Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Happy Birthday To Me

Last week, I was asked to lead a three-day devotional series on the subject of "End Times" at the Coronado Stone manufacturing plant in Fontana.  A very interesting topic these days for Christians and non-Christians alike.  They have their devotions on Tuesday-Wednesday-Thursday mornings at 8 am for all the employees, as they shut the production lines down for the break.  So, last Thursday, I gave a short introduction to the topic at hand.  They put me down on the schedule to lead the series this week on T-W-Th, three days in a row.  They had never tried a series with one speaker for a devotional series previous to this, so I feel honored.

This past week, my brother David was down with the cold/flu stuff that is going around -- sneezing, coughing, congestion and all.  It has just hung on for almost a week now, but he seems to be getting better each day.  Trouble is, I got a touch of it over the weekend.  It's not his fault, as there are so many that have been sick in our church and at Coronado Stone where I spend some time.

I felt feverish and then some chilling, sneezing and a mild sore throat.  This began last Friday.  On Saturday, I missed a meeting at our church's Associational Office because I just wanted to rest and feel good enough for Sunday.  A lay preacher in the church called me Saturday, letting me know he would be ready to help (by preaching) on Sunday if I needed him.  I was going to push myself to go on Sunday morning, but it wasn't worth the risk so I called my friend to take my place in the pulpit for the worship service.  I stayed home.

On Sunday evening, we had planned a birthday dinner at a nearby steak and BBQ restaurant with the kids.  That was postponed until next week too.

Monday was my birthday.  I was feeling a little better but still not 100 percent.  I had asked Sondra to cook a big birthday dinner rather than go out.  I specifically requested fried chicken, mashed potatoes, fried okra, corn on the cob, and homemade biscuits with honey.  Instead of a cake, I wanted a peach cobbler with ice cream.  That dinner made me feel a whole lot better!  We are still waiting to go out with our kids this next weekend for a birthday dinner "on the town."

I really felt loved and special this birthday.  I received cards, phone calls, and emails wishing me a Happy Birthday.  What was astounding was the amount of birthday wishes I received on Facebook.  I never post on my Facebook page, and I only look at it when somebody else writes on my Facebook "wall."  I had more than 50 birthday notices on my Facebook page, hearing from some that I had not heard from in quite a long time.  What fun and joy!

Tuesday, I went to Coronado Stone and spoke on the sequence of events leading up to the End Times, looking specifically at the Tribulation mentioned in the Bible.  This morning (Wednesday), I covered the topic of the Signs of the End Times, with a focus on the Second Coming of Christ.  Tomorrow I will give a summary and general conclusions as we look at the Rapture and the symbolism in the book of Revelation.  It has been a tough assignment, in the sense of crystallizing the devotions into a 10-minute time each day.  But the challenge has been fun and rewarding.

Last night (Tuesday), we went to Olivia's Mexican Restaurant to eat and be with family members who came to visit with Keri (our niece who lives in Chicago) and her little baby Isaiah.  Keri was invited to come to California Baptist University to lead in preparation seminars for students who will be going out on mission trips this year.  She was also asked to speak at the two chapel services today for all the student population.  It was good to see her and all the family members who could make it.

Today, we are taking care of grand-daughter Bailey.  We have some exciting news to share out of the Shawn and Crystal Marcum household.  Crystal is going to have another baby this coming September!  We are so thrilled and cannot wait.  Little Bailey turns two years old next month (April 4), and she will certainly have fun as a big sister!

OK, that's it for now!

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