Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Another Pleasant Valley Tuesday

Hi All,

     I must confess the last 2 days have been very peaceful and relaxing.   I have driven quite a bit but at the same time I have stopped a great deal and talked to quite a few people.  The vast majority I have talked to were very open and sincerely caring folks.  I even gave away quite a few Bibles.
     This morning I found myself once again headed in an eastward direction and I must be honest with you.  I, of course, will go wherever I feel God is sending me but I am hoping he will send me in a homeward direction pretty soon.  I'm pretty sure He knows how much this old tired body can take.  Aside from that, I do miss my family, my friends, my GRANDDAUGHTER, and my bed....ha ha ha.
     One quick report.  This morning in a small town, Lake, Lawrence, Or Hickory, I'm not sure which, I pulled into a small church with three huge crosses placed to one side.   I was only there about 2 minutes when the pastor pulled up.  He was fascinated by my story as well as my message.  He wanted to know if there was any way I could stay until the Thursday night meeting and give the message to his congregation.  I asked him to let me pray on it for a bit and I would let him know.  Meanwhile, he called a few folks who showed up just to give their blessing and say hello.  Everyone wanted my web address so I gave them some cards.  I left some with the pastor as well when I regretfully told him I did not think I could stay until Thursday.  I pointed out there was a direct link to the message defined on the site and I also left a few bibles for him to distribute to anyone in need.  All in all, it made for a very blessed morning and when I drove away I felt I was leaving new friends and family behind.  But I will carry them with me in my heart.
     God bless you all and thank you for your prayers and your love.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

A Day of Fellowship

Hello All,
     Today turned into a beautiful day of fellowship.  Early this morning I found myself in the small gulf community of  Pass Christian, Mississippi.  All the beaches I have passed so far have had signs saying "NO DOGS".  Some of you may already know I have a vest/backpack for Baxter and a "SERVICE DOG" pin.  I have been reluctant to use it but today I could stand it no more.  Baxter just had to go to the beach.  I love this silly dog so much.  He got excited when he saw me pull out his backpack.  He seems to like to wear it.  I think he feels important.  Anyway, all dressed we headed for the beach.  Within 5 minutes a young man came up with his black Lab puppy.  He was a local who told me the police do not enforce the no dogs policy there at Pass Christian.  His puppy and Baxter got along great as did the young man and I.  Before I had made any self introduction, he asked me if I was a Christian.  He had seen my cross hanging around my neck.  I pointed to my van and told him why I was there.  I found him to be very like-minded with me.  He said he prays every morning for God to fill his heart with love.  We talked for almost an hour about the joy that God brings us then parted with a prayer and a hug. 
      As for Baxter, he loved the puppy but he was not impressed with the water.  About 10 feet away was as close as he was going and he is way toO heavy and obnoxious to drag....ha ha ha  (picture below)
      I drove a little further down the beach and came across a monstrous pier that allowed cars to drive out.  It was very chilly so I was glad for the protection, however, I was not destined to stay in the van.  There was a family of 5 fishing, crabbing, and shrimping from the pier.  As is my way, I walked up and asked if they had caught our lunch yet.  The father let me know they had just started but please be sure and stick around as he assured me lunch would be amazing.   This was quite a different comeback from what I usually get when I ask that question.  They, also, were Christians and as it turned out, lived less than a block away and a lunch of steamed oysters was already in the plan.  We talked for a couple of hours relating stories of how God was working in our lives.  Dad and his son then piled in the van as the mom and 2 daughters walked (not my choice) to their house.  Lunch was great and so much sweeter for the fellowship.  I was a little sad to leave them when I felt it was time to go.  Wonderful people! Wonderful time!  Praise the Lord!!
     After that I drove for a while and have now stopped on the outskirts of New Orleans.  I will wait for the morning to enter this strange city.  I have been warned by quite a few people about the crime rate there so tonight I will arm myself with prayer and cloak myself in the armor of God.  It may seem a little strange but I am not in the least apprehensive.   I will fear no evil for God is with me.
     God bless you all and thank you for your prayers.

This is Baxter on the beach with his heels dug in.  He was not going one step closer to that water...ha ha ha.

This is my van way out on that pier.  If you look close you can see Baxter's head.  He would look out but I don't believe I could have blown him out of that van with dynamite.  TOO MUCH WATER!!!  I do love this silly chicken...er...ah....dog.  I meant DOG!!!! 

Friday, March 27, 2015

Love Not Hate

     The day started out wonderfully.  It was a bit chilly and I broke down and went to Waffle House for breakfast.  God bless McDonald's and the wonderful employees I have met there but the stomach can only take so much McDonald's food...ha ha ha.
     I have a recording on my phone of my granddaughter Eve saying the blessing.  As has become my habit, I bowed my head and played it when my breakfast arrived at Waffle House.  When I finished, a woman at the next table called out to me and when I looked at her she had tears running down her face.  She told me that was the sweetest and most beautiful thing she had ever heard.  She wanted to know more about that "angelic" voice.  I explained to her who it was and why I played it.  She told me her food had not come yet and asked if I would pray for her when it did and would I mind playing Eve's blessing as well.  It was a beautiful moment that seemed to change the atmosphere throughout the restaurant.  After eating, I left feeling so blessed and OH YEA, I almost forgot to tell you about the brand new blower in my van that was blowing heat in my face...ha ha ha.  God is good, all the time.
     After several hours of driving, I felt compelled to stop and pulled in to what appeared to be a small country church.  The rest of that story is a surprise and I guess you could say I caught video fever.  A couple of events transpired that compelled me to find a spot of serenity and make another video.  It involves a little confrontation with a minister, being called a heretic, and then getting mad at the radio.   Where I was, making the video, and prayer calmed me and allowed me to continue.  A link to the video is below.  Bear in mind I'm still learning so the video quality is not professional but it was done to the glory of our Father in Heaven.
     As for the rest of the day, I made it to Biloxi, Mississippi, and was given the opportunity for providing supper and some other essentials for a homeless couple.  It was desert on this beautiful day God has provided.  Being His instrument is such a blessing, such a joy.
Here is the link to that video.  Just click HERE.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

God is good all the time. All the time God is good.

      Before I started this brief update I went to my knees and prayed. It was a prayer of thanksgiving and praise. It was a prayer declaring my love for my Father in Heaven. It was a prayer during which I lost all concept of the passing of time for I was truly engulfed in the love of my Father.
      Before this, I was not having a good day. I was close to the gulf in Alabama and the traffic was atrocious. Temporarily I thought maybe I had lost my way. My drivers side door no longer functions and my AC blower finally went out for good. I seemed to almost go into a trance as my van headed north away from the water and traffic. Before I even knew where I was, I had traveled well inland and was sitting in my van behind yet another McDonald's. I seemed to be dazed as I went into the restaurant, got some coffee, and opened up my e-mail. There were no messages so I packed up my laptop and headed back to the van to walk Baxter, my puppy. While walking Baxter I ran into and began talking to a couple of employees who were outside taking a break. They were very sweet people and were very receptive and inquisitive when I told them who I was and about my mission. After a short while, another young fellow came up. He was there just to see his old friends he used to work with as he was a former McDonald's employee. He had left to pursue his passion of becoming an auto mechanic. When we were introduced, he told me what he was doing. He also was quick to point out that he is a Christian and asked point blank how he could be of service to me. As it is now planned, I will pick up a blower from a parts store tomorrow and he will meet me after his work and install it at no charge. He told me he did not have much experience as far as the door is concerned but he felt with God's help he may also be able to help with that.
Now you know why I went to my knees and we now know why God led me here. So tomorrow I will spend some time doing some chores. I'll clean my truck, wash some clothes, get a blower, play with my puppy, and most of all GIVE THANKS TO MY LORD.   God is truly good All the time.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Monday, March 23, 2015

A Little Rest For An Old Man

     Yesterday, after I stopped in Marianna, I spent most of the rest of the day inside with Baxter mainly because or the tremendous rain storm.  Around 10:00 last night it cleared up and being pretty well rested, Baxter and I went for a walk.  Not many people were up and moving around but I did notice an RV in the parking lot with me (big enough to eat 3 of my vans for breakfast) parked somewhat askew.  I met the young lady who was driving it and she was very nice and very broken down.  We set a time for the next morning to try to get her started and on the way and after much ado, I at least got her started so she could get to a mechanic.  I felt she was in good hands then so I bid her goodbye and hit the road.  She is quite the artist as I viewed her site.  It certainly deserves mention on this lowly blog...ha ha ha.   http://elishadasenbrock.com/sketchbook/
     After leaving Elisha and Marianna, God pointed me south.  I'm not sure why as it turned out to be the least pleasant leg of my journey yet.  I made it to Panama City and guess what.  So did what seems to be about a million college students on spring break.  To be honest, I really just kind of ducked my head and kept going.  I felt no need to stop so maybe what He has in store for me still lies ahead.  I feel better having put Panama City in my rear view mirror.   YIKES!!!! 
More soon...Blessings and love to you all.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Glory Be To God

      This one may be a little long but there is a lot to tell.  Last night,  I was driving a bit later than I really wanted to but as I have said, I am not the one in control here.  I was really tired and ran a bit off the road in the rain.  That convinced me to stop at the next available place but I seemed to be way out in the country.  As it turned out, the next available place was very close.  I pulled into the church you see in the picture below, Praise Life Ministries, Pentecostal Worship in the small community of Grand Ridge, FL.  Within a few minutes a car pulled up with Jim and Lynn, the pastor and his wife.  When I told them who  I was and what I was doing, they were very sweet and assured me I was welcome to stay the night.  I asked them if I could attend morning worship with them as well.  They let me know church started at 10.  A few minutes after they left a county policeman pulled up.  It seems a neighbor called them.  He telephoned the pastor and was very nice.  He said he would check on me again if he got the chance and to make sure I was OK.  Then another gentleman pulled up and went in the church.  His name was Robbie and after a while he came out to let me know he had set up spot for me in the church to spend the night.  I showed him my van and declined his offer as I was very comfortable where I was.  He explained that the pastor had called him and they had prayed and determined to take care of whatever needs I might have.  He told me he had prayed about it and felt God had sent me there for a reason.  After giving me his phone number and instructions to call if I needed anything, he left and told me he was looking forward to seeing me in the morning. I told him I also was looking forward to the morning and attending his church.   Honestly, I felt so much love from these 4 people I had just met.
      This morning, Robbie showed up at church before anyone else. He explained that the pastor had recently had surgery and wasn't feeling well. Usually if that was the case, the pastor's son took over for him, but he was out of town. He said that he and the pastor had decided at God's direction that if I was in agreement, I should stand in for them and relay my message for the morning service. Needless to say, I was again amazed at the way God is working in my life as He so obviously wants me to get my message out. It was a small gathering but it seems, though I felt unworthy of this honor, I was well received. They were all sweet and wonderful people and they seemed to understand that love for God and love for our neighbors is the key to coming to know God. I left them with smiles, handshakes, hugs, and a promise to return if I came back through the area. It was a wonderful experience indeed. Praise God in all His Glory. His love and His grace sustain me and protect me and I fear nothing with Him leading my way.
After the church I only made it 12 miles to Marianna, Florida, and I felt compelled to stop here. I rested and relaxed on this beautiful rainy Sabbath day. We will see what tomorrow holds.

Just a side note here. My dog Baxter as you know is with me. He has always been a wonderful and sweet dog but this trip seems to have changed him. He is more obedient than he has ever been. He walks beside me, often untethered, and as of yet has made no attempt to run off even with the sighting of a squirrel, cat, or another dog. He almost seems to think he has become my protector. It is just a joy to have him with me and everyone who meets him just seems to fall in love with him. He is a wonderful companion. I coming to think he is not my dog as much as I am his human.

My love and God's blessings to all of you.  Again, please feel free to comment below.  I would dearly love to hear from you.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Day One

     Well, my brothers and sisters, it has been an interesting day.  I was a couple of hours later leaving home than I meant to be but one must remember I am retired.  The only way I am going to get in a hurry is if God makes it known that is what I should do.  Until then.......
     I made it as far as Lake City, Florida, when I decided that was enough driving for today.  I had one very interesting stop in Macclenny.   Driving down the road, my door just popped open.  I was leaning on it and when I got stopped, I thanked God for seat belts.  At the time I wasn't going but maybe 10mph but still, I would not have been happy to fall out.  I got the door closed and it seemed alright but then in a couple of minutes it did it again.  Again, I got it closed, said a prayer of thanks, and decided I needed an Ace Hardware.  When I looked up, there was an Ace about 100 yards up the road.  I know this sounds crazy but I knew I was not going to be able to repair the latch so I decided to drill a hole in the side of the door and into the casing.  There I would put a 20 penny nail and that would hold the door closed.
     I went in the hardware and asked for the 20 penny nails.  A sweet lady showed me where they were and asked me how many I needed.  When I told her I just needed one, she said she would not charge me for one but she wanted to know why in the world I just needed one.  She walked outside with me and I showed her.  Of course she was more interested in the van and wanted to know who I was and what I was doing.  When I told her she asked me back inside and 3 other ladies joined us as we prayed a prayer of praise to our Lord and thanked Him for the goodness in people.  Each of them hugged me and I wished them the best and went on my way.
     Further down the road it came to me that ideal places to park my van for the night would be in church parking lots.  When I got to Lake City I was tired and pulled into a church lot.  In about 5 minutes a rather large fellow came out and told me to leave.   I told him who I was and what I was doing but he promptly told me he did not care and for me to leave.  I did so without further ado...ha ha ha.  About a mile later I turned into another one.  This one took about 15 minutes before a gentleman came out, asked me politely to leave, and simply walked away without waiting for a response.  So now, I am in a McDonalds parking lot.  I am truly not discouraged in the slightest but I am surprised.  After I had been at McDonalds for about an hour, a man came out told me he had seen my van and asked me who I was.  When I explained, he told me he was the manager and I was more than welcome to stay the night.  I told him about this page and he expressed a desire to keep track of me so I gave him a card with the address.  He asked me if I would pray for his wife who is having some health problems.  We prayed together in the parking lot, I came inside to take him up on his offer of a free cup of coffee, and sat down to write this.  What a day the Lord has given me.  The wonderful moments more than make up for the trials.
     I can only think of Titus 1:16  They profess to know God but by their deeds they deny Him, being detestable and disobedient and worthless for any good deed.  I forgive and I will pray for these men in these churches that they may come to know God. 
     May God bless you all for He surely blessed me.  I love and love conquers all.

By the way, here is a quick picture of the 20 penny nail holding my door closed.  It works great...ha ha ha

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Instruments of God

     Sometimes I think we have a tendency, because we are so close, to take our family members for granted.  I believe it is because we love them and we also expect them to love us.  We expect that love on good days as well as bad days.  The sad truth is sometimes our family lets us down and sometimes we let our family members down.  The glorious truth is sometimes just the reverse happens.  Such has just happened to me.  If you read my last entry, you know about my computer.  Today, my daughter, Julie, took care of that problem and presented me with a new computer.  I can't help but equate this a bit with the poor widow who gave two mites at the synagogue.  I know she can't afford this but she did it anyway and with a pure heart.   She was convinced God did not want me on my trip without being able to update (or testify if you will) as to what and who I encounter.  I praise and thank God for the wonderful daughter He has given me and I thank her for her love and her caring.  She is so much more than I deserve.
     As for the trip, all is well and I am planning on leaving tomorrow morning around 10AM.  I still have much to do so this is a short update but I had to let everyone know about Julie and my computer.  I would ask all of you to pray for her and John, her husband, to be safe while I am gone.  I'm sure not much time will go by between times when I touch base with them but prayer never hurts.
      Look to hear from me soon as I am sure I will light somewhere soon and I will be anxious to give you the details.  My love to you all.

Monday, March 16, 2015

OH The trials

Hello My Brothers and Sisters,
     My actual day and time of departure has been determined.  I will be leaving Friday morning around 10AM.  I wanted to leave a day or so before that but this is what worked out best for the family.  Tonight I set out to make a trial run and "camp out" in the van.  I didn't take Baxter (the dog) but I did take Eve (the grand daughter).  She was excited.  We went up to the RV park at the motel where I used to work.  Everything went well until we finished supper and I sat down and turned on the computer.  To make a long story short, the laptop has gone kaput.  Momentarily, I was distraught.  What ran through my mind first was I was not going to have the ability to update this page as I went about my mission.  I have begun to think this is one of the most important parts of the mission.  It is to stand as testimonials about the people and situations I encounter to all who are planning to follow my progress.  I do believe this is part of Gods plan as well.
     Let me fist say I am no longer distraught.  Like always, it seems when something goes wrong, I temporarily lose my mind and forget that God is in control.  I came home (this update is on my home computer), took a couple of deep breaths and opened my Bible.  There it was.  James 1:2-4   Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.  I'm OK.  I have once again regained my composure, prayed, and put this issue to rest.  If God wants me to document this trip as I go, then He will take care of this issue as He has taken care of so many others so far.  I most certainly will let you all know what happens next.  Hey!  This is better than watching a good drama on TV.  I feel as I must say, "Stay tuned for tomorrow's show".  It is bound to be exciting.  Love to you all.

By the way, here are three shots of the van now that it is completed, loaded, and ready to go.  Also please notice there is a comment section below each post.  Please feel free to leave a comment.  I would love to hear from you and I know when I get on the road, hearing from you will make my day.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Oh! I am excited!!

     It was the eve of Easter in 1989 when I accepted Jesus Christ as my savior.  I had a good neighbor tell my wife that she need not to worry as I would calm down in time and not take being saved so seriously.  I don't think there has ever been anyone in my life who I have been so glad to prove wrong.  Like any struggling Christian, I have certainly had my ups and downs but the pure joy I felt on that day has never left me.  It has sustained and comforted me through tremendous hardships.  I even went through a period when I was angry with God.  Through it all, I knew in my heart God was with me and comfort was but a prayer away.  He has never forsaken me and He never will.
     I am human and I do still get frustrated sometimes.  Here is an example that should sit you up in your chair.  As you know, I am preparing for my mission trip.  I have converted my work van into a small livable camper that will suit me and my puppy just fine.  Last Friday, a light connected somehow to my overdrive started flashing and my transmission started skipping.  I know nothing about transmissions other than they are expensive to repair.  I got on the internet and googled my trucks symptoms.  Everything I read pointed to having to replace the transmission or either have this one rebuilt.   The estimated cost looked to be around $2500.  I was devastated.  For three days I was devastated and I forgot (just for 3 days) which way to turn.  On Sunday afternoon after church (I'm pretty sure it was church that slapped some sense into me) I got down on my knees and prayed.  I praised God and apologized to Him for my lapse.  I told Him I was building this ark to go on this mission for Him but I could not afford to replace that transmission.  I thanked Him for His help and let Him know that I would accept whatever His will might be.  If the trip was meant to be, I knew He would once again step in and handle the problems.  Well, guess what.  I got in that truck Monday morning and drove it.  The light was off and the transmission was as smooth as silk.  I have driven it extensively since and it drives like a brand new truck. 
     I also discovered Monday that my mission has already started.  I went to Publix to get the last few groceries I'm going to need for the trip.  When I came out a family of folks were standing behind my van looking at the "Know Our Lord" sign.  I gave them cards with the web address and invited them to follow my journey on the site.  We prayed together and parted ways with smiles, hugs, and blessings.
     For those of you who are following that don't go to my church, I attend Kings Pasture Cowboy Church at 6870 US 17  not too far out of Kingsland, Ga., headed toward Woodbine.  I will have the van there on this coming Sunday for anyone who would like a tour.  Please come by and join us.  Fellowship time starts at 10 and the service starts at 11.  This will probably be my last Sunday at the church for a while as I am leaving next week on my mission trip.  May God bless you all and I love you dearly.  2 Corinthians 13:14  The Grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God,and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Time is Drawing Nigh

The time for my departure is getting closer.  I am shooting for around March 16th or 17th.  So far, getting the van set up and ready has not only been fun but it has also been a rather intense spiritual journey.  I have encountered quite a few problems I did not have any idea how to deal with.  Fortunately for all of us, God knows how to handle any problem and brothers and sisters I am telling you solve them He did.  He has been with me every step of the way and it becomes even more obvious to me every day that I am doing what he wants me to do.  While I am going to terribly miss my family, both at home and at church, I am getting a little more excited every day.  I can't wait to find out what God has in mind for me and even where He is going to send me.  I must admit to feeling a bit of apprehension but He is taking care of that as well. 
    Here is an absolute God moment for you that should prove that point.  In trying to personally control my apprehensions, I was what you might call just treading water.  I decided to see what God had to say to me.  I took my Bible, set it on the table with the spline down and let it fall open.  It fell open to 2nd Timothy Chapter 4. 
I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with [a]great patience and instruction. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths. But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.

     I must have sat and read that passage at least 50 times.  I'm not sure what you might think but I'm pretty  certain I got my answer.  I feel so privileged and loved when God reaches out to me like that.  So much for apprehension.   I don't know what tomorrow holds but I do know who holds tomorrow.
     I must say that quite a few people have come to my aid as I am sure they were following God's bidding.  I thank all of you from the bottom of my heart and I just can't wait to relay to you the stories of my travels and the wonderful works of God I know lie ahead.  Please keep me in your prayers as I will pray for each of you daily.
In the love of our Heavenly Father