I tried to update my blog earlier this week – but for some peculiar reason my computer shut down unexpectedly.  It’s worked fine since that frustrating moment, but nonetheless it delayed this post.

Last Friday, Rhonda and I set out on a whirlwind 33 hour adventure with some friends. 

6:45 AM – An early start but by midday we should be on the Ocoee River.

12:30 PM – After some quick instructions – they let us loose with a helmet and a paddle (and an experienced river guide).

12:30-4 PM – Did everything that the guide told me to do.  I have a strong preference for staying inside of the raft.

5:30 PM – A warm shower and a tasty meal.

7:15 PM – We’re a few minutes late to the ballpark.  The local minor-league team is already down by two runs.  The highlight of the evening was the appearance of the San Diego Chicken.  I forgot my camera – it was a missed opportunity.

Midnight – Lightening strikes our house – only we don’t know it because we’re not there.

11 AM – Drove to downtown Chattanooga to view an event known as Amerivespa.  It was very cool.

3:45 PM – Return home to discover that lightening struck the biggest tree in our yard (I think that’s the general trend in lightening strikes) and jumps to the house for a quick jolt.  We’re pleased that the house didn’t burn to the ground.  The only damage beyond the tree was a frazzled air-conditioning system.  We experienced several days of less than pleasing temperatures – but as of yesterday – everything was back to normal.

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Today, Miss Helen from the Dickson Greeters visited our home.  I didn’t get the chance to meet her but Rhonda (my wife) was pleased to make her acquaintance.  Rhonda got the low-down on the town and a truck load of coupons, brochures, and sweet treats from local merchants.  It’s nice to be noticed.  We were in the house roughly four days before the Greeters were on the scene.  I’m impressed with the speed of their effort to embrace new residents.  I recognize that on some level this is a business and that advertising is involved.  Yet – it’s comforting to get a little attention.  How do you communicate value to others?  How do you reach out to newcomers?  At Cross Point, we encounter lots of new faces.  How well are we embracing our guests?  Perhaps they don’t need coupons and brochures – but how can we most effectively share our gratitude for their visit and a genuine appreciation for who they are?  I’m just curious.  Any ideas?     

Pictures & a Picnic

July 19, 2008

   

For a season, Rhonda and I lived entirely debt free.  No credit card balance, no student loan, no car payment, and no mortgage.  On Tuesday, all of that changed.  We bought a house.  For the next thirty years we’ll owe Bank of America a sizeable portion of our monthly income.  We are totally blessed and I’m so grateful for how God has provided for us.  I’m not complaining and home ownership is our own choosing.  I’m just stating the obvious.  Once upon a time – debt-free.  And now – not so much.  We moved on Thursday and many of the boxes are now unpacked.  Yet every wall is bare.  I suppose eventually we’ll hang a few pictures.  For now – we’ve got a lot of blank space.  It really doesn’t trouble me.  It’s just an observation.

It’s time for a PICNIC.  Not at the new house – though perhaps one day we’ll host a little shindig on the grounds.  I’m talking about our BIG Cross Point SUMMER PICNIC that’s happening TOMORROW (7/20).  At 4:30pm we’ll gather for an afternoon of fellowship, food and fun.  We’ll have inflatable bounce houses for the kids and sno-cones for everyone.  The location for the picnic is Lakeview Park in Dickson.  It’s just off of Weaver Drive (which becomes Beasley Drive a little closer to Wal-Mart).  On Sunday afternoon, we’ll also be sharing in a time of baptism.  Don’t miss this special occasion and opportunity to develop some friendships.  Remember to bring a blanket and/or lawn chair.     

 

A Few Quick Thoughts

July 15, 2008

Things that I’d blog about – if I could find a little more time:

The anguish of postponing the picnic – yet the good news is…

THE PICNIC IS ON FOR JULY 20TH!

The Dominican Republic Mission Team – early this morning a team of folks (26 including Pastor Pete) departed to spend their week constructing a church and feeding center in Santiago.  You can find updates at crosspointmissions.tv

Our new house – Rhonda and I are finally moving to Dickson.  We can’t wait!

Brighter Days

July 10, 2008

Later today our students will be returning from a mission trip to Wheelwright, KY.  Students from our Nashville and Dickson campuses have spent the week loving children, serving families, and growing together as a group.  The students ate well, but the accommodations aren’t exactly resort status.  They are to be commended for sleeping on the floor and managing the week with one shower/bathroom per gender.  I spent the first couple of days with this group and was greatly encouraged.  They are teenagers and thus filled with an abundance of commentary and standard pranks (which were addressed).  Yet they showed great maturity at times.  I observed our students reaching out to children with every intention of making them feel valued and loved.  I watched students getting their hands dirty by gathering trash and serving to improve the conditions of deteriorating homes.  They pointed others toward a loving God and deepened their own relationship with Christ.  I am proud of their efforts and appreciate their willingness to give of their time and resources.  

Wheelwright, KY

July 6, 2008

No photos. 

No real news. 

Not yet. 

But I do plan to provide an update later this week.

I’m getting ready to join our students for a trek to Wheelwright, KY.  They’ll be serving others through programs for children and some light construction.  I look forward to the experience (though I’m not so excited about the six hour drive).

 

Admittedly, Honduras isn’t in the Southern Hemisphere – but it’s a long, long way from here.  For the next week a number of Dickson residents will invest their energies serving the impoverished folks of Honduras.  The team spends their evenings at the ranch at Mission Lazarus.  From what I understand, they travel each day to the mountain village of Duyure to operate their medical clinic.  Although only about 18 miles in distance, it takes them over an hour each way to drive because of the poor roads.  Hondurans will travel up to three hours by foot from their surrounding villages to see them.  Patients are usually lined up outside the clinic by the time the team arrives in the morning.  Just yesterday they saw 232 medical patients, 30 dental patients (pulled 64 teeth), and saw 50 optometry patients.  Walter Stephens saw a little one year old and from the exam believed her to possibly be mentally delayed.  When David Faulks examined her next he thought she had vision issues and he tried on the ONE pair of infant lenses he had.  She immediately perked up and was so excited because she could focus on things for the first time.  God thing?  You bet.  While most of the team is serving in the clinic, some team members are out working in the village doing construction. One of the goals this year is to build several out houses – as this town has no sanitation.  Some of the teenagers on the trip will also spend time in the schools and orphanages working with the children.

 

From Cross Point Dickson we have seven folks on this trip: Walter Stephens, David Faulks, David Ford, Millie Ham, Cindy Pulse, Sara Stephens, and Erin Stephens.  The team will dispense about five thousand dollars worth of medicine during this effort.  They’ll also be providing hundreds of pairs of eyeglasses that Dr Faulks will be fitting for patients.  Imagine someone who has not been able to see for thirty years, now able to read a Bible in their language.

 

Please join me in praying for the team and the many men, women, boys, and girls that they’ll encounter.  I’m grateful for this team and for their heart for the Lord and for others.