Time to See Europe

We’ve pretty much seen the country by van, and motorcycle. When the kids were little, Marilyn and I were determined that they would see the country coast to coast, and they did. We may have actually overdone it a bit, especially on our great northwestern trip. We hit ten national parks, and as we entered Yosemite, the crowned jewel, I excitedly asked what the kids thought. I’ll never forget their response: “More rocks and trees!”

After the kids flew the coop, Marilyn and I saw it all again, and more, from the seat of a motorcycle. Marilyn even enjoyed the mountains a lot better from a motorcycle, because she could see the edge of the road and didn’t think we were going over it. Our last big trip was our northeast trip four years ago that included Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and the Gaspe Peninsula of Quebec. That was without a doubt Marilyn’s favorite trip, and probably our last. Our last motorcycle trip, that is.

Having seen most of the natural and many of the historical sites our country has to offer, Marilyn started talking about wanting to see the historical sites of Europe. Seeing it on motorcycle sounded good to me, but Marilyn thought a river cruise, like Jonathan and Jeni just back from, sounded better. We thought about it, but it never got off the back burner.

Things changed when a good friend from Fit Club and I were fishing. He had talked about going to London to see the Yankees play for several years. That obviously made no sense to me, but London is in Europe. At least I think it still is. And when he told me he had found a 17 day tour of Europe that would begin in London the same day the Yankees played, I asked for more details.

It didn’t take long to convince Marilyn that a bus, I mean a luxury coach, would be almost as good as a river boat, so by the time you get this we should be on our way. No, we’re not going to the ball game, but Lord willing we will see lots of historical sites in eight different countries.

Mark will be preaching for the next three Sundays, and we’ll see you on the 21st.

God Bless, Rick


What do four grandpas talk about at the café after a Thursday night at the range? Obviously they talk about guns, and as soon as the scores are available they congratulate the winner, and make excuses for their jams and misses. Then, after offering sage advice on the problems of the world, they talk about something near and dear to their hearts. They talk about their grandkids. And after having beat my time by two seconds last week, I was glad when Jamie moved us on to grandpa talk.

He had taken the girls to Scoop Du Jour earlier in the week, and when Kiayla saw a sign advertising our VBS, she excitedly exclaimed, “That’s my church!” Jamie thought that was great, and so did I.

Years ago I attended a seminar on church promotion, and the presenter shared something I found very interesting. He said when General Motors advertises for Chevys their goal isn’t to get more people to buy a Chevy. Their primary goal is to keep those who have already bought one excited about their purchase. They want people to respond by thinking, if not actually saying, “That’s my car!” That obviously has a bearing on advertising for a church.

Few people are going to decide to go to a particular church because they see a billboard, even one that really catches their attention. But if they hear someone exclaim, “That’s my church!”, they might. A personal endorsement, or in the case of a church an invitation, is obviously the best form of advertising.

When you came to church last Sunday, I trust you were overwhelmed by the way the building had been transformed into an African savannah for ROAR!, our VBS. Untold hours, and a considerable amount of money, was invested to make our VBS into one that will really impact the lives of our kids, and kids of the community.

Even if you didn’t have any children or grandchildren at VBS, I trust you are excited about what our church is doing. I hope that you, like Kiayla, are loudly exclaiming, “That’s my church!”

God Bless, Rick

Monster Mose and the Nightlight

My good friend George, who was in town last week, told me about a poem he wrote and illustrated years ago to help his son handle fears at night. I thought you, and your (grand)kids, might enjoy it.

Well, the lights went out without a peep, and they both snuggled under the covers deep.
The floor was dark and as cold as frost. Mose wanted up, whatever the cost.
As mommy tucked David and Mose into bed, she sang a lullaby.
But David had a bad dream, and he turned and tossed. Poor Mose landed in a heap.
Monster Mose had sleepy in one eye, he stretched and he yawned, and he let out a sigh.
She smiled and whispered it was time to sleep. And God heard the prayers they said.
They both hugged Mommy, and she kissed each head. They mumbled and grumbled they’d rather play instead.
But David didn’t hear him though he yelled and he tugged. Poor Mose knew that he was lost.
So he looked straight up, and—Oh! What a sight! Just outside the window stars were shining bright.
Mose began to cry, he was in such a fright. He needed to be hugged.
And the moon above the treetops was the world’s nightlight. And a thought came to Mose that brought him such delight—
The end zzzzzzz