Sunday, April 27, 2014

Take Me Out to the Ball Game

The first two weeks of being here in Port Rain-a-lot (Port Angeles) has been a wonderful time with Jason, Shelli, Asher, Autumn, Aiden and the two foster children.  I even got a few bike rides in.  Aiden loves to play with our dogs.  He especially likes to play with Puggles. He can do just about anything with her and she just sits there.  Here is one of the things he did to her.
Aiden put Puggles in the baby swing...and she just sat there appearing to enjoy the ride.
Our last update kept you hanging on a couple of things.  First, the buyers decided not to buy the house as it was just too much for them.  We even decided to accept their last offer but they still chose  not to proceed.  So, our realtor will continue working hard and she scheduled another open house for May 4th.

Annie's surgery to put her leg back together went well.  Below is the x-ray of the finished product.  Both bones in her leg above the ankle were broken.  There are two plates and 12 screws. 

It has been a week since the surgery and she is still in pain.  But it is lessening every day.  Because she really can't do anything, she called begging for her mommy to come care for her.  So, sadly, I put my Dayle on a plane last Monday headed for Grants Pass--another two weeks apart (grrrrrrr).  She is now chauffeur for the boys and their sports practices, cook, maid, and nurse.  I will pick her up next week on the 6th or 7th on my way back to Klamath Falls to have our garage sale.  Then off to Fir Point Bible Camp for our Summer ministry.

This weekend has been filled with Seattle Mariners Baseball.  On Saturday our son, Boatswains Mate First Class Jason Gale, was the Coast Guard's representative to throw out a ceremonial first pitch.    I took two short videos of him with my cell phone (I forgot my good camera). 

I must say, that I am one proud father!  Not only does Jason serve in the Coast Guard with honor and has earned the respect of his superiors and others, and he is a wonderful husband and father, but, and most importantly, he loves the Lord, Jesus Christ.  Jason was in the running for the Coast Guard Petty Officer of the Year, but unfortunately he was not selected for the award.  Of Course we all think that he should have got it. 

It is a three hour trip each way to get to Safeco Field.  We got home a little after midnight from the Saturday baseball game and then on Sunday Asher and I returned for the Sunday game.  This was my time of taking him to a ball game for his 16th birthday.  The Sunday game has been planned for weeks.  We really didn't expect to go to two games but Asher loved it.  Asher is a Major League Baseball walking encyclopedia.  I am amazed at how much trivia he knows.  He knows all the rules, all the teams, all the players and all their statistics.  I can see a future for him as a baseball statistician. 

This will be my last week here in Port Angeles.  I will be doing my final preparation for the Men's Retreat coming up this weekend.  I will be speaking 5 times in 3 days.  The theme is "Man Up" and I will be speaking on being a real man according to the Scriptures.

Since Dayle had to leave two weeks early, we hope to return in September before beginning the ministry in Brookings, Oregon.  She said that she did not have enough time with the kids and she feels like she got cheated. 

Prayer Requests (not in order of precedence):
1.  Annie's recovery from broken leg and surgery
2.  The Olympic Peninsula Men's Fellowship Retreat, May 2-4
3.  Summer ministry at Fir Point Bible Camp
4.  The Brookings ministry opportunity
5.  For our house to sell.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Safe in Port Angeles, Washington

We left Klamath Falls on March 31st.  Dayle had a dentist appointment early on the 31st with our friend Dr. Tim Moore.  Tim's staff is always so friendly, happy and very knowledgeable.  If you live in Klamath Falls, I highly recommend him to you.

After her appoint we returned to the house and hooked up the trailer and headed west about 11:30 a.m.  While going up the first steep mountain grade just outside of Klamath my "check engine" light came on.  I just had a new $600 exhaust system put in and they told me that it might happen.  So we turned around and returned to the shop so they can do their magic to correct the problem. God was definitely teaching me patience and trust once again, you would think I would get it by now...... We had to return to the house, disconnect the trailer, pray, and then go to Bradley's Diesel.  The shop owner, Joe, said that it is an easy fix.  All we need to do is have the computer "re-flashed."  That means to  re-program it with all the latest updates.  No problem right?  But then he said that I have to take the truck to the dealership because they are the only one in town that can "re-flash" the engine computer.  I drove to the dealer just 1/2 mile away and they said no problem and they'll can get right on it.  Yay!  We can still stop at Annie's house and make it to the NICE Regional in Albany by the 7 p.m. start time.  An hour later I checked with the service desk and they said that they have not been able to begin because their GM computer was down.  After another hour the service advisor said that the problem was on the GM side and he did not think that they will be able to get it done today.  Now normally when a check engine light comes on it is a warning that something needs to be checked.  It doesn't always indicate a fatal engine condition.  But on my particular truck if you do not attend to the check engine light right away, the truck can go into "limp mode."  Limp mode is when the on board computer partially disables the engine and making it so you cannot go over 30 mile per hour.  Since we had a 700 mile trip ahead of us I got a little worried. The service advisor said that all I need to do is clear the code every time it comes on.  So, I plugged in my code reader into the On Board Computer port and returned to the house, hooked up the trailer and headed for Annie's house in Grants Pass about 3:30 p.m.  So while driving every single time we went up a hill and the automatic transmission down shifted the code would appear and I would clear the code with just the push of a button.  A little annoying, but it worked.  We were able to make it all the way to Port Angeles without any engine troubles. But the trip was not without problems.

We arrived at the conference just as the evening session ended at 8:30 p.m.  The retreat was wonderful.  It was so good reuniting with so many friends that we haven't seen in a long time.  There was a lot of hugging going on.  We really didn't realize just how much we missed them all!  The speaker was Knute Larson from Ohio.  Knute is a long time pastor and is now a "Pastoral Coach."   His messages were excellent practical messages on the challenges of shepherding the flock of God. 

We were able to spend some time with our friends, Ken and Joy Whitted from First Baptist Community Church in Brookings, Oregon where Ken is the pastor.  Ken told us that one of his church members purchased a nearby conference center and donated it to the church with the plans of turning it into a Christian conference center and camp and that they are looking for someone to come in for at least a year to get it up and running.  Dayle and I looked at each other and said, "When can we start?"  This is right up our alley.  We and all of you, have been praying for an opportunity to be used of God more widely and here it is! We have been involved with camp work off and on for many years and especially for the last few years at Fir Point Bible Conference Center and Camp.  Ken also wants to start a local Bible Institute.  Again, here is something that I have already prepared an entire curriculum for.   Of course we have to go and visit the church and facility and make sure that it is in fact something that we can handle and we will need to be approved by the church's elder board.  But we are already planning on serving at Brookings when we our summer ministry at Fir Point is completed.  The more we think about it, the more excited we become!

Overall the conference was a great time of fellowship, renewal, and encouragement.  I even got to play my bass guitar for two of the sessions.
Shelley Gale on Bass, Dan O'Donnell on Guitar, and Toby Beck on guitar and keyboard.
 The conference ended on Wednesday (April 2nd) at noon and we headed north en route to Port Angeles, Washington.  We spent the night in one of the State Parks.  Once there I discovered that one of the trailer tires was flat.  No big deal!  I put on the spare and then in the morning we'll go to the nearest Les Schwaab Tire Store.  I pulled into Les Schwaab in Chehalis, Washington.  Thinking that I'll just get the flat fixed.  Then I noticed that the tire had what looked like a slice between the tread.  Again, no big deal because I have a 7 year tire and wheel road hazard insurance policy.  So the tire tech examined it and said that the tire cannot be fixed because is coming apart.  It is 9 years old and it is deteriorating.  He then inspected the other tires and they too are all coming apart due to old age.   Grrrr.  Old age is not covered on my road hazard policy.  Fortunately I had purchased a new spare tire just a few months prior.  So after purchasing three brand new tires we rolled out with four new tires on the trailer and receipt for nearly $500.  After the tire tech showed me those old tires we were both amazed that they did not blow out and cause some real damage or worse.  All the tires showed signs of separation.  Once again, I am completely amazed how the Lord protects us and provides for us!

The remainder of our trip to Port Angeles was uneventful arriving in PA on Thursday (April 3rd) evening.  We drove onto their property and were excitedly greeted by everyone.  I made an appointment to take my truck into the dealership and they were able to get right on it and fix the problem.  Another $170 receipt was in my hand.  The only reason I mention the amounts that these things cost is to show how the Lord always provides for our needs even before the needs arise.  This year we are actually getting a tax refund (first time in years) and we even filed an amended 2012 tax return.  The amount of the refund completely covered the cost of these unplanned expenses! Remember last year we had a $2400 tax bill.  Then our car that we left with Mel and Annie in Grants Pass was totaled and the insurance company gave us $2400.  Is our God amazing or what???

We have been in Port Angeles for a little over a week and are enjoying every minute with our kids and grand kids and the two foster kids that Jason and Shelli have.  Being foster parents is truly an entire family ministry.  They have a 6 month old and a 2 year old and everyone helps out with them.  It is such a joy to see the entire family ministering to these two children.

Our son, Jason, has been selected, along with 12 others, in the running for the Coast Guard Petty Officer of the Year.  If he is selected for this great honor he will receive a meritorious promotion in rank. Another honor that he receives right now is to throw out the first pitch at the Seattle Mariners baseball game against the Texas Rangers on April 26th in Seattle and we are all going to be there.  We are all so very proud of him!  He is a good testimony and shining light at his station.

Our house situation has not changed.  We have just received an offer for the house.  But the offer is ridiculously low with several unacceptable demands.  We are preparing a counter offer and we will keep you informed.

Yesterday while in the church service we got a text from our son-in-law, Mel, telling us that Annie broke her leg and they are in the emergency room in Grants Pass, Oregon. Mel and Annie went to the local skateboard park and Annie fell breaking her leg. It is quite a bad break.  The Tibia of her right leg is completely separated and the fibula also has a break. The local hospital sent her home and are trying to get her into surgery with a specialist in Eugene which is a two hour drive.  Hopefully they can get her in very soon.  She is in a lot of pain and agony.

Well, she is following her big sister who also had a run in with a skateboard when she was 33, broke her clavicle, elbow, and had stitches on her head . You would think these girls would have learned by now that riding a skateboard is hazardous to one's health.

Prayer Requests:
1.  Continue to pray for the Men's Retreat May 2-4.
2.  Pray for our Summer ministry at Fir Point Bible Camp
3.  Pray for the opportunity to minister in Brooking, Oregon at their new conference center/camp ministry.
4.  Pray for our daughter Annie, the surgery, a speedy recovery, and financial provision (she has no medical coverage).

We continue to praise the Lord that my back is still doing well.  Still no pain at all!