Last week, our friend George Nelson came on Tuesday evening and spent the night. He helps with our Celebrate Recovery Program for the Coronado guys on Tuesday nights. He is a pastor, a church planter for the new Vision Plus Church he is starting in Chatsworth. We went to breakfast on Wednesday morning as he got ready to take the train (Metrolink rail) back to Chatsworth.
Sondra and I took a day for an excursion to the Tyler Mall in Riverside with the grand-daughters, Bailey and Brynnlee. They have a little train on the top level of the mall that takes children and adults around for a five-minute ride -- it costs $4 a person. They didn't charge for Brynnlee (as she is only a year old), plus they had a 3-for-$10 special. It was so much fun for the girls!
Last Saturday, one of the volunteer pastors in our church (Pastor Roy Flint, who helps coordinate the missions activities for our work in Mexico) invited me to a reception in Anaheim for his dad and mom. It was their 60th wedding anniversary! Roy's parents, as well as Roy and siblings, were born in the Netherlands just north of Amsterdam. When Roy was in 6th grade, the family immigrated to the U.S. through Ellis Island. It was an interesting afternoon for this party with so many who speak Dutch.
On Saturday night, Sondra and I headed over to Crystal's house about five minutes away in Fontana. We had set it up to have our gift exchange and Christmas meal on a weekend that Crystal did not work (as she is a nurse and works every other weekend). This was the best weekend for all concerned -- Crystal and Shawn and girls, as well as Eva and Callie. Sondra cooked a ham dinner with mashed potatoes and corn and rolls, Crystal cooking some green bean casserole, and Evan bringing ice cream for dessert.
It was a cute and fun time again of opening presents, just watching the excitement and glow of two little girls among us -- a three-year old and a one-year old. Their sense of wonderment is so refreshing!
In between everything else, I just finished reading the book titles Cross Roads, a novel by Paul Young. Young is the author of the best-selling book The Shack from a few years ago. Again, this is a masterful tale with depth of meaning in the ways of spiritual awareness for life. It has an almost mystical point of view and definitely has "out of the box" thinking for regular theology, but it is well worth the read!
Lastly, we had a blessed time of worship yesterday. We watched a short, three-minutes video that John Ross had put together about some of our church activities recently. In addition, it was a joy to hear some testimonies about how God is providing in amazing ways for our ministries. Someone last week came by the church and gave a $400 check to provide Christmas gifts for children and youth in our church. Another person donated 40 sleeping bags to our Homeless Ministry for those who are having to sleep in the river bed in the cold weather. Another person donated enough money to purchase close to 400 toys to take to Tijuana for the upcoming annual Christmas Mission Trip to Mexico. We are so blessed and thankful. God's provision is inexhaustible and wondrous!