Saturday, May 27, 2006
Today was way full! Graduation receptions, and friendly visits combined with the opening festivities of a new art show here on the Great American desert, had the time flying faster than we could keep up. It was a great day, and one filled with warm, wonderful memories that Cheryl and I shall treasure long after the photos have faded. Life is good! So good sometimes that we have to keep an eye in the rearview mirror at every turn. Tonight is unlike any other night in our small town. It is the night before graduation and the streets and alleyways are busy with folks driving around from party to party. The police are also out in full force! I did a short drive down to the church for some papers about 10:30 and the traffic was amazing. While at the church I decided that I would offer up prayers for our young people. God may not hear me any better when I'm in the church building than He does when I'm out on the streets, and that's how it is on Sunday mornings, also.
It isn't the where of the prayer that gets our Lord's attention. It's the sincere manner in which we come before Him to humbly ask for that which we need. I'm sure that He listens a little more intently when we're asking for something for someone else instead of the usual begging for our own needs. I'm also certain that he listens more attentively when we gather as a worshiping Body of Christ on Sunday morning and offer up our prayers as a group in agreement. Today I met a greatgrandmother who will always be thought of as a very kindly and understanding lady. I also ran across some folks that were a part of a parish I served 20 years ago. My how time can fly when we're living life. I pray that you have many with whom to celebrate this Memorial Day weekend. I also pray you have many that you will be remembering who are not with us.
Today, my cousin, Clyde(C.R. Huyck)shared his thoughts about really living every moment of this life that we are offered. I was truly impressed at the wisdom he has managed to aquire these past 40 years. Perhaps that's how it is with the people we love, they continue to surprise us even after they are gone. Thanks be to God for all those ancestors of mine who contributed to my being here today.
In Christ's Love, Preacher.
Thursday, May 25, 2006
Just a quick reminder to folks that many of us travel on two wheels. Even with 2 dozen bright lights on a red motorcycle that is as large as a small car people often say, "I didn't see you!" Lol...but it is that time of the year and I've got a lot of friends and loved ones out there that need all the help they can get. In Christ's Love, Preacher.
Tuesday, May 23, 2006
Yesterday morning on their way to school(out here on the Great American Desert that sometimes means driving gravel roads to get to a two lane blacktop, to get to town, to get to school), sisters, Ashley and Amanda, were killed instantly when the 17 year old Ashley failed to stop for a stop sign. Our prayers for the past day and a half have been lifted for classmates, friends, and especially family. So young to be gone so fast! Yet that is a part of the world in which we live. Life is uncertain! The girls were about a mile from home and, according to the news reports, and also the three men traveling in the truck that collided with them, it was over before anyone knew what had taken place.
Our lives are precariously balanced on the very edge of the world in which we live. It is a world in which anything can happen at anytime, anywhere! Young people in this part of the world are, for the most part, connected to a church. This does not make their loss any easier, but for those who knew them well it may provide some comfort to know where they were with our Savior. None of us has any idea from day to day just what may befall us. I suppose that is one of the reasons that I preach, and have continued to preach for a lot of years. Perhaps there is a purpose to everything under the sun. Perhaps there is a reason why innocent young people are taken so quickly. One thing is certain, however, if we are not walking in the light of God's love and grace we will never know the answers.
We live in an age when one can tap away at the 'puter for a few moments and be in the midst of tragedies from all over the globe. I tap away tonight that other young ladies might have an urge to discover the "Way of the Son of God" long before life comes at them too fast, or death, even faster.
In Christ's Love, Preacher.
Thursday, May 18, 2006
Yes, it is that time of the year again when so many of our young people will receive their first, or second, or even another higher degree. It is also that time of the year when many of our youth will celebrate this momentous occasion and in the process die as the result of circumstances not unlike those we all faced at a similar age. The thing is, if we could foretell the future there are choices none of us would make. I'm assisting a neighbor prepare for her daughter's graduation celebration. This one is High School. My own HS graduation was stained by the vision of those who did not make it past the night. Since that time I have followed news reports, first in our own state out here on the Great American Desert, and then from others. I didn't think it could be like that all over the states. Sadly, I was mistaken. Every year we lose many of these bright young people to the "celebration" that ends all possibilities of future celebration. I pray with parents, I pray with youth, but the one thing I cannot do is change their actions once they are chosen. I praise God that there are so many that survive, and I give thanks for those that have come down the ancestral lineage I carry. I have a lot more graduations to look forward to, but there are many who do not. I would submit to you tonight that we need to be in prayer for those who are about to matriculate. Pray for their choices. Pray for their safety when they make poor chices. But most of all I would like to pray for their salvation to be a reality before realities end on this plane.
Everyone of us, more than likely, has a horror story they could share about personal experiences with graduations. Reflect these coming Sundays on how we as a believing nation can help to impact the number of youth who will not make it back from the "party" that someone provides. We are, every one of us, only as strong in the God whom we serve, as our helplessness we become aware of in the lives of those close to us. Put the ones in your communities on your list, and pray with me, with us, with all the believers in Christ Jesus, that none of the young are ever lost without the knowledge of our Savior. I think that is one of the things my paternal grandmother prayed the most for, that I would live through the "fun" and become what God would have me be for the sake of His Son. In Christ's Love, Preacher.
Sunday, May 14, 2006
It has been far too long for me to ever wish to be back painting full time. I did a short thing for a friend this past week. We are both pleased with the results. There was a time between preaching and outreach engagements that I worked high(as in on the outside of buildings), up to 20 some stories. I loved those times of being out in the open on a fourteen inch plank riding a "skywalker." We always worked as a two man team and never had to worry about anyone else getting out there with us to examine our work.
During that period of time I had the opportunity to personally experience the super, or should I superstitious side of humankind. My partner and I always did our own rigging. That part goes with the territory. One has to learn\earn a long time trust before letting another person tie your knots! One fellow in particular tied 7 knots on every lashing. No real reason other than he thought 7 to be a lucky number. I must admit I found it to be a good number, also, and I am still here. The thing is, each one of us has numerous choices to make when it comes to our personal safety and our salvation. I believe that I have searched mine out as fervently as one could ever hope to do and have placed my claim on Christ Jesus as personal Savior. What I would like for my readers to do is examine the knots they have tied. Or did you let someone else tie them for you in hopes that they will hold when the final moment of truth arrives? Not a good choice. My Bible teaches that each of us is to work out their own salvation in "fear and trembling!" Scary thought, huh? But, it makes sense. Just like the 7 knots way up high made some sense because even in my own mind I would not have trusted just one, or two, or even three, but ya gotta stop somewhere with tying the knots and go over the side to do the job.
I like painting even less down here on the ground than I did up above. People are always wanting to look over your shoulder to check up on where you're at and how you're doing. Nobody can check on your salvation, though, but you. You have to be absolutely certain that you have gotten things right. Otherwise, it is going to be a very long fall into a most uncomfortable place. By the way, I never wear a safety belt unless I'm under 40 feet off the ground! I'd hate to fall and get hurt! In Christ's Love, Preacher.
Monday, May 08, 2006
I love engines! Big or small, I love them all! The internal(infernal)combustion engine is one of the finest inventions of humankind. It powers my Harleys down the road. It gets me around in the winter when motorcycling is not an option. It also powers the small engines that keep our property manageable. What with all of the road construction going on and the endless mornings of buzzing chainsaws(the city removed 8 100 year old trees to make way for the new street)I had the urge to fire up my own miniature(22 inch, 2 cycle)gas powered saw to remove brush from the front. Some of the brush was 8 inches in diameter! I had not used this particular weapon of destruction for a few years so just getting it to run was a major chore. Two days and about 200 pulls on the cord later(plus some dinking around with the screws and stuff)it fired up. Several hours later after felling a dozen of the view(soon to be new)obstructing(we want to be able to see the new street, for sure)it suddenly hit me! After the trees are down, the real work begins, disposing of the small branches and cutting the rest into logs for the fire next year. I think I forgot that part while I was having fun chopping through the timber. That's a thing about living on the Great American Desert. One has the opportunity to hone those early settler skills, even unto the 21st century.
Here we are some 2000 years after the time of Christ, and we are still striving to get it right. Faith is the key, persistence is the stubborn lock that each of us must open in our own inimitable fashion, and the reward that awaits us is uncomprehendable.
The picture above is not of me or anything that I have done. It was sent in by one of my readers on the east coast. From there it is anyone's guess where it may have been taken. The unexpected is what we prepare for and probably what we fear the most. That is life! Unfolding, day to day, fraught with all of it's ups and downs, and the opportunities to surmount the difficulties and persevere. I sort of like that word, "persevere," it is a good portion of what comprises this life we live. I pray this day that there are no calamities the size of this one falling on your ride. Know that God loves you, and He has a wonderful sense of humor. In Christ's Love, Preacher.
Wednesday, May 03, 2006
A short time ago I mentioned that we were in the midst of change here on our street. Well, it began yesterday with a thunder not unlike that of anything I can remember hearing in recent years. Out here on the Great American Desert farm kids get used to the sounds of heavy machinery at an early age, but dirt doesn't make a lot of noise when you're breaking it up in the spring. A street made of concrete, on the other hand, is a whole different story. I had no idea how thick the street was, or how much sound could be generated by the machinery it takes to tear one apart, let alone the din of the pieces being dropped into the metal dump trucks employed to haul them away.
This also, shall pass. All things will be made anew in the image of the street creaters. In lives, though, there are times when the destruction becomes so complete that folks cannot recover or be made "anew" without the aid of their Creator. That brings us to this evening. Ya know, I never realized how quiet our street could be, or, for that matter, how noisy, until today! We now have 6 weeks of quiet evenings sance traffic. There are some I pray for this night that they might enjoy even one week of peace in the home and the relationship that dwells within. Again, this is where God comes into play in our lives. When we truly find Christ in the center of our being and allow He and the Spirit He brings to dwell within us, life takes on new shape and new form. It may still be fraught with destructive forces, but we are given the needed tools to deal with the frustrations and upheavals in life. I look forward to the completion of the state's little "project" in front of our home. Even more I look forward to helping others to find their way to that place of perfect peace which only God can bring. In Christ's Love, Preacher.