Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas Is Past - New Year's Day Is Coming!

This is a picture befoe we started the new back porch.......Looks like I'll have to wait till later for you to get a good view of what it looks like now. I'll just tell you that it comes all the way to the end of the house now!

What a wonderful Christmas we have had this year at our house in town (Cleveland). Our children and grand-children were with us for a few hours of love and laughter. True Christmas joy filled the air as grand-children and great grandchildren played with toys - and the adults went back for one more helping of dessert! Since then I've filled up the water tank here at the cabin in anticipation of our New Year's Day men's outing. We are anticipating about 30 men. Don't know for sure - but look forward to the cooking and eating - then playing of musical instruments and singing. Look for a new post and pictures the first week of 2010.

Since the last blog I've added a porch to the back of the house. The under-pinning was sinking and so with the help of my two sons-in-law who live here - we strengthened that first. Then we took apart some of the boards that had been our bridge and used them to build the frame and support structure for the back porch. It's great to have it. Rick and I were sitting on the back porch one rainy day a few weeks ago and saw three wild turkeys come scratching along in the dirt about 50 yards away. Too bad the season was not open!

I just MUST spend more time up here in 2010. With Frances having the major heart surgery last March it was not possible to be here as much as I would have liked. I need to be here so I can keep the mice out...learn more about the nature of this creek...learn more about the drainage of the back yard...and observe more of nature in general. It's so therapeutic for me.

Until then ---

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Wayne Gay

I first met Wayne in the mountains while with my friend and hunting buddy (Ed Williams). We were out exploring the area near Pumzika Acres, looking for wild game signs. It appeared to both Ed and I that Wayne had consumed a little too much "mountain dew". He was a quiet and gentle soul for the most part, but was bold enough that as soon as he learned that I was a "Preacher" he let me know that he knew what was right and did not need me nor anyone else telling him what he needed to do to "get right with God." On that first day I did not press the claims of Christ on Wayne. I refused to get involved in any challenge to my beliefs. He would have relished a debate on the subject of eternal security, or the baptism of the Holy Spirit with the evidence of tongues, or divine healing, or tithing or any other religious subject. My personal observation was that he really wanted to make this change but because of pride and drink he would not do it. I finally said, "You know Wayne, I perceive that you don't need anyone to tell you what's right and what's wrong. You don't need anyone to tell you that you need to repent. As you have said, you don't need to be told that you are a sinner. You already know those things. All you need to do now is to call out to Jesus and ask him to forgive you and receive him into your heart and make things right." I invited him to go with us to the little Baptist Church on Sunday. Later, at the Church, I told the church about meeting this man and asked them to pray for his soul's salvation. His wife spoke up and said, "That's my husband".

Now - More about this issue of "tithing". The last time I saw Wayne alive he was with Betty and we had stopped in the road between the church and my cabin. Today, Wayne said, "You know what's wrong with these churches today? The preachers won't preach if you don't pay them." Betty chimed in with, "Preacher he don't believe it's right that we have to pay a preacher." "That's right!" says he, "Jesus didn't never get paid!!" "Why" says I, "Of course he did! Jesus had so much money he had to ask one of his followers to carry it... Judas Iscariot. Why... Of course, Jesus had money. He paid taxes didn't he?" Again, knowing that argument will never win a soul to Jesus, I politely took my leave of them and promised myself that I'd discuss that with him at some future date. That date never came because of a tragic accident.

On June 27, 2009 I received a phone call from Betty Gay, the wife of Wayne Gay, saying that Wayne had drowned in a farm pond, trying to rescue his grandson from drowning. Both Wayne and his grandson died. Oh the emptiness in my soul because I did not "press" more for Wayne to make a change. Could I have done or said anything differently that would have caused him to repent of his sin and accept Jesus as His Savior? I honestly don't know. It is my hope that in the last few minutes Wayne Gay called out from the depths of his spirit to the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the only Savior. If he did, then "...Whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved". Acts 2:21

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Power and Fire internet radio show 2/24/2009 | The Baptism Of The Holy Ghost - Part 5

Power and Fire internet radio show 2/24/2009 The Baptism Of The Holy Ghost - Part 5

Click on the above and listen to the radio show conducted by one of our mountain friends, Reverend Lloyd and wife Betty Yearwood. I was their guest by special request.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

A Little Snow

The snow we had here in Cleveland on the 20th was melted and gone on the 23rd when I took this picture about three miles this side of the cabin. In a way I wished that I had been there for the snow - but on second thought gave thanks to God that I was safely at home in town and in a warm comfortable house.
The back yard showing snow!

Looks like a road, but it is not - it's just the remains of the snow.

In this photo you can tell that the snow was almost gone. So life in the mountains is very slow at this time of the year.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Visiting Different Churches

This is a true story!
This post is about what I have come to call my "drop-in" visits to churches. It will include some churches in my own denomination and some in other denominations. There will be some humor, some analysis, and perhaps what could be called criticism. However, I want it to be clear from the start that I have utmost respect and high regard for the people who carry on the teaching and preaching in these churches and especially do I respect the pastors in these churches.

I'm not really sure - I may have blogged about this previously. I'll check before completing this project. I read today (January 13, 2009) from someone else the following:

"Would I be intrigued enough to return to the Sunday meeting? Would I feel welcomed and a sense of identification with the community vibe? Would I be interested in learning more about the Jesus the teacher was speaking about? Would I feel like people cared if I was there and helped me know what to do being a first time guest? Would I know where to go and what to do next to find out more information about the church? Would I desire to get connected in a smaller group of people in the church as the bigger meeting isn't the place for true community to happen? Would I want to get to know the people there more?"
Actually the motivation I had for "drop-in" visits was not the same as the above but it did tell me lots about why some of our churches growth or lack thereof. My schedule in those days was not always full because I was serving as Field Director for our Church of God in Africa. I needed some days without specific committments so I could rest up after (or before making) one of my long gruelling trips to minister for two to seven weeks at a time on the dark continent. Monday through Friday I was in my office at General Headquarters and many week-ends were scheduled for fund-raising in local churches in several states.
One of the most memorable of those visits was my visit to a small church near our headquarters city. I went in about 10 to 15 minutes late (deliberately) to let the people have enough time to do whatever it was they were going to do under "normal" circumstances. On this particular day, the Sunday School lesson was about the passage of Scripture in John 4 where it is said of Jesus, "And he must needs go through Samaria." and the disciples could not understand why he wanted to go through that region since it was dominated by Samaritans. The male Sunday School teacher explained it this way -- "You see? It's just like take these people over here at General Headquarters, they would never come by our little church. They think they are too good or too important or too busy to stop by a church like ours. But - if JESUS was here, he would come by and visit with us!" On and on he went for what I know was at least a full five minutes (seemed like half an hour) criticizing the people at General Headquarters.

When Sunday School was over and the teacher had been seated, the Pastor came to the pulpit and shortly noted that "I see (looking straight back at me) we have a visitor today. Brother we'd like to hear you testify today if you're saved."

I got up and said, "Yes, Brother, I'm saved, sanctified, filled with the Holy Ghost, a member of the great Church of God, married to one wife and pay my tithes regularly! O, and by the way, I am from over at General Headquarters but I just felt compelled to come by and visit you today!"

Friday, January 2, 2009

Christmas At The Cabin

Some of the children enjoying the sunshine and the swing the day after Christmas.

We had a wonderful deer roast cooked in a dutch oven over the camp fire by our champion deer hunter, son-in-law Rick Durham.

Jason is grilling! We all loved the results.

Inside the cabin we had a meal with the Rob Davis family from Colorado. These are friends we met the first week after we moved to Nairobi, Kenya in July of 1989.

As you can see, we were not counting calories.

Mama Frankie was the taste tester!

In this photo, Renee, a great grand-daughter is seen crossing the creek which flows past the front porch of the cabin via foot-log.

Two big red ribbons were the only Christmas decorations. Thank God for all the great weather we had (into the low 60s with plenty of sunshine.)

Kimberly, Renee, Riley, Pappy (Rick) and Hailey seem to enjoy skipping rocks on top of the water.