Tuesday, January 24, 2012

On a cold and gray Chicago mornin'

In 1969 Elvis Presley recorded a Mac Davis song that was, for him, a major comeback hit.  The song titled, “In The Ghetto”, has a line that I experienced for myself this weekend - “On a cold and gray Chicago mornin'…”  Everyone that lives in Chicago knows exactly what this means.  Now, I do as well.

We flew to Chicago for a missions service.  All week, prior to departure, I was somewhat apprehensive about the weather.  At least twice a day I would go on-line to see what was being forecast.  Each report was about the same.  Mild, mid 40’s, and no precipitation.  Sitting in DFW Airport on Saturday morning just before flying out I received a text message from our daughter.  “Did you know it snowed 8” in Chicago last night?”  I couldn’t believe it!  The thing that I greatly feared the most had come upon me - snow!  And not just a light North Texas-type snow.  No, it was 8 inches of snow! 

We arrived, rented a car, and, to my surprise, were able to drive to our hotel without any trouble.  Even with 8 inches of snow the roads were clear.  I guess when you live in these conditions, you are prepared to deal with them.  But it was certainly a cold and gray Chicago morning!


Chicago trip                          Chicago Trip


Chicago Trip                          Chicago Trip


We couldn’t possibly visit Chicago without testing the famous Chicago-style pizza.  We paid a visit to

Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria.


    Chicago pizza                     


It has to be the best pizza I have ever eaten in my life!


Church On The Rock


We ministered in a great church on Sunday, Church On The Rock.  Bryan and Carmen Garfield are the pastors, and they are great people!  We enjoyed our time very much and know that much was accomplished for the Kingdom of God!  COTR is a missions-minded church that is launching out in an even greater effort than ever before to take the gospel of Christ to all the world!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Changing Gears

I learned to drive in a car that had a standard transmission.  I know, it was a long time ago, and some of the younger generation may not know what a standard transmission is.  A standard transmission requires a clutch in order to change gears.  One of the first things you learn when driving a standard transmission is that you sometimes have to change gears in order to continue at a steady pace.  Drive up a hill, you have to down-shift.  Drive in heavy traffic, you have to change gears.  It is as simple as depressing the clutch with your left foot and then shifting the gearshift to the desired position.  Interestingly enough, the same is true in life.  Sometimes you have to change gears in order to continue the chosen path. 

Fredna and I have changed gears.  No, we have not changed jobs or positions, just changed gears.  This month we begin our year of furlough.  We arrived in Texas a few weeks ago and have finished setting up our home-base for 2012.  We will be living in the Dallas metroplex while we travel visiting our sponsoring churches and making new friends. 

We have not been home for an extended period of time for the past seven years.  We are happy to be able to reconnect, and our children are happy to have a mother and father that are closer than a long-distance phone call!  Our entire family was able to be together for a few days just before Christmas.  Caleb, our last-born, had to leave before Christmas day, but we thank God for the time we did have.  Speaking of Caleb, he is engaged to be married!  His fiancĂ© is a lovely young lady from California.  I know, it hurts to admit that she is not a full-blood Texan, but at least her mother was born in Texas.  We were able to meet and get to know Jaclyn before Caleb left, and we look forward to welcoming her into our family.  We will do our best to make her a real Texan!


For an itinerating missionary, there is a lot of gear-changing, so to speak.  We leave next week on a trip to Springfield, Missouri, and then on to Chicago, Illinois.  The trip to Springfield will accomplish almost all of our medical tests, and the trip to Chicago will be for our first missions convention while home,  We are looking forward to both.

If you pastor a church and would like to have us for a service, please call.  If you attend a church and would like for us to visit your church, please tell your pastor about us and our ministry.  He or she can then call.  My cell number is 214.686.6001.

Now I have shifted to overdrive (5th gear), and we are picking up speed.  Be sure to “ride along” during this special time.  We will meet a lot of interesting folks, and visit a lot of interesting places.  Please keep us in your prayers, and we hope to see YOU soon!