Saturday, October 1, 2011

Getting Ready for the Weekend

I will be going to an Associational meeting this morning (Saturday) in downtown Riverside.  It is the monthly gathering of the church planters in the area.  There are usually about 15 pastors, old and young, who have been called and are serving in ministry to start brand new church congregations in the Inland Empire.  Since I have several from my church who are in the beginning stages of new Bible study groups and new church starts, I attend and encourage them.  My nephew, Kirk Overstreet, is usually in attendance as well.  (I got a text from him yesterday saying that little baby Ezekiel was finally going home, being Set Free from the hospital and all.....ha ha.....a play on words as he serves at a church named Set Free in Yucaipa.)  His dad, Don Overstreet, leads this monthly gathering of pastors and church planters.

This past week was full and exciting.

Monday, thankfully, was a nice day of rest and relaxation.

On Tuesday, Pastor George Nelson (our mission pastor who is starting a church in the Chatsworth/Los Angeles area) came by, and we went to the local Christian bookstore to purchase some needed items.  This Sunday he is holding his Second Annual Celebration for the start of his new ministry there in Chatsworth as he felt led to start a church.  So, this past Tuesday he came over and we discussed the events being planned, including a baptism on Friday.  George leads out in our Celebrate Recovery (12-step Christian based) program here in the Riverside area for a Clean and Sober Living Home.  It is where I am the director on a volunteer basis, in connection with the Coronado Stone manufacturing company in Fontana.  I attended the Celebrate Recovery meeting on Tuesday night with George.  I was greatly blessed as I listened to testimonies of those recently-released parolees talk about how our program and our church was helping them get their lives turned around, both in daily lives and in their spiritual lives.

Wednesday was a day in which we helped a very dear friend, K.L. Freeman.  He and his wife (who passed away several years ago) were like parents to us when we first moved to Rialto back in 1973, when I worked at Kaiser Steel.  We attended the local Southern Baptist church and the Freemans became family to us.  K.L. is now 80 and having a lot of health problems.  He needed a ride to the VA Hospital for an appointment and we spent most of the day just being there for him.  In between, we had lunch with his son, Greg, who owns a business in Chino.  In addition, we made some phone calls to a mom in our church who has a teenager attending the local Patriot High School (just a few blocks from our church).  The school was on lockdown that day (Wednesday) as a man came on campus in the parking lot, shot his ex-wife and then shot himself.  They both died.  It was a traumatic day for the school, understandably, and for all the parents!

On Thursday, I got up at 4 am, got ready and headed for Los Angeles.  It was a two-hour commute to meet a couple (Wayne and Lynn Peters) who had a 7:30 am appointment for Wayne's surgery that morning.  I stayed with them until 10:30 am, then came back and did some errands for the church on the way home.  We had made plans to go up to 29 Palms and visit friends that day, as some had built a relationship with my brother David over the years through letters and prayer.  So, David and Sondra and I headed up to 29 Palms (a two hour drive to the High Desert) around 1 pm to go spend time with these former church members.  We had a great time of fellowship and food (at a local Mexican restaurant) with Curt and Eva Compton, Doris Robinson and her nephew Michael, Jeanette Payne, and Gene and Pam Ressler.  We stayed until 9 pm, having a wonderful time of sharing memories and laughter.  We got home around 11 pm.

                                                       Curt and Eva Compton with David as he presents his book to them

                                                       Galen and Sondra at the Compton's house in 29 Palms

                                                       Curt and Eva Compton at the Mexican restaurant

                                                      Gene and Pam Ressler with us at the restaurant

                                                       Eva Compton and Doris Robinson at the close of dinner

                                                      Jeanette Payne sitting next to Doris Robinson's nephew, Michael

                                                       Pam, Sondra, Doris, Eva, Jeanette

                                                       Sondra, Jeanette, Doris, David, Galen

Yesterday was Friday.  I left early again to go back to Los Angeles for Pastor George's very first baptism!  This lady who was being baptized was a worker at the Sunrise Senior Center where George holds a weekly worship service for the elderly residents of the facility.  The baptism was being held in the swimming pool of the apartment complex where the lady lives!  It was awesome.  After that I went by the hospital close by to see Wayne Peters again, where he was staying after his surgery the previous day.  While all that was going on with me, David and Sondra were taking her brother Alden into the VA Loma Linda hospital for what they diagnosed as a hernia.  They were there most of the day, as Alden was seeing doctors and surgeons in preparation and planning for hernia surgery to be set on the calendar later.  We were all dragging and went to bed early last night!

                                                       Pastor George Nelson of The Vision Plus Church2 of Chatsworth

                                                      Pastor George and Jerrilynn getting ready for the baptism

                                                       Pastor George's very first baptism

                                                       Pastor George, Jerrilyn and Pastor Galen

Sleep is good.

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