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Showing posts from 2009

For Laura!

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The man who finds a wife finds a treasure, and he receives favor from the LORD. (Proverbs 18:22).


To be loved, to find love is what many, if not most hearts yearn for. That for some...it does not happen, or is yet to happen, does nothing to diminish the desire to find in the eyes...and heart of someone else...love!

Growing up, I often thought about my life, what I would be, what I would do...who I would love...what my family would be like. In God's plan for that part of my life there was, there is...my wife of 28 years...Laura.

She is a remarkable woman, and those who know her...know that in her I found a real treasure.

God has for a " season" allowed us to be apart...me in Southwest Wyoming, her in Metro Denver, awaiting our sons graduation that at last will bring our reunion.

Her absence has served to refine my love for her....and according to her, her love for me.

I simply don't know if I would be functioning now after my sisters home going (To heaven, in Sept…

Please Celebrate Me Home!

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When you hear the word home, what comes to mind? For me It's more than mortar, more than bricks...more that a certain place that is so many degrees longitude...and latitude.

Home when I really think about it has little to do with geography. Now I love Colorado, and Wyoming, and (split time between the two). I hope to never take towering majestic peaks for granted...but home is well... more than that!

Home someone wrote is the place that "When you show up, they have to take you in"!

Home for the last 28 years has been anywhere Laura my wife was located. Then God sent into our lives three sons, and they became home to!

Prior to Laura capturing my heart, I was blessed to grow up in a home where love, and laughter and kindness was common. Oh we had our times...but they were always tempered, with the joy of belonging, of being welcomed, of feeling needed... of being home!

Surrounded by warm and caring parents and a younger brother (Mike) and sister,(Michelle, who was celebrate…

This will make your day!

Tenessee Ernie Ford with his son...Brion. No other introduction needed:)

Living without Regrets

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Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. (Ephesians 4: 31-32).

Is possible to live without regrets? We look back on our lives and we think if only I had done this...if only I had not done that, if only I had not said that...

Like it or not you are, where you are now, because of choices you made, along the course of your life. It is to easy to blame other people for why we are the way we are.

There comes a time (hopefully early) in every life
where we must accept responsibility for the choices, the moment by moment decisions that have impacted our life, and others lives... either for good or for bad.

“Regret for the things we did can be tempered by time; it is regret for the things we did not do that is inconsolable.” Sydney Smith

So what will you do, what will I do about living a regret free life? Can it be done...is there just to muc…

Corrie Ten Boom on the "Goodness of God"

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If my wife and I would have ever had a girl (We have three wonderful sons) we would have named her Corrie, after Corrie Ten Boom, a Dutch Christian who for the first 50 years of her life toiled in obscurity, working with her family in her fathers watch shop.

Her life like millions of others was disrupted by the maniacal desire for World domination by Adolph Hitler. Corries family, provided safe sanctuary for Jewish people who were literally running for their lives.

In their home they had a secret room...a hiding place. Sadly their compassion and concern was discovered by the Nazis who imprisoned the entire family...Corrie and her sister Betsie were sent to the Ravensbrook Concentration Camp.

Between 1939 and 1945, over 130,000 female prisoners passed through the Ravensbrook camp system; only 40,000 survived.
Betsie and Corrie faced unrelenting brutality.

Betsie died there
.

Their deep and abiding Christian faith, sustained them, even during the darkest of moments. Corrie was released …

God is Good!

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“Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever. Let the redeemed of the LORD say this-- those he redeemed from the hand of the foe, those he gathered from the lands, from east and west, from north and south. Some wandered in desert wastelands, finding no way to a city where they could settle. They were hungry and thirsty, and their lives ebbed away. Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress.” (Psalms 107:1-6).

Psalm 107 was written after the Judeans came back from exile in Babylon, so this is a Psalm which was written specifically for the returning, exiles to give praise.

We do not know who wrote it. Some Levite, perhaps, wrote it, or someone who sang in the choir, but it was some godly man whom God used to express his praise on behalf of the exiles.

The writers theme is profoundly simple and simply profound

God is Good!

I remember reading a devotion sometime ago, when the writer stated:

When the Bible says tha…

A life that you don’t want to miss!

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Something to think about. Washington, DC Metro Station on a cold January morning in 2007. The man with a violin played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes.During that time approximately, 2 thousand people went through the station, most of them on their way to work.

After 3 minutes a middle aged man noticed there was a musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds and then hurried to meet his schedule.

4 minutes later: The violinist received his first dollar: a woman threw the money in the hat and, without stopping, continued to walk.

6 minutes: A young man leaned against the wall to listen to him, then looked at his watch and started to walk again.

10 minutes: A 3-year old boy stopped but his mother tugged him along hurriedly. The kid stopped to look at the violinist again, but the mother pushed hard and the child continued to walk, turning his head all the time.

This action was repeated by several other children. Every parent, without exception, forced their childr…

Son's of Thunder!

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Jack Higgens, author of the successful novel The Eagle Has Landed, was asked what he would like to have known as a boy. His answer: “That when you get to the top, there’s nothing there.”

Those called personally by Jesus to follow His way, His life find there’s much more to life, than you could ever dream.There is in fact everything you could want or hope to find, when you know the Lord!

Yet it’s not always Happiness and Hallelujahs!

The Apostles, men set aside by Jesus, and commissioned to carry His message around the world , were typical humans, they (Like Us) ran cold, and hot…sometimes zealous, other times intimidated…the personalities of their past….the old nature, frail, undisciplined would often rush to the for-front of an event.

How very evident is the humanity of James, and his brother, John…James was the oldest “Son of Thunder” So named I believe because of their zealous, passionate personalities!

The following event from the life of these two brothers, illustrates the struggle …

Amazed by Grace!

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Grace...how many times have you heard that word? If you have been around Church for any length of time....you have heard it plenty of times!

Words often used, over used, can lose their ability to convey meaning. Grace is a word that should never become common!

Grace properly understood, properly embraced will convey and carry deep meaning, to every Christian... until their last moment on this earth!

Then Faith shall become sight! We shall behold Him!Until then, we need to consider, to ponder the meaning of...Grace.

Grace...what is it? What is so amazing about it?

Why do Christians refer to it so frequently? I believe because Grace is the one word that reminds us of our value to God, to His Son, to the Holy Spirit.

Because of Grace, lost humanity became the object of both love and rescue!

A love (Personified in The Lord Jesus Christ) that would rather leave heaven, endure unbelievable cruelty, to provide a rescue... from sin for lost humanity, through personal repentance and acceptance of …

Cautious and Careful?

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*On August 7, 1974, shortly after 7:15 a.m., Philippe Petit stepped off the South Tower WTC and onto a steel cable (A walk that took six years to plan, and was illegal)

He walked the wire for 45 minutes, making eight crossings between the towers, a quarter mile above the sidewalks of Manhattan.

In addition to walking, he sat on the wire, gave knee salutes and, while lying on the wire, spoke with a gull circling above his head!

As soon as Petit was observed by witnesses on the ground, the Port Authority Police Department dispatched officers to the roof to take him into custody.


One of the officers, Sgt. Charles Daniels, later reported his experience:

"I observed the tightrope 'dancer'—because you couldn't call him a 'walker'—approximately halfway between the two towers. And upon seeing us he started to smile and laugh and he started going into a dancing routine on the high wire...

And when he got to the building we asked him to get off the high wire but instead…

First things First!

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I had an interesting experience on a Monday afternoon recently. A man named Andrew called me and asked abruptly if he could ask me a series of questions. He jumped right in and asked if I though of myself as Free, or in bondage? He followed that up if I thought I was more flesh or Spirit?

(I just had several cookies that one of our Church members had left for me, so when He called I was definitely, more flesh than spirit!)

He also wanted to know that when I speak is it God’s words or mine. He also was captivated by the concept of binding and loosening, He was confused, He was confusing! I shared my life journey to faith in Jesus and how He could know him.

He had a problem with thinking of himself as a sinner…I quickly told him that I was a sinner, and the only difference between me and a non-believer is that because of the Lord Jesus Christ, I have been forgiven….

So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.
(John 8:36).


I learned that he is an engineer and calls Pastors…

Son-lit Pathways!

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Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.(Proverbs 3:5-6).

To be directed by the hand of God, to know that your life has been useful, helpful...needed, that is my hearts desire. Today on a crisp beautiful afternoon, I am thinking of how incredibly exciting and fulfilling it is to follow the Lord's path!

He offers "Son-lit Pathways"!

This past Sunday (October 18th) I received a unanimous call to serve as Pastor of the exciting and loving, HillTop Baptist Church in Green River, Wyoming. A remarkable series of events brought me (It was all the Lord) to this town of 12,000 in South West, Wyoming.

I have pastored full time since 1988, in every Church the Lord has directed me to, I have found acceptance, adversity, community and challenge! And in some Churches, more...bee's than honey:)

As I look back with deep gratitude to the people of God I have met along the way,…

Fragile Stones

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When you think of the qualities that make a man a man, or a woman a woman, of distinction, high on the list would be courage.

We need courage because, life's pressures can test the mettle of the strongest of personalities.


Unforeseen challenges, financial pressure, unemployment, temptation, frustration and the ever present reality that people, depend on you…people need you, can make anyone weak in the knees.

Not in his goals but in his transitions is man great. Ralph Waldo Emerson

Peter the Galilean fisherman who responded to the call of Jesus on his life, knew all about transitions. I often think of Peter, and his many challenges and find great encouragement in the way He finished his race. He did so with courage!

To be sure the life of Peter reminds us of the danger of assumption, thinking were to strong to fail.

Remember "An unguarded strength, is a weakness". Adrian Rogers

Yet after his denial of Jesus, he wept bitterly, and those bitter tears of repentance brought P…

Got Kindness?

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"I expect to pass through this world but once. If, therefore, there be any kindness I can show, or any good thing I can do, to any fellow being let me do it now. Let me not defer nor neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again".
Stephen Grellet


I have always loved that quote, from the first time I read it.
Kindness is so important to the harmony and rhythm of life. Without it...life is, well to continue with my music metaphor, out of tune, dull...flat.

I have been on the receiving end of kindness countless times in my life.

Years ago while on my way to preach in Rocky Ford, Colorado (Southeastern Colorado) our car decided not to go any more! I was 30 miles from Rocky Ford! I explained my dilemma to a farmer, who promptly loaned his car to me... the stranger preacher, at his door!


I kept that preaching date, arriving just in time, however, the passing of time ( It happened more than 20 years ago) has never diminished my appreciation and awe, at the memory, of that profoun…

Prayer? Has it come to that?

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I recall reading a story about a woman who received a grim diagnosis from her Doctor. She said is there anything I can do? He replied, well you can pray...she said " Has it come to that?

*In the introduction to his book A Call to Spiritual Reformation: Priorities from Paul and His Prayers, author D.A. Carson writes:
Do you not sense, with me, the severity of the problem? Granted that most of us know some individuals who are remarkable prayer warriors, is it not nevertheless true that by and large we are better at organizing than agonizing? Better at administering than interceding? Better at fellowship than fasting? Better at entertainment than worship? Better at theological articulation than spiritual adoration? Better—God help us!—at preaching than at praying?
The following thoughts on prayer ( while not my own)sum up for me, so clearly what I believe is the disconect with to many of us who say we believe in prayer.

"Prayer involves, at a tremendously deep level, a particular …

Making good decisions!

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The calling of "The Twelve Apostles" by the Lord Jesus Christ, is a incredible reminder that God sees far-reaching potential in ordinary people, it furthermore teaches us our Lords method of decision making.
One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God. 13When morning came, he called his disciples to him and chose twelve of them, whom he also designated apostles:
(Luke 6:12-13).
Our Lord often spent time alone with His Father in prayer and contemplation before making critical life decisions. We would be wise to do the same!Prayer is not only significant but crucial. Jesus makes major decisions and works miracles out of the context of prayer. Prayer is not just a good idea but is the fabric of His connection with the Father. Chris Sarris
Each day life thrusts choices upon us. Sometimes we have to choose between the good and the best....how will we know what to do, if we don't ask God to show us?

The question often asked is ju…

Home!

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Michelle Robin Hensley
November 11th 1969 - September 15th 2009


"We believe as Christians, that when our loved ones die, they go to be with the Lord. The Bible teaches that the Lord is with us. Well if they are with Him, and He is with us...they cannot be very far away" Peter Marshall

My Dear Friend's,

September 15 at 10:35 pm, my wonderful and Godly 39 year old sister Michelle, stepped into the presence of our Glorious Lord and King. Thank you for your wonderful support and kindness and understanding, our family has felt your care and warmth.

I will forever be thankful that I came "Home" to be with her and my mom arriving Tuesday morning. Shell was unresponsive and in a coma all day. She was blessed to be comforted by Mom, my brother Mike, his wife Chrissie, and their two sons Caleb, and Josh.

Barbara, my mother in law was there throughout the day, and part of the eveing. Several of Shell's friends came as well. Hospice was great (every step of the way) and …

The Narrow Gate

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Giving ones life to the Lord Jesus Christ,is not the way of the world. People are often reluctant, or hesitant and preoccupied, with the busyness of life, to take the time and really consider their spiritual life and the claims of Jesus Christ.

I believe, a decision to live life, apart from a true investigation of the life of Jesus is the most regrettable of choices.

Even the disciples (Men who had spent three years with Jesus) were questioning who He claimed to be, they were concerned. Jesus is heading to a cross and a (unknown to them) empty tomb! In the days leading up to Our Lord’s death there is growing fear and confusion, in Johns gospel, Thomas asks Jesus this question:

"Lord," Thomas said, "we don't know where You're going. How can we know the way?" Jesus told him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.
(John 14:5-6).

And then Jesus makes a clear statement of exclusivity... Enter through the narrow …

The Heavens Declare!

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Roiling cauldrons of gas heated to more than 36,000 degrees Fahrenheit tear across space at more than 600,000 miles an hour from Planetary Nebula NGC 6302 in this image taken by the Hubble Space Telescope's Wide Field Camera 3 (NASA)

Space the final frontier! I'll say!

The heavens declare the glory of God,
and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.

(Psalm 19:1).ESV

I remember reading a story of a small child who was looking up into the inky black darkness of the night sky, observing the vast stars...and in a moment of inspiration asked her Father..." Daddy if the wrong side of heaven looks so beautiful, what must the right side look like"?

The heavens declare the glory of God! And so they do, and that truth is not going unnoticed.

In a very insightful blog Oklahoma Pastor Wade Burleson, shared the following story that references Dr. Robert Jastrow, the former head of Mt. Wilson Observatory in California, a prolific author, and a self-described agnostic.

Dr. Jast…

The Ministry of Presence

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Pres·ence

1. The state or fact of being present.
2. Immediate proximity in time or space.
3. A person who is present.


I read of a little girl once who went to comfort a sorrowing mother. "What did you say?" asked her father. "Nothing," the little girl replied. "I just climbed up on her lap and cried with her."

At some point in this life, you will need people like that!

As this on-going drama continues in our families life, with the life threatening sickness, endured by our precious Michelle, it has been beyond comforting to meet and hear of people who like the little girl, practice the "Ministry of Presence". How we have needed you!

You know them don't you? They are the ones who build decks that are wheel-chair accessible, they are the ones who send cards, they are the people who send flowers..

They are the kind of folks that don't think twice about driving more than 200 miles round trip to give a pedicure, help with showers, bring …

When we have to say Au revoir

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Au revoir- Used to express farewell.[French : au, till the + revoir, seeing again.

Christians never say goodbye for the final time! In fact our English word goodbye, is inadequate to convey the hope believers in the Lord Jesus Christ have for seeing loved ones again.

That is why the French word Au revoir (Until we meet again)gets much closer to what Christians (Will one day experience) when a loved one , for a time...says Au revoir.

Unless a miracle that I and countless others have prayed for occurs, we will say a teary (Sometime in the near future) Au revoir, to a gift from God named Michelle. She is a 39 year old (Daughter,Sister, Aunt, Friend, Co-worker) who is also one of the most precious people I (We) have ever known!

In just three short months she has gone from a healthy professional, enjoying life, in Boulder County Colorado as an HR specialist, to struggling with a brain disease (Creuztfeldt-Jakob Disease) that is incurable.

"Shell" is without question one of the wit…

Somewhere in the World

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Pastors are called upon for many different and varying opportunities to minister. If there is one thing I enjoy more than most any ministry obligation, it is the dedication of babies to the Lord!

To look into the shineing faces of husbands and wives who then entrust to a pastor their little bundle of joy, while words of dedication and prayers are offered to the Lord, is a joy!

I have often wondered, and at times been privileged to observe that little life grow into childhood, and into their teen years as time passes by.

As a father of three sons, my wife and I dedicated each to the service of the Lord Jesus Christ. They have now moved into adulthood, and the desire that they walk with Jesus, continues to burn brightly in their parents hearts!

When dedicating babies or children to the Lord I have often sung a Wayne Watson, song that for me sums up my hearts desire for my own children and the little ones, I am privileged to pray for as they begin their life's journey.

May the son…

What makes a Church timeless?

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“The early church had none of the things that we think are so essential for success today—buildings, money, political influence, social status—and yet the church won multitudes to Christ and saw many churches established throughout the Roman world.

Why? Because the church had the power of the Holy Spirit energizing its ministry. They were a people who were “ignited by the Spirit of God.”
- Vance Havner

The book of Acts is a thrilling drama that follows the origins and early zeal of the first followers of Jesus.
Dr. Luke a traveling physician who often journeyed with the Apostle Paul records the "Characteristics" of those first Christians!

42And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. 43And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. 44And all who believed were together and had all things in common.

45And they were selling their possessions and belongings and …

By God's Appointment!

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Andrew Murray, (1828 – 1917 (aged 88), was a South African writer, teacher, and Christian pastor.

In 1895 Andrew Murray was in England suffering from a terribly painful back, the result of an injury he had incurred years before. He was staying with some dear friends.

One morning while he was eating his breakfast in his room, his hostess told him of a woman downstairs who was in great trouble and wanted to know if he had any advice for her.

Andrew Murray handed her a paper he had been writing on and said, "Just give her this advice I'm writing down for myself. It may be that she'll find it helpful."

This is what was written:

In time of trouble, say, "First, He brought me here. It is by His will I am in this strait place; in that I will rest."

Next, "He will keep me here in His love, and give me grace in this trial to behave as His child."

Then say, "He will make the trial a blessing, teaching me lessons He intends me to learn, and working in me t…

Breakfast in St Louis!

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Three hungry people two adults in their 30’s and a strawberry blond, curly headed little boy of four, made their way to I hop for breakfast. What to eat, even the adults for a moment thought why not have the chocolate chip pancakes that have a smiley face on them?

Breakfast selections made, and the wait began in that I hop in Saint Louis.

The little boy had brought them to the city, he and his medical condition a degenerative hip disease that was being treated by the Shriner’s hospital at no cost!

Breakfast arrived, the young family enjoyed it thoroughly, after the final drink refill, the family made their way to the counter to pay, only to be told that there was no charge!

No charge, asked the Father? But why? The cashier replied; A man saw you and your family eating, and decided to pay for your breakfast, he does so from time to time, and today was your day!

Kindness unexpected, is often most appreciated!

My family will never forget that( My wife Laura and I, and son Ben, now almost…

Just one thing!

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The phrase, "Just One Thing" conjures up an amusing cinematic image in my mind. A grisly old cowboy in the movie "City Slickers," asks the haunting question, "Do you know what the secret of life is?"

A soul-searching middle-aged city-boy by the name of Mitch, played by Billy Crystal, stares quizzically as the cowboy sticks up a gloved index finger and exhales the word, "this," with a gravely voice. He concludes, Just One Thing."

Mitch cynically responds, "That's great but what's the one thing." The cowboy cocks his head, looks him in the eye and roughly quips, "That's what you've got to figure out." From the Internet Article Passion For God - “Just One Thing" by Allen Ratta.

What is the one thing? Have you figured it out yet?
Someone wisely said that the “Good can become the enemy of the best” meaning that it’s easy to get preoccupied doing good things and neglecting better things!

There are multiple dem…

Do you ever wonder if God has forgotten you?

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A few years ago (2006) many followed the story of Jeff Ingram, an amnesia sufferer who had been searching for his identity for more than a month! He went home to Washington state with his fiancee, but according to his mother he did not remember his past life or what happened.

Jeffrey Ingram, 40, was diagnosed in Denver ( He does not remember how or why he arrived in Denver) with dissociative fugue, a type of amnesia. He's flipped through photographs, listened to the stories, read through all the letters. But more than a month after he left his home in Washington and woke up in Denver with no memory, Jeff Ingram still had no idea who he is.

"Family vacations, high school graduation, prom night ... your first dance, your first kiss. That's all lost,"Ingram said.

"It's very hard to put into words,"he said."It's probably the most frustrating thing that a person can ever go through, is to lose their identity. Because your past is what makes you …

Thoughts on Friendship

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Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another, "What! You, too? I thought I was the only one." C.S. Lewis.

I can’t imagine a world devoid of friendships. I discovered research that proves the importance of friendships, in the church.

A large percentage of people who are satisfied in their church, have a best friend in the church! 92% of people initially come because of the pastor (I know scary thought, but stay with me) but they will stay in a church because of friendships in the church. The writer of Proverbs gives clear instruction on the theme of friendship.

A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother. Proverbs 18:24

Simple yet profound…if you’re to have friendships you must be friendly! When earthly friendships are not enough there is a friend that is closer than a brother!

There is an Indian saying: “A friend is someone who carries my burden on his back” that’s exactly what the Lord Jes…

Time Travlers Needed!

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I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
(Philippians 1:3-6)

Have you ever stepped back in time? Move over H. G. Wells! A few years ago I accomplished time travel...I went back to August of 1980 to Texas, Abilene to be precise!

In 1980, much of Texas, was in the grip of a heat wave, 112 degree days were the norm! Is that possible...yes, soaring temperatures and high humidity drained every living creature, of what little energy we had!

Now before you assume that I have flipped, I did go back in time…mentally through the wonderful gift of memory!

In doing so, the Lord brought to mind a wonderful mentor and wife that He placed in my path to bring encouragement and direction to a wide-eyed College Sophomore who now serves as a pastor.

I decided …