Sunday, May 12, 2013
We are getting ready for church this morning. A man I had been ministering to in the local jail was released and called me Thursday of Friday. I am always grateful when this happens and it happens all too seldom. Many of those I give my number to promise to call when they get out of jail but few actually do. This one did and asked if I could find work for him. I was hoping to get him work at the job I can’t talk about but that is not available at this time. I asked if he had a church to go to but he didn’t so invited him to go with us to the church we attend in Midland. He agreed and his ex-wife/girlfriend wants to go as well. This is great news. Unfortunately he called this morning and the only clothes he has to wear at the moment are some gym shorts because all his other clothes are somewhere else. He asked if we could come over and do some kind of in home service. That I am glad to do so after church and after visting the widow we care for Cherie and I will head over there.
The widow, by the way, is not doing well. Her health is failing and the pain and swelling in her legs is increasing. When I called her yesterday you could sense it in her voice along with a great tiredness. So pray for her if you can.
The old store we hope to buy is still in legal limbo land as they work to clear up the title. Unfortunately the man who was handling this at the title company either quit or was fired. They did not volunteer why he was gone, just that he was “no longer with us”. So we were assigned a new agent who must reacquaint herself with the whole deal. Frustrating but all this is in God’s hands. One of the investors no longer has the funds so we must pray and seek a replacement for that. This whole affair has been going on since January. We hope and pray constantly. The job I can’t talk about is getting interesting to say the least. I so look forward to the day I can tell you all about this adventure. Meantime I had to refuse any regular pay and become an independent contractor to maintain my presence at this job. So I am basically working fifty or so hours a week for free but the end result will be good. This is where God put me and I am there to help an elderly couple who are being victimized. I have sacrificed the farm for this and don’t have the time to even plant the melons we had so looked forward to. But that is ok, because God has a plan.
We had a Kairos event at the Lynaugh prison last week, starting May 2 and ending Sunday the fifth. Kairos is always a wonder to me as I watch God work on men’s hearts and see how He can use imperfect people like us to accomplish His will. There were many lives changed and even a prison guard who was assigned to watch over the affair gave her life to the Lord.
The rest of what happened I’ll put on my private journal, which will be posted when it is safe to do so. Called my mom a moment ago. She was surprised to hear from me. We don’t correspond much so this is the first contact in a while. It’s a shame that I don’t hear from family often but they don’t hear from me much either. When I get the book published that will be more understandable for you. My cell phone is dying so we will have to get another one soon. Just another expense we don’t need.
After church we called the widow we help out. She wasn’t feeling good. I think she may have been hospitalized but we aren’t sure. Her daughter and daughters husband were over cooking food. The daughter has stolen most of the silverware and replaced it with cheap junk she brought from her home. We so want to get involved but it’s hard without clear approval and permission. There are so many seniors we learn of who are being taken advantage of.
This afternoon we visited a couple and had church at their home. They were going to ride with us to church this morning but he didn’t have anything but gym shorts to wear because all his clothes were at his sisters. I had met him in the Stanton jail and been ministering to him for a couple or three months. His girlfriend is also his ex-wife. She too has been to prison and lived a life that was unhealthy. They are a sweet couple and determined to live a life that God approves of, tired and understanding well the consequences of a life without God. She shared with us the difficulties she has faced in local churches, where her past is never forgotten and judgment reigns despite the friendly mask church people present. The longer we visited the clearer it became that God would like me to start a fellowship that focuses on accepting and loving all whom are rejected by the “religious” ones, who apparently think they are better than others.
Friday, April 26, 2013
There is so much going on I can't keep up. Unfortunately I can't publicly talk about some of it at this time. When I can reveal that part it's a whopper of a story. Meantime we did a Kairos event at the Smith Unit prison last week. Always an honor to serve God. I am selling Office furniture for the moment. Had plenty of chances to bless others and am always grateful when God puts that on my plate. Helped a homeless man move to a safe place in Lubbock, where he has found a job. Helped an 18 yr old get home to Dallas when he was released from the Stanton Jail. Someone from our church donated funds so I was able to get him clothes to wear and some food along with a few dollars to spend. The purchase of that old store on the interstate is finally moving forward. Found a survey company who had great difficulty identifying property boundaries but finally got it done. He said he was finishing up the drawings today. So things are moving forward and God has a lot for us to do. Love God and His plans boggle my mind. Sorry I haven't posted because working full time on top of everything else. No farm this year I guess. No time to plant. Hope to at least get melons out. Cya later
Thursday, March 28, 2013
I know I haven’t posted in a while. Things are busy for sure and God has put a lot on our plate. Unfortunately I can’t write about some of what is going on right now. Must wait till a situation gets resolved. When that happens I have a great story to tell but you will have to wait to hear it. Meantime let me fill you all in on what has been happening on the Westbrook Farm and in our lives. God is good and God is in charge, no matter how crazy things may seem. I have a new job, one I was not looking for in any way but I recognize the Lord’s hand when I see it. A sweet older couple bought an office furniture business and said they needed help. I used to sell office furniture back before the accident that killed me so feel comfortable helping them, and in the process we will get some badly needed additional income too. This will be my second week working for them.
Purchasing that old store is still in process. We just got ahold of a survey company that will determine the official boundaries of that property and in the process will provide the information the title company needs to warranty the deed. Everyone is busy doing oilfield work so we were lucky to find these guys. Actually the guy we are buying the land from found them for us as he is itching to get this deal closed. Of course I’m itching to get things going as well. I talked to the surveyor and told him our plans, that we hope to find partners to develop the 75 acres of land and he said he may know some folks looking to invest in that kind of deal. That would be great. What I know is that when all is said and done we will be able to say “Look what God did” because He is bringing things together for sure.
I may not get to plant much this year. From the looks of things I won’t have much free time. I do hope to get corn and melons planted but am already behind on that. I still get tired easy but not nearly as bad as before so with me working all day by the time I get home I am worn out and don’t have the energy to go work in the dirt. However in all this I recognize that my healing continues, that I am in much better shape mentally and physically than I was just a year ago. I am always grateful for any improvement.
I had the privilege of going into the prison dormitory that has been set up as the “Faith Dorm”. It is an area reserved for prisoners who have expressed their faith in God. The requirements are inclusive of all faiths so it is not limited to only those of the Christian faith. Through the Kairos ministry I was able to go there and we showed a movie on the Resurrection. It was great to be there in their “house”. I look forward to spending some more time with them, when the Lord makes that time available.
This happened last Saturday and boy was that a long day. I got up at 5:30 in the morning to catch a ride to the Lynaugh prison in Fort Stockton, where we had a great time of fellowship with the men in white. I also was able to renew my training with the Texas Department of Corrections that is required for me to go into the prisons. In the business of my life I had forgotten about that and learned the training date had expired in November.
I didn’t get back to the farm until after 5:00 PM and had to get to the Smith prison by 6:30 so Cherie fixed me a quick meal and I was out the door for the hour drive to Lamesa. By the time that was all done it was 8:30 before I could leave the prison. There was a sand storm that had blown in so the temperatures had dropped dramatically and visibility was poor. It wasn’t as bad as a sand storm I had driven home in last year but it was still nasty. There was a vehicle behind me that looks like the one the pastor that kicked me out of her church because she was jealous drives. I normally don’t like cars following me close but figured that whoever it was couldn’t see well so used my tail lights as a way of making sure they were on the road. Because of that I allowed them to follow me close without pulling over to let them go by.
We went to a great event that was held here in Midland on Monday. It was a 4 day event that brought people from many churches together in unity to pray for the city and for God to move in a dramatic way. I wished we would have been able to attend all four days but that wasn’t to be. I was amazed at how many people we met whom we knew. There was one person there who has caused many problems for us through her poison tongue and I went to tell her we still loved her and were praying but she scurried past keeping her head down and refusing to look up even though I called to her. It is so sad to see such things but in these last days we will see much more than this. There is a lot of deception in the church and many wolves in sheep’s clothing, who have all the outward appearance of good holy people but inside are ate up with great evil.
While at McDonalds, in line to order breakfast, a man saw my Vietnam Veteran hat and thanked me for my service. I appreciate that very much but the truth is no one shot at me because I was a crew chief on B-52’s so I don’t feel that I deserve much accolades because the ones who were in the thick of things are the ones who paid a tremendous price. I asked him if he would like to sit and talk as we ate breakfast and he agreed. He is an assistant pastor with a local church and also a war veteran, having done multiple tours in Iraq. There he was a chaplain assigned with special forces groups and would rappel down from helicopters with them into the fire zones. I enjoyed our time together and told him that there are no accidents in my life so suspect we will see each other again.
Tuesday, March 12, 2013
It’s another day of another week. Tried to get the lawnmower started yesterday and the cable broke. That poor lawnmower is about worn out anyway. Lost count of how many blades I wore out on it, mowing till there was not much left of them. If I remember right the spark plug kept fouling from the oil that gets into the cylinder. I have another lawnmower but it doesn’t have a catcher for the grass clippings and we make use of those clippings for the farm. If we come up with some spare cash I would like to buy a grass catcher for it.
Weeds are growing everywhere and I need to get the mower going to mow them down. Gophers are also active, moving into new areas and causing more damage. Perhaps I can devise something to hook up to the exhaust of the truck and use that to gas the gophers out. We have to do something and this is just one item of a long list. So the fight continues.
There was a delay on the RV park property and old store. The company that was to do the title search seems to have gotten confused and the person working on it said she was told to hand it to someone else and someone else didn’t get it until I called to inquire. Meantime the owner of the property is anxious to sell, along with having others who want to buy it. The title company just called and said there is a discrepancy between the property descriptions from when the previous owner bought it and then sold it to the man I am purchasing it from so that has to be clarified. Nothing is easy these days.
It is time to start planting and there is lots of work to do for that. I read about how the Indians used to plant their gardens and will try doing some of it that way. They planted corn first in groups called hills. When the corn was a foot tall they would plant beans that climb, what are called pole beans. The beans would use the corn for support and also supply nitrogen for the corn. Then they would plant squash that would provide ground cover and reduce the growth of weeds. Sounds good to me so will give it a shot. It’s a whole lot different from doing it in rows.
The tomato area needs totally revamped. The T-posts I put up need to be supported as they could not handle the weight of the tomatoes. Plus, because of the gophers, I must replace all the five gallon buckets that had their bottoms cut out with buckets that still have bottoms in them. This way the gophers can’t tunnel in and eat the roots as they did before. All of this will require a ton of work and redoing the drip irrigation.
Meantime I work to focus on what is important. What is most important to me is understanding what is important to God. I know that God desires for me to provide for my wife and that is why we are pursuing this RV park and old store but what is most important to God is bringing others to know about God’s love for them and that their sins have been forgiven, but they must submit to God to receive that. I could build the biggest RV park in the world but that would do me no good if I do nothing for others. There are two commandments and everything is based on them. Love the Lord with all your heart mind soul and strength and love your neighbor as you love yourself. Either I really believe or I just play at being a Christian. It is one or the other. Can’t be both. In Revelations Jesus said “I wish that you were either hot or cold but you are lukewarm and because you are lukewarm I will spew you out of my mouth”. The early church got it. They would sell their land and use the proceeds to help those who were poor and in need. They understood that we all will die and then face eternity. Death you cannot escape from and judgment is inevitable too. In describing that Jesus said “I was sick and you visited me, hungry and you gave me food, thirsty and you gave me water, in prison and you came to see me. The righteous will reply and say “When did we do that for you?” and Jesus replies “when you did it to the least of those I love, you did it to me” (bob paraphrase from Mathew 25 starting at vs. 30)
The RV park would provide badly needed income but mostly would be a channel I can use to tell others about the love of God. There are many visitors to this area, people coming to look for jobs. Plus there are many who already live here but are not accepted by some area churches. I hear this every week at the jail and it is sad to hear from those who went to church looking for God but found a not very welcoming atmosphere. These are the ones I want to reach out to.
Also there are the books I must write. Seems that when I sit down to write things come up, distractions always. I must be more disciplined about this. Time is wasting so must get busy. Cya next time.