Monday, July 30, 2012

Grand kids...what a blessing!

In February, 2007 I was in a missions trip to Ecuador.

 My wife Sharron was in Charlotte, NC to be with our daughter Stephanie as she awaited the birth of her first child -our first grandchild.  A call came that I should hurry to Charlotte and I quickly departed our home in Topeka, KS. to travel to Charlotte.  On March 1 Sharron and I arrived at the hospital at 10:00am to be with Stephanie and Josh for the birth of their first child.  It was a long day - then the BIG moment came: 11:43 pm – Alyse Nicole vanAlmen was born! 7lbs. 1 oz. 20in.

Sharron and I began the next phase of our journey through life.  It was hard to believe but we were now grandparents.  I would be called Papa and Sharron would be called Grammy.  It wasn't long that the life changing decision was made to depart our ministry in Kansas and make our way back toward North Carolina.  We can read of this transition in the early postings of this blog.

Today, Sharron and I are so blessed!  I am honored to serve as Lead Pastor at North Raleigh Church of the Nazarene in Raleigh, NC.   Josh and Stephanie now have two little girls - Alyse and Breeley.  Our daughter Danielle is married to Jesse and they have Jayden, the daughter of Jesse from a previous relationship and our only grandson, Jordan Richard.  (I love to add Richard though we simply call him Jordan.) 

Over the past few days our grandchildren have visited.  Even at this posting Jordan is asleep in his room and Jayden is enjoying the last few minutes before the TV goes off and she goes to sleep.

Here are a few pictures to display why grand kids are such a blessing!

Alyse and Breeley love to go to Cracker Barrel.  Each visit following the meal is a time for shopping and then sitting on the porch in a rocking chair or play a game of checkers:

Breeley really enjoys it when Alyse is moving the checkers.

Following the time at CB, we made our way to Target for special purchase.  Sharron has a Jones Fracture in her right foot and instead of crutches - she opted for the free use of a scooter cart.  Alyse is helping her drive and Breeley is enjoying the ride.

Today we took Jayden and Jordan to one of Jayden's favorite restaurants:  Steak and Shake.
Jayden concentrates on the proper placement of the stickers on the paper car.

While Jordan works hard on the picture he is coloring.  He looks great in the hat~  He is an original!

I brings joy to my heart each time a hear one of our grand children say Papa! My friends - Grand kids... what a blessing!  This is trustworthy saying.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Preparing for worship for Sunday July 29 2012 - A new teaching series.

Tomorrow at NRN is going to be a great day of worship and celebration.  I look forward to launching a new teaching series. Last week I was planning to begin this series however, I changed my message due to the mass shootings that took place in Aurora, Colorado, at Saturday morning’s 12:01 am premiere of Dark Knight Rising, the latest and last of the Batman trilogy. As of this writing, twelve people are confirmed dead and many more are in the hospital. My heart breaks for the victims and their families, as I’m sure yours does, too. I hope we are all committed to praying for these families and the recovering victims in the days and weeks to come.

I now look forward to beginning this new teaching series focused around the 2012 Olympics theme.

Here is the worship set planned for tomorrow.  Enjoy it as you enter into a time of worship and praise to the LORD!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Preparing for the election

Megachurch pastor and best-selling author Rick Warren will hold another Q & A session with up-and-coming presidential candidate Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama, similar to the one he held in 2008 with Obama and John McCain. Although a date has not been finalized, both campaigns are considering the week of August 20–24 for the forum to take place. Warren told Fox News that the purpose of the forum is "to promote social civility so that people with major disagreements [can] talk without beating each other up." Warren said he expects the forum to have a similar format to the last one, where he interviewed each candidate separately.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Preparing for worship on July 22 2012

As I prepare for worship tomorrow at NRN  I have just returned from praying in the worship center.  Each Saturday I try to enter the worship center and place my hands on each chair and pray for the falling of the Holy Spirit on our gathering the next day.  The Lord has spoken to my heart this morning about the message I had prepared.The message outlines were inserted in the worship folders and the PowerPoint presentation was ready to go.  I have changed my message and have spent the day to prepare a biblical response to the senseless shooting in Colorado yesterday.  I look forward to preaching and entering into a great time of worship. 

Here are the songs planned for the worship set tomorrow:

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Life is like a roller coaster

Finally - It's time to return to posting on my blog!

Life has been like a roller coaster since the week following Easter.  Sharron and I enjoyed an awesome time with our family as we drove to Charlotte to celebrate our grandson - Jordan Bolder's birthday.  We then flew to Orlando and had a vaction of a lifetime with Stephanie, Josh, Alyse and Breeley at Disney World.

We returned from that trip on April 21 and planned to spend a few days celebrating Sharron's birthday and catching our breath from the hectic pace.  That plan changed quickly as we received a phone call from Sharron's 84 year old father informing us that he was scheduled for surgery in Niagara Falls, Canada on Wednesday April 25.  We departed Raleigh on Monday the 23 to drive to Canada and be there for the surgery.

 The 6 1/2 hour surgery for Sharron's father went well. He was diagnosed with stage 3 cancer in his bladder. The surgery was called a cystectomy. The procedure consist of the removal of the entire bladder, nearby lymph nodes (lymphadenectomy). The prostate was also removed. A surgical complication was due to a previous surgery. The bladder was adhered to a portion of the bowel. The bowel was perforated during the procedure and a colostomy was preformed. Though the intital time in the hospital was to be 14 to 17 days he was in Niagara Falls hospital for almost a month and then transferred to the hospital in Ft. Erie, Canada.

Dad is finally out of the hospital however, Sharron remained in Canada to serve as his caretaker.  I returned to North Carolina and lived like a bachelor for an extended time. On Wednesday June 27 Sharron was cleaning her dad's home and suffered a fall off a step ladder. She was taken to Urgent Care in Buffalo, NY.  The x-ray of her foot indicated a small bone in her right foot was broken in two places.  On July 1 I traveled to Canada and we drove back to NC during the week.  Sharron sat in the back seat with her foot elevated (a true back seat driver). We have made the necessary adjustments to our schedule and she is recuperating at home.  Finally, my life schedule is starting to slow down and I can return to my blog. I am looking forward to filing some of the "blanks" over the past 3 months on my blog.  Check back soon for another posting.