Wednesday, January 1, 2014

A Personal Update

House Plans and Set Backs

Since selling our home back in August, it’s been a roller coaster for us in many ways.

It was no small effort to move – and we have personal possession scattered over three locations until we get our new home built.

The home design process have been much slower than I expected.  We thought we had settled on a plan, but after we staked it out on the ground at our home site (to get a real feel for the dimensions), we put a hold on the project and went back to the drawing board.

Then Renae got sick with thyroid issues and high blood pressure.  One doctor said she was on the verge of a stroke.  On top of that she was diagnosed with having a goiter on her thyroid and borderline diabetes.

Consequently, she took a medical leave for 3-4 weeks in November.

Then our draftsman fell and broke his hand, meaning he could not draw house plans for us for at least a couple of months.

Then I got sick in December with a severe case of the flu that lasted most of the month.  Then my 3 month old granddaughter got the flu (with other complications) and had to spend 3-4 days in the hospital.  Very frightening.

In addition, there have been 3 deaths in the church that I’ve had to respond to.

All of this created a slow-down on the development of our house plans.  However, now that the holidays are over we have resumed our efforts at making a decision.  A decision I hope we will arrive at in the next week or two.

We are very excited about building our home and ready to pull the trigger.

The Holidays

We have really enjoyed the holiday season this year.  Thanksgiving, the month of December, Christmas Week, and New Years have been very relaxed and family-oriented.

It’s also been very good to spend time with friends, whose company we enjoy. 

The simple things in life make it more meaningful to me.

I kept my Christmas spending on budget this year – mostly buying for the the kids and grandchildren – which I enjoyed doing.

I’m also glad that I won’t be having a bunch of large bills coming due in January.  This enables me to get off to a good financial start for 2014.

Next year, Renae and I plan to have family gatherings in our new home over the holidays.


Speaking of not having a bunch of bills come in at the beginning of the New Year, I have written five articles about debt and some basic money-management principles.  They are posted just below this blog entry.


My fall garden is coming along very nicely.  I planted Kale, Mustard, Broccoli, Cabbage, Carrots, Radish, Collards, and Turnips.

For whatever reason, the collards and turnips have done the best.    They have thrived.  And we have eaten plenty of them over the holidays beginning at Thanksgiving.

I get very excited when I grow things successfully.

The week before Christmas I planted onion and garlic.  They are coming along real nice and I hope to harvest them in May of 2014.  (Garlic and onion need about 5 months to mature).

I planted about 50 garlic and 300 onion.

Within the next couple of weeks I will be planting potatoes.  I have two years experience with Red Potatoes, but this year I would like to add Yukon Gold Potatoes for a variety.

I’ve had real good success with potatoes so far, so if anyone would be interested in planting potatoes in your own garden and would like my input, I’d be glad to offer what I know.

I’ll even offer my tractor.

Just know this:  Potatoes are easy to grow.  The reward is well worth the effort.

I am planning my spring garden right now:  tomatoes, potatoes, cucumber, squash, pepper, and field peas.  Very, very excited.

I’m hopeful that my blueberries, muscadine grapes, and fruit trees will produce good this year too.

Church-Related Stuff

Very thankful to Gene Tharp, Greg Gill, Gary Weiborg, and Philip Polk who assisted my with the pulpit ministry in 2013. 

Their contribution to the Body of Christ and the PCC family was enormous.  And it was helpful to me personally.

2014 will see even more improvements in the pulpit ministry.  This aspect of our church is really beginning to shape up.

My next sermon series will be from the book of 2 Timothy.

2014 will also see series on: 
  • The Ten Commandments
  • The Life of Abraham
  • The Coming Collapse of America
  • Why I Am Committed to Teaching the Bible

We are anticipating a serious upgrade in the children’s ministry area of PCC.  There are some very valuable volunteers who need to be affirmed; a few people who have no heart for the ministry that need to be removed; and a number of enthusiastic newcomers who will be deployed.

Good things are in our future.


I’m dying to get back on the water.  I went fishing early in December, but got sick and that ended my fishing trips for the month.

Net fishing, rod-and-reel fishing – makes no difference to me.

I now have six cast nets.  I have two 10’ nets, two 8’ nets, and two 6’ nets.  This is a mixture of bag nets, brail nets, bait nets and mullet nets.

I’ve been practicing over the last year too – on the water and in my front yard – and I can throw all of them effectively.

Although I missed the fall run of mullet, I’m still hopeful to catch a spring run.

When I do, I’ll be forwarding a bunch of them to James W. who is reported to be the grill-master for smoking.

Same-Sex Marriage

I’ve always been pretty silent on the subject of homosexuality out of respect for personal friends and members of PCC who have family members who are gay. My practice has been to simply let the Scriptures speak for themselves while I teach through the Bible.  After all, most Christians already know that the Bible says on the matter and me getting on a soap box and harping on the subject wouldn't be helpful.  

However, with the incredible surge of effort and success by homosexual activists, along with the help of the government and a sympathetic media to push their agenda, my silence is no longer a virtue.  

It's everywhere.  It's in-your-face.  It won't go away.  It grows.  It won't be silent. And it can't be ignored.  So it's time for me to say something about it.

I will be writing an article and posting to this blog.  Soon.

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