We started the month in Harlingen in the Rio Grande Valley helping out at Way of the Cross. Our time there wound down. We headed north near the end of March and planned to be home by April 7th.
The month is complete. The narrative is complete except for any typos that get corrected.
Pictures to follow.
March 1 - 5
This week there is a group of teens and their leaders visiting from a Christian school in Tennessee. They were in the chapel this morning as Ben shared the following.
I’m going to tell a story God gave me a long the ago. It is probably the third most beautiful love story in the Bible. Ruth 1:1-5 There was a famine in land.
I have studied famine. It is usually a sign God was judging a people who had turned away and worshipped false Gods.
They went to Moab to escape the famine. Moab was cursed by God. Lot left Sodom. Daughters laid with their father. Outcome was Moab, cursed for ten generations. Jews would be hard pressed to go to Moab.
Two sons married local women then died. In my study of famine I discovered the life expectancy of someone who went through a famine us greatly reduced.
Naomi heard there was food back in Bethlehem. She told her two daughters-in-law to go back to family. Oprah did. But Ruth went with Naomi. Travelled back. Hungry. Naomi told Ruth they had a kinsman who had a field where they could glean. Ruth goes there. At noon the owner of the field, Boaz, came in and the love story starts. The first thing he said to foreman when he saw Ruth was who is that?
It was dangerous to be a gleaner. Usually women. Dangerous job. Harvesters would often violate the gleaners. Boaz tells Ruth to drink the water of the harvesters. Not to glean elsewhere and those harvesters were told to not touch Ruth.
Took place over the barley harvest 6 to 8 weeks. Asked Ruth to sit and eat with them. Ordered harvesters to let Ruth follow closely and throw some grain back to her.
Naomi told her to go to threshing floor. Lay at Boaz’s feet. This is marriage proposal. First kinsman has first dibs. Boaz goes to the first kinsman. “Willing to buy that property?” “Yes.” “Also you will have to take Ruth the Moabitess.” “No you can have her.” Boaz marries Ruth. Part of royal lineage.
Application: Kinsman’s field represents salvation. Jesus loves you at first sight. Then later make lord of life.
Many of the teens worked at taking Cheez-It crackers from 500 pound boxes and putting in plastic bags to be handed out at the drive through food bank. Byron and I worked with some others to assemble bunk beds. Juanita helped prepare the tent for the Wednesday drive through food bank. At the end of the day she went out to the training center and helped prepare supper for the group.
This morning we had to dodge the fire trucks and damaged cars. One of the missionaries from Mexico had pulled out from the entrance and not seen a car approaching in the glare of the sunrise. Nobody was hurt. Most of the remaining people who had been in Nicaragua returned to Harlingen last night. One had some visa issues and was deported to Cancun, Mexico. I can understand why ICE would want to send people as far from the border as possible, but can only imagine the trauma of being dropped far from home with no resources.
Ben talked to the group this morning about the significance of the staff.
Hebrews 11:21 …leaning on the top of his staff. 120 years old. Sitting in the end of his bed. Patriarch leaning on top of staff and dies praising the Lord.
In Mark, Jesus called the twelve to him. He sent them out with nothing except a staff
1 Samuel David tried on King Saul’s armour and took it off. Then picked up staff
23 Psalm Rod and staff comfort me.
What’s so important about the staff? Over 100 references to staff in Bible. Every Israeli male would have a staff with high points of life written on it.
Back to Jacob. He’s dying. You can bet his staff is full. He’s praising God and he dies.
At the point Jesus is sending out disciples they’ve been with him two years. Their staffs would be full of all that Jesus had done. So all they needed was in times of trouble they could look at their staff and be reminded of all that God had done in the past.
Staff “comforts” you to be reminded.
You need to have a staff or a journal to record all the things God has done in your life.
The team was busy with the drive through food bank. I handed out curved illusion tracts and prepped for the installation of the flush valves on the urinals. The valves were ordered after the fact and the installation is not immediately straight forward. On the way home I bought the fittings needed with a couple extra choices to handle surprises. Juanita helped with the supper meal after a busy day in the drive through.
Ben talked at chapel. We all need vision from the lord. Psalm 132: Psalmist is talking about David Talking about the ark of the covenant The ark is being neglected. David wanted the ark to come to be with him. Wanted the presence of God 2 Samuel 6 David had just won a great battle. Put ark on new cart Oxen stumbled Uzza put out hand to steady ark Uzza dead David angry Put ark in house of Obed-Edom Obed-Edom being blessed David realized that ark had not been moved the one way that was permitted David wanted the presence of God but he was going about it the wrong way. It is important to do things the right way.
Put ark in Tabernacle of David. Assigned priests to praise the lord. Day and night.
David had a vision for God. We say we want a vision from Him. When we get a vision for Him and seek to please Him. To praise Him, to talk to Him. To study his word. If you want to get a vision from God learn what pleases him and do it.
After working in the warehouse in the morning, the team went to the beach in the afternoon. Byron shut off the water and we worked past normal quitting time to install the flush valves. Not the prettiest installation but it works. Maybe too well. The valves were bought with good intentions but are really valves for flushing a toilet not a urinal. If the supply valve is opened completely a large amount of water spills over the front lip of the urinal. Dual function foot bath and urinal? Probably not a good idea.
On our way out of the warehouse compound we noticed some rebar sticking up on the street side of the gate. It was already past quitting time. We were the last ones here. There’s always something that needs fixing. Tomorrow.
Apparently, somebody tripped on the rebar outside the gate. That tied Ben up. John from the Aldama base camp shared with the group and then Michael shared.
The team helped with the foodbank drive through. I ran some errands and tried to find low flush innards for urinal valves. The usual local source was out of stock. The alternate was almost twice the last price we paid. They were ordered from Amazon. Next week. I patched the hole in the wall at one of the flush valves. Juanita helped with supper for the team.
Saturday morning Juanita did the laundry and I did some keyboarding. In the afternoon we went to the grocery store. Not an especially nice day to be outdoors.
March 6 - 12
Ben Butler preached Sunday with Joshua as the centre point of the message. He read aloud a letter by Sergeant Yorke from October 18, 1918.
Yorke was a hero. A quote in diary “I carried a testament with me all the time. Read it five times through in my time in the army. It was my rock to cling to.” He was a hero not just because he captured enemy soldiers but because he lived his life for the Lord.
Joshua 5 is an interesting chapter. A lot happening. One thing was all the men crossed the river to Gilgal and were circumcised there. Symbol of cutting away the influence of Egypt. Symbol of us when we come to the Lord, things are cut away from our old life. Passover. Then when stopped eating manna.
Joshua 5:13-15 Joshua confronted stranger. Joshua very humble, reverent, fell on face in front of commander. Obeyed right away.
Jesus is very loving. We talk about Him as our very best friend, but he is more than our friend. We need to revere him, obey him. He’s not the warm fuzzies. He’s like our parents. Shows us unbelievable love but as a parent can be good friend but also a time when must discipline. God chastens those who He loves.
A quiet Sunday. Waited around for a while for a text to help somebody and eventually gave up and drove up the valley to the Costco. Handed out a bunch of curved illusion tracts there and at Texas Roadhouse waiting area before coming home for the evening.
Monday morning John Hayes from Aldama, Mexico shared in chapel.
It was a rainy, blustery day. I did some touch-up painting. Climbed onto the roof of the donated motor home and measured so Ben could order replacements for a bunch of sun damaged accessories on the roof of the motor home. I glued a closet door in the motor home and left it to set. Byron pulled the starter off the generator of the motor home and took it to a rebuild shop. Juanita worked under the tent prepping for Wednesday. I went home before lunch and keyboarded.
Oscar spoke at Tuesday chapel
Joshua 15:58 Six cities with their villages. Remember the two with Beth as part of their name. You will also find them in the book of Nehemiah.
Nehemiah 3 :16 Beth-zur – the house upon the rock. Whenever Jesus was talking about the house upon the rock there was a history.
There were six cities placed together. When you look at the house upon the rock it’s part of a neighbourhood.
Beth-anon - the house of reply, of answers. Those who know who they are in the Lord. They are standing upon the rock, upon the security of who God is. No matter what comes we will still stand strong because Jesus is unbreakable.
Right next to the house upon the rock is the house of answers. God will call upon you to answer about how you spent your time. You need to be awake to what God is doing.
Byron and some others went to Mexico to check out the location for a church build for a volunteer. With current travel restrictions for Canadians all I could do was wave goodbye. I miss being able to travel freely. I reinforced and reinstalled the closet door that was glued yesterday and reinforced the door next to it as it was starting to crack. Juanita helped prepare for tomorrow’s foodbank drive through. We took some foodstuffs out to the training center for an upcoming volunteer team. While there I removed a leaking irrigation timer and replaced it with a coupling. I put away my masonry tools where they live between visits.
Oscar spoke at chapel for Wednesday morning. You can skim my incomplete notes below or watch the full video here.
Isaiah 10:26-27 Remember the phrase “the yoke shall be broken”.
Meditation is not part of current generation.
Whenever you look at a preacher or teacher the message has to have content and delivery and anointing. The last is hardest. You can’t fake anointing. Both knowledge and delivery have nothing to do with your relationship with God. Young preachers coming up focus on delivery and I tell them to focus on their relationship with God. It is the anointing that will provide what it is needed to break the yoke. Peter preached for three years and nothing happened, then when the Holy Spirit fell upon him lives were changed.
You need the content. You need to spend time in the word.
Delivery is a big thing. Maybe the least of the three but you have to work at what God gives you.
Anointing is based on what happens on your knees before God. On your relationship with God. Nothing else changes the heart of men but the spirit of God.
If you are going to listen to someone look for the anointing. It is the anointing that breaks the yoke
Juanita worked on the food line. I helped with the food line until it got going well then I chauffeured John Hayes to drop off his rental car and pick up alternate wheels. When I returned to the warehouse I looked at undone jobs on the list of tasks that had been suggested. There was an old urinal in the old washroom in the warehouse. It hasn’t drained since we have been here and I have looked at it warily a few times figuring the plug was deep into the system. In troubleshooting I realized the water fountain on the same line drained fine. The plug had to be in the p-trap of the urinal itself. Like most nasty jobs the hard part was deciding to actually do the job. I pulled it off the wall and found the p-trap was plugged solid with sandy, crusted mud. With Byron’s assistance holding the fixture over a bucket I poked and prodded with screwdrivers and a large ty-rap until the blockage was removed. After reinstallation things flowed away fine. The flush valve didn’t stop flushing for a long time but the unit works well enough for today. Along about the time the tools and I were cleaned up from that job Amazon arrived with the low flush valves for the new urinals. In they went. One caused massive water hammer. Not a good thing in an old building with old pipes. I throttled it back. Quitting time. It will still be there tomorrow.
There is a TV channel that runs re-runs of popular shows. Each day is dedicated to a given show. All day and evening on Wednesdays is Blue Bloods. I tend to binge watch that program after the nightly Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune episodes. Before settling into the evening of sloth I drove Juanita to the grocery store. While she was productively engaged, I played in the parking lot. I sorted tools in the trunk of the car and threw stale crackers out for the birds. They seem to like them. What they don’t seem to like is stacks of crackers. If you put a stack of a dozen or so crackers in a neat pile and throw whole and crushed crackers around the pile the parking lot birds won’t touch the stack! Look at the picture above. The grackles, wrens, gulls and pigeons will leave the stack untouched unless they bump the pile over with their wings while looking for crumbs from the individual crackers they squabbled over. Ducks, however, at the local pond will walk up and start chowing down the pile of crackers before they bother with the singletons.
Somewhere in this burst of activity I sat down and worked backwards from our planned arrival date back home. It looks like we will leave the valley and start heading north the long way around on the 26th of March. That’s a rough grab but you have to start somewhere.
Oscar was on tap for the chapel devotional on Thursday.
2 Peter 2:15-16 Pay attention to Balaam. He’s a character out of the Old Testament. He’s not a Jew. He was rebuked by donkey. Not the thing you want to be remembered for.
Rev 2:14 Balaam.
The doctrine of Balaam caused children of Israel to stumble. He wanted to get paid no matter what. God appeared to him twice in that passage.
Doctrine of Balaam is that he is there to get paid. If money is your aim there are many things you can do to make money. Why would you want to be a preacher if your aim is money?
A ministry is not judged by what it possesses or social media presence but by how it is regarded in heaven.
Balaam gets out there and says it’s about the money. He says you have to let the people do whatever they want.
Who wants to go to church to hear somebody scream about sin. Nobody. Nobody but God.
Look at all those martyrs who were killed for preaching what God wanted. Balaam was the opposite.
You know what changes the world? It is not the doctrine of Balaam. It is the touch of God.
Juanita worked at preparing for tomorrow’s food bank drive through. I worked at modifying one urinal valve to prevent water hammer. After considering the long-term likelihood of success I re-grouped and put original high flow internals back in with the supply valve cranked back. I used the low flow internals to finish repairing the urinal in the warehouse men’s room and ordered an intermediate low flow set of internals for the water hammer one.
The day started with a geyser at the street. The water was off while the city replaced the gasket on the city side of the meter. We returned the last of the leftover parts from the bathroom project. Juanita and I went to lunch at the Crazy Buffet and I went home to catch up on paper work.
Friday’s chapel message by Oscar began with II Chronicles 21:18 … departed without being desired… The king died from a sickness of his gut. A hard two years to die. He had disobeyed the Lord and in this passage the Bible is specific that the sickness is a consequence (must be careful not to suggest that all sickness comes from disobedience).
He was irrelevant. The title given to last person chosen in football draft is “Mr. Irrelevant”.
Does it matter to the Kingdom if you are here?
Irrelevancy is so powerful a tool. “You are a king, but you don’t matter anymore e.g. Saul
Relevancy does not equate to fame. Relevancy is that you matter to God
Angel told Daniel they love you in heaven. It meant he mattered.
We know Jesus we know Saul but who are you? Even the devil considered him irrelevant.
Ministries may seem big on earth or in social media but all that matters is if they are relevant to God.
A person may struggle with identity but that is only important on an earthly level. What is important is do you matter in God’s kingdom?
I don’t care who knows me here but whether I am known in heaven now. That is determined by how I live the life He has given me.
After chapel we rushed to get ready for the first twelve cars coming into the food bank. There are four stations serving three cars each. Each occupant of a car gets the mix of stuff for the day so a car with three people gets three times as much as a car with just one person. We try to have twelve sets of stuff staged per station in crates ready to hand-out. Normally if I help it is only to have just about completed the twelve sets at one station for the person manning that station, I do this while he completes some forklift work. Then I go on to do more tradesman type work. Today he was not available, so I filled in for him with Juanita’s help. Normally Juanita directs traffic and hands out literature and fills in where there are temporary needs. I loaded stuff into car trunks. Juanita and I restocked the empty crates to be ready for the next round of cars. We were busy all morning with physically heavier work than either of us were used to. Not too long after the food bank ended we headed home. I fixed a latch on a door and did some keyboarding and laid out the page for the March update.
I woke extremely early Saturday with a head cold and took a cold capsule and went back to bed and slept another four hours to seven o’clock. Juanita went to the laundromat for her weekly routine and I puttered a bit on the keyboard and read and vegged away most of the morning. Around noon we went to Walmart for a few items and the rest of the day was spent much like the morning. Maybe early to bed will help with the “spring forward” of the change to daylight savings time.
March 13 - 19
We seem to have woken up an hour later than normal on Sunday. Strange. This sort of thing just doesn’t happen in Saskatchewan. After church where John Hayes from Aldama, Mexico spoke we rushed to the gas station. I filled up with $4/gallon gas while Juanita went in and bought a couple of tacos. We ate them quickly at home and changed clothes and headed to the beaches of South Padre Island. Possible out last chance to walk on the beach this spring. There were more people out and about on the streets today than last month. I guess the main wave of spring breakers left this morning. The next, smaller, wave is trickling in. Maybe it’s a ripple, not a wave.
The walk on the beach was pleasant. I accosted people with curved illusion tracts and Juanita checked out the shells. After the beach walk we drove to the end of the highway, stared over the sand dunes at the water a bit and turned around. When we got to Brownsville, we checked out the Texas Roadhouse restaurant. It was four o’clock, but there were no parking spots and there were crowds of people waiting to be seated. We balked and drove back to Harlingen and signed in to wait for thirty minutes there. That was an enjoyable meal. We both ate too much. The event also consumed the last of the Christmas gift card from our daughter.
Monday’s chapel message was by Oscar Brooks here are my notes from the first part:
Genesis 49:1-7 There is a reference before the passage in you Bible. Some versions say Jacob’s last words to his sons. Some say “prophecies”.
Jacob goes on to give the words about his sons and grandsons.
Not prophecies but a description of behaviour and the negative consequences of such behaviour.
What happens to the type of people who behave that way.
Calls Reuben unstable and what happens because of instability. Applies to every who is unstable. Jacob goes through all his sons.
2 + 2 is always 4
Jacob is saying I’m dying but look at what I’m saying. This is how you are behaving but let me tell you what will happen if you keep behaving that way. The wisdom of a caring father saying what needs to be said.
Ben, Oscar, and a couple of others headed to San Fernando to meet about the Celebrate Jesus event in May. The people left behind worked at clearing the warehouse for expected in coming semi loads and setting things out for a pastors’ giveaway tomorrow. I worked at replacing defective drain piping for the handwashing station in the warehouse.
In the evening I finished one of the last tasks on my list for the apartment, masking and spraying some ceiling water damage.
Oscar Brooks spoke in Tuesday chapel beginning with Exodus 30:23
We interpret the term anointing depending on our church background, but in the Old Testament the anointing was laid out depending on circumstances. This passage laid out with a specific recipe. Five ingredients. The last was olive oil. First was myrrh. Second was cinnamon.
Incense was something that went up to God, a sweet smell, representing the prayer of the saints. The anointing oil representing what comes down from God, the touch of God, the stirring of the Holy Spirit.
When you hear a message, it should burn in your heart if the message is anointed. It is not entertainment. Nowhere in the Bible do we find songs and music as entertainment. Like a message should not be “cute”. That could be a politician. An anointed message pierces the heart, draws you closer to the Lord.
The olive oil. This thing that you crushed, and it produced the oil.
Jesus said I am leaving but I’m leaving you the comforter.
Myrrh was sweet and an aroma to the Lord but it was bitter.
Jesus declined the myrrh because it was a sedative. But its aroma was present at the crucifixion.
If you live long enough, you know that life brings bitterness. Bitterness is part of life, but it is how you respond to it. All his disciplines all ran away. He was alone.
The sweet smell of myrrh mixed with the bitterness of life is part of how we experience our Christian life. Take up your cross and follow me.
Tuesday was pastor giveaway day. Ministries from up and down the Rio Grande Valley showed up with pick-up trucks and trailers to load stuff that had been moved out of the warehouse to make room for expected incoming shipments. I checked one connection from yesterday’s work and confirmed it was good before cleaning up the work area. Juanita helped with the pastor’s and I generally kept a low profile and stayed out of the way. In the evening we turned our attentions to locating a missing wallet and cancelling credit and debit cards and ordering a new driver’s license.
In Wednesday’s chapel Oscar continued on his theme of anointing, partial notes follow. I encourage you to go to the Way of the Cross Facebook page and watch videos of his complete messages.
Been talking about the anointing oil that ui not just oil but five components.
The recipe was not to be copied. It was Holy. It was special. It had to be in one place
We find a young foolish man who is about to be tempted by an adulterous woman. Like looking through a window. Remember verse 17, “perfumed her bed”. When the lord said not to make it a copy. You could but God did not want you to. If you did you would be cut off.
Here comes this woman and setting up the young man. She has prepped her bed. Myrrh was there and cinnamon and aloes. Missing two others.
Young man headed for the snare.
You can make things that look like anointing and the foolish man will fall for it. You can see people falling for and following false anointing of some churches. I saw newscast while in Africa of people running around in Nicaragua thinking Jesus was coming at a particular hour. You see people running all over the place. I was embarrassed to be Nicaraguan.
You see the contrast of with people’s view on the sanctity of life versus how they vote. Hypocrites.
The woman said “I’ve just gone from church” Made a “peace offering” versus adultery.
If you are deceived now what will happen in the end times? Test messages. Read your Bible. You are responsible for your own soul before God. The word of God should be before you all the time. You need to learn how to identify anointing.
Stop wasting your time on useless battles over doctrine. Who’s going to win in that battle? There is so much to do in the kingdom of God. There is so much need to fight the devil with no time to fight your brother.
After work we went home. I unloaded the tools from the car and showered and changed. Juanita did a run to the laundromat with our clothes and towels. I started working on customs receipts for our return to Canada and packed for tomorrow’s trip to Houston amidst the usual Wednesday night binge watch of Blue Bloods.
Thursday morning, we were up early and finishing packing. In the process we discovered the “missing” wallet. I unlocked one of the credit cards, but the cancelled ones are cancelled for good with new ones in the mail. We were on the road just after seven and stopped for gas and lunch at Buc-ee’s in Wharton arriving at Juanita’s sister’s place about 1:30. After a several hour visit the four of us went out to a Chinese buffet we all like near NASA. After dropping Gary and Ninabeth back home we retired to our nearby motel for an early bedtime. Early to rise and drive much of the day makes for an early bedtime.
While we were driving to Houston we received a call from a friend’s wife in Las Vegas. We have been planning to visit them on our way home to Canada. He is the pastor that married us in Tucson forty-seven years ago. Well, the bad news is we won’t get to visit with him. The good news is that he is now with Jesus and out of the pain he has had the last couple of years.
Friday morning Gary and Ninabeth were tied up with appointments. We had a leisurely breakfast at the Waffle House across the parking lot. We sat where I could watch the fry cook work his gymnastics and I handed out curved illusion tracts to one and all. After a bit of keyboarding we headed over to Gary and Ninabeth’s for a visit before riding with them to the Red Oak Café in Alvin for brunch.
After an afternoon of reminiscing, we all went to Chik-fil-A for supper and then a bit more visiting until we headed back to our motel. We expect to see them briefly at next week’s funeral for Juanita and Ninabeth’s nephew, John, in Houston, but this will probably be the last good visit together for some time.
We took our time getting organized in the morning but were still on the road by eight. I programmed into today’s trip a stop at McDonald’s and a stop at Smither Park to see how the map program would do without a data connection. When we missed a turn finding Smither park it went into confused mode until I turned data back on for a while until we found the park. After that it did okay without using any more cellular data.
Smither Park is an inner-city park full of colourful mosaics and fanciful structures covered with mosaic’s. It is a work in progress with ongoing additions. It was early in the day and we had the park to ourselves. After an uneventful drive back to Harlingen we unloaded the car and I took the car to the nearby Kwik Lube. Nope. Closed Saturdays. Did some puttering at the apartment.
March 20 - 26
After church on Sunday we had lunch back home. We went to the large flea market in Brownsville. I had been meaning to do this since we arrived but there was always next week. Last chance is today so we finally went. I handed out a more than a hundred curved illusion tracts in English and Spanish. About half the attendees speak only Spanish, About quarter speak both Spanish and English. The remaining quarter speak only English.
Oscar preached in chapel on Monday. He began by mentioning that he had been going through the different ingredients of the anointing oil and started with Psalm 45:7-8
Here there will be a reference to what we are talking about. If you want anointing, you will have to have the heart of God. You must love righteousness and hate evil. The perfume of the anointing. The oil produces joy.
Exodus 30:22 I have just touched on some things about the anointing oil. It has not been comprehensive. Study deeper on your own. Today I want to talk about cassia. The fourth ingredient. All the first four are fragrant. The fifth is olive oil. One sign of anointing not being present is lack of fragrance. A life that is in disarray.
Cassia was a purgative. A laxative. As kids we didn’t look forward to that time, but it was necessary. It got rid of parasites. Better than living with some small things inside that shouldn’t be there.
From time to time we pick up junk. Sometimes it might be a sin or a habit that doesn’t please the Lord and you need to be cleansed.
From time to time we take up things. I left for college with a burden for the music I had been doing. I went back because I thought I was needed but heard my siblings saying between themselves “oh no he’s back”. I had to get over pride. God said I need you to get over the idea that you are absolutely necessary because you’re not.
The root of the word implies that we should bow down in the presence of God. I have not met an anointed person who was prideful. We are only vessels in the presence of God. Be clean in the presence of God.
After chapel we carried on with clean-up of the warehouse and the tent areas. I tried some things with the one urinal valve to stop water hammer. Later we had time for some visiting and keyboarding. We got the news that my brother-in-law, Dan, passed away. I spent some time thinking about him and the impact he had on my life and had a sad call with my sister in Burnaby, BC.
Oscar talked in the Tuesday morning chapel on the book of Obadiah. Oscar’s brother is named Obadiah so he thinks of him.
One chapter in the book with reference to one people. Talking to Esau.
Obadiah 1:10 Four things Will go through quickly Verse12 first of 12, I am watching what you are looking at I see how you felt Judge you on what you look at and how you felt The way you feel about something A progression look, feel, spoke Vs 13 Look, feel, say, do In this case is a negative These are the people of God, blood brothers of Esau. Jesus Christ saying law says adultery is sin but looking with lust is sin
Intentionality of looking, neighbours wife. Starts with a look. Look, feel …
God sees what you look at God sees what you feel
The media is good at controlling what you look at. Look to God.
Media prevented people from looking at things in 2020. Even the heathens know it is important what you look at.
You see something you feel something you say something. You don’t know if that is from God. Test your thoughts, test your words. Test what you look at. You can confront the look You can confront the feeling before it manifests itself as words or action.
After chapel we ran a few errands. I took Juanita to the salon where she got such a good cut last month. The person is not available this week, so she agreed to a substitute. Not quite the same results, but good enough she says. I went and topped up the gas tank while waiting then we returned to help prep at the warehouse for tomorrow’s drive through food bank.
Wednesday’s chapel message from Oscar started with I Kings 17:1-
We’re going see the prophet Elijah when he said there would be no rain
Sent to brook Kerith to hide then it dried up. Why would God send you to a place where you would be affected by your prophecy? Must have seemed strange to the prophet to watch the brook with less water every day. He has an existential problem. He has to drink.
You learn something about being sent on a mission. God sent his son on a mission and ended with the cross.
A covenant where you cut animal in two and walk between the parts. When you decide to serve God no matter what. When you make that covenant it means no matter what. And no matter what means the brook dries up. There are times when the ravens are flying and giving you food and the water is abundant. Then it all stops and you start doubting. Am I in the right place? But the covenant is not a covenant of circumstances.
God told Elijah to go to the widow.
God will keep you.
Even when Jesus was feeling forsaken. If son of God can feel that don’t be surprised if you feel that way at times. But God didn’t leave his side and doesn’t leave yours.
Your part is to not leave his side.
After chapel we both worked in the food bank because the labourers were few and there weren’t any maintenance projects small enough for me to complete this week. We were kept busy and with the wind-blown dust accumulated a layer of caked on dust during the day. Back home after my shower Juanita swabbed off a couple of spots on my neck I had missed.
Oscar left Wednesday for a conference in Oklahoma so on Thursday we were on our own for chapel and various individuals shared things from the Bible or their recent spiritual walk. After chapel we worked to set up the tent for Friday’s drive through food bank. The WOTC staff had a special lunch for us as a going away gift. We were touched and aft4r lunch went away home and started packing.
Friday we woke early, had a shower, stripped the bed and threw the towels and bedding into the wash and slowly started finishing packing and cleaning the apartment, thoroughly cleaned the car windows inside and out and generally puttered at getting ready to leave our home of the last almost four months. When we came down the trunk was full and the backseat was empty. Now both are full. Shows what happens when you buy a printer and a few (😉) tools and update to a skinnier wardrobe with clothes that are hard to find in Canada.
We were on the road to Houston close to noon and made good time to Juanita’s nephew’s home in Humble, Texas on the north edge of Houston. He and I went around the corner to Amedeo’s, an Italian restaurant where we dined on our last time together. I ordered a selection of desserts to go. The total came to three cents short of thirty dollars and I gave her a fifty. I was taken aback when she asked if I wanted change. I said yes and wondered if I had misheard but my hearing was confirmed on our drive home. Back home I discovered they had substituted a wrong dessert for one selection so back to exchange it while Tracy started the salmon. We had a multi course feast for the next couple of hours and consumed a month’s worth of carbs. I am glad the scale is packed away deep in the trunk of the car. As a friend says. “That’s future Homer’s problem!”
Saturday we had a relaxed visit over breakfast then Tracy and Margarita had to leave for his brother’s funeral. Shortly after Juanita and I followed, picking up some Cranberry pills on the way to the funeral home. At the viewing for Juanita’s nephew, John, we connected with family and friends we hadn’t seen since a previous family wedding or funeral ago. John was three weeks older than me which we like to think of as not very old. He had covid last year and seemed to recover but contracted pneumonia in the last month and didn’t handle it well. He had been working fulltime and seemed healthy other than the recent difficulty. His death came as a shock to everybody. The service was lovely. A well-attended true celebration of life. After the service a procession formed for the burial. We got on the road west by three and tried to make as much mileage as was safe and effective (that’s a familiar phrase). Our target was Junction, Texas. We were willing to stop short of there if drowsiness or road conditions intervened.
They didn’t. We arrived at our motel in Junction after dark but early enough to get a good enough sleep.
March 27 - 31
We were up dark and early Sunday morning and headed down the interstate at close to the eighty mile an hour speed limit. A little higher is still “close” isn’t it?
New Mexico seemed draggy with its 65 and 75 mph limits but that worked too. We made it to Benson, Arizona in the early afternoon. Sitting in the Motel 6 parking lot we used their Wi-Fi and their app to book a room. After dropping our bags in the room, we went in search of our friends who have not been answering their phone. Maybe they have call display and know it is us. That is unlikely since they wouldn’t have our current number. We arrived and discovered their landline is not working, She has been sick but is recovering now and we were all happy to see each other. After a good visit we all re-located to the local Denny’s and added food to the visiting.
Monday morning we met some SOWER friends for more food and visiting at Denny’s before driving to Tucson. We drove by the location of the family home when Juanita was born. Then we drove by her mother’s home when we met. Noticed a few changes to the outside. Then we drove Gary and Diana Lynch’s house. Gary was an usher at our wedding. They have graciously hosted us several times on our way through Tucson. This is the first time we have visited them in their new home on a desert acreage. It is lovely. We toured the grounds and observed the results of all the work Gary has been doing clearing out the underbrush. After a visit and making contact with some others we want to see in the area we headed out to a Mexican restaurant with gigantic portions of savoury high carb food. I may leave the scale in the trunk for a week or two when we get back home.
After watching a three hanky movie, “I Can Only Imagine” the Mexican carbs had settled enough to make room for apple pie and ice cream. I’ve gone from keto to cheat-o diet.
Tuesday I rode with Gary to pick up grand kids and deliver them to various schools. Not as exciting as the times I rode with Gary in his Tucson City Police car, but it was enjoyable enough. More visiting then off to a bookstore and across town to a Costco and then to join Juanita’s niece, Tina and her husband, Ed for a pleasant dinner in their comfortable home. As we dined and visited we were entertained by the view out their picture window of quail, rabbits, doves, pigeons and a cardinal in front of the backdrop of the Catalina mountains. A hawk dropped by for a successful visit. Not so successful for a dove, however.
Our drive home in the dark over unfamiliar roads would have been a trial without a GPS. With a GPS it was fine. After a brief visit with Gary and Diana we headed to bed. Tomorrow there are visits planned with more friends.
Juanita visited with a high school friend early Wednesday morning while went to Starbucks. It was hyper busy when I got there but calmed down around nine. I settled in and did some keyboarding. After I picked up Juanita we went to Whole Foods and walked around and then walked around the complex of shops to get some exercise before heading to visit friends for lunch.
Bruce and Gary were ushers at our wedding. We have not seen him as often as Gary so it was good to catch up. We et him and his wife, Marsha at their home about ten minutes drive from Gary and Diana’s and spent an enjoyable afternoon on their patio catching up. Today was perfect patio weather in Tucson. Something that will be in short supply for a couple of months when we get back to Canada.
Back at Gary and Diana’s we visited with Diana and touched bases with Gary when he got back from granddaughter’s softball practice.
Thursday. Up early. Visit over breakfast with Gary and Diana and then on the road to Las Vegas. We passed through Phoenix in rush hour but maintained a good clip by travelling in the HOV lane. North from there the road was busy but not like it would be on a Friday with the Vegas weekend crowd. I’ve heard that Lake Mead is very low but we didn’t get a good look from the highway and were too focussed on our destination to take a side trip for a better view. After a drive-through lunch we arrived at our friend, Graciela’s, house on the east side of Las Vegas. Her husband, David, had been instrumental in Juanita and I meeting and officiated at our wedding in Tucson in 1975. He and Graciela visited us in Powell River with their babies and we visited them a few times over the years in Los Angeles, Phoenix, San Diego and Mississippi (They moved a bit). We had hoped to visit them both in Vegas, but he passed away last week. She brought us up to date on their moves since Mississippi and his long illnesses. We went out for dinner at a Mongolian Grill style grill before returning home for more visiting.