Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Re-Reading the Gospels . . .

I have talked about this some with my friend, Floyd. It is time for my semi-annual reading of the Gospels and Acts. Matthew, Mark, Luke, Johh and Acts are my Bible bread-and-butter as far as my personal spiritual growth is concerned.

In light of the current situations in Washington and Wall Street, I have decided to read the Gospels and Acts through the lens of identifying the difference real leadership makes, and . . . the abuses of government controls.

I think Jesus has something to say about all of this . . . and I want to put together in context in my mind.

Ever forward . . . ><>

Saturday, September 27, 2008

I'm back home . . .

And will be back in the office on Wednesday, October 1st.   

A good trip which included my daughter's wedding, fishing twice on the King's River northeast of Eureka Springs, spending a day driving and exploring the War Eagle area southwest of Eureka Springs, and taking time just to rest and relax.   The weather was simply wonderful, and the leaves were just starting to turn.

And . . . we discovered a new winery and vineyard of special interest to us because of their very good "fruit" wines.

Eureka Spings . . . 
Mountain mama . . .
Take me home . . . 
Country roads . . .

Once again . . . ever forward . . . ><>

Monday, September 15, 2008

Intentional Christian . . .

We start our Intentional Christian sermon and study series this coming Sunday, September 21, when Ken will preach on Prayer.

More info and a schedule of sermons and study groups can be found by clicking here.   This is going to be a great series, leading up to our Fall Ministry Fair on Sunday, October 12, and Commitment Sunday on October 26.

Daily devotional readings, which began today, September 15, can be found online here.

Ever forward . . . ><>

The Watering Hole . . .

I've been enjoying listing to Adam Hamilton's latest sermon series, The Wild Kingdom on the Church of the Resurrection web site.

I strongly recommend your listening to The Water Hole sermon which is also posted on Adam's blog, Seeing Gray.   

Three questions make up his three sermon points . . .

1) Where is your watering hole?
2) What are you feeding your soul?
3) Who is in your herd?

Give it a listen . . . and let me know what you think.

Ever forward . . . ><>

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

A mellow rainy day of reflection . . .

I am in a rare "mellow" state of mind and heart today . . .

Usually this only happens to me when I am singing or playing guitar . . .

Or while fishing or hiking . . .

Just sort of mellow . . . thinking of some stuff . . .

-My eldest daughter is getting married in a few days. I am proud of both my girls, and in a week or so, both will be "married" to good men. My present and future son-in-laws are more different than night and day. But both have their own unique skills and strengths, and whether I like them or not (and I do!) . . . they were the one's my two babies chose to live life with.

Both my daughters have a track record of making good decisions . . . like their mother!!!

-Serving on the pastoral staff of this church . . . what a blessing! Missions, both locally and oversees, has become such a part of our church DNA. It is amazing all the things I see people doing in answer to the call they feel God has given them.

A lot of people here, serving in such humble manner, with such servant spirits . . . acting out their faith every day.

-Relationships . . . they truly are what make my life rich. My wife, daughters, mom, neighbors and friends . . . I am glad I finally "got it" a year before turning 50 that relationships are what bring true joy and happiness to life. My life has been so much more enjoyable since that time.

-I am grateful for the ever growing relationship I have with God. God's grace . . . such a wonderful and free gift to all . . . who would just close their hands and hearts around it.

A mellow rainy day . . . feet up on my desk . . . Bible open in my lap . . . my mind is pondering deep reflective thoughts . . . and my heart is glad.

Ever forward . . . ><>


Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Hurricanes and heavy hearts . . .

Labor Day went well for us. I put up a new garage door opener, and built a stepping stone path between our back yard deck and flower bed, a particular spot that is pretty damp and muddy at times.

Otherwise, I checked in on the Weather Channel for updates on Hurricane Gustav.

As a child and teenager who grew up down in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas, I went through 2 hurricanes and several tropical storms. I remember Hurricane Beulah when I was in 5th grade. Not really that much wind . . . but oh, it rained and rained and rained and rained. We had standing water for over a month.

So, I think I truly feel for the people of the Gulf Coast. I used to live there, and except for hurricanes and tropical storms, I miss it still to this day. I love the Texas Gulf Coast, and do not get to visit there as much as I would like.

Our good friends, the Laughlin's, have lived in the Houston area for over 3o years, and have only had to leave once . . . and that was the storm that came through before Katrina hit New Orleans. They were able to get back home about a week later. No real bad damage, but they have since moved from the northeast side of Houston, down to Pearland on the southwest side of Houston.

Amazing . . . only having to leave the Houston area once in 30+ years because of a hurricane.

I think of the people of Louisiana, many who have left their homes, communities and state for the 2nd time in 3 years . . . and, according to the Weather Channel, people in the Gulf Coast may have to leave again in the weeks to come as several tropical weather events are lining up in the Atlantic.

I can't imagine, going to a shelter in another state, or staying with family or friends . . . and wanting to go back home, but being told to stay away . . . I can imagine the heavy hearts.

I can imagine that some of the people of the Gulf Coast are feeling a bit "picked on" these days.

Funny thing though . . . where ever you live . . . there are going to be weather related events unique to your situation and location.

If you live on the Gulf Coast . . . then you will probably experience a hurricane at some point.

If you live where I do in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area of Texas . . . they you know that in the spring and early summer . . . we get really bad thunderstorms with heavy hail and a tornado or two. I had to have a new roof put on my home this past year from storms last summer.

The same if you live in Oklahoma or Kansas . . . except you have more tornadoes.

If you live in California . . . the dry Santa Anna winds make conditions right for fires.

If you live in Washington State . . . you are going to have more days of rain than days when it doesn't rain.
If you live around the Great Lakes . . . you are going to have a blizzard or two.

You get the point . . .

Yet, we all choose to live in particular areas . . . because of family . . . or for a good job . . . or maybe because where we live is just "where we want to live!" For some it is more personal, we live where do we as part of a calling, as part of our being part of something bigger than ourselves. And weather, as always, is just something that goes along with the plan.

No doubt relief efforts for the Gulf Coast are beginning. My wife and I will donate what we can financially . . . and I am always open to going to do mission work if our church organizes a team. The 1st Church String Band is doing a fundraising concert on Oct. 19th. We initially planned to raise money for a water well in Kenya, but perhaps part of the money we raise may go to hurricane relief efforts. As other individual storm tracks unfold in these next few weeks, we will now more.

Please consider donating/helping if you are moved to do so.

Ever forward . . . ><>