Monday, May 21, 2012

Baptisms and Spunky Steer

It was a Sunday in which we baptized two young adults, Glenda and Curtis.  Both were so excited and showed some emotion after they were baptized.  It is so refreshing to see the passion and vibrancy in new believers as they find great peace and joy in their new relationship with Jesus Christ.

Some friends from the past (Lorn and Sharon Harrison, Jess and Melody Givens) had come for the worship service.  So, after church, we went to the Spunky Steer restaurant nearby and had a great time of fellowship as we ate lunch.  Alden was with us and enjoyed the time getting to know them better as well.

Later in the day, Sondra and I went out to Sundowners to meet Shawn and Crystal (and the grandkids) and Shawn's parents (Terry and Linda) from Tulsa.  They rode on a motorcycle and are here for a week, before traveling on to Utah and Idaho to visit more family.  Terry (Shawn's dad) just retired from American Airlines and is trying to figure out what he will do with his days now.  We really enjoy being around Shawn's parents, as they are a lot of fun and enjoy life.

Last week, I met with Brian Coulter, the CFO (Chief Financial Officer) of the Coronado Stone manufacturing plant in Fontana, to discuss the future plans for the Sober Living program and how we can continue to build it up for the years ahead.  It is exciting to see how we can help the lives of parolees after they are released from incarceration to help them rebuild their lives.

On Tuesday, I led the devotion (the time of "prayer call," as they announce it over the loudspeaker in the plant) and spoke of Jesus' first miracle in Cana of Galilee.  It was when he and his disciples were invited to a wedding feast where the wine supply ran out, and Jesus was asked to do something by his mother.  At Jesus' instruction, the water pots were filled and, by the command of Jesus, the water turned to wine in an instant.  The whole point of the miracle was not the wine but the fact that the disciples believed on him.

On Wednesday, I got a call that one of our young ladies (in her 20s) had been admitted to Desert Hospital in Palm Springs because of complications with her pregnancy.  She lives here in Riverside, but her other children were born there and the doctor knows her condition fully to help treat her.  I asked Pastor Roy (one of the lay pastors in our church) to lead the prayer meeting that night, so Sondra and I could drive to Palm Springs to visit this young lady.  She was so appreciative, and we stayed a couple of hours with her and prayed with her.

Early Thursday morning, I helped a friend (Pastor George Nelson) take his wife to our Inland Empire Southern Baptist Association office, as there was a group of ladies going to the annual Pastor's Wives Retreat at Jenness Park (north of Fresno) in the Sequoia Mountains.

That afternoon, I preached at the weekly Homeless Feeding ministry out at Fairmount Park in Riverside.  It is always a blessing to see those who have physical hunger also have a spiritual hunger.  One man came forward at the time of invitation to receive Jesus into his life.  I also passed out some small gifts to the women there who were mothers, as Mother's Day was just the previous Sunday.  They were so excited and happy.

On Friday, Sondra and I spent some time with Bob and Torie (our friends from college days and since) and brought dinner.  Mexican food sounded good, so we found a little "hole in the wall" restaurant close to their house in Highland and had it "take out" to be easier and more handy for eating.  We had a relaxed time with Bob, Torie and Bob's dad who has severe Alzheimer's disease.  It is heartbreaking, but that is the world we face in these days.  Bob and Torie are so patient and caring, although it is very taxing and tiring.

On Saturday, I went to the monthly Men's Breakfast at the La Sierra Baptist Church in Riverside.  Pastor Mike Yeaman's, who was Associate Pastor with me at The Vision Plus Church for seven years, is the senior pastor there.  We always have a wonderful time of fellowship and eating together, with close to 20 men attending each time.

Our church had a huge Yard Sale that day also.  We had a lady donate the contents of two large storage units to the church.  The contents included mostly items that are sold in a party and crafts store.  Almost everything was packed in the clear storage buckets, so it was easy to set out and display.  We collected over $800 in that sale alone!  We are tyring to raise some funds to fix the roof and paint the church building.

And, last, it was rewarding to know that the local newspaper in Shawnee, Oklahoma, wanted to run a feature article about mom!  My mother, Alice Greenwalt, was interviewed downtown by the Shawnee News-Star last week and they ran the article in yesterday's (Sunday's) edition.  The link is:     and that takes you to the internet site of the paper.

I plan to rest and relax today.

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