Thursday, May 28, 2009

Overwhelmed by the Goodness of God

Do you ever have one of those days where everything just seems to go right? Well, it is just noon, but it has been that way for me today.

God is doing such amazing things in our church! We have a food pantry ministry here. We call it a ministry because anybody can hand out food. We want to minister to the person to bring them to God. Well, today, one of our ministry workers led another person to the Lord!

This man, who is advanced in years, had been playing church all of his life. When our worker asked him about his salvation, he couldn't give a good answer. The worker showed him how to be saved and the man asked Jesus to do just that.

Afterward, the worker brought the man into my office. We prayed. I then told him a few things and invited him to be baptized at our church. All of this "interrupted" a conversation I was having with another man who desires to be baptized and join our church! I took both of them to the baptistery and showed them what would take place. I told them we would be baptizing a young man who accepted the Lord this next Sunday and they could watch it all being done so that they would know what to do to be baptized the following week!

Meanwhile, there are other incredibly wonderful things going on at Immanuel Southern! God is definitely at work here!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

A Week of Silence

No, not a self-imposed blog-fast. No, I have had LOTS to talk about this week. No, there is all kinds of funny things still happening to me. (why me, btw?) Yes, I have been very busy this week, but not too busy to blog.

So why the week of silence?

I really don't know. I have been rather melancholy this week. To be honest, I think that I have been afflicted by my enemy. While he is clever, he has not been victorious. While he knows how to attack, he is not triumphant.

God has done some absolutely amazing things this week. I honestly believe the words of my former pastor, Dr. Thom Wolf "the greater the extent you go to fulfill the Great Commission in your life, the greater extent you will see God at work in your life". I also believe that there is a second part to that statement: the greater the extent you will see Satan at work against you.

I don't claim demonic attacks or anything like that. However, many, many people in my church have been experiencing/exhibiting bad attitudes this week. Frustration levels have been high and tolerance levels have been low. It wasn't a "bad" week, so to speak, but it wasn't a great one either.

I am very excited about our new church start. I am very excited about our first VBS in 5 or 6 years. I am very excited about something else new that has happened in the past couple of days which I am not at liberty to discuss just yet. But let me tell you, if it works out, IT IS A "GOD THING!"

My silence this week on my blog is the direct result of my simply not feeling like saying anything. It has been hard enough to deal with people who aren't happy about things or who are being very petty about petty things. It has been hard enough to come up with messages for Wednesday and Sunday.

However, I commit myself to say "God is in control". I say this because it is true and because I need to say it. I will admit to discouragement this week. I will not admit to defeat!

God is on His throne!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Unexpected Blessings

God is SO GOOD!

A few years back, I was given a 10 year service pin for the International Mission Board. Somehow, when we moved back to Oklahoma from overseas, my pin never made it. I was sick about it. I have carefully looked through everything that we have brought back and it was no where to be found.

Today, I had a lunch date with Sally (El Chico's). Main Street in Muskogee is a nightmare right now, as they are resurfacing it and it is extremely congested. So, I took the long way back to her office. We were passing by Sandy's Consignment Shop, when Sally said, "Wow! Look at that rocking chair. It would go great on the front porch."

Well, I let Sally out at her office and went back to Sandy's. Sandy is a personal friend of my mother. I visited her mother in the hospital last week, the day before she died. But I digress. I stop in Sandy's shop from time to time looking for OU paraphernalia. As I walked in today, Sandy wasn't there but her fiance was. He was with a customer.

As I patiently waited for Ron to finish with the customer, I looked in the jewelery cabinet at some of the cuff links she had. Something caught my eye. It was a 10 year IMB service pin!

I asked Ron where she got it, but he had no idea. He didn't know that the "SBC" stood for Southern Baptist Convention, and hadn't noticed it had International Mission Board spelled out. I told him about it, and about losing mine. I asked him how much it was. He asked me, "Is this a religious pin?" I told him again exactly what it was.

He gave it to me!

I know it is such a little thing, but for me it was such an unexpected blessing from the Lord. I told Sally about it and she said she had, just this week, thought about calling the IMB to see if she could purchase one for me to replace my lost one.

God is good; all the time!

Waymon Tisdale Dead at 44

Waymon Tisdale lost his battle with cancer today. He was 44.

I actually knew Waymon. We had a couple of classes together at OU back in the early 80's. He was a man with such a sweet disposition. Always cheerful in class and what an athlete out on the basketball court!

I remember one Communications class that I had with him. He had to turn the desk sideways for him to sit in it. He was gone a week or so to the Rainbow Classic in Hawaii. I told him I liked his tan when he got back. He really laughed at that. He called me "Smiley".

The most proud I was the whole time I was at OU had to do with Waymon Tisdale. He was honored at one of the football games after he won an Olympic Gold Medal playing Basketball for Team USA. He got a standing ovation that lasted several minutes. It is actually bringing tears to my eyes as I type this.

I remember the last time I saw Waymon. I happened to be buying a new suit in Tulsa a few years after college. He was also in there and we looked at each other. I said, "Hey Waymon. Good to see you" or something like that. He looked at me and with a dawn of recognition said, "Smiley!"

The past few years have been rough on him. He lost a leg to cancer and now his life. His father was a preacher and I am confident that Waymon has been reunited with him in Heaven. He was an accomplished and talented jazz musician. He has a website here.

In my estimation, the world is a little dimmer because Waymon's light isn't here to shine. But now, he is bathed in the light of Glory!

Monday, May 11, 2009

New Church Plant

I am so excited that our church voted to co-sponsor a new Native American work right here in Wagoner! For the first time in our nearly 60 year history, our church will partner with First Indian Baptist Church (Muskogee) to start a new work to be hosted here in our building!

We don't really know any details yet; we had to pass the first hurdle of getting all the players in line.

Wagoner has no Native American church of any denomination. I am so excited to be able to be a part of this work and can hardly wait to see what God is going to do!

Please pray for us as we begin this important work.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Gas Price Fixing

What in the world is up with gas prices?

Last Monday, it was $1.76 at Wal-Mart. Today, 4 days later, it is $2.09!

ALL of the gas stations went up as soon as Wal-Mart's price increased.

That sounds like price-fixing to me!

(I wish someone would "fix" the prices!)

Great Kids!

As promised, here are a couple of pics from yesterday's honor awards:

Emily on stage with her principal, the District Superintendent, and other dignitaries.

Audrey (3rd from Rt in back) with the 2009-10 Ben Franklin Science Academy Oklahoma Honor Society.

Happy Day!

Yesterday, for the most part, was a very happy day! Yesterday afternoon, we attended an induction ceremony for Audrey into the Oklahoma Honor Society. A pretty snazzy affair, let me tell you!

Then, last evening, we attended a banquet to honor Emily as one of the outstanding academic students in all of Muskogee Public Schools! It was at the Civic Center and a really big deal.

I have pictures from both events, but I am headed out for the day with Emily to the Tulsa Air & Space Museum on a school field trip as a parent sponsor. Emily said she wanted me to sit by her on the bus. Awwwww.....

I'll post pictures from all the events "soon".

Friday, May 01, 2009

Flooding in Pryor, OK

I recorded this at about 8:30 am on May 1, 2009, at the intersection of Hwys 28 and 69 in Pryor, OK.

Short video of storm clouds

The quality isn't good because I took it with my cell phone. I took this video in the parking lot of the IGA in Chouteau, OK, on May 1, 2009.

m'aidez! m'aidez!

What a May Day it has been! (btw, the title of this post "m'aidez! m'aidez" is French for "help me", which sounds like mayday)

I started out early this morning to go fishing with Dad and my cousin. They said the sand bass were really tearing it up this week on Lake Hudson, in NEOK. I knew it was supposed to rain, so I dropped by Wal-Mart on the way out of town to get a rainsuit. As I approached Chouteau, Ok, the clouds began to look ominous. I pulled over in the parking lot of the local IGA grocery store and watched the storm for a little while. I even was able to get a picture of lightning on my cell phone!

The storm was moving from West to East, but the clouds were moving from East to West. They were some really scary looking clouds! You never want to see greenish-blue skies in Oklahoma; that means that there is hail involved. I got really concerned when I saw the lowering on this cloud below...

I went ahead and drove on to the lake, not knowing how bad it was where Dad was. I tried to call, but he didn't answer. As I got into Pryor, the rain was torrential and the streets were flooding. I later found out that there were 5 1/2 inches of rain that fell in less than two hours. At one point, a passing truck pushed a waved that actually went onto the hood of my truck!

I got through Pryor and Dad called. He said to not bother coming as the road into the campground was flooded and there was no other way in. I certainly didn't want to go back through Pryor, so I went on to the next little town, Adair. (I found gas for $1.73, so I filled up!) I decided to go back home the very long way, which was to take a rural highway to the Interstate and use the Interstate system to get back to Wagoner. As I got out of Adair a little way, the highway was flooded and a fireman was there in his truck to warn people. I asked him about it and he said the water was 4-6 inches over the road and they were getting ready to close it. I asked him if I could get through and he said to "be careful".

Well, as I came out of the water, it seems that some stuff got wet. My truck's overdrive and cruise control neither work now. Hopefully, it is just on account of being wet. We'll see.

Needless to say, everytime I try to go out of town for anything, it turns into an adventure.