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#Prison#PrisonLife#NoLongerSlaves

Friday, August 16th, 2019

Talk of prison and people’s thoughts will immediately go to Alcatraz, some military prison, or some form of incarceration. When Potiphar’s wife accused Joseph of trying to rape her and he put Joseph in prison, it wasn’t a 5-star hotel. The Scripture specifically tells us he put Joseph where Pharaoh’s enemies were put. True to his nature and God’s blessing on his life, Joseph excelled. He overcame his prison life.

In truth, most people will never see the inside of a prison cell. They just live in a prison. Due to circumstances, expectations of others, guilt, pessimism or some other “bothersome” issue, they live in a prison of their own making, one without physical bars.

I’m going to focus on that kind of prison this week during my sermon. As followers of Christ we are no longer slaves to fear or to the enemy or his efforts to keep us down. I’ll be working on very short rest and am anticipating with a very tired body. I’d appreciate your prayers.

Here is a song for your enjoyment: https://youtu.be/2QigyB50yGw

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After waiting for almost 8 months the BikeMS ride is this weekend in Lebanon, IN. Dave (from 3 Feet Please) is coming from Arizona to ride with me and his two adult children are coming to volunteer.  Jo and I left Thursday for Indy to spend the night in the hotel in Indy and to meet up with them. Jo plans to also help with the volunteer table for 3FP. Dave and I plan to do the 65 mile portion of the ride.  This is a fundraiser for MS and thanks to many of you and your generosity, I have been able to raise $1100 this year. Thank you so much!!  I do appreciate it more than you know but will appreciate your prayers even more. 65 miles will be double what I have been able to do (due to time constraints) at one time this year. Safety and health or my primary concerns. Thanks.  Here are pictures of the partners in crime.

Faith/Feelings?

Friday, February 8th, 2019

First, let me just say we needed Noah the past two or three days. It has rained like “cats and dogs.” So much so that school was let out early today (Thursday) and some of the kids were stuck at school anyway because the buses couldn’t get through. One school had all three access ways flooded. Oh…but tonight!!! It is supposed to go down to 18 degrees. Talk about a royal mess!

Anyway…now for my regularly scheduled post.  🙂

The battle between faith and feelings has been and will continue to be ongoing. There are many who doubt God’s faithfulness and love because their feelings have betrayed them. Enter Psalm 13.  I wrote about this psalm at my other blog here on January 8. When I decided to extend my sermon series on Psalms I decided to incorporate this Psalm into that series. I’m not going to reiterate here what I wrote there. I’d like to ask you to venture over there.

But one thing I do want to emphasize is what kept David anchored were his beliefs in the certainty of God’s character, based on the certainty of God’s promises, even though his feelings were all over the map. We would do well to do the same.

It has been a crazy week for me so I have not posted much on this blog. I do post every day at my other one since it is more devotional and based on my morning Quiet Time and journal. But I do covet your prayers this Sunday.

4th

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2018

Happy 4th of July!

Not much is planned on this end. Jo is not “feeling” a cookout so we will be doing something else. After an early morning bike (I hope) for me (while she sleeps), we will be heading down to our church camp to visit some campers. Every week there are campers, either Ryan or I make a trip to camp to visit them. Two weeks ago Ryan was a co-dean for a Senior High Wilderness week. After a week at home, he and his family headed back to camp for a Middle School/Jr. High wilderness week. Yes…you are reading that right.

He is a glutton for punishment. He’s also a whole lot younger than me. He and Hope are younger than both of our girls! AAAAAAH!! (cue in MacCauley Caulkin in Home Alone after putting on after shave).  So anyway, we are heading down to visit them.

After that I have to go to Menards in Columbus, In. We are doing renovation and remodeling to the church building and the Menards in Bloomington did not have enough wainscoting. But Columbus had enough so I will combine two birds with one stone.

Jo gets a treat out of it. She gets a meal out. Yeah…she likes to keep me company. Do you think it might be for some other reason than my charming personality?  I do.

Something for me (an early morning ride).  Something for the campers (me!! 🙂 ). Something for Jo and Tami (who likes to tag along when we are eating out).

Have a remarkable 4th remembering what we all need…Freedom. I’ll encourage you to visit my friend, Martha, for her excellent post. She says it better than I can.

Light

Wednesday, December 20th, 2017

My next to last post for the special music being sung at our Christmas Eve morning worship is a new one to me also. One of our ladies, Marge, will be singing this “older” song. I say “older” because it is sung by Watermark, a group which featured Nathan and Christy Nockels, who went on to be heavily involved in the Passion movement with Louie Giglio, some guy named Chris Tomlin, Matt Redman, and others.

Here is Light of the World by Watermark. This song is not to be confused with Tim Hughes’ song, Light of the World (you stepped down into darkness/opened my eyes let me see).

If there is ever a time in history when we need the True Light of the world it might be now. May you come to know the True Light and may His Word be a light unto your path.

Everywhere

Tuesday, December 19th, 2017

We have recently been blessed with a family who brings a hunger and a joy to our church fellowship. They have attended off and on over the past 6 months or so but lately made a commitment to make OVCF their home. I’m glad they have and love seeing their smiles.

Mom (Heather) and daughter (Hannah) have come from a more traditional background. Mom knows the old hymns on a piano but loves our contemporary worship and learning the new songs. I look forward to the day she says she wants to play with our worship team. Hannah has sung in the school show choir and is now a freshman at Ivy Tech studying to be a paramedic. (Pray for her upcoming test). I asked her to sing for our Christmas Eve morning worship and she gladly agreed. I left the song choice up to her.

Hannah will be singing and Heather will be playing (and singing harmony) for this song. It is a new one to me, but I’m sure looking forward to them singing.

Wouldn’t it be fantastic if this song was true all year long?

MaryDidYouKnow?

Wednesday, December 13th, 2017

My posts over the next two weeks are songs which will be sung at our Christmas Eve morning worship. This one will be sung by Diana, the church’s Office Administrator. She thinks people are tired of hearing her sing it. I disagree.

One of the classic Christmas songs which has been around for quite a few years now and done multiple times is Mary, Did You Know? It is asking a simple question of Mary, the mother of Jesus. I suspect one we would ask ourselves as parents if it could be answered.

What if you had known things would turn out as they have. Would you do it all over again?

I, for one, do not believe Mary knew. Sure, she knew her Son was different. The conception was miraculous. The birth was ordinary (if you count having your baby in a stable ordinary). His life was different. His death was certainly excruciating for a mother to watch. But when she conceived and then gave birth, I don’t believe for a minute she was able to “see into the future” and know.

Anyway, as I said, there are many versions of this song. Mark Lowry was the writer of this song and he, himself, has sung it multiple times. But this one is different. For a further look, check out some of the other versions of this song. Here is another version I found I liked.

Progress

Wednesday, November 29th, 2017

It’s been awhile since I last showed any pictures of our addition. I believe the last ones I showed were of the outside. Since we are paying cash for the building it has been a slower process for us but it looks like things will pick up. We have been trying to do as much with volunteer work but have pretty well decided that has to change. This time of the year is just entirely too hard to get people to commit to working on the addition. Can there by any busier time than between Thanksgiving and Christmas in peoples’ lives? I think not. Other than the framing, electrical and HVAC you see here, everything has been volunteer work. Stage and insulation (with the latter taking gobs of time) has been a slow haul. Our meeting Monday night changed all of that. We have enough to pay to hire it done, so hire it done we will. Here are the pictures of the inside as it stands right now:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pictures from top left (stage area). Top right (Looking from stage to one of the left classrooms). Bottom left (Looking into the mechanical closet and HVAC above). Bottom right (Standing outside of mechanical closet). The brown you see on that last picture is 4 inch insulation which has to be cut to fit. Long tedious job and we are rethinking that to maybe doing something different and less time-consuming.

I’m excited to see it moving along…even though it is a snail’s pace right now. Soon though the HVAC will be installed, the electrical work will be finished, the ceiling will be insulated, and the drywall will be done.  Our goal is December 31. Check back with me on that one. 🙂

There’s the update. God has His timing, especially in the way of finances. So far, which is a huge blessing, we have had no injuries on site.

Dreamer

Thursday, October 26th, 2017

Found on the inside of a yogurt cup:

I have always been a dreamer. But truthfully, I have not always known what to do with those dreams. Growing up I wanted to be a professional baseball player. I had no clue about training, sports camps, hitting camps, and all the extras. Then I wanted to be a professional basketball player, but again my knowledge was limited. I didn’t know about year-round training, lifting weights, strengthening my body and amping up my ability. I realized some success in college and was even told I was scouted my Junior Year (if you can believe what my father was told), but I was nowhere near good enough.

Dreams require a price to be paid. Dreams require bigger dreaming. Dreams require big goals. I’m proud of both of my daughters. Have I told you about my grandson yet?  🙂 I’m excited to be a part of their dreams.  Next week, Saturday, November 4th, Tami, our oldest, will fly to Phoenix for a Revelation Wellness retreat. It serves as a wellness effort but also will allow her to be certified as a wellness consultant. Her health issues have made her sensitive to other peoples’ needs for good health.  I’m proud of her as she has saved her money, paid for this trip, and will soon fly to chart a whole new experience for herself. She is pursuing her dreams. I couldn’t be more proud of her for trying something out of her comfort zone and spreading her wings.

Think Big. Dream Big. Those are two good phrases which describe Tami’s venture. You go girl!  And while you are it, would you please say a prayer for her as she travels and while she is there? God has been gripping her heart with the simple truth of His Word as she has studied for this class. Pray she will continue to listen. Thanks.

Eatingandsuch

Sunday, October 15th, 2017

I’d like to continue my travelogue for a post or two more. Eating is a staple of any vacation…unless you are on a dieting vacation where you watch all you eat. That was my kind. I watched it from my plate to my mouth. Besides Aunt Catfishes we also ate at Joe’s Crabshack.

We have heard a lot about Joe’s but have never eaten there. It was a long walk down the beach to Joe’s but well worth it. I had shrimp and fish and Jo had fish and chips. Interesting fact: I asked our waiter if they had any hurricane damage and he said, “No. The windows are hurricane windows and stood the test.”  That certainly can’t be said of all the buildings around there.

On Thursday we took the suggestion of one of the men from the church and visited Ponce Inlet. They have a famous lighthouse there, a beautifully build brick one as you can see.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Ponce Inlet is named after Ponce de Leon, an early traveler and founder. The lighthouse had 203 steps and in the 85+ degree heat neither Jo nor I were willing to tackle walking the steps, especially with the $7 each price tag. So I settled for 3 souvenirs I brought back for Ryan, Diana, and myself. Here they are:

They are to remind us Jesus is the Light of the World and we shine His light for Him to be seen. The above picture on the right tells you a little bit about the lighthouse.

We were going to eat lunch at…are you ready for this name?…”Down the Hatch” but it was closed due to the hurricane damage it sustained. They catch the fish and bring it in and cook it right on the spot. I was sort of disappointed but that’s the way it is.

We weren’t the only ones who wanted to eat. As we walked away from Joe’s I saw these birds lined up along the top of the railing. I don’t know if they were looking for some unsuspecting person to play “bombs away” with or whether they were looking for food to scavenge. I told Jo they looked like they were getting ready to pounce.

And finally, don’t let them kid you they don’t have something for everyone. We were able to get Braden a t-shirt which said, “Legends are born in October.” Don’t have a picture of that one. But I do have a picture of one made just for me because they knew I was coming!

I know…sick. But had to have some fun along the way. Tomorrow will be my last travelogue journey. We had a tremendous week. I hope you enjoy coming along for the ride.

 

StormsaComin”!

Thursday, October 12th, 2017

Wednesday brought 25 mph winds and high surf. It also brought a fantastic view of a brewing storm. I’m going to put them one after the other so you can see.

Four different views but all of the same storm. The storm which never hit us. The first one was to my right and you can see the rain in the storm. The building is Joe’s Crab Shack. The other three were pictures of the storm as it developed. I’m not sure if it went north of us or if it just stayed out at sea. I never heard. But it was a powerful and beautiful sight to behold.  You can see how the storm out at sea kicked up the surf.

In that first picture someone asked if that was garbage. The answer is No. The stuff stacked to the right is some type of sea plant…seaweed maybe (?) left over from Irma’s surge. The white mounds were foam left when the waves came ashore, stopped and retreated.  The foam collected and then just stayed there. It was really strange.

Storms all around us but they never came at us. Sort of like life. There are times others are being hit by storms and we see the gathering clouds but then we find ourselves never being hit. Of course, there are time we are hit but that does not change the fact that God is in the whirlwind and the storm. Psalm 46 seems appropriate right about now, particularly verses 2–7.

Good lesson for us all to remember. “God is a very present help in time of trouble.”

Stay tuned next week for more pictures and hopefully more lessons. The weekend is coming and my next post will be about Sunday’s sermon. I know…you are waiting with baited breath for that one! 🙂