Sunday, March 29, 2009

In Memory of a Dear Brother...Donald Rose

Just a while ago I received word that a dear friend and brother in Christ had passed away. His name is Donald Rose. Don was in his eighty's and was quite vigorous until a year or more ago. When I think of Don many things come to mind I'd like to share with you.

Don was first and foremost a Christian. He was as devout a follower of the Lord as anyone you could imagine. He served, he gave, he cared and he was faithful to his local church when I was his pastor.

Don was a giver. He and his late wife, Irene, decided to give the proceeds of their mobile home and small acreage to start the building fund for the New Life. Their picture hangs in our church as a reminder of their generosity. The sum total was around $15,000 and was a great way to kick things off for us. Today, there is a thriving church there partially because of their love for the work of the Lord and their generosity.

Don was patriotic. He served in the United States Army and was awarded a purple heart. He was active in the American Legion and his vehicle was always decorated with flags, emblems etc. You didn't have to wonder if he was a veteran. He loved to tell stories of the war and of his time as a chef. He loved to use his skills at men's breakfasts...I think it reminded him of his old army days.

Don loved to laugh. He was always the happiest when he was at church. His favorite song was, "I'm glad I know who Jesus is...He is more than just a story, He is the King of Glory, I'm glad I know who Jesus is." He would wave his hand and sing with all of his heart.

Don was involved in the tape/video ministry. He had a room set aside in his home for the sole purpose of duplicating sermons and Bill Gaither videos. (Hope Bill don't find out!!!) He would send those sermons to young men in the military every week. There is no telling how much 'preaching' Don has done vicariously. He really loved to listen to good gospel singing and preaching.

When his darling wife died, Don was really lost for a while. I would visit him and try to cheer him up. Many are the times my dad and I would visit Don in the hospital. He had so much trouble with his intestines and then when his knee was replaced, it never was right. But Don kept on going. As soon as he could, he would be back at church. You could always find Don's Bible near his chair. He would read and study it faithfully. No doubt he and the Lord were best of friends.

Today his race is ended. He is in the presence of God and it is 'church' for eternity for him. There will be no more pain, no more tears, no more hospitals, no more separation from his beloved Irene. I celebrate with you old friend. I love you and miss you already.

I look forward to sharing heaven with you someday. Rest in peace.

Tim Estes

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Sometimes it Snows in March...Plan Accordingly

One thing for sure in life is, that nothing is for sure! Just when you think you have it all planned out, it snows in March, or June or September. To witness this amazing 'spring' snow is a reminder of the certainty of uncertainty. To see the redbuds in brilliant purple against a backdrop of white is gorgeous. To see yellow daphodiles surrounded by frost is a paradox of nature.

In life there are moments when you experience the best and the worst simultaneously. Like the man whose mother-in-law drove his new cadillac over the cliff. That is what you call bitter-sweet. Truly, as in the book entitled 'A Tale of Two Cities', you can have....the best of times and the worst of times.

Often difficulty brings out the best and worst in people. Difficulty causes some people to break, others to break records. Your true colors will show brilliantly against the backdrop of pain. Some in trials turn bitter, others turn golden. In reality it is the trials that reveal what is inside us. If we are full of grace and love, it will come spilling out. If we are full of bitterness and hellish idea's...they will be exposed as well. The same experience will make one bitter and makes the other better.

One would do well to plan for snow showers in March. While it is rare, some of the biggest snowfalls I have witness have occurred during this glorious month of bloom. Just the other day I was in Lowes and actually contemplated buying tomato plants. However, knowing the possibilities, I refrained and boy am I glad. Sometimes it snows in March...plan according. Sometimes your very best plans may not come to fruition...plan accordingly. Whether it rains, hails, snows or the sun shines bright, we know the Lord is in control of it all. Therein we place our hope and trust.

May you have a blessed day and enjoy the snow!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Spring Break

I dearly love this time of year. The earth comes alive, the flowers begin to bloom and the trees, broken by the ice of winter, start their healing. Here, a little niche is carved into the school year and a week is set aside for families to enjoy the warmer air and have a little time together.

Most of you know that I love to fish. My father instilled this in me. It was about his time of year when he checked me out of school one day and we headed to Tenkiller Lake. Before the day was over we had 91 white bass in the boat! It is a vivid memory that is remembered with a great deal of fondness.

Today we leave for a get-a-way with two boats in tow. It is Spring Break and we are planning to have some fun at the lake. The forecast of rain today will not dampen our spirits as we plan to spend a chunk of the day in the cabin, playing games and, as my son puts it,...just chillin'.

When we return I hope we have had lots of laughs, slept late a day or two and caught some nice fish!! That's the break for us. Tell me what is happening in your world for Spring Break. I hope its a good one.

God Bless Ya!!


Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Today is the Day!!

Today is 'the' day! "What day?" you might ask. The tax deadline is still a month away. The white-bass run up the White River is still a few weeks away. March Madness has already begun! But none of these can hold a candle to this day.

Let me share with you a little about this day. I got up before daylight this morning and watched the darkness give way to the pristine beauty of a spring morn. It was glorious! The birds were singing, the sun is bright and God is still ruling the universe. The real beauty of this day, is the same that is beautiful about everyday. Sadly, we often miss the beauty that is beneath the surface when the days are dreary and cold. God's beauty is available in the birth of every single day, no matter the weather.

Today is the day! The day to know God better by speaking with Him often throughout this day. Today is the day to tell someone you love them, or compliment someone in such a way that you make them feel better. Today is the day to let go of old grudges that have kept you down. Today is the day to believe that you are on a journey toward great things. Today is another step and you will use this day as the opportunity to either get better or worse, so use it for good. Today, you can make a difference with your words, your smile, your testimony. Today is the day to forgive the hurts others may have caused you in the past. Today is the day to look a golden future in the eye and say, "I am on my way!" Today is the day like no other and its uniqueness should be reason enough to rise up and claim this 24 hours for the good of your fellowman and the glory of God!

So, I challenge you to live this day...I mean really live it! Enjoy the company of people with whom you work. See them as God's gift to you and treat them with more respect than usual. Live man! Lady, do not let the mundane of life steal the gift of this incredible day! Enjoy the breeze, the sun, the birds, the coffee, your it as though it was your 'last supper'. Know that God wants you to enjoy this day with Him. His mercy is new each morning!

Since I am trying to live this day to the fullest, let me thank all of you who read the blog and tell each one of you how much I love you and thank God you are in my life and on this incredible journey with me. You are invaluable to the Kingdom work! Focus on your assets and not your liabilities! Believe that God has created you for this specific time, to work with this specific group of people. Let's work together toward a goal of being faithful and reaping many people before Jesus returns.

Have a great...'This' Day!

Pastor T

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Casting and Catching a Vision

Effective leaders must have the abilities to both have a vision, and then effectively communicate that vision to his/her followers. In a business the results depend exclusively upon the ability to promote a product. In the work of the church, success depends upon motivation of people, the most fickle commodity in the world.

Several of our youth team went to James River Assembly and came back fired up. The reason? They had captured the possibilities by seeing first hand what can be. I thank God for that! I have the vision God has given me stored up in my heart. I realize that God has not allowed us to build yet because we would have built too small. But over time, when it is time to build, we will have a better perspective on the size.

I believe God will help us build a church that will serve our community and serve as a doorway for many to find Christ. I am grateful for the Brad and the youth team who were able to expand their view of what can be. James River is a church that went from 90 people to serving 9000 people in an 18 year period of time. This is the kind of thing God has dealt with me about for a long time. I know in my heart we can build the kind of ministries that will reach many people with God's saving grace.

Let's work together....remain prayerful....remain one the right thing all the time... and watch what God will do through us.

I hope each of you, the readers, have a wonderful week. If you were one of those who went to James River, then let me know your thoughts.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Ya Gotta Take a Side

Watching a boxing match just is no fun unless you are rooting for someone. The same is true for any sports, football, basketball, soccer, etc. I don't just watch a match or a game in the neutral position, I take sides.

Just this morning, while spending some time with my mother, I watched a couple of big brutes enter the ring. It was something like...."In the Red Corner, Gregory 'great gobstopper pack-a-whop' Dowsinski, fighting against Jeffery 'lightning knuckles, turftoe' Jackson from the Blue Corner." Man, it doesn't take me very long to pick a side, despite the fact that I have never heard of either one. I mean I have mere seconds to decide and it is usually based on which color shorts I like the best, or which one looks like the underdog, or if he has a Christian symbol on his robe, or if he looks the other guy in the eye while the ref gives instructions. You get the point. I mean, I am ready to root this 'pack-a-whop' dude through to victory and have a grand celebration because....I like his tatoo and mostly because....well, I need to root for someone.

If you have any gusto in you, you should root for folks. It appears Jesus did. In fact Christ told one of His own men, who was in the fight of his life, "I have prayed for you!" Jesus rooted for the underdog. He told the woman that was about to get her brains smashed out by law-loving-legalists, "Go, and sin no more!" It's really cool when God says "Go!" It's really cool when He says it several times in, "Go, Go, Go!" and then follows up with "Great Job!"

As Christians we should be ready to take a side. I don't mean in a church squabble or in personal conflicts with others or merely at the annual volleyball game. I mean we must be ready to root for the sinner finding his/her way to God. To help the single mom who wants so desperately to raise her kids right, but barely has the money to survive. We must chant for the couple who goes through marital troubles, but get the help they need to thrive again. A hallelujah cheer should immediately rise from our hearts and voices when a prodical comes home! These are things for which we should root and cheer.

I think we often spend too much time in neutral. It is easy to sit back and criticize or analyze or any other 'ize' you want to talk about, without getting involved. Time is running out, pick a side! Joshua told his followers, "Choose you this day whom you will for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." I am standing in the corner of those who want salvation, who want love, who want redemption and restoration, and those who can get back up when some situation in life has given them a slobber- knocker!

You will find me yelling at the TV for old, 'what his name' just because I want him to win. Hope you have chosen to support the right things with your life, time, energy and money.

God bless all the Dowsinski's,


Monday, March 9, 2009

Singing with Russ

Hey all,

The Russ Taff Concert was wonderful! I have had so many great comments from guests who visited. I just read one who said, "We felt a sweet presence of the Lord in the concert and with the praise band." I was living it up!

Meeting Russ was an extreme pleasure for me since I have followed his music most of my life. Hearing him do some of his old stuff from the Imperials days was extra special.

We hung out together for two days, along with Pastor Scott Jones. He is great to be around. His genuineness is a great change from the prideful stardom many in his ranks possess. He is very humble and understands brokenness.

On Sunday I sang a song with him while he played the guitar. It was a moment I will never forget! Hopefully I can get a picture of it on the blog. What a day, what a great weekend. Our church family honored Trish and I with a nice reception. I am humbled to be pastor of such great people.

Thank you all for allowing Trish and I such a blessing. We love each one of you.


Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Bad, Good-Fortune

My friend told me about a fishing trip where they were not doing too well. Sounds like some I've been on! Well he threw his line out and it got all tangled up, in what real fishermen call a 'backlash'. The line requires some intensive work in order to be able to get it freed up again.

While he was working on his line, his boat started drifting out. It drifted and drifted until, by the time he got his line fixed, he was quite a ways away from the shore where they were fishing. At that moment a nice bass bit his bait and he reeled it in. My friend realized at that moment the fish were further from the shore than he though previously. His bad luck on his reel, had in actuality been good luck that had drifted him to where the fish were biting.

Life is like that sometimes. The things we see as misfortune may be God's way of leading us to a more productive place. I have learned that difficulty is only opportunity in disguise. I love the quote that says, "Adversity causes some men to break, others to break records."

I pray that you will discover the problem area's you are encountering now will only drift you into a wonderful position of good success. May God bless you this day. Don't curse your difficulty, it may be helping you develop muscles that will cause you to soar above the place you are now.


Pastor T

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Cardinal's Call

Each morning there are guests at my home. They arrive daily right at daylight. I welcome them each morning and never grow weary of their company. These feathered guests are my cardinals that we feed daily. It is not uncommon to have 30 or more of them flitting about and singing their God--given song. I love cardinals. Their color, their distinct features and sounds set them apart from all other birds.

God sends them and I gladly feed them. It is part of my communication with God each day. I know that sounds funny perhaps, but God and nature are not distant in their relationship. To be involved in the creation is to be attached to the Creator. For me, interacting with these birds is one of the simple privileges of life.

From their daily flight to my door I learn faithfulness. From their need of my gift of grain, I learn dependency. From their song during bad weather, I learn the importance of worship. These lessons and many more I have learned, as these crimson colored fowl decorate my backyard and back porch day after day.

The final glimpses of the sun are about to disappear this cold evening, the first day of March 2009. But I know in the morning when I awaken, the cardinals will call and I will once again be greeted by these majestic lessons of life, born on the wings of Gods special creations.