Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Life in the Ole West

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A new day...

A new day has just started in South Dakota...

I realize what a poor, pitiful sinful person I am and it is only by the grace, love and mercy of God that I am not consumed by my own arrogance, evil, passions and pride each day.  I walked a little prayer trail today behind a Lutheran church that is made to look like a 900-year-old stave church in Norway.  I caught myself critiquing the statues on a prayer trail!  I realized it was time to pray...reflect...and then of course, blog.

In the sanctuary of the church was a small (about 18 inches square).  I had assumed (always dangerous) that this was the confessional booth.  My companion assumed the same.  When we heard the audio guide, however, we were shocked and humbled.  It was the window for lepers to come and receive Holy Communion in the days just following the Christian displacement of Nordic paganism in the Scandinavian nations.

Lepers?  Yes, lepers.  Just like in the times of the Scripture.  Just like there are today in India and other parts of the world.  Just like there are other groups of people that we treat as "unclean" in the good ole United States. 

The social outcasts. 
The poor. 
The different. 
The curious. 
The boring. 
The smart. 
The dumb. 
The strange. 
The queer.
The straight. 
The colorful. 
The colorless.
The anyone who isn't exactly like me and mine.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Tomorrow, Friday, September 24, 2010...

Vickie and I (Will) are leaving to take almost 800 large clothing items donated by the Lebanon congregation and our friends to Timmy Walker and his family (phyiscal and spiritual) in Huron, South Dakota.  We could not make this journey without your kind support whether it was financial, spiritual, prayful, thoughtful or provided in a myriad of other ways to numerous to name.

Join us as we plan to travel to the world's largest (and most tacky) drugstore, the Rosebud, the Chapel in the Hills, Rushmore, Crazy Horse Memorial, to see outlaws and Christian family, to take and join in communion, to see the home of the Royals and Chiefs, the Cardinals and the Monarchs, to hear the songs of the Cheyenne and the Lakota and the stories of old women and older men...

We are going west, to grow up with the country.

We will be updating you peridoically throughout our "mission of mercy" and we plan to have some fun along the way as well.  So, as Timmy would say, sit back, grab a Mason jar of sweet tea (or cup of coffee if you prefer) and enjoy your mission journey with us!

-Vickie and Will (Peter & Paul)

Monday, September 20, 2010

Good movies...

I have enjoyed the last few days catching up on some great cinema from my childhood and teen years and present...

  • Good Will Hunting
  • Lonesome Dove
  • First Knight
  • RENT (stage show not Hollywood version)
  • Milk
  • Perfect Storm
I know...random...that's me though, remember?  Have a great start to your week!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


Thanks so much for your continued prayers on my behalf and the behalf of my family.  It seems that last Sunday's reaction witnessed during Bible class was a lack of sleep, poor medication combination and a general tiredness...mixed with years of continuous preaching.  I realize many of you were not present to see my collapse, recovery and collapse, but if you were, thanks for bearing with me.  Special thanks to:
  • Roe N. Hughes, Jr. - It is always a blessing to have an uncle to rescue you.  Last Sunday, I was Lot and he was indeed my righteous Abram.  Thanks again, Roe.
  • The members of the church at Lebanon - This "Sabbath" leave until November may be, in fact, just the prescription for my aliments, mental and physical.  I have preached continuously since my teen years and I plan on listening to others preach and teach for the next couple of months and "getting recharged."  In continuing my salary, you are also allowing me to pay my bills and not beg bread.  Thank you.
  • My physical family - They have been such a blessing in helping me through the long years of sickness: physical, spiritual, mental and emotional.  I need them and lean upon them and they on me.  Truly, a part of God's family.
  • The faithful "senders" - Already I have begun to receive cards from many of you and I appreciate them more than you know.  You are my dearest friends on the earth and this side of heaven.  If we do know each other there someday, I hope we are all in the same neighborhood...:)

God bless you all and each,

Thursday, September 9, 2010

"Leave no one behind..."

"Only the dead have seen the end of war." -Plato

Thanks to the men and women who fight for their country's around the world and to do what in their hearts they believe is right each day they suit up and go out.

God bless the people of the world and the USA.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

“You can safely assume you’ve created God in your own image when it turns out
that God hates all the same people you do.”

Thursday, September 2, 2010

From or For?

In Deuteronomy 6:23, God tells the children of Israel to remember that He brought the children of Israel out of Egypt to lead them into the land He had sworn to their fathers.

I think for many of us who are "raised in the church" are saved, but we don't really feel saved from anything. We were often received Christ and were baptized as young teens and perhaps felt we had very little sin in our lives, and were baptized to fulfill an intellectual process that we knew we needed to complete because a Bible class teacher, preacher, youth worker, pastor or our parents had taught us the “sinner’s prayer, plan of salvation, how to receive Christ.”
Israel (though they oft forgot) was instructed time and time again to remember that they were saved FROM something FOR something (see Deuteronomy 6).
In the case of the Jewish nation, they were saved from the land of bondage for the land of promise. I think we need to come to a better realization that as Christians we are saved from something for something as well (Eph. 2-10).

From hell for heaven.

From darkness for light.

From death to life.

From addictions to disciplines.

From possessions to principles.

From physical wealth to spiritual health.

From hate for love.

From self for Savior.