An Unexpected Trip to Aurora
October 4, 2012

On Friday, September 28, 2012, we received word that our good friend Ed Rickman died unexpectedly. He and Martha live in southwest Missouri, in the town of Aurora.

Martha asked me to conduct the funeral service, so we immediately made plans to go to Aurora. We traveled there the next day by plane and rental car.

The viewing was on Sunday evening and the service on Monday afternoon. Because of Ed’s clear testimony of faith in Christ the funeral was a time of celebrating the grace of God. We also celebrated the life of our brother Ed, who had been a pastor, church planter and an administrator in several Christian ministries.

For my message I chose the text of Ephesians 4:24: “…put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” An amazing claim! Because of Ed’s commitment to the tradition of Wesleyan holiness, I commented extensively on this in my message. I will not take time to define Wesleyan holiness here. If you wish to learn more, you may enter this term in your search engine, or send a reply to me, and we can talk by email.

I also enjoyed in-depth conversations with Shane Chellis, a son-in-law of Ed and Martha. He has been on a spiritual journey of considering other denominations after having been in the United Methodist Church for some time. As a result of his journey he joined the Anglican Church of North America, a “province” newly formed in 2008, consisting now of 1,000 congregations, and planting one new church each week. ┬áThe group is described as Catholic, evangelical and charismatic. Shane was ordained as a priest in this denomination three weeks ago. His ministry is that of serving as a chaplain at The Rescue Mission in Fort Wayne, IN.

In Missouri the birder side of me was so pleased to see many Scissor-tailed flycatchers. Here are two views of them.

The first photo is by Brenda (last name unknown.) The second is by Christopher L. Wood and appears on the web site of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

Seven of these striking birds hung around the motel where we stayed. It was a delight to see them.

We returned home on Wednesday, October 3.

Studying the World from Arkansas
January 25, 2010

We are in northwest Arkansas in the city of Fayetteville from January 19 through 27 to attend a course called Perspectives on the World Christian Movement. It is a survey of the church and its mission activity from four perspectives: biblical, historical, cultural and strategic.

The course is sponsored by the U. S. Center for World Mission of Pasadena, CA, but the Perspectives office is right here in Fayetteville.

You can learn about this course at the web site: http://www.perspectives.org.

We are staying and meeting at Mount Sequoyah (yes, that’s how they spell it), a conference and retreat center of the United Methodist Church. Because of my involvement in Roxbury Holiness Camp and Retreat Center, I am interested in the stated purpose of such ministries. The mission statement here is: “a Christian ministry of hospitality, a holy gathering place for revitalization, revelation, and restoration for transforming the world.” How do you like that for a comprehensive statement with a worldwide view?!

The center is located on a semi-wooded hill overlooking the city of Fayetteville. At night the lights in the valley below are a lovely sight.

Thirty-two people are attending this course.

We have lectures every morning and afternoon. Then in the evenings we read dozens of articles in a massive reader and fill out homework assignments.

The presenters are from a broad range of backgrounds and missions organizations. All of them are good, and some of them are especially dynamic. God is teaching us all kinds of things, all growing out of the biblical truth that Jesus has given the church the assignment to take the gospel to every people group on earth.

Two of the class members are friends of ours whom we have known for many years, which was a delight. We are also making many new friends; several of these connections are relevant to the work we are doing.

My friends the birds are here, too. This is a bird sanctuary. Every day we meet up with bluebirds, nuthatches, chickadees and juncos.

Miami Journal – Wednesday, February 18, 2009
February 20, 2009

I am drawn repeatedly to the Everglades, so I went there again today.
(more…)

While Walking
December 26, 2008

Today, as on many days, I was taking a for-my-health walk behind and through St. Anne’s Retirement Community, near where I live. Along the small creek in the pasture I saw, as I frequently do, two like-to-live-near-water birds.

(more…)

Birds and the Creator
December 23, 2007

The Creator has placed incredible abilities in the animals and birds that inhabit planet Earth.
How do birds detect north and south when they migrate?

From World magazine, October 20, 2007:
New evidence indicates migrating birds may be able to “see” Earth’s magnetic field. If the theory is correct, molecular compasses in birds’ eyes connect with the visual processing center in their brains, creating an image that defines north and south.

Thank you, God, for your mighty works of creation. In wisdom and power you made them all. Glory be to you.