Thursday, December 15, 2011

Making Preparations to Depart Lake Havasu

Our departure date from Lake Havasu is now set for January 9th.  It will be a bitter-sweet departure.  We have met some wonderful people and have made some life-long friendships.  We arrived on April 15, 2011 at Bethany Bible Church to do a job.  That job being to bring this church back to life.  The church was in danger of closing its doors.  Attendance was about 12 people, giving was dismal, and there was virtually no enthusiasm to be found.


Well, to make a long story short these past eight months have been a lot of work, a lot of training and teaching the people to take ownership of their church, to experience the joy of serving, and the joy of being a child of God.  There was much to be corrected in the church's constitution, and operating policies, as well as correcting the church's vision.  So after these 8 plus months the church has turned around.  Attendance has more than doubled, people are giving and are giving enough to support a pastor.  We have had two church decorating parties to decorate inside and out for the celebration of Christmas.  The people brought many decorations and they asked me how I want it done.  I told them this is your church so decorate it the way you want---and they did--and they loved it!  The ladies had a Christmas cookie exchange with testimonies, singing, games, and a devotional.  People are excited about their church.  I overheard one member say the other night, "Church is fun again!"
The adult Sunday School Class.  An increase from 5 people.

The new pastor and his wife, Dennis and Lynda McBride, should arrive on January 5th and he will preach his first sermon as Pastor on the 8th.  Dennis will have a firm foundation of F.A.T. people (Faithful, Available, Teachable) upon which to build up this church and provide a good outreach into the community.  We are very excited for this church and we have every reason to expect it to really flourish.

Today Stan Broder and myself began making three 7 foot tall oak bookcases for the pastor's office. We have also begun to work on the antiquated sound system and have installed a computer to record the pastor's sermons.  Another member has drawn out some plans for a new sound booth which we may begin to work on next week.

But on January 9th we must leave.  It will be "bitter" because we will greatly miss our new friends and fellow servants of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ.  It will be "sweet: because we came to do a job which has been quite trying at times, but with the Lord's help we have accomplished our goal.  So for that we rejoice.

But all-in-all it has been a wonderful experience for us.  We knew that there was much to be fixed and we also knew that not everyone was going to like the changes.  But, since we were the "fix-it" guys and we were only here temporarily that we could be the "fall guys."  We were willing to be the "bad guys" if necessary--and we were.  A few people did leave the church, but some came back and some new ones stayed.  But God has blessed and we now have a healthy church once again.

Please remember to pray for this church and for the new pastor and his wife.  We too would appreciate your prayers as we leave Lake Havasu.  We hope to take a few weeks visiting with my mom, sister and family in Southern California.  Then to Neeley and Stephen in Rancho Cordova, California for a week or two before returning to Klamath Falls.  In Klamath we will be going through our storage unit sorting and getting things that we need.  That alone should take a couple of days.  The storage unit is a mess.  We also want to see friends before moving on to Grants Pass, Oregon to spend some time with Annie, Mel and the two boys.  Then we will head up to Port Angeles, Washington with Jason, Shelli, and the kids. We also have to meet with Bob Rodgers, the mission director near Tacoma, WA.  So, hopefully by the end of February we will be reassigned by NICE to another church that needs some assistance.

Also please pray as we are in need of some financial support.  Deputation letters went out to almost everyone we know.  We were missing a few addresses in our address book, so if you were missed, please don't take it personal.  If you are interested is partnering with us please let us know and we will get you in contact with the mission.  Or contact them directly at:

Northwest Independent Church Extension
Address:
     909 Main St. Suite 5
     Sumner, Washington 98390

Phone: 253-826-7881   Fax: 253-863-0495
Email: office@nicechurchplanters.org


Our first "decoration party"  The first in the church's history.

Here are just a few of the people.  More pictures to follow.



Decoration in front of the pulpit.


Life in the Havasu RV Resort
   Being able to stay in the Havasu RV Resort has truly been a blessing.  We are about 200' from the office, the mail boxes, and the Reverse Osmosis water machine.  We are about 200 yards from the fitness center where we try to work out 3 or 4 times a week.  The park is quite full now with snow birds from all over the country and Canada.  I am really surprised at all the Oregonians.  Directly across from us is a couple from the Klamath Falls area.

Last week there was a Christmas parade.  Everyone decked out their ATV's and paraded through the whole park.  It wasn't anything like the Klamath Falls Snow Flake Parade, but it was sure fun.





Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Our Work is Almost Finished!

Dennis and Lynda McBride
This last weekend Pastoral Candidate, Dennis McBride and his lovely wife, Lynda, were here to officially candidate.  They had been here twice before and were well received.  Dennis and Lynda are well qualified and have extensive pastoral ministry experience.  He is a graduate of The Master's Seminary and was on staff at Grace Community Church for many years.

We had our annual Thanksgiving Dinner on Saturday evening followed by a question and answer time for the McBrides.  Then on Sunday Dennis taught the adult Sunday School class and then preached in both the morning and evening services.  After the evening service the congregation voted to extend to him the "call" to become the new pastor of Bethany Bible Church.  Dennis and Lynda have accepted and are already making preparations for their move to Lake Havasu.  They are hoping to be here in January but it might take a little longer due to the holidays.  So once they come and Dennis is installed as pastor, we will make our way back to the Pacific Northwest to be reassigned by the mission.


Right now we are with Stephan and Neeley (our son-in-law and daughter) in the Sacramento area for thanksgiving week and will return to Lake Havasu on Saturday.  Once we return we have to move out of the RV Park as our space had been previously rented to incoming snowbirds.  We will be parking at Stan and Stephanie Broder's house on their RV pad.  We will remain here until we depart once the McBrides arrive.


We have learned so much here at BBC. Over the past years few years we have been to many struggling churches and have noticed some patterns which have led to their current state. I also discovered that BBC had fallen into some of these same patterns. I have been documenting what I have observed and have begun to write about them. This might even turn out to be a book some day. I have already prepared a document concerning those patterns and have highlighted my observations in a leadership class which I am teaching to the men of BBC now.


We are very excited for Bethany Bible Church as is the congregation.  It is apparent and so very encouraging to see the Lord at work in this once nearly dead church.  All but three members are now involved in a weekly Bible study.  Attendance is up and new people have come and stayed. Giving is up and has met budget for a new pastor for the past two months.  The people are really getting involved and taking ownership of their church.  Please continue to pray for BBC as well as our move.  Also pray for our new assignment wherever that may be.

Friday, November 11, 2011

How blessed it is to see the Lord working in the hearts of the people!

This last Sunday evening (November 6th) we had another business meeting to consider four constitutional changes.  At the previous meeting six weeks earlier, we presented 12 changes and none of them passed.  We figured that some of the members were overwhelmed.  So, we presented four crucial changes and the deacons met with every member individually and thoroughly explained each one.  Last Sunday when the vote was taken, all four unanimously passed.  It was thrilling to see the unity in this once very fractured group of people.

Since these four changes were passed we can now go forward with the pastoral search process.  The church has asked Dennis McBride to come as an official candidate.  He and his wife, Lynda, will be here on the weekend of November 19th and 20th.  They have been here twice before and they are very well liked.  There will be a vote on the evening of the 20th to call him as their new pastor.  I expect that he will be extended a call and he has already said that he  could be here the first week of January.  So we should be heading back to the Northwest in January.  Please keep this church in prayer!

Friday, October 7, 2011

We are now NICE guys!

This week has been a very exhausting week due to traveling.  Sunday night/Monday morning we got up at 2 a.m. and were in the car at 3 heading to the Las Vegas Airport for a 7:15 a.m departure.  We arrived in Portland, Oregon and picked up the rental car and drove to the Lewis and Clark Bible Church in Astoria which was also the location for the Regional Conference.  We made it in time for our 1:30 p.m. interview with the Board of Directors for NICE (Northwest Independent Church Extension of the IFCA).  This interview is the final step in our application process to become missionaries for NICE.  On Tuesday evening it was announced that we have been accepted.  So now we are officially NICE guys.  Yes, we are real missionaries.

Once we are finished here in Lake Havasu, we will return to the Pacific Northwest.  Hopefully, by that time we will have raised enough support to be assigned to a church.  We are seeking prayer support as well as some financial support.  If you desire to partner with us in prayer please let us know and we will put you on our prayer letter list.  If you should feel led to support us financially please notify the home office at:
Northwest Independent Church Extension
Address:
     4113 Bridgeport Way W
     P.O. Box 64750
     University Place, Washington 98464

Phone: 253-564-6423
Fax: 253-565-6194
Email: office@nicechurchplanters.org


Our job will be to assist IFCA churches.  We may go as trouble shooters, interim pastor, pulpit supply, or whatever a church might need.  Some churches are in danger of closing their doors because numbers have dwindled and they cannot pay a pastor.  We could then go as their interim pastor and not be a financial burden on the church.  This is exactly what we are doing here in Lake Havasu.  We are quite excited about our future as this has been a dream of ours for quite some time.

Our boss is Bob Rodgers, Executive Director of NICE.  He's a NICE guy too.

Meet the new boss ----Bob Rodgers

The Regional conference was a great time of fellowship with friends we have not seen in some time and we made some new friends.  The speaker was Dr. Steve Wilt, from FIM (Fellowship International Mission) and he spoke of "Beautiful Feet" from Isaiah 52:7 and Romans 10:15 which read, "HOW BEAUTIFUL ARE THE FEET OF THOSE WHO BRING GOOD NEWS OF GOOD THINGS!"

While in Astoria we had an afternoon to explore the city.  We hooked up with our friends Allen and Merry Grogan,  Merry is the daughter of Dean and Barb Towne from our church in Klamath Falls.  They were great tour guides and took us to "The Column" which is a tall narrow tower with a spiral staircase which had 164 steps.  Once on the top we had a perfect view of the Columbia River and the most dangerous inlet in the country.  We also went to the Maritime Museum and got to tour the Columbia Lightship.

 The Column

 164 Stairs...yikes!


On the top of the Column with our friends Merry and Allen.  Notice how windy it was up there.

 Dayle is holding on for dear life!


The Columbia Lightship

Please continue to pray for Bethany Bible Church in Lake Havasu City.  There is still much that must be done and I am working very closely with the leadership.  I will begin a leadership training class next week to train the men of the church on what is required in a church leader.  We will be using the book "Real Men Lead."  Dayle is beginning a women's Bible Study on the 11th and will also be training one of the gals in the church to take it over.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

More News...Finally!

In August I dropped Dayle off at my sister Andrea's home in Pinion Hills, California to help get her home and my mom Edythe's home ready for her relocation to my sisters.  My mom's house sold the first few days it was on the market and she had to be out on August 30th.  After almost 3 weeks everything was packed, cleaned, and moved.  My sister and family are new believers and attend church every Sunday which causes my mom real anger and bitterness.  Pray that Edythe will saved by God's grace.

I went to pick up Dayle on August 29th and came home on the 31st. We celebrated our 40th Anniversary with our church family on the 4th and then Dayle was off to Mexico City for two weeks on the 6th for her sister Ellen's 30th year anniversary as a missionary in Mexico.  Here are some pictures of her time there:

 Dayle taught at Ellen's Wednesday Bible study for two weeks.


 Hector came from Canada for Ellen's 30th anniversary.  Having dinner in Ellen's kitchen.


 Henry Tolopilo came from Grace Community church to speak at the celebration.


We went to visit the underground Aztec city in Mexico City.  Above is the base of the pyramid.

 Dayle also taught at Ellen's Thursday bible study for two weeks.


 This is one of Ellen's neighbors who is not saved but came to the celebration and heard the Gospel.


Nina also came from California.  She has been a long time friend.  This picture was taken on the Mexican Independence Day at Wal-Mart.

The past month has been a very exciting time.  For the past three months the deacons and I have been working on some very important changes in the doctrinal statement and constitution.  There are some serious errors which would prevent practically anyone from becoming a member, as well as making it nearly impossible to call a pastor.  Among other things that are just biblically incorrect, was a statement that unless a person desiring membership or a pastoral candidate agrees with the constitution wholeheartedly and without any mental reservation he cannot be considered as a pastoral candidate.  According to the constitution as it reads now even I must leave the church.

I have been teaching on these changes for the past couple of months and we sent out the proposals on the first of September with full explanations.  The "big" meeting was on the 18th.  According to the constitution there must be a 75% presence of all members as well as a 75% approval of all members in order to make a constitutional change.  We did have the 75% at the meeting but there were also some members who have not attended in nearly three months.  Well, not a single proposal was passed.  This is a good illustration why godly scriptural elders should be leading the congregation.  In this scenario, we had to depend on the immature, the unfaithful ones, to vote the right way.  Well, they didn't.

Since nothing passed I thought we were then being told to leave because I was not qualified, according to the church constitution, to be the interim pastor.  That Sunday evening, four couples said that they must resign their membership and seek another church for the same reasons.  This would have killed the church since there is only 20 members and these four couples are the faithful attenders and givers.

Then, two days later they all decided not to leave but that they are going to stay and insure that the biblical changes take place.  We were also asked to stay.  So, another plan is in the works right now.  This time the deacons are meeting with each person who voted against the changes and are explaining to them why they must be made.  Another vote is scheduled for next month.  Once these changes are made, then we can call a permanent pastor.

This church was still teetering on the verge of collapse but after an informal meeting last Thursday, the faithful ones (12 people)  are quite optimistic for the future.  The deacons are growing and looking to the bible to discern what to do about the issues concerning the church but with grace, love and compassion for those who are weak in the faith.  Please keep Bethany Bible Church in your prayers.

This Monday, October 3rd, we are flying into Portland, renting a car, then driving to Astoria, Oregon for our regional conference.  On Monday at 1:30 p.m. we will be having our final interview with the board of directors of NICE (Northwest Independent Church Extension of the IFCA).  This is the final step in the process to become NICE missionaries.  If approved we will be "special missionaries" who will be sent to struggling churches who need assistance.  We could be sent as pulpit supply, interim pastor, or just to fill in while a regular pastor takes a vacation or even a sabbatical, or like here at Bethany, to go in and help fix a broken and dying church.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Happy Anniversary to Us!

Monday, September 5th, is our 40th wedding anniversary.  The time sure has gone by fast.  We can hardly believe that it has be 40 years already...at least until we realize that our youngest child is 31 and our oldest is 37...and a look in the mirror kind of helps.  Forty years of marital bliss.  I like what Peter said in 1 Peter 3:7, You husbands in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with someone weaker, since she is a woman; and show her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered.  Living with and loving my beautiful Dayle has been the greatest blessing that I ever could have imagined.  It certainly has been the grace of life!

Originally we wanted to take an Alaskan cruise, but due to the situation here at Bethany Bible Church we are unable to get away.  So, we decided to postpone the trip until next year.  Well, the good folks at the church threw us a little party this evening.  It was very sweet of them as were all the desserts. They sure make us feel loved.  Several have said that they would like for us to remain as pastor, but we have assured them that God does have the right man for them and we all have to be patient and faithful.  God does and will provide!!!


Friday, September 2, 2011

We are still here.

So much has happened since my last post.  Dayle spent two weeks in California helping my sister pack up my mom's house, clean it, conduct two yard sales, and the hand it over to the new owner.  Then we moved her in with my sister and her family.

I stayed in Lake Havasu as I have been very busy with preparing a series on Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage; Helping prepare some constitutional changes that have to be made before we can consider bringing in a candidate.  We still have a man in mind and if the changes are made he and his wife will come to actually candidate.  If called, most likely the soonest he could be in place would be the first of December.  So we will be here at least until then.

Meanwhile, we continue to enjoy the high temperatures of the desert.  Today was a mild 108 degrees.  For the past few weeks temperatures have been over 110 and as high as 121.  At least at night it cools off to the 90's.  But the good thing is that I have gotten used to sleeping with the air conditioners and fans running.  We also get to enjoy some strange looking clouds and weather patterns.  Below is a picture of a down pour that seemingly instantly appeared.  No, it is not a fire nor is it a nuclear explosion.

Dayle is leaving on Tuesday (9/6), the day after our 40th anniversary, for Mexico City to be with her sister.  Ellen has been a missionary in Mexico for 30 years and the church is honoring her for her work.

Our application process to be missionaries under N.I.C.E. (Northwest Independent Church Extension of the IFCA) is still progressing.  We are hopeful that all will be completed in order to have our final interview with the NICE board at the Regional Conference in Astoria, Oregon during the first week of October.

Prayer requests:
1.  For my sister and her family as they have some difficult and stressful times ahead.
2.  My mom's salvation.
3.  The upcoming constitutional revision meeting on September 18th
4.  The pastoral search process at Bethany Bible Church
5.  Dayle as she travels to Mexico

Monday, August 1, 2011

Back in California

This week we are in California. My mom, who lives in L.A. is selling her house and there are some repairs that need to be done. So I have my tools and will get to work Tuesday morning. We stopped at my sister's house in Pinon Hills, which will be "home base" while we are here, and Dayle flashed back to her childhood days and played with our 10 year old niece. See video.

video
We have a wedding to attend on Saturday then back to Lake Havasu to preach on Sunday morning. Things are progressing well at the church. We are in the process of making a useable class room and a nursery. It should be completed this week.

Please keep Bethany Bible Church in your prayers as the Lord rebuilds the church.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

I have my hands full now!

Last Sunday evening I was unanimously voted in as the interim pastor.  So now it is official.  The retiring pastor was appointed as the school administrator.  He is also beginning an IFCA church plant in Kingman (50 miles away).

My mission as the interim pastor is threefold: 1) I need to unite the church body.  They body is split over the operation of the school. 2) Place the focus of the church upon the New Testament design for the church.  Previously the school had priority over everything. 3) Train up leadership. The church currently has two very faithful men as their deacons, but the church needs additional leadership. A leadership training class begins next week.

One of the members must have felt sorry for us having to drive our big truck around town.  Our truck gets about 15 miles a gallon around town.  So he loaned us one of his cars.  Its a small Geo Prism which gets about 30 miles per gallon.  What a blessing!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Pigs or Dogs?

video
We went for a hike in 100 degree heat.  The doggies got a little hot and found a mud hole to cool off in.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

London Bridge is Falling down....

Wow, so much has happened since our last post. The church seems to have come alive. I called for a clean-up day, and the people turned out ready to work. They scrubbed walls and floors, cleaned windows, vacuumed the carpets and shampooed carpets, filled up the dumpster, rearranged and organized the rooms. The place actually looks good. The ladies emptied out the kitchen while Stan and I took several days and refinished all the cabinetry.


The following weekend Stan and Stephanie took us and several other church members out for a boat ride up the Colorado River.  What a beautiful ride it was.  The water was very clear and the scenery was beautiful.  Even the dogs liked the ride.  The only thing that made me a bit nervous was all the boats on the river.  It truly looked like a freeway traffic jam.

I have never seen so many boats underway in such a small area. 

Some of the boats were speeding past us pulling water toys and people on water skis.
Returning to the marina we went under the London Bridge. It is pretty impressive when you see how big this bridge is and that it was disassembled in London and shipped here piece by piece.  It's not falling down any longer.


Stan and Stephanie also took us on a car trip to Parker to see the Parker Dam.
Parker Dam

So there you have most of the fun stuff that we have been doing.  But most of my time has been spent at the church studying for messages.  In the morning service I am going through Philippians and James in the evening services.  I am going through the books at an accelerated pace.  On Wednesday evening I am teaching on church leadership and the biblical mandates for a church.  Next Sunday, July 17th is the next business meeting.  Here is were the pastor is to offically resign and I am to be officially appointed as the interim pastor.

Well, we have been here in Lake Havasu City for almost three months now.  We have learned much on how to live in the desert:
1.  Always be alert for rattlesnakes, scorpions, and coyotes.
2.  Never go away from your RV without first putting up your awning as the afternoon winds can come up without warning.
3.  You must not drink the water.  The water is so hard and so mineral rich that health problems almost immediately emerge specially numerous and frequent trips to the bathroom. 
4.  You must have lots of sun screen on at all times.
5.  Your air conditioning units run 24 hours a day. Last night we had a low of 90 degrees.
6.  You do not have to turn on your hot water heater.  All the city water is hot enough for a shower all the time.  (Wow, what savings it must be to not have run a water heater.  Don't worry, the 24/7 air conditioning more than makes up for it.)
7.  All windows, even the ones that never get direct sunlight, must be covered with a thermal insulation to keep out the heat.  Our trailer is as dark as a cave.
8.  You must always use a windshield sun screen and a dashboard cover to prevent cracking.
9.  Always carry gloves.  Any metal such as door handles, shopping carts are so hot that you will be burned if you touch them.
10.  Pay close attention to the weather reports as this is now monsoon season.  (No joke!  We were outside the other day and saw some clouds and lightning in the distance.  We thought that maybe we would not have to take down the awning if it just going to be a light rain.  Not even 60 seconds later it was like we were in a hurricane.  We barely got the awning down.  If we were not right there when this monsoon came up, the entire awning would have been torn off the side of the trailer.)
11.  Finally, do not go outside when the monsoon is in progress.  The wind was so strong and the rain drops were so big that I felt like I was being hit with small pebbles.

Well, now I a going to go outside and take the dogs for a walk before it gets too hot.  It's only 105 degrees right now at 10:30 in he morning.  At 8:30 a.m. it was already 100.

Prayer Requests:
1. For the right pastor to be found
2. Spiritual growth for the people and us
3. For the upcoming men's bible institute and leadership training
4. The business meeting on July 17th

For more pictures of Parker Dam and the Colorado River go to my facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/pastorshelley

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day!

Happy Father's Day!  What's the bird all about you may ask?  It is a burrowing owl.  A family of these owls have taken up residency where we walk our dogs.  These owls take over burrows of other animals, lay their eggs and raise their young.  This is father owl sitting just above his burrow and is watching out for his young.  He is always alert and when a possible threat comes near he literally swoops into action to ward off the threat.  This owl is a prime example of what it means in First Corinthians 16:13, Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. A man is to alert, be watchful and to be strong in the faith as he protects his family.  So when danger comes he can swoop into action.
         This was my Father's Day message today.  I asked the men to see how they measure up to the Biblical mandate of being a man.  At the end I gave each man a gift--a tape measure.  So that every time they see it, they will be reminded to measure themselves according to the Scripture.


 



 Two of the men in the church sang a song that one of them wrote.  The song was about being a real man of God.

 Below were the two children that Dayle had in Children's church today.  Next week one of the moms is scheduled to teach the lesson. 

 
Yesterday, Saturday, we called for a work day which started at 8:00 a.m.  Any kind of work starts quite early in Lake Havasu due to the heat.  At 8:00 a.m. it was already 85 degrees.  We had a very good turn out and we all attacked the sanctuary.   Every thing that was not related to the worship experience was removed.  We moved out all the remnants of the Christian School including, file cabinets, a desk, tables, more file cabinets, and just plain junk.  Some went to the dumpster, but most everything went downstairs to where the school does operate and it will all be sorted out this week.  The people cleaned floors, vacuumed carpets and chairs, cleaned light fixtures, and even washed the walls.  The place actually looks like a place of worship again.  The good thing was that the people took "ownership" of their church building which appeared to be lacking.  Even though everyone was tired after 5-6 hours of hard work, they seemed excited and wanted us to schedule another work day.

On a personal note...we are really enjoying the full-time RV life style.  W are still working out the bugs in our 5th wheel, but we love it.  Our unit is very well insulated and holds up to the intense heat quite well.  We had a couple of days at 111 degrees.  Dayle just loves the heat and does not miss having to wear winter clothes everywhere we go. Health wise we couldn't be better.  I found a new chiropractor and he is truly amazing.  After three visits my pain is almost totally gone.  I have had  pain in my right foot and just above the ankle for about two years that I thought was due to a high arch and had always used arch supports.  Dr. Talley said that he believes that the pain in my foot and leg was all related to my low back injury.  He did a few adjustments to my low back and foot and now I have had 48 hours of pain free walking.  So now it is not pain that keeps me awake at night...just the heat.  Last night the temperature went down to about 80.  Oh this suffering is unbearable, isn't it???














Monday, May 30, 2011

Acting Interim Pastor

Yesterday, Sunday morning, Pastor Jerry made the announcement that he is resigning to be effective in a business meeting when he returns from his vacation the first week of July.  He said that he will recommend to the membership that they appoint me as the interim pastor.  So in the meantime I am the "acting" interim pastor. 

I have already begun to make some minor changes.  The first is the way the morning service will be conducted.  I have spoken with the music director and gave him some instruction on music selection and song leading.  I am planning on a crash course on biblical leadership/basic theology.  This was a two year course which I am going to try to do in three months with the two deacons and a couple of other men in the church.

I have quite a busy couple of weeks ahead.  Lots of planning and lesson preparation and sermon preparation.  Not much time to play in beautiful Lake Havasu.  We are travelling to see my mom and sister on Thursday and will return on Saturday.  It's only a 3 1/2 hour drive.  But I will be bringing my work with me.

Until next time....please keep this little struggling church in prayer.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Interim Pastor

Hi everyone!

The past couple of weeks have been quite interesting.  The church, Bethany Bible Church, has been in a state of flux.  There was a business meeting last Sunday evening.  On the surface we thought the meeting went quite well.  But as a newcomer we didn't quite understand the whole picture.  As a result of the meeting three couples told us that they we going to leave the church.  This would probably have caused the demise of the church.  I have spoken with these couples and asked them not to leave as it would be detrimental to the church.  I tried to encourage them to hang on and continue to pray. 

We have been praying for unity, clarity of thought, and for those in leadership to make the right decisions.  This past Monday the pastor asked me some direct questions about his ministry and then asked if I would step in as interim pastor if he was to resign/retire.  Pastor Jerry has yet to make his final decision on the matter. 

Jerry is a good man and has faithfully ministered at BBC for 20 years.  He is loved by the people and it will be very difficult for him to finally step down.  Please continue to pray for him and his wife as they enter this time of transition.  Also pray for the pastoral search committee as they switch into high gear.

On a more positive note, I have been teaching Wednesday evenings on the subject of biblical leadership.  It is a small group of prayer warriors who want learn and grow.  I am also continuing to teach on Sunday evenings from the book of James....I know, I am asking for trials again, I guess I am a glutton for punishment!!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

What a great week!

Dayle received a mother's day package from Jason and Shelli (the first ever, we think) and one of the gifts was a beautiful high quality yard decoration for our trailer----a pink flamingo.  We thought it was so beautiful we immediately put it out by our patio (see picture).  The we found out that those cheap plastic things are not allowed because it makes things look like "trailer trash." So much to our disappointment we removed it.

We went on another hike with our friends, Stan and Stephanie Broder, the "bat cave" on Wednesday.  We began our hike at 7 a.m. in order to beat the heat.  It was already about 75 degrees when we started.


Dayle and I did a lot of manual labor at the church facility.  Pastor Jerry Adams says that we are organizing their world.  We cleaned out the paint closet and one of the outdoor sheds.  We filled up the church dumpster twice.  Then we moved the "stuff" that was being stored in the sanctuary and stored it in the shed.  It was a lot of work in high temperatures but we are just thrilled to be able to help.

On Friday was the annual Bethany Christian School Parent-Staff/Student Alumni softball game and I was able to participate.  Initially I was going to be the coach of the parent-staff team, but I got to play.  I played short stop.  It was a blast...just like the old days.




But the highlight of the week was Sunday evening.  I had the honor of preaching and began an abbreviated study of he Book of James.  It sure felt good to be back in the pulpit, well a music stand.

Dayle has been getting to know the ladies and was able to counsel with a mom at the baseball game.  She has been reading Spurgeon's biography and shares with me exerts from each chapter, very convicting.

Tomorrow, Monday May 9th, we are leaving early and I am dropping off Dayle at our daughter's house in Sacramento and I will continue on to Klamath Falls.  I am going to get a bunch of stuff from our storage that we didn't think we would need and put back a bunch of stuff that we don't need.  I also have an appointment at the VA clinic for my annual physical, and a bunch of errands to do while I am in town.  I should be able to get it all done in one day.  So, Lord willing, we will be back in Lake Havasu by Thursday at the latest.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Resurrection Day

We attended the 7 a.m. sunrise service at Bethany Bible Church. Then had breakfast then began the Easter morning service. Both Pastor Jerry and I preached messages. It was a good day!






Today, Monday, we went for a hike to the river, the Colorado River, with our friends Stan and Stephanie Broder.  We went through what is called "The Crack" which is a crack in the rocks and eventually opens up near the river.  What an interesting display of God's power and artistry.  The whole area, albeit desert, is beautiful.  Here are a few pictures of our hike.


Tomorrow I start work at the church!