Sunday, April 1, 2012

Dog Tired

Today is Sunday, April 1.  We did not refer to it as April Fool's Day, as we kept our attention and focus on the fact that it was Palm Sunday!

I preached from the Gospel of Mark, using the passage where Jesus made his triumphal entry into Jerusalem.  After a quick lunch, we headed back to the church for another wedding.  Our Praise & Worship Leader (Dan) and his fiance (Pam) had finalized plans several weeks ago.  It just happened to be Palm Sunday for their wedding.  It was a wonderful time as they exchanged vows and many family and friends were able to come.

This afternoon, I was dragging, with every ounce of energy depleted.  Yesterday, we left about 8:30 am to head over to the coast (Newbury Park, actually, near Thousand Oaks) for a Langdon family reunion.  The five siblings (Alden, Sondra, Sharon, Alice and Danny) were there, with some kids and grandkids to make a grand time.  We all met at Sharon's house for a wonderful time of food and fun.  There were 20 of us all together.

There was Alden - his kids (Timmy and Tammy) are living in Idaho and not able to make the trip.

There was Sondra - with me, Evan and Callie (his girlfriend), Crystal and Shawn and girls (Bailey and Brynnlee).  Jason and his family are back in Oklahoma, not able to come.

There was Sharon - with husband (Michel), son Brendan and daughter Sarah and her fiance Kenny.  Sharon's other kids (Dylan and Danielle) were out of town.

There was Alice - with husband Toby.  Alice's sons (Sean and Matt) were not able to make the trip with their families from Bakersfield.

There was Danny - with wife Marci and their kids (Ryan and Brynn).

We left around 6:30 pm and arrived home a little after 8 pm last night.  Long day, but good times.  I slept like a log.

Last Monday, nephew Steven (Noel's son who is a long-distance truck driver for Schneider) arrived in town for a short layover in Fontana.  I picked up Roger and then we took Steve to Richie's Diner for breakfast.  Steve then came over and rested a short while, getting to see Crystal and her kids.

Later in the afternoon, I picked up a man in the church to help him run errands.  I sent a Western Union money transfer to Pastor Ed McDowell in the Philippines, as he is in distress and was in the hospital with Dengue fever.  Our church was very generous as we raised $350 to help him and his wife.

That night, I also went over to Coronado Stone to spend some time with the guys in the Sober Living Program.  Then, I got a late call Monday night from Rosie, a lady in our church.  Her brother had just had a major stroke and was in the hospital up near 29 Palms, High Desert Hospital in Joshua Tree.  Early Tuesday morning, I picked Rosie up and took her to be at the bedside of her oldest brother, one she was always close to all their years of both childhood and adulthood.  He was sedated, but when we were there he opened his eyes, lifted his arms and make indication he knew she was there.  Sadly, on Friday, he passed away after suffering another stroke.  Rosie, with tears in her eyes today at church, came up to me and thanked me profusely for taking her to see him before he died.  Those are important times as we help others.

Pastor George came and spent the night Tuesday night with us.  He continues to diligently work at the task of starting a church in the Los Angeles area (Chatsworth).  He helps with leading our Celebrate Recovery program with the Sober Living Program on Tuesday evenings.  He leaves on Wednesday morning to head back to L.A.

Wednesday night, my Bible study focused on blind Bartimeus and how Jesus healed him.  Jesus said, "What do you want me to do for you?"  Bartimeus asked for his sight.  Jesus proclaimed his sight to return, and immediately Bartimeus was able to see.  I challenged our people with the question, a very serious question:  "What do you want Jesus to do for you?"

Friday morning was my early appointment (7:30 am) at the VA Hospital nearby.  It was my routine Coumadin checkup for blood thinning results.

I made some phone calls to check on my brother Noel, as he was having the Maze procedure done at the Oklahoma Heart Hospital in Oklahoma City.  This is an open heart surgery where they take the heart out and deaden some of the inside areas of the heart to help him have a more regular beat.  He has been having severe trouble with Atrial Fibrulation (A-Fib, for short) and resulting heavy pain in the chest daily for many, many months.  The doctor said the surgery went well, and the doctors will monitor him closely to see if it is a complete success by the end of the next three months.  We are all so thankful for God's good blessings and favor in this health issue.

Friday night, I was invited to a meeting by a good friend who has been making many mission trips to China to help teachers over there by leading teacher training.  I was asked to be a coordinator now and to sonsider the position of a Business Manager for a group that has been formed to bring American Christian educators together to reach a group of Chinese teachers with the gospel using the inroads of relationship through training and seminars.  This is a brand new venture, and the group needs wisdom from heaven to pursue this for God's glory.

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