Tuesday, April 24, 2007

The Weekend and More

So much has happened in the past two weeks, it's difficult to know where to begin. Let's begin with the Thank-yous.

Thanks so very much to Pastor Rusty Abbott, his wife Lou Ann, daughter Jessica and all of the folks at First Baptist Browning. I had a very good weekend with them. It was great to be re-acquainted with the members there and to get to share some magic and a message from God's Word. The church is unlike many in the rural area of northern Missouri. In spite of the economics of the surrounding areas, this fellowship seems to be prospering. They genuinely love each other and their Lord. I believe that they are on the verge of doing a great work in their community. I'm really not sure what it will be. I just know that they want to do something. God wants them to do something. And when they seek His will and move accordingly, something really cool will happen.

To George and Mary who rededicated themselves to Jesus, continue to strive to seek Him out and to live for Him. For my part, I will continue to be in prayer for all of you and yours.

On the home front...

We are buying a new piece of property. Actually, it's an old piece of property. At one time it was the hospital in Ozark. It is located just a block off of the square and in an area that has had much growth over the past few years. The area just to the west of the property, is a part of a New Urbanist Development project that is just beginning. Our immediate plans are to rehab the inside to provide us with living space and an office for myself. It will need a lot of work and we still have to do some checking on restrictions from the Historic Society and on some special financing and grants that are available. We will need to add off street parking and get our existing home ready for the market. As if we didn't have enough to do already! Just the same, we are excited about the move to downtown and looking forward to the finished product. I'll try to get some more pics (inside) at a future time.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Happy Birthday, Aaron

Today Aaron is 18! He is growing to be a fine young man.

Aaron, I am very proud of you. Happy birthday.

I'll sign this post as...

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Slow Learner

Ever feel like you're the one in the class that gets things just a little bit after everybody else? They're moving on and the little light bulb in your head is just coming on. I had that feeling this past weekend.

I was in Northern Missouri again for another weekend revival. Medicine Valley Community Ministries serves four small communities and the surrounding rural area. From south to north the towns are Humphreys (pop. 160), Osgood (51), Harris (105) and Newtown (206). I think it is about 25 miles from Humphreys to Newtown. The pastor lives in Humphreys, the church is in Newtown. It is a very depressed area; not much in the way of work, opportunity or hope.

Pastor Lewis Rogers works the area harder than a man half his age might work it. He invites families to church and if parents won't come, he brings their kids. He made three trips one night to bring kids to the church. Sometimes I felt that he was wasting his time talking to some of the people. It seemed obvious to me that he had made no connection with them and they were serious when they said that they were not coming to church. On Saturday night, I told my wife about two such young men. Lewis was not going to get them to church and he was wasting his time trying.

I know that God was laughing at me Sunday morning when one of them walked in with his grandmother. I'm not sure if Sunday morning was more of an encouragement to me or to Pastor Rogers. It didn't seem like the first three nights were very well attended by the locals. Some guests from Zion Baptist in Cainsville were there each night and helped with the attendance on those nights. Sunday morning saw many of the people that we had visited on Friday and Saturday in attendance. One girl made a profession of faith in Jesus as Savior. One boy that had made his profession a couple of weeks ago came forward for baptism. Two others asked to move their membership to Medicine Valley Community Ministries and I heard another adult talking to Pastor Rogers later about moving his membership to MVCM as well. I spoke with one man that had never come with his wife and little girl before Friday night. He was back on Sunday and I believe that he will continue to attend. I believe that soon he will make his public profession of faith in Jesus.

I had a great time at the Newtown-Harris school on Friday morning. Congrats to Principal Ms. Foster. Her students were well behaved and attentive. I hope that they enjoyed the assembly as more than a break from class!

Next weekend, Browning MO.


Sunday, April 08, 2007

He is Risen

He is risen, indeed!

I hope that this Easter finds you rejoicing in the risen Savior, Jesus.

Hopedale Baptist had an incredible Easter Musical, performed on Friday and Saturday nights. Kudos to Rich Langston on selection of material as well as the preparation and direction of the adult choir. Sunday morning service was also awesome--two professions of faith; one child, one adult!

He is risen, indeed!

Saturday morning had the kids of Mountain Home, Arkansas looking for Easter eggs in freezing temps. I was at East Side Baptist for their annual event. The kids had a magic show, some door prizes, the egg hunt, egg decorating contests and some homemade snacks. They really seem to have a great children's department. If you're in the area and have kids, check them out. It was great to be able to celebrate Easter with them again. Thanks, Lora!

It's Humphreys, MO later this week for a weekend (Thurs-Sunday) Revival. Keep me in your prayers!


Friday, April 06, 2007

Giving Comfort, Giving Life

I doubt if there are very many reading this that don't know and care deeply for someone that is afflicted with some type of cancer. It would be more likely that we all know and love someone with some type of cancer and in some stage of treatment.

It was many years ago that another air traffic controller's daughter had leukemia. That was when I first found out that chemo-therapy destroys the body's blood platelets. Some times they would have to take her to the hospital because of nose bleeds that wouldn't stop. They would often give her donated platelets to help control the bleeding. That's what got me started on platelet donations. Apheresis is a process that takes whole blood and separates the platelets. The platelets are collected and the rest of the blood is returned to the donor.

Over the past several years, the machines used for this process have advanced a great deal. Today, you can give platelets, plasma, and a unit of whole blood in a matter of a couple of hours. The shelf life of donated platelets is only a few days. Therefore it is necessary to have a regular supply of donors. Unlike whole blood, you can make a platelet donation every few days (although the American Red Cross restricts you to a maximum of 24 donations in a year). Qualifications for donors are pretty much the same as for whole blood. There are some additional restrictions. You should check with your local Red Cross or community blood center.

It's been a little while since I've made a donation. It's not that I haven't thought about it, it's just a little bit inconvenient most of the time. By the time I drive into Springfield, answer the standard questions make the donation and have the obligatory liquids and snack--it's half of a day! On the other hand, it is nothing like the inconvenience of the treatment that creates the need for donors. When you are done, you're not going to feel bad or get sick. You're not going to lose your hair. You're not going to worry about your health, your family, your medical bills or any of the other many worries of a cancer patient.

Well I have convinced myself of the need to make a donation. Any other takers?


Monday, April 02, 2007

Revival at Zion Baptist

Well, it was a wonderful weekend! Friday was a bit of a long day as I made the nearly five hour drive from Ozark to Cainsville after working the midnight shift at the tower. I was a little concerned about making it to the school program on time but had a few minutes to spare. Like many small, rural communities, Cainsville houses all grades, K-12 in the same building. All 120 students attended the assembly/magic show except for a few that were at an FFA event. It’s a little different trying to put together a “Self Esteem” program that is both entertaining and informative when your audience ranges from elementary ages through high school. You want the entertainment to be fun for the younger kids without boring the older ones and want to speak to the older kids without losing the younger ones or being age inappropriate in content.

Friday night at the church was well attended with several in attendance from neighboring churches and a great representation from the members of Zion Baptist. We even had a local guest, Silas, make a brief appearance. Notably absent were Jordan and Brandi Crouse, as they were celebrating the arrival of young daughter Carly, born Friday afternoon. I missed getting to hear Jordan sing this year, but I certainly understand his absence. Saturday night and Sunday morning services were also well attended. Lunch at the church on Sunday was awesome! Great job, ladies!

All in all, I had a great time. Kudos to Pastor Richard and all of the family at Zion Baptist. A special thanks to Brother Bob for opening his home to me. I only hope that they all had as much fun as I did.

The spring continues to be busy with a trip next Saturday to Mountain Home, AR. I’ll be at the Easter Egg Hunt at Eastside Baptist Church. My own church, Hopedale will have the Easter Musical, Forever Triumphant at 7 pm Friday and Saturday nights. Please come and celebrate with us!

Easter Sunday will find me at work in the evening. Thanks to Tammy for trading days off with me. That will allow me to be in Humphreys, MO for a Thursday-Sunday Revival the following weekend. It is a great joy to work with Christian brothers and sisters that take part in my ministry by trading shifts or by working so that I can be gone. Thanks to you all!

He is risen!
He is risen, indeed!