Saturday, November 30, 2013

Crazy Travel Day With a Few Bumps In the Road

It has been a crazy day.

We left Hokes Bluff, Alabama this morning and pointed the BoggsMobile toward Bond, Kentucky. Our first planned stop was the Flying J on the west side of Knoxville. We planned to shake and howdy with the Benji Burris clan as they were driving from Virginia to California.

Less than an hour south of Flying J my voltage light started flickering sporadically. That warning light is directly tied to the alternator but my gauge said it was producing a steady 26 volts.

While I was trying to figure out what to do my cousin Anthony Abner called me. He had just passed me and recognized the BoggsMobile. He was two cars ahead of me. He and his wife and daughter and son in law had been to Georgia. 

You ready for the good part? Anthony has driven a truck for years and I suspected he might be able to help me diagnose the problem.  So we pulled off the road and confirmed with the voltage meter that the alternator was fine. 

We concluded the light was giving a false reading but did not know why. Anthony reached in one more time to make sure the large wire was not broken and when he grabbed it a small wire came loose. 
That wire was for the light and had broken at the connection. I decided to drive on and fix it in the Flying J parking lot. 

We visited a few minutes and then posed for a family picture next to the road. Imagine the chances of somebody I know being in the right place at the right time with the right knowledge and experience. Reckon who orchestrated that?

As I was finishing the repair on the alternator Bro. Benji, Sis. Laura and their four beautiful children pulled into Flying J.  We had a great visit with them at Denny's. 

These are super folks and it was great to see them again. When Benji text me Saturday morning wondering if our paths might cross in Knoxville I was thrilled to try to make it happen. I am so glad they thought of us as they were traveling.  May God bless our friends. 

About 1/2 mile after getting back on the interstate I saw smoke around the trailer wheels on the drivers side. I thought it was a tire blow out. I rushed back there after I pulled over but the tire was fine. 

The grease cap on the back wheel came off and the grease was every where but where it should be. The front bearings on the back wheel were completely gone. 

I took the tire off and drove 15 mph about 4 more miles to the Pilot truck stop. Benji turned around and followed me into the Pilot and stayed with us until we knew that help was coming. 

I told them to go on but they insisted on seeing us off the side of the interstate safely. Benji also made some phone calls and helped me with information so I could make a decision what to do. 

Like I said, May God bless our friends!

Good Sam sent a mobile mechanic and he took off the hub and inspected everything. He thought the spindle and back bearings were fine.

He took the hub to a place that was open on Saturday night of Thanksgiving weekend and they had the front bearings. The hub is scored some but they did not have a replacement. The old one is usable but I will probably need to change it in the future. When he returned he put it all back together twice to get it right. 

It seems OK now but by the time he was finished it was after 10:00 so we decided to wait until morning to finish the drive to Kentucky. Pastor Duane Allen was very understanding and is allowing us to start revival Sunday night rather than Sunday morning as scheduled.

It was an expensive and nerve wracking evening but I was able to witness to the mechanic and his wife and also gave them a Christmas CD and asked them to listen to the Gospel sermon. Who knows what God will do with all of that.

Yep, it has been a crazy day but we are safe, warm and saved. AND, at least I am not pastoring a church!


Friday, November 29, 2013

Travel Day - Rolling Over 100,000 Miles

We made it back to the bus about 12:40 Thursday night/Friday morning. We drove the 725 miles in slightly less than 12 hours including an hour stop at Cracker Barrel and stopping for gas about a "dozen" times. The Green Machine gets great gas mileage but the tank seems only a little larger than a thimble. 

We only needed a little gas in Claremore but since it was $2.81 a gallon I topped it off before we left. I ran it nearly empty to the east side of Little Rock and then filled up in Tupelo and Birmingham. The last two stops I needed only about a half a tank but we needed to stop any way. I also prefer to stop in big well lit places so that often dictates stopping a little earlier than I would have to otherwise. The gas prices were 26 cents different between Claremore and Birmingham.

As we were traveling across Arkansas on I-40 Thursday evening the eastern sky was beautiful.

Just after we turned off of I-40 onto Hwy 78 in Memphis the little Green Machine turned over to 100,000 miles on the odometer. For those of you that may not know, the Green Machine is an Envy Green 2006 Scion xB.

Here it is at 99,999

And at 100,000 miles at 7:41 PM Thanksgiving Day 11/28/13 in Memphis, Tennessee. 

I wonder where we will be when it turns over to 200,000 miles? It had right near 74,000 miles on it when we bought it in May of 2012. That is about 1370 miles per month and less than 16,500 per year. That is not too bad for us at all considering we put well over 80,000 miles a year on our cars for several years when I was working a public job, living in one place and traveling to preach and go to campmeetings too.

At the rate of 1370 miles per month the Green Machine should roll over 200,000 miles in about 73 months. That takes us up until about the first of January 2020. Wow! It should be just about broke in by then.

The weather is beautiful here in Hokes Bluff today. It is 56 beautiful sunny degrees. It was way super cold when we arrived at the BoggsMobile last night. I left very little heat on while we were gone. I turned the thermostat way down low on one heater inside and one heater in the water bay. The one in the water bay is only a back up for a 70 watt bulb. The bulb was doing fine so that heater was not on even though it was 23 outside.

The heater inside was kicking on and off and the temperature inside was 42. That was perfect. Everything was above freezing and we were not using too much electricity. When we crawled into the bed we were wishing for flannel sheets though! I can pretty much guarantee you the bed will have flannel sheets tonight!

Saturday we start for Kentucky by God's grace. God bless you all.


Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thanksgiving On The Road

Thanksgiving On The Road


A Cracker Barrel Thanksgiving 

We went by the Millikins this morning and visited again with Bro. Jimmy and Bro. Marty. We hated to leave them so bad but it was time for us to move on down the road. 

It has been good to see all the Millikin family. They are special folks and have been a blessing to thousands of people across the country. Please continue to pray for them. 

After fueling up the Green Machine we left Claremore a little before 1:00 PM. we stopped at Cracker Barrel for Thanksgiving dinner near Ft. Smith, Arkansas. 

I dropped Kelly Jo at the door to put our name in the hat and then unloaded Odie and sent her toward the door. I was going to park and the wait in the car because Cracker Barrel is always backed up at least an hour on Thanksgiving. 

Odie was texting me to let me know they were seated at a table before I could get the car parked. Within 10 minutes of walking in we had our Thanksgiving meal on the table. 

We have eaten Thanksgiving dinner at Cracker Barrel quite a few times through the years but it seemed especially good today. Then came wonderful pumpkin pie for dessert. 

The girls shopped for a few minutes after the great meal and then we loaded up in the Green Machine and headed out. We left the parking lot exactly one hour after we pulled in. It could not have worked out any better. 

We are still traveling as I type this post. We have about 170 miles to go to the bus. I have not looked up at the road in several miles. It is a good thing that Kelly Jo is driving now. 

Wednesday night we went to see Sis. Millikin in the hospital with Bro. Jimmy and Sis. Shauna. While in Tulsa they drove us through some Christmas lights. The light were pretty awesome. 

I took a few iPhone pictures. The pictures are not near as awesome as the lights but they will give you a glimpse. 

I hope you had a great Thanksgiving. God bless you all. 


Wednesday, November 27, 2013

A Little Housekeeping, A Praise Report and A Prayer Request

We have internet where we are staying this week so I have been doing a little housekeeping on the blog the last night or two. It needs a total redesign but that will take more time than I have available right now. So for a slight change here or there will have to do.

I have updated the Mission-Nigeria page. It is one of the tabs at the top of the blog. I have added some information from our two trips over the last year and fixed some dead links and removed others. There is a lot of information on that page and we get a lot of visits just to that page. It was time to bring it up to date. You can also got to Labels on the side bar and choose Nigeria. That should bring up every post that I have ever written concerning Nigeria.

I also updated our Music page as well. It is also one of the tabs at the top of the page. I added our He Came - The Gospel of Christmas CD and made sure the links were working there too. Those links will take you to our Product page on the website where you can here sample tracks and purchase the CDs.

I have also made a few behind the scene changes that you will not see but seem to make things run more smoothly or at least make me feel better about it. Like I said it needs more work and I will do that as soon as possible.

Now for the praise report. Sis. Millikin came through surgery very, very well today. The surgeon thinks he was able to remove all of the cancer. He also said the limp nodes he removed looked non cancerous but of course that will need to be confirmed in the lab. She was doing well after surgery and the family is rejoicing in the good report. Thank you for praying and praise God for his help.

Bro. Marty had a decent night and pretty good day although he is very weak and is eating very, very little. He must have a miracle in order to live. Bro. Marty is in the hand of God and we trust Him to do what is best but we desire a miracle. Thank you for helping us pray.

May God bless you all with a great Thanksgiving day. Have a great meal. Have great fellowship. And take time to thank God for He is worthy.


Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Mexico Mission Trip and Beyond

We are still planning to travel to Mexico with Bro. and Sis. Landress on December 12th. Bro. Larry has planned a three night Tent Revival in the state of Chiapas in the southwest part of Mexico. We will be singing and preaching each night and we are really looking forward to it. 

Bro. Larry and I both ordered our tents from Miami Missionary Tent Company in Miami, Oklahoma. Even though we will be in a part of Mexico that we have never been before it should be pretty comfortable working under the blue and white Gospel tent!

He and his mission organization, Holiness In Mexico, have been having good success with tent revivals for several years in Mexico. They generally have very good crowds with several folks saved in each meeting. Although I always feel very limited because of the language barrier in Mexico, I know the Lord will send His Word into the right hearts. 

This will be our third foreign mission focus for 2013 in addition to our home mission project of tent revivals in the USA. We have taken on much more than we can handle when it comes to missions projects this year. 

The first project of the year was trying to provide as much funding as we could for the completion of the new branch church in Abeokuta, Ogun State, Nigeria with Bro. Shobanke and Christ Ambassadors Holiness Church.

The second project was the near spur of the moment trip to Nigeria to dedicate that new church earlier this month. 

The third project in order of completion but the first one actually planned is this upcoming tent revival with Bro. Landress to Mexico. 

By the time the airfare and other traveling expenses are paid and offerings are given, the total for these three projects will probably be very near or beyond $20,000. That is in addition to the expenses of tent revival that have been that much and more each of the last few years. 

There is no way we could do all or any of that on our own. God miraculously and faithfully provides the resources for these mission projects through revival offerings plus special offerings from churches and individuals. 

Dryden Rd. Church, Amazing Grace Tabernacle, Dodds Pentecostal, Corwin Pentecostal, House of Deliverance, Bethany Revival Center and other churches and individuals helped with the new Abeokuta church project. 

Richton First Assembly, Zoar Holiness, Ellisville First Assembly, Bethany Revival Center, Beams of Light and few individuals helped with this last trip to Nigeria. 

Bethany Revival Center and some other friends have already given toward the upcoming Mexico trip. 

In reality every church that has us for revival helps on these missions projects since we try to save as much as possible out of our own income. But it is obvious that we could not do it on our income alone. As I said earlier we have taken on much more in missions projects than we can handle this year but each step seemed to be ordered by the Lord. 

Every time we try to follow God's direction we sense God's protection. Every time we following God's guiding we experience God's providing.

At times it looks like God is asking us to do impossible things. I am not talking about difficult things but impossible things for us to complete. This is where faith gets exciting. If God is asking us to do impossible things then we must learn to trust Him to work out all of the impossible details. Think about it. If we can see a clear path into every future endeavor then faith is not worth one thin dime.

I know this is true. He has proven it to me personally and to my family time and time again. Yet when I am looking at bus payments, repair bills, repairs not yet completed, the price of diesel and then I feel God nudging me with a new vision or leading me into a new venture it is easy to become paralyzed with fear. 

When we have no extra money at all and I know it will require $5,000-15,000 for a mission project or ministry expense it is sometimes difficult to squeak out "Yes, Lord." I have folks say to me often, "How do you do that?" or " I could never afford to do that." I completely understand. I get it. But faith often requires risk. I can not afford it either. Not by a long shot.

Faith does not mean you are leaping into the dark. No, but faith does require leaping. It is still scary. It is still hard. It is still breath taking. But it is not a leap in the dark. Faith requires leaping into the hands of God! It is a wild ride sometimes but it is totally worth it. The hand of God is the safest place I know.

On December 12th we will be leaping again. We already have some big leaps on the radar for 2014 and God has been quickening my heart and enticing me with tidbits of big leaps in 2015 and beyond. I think it is bound to be exciting. Come join us on our journey of faith.

Thanks for reading.


Monday November 25, 2013

We had a good day in Oklahoma today. We spent some time with the Millikins this afternoon and evening and enjoyed the fellowship very much. They celebrated Sis. Millikin's birthday which is later this week and had a good time of singing, worship and prayer with Bro. Marty and several folks that had gathered in. It was wonderful to feel the Lord so close. Please continue to hold up Bro. Marty and the whole family before God.

I made a small change to the blog tonight. The spammers have really stepped up their comments on our blog the last few months. We have always received some spam comments but it has really increased lately. Some days I receive 50 or more crazy comments. I was getting spam comments on last night's post within 30 minutes. It is slightly aggravating. Blogger catches that they are spam but they are still sent to my email and every time I look at the mail on my phone I have 6-10 comments to delete.

The only thing that can be done short of disabling comments is to require word verification. I am afraid it will discourage people from commenting but I have decided to enable the extra step for a while. Maybe the spam bots will "learn" to leave us alone and then I can remove the word verification. We will see.

We love to read your comments so try not to let the word verification slow you down. 

Thank you so much for reading. I know that many of you are faithful to read every day and many more check in a few times a week and we appreciate it very much. We have folks tell us every week that they read the blog and pray for us and that is a great blessing to us. May God bless you for it.


Monday, November 25, 2013

Travel Day

The last service at Trinity Holiness Fellowship meeting was Saturday morning. By the time church was over and we had eaten and said our goodbyes it was nearly 3:00 PM. We were supposed to preach for Bro. Roger Boyd nearby on Sunday but we had been considering a change of plans all week. We wanted to go to Oklahoma to spend some time with the Millikins and we finally decided how to do it just before church Saturday morning.

Our next revival is in Hazard, Kentucky next Sunday and we had five rest days scheduled for this week. We thought about taking the bus and tent trailer to Kentucky and then driving the Green Machine to Oklahoma. The weather was going to be extremely cold this week in Kentucky and I hated to leave the bus with it that cold. We did not know what to do.

Then a brother suggested leaving the bus at Trinity in Hokes Bluff. It was forecast to be cold there too but not below 20. I mentioned it to Kelly Jo about 10:00 AM, cleared it with Pastor Shaneyfelt right before church and the plan came together. Pastor Boyd was gracious to let us out of our scheduled service Sunday. We were packed and ready to go before 5:00 PM and we hit the road.

We had planned to drive until about midnight, get a room and the finish Sunday morning. But the traffic was light and we were making good time and feeling good so we pressed on through. We arrived 725 miles later in Claremore, Oklahoma at 4:00 AM. 

We spent some time with the Millikins Sunday afternoon and went to Claremore to church Sunday night. We had a great service and it was wonderful to see all of our friends. Bro. Marty Millikin is very weak and in need of a miracle. Bro. Jimmy, Sis. Shauna and elder Bro. and Sis. Millikin need God's help too. In fact, Sis. Millikin is having cancer surgery Wednesday. 

We plan to spend a few days here trying to encourage and assist our friends any way we can. Please pray for the Millikin family. It is never too late for God to do a miracle. We will keep you posted.


Sunday, November 24, 2013

Fellowship Meeting In Pictures - Hokes Bluff, Alabama

We are a long way from Alabama now after a super long day. There will be plenty of time to tell about all of that after some sleep. But for now we have some more pictures of the great fellowship meeting at Trinity Holiness Church near Hokes Bluff, Alabama. 

The meeting wrapped up Saturday afternoon with a great service and tremendous meal. Enjoy the pictures.