Showing posts with label History. Show all posts
Showing posts with label History. Show all posts

Saturday, May 25, 2024

Memorial Day 2024

Hey Friends,
This is Odie reporting from my Ohio beach cottage. I hope you are doing well. Thanks for stopping by to visit with me on this busy holiday weekend.

When I think of Memorial Day, this song repeats in my head. I had to share it with you today. Please listen to More Than A Name On A Wall at least once.

I want to remember the reason we have a holiday to celebrate this weekend. It is a time we remember our loved ones who have finished their lives ahead of us. 

Dad shared about our recent visit to the local cemetery on Thursday. In this post about my sweet sister, you can see why we visit Miami Cemetery every May.

Our family and friends may be gone from this life, but definitely not forgotten. Heaven grows sweeter every day! I look forward to reuniting and meeting many friends and family members soon.

Memorial Day was set aside to honor our soldiers who gave their all for America. I honor those special souls who sacrificed all for the freedoms I hold dear today!

Twenty years ago, we visited Washington, D.C., and saw several monuments in our Nation's capital. It was a week that this American history lover will never forget.

Our visit to Arlington National Cemetary left a permanent impression on my mind and heart. I can not describe the feeling of watching the guard at the tomb of the Unknown Soldier. We watched the changing of the guard a few times. It was a special moment; I am so glad I witnessed it in person.

That visit to D.C. deepened my sincere appreciation for the sacrifice and dedication of many great people. We all benefit from the gift of countless men and women. It hurts me to think about the pain and suffering of the soldiers and their families. 

Their names are more than names on a wall or plaque. They were real people who gave their lives for our country. Thank you. feels very hollow, but I mean the words with all my heart! I remember them extra this weekend!

See you next time.

Saturday, August 19, 2023

5 Years And Still Thankful

Hey Friends,

This is Odie reporting in from my Ohio Beach Cottage. I am happy to be home for a quick visit. We have a busy weekend and week on the books. Check back in the coming days to see our fun with family and friends. 

June 1st was the 5th anniversary since I officially moved into my Beach Cottage. Here is a picture from that first night.

It does not feel like it has not been that long. I am so grateful for the beautiful place to call my home! In the last 5 years, so much has happened in the world and in my life. It has been a major blessing to have my own safe place!

The entire home is a series of miracles! I do not want to forget God’s provision! The love and support from my family and friends turned a dream into a reality. My heart still overflows with gratitude!

Many of you reading this post played a role in helping us build my home. Thank you one more time from the bottom of my heart. I thank God for you! I still pray for God to bless you abundantly!

This week marked another 5th house anniversary for me. August 17th, 2018. We were joined by many of the incredible people that help us build my home for house tours and dedication. It was a privilege to show off my finished miracle. We had a sweet dedication on my front porch!

That evening was fantastic. We had friends from near and far come to celebrate with us. Lots of prayers, money, blood, sweat, tears and work brought us to that moment. It was an extraordinary day of memories that still warms my heart! 

I encourage you to read this archived blog post here. Dad summed up the wonderful dedication day in an excellent way. Below is just a sampling of photos from that night that are special to me.

I will never forget the love I experienced that day! I am blessed beyond measure! I just wanted to pause for a moment to thank God for His unspeakable gift of my beautiful home!

Thank you for joining me as I stroll down memory lane. Here is a small tour of the front portion of my home. This was recorded during our 2020 online covid revival.

See you next week. 


Sunday, June 6, 2021

Sunday Morning Sanity 6/6/21

Today is the anniversary of D-Day, June 6, 1944. It is a very important day in our history and the turning point for WWII in Europe.

Also, The Battle of Midway was underway on this day two years before on June 4-7, 1942.

We first visited the WWII Memorial in Washington D.C. in 2004. The following quote about The Battle of Midway on the wall of the WWII Memorial grabbed my attention and has gripped me ever since.

They had no right to win, yet they did, and in doing so they changed the course of a war. Even against the greatest of odds, there is something in the human spirit, a magic blend of skill, faith and valor, that can lift men from certain defeat to incredible victory. 
Walter Lord

You can make it through this difficult time, my friend. You can win. You can go from certain defeat to incredible victory.

Thank you for stopping by today.


Monday, January 27, 2020

Burying The Conscience of Mankind

The parents of one of my precious Aunts were survivors of Nazi concentration camps during WWII. My parents were privileged to host them in our home when I was a child. Although I never heard them utter one word about their experience, I remember being in awe of them when I was a child. I viewed them as heroes. 

I still recall how honored I was to sit at the table and spend the night in the home of my Aunt's Mother in New York City when I was 17 years old.

The fact that many in my generation and the generations younger than me are uneducated about the horror of the Holocaust is tragic. We should know. IF you do not know, you can know. The information is readily available. You must know.

Today is a good opportunity to become informed. January 27, marks the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the deadliest concentration camp perpetrated by the Nazi's. The Soviets liberated Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp in Poland on January 27, 1945.

The German Nazis killed six million Jews during WWII in an era known as the Holocaust. Approximately 1.1 million of the Jews that were killed, met the end of their lives in the gas chambers in Auschwitz. 

Vladimir Munk was a young adult when he and his father were sent from a neighboring camp to Auschwitz. They had heard the camp was a terrible place, but they did not know about the gas chambers. He and his father were separated and sent different directions by the soldiers when they arrived.

He later asked a fellow prisoner if he knew where his father was. The prisoner pointed to the smoke escaping the chimney of the gas chambers. He told Munk his father had gone up the chimney.

"So that was it," says Munk. "You never died in Auschwitz. You went up the chimney."

Most of Vladimir Munk's family were killed at Auschwitz at the hands of Nazi Germany along with over one million others. Vladimir is 95 years old and is taking his first trip back to the "family cemetery" that  Auschwitz-Birkenau is to him. He will be there today.

There are at least 100 survivors of Auschwitz-Birkenau that plan to be in attendance today for the commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the liberation. Without a miracle, there will only be a handful of living witnesses to the Holocaust five years from now.

What happens when all the living witnesses are gone? Will we forget? God forbid! We must never forget! Yet, every current study shows forgetting is exactly what is happening. History is being forgotten at best and purposely distorted at the worst.

A recent survey by the Claims Conference showed that 45% of Americans and 49% of young adults in America could not name even one of the 40,000 camps and ghettos during the Holocaust.

Also, 30% of Americans and 41% of young Americans believe that substantially less than six million Jews were killed by the Germans.

The lack of knowledge of Americans about the Holocaust is not hard for me to believe. My wife and I began public school less than 30 years after the end of WWII and we finished school in 1985, 40 years after the end of the war.

Neither of us can remember one lesson taught in school concerning the Holocaust. Not one lesson! How could they ignore one of the most important facts in recent human history? Yet they did ignore it. We gained our knowledge from our parents, sermons, books and encyclopedias.

If we were not taught in school so many years ago, how in the world can kids learn the truth now? So much school time is dedicated to the environment, alternate lifestyles and being good global citizens, there is no time to teach history that is unpleasant to talk about or hear about.

In addition to the lack of teaching facts of the Holocaust, there is an active push in some circles to eliminate any memory of the Holocaust. From the day the atrocities were discovered and the camps were liberated there has been a concerted effort to deny, deny, deny! The Jews and the Allies have been accused of making it all up or exaggerating the numbers to further their cause.

Is it any wonder that 75 years later, the world is so ignorant of one of the darkest marks on human history? Is it any wonder that hatred for the Jews is rising all over Europe and even in the USA?

The Nazis knew the world outside of the concentration camps would never believe that such evil was possible. One survivor, chemist and author, Primo Levi told about a statement from an SS guard as Simon Wiesenthal arrived as a prisoner in Auschwitz in 1944.

“However this war may end, we have won the war against you; none of you will be left to bear witness, but even if someone were to survive, the world will not believe him.”

Unfortunately, the Nazis were correct in their evaluation of the quality of our collective memory. It is difficult to believe that humans could have been so cruel to other humans and 75 years of denial and downplaying have softened the horrific facts in so many minds.

On the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, we must not forget. We must actively work to remember. Read up on real history. Discuss the Holocaust with your children when you feel like they are old enough to handle it. Preachers, talk about it in the pulpit. I did last night and I probably will again tonight.

History will repeat itself if we do not reveal what hatred is capable of doing among us. There are groups of Americans that would love to eliminate whole groups of other Americans. They hate others because of their color, their birthplace, their religion, their ethics, their values and even their political beliefs.

We as Americans are falling into the same trap and chasing the Nazis down into the same cesspool. It can not happen you say? It can happen. It did happen.

Sonia Klein is 94 years old. She was a teenager when she was sent to Auschwitz-Birkenau in 1943. She insists that young people must learn the facts about what happened. She said, “Young people are the ones that have to carry the memory of our loved ones forever,”

You and I can help educate our little corner of the world. Read it. Believe it. Tell it. Our collective memory must live longer than those precious souls that saw it for themselves. If not, we are doomed to repeat it. Indifference and hate will always destroy.

At the 70 anniversary celebration of the liberation, Roman Kent, an Auschwitz survivor said, "We survivors can not, dare not to forget the millions who were murdered. For if we were to forget, the conscience of mankind would be buried alongside the victims."

Wow! That is heavy.

Thank you for reading today.


Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Godfrey and Bessie Isaacs - 100 Years

Odie wrote about my Mother's parents a few years ago on Mile Markers, but a special date past on Friday and it caused me to begin to think about Grandpa and Grandma Isaacs again. They are never far from my mind because they had such a tremendous influence on my life and still do today.

My mom, Martha, sent me this picture Friday. I introduce to you Godfrey and Bessie Isaacs on their wedding day, May 10, 1919. 

Grandma Bessie's sister and her husband took them to Richmond, Kentucky to get married. That is over 20 miles one way in a horse-drawn wagon. Grandma said they wore their winter coats and a big snow fell on their way.

Friday marked 100 years since their wedding on that cold, snowy day in May 1919. They were just kids, really. Grandpa would turn 17 the following July and Grandma would turn 16 the following October.

They would have their first child the next year and that baby would pass away before his first birthday. My youngest brother, Tommy, is named after their first child. Their last child was born in 1947. He was their 17th. 14 of those children would live to be grown and have their own children.

Grandma and Grandpa lived in Ohio for a time, but most of their lives were spent way up a hollow about 2 miles off Red Lick Rd at the Madison County/Jackson County line. 

They built this home in about 1937. This is where my Mother was born.

That is also the home that we visited all our growing up years. We spent lots of weekends and a week or two most every summer roaming around the mountains surrounding the log cabin, playing in the creeks, climbing in the barn, going with Grandpa to tend to crops and animals and watching him slop the hogs. We also carried wood and water for Grandma.

The meals in Grandma's kitchen were the best meals I have ever eaten to this day, especially the breakfasts. Every single night I ever spent in that house was punctuated with the smell of homemade biscuits, gravy, sausage, bacon, salt-cured ham, fried potatoes, fried apples, eggs and who knows what else every morning.

Meals were a huge affair at Grandma's and were not to be rushed into lightly. Once the meal was prepared, we did not go to the tables in the kitchen. No, we went into the living room, got down on our knees and prayed. Prayer was serious business in that home.

Then we gathered around the tables and said "Grace" over the meal. Just about everything they ever ate came from the labor of their hands and the grace of God and I suppose they wanted him to know they were thankful.

And then we did eat! Wow! What amazing memories I have of the food. The absolute best biscuits in the world were made in that kitchen on Grandma's wood stove. Cracker Barrel biscuits have a hint of the flavor of Grandma's and even they cannot hold a candle to the biscuits in my memory.

Grandma's jellies and jams were a perfect treat for me growing up, especially her blackberry jam. We would do as Grandpa did for dessert. He would put some home churned butter on his plate, a big spoon full of blackberry jam, mix it all together with a fork and sop it up with his biscuit. The only thing that would give that any competition was to substitute Grandpa's famous homemade sorghum molasses for the jam. Wow and Wow!

Another great memory of Grandma and Grandpa's house was all the kids around. I told you that 14 of their children grew to adulthood and have their own children and Boy Howdy did they ever have children. There were 98 of us grandkids with the last one being born a few months before Odie in 1985.

Uncle Herman's kids and Uncle Charles' kids were almost always around since they lived close most of the time. Sometimes you could throw in Aunt Madeline's kids and Aunt Edna's kids too.  At home, we had trouble finding enough kids for a game of baseball, but at Grandma's, we had enough kids for a whole league.

But finding enough level ground to play baseball would have been difficult, so we ran all over those hills having the time of our lives. By the end of the day, we had enough dirt ground into our clothes and skin to make a mountain of our own.

Bath time always made me regret the dirt I had accumulated. We carried cold water from the well or rain barrel and put it in the tub one bucket at a time and then added a pot of water that Grandma had heated on the wood stove, hoping to knock some of the chill off. It never seemed to work.

Every night, everyone that was staying in the house and even others that lived nearby would gather in the living room. Grandpa would read a chapter or two from the Bible with a flickering coal oil lamp to read by. He would expound a little from the scriptures he had read and sometimes there would be some discussion. Then they would sing a song or two and they would pray.

I did not realize as a boy that all of that was sinking into my heart and mind, but it was. I remember many of the things Grandpa talked about and Oh how I remember the prayers of those gathered in that living room.

Like all of us, some of Grandpa's beliefs were shaped more from life experience than by the Bible, but he was very sincere in studying the Word. That soaked in.

Grandpa passed away in August 1985 when I was 18 years old. I was in his bedroom laying across the end of the bed when he stirred. He had been mostly comatose for a day or two when he opened his eyes, reached up for something coming down from the ceiling that we could not see, embraced the unseen and slipped into glory.

This is Grandpa and Grandma Isaacs in the early to mid-1980s. They had been married over 66 years when Grandpa died.

Odie was born in October 1985 and this is Grandma holding Odie as a small baby in my parents home.

She passed away in October 1987 after a short illness one day before her 84th birthday.

The spiritual legacy that Grandma Isaacs left us is huge. She was saved, sanctified and filled with the Holy Ghost as a very young girl during the early days of the second outpouring in the early 1900s. Her experience with the Lord influenced and shaped every single aspect of her life.

She was above all else, Christian. She lived the hardscrabble life of a farmers wife in a house with no access to running water or electricity. She birthed 17 children into that existence and took care of her children and her husband and everyone else that came through. She did all of it with a smile on her face and a song in her heart.

The three weeks that she lay dying in my Aunt's house, just a few miles from where she lived, her family gathered around her. I heard several of her children say that they had never heard their mother raise her voice in anger.

Wow! Odie could say the same thing about me, but she would be lying.

Grandma Bessie Isaacs was a sanctified woman and her example and influence still stir my soul today.

100 years ago, Godfrey and Bessie Isaacs were married. Although they only have five daughters and one son still living, the direct descendant's number in the multiplied hundreds now. Many of the descendants are dedicated Christians. Some are Pastoring churches, singing and preaching the Gospel all over the world. 

Who could have ever guessed those results when a 16 year old boy and a 15 year old girl hitched a ride in a wagon to get married on a cold snowy day in May?

May God bless the family of Godfrey and Bessie Isaacs this week 100 years after they joined forces and began their family journey.

Thank you for stopping by today.


Thursday, January 10, 2019

A Glance Back And A Forward Focus

Prayer Request
Please pray for my Mother, Martha Boggs. She is not feeling well and needs the Lord's touch.

A Glance Back And A Forward Focus
I suppose our families might say we have spent our whole lives on the road and they might have a point. Kelly Jo and I started over 34 years ago on the go and we have been going ever since. 

However, the beginning of January marks the beginning of our 17th year on the road since leaving the pastorate in Wichita, Kansas. We have 16 years behind us since I stood in the pulpit that day and tearfully told that beautiful congregation of people that we were moving on.

That was a very, very sad day for us. The people of New Horizon Holiness Church had taken a chance on us. We had arrived there nearly four years before as their Pastor. They had loved us, listened to us and loved us some more. There was a huge part of us that hated to leave them even for one moment. Those families had become our families.

Yet, there was something calling to me. I felt it was the voice of God asking me to trust Him enough to leap into the unknown. I knew I would preach a few revivals, but we had no idea where those few revivals would lead us. As a result of that decision, a very difficult decision at the time, we have enjoyed 16 wonderful years on the road. 

I was sitting in my little study at the church very early on a Sunday morning early in December 2002. I had been praying over the sermons I had prepared for the services that day. My prayers turned toward our future and asking God to keep us in the center of his will. The stirring I had felt for weeks seemed to indicate to me that God might be leading us to another church.

I could not have been more wrong about that. In one moment it was as if a light was turned on in my mind and I knew exactly what I should do. Resigning my position as Pastor and stepping out into an unknown future suddenly seemed like the perfectly normal thing to do.

I discussed my feelings with my Pastor and my wife that morning. Neither of them squawked too loudly or protested too much about how little sense I was exhibiting. That made me feel a little better, but the in the weeks that followed I struggled with my decision terribly. I did not announce my resignation to the church for several weeks so I had time to contemplate the senselessness of my thinking.

Was that the voice of Lord? Am I stark raving mad? Am I fixing to do the stupidest thing I have ever done? Do I want to leave the comfort zone of my little study and the pulpit I love? How will we live? How will we pay our bills? Even, how will we eat?

If you have seen me lately, you already know, we have never one time had to worry about having enough to eat!😏

The agonizing choice, once made and followed through, proved to be 100% correct. I found that exercising faith does not mean we are taking a leap into the unknown. No, it means we are taking a leap into the hands of God! Think about that, friend. If God is directing you and God is catching you, there is zero risk in that!

The first Sunday morning in January my previously announced resignation became effective and I preached my final sermon as Pastor of New Horizon Holiness Church. They had a big send-off for us the night before.

Kelly Jo and Bro. Tim Whistler

That Sunday night and Monday night we kicked off revival for Pastor Rickey Searcy in Oklahoma City because his evangelist was going to be a couple days late. Wednesday we began revival for Pastor James Fellers in Weir, Kansas.

We arrived in Weir that cold, windy January day and the front jacks on my 1984 Hitchhiker fifth wheel broke before I could even get parked and set up. By the time I sold that trailer 15 months later, I could take those jacks apart and replace the shear pins in my sleep, but that day I was overwhelmed. What in the world am I doing?

During one service of that revival, God answered that question and many, many more. God covered, consecrated and confirmed us with the power and demonstration of His Spirit right in the pulpit of that blessed little church. It was a moment our family will never forget! All three of us KNEW this is right!

That Holy Ghost moment was on Friday night January 10, 2003, as we were singing He's An On Time God. I say to you on January 10, 2019, Yes He IS! He May Not Come When You Want Him. He May Not Come On Your Schedule, He May Not Come On My Schedule, But He'll Be There Right On Time. He's An On Time God, Yes He Is!

I had left Wichita with four weeks of revival scheduled in four different churches in four different states spread sporadically over the next ten months. I had nothing else scheduled until Pastor James Fellers as me to begin the year at Weir. 

The Weir revival lasted two weeks. We preached revival in Tennessee for two weeks and then went back to Weir for a third awesome week.  Next was Gainesville, Texas for three weeks, Arizona, Alabama, Florida, Kansas, and God only knows where else.

We did not have one free week that year unless we scheduled a free week and that has continued until this day. God opened every door without so much as even a knock from us. God guides and provides. God leads and feeds. God definitely kept His end of the deal, for sure!

We have enjoyed ministering in hundreds of churches in most of the states. We have loved seeing new places and meeting new faces. God has blessed us with more friends than a human being should be allowed to have. 

It has been incredible to see people saved, sanctified and filled with the Holy Ghost from coast to coast and in other countries. It is amazing to think that there are people in Heaven today that would have been in Hell had we remained in a safe place and not taken a leap of faith. God orchestrated all of that!

We are blessed beyond measure. We have worn out trucks, trailers, clothes, Bibles, sound equipment, instruments and almost everything else we have touched. We have sung and preached until our voices were raw and went right back the next night with voices as strong as ever. God has taken care of every single need.

God has paid every bill, bought every gallon of diesel, every tire, every microphone and everything else we have needed. He has placed thousands of dollars in the hands of Boggs Family Ministries for missions both foreign and domestic. He has allowed us to build churches, help build and fund a school, help buy trucks and trailers and hundreds of gallons of fuel for other evangelists.

We have encountered sickness, disappointments, roadside breakdowns, opposition from without, opposition from within, financial impossibilities, physical restrictions and spiritual mountains. Not one obstacle has proven impossible with God. His grace and power have prevailed each and every time.

We have faced some of the obstacles with faith and assurance and God took care of them like kids play. We have faced other difficulties with fear and fretted ourselves silly only to watch God take care of them too. 

It has been a wonderful 16 years, blessed by God and guided by His tender hand. Wow! What a ride! I can not wait to see what the future holds. What are we in for next?

More unbelievable open doors? More incredible opportunities to minister in amazing places? More people saved and filled with the Spirit of the Lord? More super friends? Some great laughs? Some bitter tears? I am pretty certain all of the above will be true and most likely some very awesome surprises along the way too. God's work is exciting.

16 more years will take me up to the ripe old age of 68. Crank the bus, Kelly Jo, let's go!

Thank you for reading my ramblings today.


Thursday, January 12, 2017

Taco Bell and Stumbling Into The Will of God

2016 was a wonderful year. I could not quite sum it up until we were right down to the end.

December 30th we were in Sullivan, Missouri with Pastor Ryan Martin and all the great folks in the church there. Every time I am there I can not help but think about our first visit to their church. It gave me some perspective to the things we witnessed in 2016.

In the fall of 2004 we took a few days off to rest and recharge. I think it was October. Odie stayed in Waynesville and Kelly Jo and I spent a few days in the mountains around Gatlinburg.

When it was time to get back to work, we drove 300 miles from Tennessee to Ohio, hooked up the truck and trailer, loaded Odie in the back seat and left for Missouri. It was Saturday afternoon when we left Ohio and we were on our way to preach for Pastor Kurt McCrorey near Reeds Spring, Missouri. He was Pastor of the Allen Pentecostal Church at the time and we were supposed to begin revival there on Tuesday.

We wanted to be in church on Sunday but I do not remember where. We were not scheduled any where and we wanted to take advantage of a free Sunday by dropping in some where new or a church we had not been in for a long time.

We had pulled the trailer nearly 450 miles when we came to a rest area a few miles east of Sullivan, Missouri on I-44. The exit is on a steep down hill section of the road and it is on the left side of the interstate. We had the hammer down in the left lane when a semi truck and trailer came over from the right lane at the very last moment before the exit and locked up his brakes trying to slow down enough to get in the rest area.

The only thing I could do was lock up my brakes, both the truck and the trailer, and pray. I did both, hard! I had over 15,000 pounds of trailer pushing me forward and I can not explain how I missed that truck. I also can not explain why our trailer did not come around and slap our truck into the next county.

All four wheels on the truck were smoking. All four wheels on the trailer were smoking and the whole rig stayed straight in the lane. Some how the semi truck and trailer behind me avoided hitting us too. In our minds then and in our minds now, it was an absolute miracle of God's divine help.

As we passed the rest area, I realized we were all still alive but I also realized my heart had not received the news yet. I was shook up. We were all three shook up. 

I exited at Sullivan, determined to spend the night at the Flying J because I was literally shaking too much to drive. All the spots at Flying J were full so I went across the interstate and parked at WalMart. I did not feel like I could drive another mile that night.

While the girls were getting settled, I walked to Taco Bell to fetch us something to eat. Inside Taco Bell I met Bro. Brian Graham and Bro. Steve Graham. They remembered us from a camp meeting in Weir, Kansas and told me their Dad would be there in a few minutes. They were having special services that weekend and had just finished their Saturday night service.

I met Pastor Dale Graham that night and we instantly hit it off. He invited us to stay over and sing during the Pastor Appreciation service the next morning and since I was in no shape mentally to travel, I agreed.

After the Sunday morning service, he asked me to sing and preach Sunday night. We did. That night we had a tremendous move of God with five or six lost people coming to the altar while we were singing.

Pastor Graham asked me to stay over for Monday night and that service was just as good. The meeting was so real and the power of God was so strong, I called Pastor McCrorey and asked him if we could reschedule revival and he graciously consented. That week we had one of the best revivals of our year.

Not only did we have a great revival but we made life long friends. The Graham family has been a huge encouragement to us for over 12 years. I believe that God brought us together. 

Now, did God nearly kill us on the interstate to get us to stop at Sullivan? I highly doubt it, but I believe He used for good in our lives what the enemy meant for evil. I needed stop in Sullivan that night. I needed to walk into Taco Bell. I needed to meet Bro. Graham and his wonderful family.

We have spent a lot of nights in the Flying J parking lot through the years. We have never stayed at that WalMart except for that one time. I needed to be there. We needed to be there. God put it all together.

Pastor Dale Graham is gone but the God given relationship with his church and family remains. Bro. Graham passed away while preaching in 2010 on a Sunday morning. He was preaching from Hebrews 11 about Abraham looking for that heavenly city. In mid sentence Bro. Graham stepped out of time and into eternity. While preaching about Heaven he left Missouri and went to Heaven! His son in law, Bro. Ryan Martin is now the Pastor.


The whole year of 2016 was a lot like that first visit to Sullivan, Missouri. God brought Bro. Jimmie Radcliffe into our lives. God took us to the right places and hooked us up with the right people. 

God spoke to individuals and churches that sustained us all the way through City Reach. He opened up doors all over America in the right cities, at the right time. He gave us the right words, the right Spirit, for the right people, on the right nights.

God closed doors that I was sure should be open. I questioned what He was doing and wondered what was going on several times. He used those closed doors to put me in the places He wanted me. We ended up in cities and parks and churches and meetings that I had no clue we belonged in last year. There are people saved and on their way to Heaven today because God orchestrated it all. God put it all together.

Yes, it was an amazing year! It was not amazing because of my plan or because I did this or I did that or I preached this or I sang that. It was amazing because God did what He intended to do when I did not have a clue!

In other words, we stumbled smack dab into the will of God and we loved every minute of it. I stumbled into God's perfect will in 2016 just as sure I stumbled into His will that night in Taco Bell in 2004. There is no way I have witnessed all the results of that yet, but I sure am looking forward to seeing some of it.

If we end up doing God's will in 2017, I imagine it will happen pretty much the same way. The places will be different. The churches will be different. The scenery will be different. But it will be God doing all the planning, God doing all the work and us standing back in awe that He allows us to go along for the ride!

Thank you for joining us in 2016 and you are welcome to ride read along in 2017. Thank you for praying for us too. May God bless you every one.


Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Around The Globe

It was quite and experience but we did make it through the edge of New York City tonight and into the church parking lot at Gateway Christian Center in Valley Stream. The last 30 minutes were pretty hairy. Remind me to tell you about it some time.

We parked a few minutes ago.

As a reminder, any time you see a bold word on our blog, it is usually a link that you can click. It will usually open in a new tab.

Around the Globe

On our way to Lowell last week we stopped before exiting the interstate in order to soak up some bandwidth. We had some business to take care of that required internet access and in 2014 we had no internet in Lowell. Thankfully that situation has improved but we had no way of knowing before we arrived. Better safe than sorry.

While using the free internet at the rest area on I-91 near Bradford, Vermont we noticed this marker.

James Wilson sounds like an interesting man. He was a farmer and a blacksmith with the hobby of astronomy and geography. That seems like a fascinating combination of vocations and hobbies and it made me want to sit down and talk with this guy. It turns out this guy was brilliant.

His hobby led him to map making for children and schools and then to making globes. I like globes so that intrigued me even more. As the sign says he learned engraving and soon opened a business making and selling globes. He was the first globe maker in the United States. 

James Wilson felt like a country bumpkin when he took his first globes to Boston. He had no idea how he would be received but the educated and high society folks in Boston knew brilliance when they saw it. They embraced Mr. Wilson and his globes wholeheartedly and assured him every globe he could make would be sold.

His 13" globes were commercially successful at the astronomical sum in that day of $50 each. He opened a second factory and eventually used other materials to make the globes cheap enough for schools and the average home. He made globes the rest of the his life, eventually expanding into building planetariums.

This is a picture of a twin set of terrestrial and celestial globes he made and below that is picture of a globe made by his factory in 1831.

Yes, James Wilson was an interesting man and he certainly left his mark in the world. His globes are still fancied by collectors around the world and fetch a hefty price, considerably more than $50.

Researching Mr. Wilson led me to THIS. It is a Columbus Imperial Illuminated Floor Globe. 

It is a 40 inch hand painted globe. I pasted the general description below and you can click on the link for the full description and several more pictures.

  • Designed and Made in Germany.
  • Place Names and Cartography All in English.
  • Floor World Globe with American Walnut Cradle and Brass Meridian.
  • Imperial Illuminated Map, 40 Inch Diameter.
  • 45"W x 45"D x 55"H; Weight: 176 Lbs.Availability: In stockList Price: $16,950.00

"The old fashioned map recalls the hand-drawn maps of yesteryear while containing contemporary, up to date geography... In addition to the abundance of place names, this floor globe also contains images of famous sailboats and mythic sea creatures in the style of hand-drawn parchment maps of the past. Despite the classic sensibility of the cartography, you can expect the accurate, detailed and abundant modern geography that Columbus is known for."

Now, that is an amazing globe. I did notice that they have them in stock and they offer free shipping to the continental United States. That is generous.

Thanks for reading today.


Friday, June 6, 2014

D-Day - 70 Years Ago Today

70 years ago today the greatest generation landed on the beaches of Normandy taking tremendous casualties and turning the tide in WWII. The amazing sacrifices they made to preserve freedom and end the atrocities of the Germans deserve to be remembered and celebrated.

Thank God for men that were willing to risk it all so save the lives of men and women they would never know. Many of them made the ultimate sacrifice leaving behind parents, wives, girlfriends and children. Today we should pause to remember them and honor them.

Most of us are not old enough to remember these events. Some may not be familiar with any of the facts of this period in history. I encourage you to take some time today to do some reading, look at some pictures and realized the courage and bravery of these men and what it means to us today.