LEAVING ALABAMA

Leave your native country, your relatives, and your father’s family, and go to the land that I will show you.” (Gen. 12:1 NLT)

Since many have asked about our move from Alabama to Missouri, I thought it was about time to bring you up to date.

Well, a few have asked.

Okay. Two have asked. Two people have asked what possessed us to leave paradise to come here. It has now been a year since our move, and I am now able to try to answer that question.

The verse given above applies to Abraham when God was separating him for the work He had called him to. I do not—even with the amount of arrogance I sometimes seem to have—claim this verse as an application for me in this situation. It was just a good verse to open with.

We were living in a little fishing village known as Bon Secour in south Alabama just outside of Foley and Gulf Shores. It was most certainly a little piece of Paradise.

A large piece of property co-occupied by Gracie’s son, Joe, and his family, provided an ideal setup for us to enjoy our remaining days. We poured ourselves into that place, building and remodeling and creating a comfortable scene.

Gracie and I moved down there first, and Joe and Lisa and the girls joined us a few months later. As I was giving them the grand tour of my old stomping grounds in Pensacola, we went to the Naval Air Station.

I took them to the lighthouse, which they thoroughly enjoyed. While I was waiting at the car for them to soak it all in, I began to cry as a very warm and familiar feeling swept over me.

I’m home now,” I remember saying. It was a deeply satisfying emotional experience.

I had left Pensacola in 1965, had returned for only a brief time in 1969, and had left again only to return for short Christmas visits.

The question has been legitimately proposed by a couple of friends, “What happened to I’m home now?”

While the details causing the move may be boring, they serve to clarify the “Why.”

The house we occupied was not ours. It was a duplex owned by Joe and Lisa. Joe began talking seriously about a dream he had carried for years to once again live in the Springfield, Missouri area. His skills are such that moving there without a job was actually not that risky, even with a young family.

Gracie did not want to be in the position of having to scurry to move if the house sold quickly, so she began looking at any available property in southern Missouri.

We found and bought this little 2 ½ acres in Stockton, MO. Stockton is a small town of about 1800 people on one of the major sailing lakes in the country. It cannot be commercialized since the Army Corps of Engineers maintains the area.

We began looking for a church to join. After visiting a few, I saw a sign off the main road one day, pulled over and called the number on the sign. I told the pastor we would visit the next morning.

It was a very small group of about 10 souls that morning. Nothing really exciting.

The pastor began by telling us of a proposed mission trip to Tanzania scheduled for September. He jokingly said, “If I am going to make this trip, I will need to quit eating Sister Glee’s cinnamon rolls.” (They were really tasty home-made, fresh-that-morning rolls.)

I had been working out trying to get my health under control for almost a year, and was loving the results. I was pursuing getting my training as a personal trainer so that I could do this for others.

After the service, I went to the pastor and asked, “Are you serious about wanting to get in shape?”

I sure am.”

Five-thirty in the morning serious?” I asked.

He gulped, looked up into the ceiling, and said, “Yeah.”

I can help you with that,” I said.

We began the very next morning.

Working with Steve eventually led to my being asked to lead crosstraining classes at the YMCA. It barely pays gas money, but it is a blast for me.

Maybe this is why the Lord wanted us to move here. Steve needed help and we are available.

Allow me to back up in time a little.

February 9, 1988 I wrote in the margin of my Bible next to Pro. 10:24b “Pastor a church.”

I have tried a multitude of times since then to be the pastor of a church. I’ve applied, sent out resumes, called, joined churches that were looking—all to no avail.

Somewhere about the first of this year I was able to completely let go of that desire. I laid it down. “Lord, it looks like You are confirming my desire to be a personal trainer.” It felt good, freeing.

In July, I got a call completely out of the blue to consider becoming the pastor of the local Presbyterian church. I had not sent out a resume nor application. Caught me completely off guard.

We are going through the process and necessary steps for that to happen.

Why did we move to southwestern Missouri?

It could be that the Lord needed us here for His work.

It could also be that we are just being used because we run all over the place following our own personal desires.

But, it could also simply be that Gracie needed to feel, “I’m home now.” This is her old stomping grounds, having been born in Springfield and teaching for 30 years in southwest MO.

BTW—Joe and Lisa are still in Bon Secour.

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Practical Bible Teaching is MOVING

I am moving my long-standing blog from WordPress to Weebly. I have enjoyed my relationship with WordPress, but am moving all my different internet presences to the Weebly platform. WP does not allow for audio or video uploads without significant cost to do so. Weebly allows this option for free (though I have purchased the upgrade to better suit my purposes for my other blogs and websites).
WP has many nice features, some of which I will probably miss by making this transition. But, I feel the need to have audio/video capabilities–even though I do not have anything in that format at present. I guess I should say I want the option available if I need it.
So, for the time being, I will post my Practical Bible Teaching thoughts on both blog platforms. I will probably only do this for about six more posts after this one.
I want to give those of you have been following the WP blog an opportunity to make the transition by clicking on the RSS Feed button at the new site. This will allow you to have this blog delivered to your inbox whenever I post.

Click here to get to the new site. And then click the RSS Feed to have the new site available to your e-mail.

I thank you for your interest in what this servant has to offer the Body of Christ and pray that you will continue to grow in the knowledge, grace, and love of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Snow Event

We’ve had our first major snow event of the season. When I went out this morning to measure, I had to break through the crust of ice that had formed due to the sleet at the end of the day. I’ve heard that sleet causes the snow to decrease somewhat.

So, I measured 2 1/2 inches, which means that it was more like the 3 inches we guessed at yesterday from our kitchen window.

Snow is beautiful, if a bit impractical.

These are black and whites with a blue filter.

out to the far corner of the yard

out to the far corner of the yard

view from back door

view from back door

SNOW!

What a beautiful day!

We were predicted to have snow and ice beginning about 4am. Didn’t start until after 7. But, WOW! did it start!

Coming down heavily and beautifully.

Snow is beautiful–but impractical. Unless, of course, you’re a kid off from school with a sled.

Everything is white and the silence is deafening. I love it. Always have.

The amazing thing is the difference between here in the Northeast and the Southwest. Where we lived in Missouri, we had to wait until the storm passed before any trucks came out with plows and/or salt. Here, however, the trucks begin within an hour of the first snowfall.

Now, here is the really wild thing about that. In MO I lived on a county highway that was a major thoroughfare. Here, I live at the end of a lane. The truck has to make a turn around in front of my house to go back up the street. In MO it was no problem.

In Missouri, schools shut down with the threat of snow. Here, it is business as usual–unless a blizzard comes in.

I know that it takes money to run the trucks, and provide the cinder and salt. Here in PA we are taxed for everything, and that helps provide the necessary funds.

Right now, it is coming down as a three-fold mix: snow, sleet, and rain–all at the same time. I guess the clouds are at different levels, but all full and in need of emptying.

We made our mandatory trip to the store–just to see if we could make it 🙂 It was tough getting back up the hill, but we made it safely.

Now, we are in for the day, and Gracie is busy in the kitchen putting together the Christmas gifts of mix that I just made.

This is a good day.

Back At It!

Thanks for staying with this.

We are back from our trip. It was basically uneventful, except for the the night we were getting into town. Freezing rain began to settle into SW MO, which made driving rather difficult. We were getting there just after dark, so the bridges were freezing. Made it without incident.

Then came the hard work of trying to load heavy tools onto an ice-covered trailer bed. What fun! I’m pushing, but only my feet were moving. I was essentially dancing with a five-foot tall drill press. Made for some interesting video, that, thankfully, we didn’t get.

Now, we are back in PA. The trailer is unloaded, and the borrowed vehicle is returned. Our daughter-in-law let us use her Ford Expedition for the week. It was great for the trip and is a workhorse.

Timber, our dog, enjoyed the long hours on the road. She travels well. She is always excited to get out and check out the new smells at every stop. She gets out of the car and immediately sticks her nose to the ground and takes off. Doesn’t even look up to see other dogs.

Hopefully, I can get back into taking care of the blog. I have the Blogged Bible Study for this week, which is John 21. It will be the last post for that study. I was blessed to be a part of that group of people who have such a heart for the Lord. I am still a part, still visit their blogs as I was doing before I was invited to share, and they are still connected. We just won’t be doing a disciplined study at this time.

Many are trying to get me to be an active part of FaceBook, but as of yet, I cannot see the value in it. I have a profile up, and have ‘friends’ who have linked. But, it appears to me that the goal is to get more ‘friends’ than anyone else. There doesn’t seem to be any real purpose to the “social networking” sites. I can post the same entries on this blog that I can post on FaceBook. Maybe someone reading this can enlighten me further.

Out of The Office

Hi.

Thanks for stopping by.

Gracie and I have gone to SW Missouri for the week to sign papers for selling the little farm.

I probably won’t be able to post anything this week.

Don’t forget the other writers on the Blogged Bible Study who also have the Spirit of the Lord.

We should be back up and running next week.

Settling In

We are settling into our little house in Coal Township, PA. It is less than half the size of what we left in Missouri–both land and house. And, true packrats that we are, we returned to MO to retrieve some of the ‘necessities’ that we left behind. I think the trip cost us more than it would have to simply replace the things we thought we needed. Lesson learned.

We are busy trying to unpack and place things into this house that we are now making into our home. I built a wall of shelves before we left and we’ve brought back our books. I’ll need to build more shelves! Gracie and I are both readers, and we don’t like to part with our books (2 Tim. 4:13).

My dog, Timber, went with us on this last trip. She is glad to be back here and settling in with the two cats. I am not happy with the fact that we can’t let Timber run loose like we did on the farm. She has to be tied out whenever she wants to go outside. However, it seems that she is quite content becoming a housedog. She’s getting old and likes to sleep most of the time anyway.

We have not yet had much of a chance to get out and meet our neighbors, or to learn about the town in which we live. That time will come soon enough. I’m looking forward to it.

I am scheduled to preach again in the little country church we met in before. I have asked the Lord specifically to call me as the pastor of that group. It will be an interesting challenge. They have a heart for the Lord, and are willing to hear His Word.

We had opportunity to meet with some of the saints in Harrisburg. Nothing but a blessing!! Looking forward to more times with ones from my past.

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