Tuesday, April 29, 2008


I know. I know. I'm a slacker blogger and I have no excuse. Alright, I do have excuses...but nobody wants to hear about them so I won't go into any details. Besides it's really just a minor case of writer's block and a major case of apathy.

I've been struggling with this sinus infection for about three weeks now. I did go to the doctor (after procrastinating for a week) and got a round of antibiotics (Z-pack). However the infection rages on. I called to tell them that I need either another round of the same or something stronger since I seemed to be getting worse instead of better. Their response--You'll have to come in again so that we can look at you! Ok so I'm about to go on another rant about health care and insurance companies and the racket that is being run at your local doctor's office. Do they think that I'm going to buy azithromycin to resell on the black market? Do they think that I'm lying because I've developed an addiction to an antibiotic? Do they think that I'm unaware that they are going to bill my insurance company for an unnecessary office visit and add to the already rising cost of insurance? Get over yourself and that fancy piece of paper that is hanging on your wall. I already know what's wrong and what the prescribed treatment is. You already know that I know it. In another country I'd just go down to the drug store and buy it without a note from the doctor--and it would cost less than the drugstores here bill the insurance companies for; and there wouldn't be the additional cost of the unnecessary office visit.

Whew! I feel better already...and I think that my sinuses are starting to clear up. Maybe I just need a good mad--a little adrenaline and increased blood flow--to help clear things up. I'll go back to the more natural way and see what that does; increase the garlic capsules (a natural antibiotic), a daily saline rinse and an over the counter decongestant to dry things out. Doctor's will tell you that a saline rinse while you have an infection is not a good thing. They say that it gives the infection exactly what it needs to grow--a warm moist environment. They also say if you come into their office they'll give you a note for some drugs. Bring your checkbook and insurance card! I'm going with my gut on this one for a week or so. I'll let you know how it works out.

Last week was a great week. I had a program in Crocker MO that went very well. On the way to Crocker I stopped at a game store in Waynesville MO. I met the owner, Mike, a few months ago at one of the evangelism conference this past winter. I really enjoyed our visit and had the opportunity to talk to one of his customers about Jesus. It is one of those times that you feel the whole event was guided by the Spirit of God--a divine appointment. Anyway the visit really lifted my spirit for the rest of the day!

Sunday was another grand day at Hopedale. We had three baptisms followed by a repeat performance of the choir's Easter musical. At the end of the program, a man came forward to trust Jesus as his Savior and Lord and another man came to answer a call to ministry through multimedia. He helps in our sound booth and does the lighting at one of the theaters in Branson.
What a really great day! I wonder what God has in store for us this week!

Sunday will be our annual Community Day--rides, slides and games for the kids; fun and food for everyone. Always a great day!

Sorry about the dry spell of blogging.


PS Mike, I'll be making a trip to St. Louis sometime in the next month--Ted Drewe's on me!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Weekend Notes

It doesn't seem fair that the weekend is over so quickly. The weather here was wonderful. Sorry for those that had to endure a bit more rain like Kevin and Bilbo. It did rain on Friday morning but Saturday and Sunday were both great days.

I spent the early part of Saturday morning with the farrier and the horses. It was still a little cool out but I'm sure that the horses feel much better after their much needed pedicures! Hannah and I are going to have to figure out some times that we can get out there and work/ride them regularly this summer. It would be good for all of us. I could use the exercise and so could the horses. Hannah is already in great shape so she would just get to have fun.

Aaron was home for the weekend (probably why it seemed so short). It's hard to believe that he only has three more weeks and will be home for the summer. Sunday morning he shared with our church family what he had shared with us a couple of weeks ago. He believes that God is calling him to a pastoral ministry. He is changing his major from Forensic Science to a double major of Philosophy and Religious Studies and Communications. Seminary will follow for post grad work. He has really done much praying, soul searching and class research already and is sure that this is his calling.

Church was grand; four baptisms, music was planned by one of our high school students, a great message on Faith, and the wonderful time of being with friends!

Thursday afternoon will find me in Crocker MO for a springtime VBS. Chris will be on her way to Phoenix to visit her sister. Aaron will be on his way to Chicago for a Student Ambassador trip (and to see Jenny). Hannah will be at drum lessons.

Saturday, Hannah has an all day band event at school and I have a magic gig at First Baptist Branson. Chris will be home late Sunday.

It's going to be a busy week. (It seems that I say that quite often.)


Friday, April 18, 2008

Please Accept My Apology (future blog)

I've had an encounter recently that has caused me to examine the defense of my faith. In the Bible, Peter tells us that we should always be prepared to give a reason for the hope that is within us. As a consequence, I've been reading several books on apologetics...a defense of the faith.

I recently read Mark Cahill's book One Heartbeat Away. I think that Lee Stroebel's A Case for Faith is an easy to read book on apologetics. Josh McDowell's Evidence That Demands a Verdict is probably on of the most complete works and one that I started to read again but have set it aside to read a book co-authored by Norman L. Geisler and Frank Turek, I Don't Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist. I also have purchased Kenneth Boa and Robert M. Bowman Jr.'s book 20 Compelling Evidences That God Exists.

In McDowell's book, he mentions a pastor that has an annual Skeptic's Night. This pastor advertises the evening and invites those who would question God's existence, Jesus' deity or other doctrines of Christianity. I would like to become well versed in the historical and scientific evidences of the doctrine. I would love to be able to host such a night. I've no interest in debating with an atheist or agnostic...but rather an interest in discovering and helping others to discover the truth.

Peter's admonition to give a reason for the hope within us is followed by the reminder to do so with courtesy and respect. We have to realize that the best we can do is to present a compelling case for our beliefs. Each person gets to make their own decision on whether they will believe in God or not. We have no authority to be their judge. It's been said that the biggest problem with Christianity is...Christians.

In any event, you can expect a future post or posts on the subject. It may come bit by bit or in one long post, but it's coming.


By the way, Aaron is 19 today. Happy Birthday, Aaron.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Tax Deadline

Well, here it is...April 15th. This morning I put the final touches on the ol' income tax return and Chris is putting her signature on it and getting ready to head out to the post office. Most Americans reading this might assume that I have additional taxes to pay and so I've waited until the last moment to file. WRONG!!!

I am a Chief in the Tribe of the Procrastinators. I just hate sitting down with all of the paperwork, forms, receipts and what-not and getting the job done. Last year we got our taxes done early because Chris received a coupon in one of her paycheck envelopes for free tax preparation. When they were finished, I asked how much it would have cost if I were paying for it. They said $130! So this year I'm back to doing it and just getting it done on time. I don't even pay the extra fee for e-filing to get the money back faster. I guess I'm just too much of a tight-wad.

Unfortunately for my son Aaron, since he had me do his taxes, he will also have to wait for his return. In any case, the job is finished!


Procrastinators Unite (tomorrow)

Saturday, April 12, 2008

The Reality of Life

I'm spending a few days in the town of Salem MO. Salem is about 45 minutes southeast of Rolla and is in a really beautiful part of the country. It is in a part of Missouri that has a great abundance of springs and spring fed rivers. 30 years ago I made a trip with a bunch of guys and we put into the Current River at Aker's Ferry about 20 minutes from here. There are no better waterways for a canoe trip than here in Missouri!

A downside to the spring basins and many waterways is that the area is really prone to flash flooding. We have had so much rain lately that many streams, creeks and rivers have over flowed their banks and caused flooding. Some areas are being flooded as a part of the flood control designed by the Army Corp of Engineers as water is released from dams in to the lakes and rivers downstream. I'll never be able to figure out why people build homes in areas that will flood when water is released from the dams.

On Friday night, the youth group from Bunker MO made the half hour road trip to Salem to join Pleasant Valley Baptist Church's youth group during their Youth Revival. It was great to have the Bunker kids here and I think that it was good for them as well. Bunker is a very small community in southern Missouri and like many small towns the high school and junior high are combined. Bunker High, grades 7-12, has a total enrollment of 113 students.

During the flooding from rains this past week, one of their classmates--an eighth grade boy--drowned in the rushing waters. The death of a young classmate is a sudden and sobering reminder of how fragile life can be. The kids in the youth group were especially saddened by his death because suddenly they realized that none of them had taken the time to invite him to church or to share their belief in Jesus as Lord and Savior. Young people often think that they have their whole lives ahead of them--and most of them do. Healthy young teen agers are not supposed to die. The number one cause of death among teens is death by accident. It is sudden, unexpected and tragic. There is really know way to physically prepare for the suddenness of the accidental death of a young person.

But there is a way for each of us to prepare spiritually for the death that awaits us--every one of us. People talk about "making their peace with God." There is really only one way to "make peace with God." We must learn to trust Him; to believe Him--not just to believe in Him, but to believe Him. In the Bible, God's Word, He tells us that peace between God and man was made when Jesus died on the cross for our sins. The Bible teaches us that this payment for our sins is a gift that is free for the asking. All we have to do is believe that it is real.

In his letter to the Church at Rome, Paul explains it very clearly. He says that if you can say with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and if you believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead you will be saved. He tells us that it is with the heart that we believe and are made righteous, but it is with the mouth that we confess and are saved. Eventually, we are all going to have to decide what we are going to do about Jesus. Are you going to believe that He is who He claims to be, or are you going to reject Him and His teachings? When are you going to "make peace with God?" Will you put it off until it is too late? Why not do it now? Why not say, "I believe."

And if you are already a believer, will you continue to keep this great story a secret? Will you one day be like these young teens and realize that it is now too late to tell a person that you saw everyday about Jesus. Tell the story--today.

Today is the day of salvation!


Saturday, April 05, 2008

A Beautiful Day in the Ozarks

Today was a Beauty!

I managed to get a little bit of yard work done this morning and spent some time with the horses this afternoon. It was a nice sunny day--a welcome break from all of the rain that spring has brought to the Ozarks. I understand that more is still on the way! Not only are the rivers and lakes all up, the ground is saturated and each time it rains there is the danger of flash flooding throughout the area. Also, we've been trying to get our roof repaired from some of the storm damage from a few months ago!

This evening I find myself wondering about church tomorrow. It may seem a bit strange to be anticipating tomorrow's service, but I find myself doing so anyway. I really can't imagine what life would be like without God. Some would say that Christianity is for losers or that it is a psychological or emotional crutch for people that need something or someone to blame for all of their woes. Actually, it really makes me feel special that the God of the universe takes an interest in His creation. I believe that we owe it to Him to give of our time to worship Him. I fully believe that He meets with us and blesses us with His presence. I hope that you will make the time to truly worship Him--not just on Sunday, but everyday!


Thursday, April 03, 2008

Quarterly Report

It is hard to believe that we are already a quarter of the way through 2008. Where did that first 91 days go? I know that it seems like I was busy for most of it; but I can't really say that I accomplished a lot. I know that I am down to just a couple of weeks left to get my taxes done. I better get busy with that this weekend since I'll be in Salem MO for a revival the 9th through the 13th. I'm looking forward to the revival. (not so much to the taxes) It is always exciting to see what God has up his sleeve (so to speak). Each church has its own personality and there is always something really cool that happens. It makes me feel like a kid on Christmas morning! Say a prayer for the Pleasant Valley Baptist Church. They'll have to put up with me for a few days next week!

You may recall that I started the year with the simple goal of losing a pound per week. I fell just short for the first quarter losing twelve pounds for the first thirteen weeks of the year. I ought to be able to make that up. The real problem is that I really enjoy eating...and eating a lot. I've done well in cutting back on the junk food and have a bit of a craving for a really good burger. Buffalo Wild Wings seems to be current frequent restaurant of choice. It seems like I'm there at least once a week for some spicy wings or drumsticks. Anyways I've been trying just a bit of exercise along with some better eating habits and it's working...slowly, but working. I'm also cutting back on the diet soda and trying to drink more water. I'm paying more attention to my sleep habits (or lack of them) and I think that all of that will have an effect on my total well being. Time will tell. The nice weather well help, too.

The computer still has to go in for maintenance and the warranty is up soon. I'll need to send it in after the Salem revival.

Oh yeah, and for the really big news...(drum roll please)...Hannah starts drum lessons tonight!
The flute and the piano aren't enough...now it's drums! Oh boy, I can't wait. Time to invest is some good earplugs. Not to worry...it's baseball season and for the next six months (at least for a few hours each day) all is right with world.