Posts filed under ‘Christianity’
When we got up this morning it was nearly 70 degrees and now at 1pm it is 50. A little cold front moving through. Guess we will be in this trend for a few days and then back to the beautiful Western Oklahoma weather, 75 and sunny.
Item one. The truck driving part of my life is about the same. I am still in a learning mode. I try to go with a friend as often as possible so I can drive more, load and unload frac tanks and get used to 4 wheelin’ in a semi. (see last meanderings for information on hauling frac tanks) I compared it to log truck driving in virgin forests in the NW. I think it is a fair comparison. It is amazing to me what an oil boom brings to an area. There are literally hundreds of heavy duty trucks, rigs of all kinds, pickups etc that are flying down narrow roads between here and the Texas Panhandle. There is an intersection in the little town of Sweetwater, Oklahoma that is just a four way stop in the middle of nowhere, where, between 7-9 in the morning I would bet, 1500-2000 vehicles pass through on there way to various oil/natural gas wells. I have never seen anything like it. Highway 6 is a very dangerous highway that runs from Oklahoma out into Texas over which much of this traffic flows. It reminds me a lot of Highway 3 in Washington between Shelton and Bremerton because of the amount of traffic and the many accidents, but it is far more isolated and has more big rig traffic driven by people going too fast with too little sleep. Good times!
Item two. The Convergence Summit, our intensive 10 day school which begins November 13, is fast coming together. We asked the Lord to give us 50 people and we are nearing 30. It will be fine with those numbers but I really think we are supposed to have 50. We have people coming from all over the west and midwest and the schedule is packed. We are doing the food service, providing housing, doing some of the teaching and managing the daily schedule. We have good help, of course, great help in fact, but the responsibility falls to us. We are thankful that we were called to this, because that assures the Spirit will carry us. Thanks for your prayers.
Item three. There are some beautiful pics of our beautiful granddaughter Sage Olivia Scandrett on Summer’s blog. I don’t believe there is anything more important you could do with your time than to go HERE and see this beautiful little girl. No, I am not prejudiced, as I think you will see when you go look at the pics, she is all that…
Item four. We are getting close, again, to our son Paul’s birthday. He will be 30 years old. I am sure I will write about it again on the day (24th) but it seems I have been missing that boy more lately. Being away from Traci and Brad and their families might be part of why I miss the little guy more, just more in the “missing” mode, these days. This is year 14 of this… losing a child journey, and while time does heal the gaping wound, there is still that scar, that missing. I wonder how our friends David and Lena are doing in year 15? How about Paul and Margie, who must be in about year 13 of the missing? Or Michael in year 5. Or maybe the new friend Linda made this weekend who is in year 3 or 4 of missing her daughter. How about Bill and Leslee in year 2? My friend Sumi is in year 1 and writes so honestly about the “missing”. You can find her latest HERE.
Item five. I found this burden lifting prayer HERE. May it unburden you as you pray it today.
God who offers abundance and plenty where we expect scarcity,
Provide for all those who are hungry and in need of food today.
God who lives amongst us, hear our prayer
God who promises security and safety when we expect turmoil,
Provide for all those who have lost jobs and are forced into homelessness today.
God who lives amongst us, hear our prayer
God who grants us rest in face of our fears and anxieties
Provide for all those who are anxious about finances today,
God who lives amongst us, hear our prayer
God who provides community for all who are alone and abandoned
Provide for all who feel abandoned and uncared for in these troubled times
God who lives amongst us, hear our prayer
God who is always in control even when nations shake and economies crumble,
Fill all who are empty and rescue those who are enslaved by debt
God who lives amongst us, hear our prayer
May the God who led the people of Israel through the desert
Guard and protect you this day
May the Christ who transforms the worst experiences into the best of God
Comfort and embrace you this day
May the Spirit who draws close and seals you with God’s love in times of need
Reach into your circumstances and fill you with the water of life.
The peace of the Creator of love be yours
The peace of the Christ of hope be yours
The peace of the Spirit of life be yours
The peace of all peace be yours this day and forever.
No it is not Monday and yes I am running behind. The best of intentions and all that… There is something about this blogging deal, that if you write everyday or nearly everyday you do better than if you are just hit and miss. It seems, to me a little like preaching, preaching all the time is easier than just preaching now and again, because there is always something peculating in your brain. Seems the less I write or preach the less I have to say. Does that make sense?
Item one. The weather here in Western Oklahoma is just terrific! Highs in the low 80′s and lows in the mid 50′s. This may be the best weather anywhere in the country but nobody I know moves here for the weather or comes here for vacation. It really is beautiful out here. Being back with this good Family is always so refreshing. They are accepting, glad to have us here and make us feel as if we are the most important link in the chain, while at the same time making everyone else feel the same way. It is a “peaceful, easy feeling…” I am still trying to figure out how to best use my time and learning to roll with the way things are done here. This is a very laid back, “it will get done when it gets done,” kind of approach to life and work. Sure there are deadlines and we meet most of them but that intense, driven, franetic pace I have experienced elsewhere is not here. It is frustrating sometimes but it is good for me to learn to take life as it comes, not forcing things or timetables but enjoying the moment with people who I care about and care about me. It just takes a little getting used to every time we get back in here.
Item two. Found a fun site last night. It is called the World Names Profiler. You put in your surname (that’s your last name boys) and then see where people with that surname are congregated all over the world. The largest concentration of Scandretts is in New Zealand where there are 27.9 Scandretts per million in population. There are only 1.41 per million in the USA but Brad and Summer are working on that. You can find the site here.
Item three. I haven’t driven a truck since I graduated from truck driving school and got my CDL until yesterday! I went out to the yard where our truck is parked when it is in town and drove one of the other trucks. The truck I drove has it’s best miles way behind it but none the less, I got behind the wheel and soloed for the first time. That is I drove a semi tractor by myself for the very first time! After I figured out the shift pattern, things went pretty well. Our Peterbilt is at the yard today, so I am going to go and drive it. I am pretty excited about it. Out here in Western Oklahoma the roads are straight, you can see forever and there is almost no traffic. Perfect place for me to get comfortable. Did I say I was pretty stoked about driving our truck!
Item four. Here is another post from Stuff Christians Like. Find it here. If you have gone to church most of your life, like I have or have watched the way Christians do “stuff” then you will find this blog a good laugh. There is a name for those of us who have grown up in church-we are GUBAs, Growing Up Born Again. Not sure it is totally a good thing to be a GUBA but there are ways to escape it’s clutches and just be a follower of Jesus and one of those ways is to read Stuff Christians Like and laugh at yourself a little. (read the comments too, they are really good.)
Item five. I started this post writing about the great weather and the beauty of Western Oklahoma and so will conclude it with today’s Nouwen devo. Trust me, it fits: How do we live in creation? Do we relate to it as a place full of “things” we can use for whatever need we want to fulfill and whatever goal we wish to accomplish? Or do we see creation first of all as a sacramental reality, a sacred space where God reveals to us the immense beauty of the Divine? As long as we only use creation, we cannot recognise its sacredness because we are approaching it as if we are its owners. But when we relate to all that surrounds us as created by the same God who created us and as the place where God appears to us and calls us to worship and adoration, then we are able to recognise the sacred quality of all God’s handiwork.
Have a great week and stay in touch! I am going to get in a groove, I really am.
This will no doubt be the last post from Grapeview. We are so appreciative of Bill and Leslee sharing their driveway with us for the last 2 months. The time has been full. So full that we have not really spent the kind of time we would have liked with friends in the area. Truck driving school took a month, Sage Olivia’s birth was the main focus for several days and just getting quality time with our children and grand children was a high priority. There has been little down time, which was not what we expected, but we have really had some good time with our family. Linda already has her tickets purchased for a return trip mid October. Not sure when I will return. I apologize to all of you who we didn’t get to see, but that does not lessen our love for you and our gratefulness for you being in our lives.
Item one. So we will pull out of here Thursday morning and frankly, at this point, I do not know what our route back to Oklahoma will be. We have several options and I guess will choose them as we go. Traci and family are going to Disneyland tomorrow for a week. I will drive them to the airport, Linda will go up and spend the day with Summer, Canyon and Sage. I will join them later in the day. Wednesday will be spent getting things ready to roll. It will be hard to leave our ever growing family here, but I am anticipating some great days with our family in OK.
Item two. While we were here we made an offer on a house that is in the process of foreclosure. While I feel sympathy for the folks who are losing this house and have major concerns, as we all do for the housing market, it is a great time to buy real estate. This house will be our “residence,” as in our physical address but will only be there a small part of the year, at least for the foreseeable future. Everything we can do is done, related to the property, we have the loan in place, renters ready to move in and we are just waiting for the bank that owns the property to get to our deal and agree to the terms we have offered. I am optimistic it will all come together and be a good investment for us, long term.
Item three. Brad has some great posts on his blog about his new daughter and other interesting writing. He hasn’t posted in a long time but with time home caring for Summer and his little family he has posted some good stuff including this one featuring a poem by my Dad and this one on the prez election. Check it out.
Item four. It seems I learn more slowly as I get older but the things I am learning seem to be more important. The things I used to learn seemed to be more about having something to give to others, now they are more about just living life so as to please the Father. Here are a couple of simple things I seem to be called to learn these days: I can not provide for others, (no matter how much I love the “others”) that which God alone can provide. Happiness, wholeness, completeness, contentment are all things I long to give to those around me but I can’t. Another thing I am learning is that forgiveness may be the most important of all actions we are responsible for in life. Contentment, wholeness, happiness, completeness, not to mention freedom, hope, security, peace all seem to flow out of a commitment to forgive at all levels of relationships. Simple but important stuff.
Item five. Ever wonder if God really does forgive the junk you have done in the past? Prodigal John has a good word on this subject. Read it here. If you are a fan of Washington Husky football, Saturday night in Eugene had to be really painful. Good analysis of what happened can be found here. For the view from Duckville look here. Here is one that might make you think about why we are so fascinated by events like Hurricane Gustav. Find it here. A young friend and reader has a neat quote on her blog that caught my attention: People may forget what you said, people may forget what you did, but…they will never forget how you made them feel.
I will leave you with that thought and will see you down the road.
Sitting here in the trailer doing some schedule work for Convergence, our ministry school in Oklahoma, working on a message for Sunday morning and listening to Willie’s Place on XM radio (satellite radio). This is mostly honky tonk music featuring Willie, Hank, Merle, Ray, George and others. Kind of makes me homesick for our other home in Oklahoma.
Item one. Canyon Paul’s #2 birthday was yesterday and Brad and Summer had a party for him on Saturday. It was fun to watch him and all his little friends, including his 3 cousins interact (actually 6 cousins but I refer to the ones related to me). There were lots of young couples with young children many of whom we have known since they were little. Hard to believe CP is already 2. Sure glad we are here to help celebrate.
Item two. The great focus of my current life, truck driving school is coming to close and none too soon. I am pretty tired of the schedule and the intensity of it all. I think I am getting it, finally. I have struggled to pick up the shifting and down shifting using rpm’s and speed. I think I almost have the hang of it but this week will tell. Drove over 100 miles on the freeway Friday and that was fun. Going 60 mph down a very busy freeway in an 18 wheeler was a little surreal. All the pre-trip, driving and skill tests are this week, both for the school and the DOL. I really don’t care about the school certificate, though someday I might need to drive for a big company that requires it, but I do want the Class A CDL. My test with the DOL is Friday at 2:30, so if you think about it, pray.
While this has been a lot more than I bargained for, it had been good for me, no matter what happens. I know a lot of things I didn’t know before, have a greater respect for truck drivers and will be better able to help run our little trucking company. Hard to believe we are in the trucking business, but we are, and it is producing a really nice income, without having to do too much. It really is the favor of our Father on us. I plan to finish the course, do the best I can on the tests and leave the rest in the hands of my Papa. Thanks for your prayers.
Item three. Some of you must remember the bumper stickers and bracelets that many Christians were displaying a few years back with these words: What would Jesus do or said acronimically (is that a word?) WWJD. Never wore it myself but the concept has merit. I saw a really funny bumper sticker as I was flying down the highway in my 18 wheeled chariot that was a take off on the What would Jesus do. It said “What would Scooby do?” I laughed out loud and my instructor woke up and asked me what was so funny. There was just no way to tell him. What would Scooby do?
Item four. This is funny too. One of my top five favorite blogs is Stuff Christians Like and recently it asked the question “Jessica Simpson, Should we take her back?” Read it, it really is funny, in a weird christian sort of way, which is what this blog is about-weird stuff Christians do. Find it here.
Item five. Item five comes via the Internetmonk and worth your time to read. I get so weary of the whole theological debate that really proves nothing except providing a way to not like other Family members. Do we feel better about ourselves when we hold a position so strongly that we will not worship with those who don’t or will not let our young adults gather with those who do not share our particular theological bent? I just don’t get it anymore. While I am not in tune with this writer’s theology, he gets it when it comes to the importance of Family over theology. Read it here.
Item six. Enjoyed another opportunity to preach today and again was able to see old friends who showed up to say hello. The audience was responsive, we laughed some, worshiped some and learned some things about the Father’s love for us. Good times.
Have a great week and thanks for reading the Juniper Tree. I have a really nice readership that seems to like checking back regularly. In another week I plan to get back to more writing.