Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Friends from Hong Kong

Today, we had the special blessing of having lunch with some friends from Hong Kong. They were passing through Wagoner from MO to TX and gave us a call! It was great to see them and we were able to catch up with each other.
If you are passing through Wagoner on US 69, be sure to give us a call! We'd love to see you, too!

It's all about perspective

I found the following post on Sam Shaw's Blog:

A father passing by his son’s bedroom was astonished to see that hisbed was nicely made and everything was picked up.

Then he saw an envelope, propped up prominently on the pillow thatwas addressed to ‘Dad.’ With the worst premonition he opened the envelope with trembling hands and read the letter.

Dear Dad:

It is with great regret and sorrow that I’m writing you. I had to elope with my new girlfriend because I wanted to avoid a scene with Mom and you. I have been finding real passion with Stacy and she is so nice.

But I knew you would not approve of her because of all her piercings, tattoos, tight motorcycle clothes and the fact that she is much older than I am.

But it’s not only the passion…Dad she’s pregnant.

Stacy said that we will be very happy. She owns a trailer in the woods and has a stack of firewood for the whole winter. We share a dream of having many more children.

Stacy has opened my eyes to the fact that marijuana doesn’t really hurt anyone. We’ll be growing it for ourselves and trading it with the other people that live nearby for cocaine and ecstasy.

In the meantime we will pray that science will find a cure for AIDS so Stacy can get better. She deserves it.

Don’t worry Dad. I’m 15 and I know how to take care of myself.

Someday I’m sure that we will be back to visit so that you can get to know your grandchildren.


Your Son John,

P.S. Dad, none of the above is true. I’m over at Tommy’s house. I just wanted to remind you that there are worse things in life than the report card that’s in my center desk drawer.

I love you.

Call me when it’s safe to come home.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday, Meme!

Today is my grandmother's birthday. We love you, Meme!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Castro Retires/Resigns

It's about time. After all, the 81 year old dictator hasn't even been seen much in the past year and a half. His nearly fifty years as the island nation's self appointed ruler has brought a few things to Cuba, like health care, but was it worth it?

All of my lifetime, people have been trying to flee Cuba. We see news reports of folks fashioning boats out of cars, swimming on innertubes, doing whatever it takes to make the 90 mile dash to the shores of the good ole US of A.

Let's pray for Cuba and her next leader. Pray that their society will be free, but more importantly, pray that in this upcoming change, that the Gospel will spread like wild fire.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Sally's Quilt

Sally has been working on a quilt on and off for several years now. She finally finished it. It is made with material that we acquired when we lived in West Africa. We have all had clothes made out of some of the cloth you can see.
Sally is quite an accomplished quilter. The backside of the quilt is an impressive work of art, too. This pattern is the "bowtie".
Good job, Sally!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Audrey's Play

Here is a PORTION of Audrey's drama class play from Monday.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Union University

Union University was struck by a tornado on Feb 5, 2008. We know at least one student there. Pray for their recovery efforts and pray for the students, that they could "get past" this hard event in their lives.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Romney Quits!

Mitt Romney, the Mormon presidential candidate, has formally bowed out of the race for the nations top office! Read about it here.


20 years ago

Twenty years ago today I entered China for the first time. I had gone to Hong Kong to visit some friends who were teaching English in China, and took a day trip into China. Those were the days when even in Canton (as it was still pretty much called by everyone) that there weren't too many white faces and back when they had a whole separate currency for foreigners, the FEC (Foreign Exchange Certificate). It was illegal for foreigners to hold and use Renminbi but the exchange rate from US Dollars to Renminbi was about 60 RMB to 1 USD! (now it is about 7 to 1)

I suppose, because of the anniversary, I am waxing nostalgic. So much has happened to me since that time, but even more has happened to China since 1988. Not much is the same. A couple of years ago, I returned to Shanghai for the first time in 18 years or so. It didn't even look like the same city. The only part that looked the same was "The Bund". But even then, people weren't looking at the old buildings any more; they were looking across the river to the Pearl Building, etc.

That first taste of China changed my life. When I lived in Hong Kong in 1989-91, I made many trips back into Guangzhou (Canton) to distribute Bibles and other Christian literature. It was a dangerous business back then. They had a customs form that asked if you were in possession of the following items: drugs, guns, pornography, Bibles. I was always honest and told them about the Bibles. When they asked about it, I would show them my personal Bible and speak very fast English and tell them about all the other Bibles I had in my bag. With much prayer, they never even once looked in my bags.

Rick at the Great Wall in 1990

Take a moment and pray for the people of China. They have been told "There is no God". But, many know better. They know that there MUST be a God, but they don't know Him yet. Pray that the Gospel of Jesus Christ would be spread all across China like the Good News that it is.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

How many...

How many Southern Baptists does it take to change a light bulb? 8. Two to go up on the lift, one to operate the lift, one to operate the light switches, two to go up on a ladder, one to go up on the roof, and one to take pictures! And, it wasn't just one bulb; it was 55 bulbs!

How many...

How many church people does it take to change a light bulb? Well, here are some funny answers:

Charismatics: Only one. Hands already in the air.

Roman Catholics: None. They use candles.

Pentecostals: Ten. One to change the light bulb, and nine to pray against the spirit of darkness.

Presbyterians: None. God has predestined when the lights will be on and off.

Episcopalians: Eight. One to call the electrician, and seven to say how much better they liked the old bulb.

Unitarians: We chose not to make a statement either in favor of or against the light bulb. However, if you have found in your own journey that light bulbs work for you, that is fine. You are invited to write a poem or compose a modern dance about your personal relationship with your light bulb and present it next month at our annual light bulb Sunday service in which we will explore a number of light bulb traditions, including incandescent, fluorescent, three-way, long-life, and tinted, all of which are equally valid paths to luminescence.

Baptists: At least fifteen. One to change the light bulb, and two or three committees to approve the change. A follow up committee to make sure the light couldn’t be dimmed for dancing. Oh, and also a casserole.

Lutherans: None. Lutherans don’t believe in change.

Methodists: A whole congregation. One to change the light bulb, and the rest of the congregation to be sure that he doesn’t backslide off the ladder and have to change it again.

Friday, February 01, 2008


A line from a movie always sticks out when someone says the word "Grace". Aunt Bethany from Christmas Vacation says, "Grace! She passed away 30 years ago!"

It seems that there is no grace among people anymore. People are judgmental, taxing, burdensome, and offensive. People feel like their opinion is the only one that counts. People blast you for no apparent reason.

Why can't we, especially followers of Jesus Christ, exercise grace toward others?

For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ. (John 1:17 NAS)