wind. We are parked in Chuck and Nancy’s side yard on a hill, overlooking the city. Our view is really nice. It is easy to take these kinds of gifts for granted as we are privileged to be in a lot of really nice places. I have been trying to not take it lightly, but to bless the Father several times each day for this gift. The view repeatedly puts me in a place of prayer for this city and for the ministries that go on here, day after day. It is really an honor to pray for a city and to believe God for breakthrough in the hearts of people you don’t know and will probably never meet. That has been good for me.
We have now been on this journey for nearly two years. We really had no idea where it would take us and what we would do. Our Family at Trinity in Sayre has not only embraced us and given us a place to belong and serve, they have also freed us to travel from place to place sharing what we have been given with others. They not only took us in when we felt like outcasts and foreigners in our own home, they have launched us into a unigue ministry that is always interesting. It will be good to return to Sayre and the Family there, and to see what the Father has for us to do next. I have some plans but remaining open to the Spirit’s direction!
But for now it is Canyon Paul, Sage O, Eyob, Sean and Sloan time!!!! (will spend some time with their parents too!)
When the time changed last week everywhere else in the country it did not change here in Arizona. They see no point in it, so they don’t do it. The rest of the country sees no point in it but they keep right on doing it. It was nice to not have to change and nice to be in the same time zone with our family on the west coast but it did put us two hours off from our family in Oklahoma. Now we have to change two time zones for the “move” back to Western Oklahoma, but when we visit Washington in a couple of weeks, there will be no change. Trade offs.
Item one. Our hosts here in Arizona own a screen printing and embroidery business and work hard doing all the work themselves. So I volunteered to help during a big push last week and learned a new skill! I afixed, with a high heat system, embroidered patches onto about 20 dozen hats over a three day period. Not really that difficult after the first dozen but good, mindless work that was actually fun. Now I can drive a tractor/trailer rig, put patches on hats and fold tee shirts! Now that’s a resume.
Item two. A week ago I visited a start up church here in Payson led by a young man I met when we were here last year. New churches have an air of excitement often missing in a lot of established churches. This church has no building, no offices, no paid staff and meet in a small room in a grade school that they are already outgrowing. While I might want to do it differently than they are, it was refreshing, full of happy multi-generational faces and I expect they will do well here in this community. What seemed to be missing, from my point of view, was any emphasis on the work of the Holy Spirit to draw people to saving faith and to heal their hurts and diseases. If they would allow a place for the supernatural in their format I think it would have greater impact and potential. Just my point of view as the leaders of this church have thought a lot about how they want to do it. Did make me think about giving church planting a try, though.
Item three. Two views of the economy, one right of center, one left. Right, HERE and left HERE. Have you seen the Hyundai commercials where they promise to take the car back if you lose your job and can’t pay? Well here is a church that promises to give back all your contributions if you lose your job! Find it HERE. You don’t have to go far, these days, to hear some pretty empty preaching. HERE is a book that might help.
Item four. Had to put this link in a new Item so some of the people who skip over stuff they don’t find interesting might see this one. I have several friends who believe you cannot be saved if you do not have a Mac. One is my pastor, one is a natural son and the other, that comes to mind, is a son in the Lord. You know who you are. Sometimes I want a Mac just so I can be cool like them and then there are those Mac commercials of the fat, total loser of a guy who has the PC (think me) and then the totally hip cool, young guy who has the Mac (think Brad, Tyler, not Andy!) that make me really feel badly. Here is a post that brings the fun part of the Mac/PC drama out as well as a serious side of the role of advertising in promoting ideas that are wrong. Find it HERE on Don Millers blog. It is a good read and in one place even agrees with my conjecture that Macs are really not that superior to the good old Gateway.
Item five. Over the weekend we drove over to Wickenburg, Arizona to visit Cody Custer’s parents and attend something called a Cowboy Camp Meeting. After a great steak dinner at Jim and Dixie’s and some good fellowship with our hosts and friends Destry and Terri Haught, we had an interesting evening in the beautiful guest house. Jake the Dog (find his blog HERE) decided to eat all the dog food of the Custer’s three dogs. He is not allowed to eat anything other than his own food. Thank goodness for tile floors as Jake the Dog proceeded to ralph up several servings of food in several locations in the house. Yeah, gross. It was a fun night.
Early the next morning, we all piled in the trucks and drove back up into the mountains, up a dirt road, through some huge ranches (think thousands of acres) to a little church where the Cowboy Camp meeting was to be held. This is an all day event where western Gospel music, preaching and food all come together for a good time. Destry gave his amazing testimony and Jim sang some great Gospel songs and we ate doughnuts and ate sandwiches on the tail gate of the truck. Good thing we had our Wranglers, boots and hats on or we would have looked seriously out of place. Used our new Flip camera to take some videos I intended to post but with great skill I deleted them all!
We love this whole Western culture thing and are blessed to meet so many great people who quietly go about their lives on ranches and farms and in small communities. They are for the most part simple people (I don’t mean intelligence) of faith, hard work, family and who care about this country. We could all learn something from these folks.
Have a great week!