Friday, April 30, 2010

Baymont Inn, OKC

I wanted to mention a good experience I had at Baymont Inn in Oklahoma City.

I have been put out with the price of hotels lately and was pleasantly surprised to find the Baymont Inn for $42.00 per night!

It was very clean.  It had a coffee pot, microwave, mini-fridge, ironing board/iron, hair dryer, clock radio, rocking-recliner, and a TV with Nintendo!

The staff were friendly and attentive.  The free breakfast actually had a good choice of food.  There were even freshly baked cookies for us when we arrived at 9 pm.

I would highly recommend Baymont Inn in OKC!

A Very Good Day

Sally and I took at trip to Oklahoma City Wednesday night and returned last night.

The main purpose of the trip was to attend a missions conference.  I attended, but to be honest, I didn't attend any of the break-out sessions.

I stayed in the commons area and spoke with my friends.  We caught up on the past three years and I truly loved it.  Many of them said many kind words and encouraged Sally and I greatly.

It was a three day conference, but I could only go the one day.  It looked to be a top-notch conference and I'm sure God will bless it and multiply the efforts.

While in OKC, Sally had an interview with Teacher Review Board so that she can get her teaching license.  She nailed it.  They verbally told her they would recommend her for licensing.  PTL!

I suppose the thing that I came away from the conference is the knowledge/conviction that I am exactly where God wants me to be.  Formerly, every missions conference I have attended, I felt as if I should be serving overseas.  But, I came away with this without that feeling. 

Oh yes, I still miss the excitement of being an ex-pat.

I love the travel.

I miss my friends.

I miss the excitement of cross-cultural ministry.

But, I know my place of service, at least for the moment, is right here in Wagoner, OK.

I have no plans to move, change ministries, or quit what I'm doing.  I love pastoring more than I ever thought I could.

I thank God for the opportunity to serve Him, no matter where in the world I may be.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Thoughts about pastoring

I fondly remember the day I moved into my church office; "The Pastor's Study" as it says over the door.  I had no idea what I was supposed to do.  I spent the first week moving in and getting established.

When I first arrived, the church was nearly dead.  The Spirit had not left, that's why it was still alive.  We had no real ministries to speak of.

No youth group because we had no youth.

No children's Sunday School classes because there were no children.

No outside ministries, except for a nursing home service once a month.

Week after week, there was no one else in the building throughout the week.  I had to leave the church building to have any face to face contact.

But God has moved greatly here at Immanuel Southern Baptist Church. 

We have Sunday school classes for all ages.

We have a youth group.

We have a choir and music program.

We have visitors.

We have an outreach program.

We have a Food Pantry Ministry.

We have a Cookie Ministry to prisoners.

We still visit the nursing home.

And we have plans for another outreach ministry which we will vote on during our next business meeting.

And someone else has asked about yet another outreach ministry!

Seldom am I alone in the church building.  In fact, there are so many people here during the week, it is almost hard to get my sermon preparation and other things done!

But that is a problem I'll gladly live with, for God is at work at Immanuel Southern!

Visit from a Friend

I always enjoy a visit from a friend.  This one, while mis-aligned with FSU, is from Hong Kong.

Can this really be true?

A team of Chinese and Turkish explorers claim they have found the remains of Noah's Ark 13,000 feet up on Mt. Ararat.  Carbon dating puts the wooden structure at 4800 years old, about the same time ago that the Biblical account took place.

Fox News has the story here.

[HT: Marty Duren via Twitter]

Monday, April 26, 2010

Jackpot Update

I spoke with my initial editor yesterday.  He said that he should be ready to return my manuscript by the end of May.

I had asked him to not tell me what he thought about the book until he was finished with his task.

I forgot I asked him that.

He reminded me of it when I asked him.

He did give me some encouragement.  That was very nice of him.

I am filled with self-doubt....

OKC Quick Trip

No, I'm not talking about a QuikTrip in OKC, but rather a very fast trip that Sally and I made last Friday.  She is required to submit her fingerprints to become a teacher.  She went to the Muskogee Police Department twice and they were rejected by OSBI twice.

So, since the State Department of Education has to have them on file before she interviews, and since her interview is Thursday, she and I made a mad dash to OKC to get her fingerprints taken.

On the way back to Wagoner, we stopped by Oklahoma Baptist University for Sally to buy a National Championship T-Shirt.  (they were out of her size).

But, as with any alum, it is always fun to visit your alma mater.  The picture above is of Sally in front of some hall that she told me the name of, but I can't remember.  I, after all, did NOT go to school at OBU.

I am a Sooner.

John McCain on Arizona Immigration Law

“If the president doesn’t like what the Arizona Legislature and governor may be doing, then I call on the president to immediately call for the dispatch of 3,000 National Guard troops to our border and mandate that 3,000 additional Border Patrol [officers] be sent to our border as well,” McCain said at a news conference Friday in downtown Phoenix, according to a report in the Arizona Republic.
“And that way, then the state of Arizona will not have to enact legislation which they have to do because of the federal government’s failure to carry out its responsibilities, which is to secure the borders.”   -  John McCain
 [HT:Neil Simpson]

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Nothing to Report

Several folks have asked for an update of the progress on "Jackpot". 

I am waiting on the editor.  Since it is "pro bono" I haven't given a deadline and am grateful for the service provided.

As soon as I know something, I'll let you know.

Meanwhile, follow Owen Rigsby on Twitter or Facebook!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Space Shuttle over Tulsa/NEOK

The Space Shuttle passed over the Tulsa area and was visible to a large portion of Northeast Oklahoma.

I went outside at 7:45 this morning to watch it pass.  As my luck would have it, a band of high clouds moved in over the area just as it was suppose to be overhead. 

I took a picture of a passing jetliner, but, who wants to see that.

However, even though I didn't get to SEE the Space Shuttle, I did get to HEAR the resulting sonic boom!

Several other folks said they heard the boom, too, but didn't know what it was.

Austrailian Earthquake

This is from HotSpots:

Australia (Country threat level - 2): A 5.0 magnitude earthquake hit the Goldfields region of Western Australia on 20 April 2010. According to local seismologists, the quake was centered near the Kalgoorlie-Boulder mining towns approximately 370 mi/600 km east of Perth. Reports indicate that two people suffered minor injuries from the shaking, which forced many gold mines to shut down and damaged some buildings in the area. Although the magnitude is considered to be moderate, this is the highest recorded earthquake to hit the region since accurate records have been kept.

Folks, are you watching the signs????

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Post Crisis Debriefing

As I took Audrey to the optometrist this morning for her birthday contacts, I saw an empty store set up with chairs and was filling up quickly.

I saw a woman direct a man to that room and told him to be sure and get a donut.  I asked her what was going on in there and she told me that several pastors had offered their prayers and Green Country Mental Health would be there to offer services to employees of Arrowhead Mall.

I was so happy to see that going on.

It was no small thing that took place there Saturday.  Fear is a powerful force.

Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson was born this day in 1743.  That would make him 267 years old.

I've had an affinity toward Jefferson since I played him in our school's bicentennial play, in 1976.  I had the powdered wig and period costume.  I even had my picture on the front page of the Sapulpa Herald.

I think Thomas Jefferson would be appalled with the condition of our country and our government, if he were here today.

Mall Shooting in Muskogee, OK

Saturday afternoon, just after Audrey's birthday party, 3 men entered Arrowhead Mall in Muskogee, OK, and opened fire.  When the shooting was done, a total of six people were hit, one fatally.

The police say it was "gang related."

Gang related.

How stupid can you be?

Supposedly, it is a turf war between the Northside Boys and the Southside Boys.  The mall is in the South and evidently, some from the north were "trespassing" for the Chili Cookoff for the Azalea Festival.

They came to murder another human being because they were protecting their turf.

They ended a life for the pride of the gang.

They ruined lives because of some messed up values.

There is a whole generation that has lost their way.

It isn't just in the big cities.  It touches our whole country.

I think every law enforcement officer in NE OK came to the mall that afternoon.  They had all three "suspects" in jail by yesterday afternoon.


The Bible says that in the last days, lawlessness will increase. 

How true.

Audrey's Birthday

My firstborn turned 14 on Sunday.

Where has the time gone?

She had a nice birthday party on Saturday at my grandmother's house.

Pinata Fun

Pool Jumpers

Getting Fitted for Contacts

No more glasses!

Happy Birthday, Audrey!

Friday, April 09, 2010

Oh My Word!

I have been too busy this week to think!

Stress can be good and bad.  Eustress is good stress; distress is bad stress.  I've had a little of both this week.

Actually, I've had a LOT of distress this week.

But God is good.  He sees me through.  He is my strength!

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM)

Monday and Tuesday of this week, I completed the final course necessary to seek Chaplaincy Endorsement by the North American Mission Board.  I attended and completed the course "Critical Incident Stress Management" at the Oklahoma City Police Department Training Facility.
Sgt. Greg Giltner

OKCPD Sgt. Greg Giltner conducted most of the training, but Chaplain Jack Poe provided several segments.

CISM is recognized as the "standard" for assisting folks in crisis.  We learned about Compassion Fatigue, Coping Skills, and Critical Stress Indicators.

This morning, I completed and emailed my application to the North American Mission Board for endorsement. With this particular course and their endorsement, I will have internationally recognized Chaplaincy credentials.