Saturday, February 25, 2006

All Gave Some, Some Gave ALL

A friend showed me this huge rock near a gravel pit on Hwy.25 in rural Iowa. For generations, kids have painted slogans, names, and obscenities on this rock, changing its character many times. A few months back, the rock received its latest paint job, and since then it has been left completely undisturbed. It's quite an impressive sight. I thought the flag was draped over the rock, but it's not. It's actually painted on the rock.

Tomorrow we leave Kalispell, Montana and head out towards Wisconsin. Lots of icy roads out that way, so please pray for us.

The Wild Game Night was great. We had many wild game dishes cooked by the men and a Turkey shoot afterwards. They turned a hallway into a shooting gallery for pellet rifles and who ever got the best group of three won a 14 lb frozen Turkey. I preached a sermon on how to be a good marksman for God, and then had to put my sermon into practice. I lucked out and won the contest and the turkey, but we don't have a freezer in our Honda mini-van, so I will have to leave my prize behind in Kalispell, Montana. That is OK though. The real prize was getting to know some great people up here in the greater Flathead Lake area of Northern Montana.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Wild Game Night in Montana

It may not be what you think! Wild Game Night in Montana is not what you DO, but what you EAT! I will be speaking at a church on the Flathead Indian Reservation territory in Kalispell, Montana. I thought being on the mission field was an adventure, but visiting churches back home can be very interesting as well!

We had a good Sunday in Missoula visiting a church pastored by our friend Gordon Dexter. He and his church received us warmly. We stayed with the Lambs, who treated us to good food, great hospitality and to fascinating conversations. We hope to have a reason to visit them every furlough!

We will be out of cell phone range for a while, but you may leave a message with Janis, the church secretary of Bethel Baptist in Kalispell, Montana at this number: (406) 755-5062

Monday, February 13, 2006

So Friendly, the -3 Degrees forecast Didn't Scare Us Away!

We drove up to the beautiful Flathead Lake valley, 2 hours north of Missoula, Montana to speak at Bethel Baptist Church. We heard on the news that the temperature will drop down to -3 degrees this week! But the warmth of the church made up for that! Bethel is a supporting church, in the best sense of that word. The people provided a home for us to stay in, scheduled meals for us through the week and even increased our monthly support. Pastor Pestel and the membership have included us in their family activities and made us feel more than welcome. This is definitely a place we will circle on our maps to pass an extended visit whenever we get the chance! We hope to come back some summer soon and help them with their Summer Camp Out-Reach at Lake Blaine Bible Camp.

Quincy and George, Washington

We spoke in Quincy, Washington where the church warmly welcomed us last Wednesday. We met an associate pastor, Juan Carlos, who had us over for his house for dinner. His family is from Peru and is helping out in the church by developing a outreach to the many immigrant people in central Washington State. We got to speak Spanish and eat some Peruvian favorites and met his entire friendly family. (Gracias, Juan, y Dios Les Bendiga! = Thanks, Juan, and may God bless you all!).

After prayer meeting, we spent the night at a deacon's home in George, Washington (no kidding). We enjoyed the tour of the potato farm they operated and the great fellowship this friendly family allowed us to share with them. We then had a 6 1/2 hour drive to Kalispell, Montana about 2 hours north of Missoula. Beautiful country, but a bit colder than Puerto Rico!

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Super Time at Nooksack Valley Baptist Church

In spite of the Seattle Seahawks losing the Super Bowl, we managed to have a great week-end with the fine folks of Nooksack Valley Baptist Church in Everson, Washington. After a three hour drive, we were welcomed by Pastor Craig and were pleased to stay with our Nooksack friends, the Fullners. The Fullners, besides being great hosts, have many hobbies and are skilled at them, so we were able to pass a very agreeable and interesting week-end with them. Sunday, I got to present our field twice as the church has a large congregation and has two morning services to accommodate everyone. After the morning service, we were treated to lunch by the pastor and attended a Super Bowl party in the afternoon. We enjoyed the excitement, food and fellowship, but the best thing was bonding with these fine folks. We feel we have renewed friendships, but also made new ones this weekend in Everson, Washington!

Friday, February 03, 2006

Driving, Singing and Driving Some More

Last week we drove to Enumclaw and Graham, Washington, where we met some great people and had an encouraging response to our missionary presentation. Now we are headed for Everson, Washington up near the Canadian border. Our daughters have a big songbook they have constructed and sometimes bring it out for a song time during our drives. The article below says we are doing something good for our health! Amen!

IRVINE, Calif. - Singing in a choir may just make you healthier, according to a study by the University of California, Irvine.
Researchers at the school found increased levels of disease-fighting proteins in the mouths of choir members after they sang Beethoven's choral masterwork, the Missa Solemnis.

According to the study, a protein used by the immune system to fight disease called immunoglobulin A increased 150 percent during rehearsals and 240 percent during performance. The boost seemed directly related to the singers' states of mind, which many participants described as happy or euphoric.

"The more passionate you feel while singing, the greater the effect," said education Professor Robert Beck, who authored the study with Thomas Cesario, dean of the university's College of Medicine. The study was published this school year in the scientific journal Music Perception.

The difference in the increased levels between a performance and rehearsal, scientists theorized, may be because the singers had achieved mastery of the complicated piece after often-stressful rehearsals and were enjoying the thrill of the performance itself.