Yesterday was Sondra's birthday (February 22). She worked until noon at her Intervention Teaching job here in the Rialto school district. She enjoys the children and their responsiveness to her teaching. We then drove down to Oceanside (30 miles north of San Diego). Bill and Marti were there at a Wyndham timeshare apartment/condo, one overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Kirk, Tamra and little Ezekiel were there for a few days as well.
We wanted to hear about Bill and Marti's trip to Tahiti and cruise to Hawaii, so that was fun to sit around and catch up on their journeys, as they had just flown in late this past Monday night. And, of course, Ezekiel is such a cute baby who loves to smile. Kirk and Tamra are wonderful parents.
Sondra talked them into coming to dinner with us. She thought it would be special to have some "family time" as we ate and celebrated the evening of her birthday. It was so enjoyable. We went to Anthony's Seafood Grotto restaurant and got a table by the window so we could see all the boats and the sunset and then the shimmering lights off the water as it got dark outside.
This last week and a half has been fun. In fact, last week I went through some old movie films I had taken with our old Super 8mm camera in the 1970s. I found 10 small reels that were of Jason, Evan and Crystal in 1979 and 1980. Jason was five, Evan three and Crystal about one year old. I took those to Costco and am having them spliced together to make a DVD. My 8mm films also had sound (new for that time, just before VHS movie cameras). Anyway, we are excited to see them in about four weeks when they come back. I have many more reels to go through, but not enough money to get them all made into DVDs yet.....ha ha.
Last week I bought some flowers for Sondra on Valentine's Day and we went to dinner that night. We enjoy those special times. That morning, I spoke at Coronado Stone's morning devotional time.
I had planned on attending the Disaster Relief Training for pastors last Thursday through Saturday, but it didn't work out. I had an appointment at VA early Friday morning, and we went over to California Baptist University for homecoming Saturday. A friend I have known for 46 years (Ron Bryant) was there, and we got together with him and his fiance Nicole. We ended up going out to eat at the Yardhouse there in Riverside. It was a wonderful time of conversation, being with a long-time friend! Ron and Nicole are planning to get married on 02-14-2014 (Valentine's Day in 2014). I have been asked to officiate, so I am looking forward to that.
On Sunday morning, I preached on evangelism and the joy of sharing our faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. On Monday morning, George Nelson and I drove over to Torrance (near Long Beach and Los Angeles) for a two-day Evangelism Conference. It was an inspiring couple of days, listening to various preachers and pastors from around the nation. Pastor Roy Flint, a volunteer staff member at our Vision Plus Church, drove over and joined us for both days also. It was cute to see Kirk at the conference with his son, Ezekiel, in tow.
One of the special moments for me was spending some time with Pastor Abel Galvan. Abel served with me as a Youth Director in 29 Palms, when he was still a student at Cal Baptist. When I was called to pastor in San Diego, Abel came there also and worked with the youth. When I left San Diego, Abel was called as Interim Pastor and followed God's call into the ministry full-time. Abel "blames" me for his call to ministry, as I helped him grow and learn what it meant to follow in vocational ministry to the Lord's call. His pastor from childhood, Ken Reed, was at this conference. Pastor Reed baptized him as a 13-year old. He got us together for a picture, as he wanted a photo of himself with the two men who had influenced him the most for the Kingdom's sake. It was very humbling and a time of great joy.
Well, I must go as I have blood lab tests at the VA this morning. Tomorrow, I see my primary doctor for my 6-month checkup.