Saturday, November 29, 2008

On the Road Again

My layover in Lubbock has drawn to a close, and I am back on the road in the morning.

I worship with the Dunn, Texas Church of Christ tomorrow morning. They are a small country church south of Snyder and a very generous bunch who care deeply about the welfare of children in need. They support a number of children's homes, including Manuelito Navajo Children's Home. I will be sharing with them a report on the work they sponsor at MNCH. I'm looking forward to being with them.

Tomorrow night, I will visit with the church in Lamesa, Texas and then travel on to Abilene for the night. On Monday, I will drive to Houston. I will spend several days there visiting churches. Then, its on to the Dallas-Ft. Worth area. I speak at Bowie, Tex. on Dec. 7 and at Farmersville, Tex. on Dec. 14. I will be making other contacts and visits, as well.

I return to Lubbock on Dec. 15 and then to Gallup with my girls!!! on the 19th.

I love sharing the news about the Manuelito Home and the children of the Navajo Nation. Please pray for my safe travels and effectiveness in raising much needed support for an important ministry.

Friday, November 28, 2008

BCS Hopes

Texas vs. Oklahoma for the National Championship. That would be perfect. It can happen.

Oklahoma needs to take care of business tomorrow night and bury OSU.

Bobby Bowden and his Seminoles need to humble Florida tomorrow afternoon.

Florida needs to then beat Alabama in the SEC Championship next weekend.

OU/Texas (whichever) needs to dispatch Missouri in the Big 12 Championship.

Then . . . Texas and Oklahoma (ranked 1 and 2/2 and 1 in the BCS) are scheduled to meet in Miami in January. Think Red River Shootout times 100! This one would be for all the marbles.

And, sorry to all the disillusioned Tech fans here in Lubbock . . . you don't get second chances when you get beat by 44 points! Get over it!

Curiosity Killed the Cat

I bought the new album from the "reunited" rock band Asia today. The original line-up (discounting a couple of other "hybrids") came back together for the first time in 25 years to record an album. I was curious what these guys would sound like after 25 years apart . . . they should have stayed apart! The album is horrible.

What a disappointment!

I first heard Asia when I was in the 8th grade, on a youth mission trip to Glenwood Springs, Colorado. Up until that point in time, I was a big country music geek (since that was all my family listened to) . . . I didn't quite think that rock-n-roll was devil's music, but it wasn't for me. That is until that fateful day I heard "Don't Cry," from Asia's second album, "Alpha." I was hooked.

To this day, Asia's first two albums remain among my favorites. Their newest offering, "Phoenix," is a pale imitation.

Asia is not the first music band to try to recapture the magic of eons ago. It seems that every rock band of the past has put themselves onto the nostalgic trip (and some--the Rolling Stones!--have been been pursuing nostalgia non-stop for, what, the past 3 centuries!). Why do they bother? Why rest on the creativity and artistry of decades past? Why not push themselves to evolve, to discover new chords and rhythms, to create original music?

Think Johnny Cash. The music he produced in the years prior to his death was different in many ways from the music he created when he was in his 30s and before. There was a certain progression in his music. He experimented. He wasn't afraid to do something new. After all, in his later years, he recorded with the likes of Bono and U2 . . . this singer who came from the Mississippi Delta land of Arkansas!

Or, consider Ricky Skaggs. In the 80's he was the Brad Paisley and Garth Brooks of the day. But, now 20 years later, he is a bluegrass trailblazer . . . and even blending his bluegrass sound with the eclectic "jazz" of Bruce Hornsby.

And, Eric Clapton . . . from rock "god" to a prince of the blues (there is only one King . . . B. B., that is!) . . . and master of the acoustical set.

These men and other pushed themselves into different facets and genres of music and are still creating new and satisfying sounds. So, why, are Asia, Styx, Journey, Rush, and the like dressing up in leather pants at age 50 and 60 and putting out the same old stuff?

Now, don't get me wrong, I like the old stuff . . . the original old stuff . . . and I throw those tunes into my CD player all the time . . . but the tracks are (c) 1983 and not (c) 2008!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Three Precious Gifts

Ignore the ugly guy in back. The three beautiful jewels in front remain the primary focus of my Thanksgiving.


Terry Rush has penned another probing and challenging blog post, entitled The Restoration Movement and Its Demise. Read it.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Quips from the Gipper

He's the greatest president of my lifetime (and, in my thinking, the past century). Here are some great comments by Ronald Reagan.

"The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: I'm from the government and I'm here to help."

"The trouble with our liberal friends is not that they're ignorant; it's just that they know so much that isn't so."

"Of the four wars in my lifetime, none came about because the U.S. was too strong."

"I have wondered at times about what the Ten Commandments would have looked like if Moses had run them through the U.S. Congress."
"Freedom is not something to be secured in any one moment of time. We must struggle to preserve it everyday. And freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction."

"The taxpayer: That's someone who works for the federal government but doesn't have to take the civil service examination."

"Government is like a baby: An alimentary canal with a big appetite at one end and no sense of responsibility at the other."
"How do you tell a communist? Well, it's someone who reads Marx and Lenin. And how do you tell an anti-Communist? It's someone who understands Marx and Lenin."
"We must reject the idea that every time a law's broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions."

"The nearest thing to eternal life we will ever see on this earth is a government program."

"It has been said that politics is the second oldest profession. I have learned that it bears a striking resemblance to the first."

"Government's view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it."
"America is too great for small dreams."

"Politics is not a bad profession. If you succeed, there are many rewards; if you disgrace yourself, you can always write a book."

"No arsenal, or no weapon in the arsenals of the world, is as formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women."

"America needs God more than God needs America. If we ever forget that we are One Nation Under God, then we will be a nation gone under."
"Let us resolve that young Americans will always find there is a city of hope in a country that is free. . . and let us resolve they will say of our day and our generation, we did keep the faith with our God, that we did act worthy of ourselves, that we did protect and pass on lovingly that shining city on a hill."
"All great change in America begins at the dinner table."
"When the liberals say 'family,' they mean, 'Big Brother in Washington.' When we say 'family,' we mean, 'honor thy father and mother.'"

Turkey Day Toons

Monday, November 24, 2008

This Bond Doesn't Stick

I watched the latest Bond flick tonight, Quantum of Solace. Not quite a waste of $8.50 and two hours of my time, but close. It isn't a dissatisfaction with the producers "rethinking" Bond, because I liked what they tried in Casino Royale, nor a displeasure with Daniel Craig, because I think he's nearly as good as Connery in the role (yes, I mean that), but this episode lacks a coherent or compelling story.

I did like the trailer for the newest Star Trek, however (that may have been worth the cost of admission tonight). But, I've got to wait until May 2009 to see the actual movie. Argh!

Lubbock Now 218Large!

For most of my life, I have been fascinated with the Lubbock city limits signs, particularly the ever growing population numbers posted thereon. Every few years the signs are updated with a new number. I heard today that the new number will be in excess of 218,000. I can remember the many years of eagerly awaiting the day when Lubbock officially eclipsed the 200,000 milestone . . . that happened several years ago. My hometown just keeps growing and changing.

Here are a few things I like about Lubbock (in no particular order):
  • (for the most part) nice, down-to-earth people
  • wide streets
  • a "clean" look
  • all those "W" bumper stickers, even though his last election was in '04
  • Lubbock Christian University
  • (for the South Pains) lots of trees
  • its in Texas, after all
  • football is king
  • most of my family is here, and many, many friends
  • the Christ-centered culture
  • great weather (w/ exception of occasional dust storm)
  • it's not Amarillo!
  • it's not anything like San Francisco
  • faith, family and country still matter . . . big time!
  • the drive on 19th Street between Frankford and Quaker
  • you can be anywhere in the city in, at most, 15 minutes
  • hard work and integrity are valued . . . and expected
  • and, of course, Rosa's

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Off the Bandwagon

65-21. Can't say I was surprised. I had rooted for the losing team . . . the first time I can ever remember rooting against the Oklahoma Sooners. But, as I stated a couple of weeks ago, I was overriding my support of O.U. to root for the hometeam Texas Tech Red Raiders (something I have also rarely down in life). I was caught up in the euphoric silliness that believed a Tech football team actually had a shot at the national championship. Last night, the silliness was buried in one big reality check.

Now that all is right with the world, and my senses have come back to me, I'm riding the Sooner train all the way to Miami. The Sooners will defeat the Alabama Crimson Tide for their 7th National Championship. Although, there may be some difficulty in telling the uniforms apart.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Mac Davis Had It All Wrong

Lubbock. Home. It's that simple.

My official residence is Gallup, New Mexico, but Lubbock, Texas is and always will be home. This is where I was raised. This is where my parents (and many extended family) remain. So much of my identity and values find their roots here.

I'm back in Lubbock for the next 10 days. The visit is partly business, but mostly about family. I will continue on from here to spend two weeks in North Texas (all about business there) and then come back to Lubbock for a few days before returning to Gallup for Christmas WITH MY KIDS!

And, a trip to Lubbock is never complete without a pilgrimage to the mecca of semi-fast, casual-chic, Mexican dining . . . Rosa's Cafe. I was there at 11:25 this morning ready to indulge in beef fajitas and possibly the best guacamole and salsa around. Let's see: 10 days in Lubbock, 10 trips to Rosa's? It's possible, perhaps likely . . . better stock up on the Zantac, just in case!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Back to Texas

Two weeks at home: it's time to hit the road again. Tomorrow, I'm off to Texas, with a stop in Carlsbad, New Mexico tomorrow night. This trip will be a mere 31 days and take me primarily to Lubbock and Dallas/Ft. Worth. As of today, I know I will be speaking to congregations in Dunn, Tex. on Nov. 30; Bowie, Tex. on Dec. 7; and Farmersville, Tex. on Dec. 14. I'm still working out some other visits.

The highlight of the trip, of course, is time spent with my daughters and mom and dad. Because of my need to be on the left coast last month, it has been a few weeks since I was able to travel to Texas to see my girls. Speaking regularly on the telephone is not an adequate substitute. I MISS THEM greatly. Separation from your children (and they from you) never grows easier. You know, divorce really is an act of the evil one. I pray and pray that others would realize this!

In the News

Did you know that an egg costs 35 billion dollars in Zimbabwe? Of course, their dollar is the least valued currency in the world (by far). One U. S. Dollar is worth 642,371,437,695,221,000 Zimbabwean dollars (that's 642 quadrillion to one!). And, we thought we were having money problems.


The feel good news story of the day . . .

Twenty-three year old Ulysses Milana of Maine just joined the Marines. To be eligible for enlistment, he had lost 140 pounds in 11 months. Now, that is a young man who is devoted to serving his country. I'm very proud that men like him have my back.


I resisted the Vista upgrade for a long time, but the Home presented me with a new office computer this week, and it has Vista. So far, I'm impressed (actually, relieved, is more like it . . . everything is working). I do especially like one feature: the stock photos (a sample shot of Monument Valley is above).

Monday, November 17, 2008

Great Post on Elders & Churches

As usual, Terry Rush has an awesome post on his blog, Morning Rush. As a recovering preacher who has served 6 congregations and 5 sets of elders, Terry's analysis is right on the mark.

The Root Cause? Excess!

So, the leaders of the world's 20 largest economies met in Washington D.C. over the weekend for a Global Economic Summit. They met to address the growing worldwide recession. On the menu for the State dinner: $300 bottles of wine! Now, I'm just a poor guy out in western New Mexico, but in these economically troubled times couldn't they have served 5 cent pitchers of Lipton Iced Tea, instead?

Guess who picked up the tab? Take a good look at your withholding on your next paycheck!

I'm a recovering preacher not an economist, but it seems like many of the recent financial problems besetting our country and world can be traced back to excess. Prospective home owners getting mortgages that were more than they could handle. Consumers maxing out a dozen credit cards. Union workers demanding and getting huge benefits packages that the companies had no hope of paying. CEO's and other executives seeking huge salaries and stock options. The Federal government spending and spending, promising and promising, without any hope of ever balancing the books . . . just quick to print an ever-increasing supply of cash.

Now, this recovering preacher is one of the guilty. I have never been disciplined with money and gotten into my share of debt (those student loans are pesky little things, aren't they?). It seems to be that excess and an acceptance of debt are part and parcel of our society . . . BUT, as Dave Ramsey is so keen to say, "The debtor is slave to the lender." Our way of living is unsustainable!

The words of the apostle Paul are instructive. Philippians 4.11-13: "I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed of hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength" (NIV). Notice, he doesn't say the secret of contentment is maxing out a Wal-Mart credit card or purchasing the latest Prius!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Can You Donate a Bible?

We have a great need at Manuelito Navajo Children's Home and at Gallup Christian School. We need several NIV Study Bibles for our children and students to use. Most of our kids come to us without ever having touched a Bible, much less read one. We have several old and tattered Bibles for them to have and use, but many of these are older versions (lots of KJV). But, our kids need Bibles that are easier to read, and they would certainly profit from having a Bible with some study helps.

Could you add a Bible to your Christmas shopping list and provide a child from the Navajo Nation the blessing of a good Bible? If so, purchase the Bible (hardcover NIV Study Bible would be the best) and mail it to Manuelito Navajo Children's Home; P.O. Box 58; Gallup, NM 87305. Mark the package to my attention: c/o Jeff Foster. We need a total of 30 Bibles. Bibles with thumb-indexing would be an ever greater blessing.

Asking a favor of those bloggers who happen by this site: Will you put a notice of this appeal on your blog? Many thanks.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Random Thoughts

I went a whole month without Cracker Barrel (the left coast doesn't have them!), so in the week I've been home in Gallup, I have made up for lost time. My days go so much better after I've had my two eggs, sausage, hash browns, wheat toast, and half-gallon of iced tea.

I've been in Cracker Barrel so much in the past week (8 visits) that I wouldn't be surprised if the manager handed me a "Rising Star" smock and puts me to work.


It took me 35 years to discover Johnny Cash. Now his music is a staple in my CD player.


I read another story in the USA Today this morning about the safe-haven law in Nebraska. Thirty-four teenagers and older youth have been abandoned by their parents in the months since this law came into effect. Some of the children have been reunited with their families, but many have been placed in foster care.

I'm not certain where I come down on the controversy this law has produced--whether the law should be left as is, or amended to allow only the abandonment of infants. I just know the situation has highlighted the desperation so many families find themselves in. Whether it be the heartlessness or irresponsibility of parents, the challenging economic fortunes of some, or the unruliness of some kids, it is obvious that families are in crisis.

I cannot help but think that too many families lack the great resource of community. From the article I read this morning, it seems that many of the children who have been abandoned by parents come from single-parent families or families where a parent is incarcerated, addicted to drugs, mentally unstable, and estranged from extended family members. Children need a support system that ranges far beyond the immediacy of father and mother and sibling. An aspect of ancient culture that is sorely missed today is life lived within the context of family, clan/tribe, community, nation . . . and, I must add, church (or, community of faith). I was blessed to have parents who kept me connected not merely within our house, but also our neighborhood, and church.

Perhaps the situation in Nebraska should waken all of us to the responsibilities each of us have to each other.


I have rooted for the Oklahoma Sooners since I was a kid, but tomorrow I will be cheering on the Texas Tech Red Raiders to defeat O.U. and move one step closer to a #1 ranking and a shot at the national Championship. Call it a case of hometown loyalty.


Any body up for a round of golf? It's been 13 months since I last walked a course.


Six days and counting to Rosa's! It's been over 5 weeks since my last bite of beef fajitas! It's a shock that I'm still breathing.


I absolutely love playing Santa Clause. I'll be travelling for the next 5 weeks, so Santa went shopping last night. Finding those special gifts (insofar as they can be found at Wally World) for my special little girls is a great joy. In route to that mecca of American commercialism, I even popped in the latest Christmas offering from Mannheim Steamroller . . . Christmasville. The only thing better, is watching my beautiful girls rip open their packages and seeing their smiles and hearing their laughter.


Life is full up of ups and downs, but without a doubt, God is soooo good!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Life Is Worth the Effort

This photo was taken Saturday at the Open House we hosted on the campus of Manuelito Navajo Children's Home. As you can see, one of the attractions was a rock-climbing wall. Our kids at the Home absolutely loved it. One of our boys scaled the wall 38 times! I refrained from an attempt, however, out of the fear I would topple the thing over :-).
You know, life is a lot like scaling a rock-climbing wall. Commitment/choice. Effort. Strategy/forward thinking. Concentration. Assistance. Exhaustion. Exhilaration. Failure. Success. All of these are involved in the rock-climbing experience and also with life.
A lot of life is grounded around the choices and commitments we make and don't make. For some, even many, choices can be confounding, perhaps crippling. But, life cannot be taken for granted, we must place one foot in front of the other. Life isn't a conveyor belt. We can't sit around hoping life will come to us (in the form of a great paycheck, a hot date, a thrill of a lifetime, whatever our anticipation is centered on) . . . we have to take a step and go after it. When climbing a rock-wall, you must reach your arm up to a handhold and lift your foot up to a foothold and pull your body up; the apparatus isn't going to do the work for you. You must decide to go!
Effort is certainly a component of life. Life is work. It doesn't come easy, even to those who seem to live on Easy Street. Life is a marathon (actually, a series of marathons); it is not a sprint; it is not a casual Sunday stroll. There will be some lulls along the way. Even moments where we can stop and smell the roses. But, there are gonna be some long, rough slugs as well. Moments (or, years!) when we're trudging up a 9% grade (on a good day!), with the wind howling around us and rain beating in our face. But, there is a summit, and then it is all down hill . . . that is, of course, until we hit the next hill! Yet, I'm told hat with age and maturity, life begins to level out to a more consistent plain. Hills and plateaus, even mountain ranges, remain, but or aptitude for life grows. Our efforts pay off.
Life requires thought. Mindlessness leads nowhere (or, rather, to some serious pitfalls). Life doesn't come equipped with Autopilot, or cruise control, but with big signs, "Lots of Assembly Required," and "Proceed with Caution." Life is much easier and productive when we look ahead to the horizon (and beyond) and set out goal and then plot the course required to reach that goal. In scaling a rock-climbing wall proficiently, the climber looks above and finds the ideal handholds and footholds, she plots her course with a distinct strategy guiding her way.
Pay attention! How many of life's travails could be avoided, or be made much-less destructive, if we simply paid attention to what we were doing, to our surroundings, to those around us, and to the course before us? Effort is not simply a matter of physical application and force, it is a lot of brain power, as well. Was it Lombardi that said, "Football is 90% mental"? Put "life" in the sentence, and it would be as true.
Life is not lived in a vacuum, with merely ourselves and immediate surroundings. No, life is full myriad things, especially those people close and far. A rock climber rarely will set out on his own; to do so can often be suicidal. Someone is needed to hold the guide rope, to help plot the course, to share in the work of setting spikes and giving a helping hand. Life is best lived when in tandem or association with a partner or partners. After all, God Himself, our Creator, declared, "It is not good for man to be alone." Interconnectedness is a key to life.
Life will be tiring, even exhausting at many points along the way, but there will also be ample exhilaration, when our weariness will drop away and newfound energy and excitement will rush over. Remember the exhilaration of scaling a high mountain--the course up filled with tightened muscles, thirst (and, in my case, heavy panting!)--and the moment of finally looking out from the peak onto the valley and plains far below. That's a lot like a new mother and father staring down at their beautiful new child in the moments following a very difficult pregnancy. Or, the proud parents applauding a son as he walks across the graduation stage following the many years of the awkwardness and challenges of raising a child.
Success and failure. Failure and success. Life is filled with both. A rock climber is not always going to find the best hold. He may slip a time or two. H may even have to descent before a successful ascent can be mounted. Keep going. That's the key. Learn from mistakes. Observe the success of others. Try, and try again. Life is worth the effort.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Older Even than Dine'tah

Today, Trey Morgan has a moving post about a great need in the country of Honduras and the efforts of some compassionate young men and women to help. Visit the post here and contribute what you can to this good work.


I was blessed with the opportunity to teach the high school Bible class at Gallup Christian School this morning. I will do so again on Friday and Wednesday of the coming week. These opportunities are some of the highlights of my all-too-short homecomings to Gallup. I enjoy going out on the road and talking to churches about MNCH, but I absolutely love to get back to my roots as a preacher and youth minister and teach and peach God's Word. Especially to our kids at the Home and School.

These kids, for the most part, have had no experience with Jesus and the Bile before coming to MNCH. Many are still very stepped in the traditional beliefs and practices of the Navajo people. It can be a challenge to talk about the Gospel in a way that makes sense and is not overtly threatening or unsettling. The love of God for humanity (especially the person of Jesus) communicates very easily, but the particulars of "Bible-speak" can be hard to convey. But, I enjoy the challenge . . . rather, opportunity . . . to share what I hold dear and what I know is meant to be a blessing for all humanity.

My task in these three classes I've been asked to teach is to give a general introduction to the Bible. Not a subject that is easily reduced to three class periods. But, I'm focusing primarily on the specialness of Scripture.

To this end, I related one of my favorite stories this morning. It is of a man, an archaeologist, who discovered a fragment of Numbers 6 (the Priestly Blessing, vv. 24-26) in an amulet/locket in the ruin of a house outside of Jerusalem. Once dated, this fragment was determined to have been from at least the 8th Century B.C. That is the time of Isaiah! I used this story to speak about the ancient nature and genuineness of the Bible. Here is the case of a person living 2,800 years ago who cherished a portion of God's Word by keeping it close to their person (in a locket hanging from their neck). Wow!

I then compared the ancientness of that portion of Scripture with the ancientness of many of the Native American ruins that are close to Gallup. We have Canyon de Chelly to our northwest, first inhabited in the 5th Century A.D.; and Mesa Verde to our north, first inhabited in the 7th C. A.D.; ad Chaco Canyon to our northeast, regarded by some of the Dine' (Navajo) as the birthplace of their people), first inhabited in the 8th-9th C. A.D.

Th Navajo treasure what is long-standing and preserved (a trait I deeply admire of this beautiful people), and so the comparison I drew of the ancientness of Scripture (as represented in the Priestly Blessing fragment), and how it even outdated the cherished sites of Navajo and Pueblobean (or, Anasazi) history and culture, made an impact of the kids I was teaching. And, I must say, on me as well.

I love the words of the Psalmist:
The instruction of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul;
the testimony of the Lord is trustworthy, making the inexperienced wise.
The precepts of the Lord are right, making the heart glad;
the commandment of the Lord is radiant, making the eyes light up.
The fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever;
the ordinances of the Lord are reliable and altogether righteous.
They are more desirable than gold--than an abundance of pure gold;
and sweeter than honey--than honey dripping from the comb.

(The words of Psalm 19.7-10 in the Holman Christian Standard Bible)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

To Whom We Owe Our Freedom!

It is my estimation that when historians look back to my generation (graduated 1988) they will conclude that a lesser percentage of us served in the U. S. Armed Forces than in any other generation previous and perhaps following.

You see, my generation came of age at the ending of the Cold War when it seemed that armed conflicts were largely a thing of the past. Yes, the first Gulf War happened just three years following my class's graduation from high school, and that did result in the enlistment of some my age, but that war came about when many my age had already set themselves on a career path, and many had already married and started families. So, few of my generation served in the military. Indeed, of all the many friends and classmates I had in school, I know of only one or two who served in the military.

As I reflect on this Veteran's Day this contrast of generations came to mind. I am afraid that so many my age have taken for granted the great sacrifices of those who went before us, those men who dedicated themselves to serving the country in very trying and dangerous times and circumstances. Men who put themselves in harm's way, so that their children could have the prospect of living in a free and safe country. These men are the one's to whom we owe the freedom we now enjoy.

I am reminded of the third stanza of America the Beautiful, our sentimental national anthem. The words of Katherine Lee Bates: "O beautiful for heroes proved in liberating strife, who more than self their country loved, and mercy more than life! America! America! May God thy gold refine, till all success be nobleness, and ev'ry gain divine."

As I reflect on this Veteran's Day, I am deeply proud to be the son of a veteran of the U.S. Navy, who served in the Vietnam War, and who served for 20 years, and the grandson of a veteran of the U. S. Army, who served and was wounded in World War II (Philippines).

Monday, November 10, 2008

Home? Yes, finally!

Eleven states. 9,996 miles. 50 days. Three time zones. (What seemed like) four seasons. 83 visits to churches. 12 opportunities to speak to congregations. 2 Christian college lectureships. A whole month without seeing a Cracker Barrel, Rosa's, or Chick-fil-A. One broken down vehicle, subsequently repaired. Countless new friends.

That's a quick summary of my latest trip. It was productive for the Home. It was personally enjoyable, but also exhausting. I have enjoyed the past 3 days and counting being home in Gallup. Home? Sometimes it seems that the asphalt of some Interstate highway or the spartan interior of a Days Inn room is my home, but whenever I return to Gallup, I realize that this is my home. I am blessed to be here. I am blessed to represent Manuelito Navajo Children's Home. I am blessed to be a part of the Gallup Church of Christ. I am blessed to live on the border of the vast and beautiful Navajo Nation. It is good to be home . . . for another 9 days! Then, it's off to Texas, again.

The photos are among the last I took on my trip. They are of the Colorado River in Moab, Utah.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Gingrich in 2012!!!

Well, the election is over, and the outcome is not what I had wanted. BUT, I pray that our nation can come together and support our new president. May he lead with wisdom and humility. I pray that he and our other leaders will seek God's council. I pray that our nation will be kept safe and prosper and honor God in our morality and concern for one another, especially for those who are less fortunate and in need.

Despite what has happened today, I know that our God reigns, and that He will effect His way despite the challenges that are put before Him.

I am now in Salt Lake City, Utah, my first visit to this beautiful place. I will be here until Thursday making visits for the Manuelito Navajo Children's Home. And, then, I make the final leg of my trip home. I am so ready to sleep in my own bed!!!

Here's a photo of the Idaho State Capitol in Boise. It is a replica of the U. S. Capitol, albeit a significantly smaller version. I have also attached some photos of the Columbia River east of Portland, Oregon and the countryside of southern Idaho. Yes, that is snow!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Ate a Tater in Idaho

I've added a new state to my travels: Idaho. This is my first visit. I'm in Boise for the night before I continue toward home. I will be in Salt Lake City tomorrow.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

FALLing for Oregon

My first visit to Oregon is drawing to a close. I will begin my journey home tomorrow morning, a trip that will take me through Idaho and Utah. My six days in Oregon (and 45 days on the road) have been profitable for Manuelito Navajo Children's Home. I had some good visits with churches and especially enjoyed my time with the Gladstone Church of Christ this morning and the Oregon City Church of Christ tonight. These are two wonderful congregations; their love for Jesus and for one another is so encouraging.

My travels take me to many places, and it is hard to be away from my family and friends for long periods of time. But, it is so heartwarming to walk into a church building and know that there I will be surrounded by family. As we share in faith, as Christ's blood washes us clean, we belong together, we are family . . . even when we have never previously met!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Fill 'er Up, Please!

A couple of observations about Oregon:
  1. I like the "NO" sales tax
  2. I do NOT like that I am NOT allowed to fill my own gas tank . . . it's an odd thing to drive up to a fuel pump and have a 70-something-year-old female station attendant come up to my window and ask, "Can I fill 'er up?" (That really happened yesterday.) Oregon is one of two states that do not allow drivers to operate a fuel pump at a filling station (New Jersey is the other)