Saturday, October 24, 2009

Emus and Turkeys and Goats, Oh My!

Recently we visited a special family from our church who have a "mini farm" with some unique animals. Brothers Fred (14) and Dan (12) handle the livestock and take good care of their animals. You'll notice from the pictures I got a few shots of the same animals with either the night or auto setting on my camera. The Emus kept preening themselves so it was difficult to finally get some pictures of them standing straight up. They also have a rooster and some other ducks. They use to have laying hens but recently they ummm...started disappearing. Maybe a fox was the culprit but who knows. They are thinking of getting some chicks in the Spring. It was a great evening for all of us! Thanks guys!!

Fred and Dan.

A pair of their ducks with their baby (who is just about as big as his parents.)

The Turkeys

Finally got a shot of one the Emus when he was not preening.

What looks like a fancy Emu headdress is just the other Emu in the background.

Two Emus

The goat family.

The goat family, again.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Annual Apple Adventure

Love those apples!

We try to plan a trip up to the Peaks of Otter in Bedford, VA which is only about 30 miles from our home each Fall. The foliage was close to the peak colors and there were many people who had the same idea. Since we had a 45 minute wait to feast on a wonderful lunch buffet at the lodge we decided to do our daily walking around the lake and feast on the beautiful views. From there we drove a short way to the Gross Apple Orchard to purchase a variety of apples. We fit in some shopping and then came home. It was a very nice relaxing day. (Sorry I put the pictures in the opposite order of events, oh well.)

Time to eat!

We purchased Golden Delicious, Fuji, Granny and Red Delicious apples.



Golden Delicious

Getting our exercise done

Quiet reflections

Sharps Top

Monday, October 19, 2009

Bye Beach

Bye sunset!

Well, our vacation had come to an end and it was time to travel back to the people we love back home. Even our trip home leaves us with good memories. We leave refreshed and ready to jump back into reality again. And we always are so thankful to the Lord for His goodness to us. Bye!

The Virginia Diner...good food and delicious peanuts.

Cotton fields.

Peanut fields.

The Cotton Gin, a nice big place to browse and shop.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Beach Church

Since we were vacationing and it was Sunday we had our service in the living room. Our grandchildren brought their instruments and played some songs for us. The rest of us used our "voice" instruments for "Sweet bye and bye." I spared you all from that number :) Then Beach Preacher Brodie spoke on James 3 and The Power of the Tongue. Verses 1-4 Power to Direct, 5-8 Power to Destroy, 9-12 Power to Delight. The applications were #1 Expect to be mistreated by others, #2 Anticipate feelings of revenge, #3 Refuse to fight in the flesh, #4 Respond the way I would want somebody to respond to me (The Golden Rule)
It was a sweet time with the family.

Beach Preacher Brodie.

Gathering for our service to begin

The Old Rugged Cross played by the Schnarr Family!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Atlantic Antics

We get a little crazy when on vacation. I guess that's how our family unwinds. If you are camera shy you DON'T want to be around our family...just about anything goes! Enjoy our craziness :)

Donn decided not to throw Sherry in when she said she wasn't going in alone!

My favorite pose for tourist cameras!

Half a dollar!

Classy Lassie!

Diamonds are a man's? best friend!

Diamond ring Christmas ornament!

Nose ring!

A woman's work is never done...even on vacation!

Motherly love!

"I want to get in the picture,too!"


Saturday, October 3, 2009

Sea Silliness

Well, here is a little flavoring of some sea silliness to see. More later, we took tons of pictures.

Sea Shoes

Sea Sitting

Sea Shell

Sea Stunts

Sea S'Mores

Sea Siblings

Sea Smiles

Sea Splashes

Sea Shoveling

Sea Shadows

Thursday, October 1, 2009


"Sometimes I sit'n think; other times I just sit."

Judy and I have been coming to Duck in the Outer Banks as part of a yearly retreat since 1986. The story of how that began and continues is amazing and full of the grace of God but perhaps I'll share that some other time. This post is about what my seaclusions are like. By the nature of God's calling upon my life and the place He put me in ministry He has granted that my life is typically full of constant demands and decision making. As Executive Pastor most all staff ministry and business decisions pass through my desk. It's also my privilege to help shepherd the people of Timberlake Baptist Church and specifically those in the Abundant Life Class. This means I also carry their burdens and beyond the business aspect there is the continual interface with the people in the ministry and their needs. Like most all pastors or missionaries that is a 24/7 hour call. I rejoice in and am grateful for such a privilege. But each spring (Usually Oak Island, NC) and each fall (Duck, NC)Judy and I take a Seaclusion. Some would call it a "vacation" and part of it has that kind of aspect to it but most of it would better be called a retreat. Psalm 46 records; "Be still and Know that I am God." Genesis 2 records that "God rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had made." I find instruction and a principle that has sustained me these many years of ministry and life.

It has been said this way by others; "If you don't come apart for a while (retreat), you'll fall apart." In my "seaclusion" I immerse myself in the scriptures both through a planned Bible reading schedule and a planned study course. I also bring several "faith building" books to read. I set aside my mornings, usually about 4 hours and my late evenings, usually about 3 hours for primarily immersing myself in the God of the Word and the Word of God. During the in between times I relax, eat, play and nap! Some might say that all that study and reading . . . all planned in advance, doesn't sound like "rest." To that I would answer that when God "rested" He was not idle. There is no better rest than the "still waters and green pastures" of God's Word to "restore your soul." When I "rest" it is with a purpose and thus a plan. I rest from decision making. I rest from the normal activity and pressures of life. I rest by "unplugging" from the ministry and its associated burdens as much as possible. By resting in the Word I am resting from "barrenness of business" and retuning my heart to the still small voice of the LORD first by immersing myself in His word and also by sitting still before the Lord and just meditating upon His person. I immerse myself in the gospel and reflect upon the fact that by grace through faith (both His gifts to me)"He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for me; that I might be made (remade - born again)the righteousness of God in Him." (2 Cor. 5:21)

In a practical sense this was my plan this fall. Daily I read the book of Ruth and made this awesome little book the primary target of my study time. as part of my Bible reading I also read the Proverb for each day. I read five psalms each day. (By doing this you read through the Proverbs and Psalms in a month)I also read through the book of James because our Pastor is preaching an expositional series through this book and I want to keep my head and my heart in that awesome study even though I am away from the church for a couple of weeks. I added to this several commentaries on Ruth for my study time. I brought a years work of "Pulpit Helps" magazine that I subscribe to and reviewed many of the articles in them. (It is a monthly publication.) And I am reading (rereading) John MacArthur's "The Gospel According to Jesus," the revised and expanded anniversary edition. I also am reading his book "Right Thinking in a World Gone Wrong." I would recommend both these books to anyone regardless of if you're on a retreat, they are insightful and scriptural to the core.

Lastly and just as importantly I spend my retreat time not only alone with God but alone with my "Beloved" of nearly 41 years. As I rekindle my love for the Lord it also rekindles a deep appreciation for my bride. I spend hours just talking with my sweetheart. I spend "just sit'n time" looking at this amazing woman that I love with all my heart. As I gaze upon her I pray for her and thank the Lord for His great and gracious gift to me and our family in her. I listen to her and sit close to her. I watch the sun rise and the sun set with her. I walk with her slowly drinking in her attention while I give her mine. A pastor's wife is an asset to the "church" beyond anything the typical church can really understand. She bears much of the weight of the ministry along with me and she is my constant prayer partner, counselor, and co-laborer in the gospel ministry beside being a Proverbs 31 wife, mother, and grandmother who is truly a "Keeper of the Home" and one to emulate. I make sure that she also "rests" and "refreshes" herself on our annual retreats.

Seaclusion is almost over for 2009. God is very good to this unworthy sinner. His grace never stops amazing me. He has given me abundantly above all I have asked or could think. His graciousness stuns me and I hope I never get over it! So there you have it. What a PB & J retreat is like. Yes, Peanut Butter and Jelly (Pastor Brodie & Judy). We "stick together!" :) And we'll soon be heading back to the people and the calling we love because Christ is our life!