A Legend Went Home Last Month

Ray was introduced to me by Jim.

Jim was recently widowed. I knew him and his deceased wife from the adult fellowship I attend. He’s in his seventies.

Ray met Jim in another adult fellowship Jim had moved to try to move on from his loss. Ray was a diminutive gentle man in his nineties.

When the three of us went out to lunch together we spanned quite a few years…50’s, 70’s, and 90’s.

The common bond of Jesus drew us to Stonebriar Community Church. The fact we were all without our wives pulled us that much closer.

Jim faded from the scene as he struggled to fit in. I still see him from time to time.

Ray and I often sat next to each other during the second service. He would give me updates about the airplane he was building. I guess a little old guy needs something to pass the time of day with. He completed that project last fall.

Another mutual friend informed me Ray was in the hospital a couple of months ago. He recovered fine from that.

Since I’m volunteering with the toddlers during second service I hadn’t seen Ray in a while. The mutual friend told me last Sunday Ray went home to be with his Lord the previous week.

Two of his daughters were with him as he slipped into Glory. Ray opened his eyes wide right at the end. One of his daughters asked him what he was seeing. His arms lifted off the bed before his body went limp for the last time.

Ray was being escorted Home at last. I have no doubt he heard Jesus tell him, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” the next second of his existence.

Ray served his Lord well as a missionary with Wycliffe Bible Translators. He was one of those gifted linguists that learned a native tribe’s language by living with them. Then he would develop an alphabet so he could invent a written language for these folks.

From there Ray translated the Bible into this new written word. Ray did this TWICE IN FORTY YEARS.

That’s when he became a legend in my mind.

The second time Ray had to buy a boat because that was the only way they could access the island those people lived on. Indonesia is like that.

With a lack of modern entertainment Ray could be found fixing something. That would endear him to the native folks. Eight children proved there were other means of entertainment that didn’t require modern conveniences.

Ray likely met some of the people who were introduced to Jesus from his work. I’m sure more will follow.

My writing might surpass Ray’s quantity of saved souls someday. Maybe not. That’s not really important.

God doesn’t keep score on such matters. He gives each of as an assignment to carry out.

Ray did the best he could to fulfill his mission. I must now give it my best, too…and so must you.

You probably won’t travel outside of the country you’re in now. I might not either. We don’t have to to be effective for God’s kingdom.

Do your best to touch the folks you come in contact with. Your neighbors may not see another Jesus in their lifetime.

They do know you’re a follower of Jesus Christ…don’t they?

If not then begin there. Live different from your culture if it doesn’t adhere to Jesus’s teachings. Don’t jamb Jesus down their throats. That isn’t very effective.

Show them the peace Jesus offers during your trials. They’ll come to you wanting to know your secret. I’ll give you a hint…Jesus shouldn’t be your secret. He needs to be made known for everyone who asks.

Sometimes translating the Bible doesn’t require a written language. Living it out is often more of a challenge, but that’s our assignment, my friend.

Let’s pray for each other to be better examples of Jesus.

I’ll see you later.   Wade

Oh Be Careful Where You Go

Here’s a surprise midweek blog post for y’all to contemplate. Why a midweek post? You ask.

Because my life is so crazy hectic I don’t always have time to write before my self-imposed deadline and/or I don’t have anything to write about.

Well, Monday, while in Amarillo, an experience was lived through that makes for great blog posting. So here goes…

One of the dispatchers called me Saturday to see if I’d be willing to take a run to Amarillo beginning Sunday night just before midnight. My initial response was no, but that didn’t stop the conversation.

When I discovered there was nobody else available for said run that is under contract with the postal service my arm was twisted to take it.

Needless to say I was beyond tired by the time I got to the motel they booked for me. I was there in time to take advantage of the free breakfast so I made a hasty scrambled egg and biscuit sandwich while waiting for a room.

After they discovered all of the non-smoking rooms were in use I decided to take a smoking room…gulp.

My thinking was that the time was ticking on my ten hour break so I could either fall asleep at the breakfast table, which I was already nodding off at, or I could take a chance at getting some better sleep in a bed.

“I’ll survive the experience,” were the words that came out of my mouth.

As soon as I walked into the room all of my senses were under full assault. I just about turned back until a thought struck me. If I can handle the initial impact I can probably still be able to sleep in this.

Unfortunately I was right. After a few minutes I was able to breathe without the gag reflex kicking in. I showered and fell asleep rather quickly.

After about five hours the burning in my lungs told me I had better make my stay in this room shorter rather than longer. The last hour of my government mandated break was spent walking around the motel.

The temperature was about one hundred degrees, but there was a decent west Texas breeze blowing in the twenty mile per hour range. Remember, we do things big in Texas.

The advantage of that was that I was able to (as my father-in-law used to say) blow the stink off from the room encounter.

Don’t worry, it was a dry heat.

Many people feel pennies aren’t worth anything so they drop them on the ground when they discover them in their pockets.

I’m on the other end of that spectrum. I pick pennies, and their more expensive counterparts, up when I discover them on the ground.

Wheat pennies are of particular interest to me since God and I have a bit of an understanding with them. It’s His way of letting me know I’m in His will whenever I find one.

Why I was supposed to be in Amarillo that day is a bit of a mystery unless it’s to write this blog post.

Tails was up. So I knew right away what I had here. The date on the coin was 1955. Copper is a soft metal that is easily damaged…especially after a car runs over it. This penny was nearly flawless, except for some grease that was smudged on it.

I kept pacing about the property and found a few more modern pennies. One was next to a dumpster. It was green from the tarnish of its environment. I had to rub the face of it to discover the date…2015.

Sixty years should have aged that wheat penny more than that dumpster coin.

I thought back to my smoking room I had to take. I don’t often put myself in such unhealthy environments so I can stay as fit as possible for God’s service.

Everybody has their own personal issue they must deal with. Some of us have several.

My most pressing issue is pornography. I know to steer clear of it or it will destroy me one careless step at a time.

For others it’s alcohol, or drugs.

So far I’ve been able to keep myself pure, but I know what a slippery slope it is. I’ve been spending too much time on Pinterest lately.

I know, it sounds innocent enough and it should be. My problem is I focus too much attention staring at the fitness pictures, especially the women wearing too little while showing off great physiques.

When will that not be enough stimulation for me? I don’t know, but it will eventually.

Smoking rooms could become easier for me to sleep in of I do it regularly. Before I know it I start smoking to keep myself awake during through the night drives.

Sin is so like that. I’ve heard it said Satan gives us the best first while God saves the best for last.

I want God’s best for me.

Some days I keep my eyes off the fitness chicks. Some days I don’t.

Pray I can keep posting Bible verses and Christian quotes without stepping in the mud puddles of pornography that are all around me.

I want to stay a coin in God’s pocket that can be spendable for His work for several years to come, not a dumpster throw away.

I’ll see you later.   Wade

Do You Pray For Storms to Pass?

I don’t know how things are in your neck of the woods, but here in Texas we’ve been getting a LOT of rain lately.

One of the things I like about living in this day and age is the ability to see where the rain is falling at any given time.

I have this app on my phone that’s attached to one of the local TV stations. It’s also connected to a national radar network. That means I can tap that sucker on and see where the storms are.

It’s important to remember my main source of income is driving semis all over the place. Our storms don’t always play nice neither.

Hail can pile up and ice a road in no time. Wind can knock a rig on its side mooee pronto. Tornadoes can set a semi in someone’s back 40 before the wicked witch shows up in the windshield.

Yeah, this is some serious stuff here folks.

That mini radar on my phone helps me a great deal.

I’ve been known to take an extra long break just to let a storm pass on up ahead of me. I’d much rather be late than not get there at all.

I’ve been stuck in some long backups from folks who didn’t take such a precaution…or just a caution if they refused to plan ahead. Those wrecks did NOT look pretty.

Lately I’ve been “lucky” to avoid any major storms on the roadways. My personal life is another matter all together.

With counselling and planning some life storms can be avoided. Proper nutrition and exercise can forestall some health issues. Following wise advice can help avoid some bad choices in financial and relationship issues.

But, some storms just have to be lived through by some people.

I don’t understand why some couples have to endure the death of a child.

I hate to hear of kids being kidnapped and never heard from again.

It tears my heart out when a woman has to decide what to do with a child conceived by rape.

My personal bankruptcy was so long ago now I’ve lived past the repercussion of it, still it was not fun to live through.

My divorce still leaves me shaking my head. There was no biblical grounds by either of us just a decision by one of us.

I’ve lost jobs over things that should have been a simple warning.

It makes me look up and ask God that three word prayer, “WHY?”

I seldom get a direct reply from the almighty. I don’t really expect one. God doesn’t answer to me. I must trust Him.

I’m on a few prayer lists. Often people ask for a positive result from a medical test. I don’t usually pray that way.

I’ve heard of too many folks who have endured cancer treatments with the same statement.

“I wouldn’t have wished for that to happen to me, but I’m glad it did since I’m so much closer to God now than I’ve ever been in my life.”

It reminds me of a story told after World War 2. A farmer went to a monastery and asked the monks to pray for the bombs to miss his farm as the fighting drew close. They said they couldn’t do that, but they would pray for God’s will.

The farmer was furious at God when one of the bombs exploded in one of his pastures…until the unexpected happened. Water filled the depression left by the bomb. His cattle now had relief from the drought they were experiencing.

God’s ways are not our ways. We don’t call the shots. No matter what the humanists say.

A year from now I hope to look back and be thankful for the life situation I find myself in…even if none of the plans I have in my mind occur.

This life isn’t about me remaining happy or healthy.

It’s about becoming more like Jesus every day.

It’s supposed to draw me closer to my heavenly Father each step of the way.

Prosperity seldom does that for anybody.

Endure your storms my friends.

Cling to God’s strength when yours is gone.

Trust Him more than the plan in place.

I’ll see you later.   Wade

A Long-awaited Newsletter from Me

Hey Y’all

Since it’s been awhile that I’ve written an official newsletter and I can’t think of anything else to write now and it’s almost the end of May here’s a newsletter from Author Wade Webster.

I still don’t have a publisher for my books. I’m still driving my life away. I’m still paying my bills as they come in with not much more to spare. Now aren’t you glad I haven’t been sending these out on a regular basis?

Seriously, you need to stop trying to live vicariously through me and get a life.

Sorry…Mr Curmudgeon sneaks out when I least expect him to sometimes.

By God’s grace I’m staying healthy. Not doing too well on the wealthy front, but the wiseguy seems alive and well.

I suppose that’s all because I can’t seem to work in that early to bed thing old Ben talked about.

The driving jobs have been fairly steady. Which is good for the budget, but remains a challenge for the sleep cycle regularity thingy. I’m glad I’ve come across some great vitamins and supplements to help me stay awake and alive. Prayers are the best supplement I’ll ever depend on, so keep them coming.

The Apainter Paul’s work needs have been spotty. He did get some work from me for a job he needed some help getting done in a bit of a hurry. Everybody came out of that one smiling.

North Texas Biz Assist might be coming to life finally. I have two separate tentative appointments this Wednesday to discuss giving a mobile app to two non-profits; Poiema…a grassroots effort to help find missing girls stuck in human trafficking around Dallas. And The Samaritan Inn…a homeless shelter in Collin County that helps folks get back on their feet. I consider these a first fruits offering to God for the business. The apps will give other business owners a way to help by paying for sponsorships on the apps. Once they learn what I do they might want to do business with me, too. These will be the folks I’ll want to work with best anyway. So it’s the best way I can see to help and be helped at the same time. Prayers for God’s will here are greatly appreciated, too.

I’m attempting to get up the nerve to get things progressing on the personal relationship front as well…gulp. I didn’t expect to be jumping back into that pool at this time in my life, but it is what it is. I definitely desire God’s will here. I thought I chose well the first go-around but apparently not. I’d much rather remain single to be single-minded on serving God at all times rather than being pulled away for potential family issues, but I think God has brought someone into my life who desires the same for her life as well. Oh yeah, I’m bathing this one in prayer, too. Please join me here.

If you have anything you want me to pray for you for leave a comment and I’ll get right to it.

Until next time keep smiling.   Wade

I got a promotion at church this week

Some days God steps in and surprises the gigglies out of me. This Sunday was one of those days.

First, let me back up and fill you in on the week I had that led up to this promotion.

Last Saturday I drove late which meant I slept less than 6 hours before I went to church. A cup of coffee was enough to keep me alert for the sermon. Not that a Chuck Swindoll sermon needs much outside stimulation.

I turned down an early Monday morning driving option for two reasons. 1) I needed a 34 hour reset by federal law…so noon was my earliest start time available. 2) I had an important meeting at church that had absolutely nothing to do with foresaid promotion.

The meeting was to determine who would be awarded the Howard Hendricks Memorial Scholarship this year. Yeah, it is an honor to be included in anything Howard Hendricksish.

We had to pick which male graduating senior and a female counterpart would receive fifteen hundred bucks for college. The guys were relatively easy since there was only two who filled out an application. Six ladies took a bit longer to sort through.

They blacked out the names on the papers so we couldn’t guess who these folks were. They gave each of them a color for us to keep them straight.

The boys were red and blue. Did anybody think this through? Especially coming off the most contentious national election aver. Boy blue never stood a chance. My buddy Steve’s letter of recommendation helped a lot, too.

The ladies required a lot more attention…as they usually do. We whittled it down to two. I felt I contributed when the last words out of my mouth were, “Yellow has my vote.”

We put the required paperwork in the proper envelopes and packed up to go home.

Tuesday I finally got to work with the Apainter Paul again. He had an interior project the folks wanted done asap so they could put the house on the market ASAP.

Since I still owed Paul almost two full days of work to repay advances he gave me to pay May’s rent it worked out well all around.

Wednesday found me driving to San Antonio before sunrise for a 13 hour day.

Thursday I was back to painting for the Apainter again. We got enough done that he could finish it on Friday…cuz.

Before midnight Thursday I was off to LaLA. I’m guessing that since New Orleans uses the acronym NOLA then Lafayette, Louisiana goes by LaLA.

Even if I’m wrong I was praying I didn’t doze off to lala land while the wheels on the eighteen wheeler were going round and round down the interstate. My eyes were heavily suggesting that possibility was possible just before the only rest area along my route in Louisiana.

Since federal law required me to take a half hour break I lost consciousness with the wheels stopped. Which is a good thing.

A couple of hours later I was killing bugs in a motel room I used for more sleep. Even my boots were stored off the floor whilst there.

I drove home the last half of Friday to get the required time off to drive to Houston on Saturday.

Yes, for any mathematicians reading this that’s six days of work in five days. That’s the type of “it never rains but it pours” life I live these days.

I crawled into bed with a potential of six hours of sleep before corporate worship time. I think I slept about four of them. That’s what I get for trying to sleep at different hours of the day and night.

Pastor Chuck delivered another winner of a sermon during first service. Then I was off to C-119 to fulfill my role as the toddler whisperer…or so I thought.

I recognized some faces of kids and adults in the room when I stepped in. Mild chaos was in it’s regular place.

Then Everett was brought into the room. One of the women held him to try to settle his nerves. He squirmed out of her arms and ran around the table straight at me. Since both of his arms were held high I knew that meant one thing. I was his only best source of comfort in that room.

I picked him up as his momentum flung his body toward me. His head landed on my shoulder before his next sob.

We spent some time in a rocking chair while everyone else ate cookies at the table. Our cookies tasted just fine in that chair, thank you very much.

Everett felt at home after a few more minutes together so I consumed the chocolate cupcake that was brought in for me. I like me some perks, too.

Another boy had a meltdown after that so I picked him up only to have another fella want my attention.

With a boy in each arm Everett decided he needed more of me then, too. The only choice I had was to reach around each boy and lift my little buddy up with my hands.

That’s the moment I was promoted from the toddler whisperer to the toddler magnet.

When one of the ladies in the room saw me she offered to take one of my friends. I said, “No, I got this.”

We sauntered over to a rocking chair until. One by one, the tykes decided to go off and play.

I recognized what was happening there. I was being Jesus to those boys when they needed me most.

Have you ever felt like your prayer request is a nuisance to God?

You think He’s got His hands full with another shooting or war or disaster or whatever. He doesn’t have time for little old me.

Stop thinking that way. His arms are more then big enough to reach around every little thing happening in this puny world we live on to stop and give you the attention you want from Him.

Don’t ever hesitate to tell God what’s on your heart…no matter how small it might appear to you.

God adopted you into His family to spend all the time you need with Him.

Even when everything seems out of control, God will stop and give you His full attention as He says, “I got this.”

Fill your love tank with God every chance you get.

He’s got a lot more energy than this old truck driving toddler magnet will ever have.

Keep smiling.   Wade

I’m back from 3 days at Tres Dias

Tres Dias…Spanish for three days. That’s how long I spent near Lake Lavon for a men’s retreat.

This event had a lot going against it for me.

About the worst thing you can do to an introvert is plunk him down amidst 150 guys he doesn’t know. Let’s see how long before he comes out of his shell this time. Gulp!

Another thing this country bumpkin didn’t appreciate is being next to a lake with no time to enjoy the nature of the setting. We hardly had enough time to use the restrooms let alone time of solitude.

And whose idea was it to use a liturgical theme for this event? This free spirit appreciates more spontaneous prayers and such. Why did we have to recite from page 14 of that little book again…and again?

Don’t even get me started about that silly chicken song they made us sing before we could eat a meal.

Does that drummer really have to break my eardrums on every other beat?

Why are so many men discourteous about others when it comes time to go to bed? Can’t those loud conversations wait until daylight…please?

The tradition of this retreat began a long time ago in Spain. That silly chicken song came about while a broken down bus was awaiting a repair returning from one of these retreats. There were originally 99 verses to it. We only had to sing three of them. I guess they were broken down a very long time.

When I remembered the church I’m a member of supports at least three sets of missionaries to Spain I realized this world has sure changed.

The main thing this retreat had going for it is it’s a Christian retreat. As long as they’re honoring God and trying to get us to focus on Him I can put up with some discomfort.

Symbolism was huge here. I appreciated that, too. We don’t use enough of that in this country in my opinion.

One of the first things they did was offer us a white handkerchief to use as a surrender flag if we declared our surrender to God for control of our life. I had mine conspicuously hanging out of my pocket for the entire event.

At one point they gave us a small piece of thin paper and told us to write down the name of someone we needed to forgive or something we needed to forgive someone for. I wrote my ex-wife’s name down.

That evening they gave us time to write down on other slips any sins we wanted to confess and/or something that we desired to give up.

When we finished they had us fold the papers and nail them to a cross, literally. By the time we were done that cross was covered in nails and bits of paper…until they set it on fire.

In a matter of a couple of seconds the things we wrote down were burnt up. We were told we can now let those things go from our lives.

Saturday evening was extremely special. They treated us to a fabulous meal. Then, as someone prayed they snuck a few dozen women in around us. They began singing when we opened our eyes.

My sponsor, Marcia, was one of the first women I saw…before my eyes got too wet to see anybody. I was immediately missing Barb all over again. Not because Barb could sing, but because this was something I wish I could have shared with her.

The other time I cried was when they brought us into the chapel after a talk on prayer. They had some of the cha’s (Christ’s Hands in Action) praying for the speaker there. They explained that they do this with each of the speakers. Then they showed us the papers on the wall that listed the names of folks from all over who signed up to pray for us during this retreat.

They hadn’t given my 100 Prayers of a Writer book out yet. So I couldn’t let anyone know why that spoke to me so profoundly.

Other than my book being given out to everyone there I didn’t know what to expect at this retreat.

The first surprise was when I discovered I was a candidate. Candidate for what I didn’t know. I thought the election was over.

I learned that this was the first step to being able to lead this retreat in the future. Marcia’s son was the rector for this particular retreat. It takes serving at several retreats over many years to get there. I would have been extremely elderly by the time I got there.

I may go back next week on Saturday evening to sing to the women who will be there to repay the favor that was bestowed on me. Other than that I’ll wait on God’s leading about whether to go back to help with other such retreats.

I mentioned cha’s earlier. That’s the first round of entry into this “club.” Many of them actually carried our trays to the tables for our meals. Some of them spent most of their time there praying for us. A few were assigned to kitchen duty.

While I appreciate the ideology behind this it just isn’t quite my cup of tea, I guess.

At my first meal I sat across from a guy who has been divorced slightly longer than me. He lives in Frisco. I got his number so we can connect in the future. I guess God had a reason for me to come out of my shell quickly.

Marcia hoped I could get to know her grandson while we were there. We were both assigned to the same discussion table for the event.

Another guy at the table gave me his number and invited me to call him whenever I need to talk. I told him there’s a good chance I’ll take him up on his offer.

While I missed four days of potential work and a Sunday of worshiping at my home church I’d say the time was well spent for me.

I’ll be keeping my spiritual eyes open to anyone who I feel will be a good fit for this type of retreat.

At least six guys committed their lives to Christ and a couple dozen others re-committed their’s so it’s working to build the kingdom.

De Colores, mi amigos.

Keep smiling.   Wade

I just prayed for 150 men…one book at a time

I first met Marcia on a Sunday morning. She approached me before our adult fellowship time and introduced herself. She said she noticed me a week or two before that sitting by myself. She said I looked defeated.

This was a few years ago…after my wife left me and before I lost my secure job that held me constantly sleep deprived. Defeated was becoming my constant companion.

Marcia and I have become great friends since that encounter. Life, on the other hand, has continued to beat me down, but not out. I keep hoping the pendulum of fate hits the low part of its swing soon. I could use some things to begin working toward the “Blessings of God” side.

Being a prayer warrior, as most 70+ year old women of faith are, I knew Marcia would love my book of 100 prayers.

She took the book home and devoured the last chapter on the 23rd Psalm. She told me my writing ranks right up there with Chuck Swindoll. I didn’t say it does…she did.

One of Marcia’s sons helps lead three day retreats called Tres Dias. She gave him her copy of my book to see if they’d like to use it as a gift book for the attendees. She couldn’t wait to get her original copy back from him so she bought a second book that she could continue to work through.

They decided my book would fit with their work so the retreat coming up next month in north Texas will have 100 Prayers of a Writer in the gift bag all the men receive.

Marcia is making sure I have no excuse for not attending that retreat. I told you she’s a great friend.

I knew the bare minimum I had to do is sign every copy of my book. Knowing how much Marcia, and her prayer warrior friends, are praying for this retreat I decided to take it one step further.

I set the six boxes of books out on my floor before I opened them.

I pulled one book out of the first box and set it on top of a stack of two boxes in front of me.

While on my knees I set my left hand on the book and prayed for the man getting that book.

I don’t know the names of anybody going to this retreat. I haven’t even met Marcia’s son, yet. I let the Holy Spirit guide me through each prayer.

Some of these men are dealing with serious addiction issues. Others are facing hard decisions…health issues…family strife…career choices…secrets.

There are some good apples in the bunch who need to deepen their relationship with God at this point in their lives. A few are about to be used mightily by God soon.

I’ve heard of others doing such praying before, but this was my first experience with it.

I hope it’s not my last.

About a third of the way through my running time came due. I took the break from this spiritual warfare to recharge my prayer battery.

What began after church ended after supper that evening.

I know some men will be blessed by the words God used me to write in those books.

This man is blessed by praying for every man attending that retreat.

Please join me in praying for God’s kingdom to be built by what will transpire that weekend.

I’ll see you later.   Wade

Jim passed this morning

Life has a way of becoming stunningly obvious at times.

Take last week for example. My driving assignments have slowed since the Christmas rush has subsided.

Not to fear, the Apainter Paul is getting some big painting jobs he needs help with.

Last week we were painting an exterior in Frisco. We finished the back first. On Wednesday I was painting the front of the house when a commotion occurred next door.

A car stopped in the cul-de-sac. A woman in a burgundy outfit jogged to the front door. She was let in almost immediately.

A few minutes later a woman in a matching light blue outfit walked out carrying a few bags of stuff to her car.

A young man drove up and walked to the door. The door opened. An older man asked one question as he ushered the young man in. “What have you heard?”

This did not sound good. We learned from the homeowner we were working for, Lu, that a Parkinson’s patient was on hospice care in the home.

Later in the morning the woman in the burgundy outfit walked outside to talk on her phone away from the gathering family inside.

One sentence jumped out at me. “Jim passed this morning.” Four words that hung in the air.

Hospice workers are a special breed of people.

A first name is all she needed to tell her listener who she was talking about. These aren’t patients. They’re real people.

When you work around death on a regular basis you have your own code words.

“Passed” means Jim is no longer with us here in this world. His soul has passed into the next. His eternal destiny is fixed now.

We later learned one of the hospice workers led Jim to Christ about three weeks ago. He’s waiting for fellow believers with his Savior now.

Some of the neighbors walked to the door and offered the same sentiment: “If you need anything just let me know.”

If the Good Lord ever gives me the chance to own a home I want two things with it: I want a neighbor like Lu and I want to be the type of neighbor Lu is.

Just before one o’clock Lu drove up to the home. She carried a large bag with a deli logo on it. Four hours later she hefted a large ice chest out of the back of her SUV and brought that to the front door.

Lu didn’t wait to be asked to help. She knew these folks weren’t thinking about what they were going to eat at this time. She filled that need on her own.

Our church has a unique way of handling the missionary outreach we have. It combines the overseas missionaries with the local ways of reaching outside of the church building’s walls.

It’s called “missional living.” It’s viewed as more of a mindset than a division of the church’s function.

We recognize that simply building a big church and holding worship services inside isn’t enough to drawn people into God’s family.

There are so many local means of reaching folks with God’s concern that I probably don’t know of half of them, and I’ve gone to quite a few of their meetings. I just wished my schedule allowed me to get involved with more of them.

Lu is living a missional living life. Her neighbor’s know she’s different in the best way possible.

You better believe that if Lu ever needs help one of her neighbor’s will be there for her. And if she ever asks them if they’d like to go to church with her some Sunday they are very possibly going to take her up on her offer.

That’s why I want to be like Lu. Because she’s more like Jesus than most preachers I know.

Preachers are so busy preparing sermons, coming up with catchy story illustrations and thinking about their next sermon series that they can’t do what Lu did.

That’s why there are so many more people in the pews than there are people preaching sermons.

What about you? Are you reaching your neighbors by meeting their needs without being asked?

Do you have pictures of missionaries stuck on your refrigerator to remind you to pray for them throughout the day?

Don’t tell me you’re one of those folks who simply attends church occasionally and then goes back to your normal life the rest of the week.

That’s not what Jesus wants us doing.

Jesus didn’t die for us to simply provide fire insurance for our eternal destiny.

He wants us to attract as many other souls into heaven as we can.

Let’s help Lu be the hands and feet of Jesus here and now.

I’ll see you later.   Wade

This Week I Lingered at Linger

This past Friday and Saturday Stonebriar Community Church hosted the 2017 Linger Conference.

Why do they call it the Linger Conference?

I wondered the same thing until I received an email from the man in charge when I offered to volunteer for setting up on Thursday. The email came from none other than Chris Linger.

The opportunistic moniker did stand for quite a few references during the conference.

The Linger Room was set up in what Stonebriar calls The Hub. This was the prayer room that had musicians playing softly while folks gathered their thoughts and prayers from how the Holy Spirit was moving in their life.

Oh Yeah, I needed the Linger Room…more on that later.

There was a hashtag used for social media postings. #letuslinger

The goal of the speakers and singers was to get us to stop and analyze our Christian walk. This relationship with God is essential for survival. At least that’s been my experience.

It was after I signed up to volunteer that I learned we got into the conference for free. I wish my personal schedule had cooperated better.

I missed most of Friday to paint for rent money. I did get to hear Pastor Chuck speak. He started out a bit slow, but once he opened his Bible he hit full stride quickly.

He gave us 4 disciplines most effective Christians practice; Simplicity, Solitude, Silence and Surrender. That’s been pretty much the lifestyle God has had me on for quite a while now.

Before I could digest all of what that meant Lauren Diagle took the stage. I love her voice and the messages of her songs. That was a definite highlight I’m glad I didn’t miss.

The church was as full as a typical Sunday morning, except I didn’t recognize very many folks. There were a few buses from other cities in the parking lot. One was from Louisiana, another one from the other side or Wichita Falls.

I expected young people there. There were several of them in attendance, but we had quite a few peers from my age group there as well.

On Saturday Randy Alcorn was interviewed about Heaven. He hasn’t been there personally, but has studied the matter extensively from the Bible’s perspective. I’m looking forward to digging deeper into his book now.

Paul Bolache had a slight homecoming when he sang. He used to be the worship leader at a church in Lindale, Texas.

The final speaker was Jonathan Pokluda from Watermark church. I hadn’t heard of him, either. But I’m a fan now.

I think all the speakers got together to make sure they focused their attention on my marriage/divorce in some way. Either that, or the Holy spirit was convicting me about some things there.

If it wasn’t Chuck bringing up the Ephesian church leaving their first love it was Jonathan telling folks to hug their spouse if they came together.

I spilled a few tears in the Linger Room after that session.

Several seminaries and Christian universities set up booths to try to attract new students.

Hope Coffee made samples for us to drink. Oh yeah, I took full advantage of that offer. Even though it meant I had to slip out of some of the sessions for a bit.

During the final session Shane and Shane sang while I helped vendors put away what they didn’t sell. Lifeway books ended up with quite a few empty boxes. They were happy.

The last song was sung about 9pm. Folks didn’t seem to want to leave. They Lingered around the church for quite a while. I guess that means the conference was a huge success.

Please pray I can get in touch with Barb soon. I don’t know why I keep putting it off. Is it normal for a fella to feel nervous about asking his ex-wife out to lunch?

I told Chris Linger they could come back anytime. I hope they do. That was a true blessing.

I’ll see you later.   Wade

I’m More Valuable Than a Bird or Flower

I’ve been shang-hide lately for toddler duty by the fine staff in the early childhood department of Stonebriar Community Church.

I don’t really mind it too much. I mean what’s a toddler whisperer going to say when asked to watch tots so their parents can worship in big church?

This all started on the first Sunday of the year, which was also January first.

They purchased new tee shirts for the department. Shannon insisted I take one…for the summer months, she said. It was in the 70’s today, but that ain’t summer in Texas.

I told Shannon I felt like I was being drafted into the duty. Now I know I should have a jersey with a big number on it and print my name in the program they hand out to the parents.

There’s only been one Sunday I wasn’t with the kids so far this year.

Mateo really needs Mr. Wade to give him attention when he first arrives. He typically settles down in a couple of minutes.

Isabella got tired again, but she didn’t nod off into a nap as she often does.

Emma and Kate, the twins, settled in pretty quickly, too. Even though some of the other adults wanted to set them on the buggy. After Mr. Wade assured them they’d be fine we were all happy.

Today’s Bible lesson covered the portion of the Sermon on the Mount where Jesus talks about worrying, Matthew 6:25-34.

He goes on to say the birds don’t have 401K accounts, yet they survive just fine. The flowers don’t shop at the best stores in the mall, but they’re prettier than anybody.

Don’t worry. That’s my paraphrase, not something the church adheres to.

I think about those verses often whenever I run in Archgate Park. Last October we had a fantastic migration of Monarch butterflies moving through.

There’s some native growing plants that were loaded with flowers at the time. Those bugs tanked up on the nectar so they could continue on their trek to Mexico.

One week later the plants that were blooming for the bugs had gone to seed. Not to worry, though. God had the plants that were still green the previous week in full bloom.

That was extremely handy since there were at least three times as many butterflies at the park.

I just smiled and thanked God for proving His faithfulness yet again.

God has had me on a manna diet for quite a while now. The driving jobs that were plentiful around Christmas are drying up. My bank accounts are low, but I’m not worried. Jesus says He’s got me covered.

How about you? Are you sweating the details of your life?

Don’t think you can’t make changes to help your situation out. I’m planning on implementing some business tactics that I hope will get me out from behind the wheel of an eighteen wheeler soon.

When the publisher I was using to print my books closed their doors I didn’t fret then either. I was frustrated, but I know God’s timing isn’t for those books to come out now.

An interesting thing just happened at the Super Bowl. The team that won was only in the lead at the end of the game.

Don’t give up, my friend. If you’re still walking the face of this earth God has a plan for you.

He’ll provide what you need in His time. And it will be glorious, just like the flowers and birds.

Keep smiling.   Wade