Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Bro. Ben and Sis. Opal Lee Shaw
Monday, November 29, 2010
Gainesville, TX House of Prayer
Sunday, November 28, 2010
What a Testimony!
A NINETY-ONE YEAR OLD HOLINESS BUS CAPTAIN
There is no doubt in my mind that Margaret McMillen is a rare person, indeed. I don't know anyone else like her, anywhere. For the 40 years that I have known her, Margaret has been a prayer warrior, and has had a one-of-a-kind ministry of evangelism and soul winning that has never died. This small, humble lady daily makes her way to the throne-room of heaven to petition the King for lost souls. I have seen the pages of her huge prayer list taped to her living room wall. I was glad my name was on it. Her prayer list goes around the world as she intercedes for individuals and for unknown people groups that have never heard the Gospel.
AN ASTONISHING BIRTHDAY GIFT
On Saturdays she is knocking on the doors of the people on her bus route, giving out tracts, looking for children on the playground, or teenagers hanging out on the corner, always inviting them to church, and arranging to pick them up in the bus. They have no idea that they have just been claimed for the Lord!
Margaret's heart bursts with joy as she tells of incidences like this: "I saw one girl on the sidewalk and talked to her and then knocked on her door and asked the mother if she could come to SS. She did, and then later the mother came and got saved." She saw a girl up in a yard chasing butterflies, and talked to her and then to the mother for permission for the girl to come to SS. They picked up the girl faithfully for 5 years (She is now 10 yrs old), and the mother finally came and she got saved. Margaret sometimes does medical transports for Senior Citizens and was waiting for a lady in the doctor's office when a woman came in with a twisted ankle. Margaret talked to her and found she had 6 children. She asked if they went to SS. "No, but I want them to," the woman replied. Margaret arranged for them to be picked up on the Sunday School bus. After awhile the mother came too, and got saved. In an earlier conversation she excitedly reported, "We had 3 bus mothers get saved this year so far". That was in 4 months time. Do you want to know how to build a church? Just follow Margaret around, and do what she does!
Margaret also faithfully picks up bakery items twice a week for the Love Extended ministry, and showing her humor she says, I distribute it to the poor, the needy and the greedy. I don't want to miss anyone."
One day a man and his sister came to church looking for her. Their mother had sent them to see if Margaret McMillen was still alive, because "at all their family reunions everyone talked about her". Margaret was told and she went to the church foyer to see who it was. Although she did not remember them, they told how she had brought their mother and father to church on her bus 50 years ago, and they got saved. Then both children grew and came on the bus and got saved, and now they and their whole family are serving the Lord! Imagine, 50 years of bus ministry and soul winning!
UNIQUELY LED BY THE LORD
Jean Fordyce, a fellow church member and friend has often been amazed at the way the Lord has led Margaret. Once as the two of them started out for door-to-door visitation, Margaret told her the Lord had given her an address on 36th Street that she wanted to visit. The following account further demonstrates how the Lord has led her.
On another day Margaret started out letting the Lord lead her as she went witnessing. She came to a house where the lady said she already had someone inside giving her a "Bible study," someone from Kingdom Hall. As a former Jehovah's Witness, Margaret understood their destructive beliefs, and asked nicely if she could join them for the study. It wasn't long until her pointed questions drew out answers that convinced the lady of the house that the Jehovah Witness doctrine was definitely not something she wanted. Defeated, the JW left, and Margaret was able to give the true Gospel to the lady. Days later, asking the Lord to direct her, she came to a different house and found that the same JW was here giving another "Bible Study." Much to the JW's dismay, Margaret again was welcomed by the lady of the house and invited to join them. As you can guess, the "JW teacher" was soon on her way, and Margaret was again giving the true Gospel to one more soul. This may seem hard to believe, but shortly afterward, the exact same thing happened on a third occasion, when Margaret had absolutely no idea that the same JW was in the house where she was knocking. When she saw Margaret at the door, she stood up and accused her of following her, and said, "If she comes in, I'm going out," and she did. It was not Margaret who was pursuing her, but the Lord who warned that false prophets would arise and deceive many.
I was Youth Director at Broadway Assembly before going to Free Gospel Bible Institute where I taught for 40 years, and I always valued the opportunities I had to go back and see Margaret again. On one of those trips I brought her a piece of coconut cream pie and said, O.K. Margaret, now I want to hear some stories about your witnessing. Instantly she was alive with that soul winning passion that I loved about her. She was about 88 then, and I could tell what was coming by that look on her face! Animated and bubbling over with enthusiasm she reported, "Sister. Ratti (78yrs) and I just got back from knocking on doors and we found two families that are prospects. The one didn't even know our church was here and is interested. The other family just moved into the area and is Pentecostal. They are all planning to come on Sunday."
Sister Alice Ratti, was often a soul winning partner for Margaret. She tells about her move to the Lorain area in 1957 and how Margaret was the first one to befriend her. "She is my prayer partner and confidante. Her faith is very strong and so is her passion for souls. At age 91, she still gets up at 6:00 AM every Sunday, rain or shine, hot or cold, and rides that church bus with all those noisy, rowdy kids...This precious saint surely has a starry crown awaiting her in Heaven!"
It shouldn't be surprising to learn that Margaret's son Charles and his wife Kathy are missionaries in Sierra Leone, West Africa. He remembers well those weekly "Go-Ye!" services at Broadway Assembly, for his mother was the Minister of Visitation, the first full-time staff member hired by Pastor K. A. Smith. He tells how the "church grew exponentially during the years 1959-1969 to over 1,000 in attendance with ten bus routes throughout the city." His mother had the oversight of all of this. "She became a walking encyclopedia of names and addresses of prospects," even knowing the ages of their children. At 91, Margaret is still in good health, attends the same church and loves her pastor. Not long ago her son talked to her on the phone from Africa and heard her excitedly report that she has averaged 45 on her bus, the only remaining route. She is a hero, not only to her son, but to me and hundreds more whose lives have been greatly impacted by her life that has been wholly lived for the Lord.
When her son, Charles, went to Africa he gave his mother their 1994 Cadillac. In a phone conversation with Margaret, just last night she said, "Let me tell you what happened this week. On Monday I had to go take a test to get my driver's license renewed, and I failed miserably. I went home and prayed for a miracle." With a slight giggle in her voice she continued, "On Wednesday I went back to retake the test, and I passed with flying colors, so my license is renewed for 4 more years, until I'm 95, but I hope Jesus comes before then!" From the sound of her vibrant voice I am sure she was smiling from ear to ear.
HER FIRST VISIT TO A PENTECOSTAL CHURCH
Edith Pettry considers Margaret a soul winner who has always worked hard to win the lost. "She does not waiver whether times for her are good or bad."
Margaret was hesitant about having this article written about her, and clearly reminded me that, "All the glory belongs to the Lord. He is the one who did it all." Yet, once I got her talking, she came up with one story after another. Her life is one big adventure of experiences known only to someone who has lived their life completely for the Lord. At 91 she thanks God for strength for each day. It was a joy to talk to her once more and to hear her vibrant, strong voice, her continuing burden and vision. We laughed together several times, because of her great sense of humor..
She remembers when one Jehovah's Witness lady chased her away with a broom, and how dogs twice, bit her as she knocked on doors for the Lord.
Jean Fordyce worked extensively with Margaret during the early days when they were building the church, and recalls how "one day she didn't have the ladder anchored well and it slid down the wall with her on it. Her shins were badly bruised, but she never stopped working." Just weeks ago this 91 year old lady was in the Camp Blessing kitchen helping prepare and serve food for their camp meeting. Bonnie Wood says she's like the "Energizer Bunny." She just keeps going and going.
Sister Fordyce tells of a day "when Margaret was visiting and the man became angry and chased her down the street with a broom." He was a rejecting lost sinner, and Margaret was running down the street away from him, yelling back to him, "It is appointed unto man once to die and after that the judgment."
For three years she tirelessly continued to knock on the Jeffreys' door every
Saturday. They always knew she would be there to invite them to church, and responded different ways.. Finally, Opal Jeffreys came and got saved. Then her husband came and got saved. Then all of her 5 children came and got saved. Now all of them serve the Lord together.
I count it a privilege to write about my good friend and example, Margaret Mcmillen. One article could never tell all there is to tell. As a young person working full time for the Lord as Youth Director at Broadway Assembly, I worked closely with Margaret, and was deeply influenced and impacted by her example. I thank God for this opportunity to tell this story. My life will be forever changed because of this dear saint of God. I pray that you, dear reader, will also be challenged and changed by what you have read.
Sent from my iPhone
Saturday, November 27, 2010
Thanksgiving in the Noe Family
Friday, November 26, 2010
Thursday, November 25, 2010
Focus of My Thanksgiving This Year-2010
Nearly Ten years ago while we were living in Kansas I sent "thank you" cards to many of my "Heroes" in the faith. Great men who took time to befriend me and their friendships proved to be invaluable.
Over a period of several days I sat down and wrote or typed my heartfelt thanks to the many men who had a great spiritual influence on my life. I go back and read the copies of those cards occasionally and I always weep from a thankful heart.
In the ensuing years there have been a whole new crop of men spring up and take on the role of friend in my life. They have joined the others as my encouragers, role models, teachers, mentors, confidants and defenders. I thank God for these friends.
I suppose it's time to sit down and write a whole new stack of "thank you" notes to these additional friends and spiritual heroes that God has placed in my life.
However, I have been thinking about a totally different class of friends in the last few days leading up to Thanksgiving. I don't really know what to call these friends.
"Friends I haven't seen in a very long time and that I hardly ever talk to any more but I still think about and thank God for on a consistent basis because I could Not have faced certain parts of life without them."
You know what I'm talking about? If you are young, perhaps you don't. It is like this: They are like friends I had in high school that I believed were life long friends. I would never be separated from them... No way!
But I haven't seen some of those high school friends since graduation day over 25 years ago. If I have seen them it was briefly at a funeral or wedding or the WHS Alumni banquet I attended in May that was about as exciting as a wedding and as sad as a funeral in a weird twisted kinda way. I digress.
What happened to those high school friends? We didn't get mad. We didn't argue. We didn't choose new friends or dump old friends. Life just moved on and we moved with it. It is the way life works.
But the friends I have been thinking of were more important to me And my family than high school friends. We shared much more!
We shared spiritual experiences, Campmeetings, revivals, baptisms, dedications, Sunday school, Wednesday night prayer meetings, weeping altar services, singing, shouting, healings and the list goes on and on.
We shared meals... Lots of meals!
We have had long conversations about doctrine, preaching, music, temptations, food, feelings, fears, faith, families and numerous other subjects.
In other words we connected deeply and stayed connected for years. These friends were as crucial to me then as my dearest friends are now.
But life moved on. Time, distance, several cross country moves, jobs, college, kids and the general busyness of life has interfered with some of our friendships. Of course the fact that my calling keeps us on the road most of the year and we relocate to a different city every week hasn't helped the cause any. Lol
I have been thinking of friends that fall into this category. These are the friends I have been wondering about this week. These are the friends I have been thanking God for this week.
I have been thanking God for them and asking God to bless them for the close times we have experienced. I am a better man for knowing them and for the investments they made in my life. I am a better Christian for the prayers they have prayed and the seeds they have sown in my life.
So I give praise and glory to God on Thanksgiving Day for Friends I haven't seen in a very long time and that I hardly ever talk to any more but I still think about and thank God for on a consistent basis because I could not have faced certain parts of life without them.
If you happen to be one of the folks I am thanking God for today, please know that I love you, we love you and we pray for you and will always cherish the part you played in our lives.
Oh, and call me any time!
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Thankful NOT to be in Montana!
We absolutely love our friends the Metzgers in Montana along with all the fabulous folks from Sun Valley Church. Our family cherishes these people. We loved spending a few weeks with them this summer. We love their beautiful state. We love worshipping in their church. We will forever be grateful that they took us in and loved us as their own. I would love to be apart of their Thanksgiving traditions and eat the wonderful meals I know they will prepare.
But I am Soooooooo thankful I am not there this week! The picture above is their temperature right Now! The pictures below are of the forecast the next few days. It's 80 today here in Gainesville, Texas and going down to 44 tomorrow and the 20s tomorrow night. But ZERO in the daytime on Wednesday before Thanksgiving???
No, I'm sorry, Bro. Metzger, I am Very Thankful NOT to be in Montana today.
Build a fire, crank up the thermostat I need some heat!
Hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving day. May God bless you and your family.
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Just like Wal-Mart though, you stop for a few $1 items but you always pick up a few must haves and a few super bargains. Before you know it you've spent $100! You saved $2 on this, $1.50 on that and $3 on something else. You keep saving money at that rate and you will soon be bankrupt!
Well that's Camping World in a nut shell. Just like Wal-Mart except for RVers. I am running in as we pass by on our way to church because I really need to replace a few things. I should be spending less than $30... We will see...
Let's all say it together as we walk inside....
I won't spend $100...
I won't spend $100...
I won't spend $100...
I won't spend $100...
Oh forget it, I'm not fooling anybody but myself, where's my debit card?
UPDATE: Only Spent $74.45... But they didn't have the MAIN thing I stopped for! Lol
Monday, November 22, 2010
Or a Ron's Double Big Daddy, Mountain Lion in Montana or Spanky's Two+ lb cheeseburger...
Or Kelly Jo's German Sundae, Red Lobster's Endless Shrimp or Burrito from Humberto's...
Or Green Chili or a huge Chicken Fried Steak from Cotton Patch...
But I can dream can't I?
Sunday, November 21, 2010
Tonight was the last night of revival at Keller Holiness church in Keller, Texas. We have had a great time here again this year. The services were good and we were blessed with visitors too.
Pastor Kenneth Rowe and his wife Sis. Andra
Below is the Jones family from the Keller church.
We will be preaching Tuesday night at Victory Tabernacle in Watauga. Bro. Ben Shaw is the interim Pastor there. We love being around Bro. and Sis. Shaw. They are great folks. We were at Victory in February for a benefit singing and we are looking forward to going back.
God bless you all.
Saturday, November 20, 2010
Grizzly Chasing a Buffalo
Sent from my iPhone
Friday, November 19, 2010
German Sundae Treat!
Thursday, November 18, 2010
The Landress Family
Bro. Larry and Sis. Rosemary have labored as missionaries to Mexico and beyond for over 20 years and Bro. Jeffery, Sis. Rebecca, Madeline and Andrea have recently joined them on the field. They are doing a great job in reaching people in several parts of Mexico for Christ. We believe in their ministry and whole heartedly recommend them for support.
They arrived a little early for church and we really enjoyed visiting with the whole family. As you can see in the pictures my new hat was very popular.
Revival services have been good so far. Keep praying for us.
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
San Diego Zoo From Odie's View
You can get a better view of my encounter with the Cheetah. It really spooked me! I thought it may have been my hat or chair he didn't like. Sis. Rosemary Landress said he probably sensed my weakness.
I really was afraid when at Sea Lion show they brought my Cheetah "friend" out on just a leash! I know she saw me. Her dog companion was also there with her. The dog did it's job well,keeping the cheetah calm.
The Sea Lion show was interesting! It was very well trained and entertaining. A little girl helped them some in the show. She was a brave girl, doing everything they asked her to do.
We saw Mom's best friend at the zoo, the Grizzly Bear. This Grizzly was a black one. I think Mom was happy just seeing him in passing on our bus tour. LOL
The other shots are just various animals. It was a good day!!!