This past week was filled with a lot of activity and all. Life is good, and we made it through another week.
But, in the midst of it all, I was saddened to hear that one of my best friends from college days passed away a few years ago. I had not heard about it then, just now getting in contact with his wife through Facebook. That friend, Bob Tucker, was a fun guy with a hearty laugh. His infectious smile and bubbling personality and confident attitude just made for great times. We kept up with him after California Baptist College days, when he got married and had kids. He and his family came over to our apartment at Seminary for Evan's second birthday. We visited them in their then-new house in Napa Valley. But, as sometimes happens, we lost touch for these past years.
But, just this week, I found out he passed away with heart failure because of complications with diabetes. It just made me think again of the fleeting time we have here on earth. I look at my schedule and purposefully make time to talk and be with friends and loved ones. We are not guaranteed tomorrow. Today is all we have. The older I get, the more I want to stop the "merry-go-round of life" so I can just spend huge amounts of time with family and friends. That's probably the reason I wish I could win the lottery, so I could take some time just to travel and see so many people who are and have been meaningful in my life. That would be a dream come true!
Anyway, God is still watching over us and giving joy daily. Sondra and I went over to Bob and Torie Anderson's for a BBQ last week. Bob's dad has severe Alzheimer's and goes to a day-care facility each day for 8 hours. I went with Bob to pick up his dad that evening at the facility in Redlands, which is very nice and has a wonderful caring staff. Torie put some steaks on the grill and we had a relaxing time with them all.
I did quite a bit of reading this past week again. My personal reading time (separate from Bible study and sermon preparation) is very sporadic in nature. It's like there are seasons of time where I dive into some books just to read for pleasure. I finished another Dick Francis book, Driving Force, and thoroughly enjoyed the storyline about English racing with a mystery plot thrown in. It written quite a few years ago, and it was fascinating reading. Then, I quickly read John Grisham's latest, Theodore Boone: The Accused. I don't know if John Grisham read The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew mystery books growing up, but the Theodore Boone books are about a kid whose parents are lawyers and his exploits at solving cases and figuring out mysterious situations. From the book covers, Grisham is writing these books for young people to read. I don't know what that says about me, but I sure enjoy them too!
Here's more news to bore you with. We watched the grandkids (Bailey and Brynnlee) on Tuesday while Crystal and Shawn did their on-line classes and associated homework. On Saturday evening, we met them at a park close to their house in Fontana and walked the girls around and let Bailey play on the swings and jungle-gym apparatus, as well as watch their little dog Boomer. Crystal and Shawn jogged and did their daily workout at the same time. It has been a little warm lately, so we tried to stay in the shade of some trees as much as possible.
I did the daily devotional time at Coronado Stone manufacturing plant on Thursday morning and had a meeting with the CFO Brian Coulter concerning the Sober Living Program there. That evening (Thursday), Sondra and I took a young man to dinner to talk about him giving his testimony at church in a couple of weeks. This guy, Doug, has a strong testimony about God's love and forgiveness and grace after his bout with addictions and subsequent troubles. He lost his job, his house, his family -- he lost it all. But, he sees the sovereignty of God to make all things new and is now rebuilding his life, one day at a time.
On Wednesday, we watched a video about A Heart for Passion, with Louie Giglio as the featured Bible study leader. It is a powerful DVD series, and we will continue showing it for the next couple of weeks. Friday morning, I ran over to the VA Loma Linda hospital for my monthly blood checkup (Coumadin blood thinner). All is fine.
Sondra took our 2007 Nissan Sentra over to the local dealership. There were some mechanical issues that seemed to be making some noises during acceleration and highway speeds. It took two days to complete the work done to fix one of the tie rods, replace both front struts, fix one motor mount, replace a CV boot as well as do the normal oil change. Fortunately, we had bought a high-mileage maintenance warranty when we purchased the car. All of the work was covered except the CV boot replacement (and the oil change, naturally). The car rides so much better, and we are grateful that our warranty covered so much of the work.
On Saturday, I went over to the Associational Office for a monthly meeting with church planters, as I have several from my church who are starting churches. After that, I drove over to the church as we were having a Yard Sale to complete the sale of items donated from two large storage units at a nearby storage facility (where the manager has ties to a lady in our church family). The sales went well and our total received was close to $1,000 for the day. These are funds we are raising to fix the roof and some other general maintenance on the church building.
Yesterday was Sunday, and I preached on the exits of life that took us off track on our spiritual journey of life. The three major exits that hinder our pursuit of right living for the Lord are (1) self-reliance, (2) self-indulgence and (3) self-pity. After church, Sondra had to rush to get last-minutes preparations finished for a Baby Shower at 2 pm. Over 20 ladies came for this special time of fun and sharing. (I wasn't there, naturally, but I heard about it!)
To cap off the day, we met with our landlord and wonderful friend (K.L. Freeman) and his wife Miles at the Elephant Bar restaurant in San Bernardino. We enjoy the time together so much. A wonderful way to end the day and the weekend!