Saturday, August 11, 2007

Picture This!

Here is a group picture from the California camp. The messages will soon be on We heartily recommend them!

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Getting Back To Work

Tuesday morning Rick stopped to gas up his van on the way to Phoenix's Sky Harbor Airport. Gas was $2.55.9 (that is, of course, really $2.56!!) per gallon for regular. After arriving at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport, we stopped on the way home to get gas in Cynthia's car. Gas was $3.08.9 per gallon for regular! On our drive from Mesa to Idyllwild, California we saw gas prices range from $2.69 to 3.03. So, Chicago gas is still higher than even in southeastern California. Welcome to life in the "big city."

Today (Wednesday) was a "crash" day for us. Although we both had lots to do--a week's worth of mail, for example--Cynthia and I spent most of the day on slow mode. Alex taught the evening study at Shorewood and we simply enjoyed his teaching and the fellowship of the saints.

That reminds me to tell you that we now have our own audio/video link to broadcast our services live on our website. Simply go to and click on the link. It is only active during the times of our services, of course. We have already begun to experience a growing audience this way. We will also keep our PalTalk room open for the services for those using that venue. It is amazing the way the internet is opening doors for the spread of the grace message.

I also want to send a shout out to Nick Markosian for helping me get the name of their assembly correct. It is Southwest Bible Fellowship--not Southwest Grace Fellowship, as I mistakenly stated. Their web site is worth checking out: Thanks, Nick!


Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Home Again, Home Again

Since it was such an unusually cool day in Mesa today, I've been taking credit for bringing the nice weather. Hey, I'll take what I can get!

Cynthia and I will be flying back to Chicago in the morning. We had an outstanding camp in California. The trip over consisted of a four car caravan and a 6+ hour drive, but in the van with grandkids it was loads of fun (at least while they slept the first two hours!). The only hitch was the winding road up into the San Jacinto mountains above Palm Springs. The camp is at aprox. 6,000 feet so it was both a beautiful and stomach-churning drive for those on the back seat. We made it, however, and by the time for the first meeting we already had a larger than expected crowd. In fact, more than twice as many joined us as last year. Several folks brought friends they are introducing to the message of grace; numbers of "old timers" were back; and the young people were in abundance.

One new couple asked me to explain the right division wall chart a bit more thoroughly after the first session. He said, "The first time I ever heard anything like this was at John's church a few months ago. I've been hungry to learn more ever since. That's why I came." He didn't go away disappointed. In fact, by the end of the week he was a full participant in the program.

John and Rick did great jobs in the morning session--their messages were clear and yet profound, as they dealt with our completeness in Christ and the rest it brings into our daily lives. You will want to listen to the studies which will soon be up on John's site. The evening studies were also well received, for which I am grateful. That site will also have some pictures of the camp activities--at least the ones that are fit for public consumption.

One thing that these trips do is provide an opportunity for rich eating experiences. Camp food was better than expected (the really skinny cook has retired!). On our trip home we made a special stop in Banning at the Farm House Restaurant for a wonderful "home-style" meal. This is a favorite of Dave and Lisa Gerhart and we were delighted they invited us to experience it with them.

This evening, back in Mesa, Cynthia and I took Rick, Linda and the grandkids to my wife's favorite Mesa restaurant, the Landmark. Rick and I had lunch with Doug Blaheta at Rick and Doug's favorite BBQ spot; and it was great. But supper was very special, all the more so as a family outing. Everyone knows I like cloth napkins and real china and silverware. Cynthia likes nice (make that elegant) settings. Landmark has both, along with excellent food. We have eaten well all week!

So tomorrow we return home. There is much work waiting to be done. I checked email yesterday and only had 408 for the time I was out of touch. I've answered over half of them already, so was busy some today. The rest will be waiting when we get home. There were some genuinely touching responses to the rightly divided Word that I'll try to share with you soon. Two of the brothers out here also are helping get our new school website going, so we've also worked on that some.

Anyway, this catches you up a bit on what has been transpiring, so you can "know our affairs." I also wanted to send a shout-out to Tony S. He was at camp and told me he checks my blog regularly to see what is going one. He represents a growing number of folks that tell me they are reading this. I hope to soon make a way for you to register on a "friends" page so I'll know who to shout at!