have you ever done something really dumb? Then when you discovered what you did you laugh out loud because the mistake is so rediculous. I bought a Mustang II Independent Front Suspension Kit for my 1949 Ford F-1 pickup along with rack and pinion steering. This is going to make it ride like a modern car!! I was following the installation instructions carefully. I even watched several You Tube videos that explained how to install the kit perfectly. The front cross member that everything bolts to gets a notch cut in the top so it fits around the frame of the pickup and then welded to it. I measured 4 times carefully to make sure to get the notch in the right place. I put the cutoff wheel on my grinder and carefully cut out the notch. I then slid the crossmember under my pickup to put it in place, and then realized that I had cut out the wrong side of the notch!! I couldn’t believe I had done such a dumb thing, and then I just busted laughing. Oh well, I have a friend who will weld the piece I cut off back on, and I can start over.
one of our goals when we raised our kids is that they would grow up to be tough. Part of the challenge of having a goal like that is you have to define what that means so you know how to make it happen and you can measure progress towards the goal. One part of the description of a tough person is that they don’t whine and complain when trials came into their life. Another aspect of being tough is that they wouldn’t simply endure hard times , but that they would conquer them. That means they would solve problems and fix things, that they would be pro-active. When a trial comes into the life of a tough person they are motivated to do something so that it doesn’t happen again. Toughness starts with how we habitually think about events and citcumstances that’s come into our life. “Why me”, “Oh no, not again”, and any number of similar thoughts will make us a wimp. Tough people enjoy life because tough times are a challenge, a contest that they are determined to win.
tomorrow and Saturday is the JBC Father/Daughter camp out, but in my case the Grandpa/granddaughter camp out. I am taking two granddaughters and we are going to fish and hang out with all the others that are going to be there and eat great food and sleep in a tent. I enjoy my grand children very much. Their parents my kids have done a good job raising them and training them so that they have good manners, talk to adults with honor and respect, are kind and nice to each other, and basically very enjoyable to be around. I guess I sound like a proud grandpa bragging on his grandkids, yep, I think I am. I would like to take part of the credit in that Patty and I pray a lot for our children and their families. In my own private prayer time each day I cover them all and plead with God to protect them from evil and to guide them into His perfect will.
One week from today I am leaving for Sirra Leone, West Africa. Jefferson Baptist Church Missions has started a Bible College/Seminary there to train the existing pastors of the churches we have started and new pastors so we can start new churches. I will be teaching there for 5 days, 8 hours each day. For 3 days before I will travel around the country and visit the churches we have started over the last 14 years. We began our ministry right after the prolonged war of approximately 20 years for control of diamonds ended in 2002. Since then I have traveled over there over 20 times to help start churches, teach pastors, build schools, help with medical clinics, and other projects. At one point shortly after we started there I was so taken with the need there that I was thinking about staying for six months, living in one of the mud huts, and starting at least a dozen new churches. I decided that I probably would die if I did that which wouldn’t be a good thing for my family or JBC. This trip is probably my last one. The 21 hours flying time, the heat, the humidity, really aggravates my Parkinson’s for some reason so I am going to give up this ministry to younger people. This afternoon I was looking at several DVD’s of pictures from previous trips and I got so melancholy thinking about this being my last trip. This ministry has been a huge investment of my life and has been tremendously rewarding and fulfilling for me. I am so thankful to the Lord for opening this door, but life is all about moving into a new chapter and it is time I do that.
i was reminiscing about the past today as I thought about my kids. It was prompted by the fact that four of them had birthdays in the last couple of days. Sam turned 37 today and I think, Wow, the time has gone by so fast. I think my favorite activity of all time was watching them play sports. Sam and Seth playing basketball and the girls volleyball. All through Junior High, High School and College the first thing I put on my calendar was all the games, even most of the away games, and we missed very few of them. Susanna and Shelly played volleyball together as twins and they were poetry in motion. If I had a hundred hours of video of them playing I would watch them over and over. Our annual hunting trips to the Steens mountains even when they were in diapers was an amazing time as a family bonding and learning character together as we toughed it out in the wild. Our annual trips to Brownlee Resevior the day after school was out to catch hundreds of Crappie, to swim, and camp together. Life is totally different now, but life is still fun.
During World War II the Germans did some incredibly inhuman things to the Jews. Today we see and hear on the news almost daily the things that ISIS soldiers have done to people including burning them alive, putting them in acid, running over them with Cats, and cutting off their heads. Why do people do that to other people? What is there in people that would motivate them to do such things, let alone think of them. Little kids are mean to each other, doing and saying things that are simply intended to hurt another person for no apparent reason other than it brings some kind of morbid satisfaction. Years ago I read the book “Lord of the Flies” as an assignment for a class and in the class discussion the teacher made this statement, “Any person is capable of the worst, most inhuman act given the right set of circumstances”. That statement filled me with incredible fear that I might some day do something very mean and cruel to another person. This condition of the human heart is described in the Bible repeatedly, “the heart of man is desperately wicked, who can understand it”, and is amazingly accurate as we watch in the news the behavior of people. Today someone hacked my Facebook account and responded to some people under the guise of being me in a very crude and profane way. What kind of person gets pleasure from doing something like that? I think my teacher is right, we all are capable of being mean and cruel, and the pursute of “goodness”, “kindness”, “graciousness”, and “tender-heartedness” is a difficult journey as we battle our own wicked heart. It is not guaranteed because we must personally choose to pursue it, but as a Christian I now have the power from God to overcome my heart’s bent towards evil, and become more and more like Jesus in holiness. I have been set free from that aweful downward pull.
In light of the shooting in Orlando that killed 50 people, 2 Timothy 3:1 comes too mind, “But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come”. Another verse that gives the reason, Revelation 12:12 Woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, knowing that he has only a short time.” The Bible is very clear on the fact that the world and life is going to get worse and worse. People often ask why God doesn’t stop it. He will, it is called the Second Coming of Christ”. You can read all about it in the book of Revelation. I am preaching through the New Testament books of 1 & 2 Thessalonians and this coming weekend I will be teaching on 1 Thessalonians 1:10 “wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, that is Jesus, who rescues us from the wrath to come.” That sounds so good, “rescues us from the wrath to come”. I believe without a doubt that is what He is going to do for me. In the midst of all the craziness going on I have a very real hope, a deep peace, and a strong sense of urgency to pray for people to understand the gospel, and to share the gospel with as many as will listen to me.
Tuesday morning at 4 am we left for the Brownlee Reservoir with 3 daughters, two son in laws, a son , and 8 grandchildren. We stayed until Friday and camped at Hewitt Park in Richland, just East of Baker City. The fishing was crazy good. We caught 200 to 300 Crappie a day. It was probably the most enjoyable fishing trip I have ever been on, not because of the number of fish, but because of the great time I had with my grandkids. The oldest is 15 years old and the youngest is 4 with the others being spaced out evenly between them. Several of them caught their first fish, and I was very honored to be with them when they did. I wanted to pay for all the expenses of the trip for everyone, but we had given all of our extra money to the “Special Offering” we had just taken at JBC for our Radio ministry and for building expenses on our facility. On Monday we got an envelope in the mail with a $500 check enclosed made out to me with a note asaying that they listened to my preaching on the radio everyday and wanted to bless me and my family and to please keep the money and do something nice for my family. It was a great fishing trip made doubly nice by the financial support that was given to us. It was the exact amount needed do pay for the expenses of the fishing trip, and $100 more than I had put into the fishing trip.
JBC’s “Special Offering” was this weekend. We have taken a “Special Offering” the first weekend of June for almost 40 years. Every one of our buildings are all paid for, we owe nothing on any of them, because each year we would build until the money was gone and then wait until the next special offering to start building again. We have no building projects this year so,the offering is for maintenance. We want to put a new metal,roof on our sanctuary, siding and paint on the front of the gym and the Chapel. Our goal was $100,000 and the total received was $106,000. It seems like every year God works and supplies extra funds and we receive our goal amount. Giving away our money to the work of God is one of the more difficult of the spiritual disciplines because we have so many things we could do with that money we give away. Giving away our money is a great way to build our faith. God knows how difficult it is and when we choose to give anyway He rewards us by making himself seem more real to us, He manifests His presence. Jesus said that where our treasure is, determines where our heart is. Our sacrifial giving to the Lord results in a growing love for Him.
I bought a brand new Garmin Fish Finder and got it installed on my boat today. We are taking about 8 grandkids and their parents to the Brownlee reservoir this next week to fish for crappie, bass, and cat fish. We usually catch a bunch. A good fish finder helps a lot so that we fish where fish are! It works sort of like a bat navigates, in that a sonar “chirp” is sent towards the bottom of the lake, it bounces off of the bottom, plants, and fish and the device receives it and puts the info on the screen for those in the boat to see. There any number of things in our life that a “Finder” would be such a good thing. The Bible says to seek wisdom diligently, so we could have a wisdom finder that would take us right to the person or event that would give us great wisdom. If we seek God diligently we will find Him the Bible says. How cool would that be, a God finder!
the Bible says