Thursday, August 28, 2008

Fifty years and counting

August 27, 2008

Tomorrow it will be 50 years. I still remember that night we spent 50 years ago sitting in a car in Wasco, CA waiting and watching for Buddy Baker to arrive. He was my best man and he was coming from LA or Burney. I forget which. I think he arrived around 1 a.m. I had resigned from my job as a garbage truck driver at the Wawona Hotel in Yosemite earlier in the week. By the way, because I quit early they won’t hire me back. That makes me sad -- I can never drive garbage truck in Yosemite again, sob, sob. The crew was Lavon Johnson, Millie Sarasen and Marlon Villegas on Janiece’s side and Buddy Baker, Stuart Cunningham and Gary Strauss on my side of the aisle. The minister was Ed Steele. We were married in the First Baptist Church in Wasco and that evening we stayed in the Bakersfield Inn. That nest night after we got married in Wasco, the Buchanans, (Bucky was my best friend) got married in Stanton, CA. The next week school started at Biola and I had another year before graduation. We moved into an apartment on Dillon St. in the Silverlake district of Los Angeles.

Janiece continued to work at Biola full time and I started my final year and worked part time. Biola moved to the new campus after I graduated and we moved to Buena Park until I finished Talbot Seminary. Janiece worked until Lori was born and then I had to pick up the slack and work full time and carry my seminary load. Tough times but bearable. Brian was born a year and a half later.

Then it came time to move to Dallas Seminary for a Masters degree. We packed up a 14 ft. Uhaul trailer and lit out for big D. Lee and Lavon Sterling came along to keep us company. Picture this Lori was not yet three, Brian was 15 months, and Janiece was 8 months pregnant with Jon. It was the longest four days of my life. We arrived in Dallas where it was in the high 90’s and the tough times really began. Jon was born at the Baylor hospital and we moved into a home in Casa View. We came within 10 days of washing out because of no job and no income. Then my friend, Dennis Guernsey, got me a job in juvenile probation. Then another job to make enough to live on. So, Janiece had to take care of three kids under three years old while I worked two jobs and went to seminary. Dallas was a miserable experience!

From Dallas we went to Oklahoma where things didn’t get any better. But that is for another post.

In December ’65 we came to California for Christmas. We were driving a Corvair and on highway 99 somewhere around Merced we blew a tire and flipped over and crossed the median into oncoming traffic upside down. Brian and I got out before an eighteen wheeler swept it all away. I was sure the rest of my family was gone. I remember saying, “OK God I guess it is Brian and me.” Then I found Lori who was thrown out of the car. I said, “Thank you,” and headed for the car. Janiece and Jon were still in the car and pretty banged up but OK. That Christmas we had no money, no job, no home, and no car. Janiece was pretty banged up and it was a pretty down Christmas.

From here God led us to Calvary Church (another story for another time) and the beginning of ministry. Now here we are 50 years later in San Diego awaiting the arrival of our three kids, their spouses, and our fourteen grandkids.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Well, she has finished another one!

Janiece is never without a quilt project and sometimes there are several in various stages of completion. Recently she wrapped up a project she had been working on for some time.

It is pretty clear that this is a quilt for a young man. He will snuggle up nice and warm and nevr know who made his quilt or why. That doesn't matter, Janiece had the joy of making the quilt and giving it away.

Sleep well little man!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Ministry in Pasadena

Out of a Perspectives Class I taught last year came an opportunity to speak in the Missions Month of the Community Church on Holliston in Pasadena, CA. This church is a combination of three churches led by Pastor Sam Park. There is a Korean speaking congregation, an English speaking Korean congregation and a traditional congregation. The traditional congregation and the Korean congregations merged a while back to form this mosaic congregation. Obviously, I spoke only to the English speaking congregation. I was totally impressed with their approach to ministry and to missions. They have a solid approach to world outreach and an eagerness to reach into and beyond their own community.

This is the kind of church that would benefit greatly from the ministry of E3 Partners.

There was one frustration of the weekend. We arrived on Saturday afternoon and stayed in the Pasadena Hilton Hotel. This is a first class hotel and the room was very good. However, when I logged onto the internet there was a charge. When I called the desk they told me it would be $9.00 per day for internet access. When I asked why, I was told it was because Hilton is a “full service” hotel. This puzzles me. I thought “full service” meant every service would be provided by the hotel. Evidently it means every service provided by the hotel will have a fee charged to it. I think this sucks.

I am currently sitting in the waiting lounge of Toyota of El Cajon and using their free Wi-Fi. I can go to any Panera Restaurant and use their free Wi-Fi. I have not done much research but I bet I could go to 100 places and find the same thing. I guess they are not “full service.”