Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Home

Sorry it took me so long to get back with you. It's been a busy weekend and you know how it is when you've been gone a week - everything just sort of piles up on you. I finally got back to my blog. To say last week was an adventure would be an understatement. We posted a few pictures on our website, but even that doesn't do justice to the events of the week. Even though our plans got altered by Hurricane Dolly, I don't believe the plans of God were altered. He knew exactly what He was doing when He sent us there. Any regrets? Only that we didn't get to finish what we started.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

A morning report

Dolly has come ashore and is rolling hard! She's poured down rain on us all night and will continue all day. Her winds are flirting with Category 2 (96 mph) but we're doing fine. We're in an exceptionally secure building and living on the second floor so we're fine. We're to be joined tomorrow by the Texas Baptist Men Disaster Relief Team here at FBC Harlingen so we'll either leave tomorrow or we'll work with them. Pray for our work. Pray for a safe trip home. Pray for the Lord's blessings over our day spent here at the Family Life Center. It's not what we planned - we came to work - but it seems clear that the Lord's wisdom is here for us.
On a humorous note, it's nice to know the Lord has a great sense of humor. Sarah Thacker just read her devotional for today: Psalm 69:1-4 - "Save me, o God, for the waters have come up to my neck.. . ."

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Harlingen, Day 2

Today we spent the day finishing the painting we began yesterday. We framed an addition onto a house desperately in need of more space. Effectively, we doubled their square footage in a single day. Our VBS went off as planned and was a wonderful experience! The kids were excited to have something other than the storm to talk about.
Now - as for the storm - subtitled this "Hello Dolly!" For those who might be worried about us, don't be. We're doing fine. The storm is rolling off-shore and we can feel it's effects - increased wind, clouds and slightly sprinkling. But it's not here yet. We're staying on the upper floor in the FBC Harlingen Family Life Center and have a plan in case it floods. We've prepared our vehicles and got our plans together in case we lose power. We're just waiting with plans to sit the day out tomorrow here at FBC. They've closed their offices tomorrow as has everyone else around here. We've got a problem with the van (A/C is out) that we're going to try for repairs before we come home, but we'll have to wait and see. Pray for us. Ask the Lord to clear our path so we can get home. Pray for the families we're ministering to here. Pray for Indian Hills Baptist Church and Pastor Steve Rodgriuez.

UPDATE: 11:19 PM - She's here. We can hear her pounding against our windows and roof.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Harlingen, Day 1

A fast and furious day! We began early, painting a house in the Mercedes area. We're all set to finish it up tomorrow. Part of our crew then went to work another house nearby. We'll probably finish it too tomorrow. VBS ended our day. We had planned to have about 30 students. We had 45. Great problem, but we had to scramble up a new plan of action to provide for it. No problem! It was awesome!
Now - to answer the question I've been asked about 100 million times today - What about Hurricane Dolly? Our plan right now, by consensus, is to ride it out. It'll probably mean a whole day lost, but we'll be able to connect with people on the clean-up side that we might have missed otherwise. We still plan to leave for home on Friday, but we'll see. Check back soon for pictures - it's too late for those tonight.

To the moronic troll commenting on my blog. . .

A troll is someone who lurks around anonymously commenting on blogs, usually with insulting or off-topic comments. In recent days, one has surfaced here. I'm serving notice, troll - whoever you are, that I'm ready to turn comments off. I love letting people respond, but correction of my grammar or style, off-topic remarks or links to other sites will not be tolerated. This is private property I allow you to share with me. In other words - GO AWAY TROLL! I don't have time to keep deleting your comments so go find someone else to bother.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Pray for Julie and myself today

Friends who read this blog - please pray for Julie and I. Health-wise we're fine and the children are too. But the fact remains we need your prayers for Lord's counsel, wisdom and passion. That's all I can say right now.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Stupid Good!

While feeding the baby last night, I turned on the Home Run Derby on ESPN. I'm not a big fan of the event, especially since the era of steroids and such has struck, but I wanted to see Josh Hamilton of our own Texas Rangers. Wow - did he ever reward my dilligence. If you didn't see it, Josh took 54 pitches from his batting coach and bashed 28 of them out of the ballpark. Some of them, he literally nearly hit out of the ballpark. His story is one of redemption and grace and worth reading. Here's a link to a great recap of last night and Josh's story overall. One last thing - Go Rangers!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Where I DON"T plan to visit when I vacation

You might have seen the article over the weekend about the pastor in Frankfort, KY who was arrested by wildlife officials for illegal possession of snakes (Here's a link to the full story). The pastor was gathering them for a worship service in what we call a "snake-handling church." Based on Mark 16, some churches believe you can handle deadly snakes, and even get bitten, and not suffer the consequences. Although Scripture does indicate that as a possibility, it mentions only the Apostle Paul as having taken advantage of this (See Acts 28:1-6). I'd rather not take unnecessary chances - snakes are easy enough to find when I don't want them! Rather than tempt the Lord, I believe I'll simply believe His word and rest in His promises instead of testing them out with snakes.

Friday, July 11, 2008

A fun but fruitless morning


Early this morning, a friend (I'll let the guilty remain nameless!) and I got up and left our families at home in a the primordial search for the newest gadget! Chockful of the latest technology, I've long pined for this device! After scratching nickels and pennies and not playing golf for a whole month in preparation for today, we left my house before 7:45 AM, a time I usually only get up to go play golf. But today was different. Today, we were in search of the newest iPhone, released at 8 AM this morning. We drove to Tyler, arriving at the AT &T store just as they opened. Taking our place at the end of the line, we were numbers 86 and 87 respectively. We waiting until about 10 AM when they warned us we might not get a phone today but we waited anyway. About 11 AM we got into the store and were told we had missed it by two people! If only we'd left thirty minutes earlier! It's just as well - we were given the opportunity to do orders for them and we'll have them soon.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

My Great-Aunt Helen

My great-aunt Helen passed away today. She was 79 yrs of age and suffered from a number of ailments, each limiting her body more and more. She as a kind, tender lady with a gentle smile and a soft word for all whom she knew. She had a deep love for Jesus and is, at long last, home. In the fall of 1999, she came to the church I was pastoring, cornered me, and said "I'm not going to live much longer and you're going to do my funeral!" She was not a bossy or pushy lady, so I was a bit surprised. When I agreed to do so, she reverted to her sweet, gentle temperment that I had always known growing up. She knew what she wanted and was so certain of it - I really respect that.
We'll honor her life at her home church tomorrow in Hubbard (east of Waco). Please pray for that important time as we celebrate her new home.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Prayer needed for Shelley White

Shelley White, daughter of Judy and Johnny Burks, is in need of our prayers today. Shelley, suffering from MS among other ailments, passed out at work today and has been taken to the hospital near her home in Dallas. Please pray for Shelley, her husband Greg and their children. Pray also for Judy and Johnny as they travel to be with their daughter.