“–One porch is a blessing–two are an abundance.”
Photos from Bittersweet Farm
I mowed on Wednesday evening and trimmed the whole place on Thursday evening. While I was trimming and starting the weed trimmer over and over (which is my springtime ritual) I kept hearing a beautiful clear birdsong that was new to me. It was as if the little singer was intentionally flying around the place calling whenever I would start back to work.
Eventually I caught sight of him and was delighted to see my first Oriole couple out on Bittersweet Farm. They are regular residents now. The male is a bright orange with jet black wings—a pretty bird.
When I was done on Thursday I was wonderfully exhausted but Bittersweet Farm looked like a park. I planned to enjoy it on Friday and maybe most of Saturday and the Memorial Day weekend from the perspective of one of the porches with iced tea and a good book in hand. We have a back side porch facing east–I call it the Morning Porch. We have another porch facing the south. I call the The Evening Porch. One porch is a blessing. Two are an abundance.
Trouble in Paradise
Things took a different turn, though. On Friday I ended up taking Hope to meet Dale so she could go with them to Kentucky for the weekend. I enjoyed some time hearing Chuk talk through his message for Sunday morning. (An associate pastor often preaches on Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day weekend) He grilled me some delicious brats and we had a good talk. I left to get home before dark and took the back way to see some new things.
Lois and I caught up on the day and went to bed. Saturday morning I woke up with my head spinning at four am. I was planning to pray with the Elders at 7 a.m. but every time I stood up for the next 16 hours I emptied the contents of my stomach. About seven on Saturday night I went to the ER and they used some wonderful drugs to get the spinning and hurling under control. I missed preaching on Sunday for the first time in 39 years in the pulpit. I was sad but the men stepped in and did well and God is in control.
Neil Veydt, Chair of the Elders preached in my place and did a wonderful job challenging the folk at Bethel with our Evangelistic Strategy. At the end of his message another of the Elders, John Rockey shared a testimony of an opportunity he had to lead a woman to Christ last week. I watched from home and my heart was glad to see the gem of a church the Lord has allowed me to shepherd.
Here is a video of Neil’s message:
A Humbling Lesson
I serve and I preach at His disposal. This is good to remember. Your whole world can go spinning on it’s head on account of a few crystals out of place in your ear. It’s good for a man to remember these things and walk humbly with God. It’s good to remember that the greatest privilege on earth is to be used of God out of a heart of intimacy with God.
Rich Nibbe and Drew De Vries
Last week I met Rich Nibbe who works with Ada Bible Church and toured with Fernando Ortega in the past writing California Town and I Will Praise Him Still, two songs recorded by Fernando. It was good to meet him. He work with out oldest son on the church staff at Ada.
I was in Grand Rapids to record a podcast for Drew De Vries–The Adventure Deficit Podcast. It was delightful to visit Drew in his beautiful West Michigan home and hear something of his story. When I arrived he immediately told be how much our son Kyle had helped him spiritually. One evening on the White River Kyle baptized Drew. When the podcast drops I will post a link so you can listen to it.