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Friday, April 17, 2015

A Museum of Chalk Art!!!!!!

 Yesterday we "crashed" a chalk art seminar in Winston Salem, North Carolina.  Paul was preaching in a Christian school and the seminar, run by Matt Bowman of was teaching.  They got Paul to do a quick demonstration.   Matt also was extremely generous by blessing us with 2 big boxes of artists' chalk, which he makes, and 100 pieces of bogus paper, the gray stuff Paul likes best.

Before we left, we collected over 100 pictures from other chalk artists, and I am posting almost 30 different ones, enjoying the variety, wanting to inspire others to the much beloved method of preaching with chalk talks.  Most chalk artists do pictures double the size of Paul's.  We cut the bogus paper in half, as Paul often needs to be speaking in 2, 3 or even 4 different places in a day, portability is big with us.

 This one reminds me of Paul's sermon on Psalm 90, about the brevity of life and making sure you're ready for the next one.
I love the colors in this one.
 Dear deer.  There are usually hidden pictures in clouds like this, that only show up using a black/UV light.  Matt Bowman teaches students how to hide the pictures.
 Pink and blue are my favorites!  I wonder what this sermon was about.
 I love this yellow tree!
 Mr. David LeGrand owns the home in Salem Winston where the seminar was given, plus he owns this chalk art collection.  He builds easels for chalk artists, too.
 Josh said the classes were held "in a bunker".
 Little bird with a message.
 Lighthouses are popular topics.
 Beside still waters (By the way, I'm just guessing or making up titles.  I haven't heard the messages that go with them.)
 This shows how they are displayed.
 That's a unique one!
 Olive grove?
 Mounting up on eagles' wings.
 This one makes me hot!
 It's rather rare to see animals in these.
 Matt Bowman has lessons on DVD with lots of help for the unartistic too.

 Current events get chalked too.
 Notice how long some of these have lasted--that little 1993 shows.  Paul has some chalk drawings he has been using longer than we've been married, so more than 22 years.
 Another wow!
 Con Cristo en tu barco todo marcha feliz.  (With Christ in the vessel you can smile at the storm.)
 Some of them signed their work.  Paul only does it if pursued with a pen.
 I'm really curious about this one!
What a thrill to see such an organized group of people pursuing chalk skills together.  We're so thankful we got to go.
They had this verse posted over a rafter, "The hearing ear and the seeing eye, the Lord hath made even both of them."  Amen!

If anyone wants info on another chalk talk seminar, we can link you to Matt Bowman at   They're not frequent, but he'd know where to look for them.

Believe it or Not

 There we are, all properly labeled.  We had hoped to get a family picture but the 18 wheeler was busy driving off as we were scrambling to assemble.  Two out of five isn't too bad.
 We thought this sign was kind of funny.  We were in Charleston, SC for about 12 hours, and didn't have time to see the Battery or the islands or anything much, but we picked up one funny sign.
Timmy has a new book that collects funny church signs.

 A week later Paul preached in Myrtle Beach, SC, at Calvary Christian School.  We seized the opportunity to take the kids to the Ripley's Believe It or Not Museum.  We hadn't been there ourselves in about 20 years, so it had changed a lot, but was still the same idea of weird stories and interesting things.
 This little car was produced on the Isle of Man.  I'm glad my guys don't have to fold into such a small space regularly, but it would have been fun to try.
 "Oh say does that star Spangles Banner yet wave..."  This was very cool, and very patriotic, but it's a bit of a fake.  The license plates are plastic, not metal, made to look more real with brown paint to "age" them.
 This tunnel was black light purple, but I had to use a flash.  It makes you feel like you're tipping over.  It used to be like a brown barrel, but has upgraded to flashier colors.  Still makes me nauseous.
Got a cavity?  
Paul with "the Alton Giant" statue.  Robert Wadlow was the tallest man in modern history at nearly 9 feet tall.  It's rare to see Paul look like a shrimp, but there he is!   Their measuring stick must be a little off though, Paul's 6' 10" and this makes him look 7' tall!

                                                    "He hath done all things well."

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Hobnobbing with the famous

Paul preached at Sherwood Christian Academy for the elementary and for the middle school.  Sherwood is the  Facing the Giants, Courageous, and Fireproof  church so it felt special to be there.  Funny thing, for the first time on our trip, the ministry DVD didn't have sound when it was played so not everyone there is into video tech.
We also got to go to the set of Flywheel, which really is a used car lot!  And since we really were shopping for a car, we really did shop there.  It's really called Mac George in Albany, GA.  Really.
Albany is the first place I've ever seen a sign against Hoodies.  The kids and I are all hoodie lovers, but I never thought of them being criminal before.  Hmmm, can I still wear my Maine State Hoodie in good conscience?  I think so.
Sunrise through the Spanish moss has so much atmosphere!  No doubt about it, we were in the deep south.
But if there was any doubt, the confederate flags on the gravestones clued me right in.  I counted more than 10 in the church yard, not of people killed in the Civil War, but those who had fought in it.
After Albany, Georgia,  we dashed down to Steinhatchee, Florida,  for an evening service.  I love Steinhatchee.  It's on the Gulf of Mexico and has wonderful memories of vacation Bible schools, and one time Timmy was knocked down by a fawn here when he was two.  Scalloping with Brother Richard and Miss Gwen was one of my favorite things.
Paul's sister Joy was doing a prisoner visit in Florida, so she joined us in Steinhatchee which brought out more memories.  Eight years ago she visited us there, and got a free puppy who has grown up to be a great watch dog named Ariella.
Pelicans pose confidently for a picture at sunset.

Evangel joins their line up.

This Steinhatchee crab inspires me to tell about when we get crabby in the RV.  Sometimes it's a battle to remain cheerful and kind to each other sometimes when our "home" is jiggling down the road, three size 15 pairs of shoes are clogging the aisles, and we get on each others nerves.

Then other times we realize the privilege of rolling around the USA for these 4 and a half months, meeting wonderful people, telling people about the Lord, and having a house on wheels.  We're in a rare spot, as usual.  Paul's a unique guy, with a unique talent and calling, and he leads his family along in that unique life.

"In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God!"

Here is Pine Bluff Baptist Church.  They are dear friends, so kind to us over the years, and our visit to them was a real highlight of the trip for us.

~ Proverbs 27:10 ~
"Thine own friend, and thy father's friend, forsake not..."

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Book report #3, John Paton, missionary to the New Hebrides

Dear Readers;
We are now up to my most recent required reading (though not most recent reading) is John G. Paton, Missionary to the New Hebrides; An Autobiography.   As guessed by the title it is an autobiography.  It is 212 pages long, and divided very unevenly into ten chapters.  It is not repressed by any "politically correct views," that is none of today's.  
The first chapter, covering his family history and early life was rather slow, and was rather boring wading through.  The most interesting highlight from it concerned how his grandfather escaped death at the hands of the "pirate of the seas" John Paul Jones.   A different view then one usually hears of that individual.
Fortunately the book picks up in speed and interest from the second chapter.  By the third chapter I was not needing to be told to read it before other books.   This in fact was my favourite chapter, concerning his evangelism amongst the Catholics and other characters of the Scottish town.
In the fourth chapter he goes into the main thrust of this book, his missionary interests.  He was accepted into his church's missionary wing, and was sent to the South Seas.  He describes in latter chapters that this was not the ideal, relaxing, no-worries, mission field that some of you might be thinking.  Mainly the weather was nice, except for the worst hurricanes in anyone's memory hitting the island after he arrived.  The food was good except there was a fair chance of getting a poisonous fish (which in fact killed off at least two of his helpers).  Then the natives of the islands were friendly, except they were cannibals, entirely perfidious, utterly treacherous, and they thought it a virtue to be able to lie and get away with it (sounds like a few politicians I have heard of).   
He worked under some of the hardest circumstances I have heard of in the field, included but not limited to mosquitoes, malaria, diarrhea, consumption, the death of his newborn son, the death of his wife, the critics' insults for these two previous things,  a hurricane flattening his house and destroying much of his other work, the knowledge of previous missionaries being killed, the enmity of the heathen witch doctors, the enmity of most of the chiefs, the equally disturbing result of treachery by supposed friendly chiefs, constant and blatant thievery of almost everything he had, the enmity of the equally pagan European sandal wood traders, their thievery of his boat, and lastly almost daily threats to his life.  The list could easily be extended.  To the world this is of all things strange, a man who willingly stayed at his post despite all this, despite over five times being offered free passage else where.  
The thing that in hindsight seems most to have destroyed his work was the evil influence of the sandal wood traders, and it well seems that they were a worse lot then the cannibals that Paton had gone to witness to.  
I hope this does not spoil it, but he survives all of their attempts to kill him.


Tuesday, March 24, 2015

♪ A Pilgrim was I and a wand'ring... ♪

See the 'gator?   We were out for a walk in downtown Lakeland, FL, and spotted this big guy with nary a fence between us and him.  Gives me chills.  And people think Africa is wild!
One of the highlights of traveling is seeing old friends!  We were delighted to get time with the Burts in Valdosta, GA.  The kids especially liked their golf cart.  Paul's known them for more than 30 years. 
Paul preached at a sports' banquet for young basketball players in Valdosta. 
How Southeners, including Paul, feel about grits.  
The Burts' golf cart the boys got to drive.   By the way, all these pictures are taken from a Tracfone, so the quality is a little different from my deceased camera.  
Tim artfully dodges a family photo op as he has a nosebleed in Cedar Keys, Florida, a beautiful place I'd never heard of before.  It's hard to remember my family is still buried in snow in Maine.
Pastor and Mrs. Bill Keith took us to a memorable lunch, with some delicious seafood.  

The Gulf of Mexico is calmer then the Atlantic Ocean.
The next island in the keys is only accessible by boat.
The restaurant we went to was on a key connected by bridges and causeways to the mainland.  
 Evangel designed a new DVD cover, and we spend a lot of time printing them and sticking them on the DVD's so we can give them out at churches.  They hold 23 of Paul's chalk drawings, Timothy's video Time is Not the Friend of Evolution, and Evangel's movie Star of Light.  
The cabin queen. 
Near Whigham, GA, we got a whole day with no driving, and 2 nights in this rustic cabin beside a pond. 
The boys got in a bunch of target practice.  
And Josh was pulling in the brim faster then we could eat 'em.
Evangel caught one friendly fellow who's waving at you.
John and Diane Glover came out to visit us in the cabin. We hadn't seen them since we were newlyweds, over 20 years ago, and the fellowship was wonderful.

I love this picture.  This man Mr. Calvin trains bird dogs, and he told us, "I love what I do.  I know as sure as any preacher that this is what God called me to do."  Dog training is just part of his job.  He manages a 2500 acre quail hunting plantation.  As he talked about how he can see the Lord's greatness in the beauty of a bird dog hunting, and the way it points, it reminded me of Eric Liddle, the Olympic runner of Chariots of Fire fame, saying he felt God's pleasure in his running.

We are so privileged in the people we meet, and I'm so, so thankful our kids get to meet them too.
It's wonderful to be part of God's family.