Monday, January 31, 2022

It Has Actually Been A Great Year!

We interrupt our normal broadcast for a special bulletin. Please tune in tomorrow at this same time for The Weekend Dispatch that you would normally find here on Monday.

It Has Actually Been A Great Year!
We celebrate dates here on Mile Markers. It is one thing we do consistently. We mark birthdays, anniversaries and special days of all kinds. 

We usually do not mention dates that mark events that we would rather forget, but marking dates happens in my mind whether I want to remember the date or not. It is part of my psyche. It is who I am.

Even though the dates I would rather forget stick in my mind like neon billboards, I usually do not commemorate them here among all of the hallowed dates. I especially do not push off a normal weekly feature post to mark such a date, yet here I am.

This date, January 31, has some significance because it is a date that is relatable to my readers. It may not be your date, but many of you have a date in the last two years that rings true with my date.

One year ago today, January 31, 2021, is the date that Odie and I tested positive for Covid in a small hospital within walking distance of where I sit this very moment at Abundant Life Holiness Church in Bernice, Louisiana.

Yes, January 31, 2021, is a date that I would rather forget for many reasons. It is a date that I wish was wiped off the calendar and all of the bad events of that day with it.

Beginning on that date, Odie and I became sicker than we have ever been in our lives. We stayed sicker longer than we have ever been sick in our lives. One year later, I am still dealing with after effects of that horrible day. 

On the evening of January 31, we pointed the BoggsMobile toward home. On February 2, we pulled the bus into the barn. The trip home had been difficult, agonizing and stressful on all three of us, but by God's grace, we made it!

In the course of those three days of driving, at least four Pastors had invited us to park at their church while healing. For nearly 1000 miles I wondered if I should have taken one of them up on their kind offer. It surely looked like we were not going to make it home.

Over the next few months, I would praise God repeatedly that He had given us the strength to make it home. Hallelujah! Once we made it to Ohio, we were so glad to be there!

Two days after arriving home and pulling into the barn, there is no way in the world I could have driven the bus one mile. I was too sick to do it. We are very thankful that I did not reach that breaking point out on the Highway somewhere.

By the seventh day, February 6, my body temperature had been wildly fluctuating for over 36 hours. It would go from outrageously low to dangerously high and back again in only minutes. I was tracking the violent temperature swings with two thermometers and I felt like my body could not take it anymore.

I do not mention the actual temperatures, because I am not sure that anyone beyond people that know me well would even believe the numbers.

About 9:00 PM on February 6, Bro. John Gabbard called and said, "Me and Ann are going to prayer right now." And boy howdy, did they ever go to prayer. I was instantly saturated with the Holy Ghost as they prayed and while they were praying my body temperature went to normal and never rose or fell again!

Put a finger right there in the story because it is important.

I had been marching in place and singing several times a day since we had arrived home. I knew I must keep moving and I intended to build my voice strength. I thought I would be back to revivals in 2-3 weeks and I knew I must have breath and my voice.

On day 11, four days after God touched my temperature, I could not breathe. Through miraculous intervention two local Pastors, Bro. Philip Hoskins and Bro. Danny Lamb brought an oxygen bottle to me and later that night an oxygen machine. They did this late at night in the middle of a snowstorm and saved my life.

In week number six I started struggling to breathe again, even with supplemental oxygen. In week seven, as my lungs filled with inflammation, I felt like my breath would soon stop. With full flow oxygen, my levels were very, very low. 

One evening that week, Pastor Mike Metzger called a few minutes after 9:00 and hit his knees in fervent prayer. KJo was in the bus at the time and she is my witness.

While Bro. Metzger prayed, the Holy Ghost covered me and Kelly Jo. We rejoiced, praised God and we were lost in His Spirit for over 20 minutes. I was not instantly healed, but I received a glimmer of hope that I might live to preach again.

Now, let me go back to the night of prayer on February 6. From the moment Bro. John and Sis. Ann prayed for me until way up into May, the presence of the Lord was near me, more consistently near me than I have ever felt Him in my life.

All I had to do was raise my hand or whisper His name and His sweet Spirit would overwhelm me, strengthen me and help me. It was an absolutely amazing three + months and that is reason enough to mark this terrible day.

January 31, 2021, was the beginning of something awful in our lives. It was also the beginning of three of the best months of my life. Hallelujah! I never want to be that sick again, but IF I could have God that present and real every moment, I believe I could take it.

There is no time to tell the whole story here, but we remained mostly in our home area for 203 days. It was late October, over ten months before I felt like I had turned a corner and began to build strength. It is still a road we are walking. 

Yet, from the very beginning, good friends would call and text and remind me that God had told them I would rise up and preach again.
Thank God for His sure Word of prophecy
Thank God for His protection
Thank God for His provision
Thank God for His healing power
Thank God for His people
He has brought me, yes He has brought me a mighty long way!

So to sum up this January 31 anniversary, it has actually been a great year. It has been a horrendous year and it has been a wondrous year! We look forward to another year that is hopefully and prayerfully more wondrous than horrendous.

Thank you for riding along with us. You prayed with us and you stayed with us and we will never forget it. May God bless you abundantly for it.

Have a great week.


Sunday, January 30, 2022

View Out The Front Window 1/30/22

Sunday Morning Sanity
Smartphones can not replace church bulletins. It is much cheaper to put a bulletin into airplane mode and throw it across the room than a phone. Mr. Church Guy

Our view out the front window of the bus in Greenwood, Louisiana at TA Truck Stop.

This is our view out the front window in Bernice, Louisiana

I hope you have a super great Sunday. Thank you for spending a moment with us.


Saturday, January 29, 2022

Introducing Chloe Jean Shoemaker

Hey Friends,

This is Odie reporting in from the road. Thank you for spending a moment of your weekend with me.

I hope you had a great week. We enjoyed spending part of our week with our family and friends in Sweeny, Texas. The Lord blessed us with His sweet presence during revival!

Baby Update
Earlier this month, I wrote about a baby boom in our extended family this year. Babys are a special gift from God and I love all of them! I am excited for all of my cousins as their families are growing! 

I introduced you to Karleigh Jo Daniels on the blog hereKarleigh Jo has adjusted well to life. I think she gets cuter all the time! Here are a couple updated pictures so you can see her progress.

Introducing Chloe Jean Shoemaker
I have another precious baby making her blog debut today. Deidre and Ben Shoemaker added a baby girl to their family last week.

Chloe Jean Shoemaker was born on January 20th. We are thrilled to welcome Chloe Jean into our family!

Chloe arrived four weeks before her target due date. Thank God she is doing fantastic! Deidre and Chloe both have been home for almost a week. God answered many prayers that we all prayed for Chloe and Deirdre.

I think Chloe is a healthy, perfect petite princess! Here are the details from the start of her life. She was born weighing 6lbs and 3oz. and 18.5 inches in length.

Hopefully, we will get to meet Miss Chloe Jean very soon! I can not wait to hold and snuggle this baby girl.

Deidre, thank you for providing pictures for this post. Thanks also for allowing me to introduce Chloe to my friends!

Congratulations to the Shoemaker family of four. I am excited about this new chapter in your lives! I love you, Deidre, Ben, Charlie and Chloe!

Charlie is going to be a great protective big brother! He is fascinated with her.

Stay tuned. I know Chloe will be making regular appearances on the blog, just like all of our family. You will get to watch her grow up.

Thank you for reading. I will see you next week. I will leave you with two more pictures of my Princess Chloe and Prince Charlie. 😍


Friday, January 28, 2022

Revival In Pictures - Sweeny, Texas

Yesterday's Mile Marker posted with the text jumbled and the header and footer over top of it. It looked correct in draft mode and I could not fix it. I had to copy the text and then paste it in a completely new post. IF you tuned in early and were not able to read the Mile Marker, I apologize. You should be able to read it here

Revival In Pictures - Sweeny, Texas
It has been wonderful to be in Sweeny, Texas at Lighthouse Full Gospel Church this week. I wrote about our history with this church on Tuesday. We are very thankful for our friendships here and the opportunity to preach again.

May God bless our friends for having us and being such a blessing to us. We look forward to returning next year. May God bless Pastor Larry Lamb and all of these fine people.

I hope you enjoy the Revival In Pictures. Thank you for dropping in.


Thursday, January 27, 2022

Doing The Best We Can

Wow! There is something weird going on with today's post. I am going to post it again and see what happens. Ok, that seemed to fix it. This is what it looked like in its original form.

Like I said, weird. Now back to our regularly scheduled broadcast.

Doing The Best We Can
It is tricky to know how to have revival in these strange days. Churches desire revival. We desire to be instruments of revival. God knows our nation and our people need revival. 

Yet we understand that when people gather together from different places, there is a high probability that someone is going to be there without knowing they are sick or infectious. That makes it difficult to know what to do.

With all this Covid mess going on, the confusion that comes with it and the new variants that seem to be constantly developing, I have wondered about the wisdom of being out on the road. Would it be better to stay home and not subject people to having to have revival?

But I settled this in my heart during the shutdown in 2020. We go for three reasons.

First and foremost, we are called to go. Our calling is not dependent on convenience or ease. I have never been beaten or stoned or poisoned for preaching revivals, but some have. How dare I stay comfortable at home when I am called to go. 

We are called to spread the Gospel message and encourage churches in good times and bad times. These certainly qualify for bad times and we must go.

Secondly, not only do we feel responsible to God to fulfill our calling, but we feel responsible to Pastors and churches. Pastors schedule us months or even years ahead and I am very hesitant to cancel those dates. 

These Pastors feel like we can be instruments of revival and I am going to do my dead level best to do it. I desire to honor each commitment even to my own hurt. I believe this is right, at least it is right for me and my family.

Thirdly, most churches are going to have revival if we are there or if we are not. There might be a couple of churches that will not have revival if we are not there, but most are going to have revival. They are going to call a Pastor or find another evangelist and have revival.

Since they are having revival anyway, I want to be right smack in the middle of a move of God IF I have an opportunity.

Since we are going to go, I believe we have a responsibility to go as carefully as we can. We have never felt like it was part of our ministry to spread the flu from church to church in the winter. Spreading Covid is not part of our job description either.

That is one reason we were vaccinated as soon as we were eligible. We made a choice of our own free will. We are happy with that choice. I did not say you must be vaccinated and I certainly do not believe the government should make you be vaccinated.

We also wash our hands frequently, use hand sanitizer by the gallon and we often wear masks when in close contact. We avoid congested restaurants and stores and we have not been on a plane since March 2020.

We cancel meetings and get tested for Covid if we feel sick and we are completely understanding when Pastors need to cancel, postpone or cut meetings short. It is all part of the way things are now and we are able and willing to roll with it.

All of that to say, we are all doing our best to do what we think is best at the time. I said something repeatedly in our online revival from March-May 2020. 

Here it is
None of us have ever Pastored a church during a pandemic. None of us have ever been here before. We must be gracious to one another and not be so judgmental of each other's actions. We are doing the best we can. We must give each other grace.

It sure would have been nice if we had followed that unsolicited advice. It would be nice if we could do it now. I really, really want to believe the best about people.

Thank you for reading my thoughts today. Thank you for being gracious.


Wednesday, January 26, 2022

A Word For Wednesday - A Safe Landing

It is time for A Word For Wednesday. A Few minutes ago, I posted A Word for Wednesday on our YouTube Channel. Please give it a listen and leave us a comment here or on YouTube.

Thank you to Pastor Devin Birdsong for loaning us his best announcer voice to A Word For Wednesday.😍 I asked him to record an intro and outro for these episodes and he did a super great job. I highly recommend Bro. Devin's Podcast called Pod'N Me.

Life comes with a manual for safe Christian living. It is called the Bible. However, events of life can still slip up on us by surprise. Black Ice is what Pastor David Webb calls these events in his book, Leading Like a Lion. Accidents, sudden illnesses, the death of loved ones and a million other patches of ice can cause us to go into the ditch.

But, Bro. Webb tells a story of how God can divinely intervene and bring us to a safe landing on solid ground. Oh, God, we need you to bring us to a safe landing in thee turbulent times!

I hope you enjoy A Word For Wednesday.


Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Praise God For Sweeny, Texas

Over thirty years ago, probably 1991, we were on our way from Florida to preach a revival in Oklahoma. We went a few miles out of our way to visit Lighthouse Full Gospel Church in Sweeny, Texas. It was our very first visit although KJo had been here as a small girl with her family.

We knew Pastor Larry Lamb and he was familiar with all of our families, but he did not know me specifically. We arrived for midweek service and Bro. Lamb asked me to preach. I did and God blessed His people with a wonderful move in the altar.

Bro. Larry Lamb 2022

Bro. Lamb asked if we could stay for a few nights of revival and we were gladly able to do it. We had a wonderful revival with these wonderful people and along the way, we made friends for life.

We preached a couple of revivals in Sweeny during those early days and we loved every moment. When we purchased our first used fifth wheel to travel in, Bro. Lamb and the church sent us $500 toward the $4000 price. We never forgot their kindness.

We were traveling in a car back then and we stayed in the evangelist quarters. There is definitely one thing about that visit we will never forget. Frank Peretti's first two books were huge then and we had bought his first book on cassette tape in Florida.

We were staying in the evangelist quarters which is a single room in the big dark church. We were in the bed and Odie was sleeping on a pallet on the floor. Each night we would start the tape player, turn out the lights and climb into bed. 

We would listen to one side of one tape each night. When that side finished, we would go to sleep. Or I should say, we would try to sleep. We all had spooky dreams full of devils and angels fighting all night long. If you have read about Sally Beth Roe and her journey to Christ, then you understand.

I suppose we were not the smartest kids in the world, but we get a good laugh about it now.

Beginning in 1993, we spent six years home working a public job and attending our home church, followed by nearly four years pastoring in Wichita, Kansas. Shortly after we went back to road life, Bro. Lamb contacted us about coming back to Sweeny and we have been coming back ever since.

We have not been here every year over the last 19 years, but we have been here most years. We have had some great experiences at Full Gospel Lighthouse and we have created some great memories with these tremendous friends.

It is easy to trace the fingerprints of God's goodness to us, by remembering the people that He has brought into our lives. Praise God for His grace and mercy! Praise God for Sweeny, Texas

Thank you for reading today. We sure appreciate you as well. May God bless you every single one.


Monday, January 24, 2022

The Weekend Dispatch 1/24/2022

It has been another great weekend in Texas. Thank you for stopping by today for a few pictures and a description of our weekend.

The time to leave Livingston, Texas felt like it came way too soon. I was physically dragging after church Wednesday night, but I hated to close revival. We love preaching revival all the way through Friday night, but I know these shorter weeks are necessary to build to 100% strength. 

We were in no hurry Thursday morning. KJo helped me do the work of the evangelist and then she prepared the inside of the bus to ride. When her work was completed, they loaded in the Jeep and drove to the north side of Houston to shop a bit.

It has been nearly two years since we were in a big city AND they felt comfortable enough to go in multiple stores. They were very careful, masked and stayed away from close proximity to people. They must have found some deals too!

I cranked the bus, unhooked the utilities and started south. The route from Livingston toward Sweeny is future I-69. It goes right into the heart of Houston where you basically stay straight on Hwy 288 to Angleton. There is a Love's at Angleton and then the exit for Sweeny, Hwy 35 is a couple of miles down.

There was a little slow down in Houston, which is not unusual. It was not bad. Two hours after leaving Livingston, I stopped at Love's and parked in their wide open parking lot and rested for about 90 minutes. Like I said, we were not in a hurry.

I pulled into Sweeny at 3:00 PM after 142 miles. I parked, hooked up the electricity and spent the rest of the evening gathering information for our end of the year bookwork.

KJo and I spent all day working on that Friday and most of the day Saturday. We now have our donation receipts finished and I am ready for my annual meeting with the board members of Boggs Family Ministries which will take place later this week by conference call.

We also set up sound Saturday and drove about 30 minutes to Lake Jackson to visit with Bro. Bruce and Sis. Priscilla Mayhan and company. They are in the area on vacation. Usually, they are able to attend revival when we see them, but the timing did not work out this trip. 

We met them for a meal and enjoyed the food and fellowship tremendously. It is always great to see them!

Bruce and Priscilla along with Alton and Naomi Brown

Both Sunday services were great at Lighthouse Full Gospel in Sweeny and we are looking forward to three more services.

That wraps up our weekend. Thank you for dropping in.