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Archive for November, 2007

Please Don’t Tell Mom

When I was living in Portugal I had some things happen that weren’t necessarily bad … but they weren’t something I would write home about … especially to my mother. I thought it might be fun to share some of those experiences with you in hopes that it will lure some good stories out of you guys. You can even email pictures for me to put up if you want. So sit back … relax … read some stories … and please don’t tell my mother.

Don’t Talk To Strangers!

While in Portugal my teammates and I were given several opportunities to travel. Marci and I decided to go to Paris. I had actually been there a few months before with my parents so I was somewhat familiar with some of the more touristy areas. So we felt pretty confident about being able to find our way around. I mean come on, it’s Paris, how hard can it be.

So we get there and are trying to find the hostel we are going to stay in. My memory is fuzzy about how exactly we ended up in the area of Paris that we were in, but we did … you know, the part of Paris you are in when you realize you are completely lost.

Somehow we started talking to a guy trying to get some directions to get to the hostel. We had all of our luggage and he was telling us to walk down this road, and then walk down this road, and so on. I think he finally felt sorry for us having to haul all this luggage around … he offered to take us. Call it culture shock, call it desperation, call it stupidity. Whatever it’s called … yes we got in the car with him, and yes we lived to tell about it.

Thankfully he was a good guy and he simply took us to the hostel and dropped us off. I think back about that and just wonder what my mother would say if she knew what I had done.

I definitely don’t want to tell her about the time in Switzerland when we slept on the ground on the side of the highway. We awoke to some ambulance drivers that must have thought we were dead. We almost were when they woke us up … that may be the most scared I’ve ever been.

Waves Are Meant To Be Seen Not Touched

Jon, Alex, (whoever took this picture), and I all went to Boca de Inferno (Mouth of Hell). We had been in Portugal less than a month, and had gone to do some sightseeing. We were walking around looking at God’s amazing creation. The beautiful water, waves and rocks just fascinated me. I’m not sure at what point we made this decision, but we climbed down onto some rocks that were pretty close to the water. We spotted a ledge that had enough room to walk on if you held on tight enough. We decided to walk on that ledge. I’m still not sure what possessed us to do this, but as we were climbing out onto this ledge we noticed some waves coming in. They kind-of hit us when they splashed against the wall. We got a little thrill, but were beginning to think this wasn’t such a good idea. Suddenly a huge wave came toward us … all we could do was hold on. I remember my feet coming up beside me almost even with my head. As soon as the wave went away we shimmied as fast as we could back to the safety of the big rocks. We lay down, caught our breath, and began to realize we could have died. I think that’s when we decided to climb out a little ways and snap this picture.

Oh to be young and _____ a. stupid b. naïve c. risky d. insane

If You Witness a Robbery … Call the Police … Do Not Chase the Perp

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We were minding our own business down town one day … kicking back and having some coffee. A lady comes running up to some of the guys and tells them that a guy just slammed his head through this car window and stole something out of the front seat. Yes … he used his own head to break the window! Francis and someone else took off after him. I don’t think they caught him, but they sure scared him I’m sure. We weren’t exactly positive what Portuguese procedures were so we sat by the car and waited for the owner to come back so we could tell them what happened.

We decided to take some pictures while we waited so we could show the future AIMers how much fun it was to be a missionary.

Share some of your stories with us. If your mom is anything like mine … she is still using dial up and she has no idea what a blog is. You and your stories are always safe on BASE.

***No names have been changed to protect the innocent. Any omissions were due to faulty memory, not an attempt to conceal someone’s identity or involvement. 😀

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Red Rover, Red Rover

Red rover, red rover, let ______ come over. How many of us have played this game? Unfortunately the children of today will never experience that thrill that comes when you feel your arms are about to be ripped from their sockets. How could schools ban such an uplifting activity?

I think about games like this and I wonder,  “How did we choose who’s name to put in that blank?” I know sometimes you chose the person you felt like was too scrawny to break through. But most of the time you chose your favorite. The person that didn’t make it on your team that you liked the most. That’s how all games went … at-least if I was choosing. I don’t remember choosing the person with the best ability I just chose my best friend. Sometimes I had several best friends and that made the decision extremely difficult.

Well I’m about to ask you to choose. To decide who you want to “come over”. Tomorrow is a day of thanksgiving and we can’t help but focus on people we are grateful for. Well I want you to do this …. make a decision.

If you could choose three … really you can do as many as you want… but choose some people that you know  have had the greatest influence on your life. The people that you would want to “come over” for a thanksgiving meal with you … so that you can make sure they know just how much they mean to your heart.

 “Red Rover, Red Rover, let Cricket, Marilou, and Rex come over. ” I want to focus on these three because they all helped develop a part of me that has made me who I am today.

Cricket … if my memory serves me correctly we met in the office on the first day of school in first grade. She had gotten in a fight because her mom made her wear a dress and some boys made fun of her. I don’t recall why I was in there, probably delivering  flowers to the secretary or something 🙂 . We were fast friends for all of elementary and High school. I still visit her when I go to Hobbs. If you haven’t heard a “Paige and Cricket” story then you haven’t known me very long. She was the friend of my childhood. She is a true friend who’s influence shaped who I am today … I believe she helped me develop my “lighter side”. Learning not to take myself too seriously has gotten me through some tough times.

Marilou … I met her in 1998 when I moved to Illinois. It took us a while to warm up to each other, but once we did … we were tight. I went to the movie with her almost every Sunday (sometimes other days in addition to that) for about 6 years. She had vision problems, and on more than one occasion I read entire movies to her if there were subtitles. I rode with her the day she wanted to try driving … to see if her vision was going to allow it. This may not have been the smartest move, but when she pulled over, crying because she was no longer going to be able to drive, I was glad I was there. She stretched my heart … it grew parts I never knew existed. I learned to love someone in-spite of our differences. She taught me that disagreement on an issue did not mean you could not be friends. I thank God for her support during my toughest times. She helped develop my “empathetic heart”. This empathy has helped me be able to walk in someone else’s shoes and see things from their point of view.

Finally Rex … No one person has had more influence on my life. All I can say about him is he has been the most consistent person in my life. He has shown me a real Jesus, that has a real grace, that has a real love for sinners. Words can not express my appreciation for Rex, but I know he knows.  If I hadn’t been able to open up to him about my “real” thoughts I would never have come home. I thank God for his love, patience, and consistency. He helped me develop my “get real” muscle, and it saved my life. It wasn’t until I “got real” that God could work His wonders on my heart.

These are the folks I would ask over  … how about you?

~~~~~Kim You’re It!!!~~~~~

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(Kara, Chris, and Kim)

My favorite memory of Kim has to do with IHOP. When I was working with Kim’s class I was also attending college. I didn’t get to spend as much time with the AIMers as I wanted. Some of them were so good to me and would actually get up early, early and go to breakfast with me before my 7:30 am class. Those breakfasts were some of the best times.

One morning when we were at IHOP Kim became fascinated with the cooks’ hats. She decided to ask the waitress if she could buy one or something. The waitress went to check and I believe came back and told us that there wasn’t a way to get one. Then … I think she ended up coming back to the table and giving one to Kim.

The next time we came in that waitress was no longer working there and we decided that she got fired for stealing that hat for Kim.

Kim introduced me to thrift store shopping. We had to find a place to do volunteer work. We found the best thrift store. It was great … we would help out (keeping our eye out the whole time for the best stuff). Then after they closed the lady would let us shop for a bit. I still have a piece of furniture I got during that time.

I remember Kim had the best heart. She could be funny or serious and was so sensitive to the needs of others. I enjoyed getting to know Kim so much that I actually went to Russia for a month to visit their team. I really respected them for working on that field. I was only there 30 days and I was so ready to be back home. It was a difficult field but they did an amazing job there. They were able to show Christ to some folks that were in great need of some Good News.

Please take some time to encourage Kim. Also drop by http://rushfiles.blogspot.com/ to see Kim’s “tagged” list. You’ll learn some interesting stuff.

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Letters from Christ

I’m trying a new blog … in addition to this one … http://www.lettersfromchrist.wordpress.com/

Hot Seat Repeats

I thought we would take some time to review those that have been in the Hot Seat so far. I know that some folks have come along and wanted to encourage a past Hot Seater and felt that their comment might not be read. Well here’s your chance to comment on anyone of the past Hot Seaters.

Introducing – Hot Seat Repeats…

Dennis Wilson

Dennis you have honestly been such a blessing to my life. You have taught me incredible lessons about how to live like Jesus. You have shown me, through your quiet unimposing way, how to have strength. You have shown me how Jesus treats friends, sinners and prodigal sons (or daughters). Thank you for your encouragement when things were so hard for me that I couldn’t breathe. Knowing that you were praying for me and that you “had my back” gave me strength to keep getting up and making it through one more day. —Sherry Fisher

Dennis, I guess I’d have to say I’m especially grateful for the couple months I got to spend with you in Perm. I respected you before then, but I feel like, in Russia, my eyes were opened to see the gift that is Dennis Rowland Wilson. Your endurance, your dedication to knowing the Word, your deep love for that Russian church… your example still pushes me today. Thank you so much. –Tim Rush

Tim Rush

I love Tim’s heart and mind. I appreciate every conversation I’ve ever had with him, from the deep and theological to the purely juvenile. –James Kinnard

I admire Tim’s commitment to his walk with the Lord, as well as his love for his family. His blog is one of my favorites because I enjoy how he dotes on Kim and his kids. That really speaks to the kind of man he is. –Sarah Floyd

At a time when many would have walked on the other side of the road – Tim has proven over and over again that he is willing to be counted as a friend of sinners. He has never – never – acted ashamed to be a friend to those of us who needed a friend – someone to walk with us…someone to love us…someone to care. –Dennis Wilson

Heather Winter

On a serious note, I do remember how impressed I was/am with Heather and her dedication to the study of God’s Word. It was Heather who challenged me in Ed Wharton’s class to study harder because she always aced his tests (even though she was out partying [in an AIM kinda way] the night before!!) – Stuart McGuiggan

I appreciate my wife more than any of you, as you can imagine. I fell in love with her out in a California desert, sitting under the stars back when she was fifteen – and that hasn’t stopped. –Mike Winter

Michelle Harris

I love you lots Michelle! You were always this little bright spot no matter where you went. My memory of you is sweet and always brings a smile to my face. I am glad that we are still friends and have the hope of our families getting together and reconnecting before the years roll too far along. –Heather Winter

Then the back door opened and in walked the most beautiful woman I’d ever seen. She was flushed again with this nervous smile. She floated down the isle and stood right next to me. I have no idea what the pastor (my dad) said, but I do remember looking at Michelle and thinking that I was soo marrying outside my class. My life has been blessed ever since. –Jason Harris

Angie Burns

I love you Angie…I don’t know that I have specific stories to share, but when I think of you…I smile. You were always someone that I admired and enjoyed. I remember hearing you sing and the beauty that that brings. Thank you for letting me teach you the most precious song I have ever known and helping me find a way to honor the most special person to me. I love you and have missed you. I thank God for you…-Cheri Smith

When I think of you I mainly think of that GREAT BIG smile you always have for EVERYONE you come into contact. If you didn’t have a smile on your face it was because your heart was touched by someone else’s hard times and hurts. – Radonna Kinnard

When I think of what it means to hunger and thirst for righteousness, you come to mind, Angie. Even through some of your darkest days, she still remained faithful. – Sarah Floyd

Jason Harris

As for Jason H, well, I doubt you remember this Jason, but my parents came to visit me while I was an AIMer and my mother had a big crush on you. In fact, to this day she still mentions the “extremely good-looking young lad” and wonders how you’re doing. – Claire McGuire

I always thought that Terry had high standards for himself, the team he was on, and loved the Lord more than anything. Saying that, he had you as his closest friend so that in itself speaks volumes about YOU. I hope you know that there were two things I knew about you without having “to know you”….you loved the Lord and you were funny as all get out. I hope you have a great day! – Shelly Carriker

Eli and I have many great memories with Jason. And yes he was the target of a pretty girl who was going to “catch her a man”. We had the pleasure of being there on a camping trip when he asked her to be his bride. Video tape rolling again. We all stayed in Michelle’s parents tent (The Hillary). We roughed it in the wilderness all together. We found a cool ice cave, slid down some snow, hiked the mountains, froze at night, and had a great time together. Someday we’ll have to repeat that trip, kids in tow. – Kelcey Hooper

Sarah Floyd

I can tell you some things about Sarah. She truly cares about others and has a generous spirit particularly to those she loves. She is honest and faithful. She loves God so. One of the most intelligent people I know, I always learn something when I am with her. She is also all kinds of fun! Fabulous on roadtrips, usally bringing the best music. I have always been thankful for the day we became friends. God has used her in my life in so many ways to teach me about His love and grace. – Lisa Robertson

Sarah gives so deeply of herself that sometimes she feels she is doing nothing at all. Yet she feels that way becuase that spirit is simply a part of her make-up–like her eye color or complexion. – Elaine Santos

But just in the little time that I have met you … I have seen in you qualities that were in your name sake, Sarah, the woman God chose to be the wife of His friend Abraham and the great great great, etc. grandmother of our Lord Jesus. When you read about Sarah’s life – you learn that she was an attractive woman (even Kings were attracted to her) … a woman with a sense of humor (she laughs – not at God – but with her husband at this marvelous joke God will play on the world through them) … a woman loyal to her family – following her husband, as he searched for the city promised by God and defending her son – protecting his rights as the promised one. You are such a woman – attractive, fun, and faithful. May God use you … as He used the original Sarah … to fulfill His purpose in the world. Thank you for sharing your life with us. –Rex Boyles

Paige Foreman

My most favorite memory of you is when we were in Portugal and you had a big jar of change. The time for us to be going home was here and you were deciding what to do with the money. Well, you decided to drop it by the blind beggar woman in the picoas (thats for Tim), who we passed every day to go get the mail. Quietly doing God’s work, that is what I love about you and that is my favorite memory of you. – Michelle Harris

Paige. You are a gift. I have loved you all of your life. You have always been and are even now … one of my favorites … of all time. I do thank God for the gift that He gave me … my family … our church … when He brought you home – to Him – to us. Thank you for coming to find me … – Rex Boyles

You are a unique spirit, so fully embracing the life God gave you and the new life Jesus brought you. The Bible embraces the truth that the older should teach the younger…and these are valuable, precious lessons for sure. But I think it also supports the concept of the younger teaching the older (I’m thinking of Jesus setting a little child in the midst of the older people). Take it from an old man…your spirit teaches me, reminds me, about what is most precious, most needed in life. – Doug Oakes


 

BOB RENNE IS IN THE HOT SEAT

I wanted everyone to take some time over the next few days to talk to Bob. Bob is not a man of many words, but I know he has a huge heart.

I have one memory that stands out in my mind. It is a little cloudy but I’m hoping someone can help fill in the details. When we were in AIM we went somewhere and did a VBS type thing. I believe Rex was doing a gospel meeting and we were doing classes with the children at the same time.

There were about 72 AIMers and maybe 10 classes so we weren’t really short on help. I don’t remember who was with me … I believe it was Heather or Maggie. We were wandering around outside (not hiding, but it might have looked that way 🙂 ) when we saw Bob coming toward us. Of course we immediately thought we were busted. He walked up and said, “Do you want to go get some ice cream?” WHAT?! We thought we were in trouble, but instead we were going to get ice cream. He took us for ice cream and we were back before the services were over. That has always stuck out in my mind … anyone that buys me ice cream instead of making me teach a class is #1 in my book. Go Bob!!!

I know that Bob is a man that would go out of his way to help anyone and the extra mile is his regular route. Please take some time to encourage him with a story or thought. I don’t know that he is much of a “blogger” but I will make sure that he receives all the comments.

Thanks for stopping by – feel free to camp out on BASE with me for a while. (but I can no longer guarantee that you won’t get tagged 😦 )