It is normal for traveling pastors to preach the same sermons at different churches. One reason, is that they (including myself) are fairly confident that it is a good sermon. Even though it is the same sermon it comes out different each time, hopefully because of the inspiration fo the Holy Spirit. On this trip my family has asked me to not preach any sermons they have already heard, and they do not want to hear the same sermon over and over again. This has put be in a very exciting position, that has been challenging and rewarding. I have always thought it would be great to be an evangelist that could get inspired by God for a specific message for a specific church. Once agian I realize it is easier to preach a sermon that you are familiar and confident with….but wouldn’t it be nice. So that is what I have been doing on this trip. The result has been refreshing for me, and of course my family is quick to compliment me. In Rochester in the evening I preached about open doors and the need to respond when God opens a door for us. This followed Pastor Williams request for the church to organize to plays to perform at the beach this year. Needless to say following his announcement and request it was easy for me to preach my message.
We are in Wickenburg Arizona now. This is the town where my wife got saved about 25 years. I wandered into this town 22 years ago. This followed years of directionless travel that only brought me deeper and deeper into the clutches of the power of sin. It was in fron of Jim Kudkowski’s house overlooking the Arizona desert that I made a committment to Chirst. It was a year later that Joan and I got married. This stop in very special to us. We flew out of Rochester to Phoenix where I preached for Andy Doom. He is also out of the Wickenburg church. We had a great time preaching for him. He is a living testimony of the power of God to change and shape a life. I have a lot of respect for him. When I first started with the church Andy was a young man with some physical difficulties. I remember sitting in a coffee shop with Joan while we were dating (breakfast dates with bottomless coffee was our favorite dates) watching Andy painfully run by finishing his first 10K run. Today he looks like Mr. World and has always been a favorite young man in the church. His wife Lenora and he have taken on two young boys as well as their own two. We went to a restaurant after church where my 3 girls (Laura Michelle has joined us on this trip) sat with his children while the two young boys sat with us. Our girls were really enjoying themselves and the young boy commented to the mother that those girls were pretty. Well this was about as gallant and flirtatious a comment that my girls have ever received and it just added to a wonderful time together. The next morning they came over to swim in the hotel pool and Andy and I played a game we played when we were in Wickenburg together called "Pente". Andy has improved much and beat me 5 to 3. It was a great time.
I am at Jim Barden’s house tonight for dinner. He allowed me to use his computer for this entry. He and his wife Karen got married about 3 weeks before Joan and I. He has been a faithful pillar in the church all of this time and he has been good enough to take care of some of our business needs while we are in Zambia. Hopefully I will find time to continue before I leave Wickenburg for our bible conference in Prescott.