Friday, July 31, 2009

The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

My new job responsibilities will require that I make frequent trips to Southern Seminary in Louisville, KY. There are many students that have hopes of going overseas as missionaries and I will be guiding them through the application process. I must admit, I met some very fine people who believe God has called them to go to the hard places in the world.
The main entrance is the most recent addition to the campus. It was build to celebrate the seminary's 150 history. It was named for Duke McCall a former president of the seminary.

Norton Hall, provides office space for faculty and administration as well as classroom space.

The chapel captures your attention as you drive down Lexington Avenue that runs in front of the seminary.

Any school is really all about the students. I can't show their pictures, but I can tell you that I met several very fine people. I was impressed. They are dynamic, committed and willing to go to some of the hardest places in the world. All for the cause of sharing the good news!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Hard Working People

Leaving Louisville, KY today I noticed that I really needed to get my shoes shined. Datrell was ready and waiting. He did a good job. I asked him what he does when he is not working, he said that between work and school and his family he does not have much free time. He is married and has a son who is twelve years old and a daughter who is six. He is studying to be a nurse anesthitist. Next year he will complete his basic nurse's training and he will start working in a hospital job while he completes the rest of his training.

I asked Datrell if he goes to church and said not as much as he should. As it turns out he is in church with his wife and children at least every other Sunday. He said that it was a few years ago that his son challenged him. "Dad, if I have to get up and go to school every day, then you have to get up on Sundays and go to church with me. He and his wife did not have a good answer so they started going to church. Datrell has a keen sense of God's blessing in his life.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Special People

George and Jerry Fleshman are two more of the special people from Cambridge Baptist Church. They have invested many years into the church doing almost every job there is to do in a church. During my time as interim pastor George was a friend, confidant, advisor and prayer partner. One of the highlights of those years was three mission trips to the mountains of Peru. Fortunately they are neighbors and so we are able to keep in touch.

Friday, July 24, 2009


Charlotte retired this last month after thirty eight years as a classroom teacher. The faculty from Short Pump Elementary School gathered at Lone Star Steakhouse to celebrate her career.

Above are two of Charlotte's former principals, Ron Odom and Laura Condon, were there to celebrate with her.

Cheryl Reed and Charlotte taught third grade together for several years.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Home Projects

There are a lot of projects that need to be done around the house this summer.

Our neighbors had a small cedar tree right by the driveway. It was causing problems with the finish on their car. A small electric chain saw made quick work of the offending tree.

Our neighbor Jeff was loading up the remains of the tree in the pickup to haul it to the dump. It really was a simple project. He was glad the tree was gone!

Meanwhile our power washing project goes on and on. Charlotte has made it a family project. She really enjoys it becasue she can see the results of her work.

There have been problems with the spray gun. Shortly after this picture was taken, the brand new spray gun quit. I bought it last Monday! It was the replacement for one I purchased on Saturday. This time I was not able to find a replacement, so we had to stop for the day.

So I saw that there is nothing better for a man than to enjoy his work, because that is his lot. For who can bring him to see what will happen after him? Ecclesiastes 3: 22

Monday, July 20, 2009

Catching Up with Friends

Last Friday night we were able to catch up with several friends while having having dinner at the Seafire Grill.

Paul and Joyce Layton are faithful members of Cambridge Baptist Church. They are the kind of people that a pastor loves, because they are encouragers, as well as taking care of a lot of details that have to be done around every church.

The same night we ran into Bud and Barbra Kinder, friends we have known for many years from our days at Derbyshire Baptist Church.

One of the joys of being a teacher is seeing former students in stores, restaurants and even at the movies. We ran into Laura while eating at the Seafire Grill last week.

A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who stick closer than a brother. Proverbs 18 24

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Good places to eat

One of the fun things we really enjoy doing is finding good places to eat. On our recent travels to Texas we found some rather memorable places to enjoy good food!

One day we managed to make it to the Oasis in Austin. Located 450 above Lake Travis, the restaurant consists of five terraces that offer spectacular views. It is worth the visit just to enjoy the view, but the food was quite good as well, generally Mexican with a definite Texas twist.

Another great place was Cooper's BBQ. Cooper's speciality is pit style barbeque which means when you walk in you are greeted by a friendly cook and you make your selection right from the pit! The food is plentiful and very good! Just be careful, it is easy to end up with a lot more food that you expect when you are ordering. We visited the New Braunfels location, the original is in Llano and they are now building a new location in Fort Worth.

Another honorable mention was 'The Floathouse" which is a burger place that is on the edge of the Guadalupe River. They advertise that their burgers will "change your life!" I don't know about that, but it was one of the best burgers I have had in a long time. Seated with me is my brother-in-law Eddie Dean who seems to know how to find all the good places to eat! (by the way that is a Diet Coke--not beer in my hand!)

Driving through Waco, we stopped and had lunch at Buzzard Billy's, located right on the Brazos River. We ate on the deck and were able to feed the fish and the turtles while we were waiting for our food. The crawfish etoufe was awesome!

Of course there were a couple of others, two that were already mentioned are Corky's in Memphis and Rusty's Riverfront Grill in Vicksburg. Another good spot to eat was The Grist Mill in historical Gruene (pronounced green), TX. Of course after all the good food we both had to go on a diet once we got home. But it was worth it!

Monday, July 13, 2009

January Court

January Court has been our home for over twenty years. Nestled up against some woods with Oldhouse Creek running right behind the house, it has been a real home.

The deck is a wonderful place to enjoy a cup of coffee and some time for prayer, scripture and reflection in the mornings.

Charlotte is talking to her father on the phone while I am looking through the window taking the picture.

The flowers simply enhance the beauty of the scene on the deck.

Find rest, O my soul, in God alone, my hope comes from Him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; He is my fortress, I will not be shaken. My salvation and my honor depend on God; He is my mighty rock, my refuge. Trust in Him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to Him, for God is our refuge. Psalms 62: 6-8

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Summer weekend on January CT

I love summers, with the change of schedule, the warm weather, the long evenings and the chance to spend time with friends.

Billy Burford, Charlotte and Diane Shoemake enjoying some strawberry shortcake after playing several hands of '42' on Friday night. There are twelve of us that get together once a month, we have dinner then go to one of our homes for '42' and dessert. '42' is a domino game with roots in Texas. It is a lot like Rook but played with dominoes.

On Saturday morning Matthew and Henry, our neighbor's children, enjoy playing in the pool.

Meanwhile, their father, Jeff (left) and his dad are trying to fix the air conditioning on Jeff's car.

And I am trying to get the power washer ready to wash the house. Not a fun job!

On Sunday evening we finish up the weekend with dinner and strawberries and cream for dessert!

I know that there is nothing better for men than to be happy and do good while they live. That everyone may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all his toil--this is the gift of God. I know that everything that God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that men will revere him. Ecclesiastes 3: 12-14


During our recent trip to Texas we had a chance to spend some quality time visiting with family. In addition to Charlotte's dad we saw brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews, cousins, and others.

We traveled to New Braunfels to raft down the Guadalupe River. Of course San Marcos is near by and they have some great Outlet shopping. Here Linda, Charlotte's sister, and her husband, Eddie are checking out the bargains.

My younger brother, Joe and his wife Carol, live in Katy. Of course we spent a lot of time doing what we do best, that is eating.

My older brother, John and his wife Susan, live in Houston. They look so happy because they had just had their electricity restored after two days of temperatures over 100 degrees. It is amazing how sweet air conditioning can be until you have to do without it for a few days.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Charlotte's Dad

One of the primary reasons we traveled to Texas was to spend some time with her father, Arvol. Arvol is 93 years old and lives in a house that is in the rural community where he grew up. Friends are always asking us about how he is doing so I thought some pictures would give perspective. He is doing amazingly well for his age, yet the years are beginning to take their toll.

Arvol does have a lot of help. Two ladies come to the house during the week to help him out to provide help with food, cleaning and personal grooming. They have been real life savers. Evelyn (left) has been helping the longest. Carly (below) started this summer supplementing Evelyn's schedule this summer. The two of them have been life savers.

In addition physical therapist Pam (below) comes by several times a week for treatments.

We do worry about Arvol. In recent weeks he has fallen twice. Each time he used his emergency call button and was taken to the emergency room to be checked out. Each time he has been pronounced OK. Because of the falls he is afraid to walk. He limits himself to a wheelchair these days.

During our time we took Arvol to visit Lou Ella's grave site. They were married 66 years, Arvol really misses his bride who was his constant companion until she passed two and a half years ago.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Going Home to Richmond

We left Newby, TX headed toward Richmond, this was an effort to catch the sun rising as we headed out.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.

Proverbs 3: 5-6

By noon we had crossed the Mississippi river and stopped in Vicksburg for lunch. We found 'Rusty's River Front Grill' where I enjoyed an oyster poboy and some bread pudding, one of my favorites.

By the end of the day we made it to Gadsden, AL where we stopped for the night. To our delight there is a lake right behind our hotel and there was a fireworks display in honor of the fourth. The fireworks were fired off over the lake which made a wonderful ending to a long day!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

The glory of God

"The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour fourth speech; night after night they display knowlege."

Traveling north on I-35 between Waco and Fort Worth Charlotte saw this passing thunderstorm and snapped some pictures. We were reminded of God's creative genius.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Memphis baby back ribs!

On Monday, June 22 we stopped in Memphis and we managed to make it to Corkey's for dinner. Corkey's is a local spot dedicated to ribs. We had a wonderful meal of ribs with the dry rub spices. But as good as the food was, the wait staff was wonderful. They represented the best of Southern hospitality. The picture is of A. C. who is now 70 years old. He has been serving tables at Corky's for 26 years. He is also a committed believer who wants to grow closer and closer to Christ.
This is the day the Lord hath made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. Psalms 118:24

Travel to Texas

Charlotte and I are spending a couple of weeks traveling to Texas to visit with family. It has been an enjoyable time of personal and spiritual refreshment. Along the way we have met some interesting people.

On our first day we ran into a major traffic tie up going through Nashville. It turns out a large modular builing on the back of a truck was stuck under and overpass. Suprisingling, those of us waiting to get through were making the best of the 95 degree temperature. The greatest anxiety was those who were trying to make it to the airport for a departing flight.