Friday, June 29, 2007
Monday, June 25, 2007
We truly enjoyed having our good friends Don and Kathy Rose visiting with us this past weekend. We spent a lot of time Friday evening sharing pictures of our trip last year to Australia & New Zealand that we took with them and it brought back a lot of great memories. It was an awesome trip that was made even better by sharing it with good friends. As you can see in these two pictures, we visited old town St. Charles on Saturday and had a lot of fun walking around visiting all the shops and checking out the historical stuff, like this old train station and the Lewis & Clark statue on the riverside. This was one of their stops (L&C that is) on their famous trip across the country two centuries ago. We also had lunch at a restaurant named for them, which I feel confident wasn't around when they came through. On Sunday, after church/family time and lunch, Don and Kathy had to head back to Nashville. We are so thankful that they found the time to come visit. We stayed up too late talking and playing cards, and we ate way too much, but -hey - that's what you do with good friends. We can't wait for the next vacation we get to take together in June of '08. They've been with us on every group cruise we've taken, and a big reason why each one has been so much fun.
Donna and I went to see Evan Almighty this afternoon. I hope you get to see it and enjoy it as much as we did. Sure it's unbelieveble and I know several people who will be "punching holes" in the theology that's presented, but let me encourage you to just relax and have fun with it. It's warm, encouraging, pro-family, and even pro-God - and how often does that come out of Hollywood? The CG stuff is better than the earlier movies about the original story! Call me crazy, but I like Morgan Freeman as God. His comments to Evan's wife, when he appears as a waiter in the restaurant she's eating in, are awesome. It sounds exactly like something I'd expect God to say. There's plenty to laugh at and the "good vs. evil" part of the plot is shallow and predictable, but that's okay because I love happy endings! And speaking of endings, don't jump up and run out. There's a little dance video/out-take thing during the first half of the credits that's neat. Oh, check out God's waiter name-tag in the restaurant. Go see it!
Saturday, June 23, 2007
Thursday, June 21, 2007
This is the Coral Princess. Lord willing we will be on her decks for a seven day Alaska cruise this time next year. Actually, a year from this Saturday, the 23rd. For the last ten years we have taken a cruise vacation once every two years. It's not so much a matter of planning ahead as it is saving to pay for it. I'm pumped today because we have finally been able to book this trip. They won't let you book the Alaska trips too far in advance. Anyway, if you are interested in going with us, we'd love to have you. This is our only repeat cruise because we liked it so much. The last trip we took to Alaska, was on a different cruise line and believe me - Princess is awesome. This will be our sixth cruise, but our fourth Princess cruise and we like the quality of everything they do. Last time, in 2000 we had 38 people in our group. So we have them holding twenty rooms for our group and they will hold them for the rest of the summer, through August. We are taking the Northern trip, from Vancouver to Whittier (south of Anchorage) and will probably add on a pre-stay in Vancouver, because we've never been there, and a post-cruise trip to one of the Princess wilderness lodges. We haven't decided which yet because you can add that stuff whenever you want to - as long as they're not booked up. And that's "us" personally. You can decide for yourself if you want to add anything to the seven day cruise.
Anyway, if you want more info, you can contact us or our travel agent June Webster at Damar Travel (800-999-6101 x414). It's only twenty-five dollars per person (refundable) to reserve a spot. If you want to check it out for yourself, simply go to Princess.com and click on "Find and Compare" then click the Alaska, June 2008, Coral Princess, 6-8 days - places and it will bring up the cruises. We are on the Vancouver to Whittier - embarking June 23, 2008. From there you can check itinerary, excursions, pricing (w/o tax, port fees, transfers, etc).
It's tough to wait two years to take a really nice vacation, but it sure is fun when you finally get do it and get to share it with lots of special friends. We really love cruising because it's a total package and it's all first class. Everything about it is an exciting experience, especially when you have neat stops and neat people to be with. Frankly, my favorite stop is the dinner table - where "people we know" have actually ordered multiple entrees and desserts - just to try something new. But I'm not revealing who "they" might be - yet.
Anyway - this is not a commercial, just an FYI. We like to take vacations with friends and family. It doesn't even bother me to be sailing on a "Princess". At least it's not pink!
Monday, June 18, 2007
I baptized three people yesterday afternoon. Three members of a family representing three generations. What drew them to Jesus? The very thing He said would attract people - "They will know that you are my disciples if you love one another." The great-grand mother of the youngest (so it's four generations now), was baptized just a few months ago, and she couldn't stop talking about Her Lord, and her church family. That's what Paul was talking about in 1 Corinthians 9 ("I become all things to all people that I might by any means save some.") and in Romans 9 ("my heart's desire"). The institution can never provide that kind of passion. It can only come from people who are overwhelmed by his love and his grace.
Saturday, June 16, 2007
Monday, June 11, 2007
The whole cast and crew of "Lord of the Parables." God blesses us with excellent crowds each night and each night everyone did an tremendous job with the play. We had somewhere around 1800 total in attendance and have registration cards from over 350, who signed up to receive a free DVD of the play. I am very proud of everyone who performed or helped in any way. I am especially proud of the high level of dedication to the mission of Bible Action everyone had and the total focus everyone had on glorifying God. We are all tried, but satisfied that we "had fun, did our best, and glorified God." What a neat thrill it is for me to see what started in my head last fall, show up on stage exactly like I imagined it. God is good.
The Jews singing the famous "When you're a Jew you're a Jew all the way, from that first little snip, to your last Oy Vey!" One of my favorite lines.
Friday, June 08, 2007
This comes from that old church joke about people lined up at the Pearly Gate and a cheer comes down the line; "They're not counting Wednesday nights!" I always loved that one. So, I wondered.....what else might not be counted.
Top Ten Surprises at Judgement:
1. Gopher Wood was a "generic" word for any hardwood (check your c of c theology)
2. Being "The Lord's church" has nothing to do with the name on the sign out front!
3. Cain married his younger sister! (And yes, Adam had a belly button!)
4. There was nothing prophetic about Revelation!
5. Mark 16:8-16 was added later but is not necessary to prove baptism.
6. Communion was always intended to be part of a fellowship meal on any day!
7. Growing in love was the only real reason God wanted His people to assemble.
8. Every person in heaven got there by grace! So who will be surprised to see you?
9. Seeking God with a pure heart is more important than doctrinal correctness.
10. God has a sense of humor - Heaven will have closing announcements after all and Just As I Am really does have fifteen verses.
Wednesday, June 06, 2007
This was last nights rehearsal. Our last regular rehearsal, because tonight we do dress rehearsal and then Thursday night is the first show. It's really looking good. I'm very proud of the dedication of all those in the play - both cast and crew. This is the on-stage-all-the-time-chorus that is part of the whole play.
This is Act three when the prodigal is confronted by the Wild Women.
Here is the prodigal with the pigs. One of my favorite parts.
This is in Act two after the Foolish and Wise Maidens, with attendants, make there grand entrance singing "Going to the Rabbi, and we're gonna get married."