Last Monday I used some Christmas money to buy me a Dockers wallet, Dockers belt and a shirt. It is interesting how new clothes can actually make one feel better! On Tuesday, Pastor George came over (as is his usual custom) to spend the night. He leads our Celebrate Recovery ministry meeting for the parolees that night each week. Afterwards, he comes over for dinner and we have a time to catch up on what is going on in his church start work in the Chatsworth area of Los Angeles. Last Tuesday, two of the men from the Sober Living Home came with George, and we had a lively dinner together.
Thursday, Sondra kept grand-daughter Bailey for the afternoon, just to spend quality time with her alone. When little Brynnlee is with us, Bailey naturally does not get full attention and play time with Grandma or me (Papa G).
Last Saturday morning, I attended a Men's Prayer Breakfast with several of the men in our church. We went over to the La Sierra Baptist Church, where Pastor Mike Yeamans serves. Mike was our Worship Leader and Associate Pastor at Vision Plus for the first seven years of our church start, beginning in January 2001.
It rained most of Saturday, and I enjoy the wetness, the freshness and the clean air the storms bring each time. Sondra also enjoys making a fire in the fireplace when it gets quite chilly.
Yesterday, church was exciting and different. I had set up a time during the worship service to do a Skype (internet) interview with my niece Jennifer (daughter of my brother Roger) who is working in South Asia after graduating from California Baptist University. We are careful about how much information we share about her work as it impacts her ability to stay and work in that country (which we are careful not to disclose).
Anyway, we had a computer set up in the sanctuary and did a live interview with Jennifer. It was a wonderful time in which she was able to share with our congregation what is going on in her life. It was informative, interesting and lively.
Following that, I had lined up a guest preacher for the worship hour as well. Pastor Joe Lick, a church planter in the Riverside area, came and brought the morning message. He has worked with college campus students, as well as being deeply involved in the homeless ministry at Fairmount Park. His message focused on the meeting of Jesus and Zaccheus. Zaccheus was short and needed to climb a tree, just to see Jesus. Zaccheus did not let a physical hindrance stop him from seeing Jesus. Pastor Joe reminded us in his sermon, that there are countless barriers that will hinder us from "seeing Jesus." We must be strong and determined, just like Zaccheus, to overcome all obstacles and barriers that keep us from taking time to be with Jesus and serving him as our Lord and Savior.
After the invitation at the close of the service, we took time to bring a lady named Christina forward. She is facing cancer surgery tomorrow (Tuesday). About 20 people gathered around her at the altar area to lay hands and pray for God's healing power to be seen in these circumstances. It was a very moving time.
After church, two men came to me and talked to me about baptism. Both of these men are in the Sober Living Program and have spent time in prison in the past. It was a great way to end the day at church.
Yesterday afternoon was spent with Alden, Shawn and the two girls (Bailey and Brynnlee). We all watched the football playoff games (Baltimore Ravens vs New England Patriots, and San Francisco 49ers vs New York Giants). I was rooting for Baltimore and San Francisco both to win to meet in the Super Bowl in two weeks. I must have been a jinx, as the Patriots and the Giants won! Anyway, it was fun with all the distractions of two little girls.
Oh, one last thing. A couple of weeks ago, Sondra and I went down to Hollywood with some friends (Lorn and Sharon Harrison). Sondra and Sharon needed to buy some tickets for a play, and it is much cheaper at the box office than on-line with all the fees. So, we went down on Tuesday, January 3. We also did some sightseeing on Hollywood Boulevard and Sunset Boulevard -- Kodak Theater, Pantages Theater, Grauman's Chinese Theater and the Hollywood stars on the sidewalk. We left early that mornng because we wanted to get back early as well.
But, before heading home we stopped for lunch at a famous Chicken 'n' Waffles restaurant there in Hollywood. I had never had fried chicken and waffles together, so I had to try it! Amazingly good, I must say.