...but, I needed a break, remember?
So, from January
Christmas of 1994, I sat in the pew
Tiburon Baptist Church (www.tiburonbaptist.com)
and cared for our four small children (while Cathy sang in the Choir). Dr. Barry Stricker was my pastor during this time. As well, I attended two different Sunday School classes: the large class led by dr. ken eakins (he likes those small letters) and a new class started by Dr. Clayton Harrop and his wife, Shirley. I also attended mid-week small group with my very own pastor, Barry. Although I was studying so hard at the Seminary, I knew that I needed to have the devotional refreshment found in a small group.
During that period of time, Dr. Rick Durst, met me in a hallway and asked me if I'd consider helping him plant a new church (and do some new things--something NEW--something that wasn't currently being done). He might not remember the interchange, but I quickly said, "No....I've chosen to set apart this time to be a student." Ohh...the thought of working with the newly-appointed Academic Dean was an exciting thought...but I had to let my 'no' be 'no.'
Later, Dr. Dwight Honeycutt, my history professor asked me to preach in his absence at Snyder Lane Baptist Church in Rohnert Park. I agreed to do that. Upon driving into the parking lot, a thought crossed my mind:
"You'll wind up pastoring this church."
After the service, I shared that 'passing thought' with Cathy. She confirmed that she had some similar feelings while I was preaching. I spent the last year and a half of my Seminary experience as the Pastor at Snyder Lane Baptist Church. I was pastor there until I completed my Masters of Divinity in May of 1996. When fbcgalt was looking for a pastor, Jim Fugate asked Dr. Bill Schweer if he knew of any graduating students who might be a good fit for Galt....the rest is history .... yet to be written.
And now...back to Galt: My current home computer has had problems through the years. Its been a reliable tool (useful in its master's hand), however, I have had to totally 'reformat' it on two occasions. This has involved 'shutting it down' before it totally crashed, and reloading its software (truly a 'Back to Basics' process).
Still, this ol' brain has been on operating on overload for several years. I am growing to appreciate the potential value in truly observing a Sabbath rest during the months ahead of me.
Time and Space will change in the
day-to-day routine. This webBlog will
reflect some of those changes. However,
Lord willing, I will remain available to
each of you by email at:
p.s. If you don't have email, call our church
secretary, Mellisa, at (209) 745-4665 and she
will send me an email on your behalf.
Wednesday, March 30, 2005
What a good night's sleep. At 11:00 PM, I told Cathy that I couldn't stay awake any longer. We had been watching one of those family feature films (like the good old days when the kids were younger). I wasn't even gonna fake it through the rest of the film...I was falling asleep. So, I slept through the night until 6:00 AM--unbroken sleep, no remembrance of dreams. However, the one sleeping next to me awoke with remembrance of 'a bad dream' (...that involved me). So, another thrilling adventure begins in the life of yours truly!
Last night, MacDonald Wreh pedaled over to
visit with me. He had been to the library
and checked out a huge book about the
Entrance Test for the Navy Reserves. Lately
he has been talking to different friends who
are encouraging him to join the Reserves. He
would probably tell you that I've been the
voice of restraint when he has mentioned
that idea. Its probably because of the
Robert Duvall film: God's and Generals
(about the civil war). There's a scene where
Irish immigrants are shown coming to America
only to then join one of the two armies
fighting each other. Many die in their
pursuit of the American Dream.
MacDonald reminds me:
"Oh, Pastor Rob...the Reserves do not go to Iraq...."
I told MacDonald that he ought to write for his journal again (March 14th was his last entry). He told me about calling his wife (apparently she has use of a cell phone). He said that while they talked she was struggling to light a candle. He felt sorry for her since all he does for light is flip a switch . . .
I spoke with Pastor Wesley last week. He
told me that their second attempt at digging
a well ended when they hit rock. Now they
will try to contract with a company that
uses a drill.
to see the digging a well in Liberia. He wasn't asking for money but
of course they always need it there in
I wonder if anybody reading this is supposed to contact Pastor Wesley and arrange to visit him there? If so, write him a short note and tell him I sent you: email@example.com
You know its hard to keep up with this fast-paced life and to stay current with the hundreds of people we know. While I was writing, a notice popped up that Moonika (from Estonia) was online. I had a short conversation with her in realtime. I've never yet signed up for Instant Messaging. It was Mary's account that was logged on, so I just used her name for a few minutes.
This millennium has been interesting thus far!
Tuesday, March 29, 2005
Our third son, Daniel, dropped me off at the office this morning. He needed to go feed his pig before school. Tom Lane and I were scheduled for a VisionWalk™ this morning. It was raining at 6:00 AM. I didn't know how we were going to have a sunny-side up VisionWalk™ on a day like this.
The walk/talk with Deacon Tom was quite fruitful--even though it was raining. Tom is a good friend. When we get together we are actually 'together' in the Name of Jesus. It makes a difference.
Whether I'm walking with Tom or Jebby, I call it a VisionWalk™ because we discuss our hope for the future (immediate and long-range). Without a Vision, the people perish. Oh, I have many friends...but there are only a few who like to walk (and fewer yet who choose to focus on hope as the topic of our walk together). I highly recommend that you find a couple good friends with whom you choose to walk through the day-to-day.
I have always enjoyed participating in a midweek Bible study, a Sunday School class (and other small group gatherings). These 'small groups' have a different dynamic than a one-on-one walk, but I still get to enjoy the intimate sharing of another's life. Therefore, I also highly recommend for growing Christians to intentionally connect with a small group of like-minded believers.
Later in the morning, I had coffee with Melvin. I met Mel at church on Sunday. I told him that I had wanted to have the opportunity to become more acquainted with him. Melvin is a Viet Nam veteran. He is currently trying to find more work (lawn, landscaping, or cooking). I'd like to help him in some practical way.
Melissa was working on sending out the letter describing my Sabbatical so I helped her a bit with that. I also spoke at length with our Minister of Music about my hopes for our church.
Another man who has been visiting our church
has asked me to come visit him today. It
will be hard to pull myself away from this
ministry setting but I'm seeing more clearly
why it will be helpful to completing my
Hey, I have a little treat for you....the spark of an idea that has been picked up by another....then, commissioned to yet another: click here. I've shown this page to Dan Malloy and he said, "I like it." There's a hyperlink on that page too. You may want to click there as well.
Do you have any cool ideas? write me:
Monday, March 28, 2005
Here are some stats from yesterday's services:
Sunrise Service 38
First Service 92 plus 6 in the nursery
Second Service 118 plus 6 in the nursery and
14 in Children's Church
Altogether those numbers total
Of course, there are many 'overlaps' of
people at more than one service but I'm
encouraged by that number. I'm deeply
appreciative of all the people who went out
on 'Invitation' during the week. I don't
think that anyone counted how many people
came back in the evening for the Denny Scott
My Sabbatical officially begins on April Fool's Day.
I trust that this in not just an elaborate joke! In the second service yesterday, I mentioned that I plan to 'respectfully decline' opportunities to preach elsewhere during my Sabbatical. I intend only to organize, write, rest, pray, and probably do some recording.
I'll be 'on duty' until April 1st, so if
anybody local would like talk, please call
the church office: (209) 745-4665
or simply call my cell phone: 323-0727
Dr. Rick Durst (the Academic Dean at
my seminary) will be the guest speaker at
the Epicenter this
Sunday. Although my Sabbatical will have
already officially begun, Cathy and I will
Dr. Durst is an engaging preacher....
... plus we are having the VisionLunch® at 12:30.
I really don't want to miss that! I've heard some of the exciting brainstorms stirring up in the collective mind and heart at fbcgalt.
click here to read more about Dr. Durst
To read the Sabbatical Announcement: CLICK HERE
To see my doctoral project timeline: CLICK HERE
Sunday, March 27, 2005
Today is Easter Sunday.
I've stopped in just long enough write this short note of encouragement. Commit THIS DAY of your life to seeking God:
Saturday, March 26, 2005
Yesterday, my entire family attended our community Good Friday service. I'm happy to know that our churches have, once again, worked together to invest the Gospel story in our town.
This morning, after prayer meeting, we hosted a TOWN HALL meeting to discuss youth issues in Galt. Barbara Payne (City Council Woman) led the discussion (as part of her campaign: I Love My Town). Anybody interested in helping make Galt a safer, cleaner, youth-friendly city should be part of this grassroots group of concerned citizens. Here are the minutes of last week's meeting: CLICK HERE.
From last night:
I'm writing this at 10:30
on Friday night. The band led by Glenn
(Vanity's Crutch) played their second show here for our monthly outreach coffee house called fbcfriday. MacDonald Wreh opened the evening with guitar and voice--very beautiful.
John Byrd (from Patterson) brought a couple college students here on Spring Break to visit the Epicenter. Kendra (a PK) was in California last July as a summer missionary. She came back for spring break with another student, Stephen, who came out to visit Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary.
Right now they're playing in an impromptu band with our own Joe Patterson sitting in on the drums. It has been a good night with decent attendance for our second coffee house.
Today, our church's Personnel Committee and Deacons published a letter that describes their decision to grant a Sabbatical Leave. If you would like to read that letter, simply CLICK HERE.
One of the most useful tools used in this virtual construction is the hyperlink (go ahead, click it).
2) Hyper is also a prefix, from the Greek hyper-, meaning over, above, or excessive, used in such terms as hyperbole (exaggeration in describing something) and hypertext (text that extends to point to or include other text).
3) In science, also as a prefix, hyper- is something that exists in a space of four or more dimensions, such as a hyperplane.link (lingk)
OK, I've run out of time...I have to meet Jebby for our weeklyVisionWalk™ ...I'll do some quick thinking here....uhhh....
In our church context (since this
website is all about being a member of a
the use of the Hyperlink will grow our
Well, OK...I know it needs some work. This very morning, I woke up with this very idea....and I really feel like I'm on to something BIG....
Thursday, March 24, y2k5
Jordin Herrera (11) sculpted an image of pastorob when his family was first visiting the Epicenter. At the time of the initial presentation, one would not have guessed the intensity of controversy which would be stirred by the simple scanning of this haunting image.
The shadow-personality, projection, mirroring,
left brain/right brain connectivity, and other debatable issues (such as copyright law) have caused passionate dialogue to erupt among my readers.
An adolescent voice may well ask:
"pastorob, where do ur readers come from, n e wayz?"
My educated response: "I dunno...."
When asked, "Rob, how do you view yourself?"
I might reply with an unclicked hyperlink . . .
I do, however, think as one looking at oneself in a mirror.
Though my perception is sometimes distorted, this is what I have come to think, feel, and believe by looking into the mirror of God's Word (the Bible):
A Admit I have admitted that I have sinned.
One day I chose to believe that
Jesus is the
only Way to be saved. When Jesus was crucified,
His spotless blood was sacrificed to cover the
sins of anyone who will call on His Name. I have
called on His Name to save me from myself.
C Commit I have committed my life to the Living Jesus. He rose from the dead and lives forever. He intercedes on my behalf because
I have become a child of God by simple faith in Him. I have been forgiven. I'm saved.
As I am reminded of Christ's death and resurrection,
I also remember what my life
had been like before I knew Christ personally.
I lived as an agnostic for twenty years. I still remember what had seemed important to me in those days. My hope is that God will redeem those wasted years as I try to reach out to those who currently are living without the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.
...what will be has yet to be seen, heard,
or experienced in its fullness. I have a hope that God may use this daily journal (of my daily life) as an outreach to someone who needs a special friend. As a friend I'd like to share this message: God loves you.
Check out the lyrics of this song.
Wednesday, March 23, y2k5
We're picking up Jerry from the airport this afternoon. I hope you'll come greet him at the Bible Study tonight. There's also a Potluck tonight starting at 6:30 PM hosted by:
and Renee Greene 209.339-1377
Their address is: 23599 N. Kennefick Rd.
Acampo, CA 95220
check www.mapquest.com for directions
Tuesday, March 22, y2k5
Added after church:
We had a great time
in both services today. Then, over 25 of us met
at Round Table Pizza. Here are notes from
yesterday's Town Hall meeting for "I
Love My Town."
Hopefully, others who were in attendance will add their comments and allow us to start the type of
21st Century communication network that Galt so desperately need at this time. CLICK HERE
Sunday, March 20, y2k5
Had a full night's sleep (6.2 hours--unbroken)!
So, I'm getting off to a late start (it's 6:38 AM right now).
I'm writing this from home and emailing it to Control Central at
the Epicenter. I'm sending Joe to go to the GHS farmyard with Daniel. Hopefully, he will be able to take a photo of Daniel's Ag Science project: No. 45 (photo above).
Alright--here I am at Control Central (with a new font and a fresh perspective on life).
The boys are on their way out to the farm. I'm going to wait here for them to return. We're a one-car family for awhile.
note to my international readers:
In America, many families have private use of an
automobile; some have more than one. Until
Friday night's accident, the Patterson family
So we're on restriction. Yes, as the head of this household, I have 'grounded' everybody. Everybody (even myself).
Last night, I had to cancel my gig as the piano man at a missions' fundraiser banquet.
Why? I'm grounded. Dad says so.
Oh well. Awhile back my good friend, Whitney, admitted that it is actually kinda fun to be grounded. You see, our filial form of 'martial law' doesn't necessarily restrict us from having friends over. Last night the McCalls and the Santillans came over. We sat at the kitchen table and talked over strategy for helping our friends in Liberia.
And, let me tell you, it ain't
always easy being Dad....but its almost always
p.s. here's an email from Greg Brayton that came in yesterday:
Editor's note: Greg plays guitar on every studio recording of my songs (in the archives) and in the right column....over there....
Saturday, March 19, y2k5
What a night last night! Our son, Daniel, and his girlfriend, Whitney, were in a terrible car wreck at 9:30 PM. They were hit by a car traveling around 55 mph. We're still not certain about what occurred but the teens were taken by an ambulance to the hospital. No serious injuries.
The 60-something woman who ran into them was shook up but didn't appear to be injured.
After getting to bed at 12:30 AM, Joe called around 2:30 and needed to be picked up from his drop-off on I-5. He's here with us for his spring break.
MacDonald called at 8:00 AM asking if I could pick him up from his job in Stockton at 11 AM.
I then woke up Joe and Daniel so they could accompany me to the "I Love My Town" meeting in the City Council Chambers.
Although creativity was flowing from this heart and mind, in order to 'blend' with others in the community, I needed to yield to the fruit of the Spirit (listed below: March 17).
We left the City Meeting, rushed to pick up MacDonald, typed up 'minutes' of that meeting, then 'rushed' again to meet with our C.P.A. for tax-time.
Finally, I decided that I need to go home and get some sleep. More on 'sleep-deprivation' later. Hope to see you in church tomorrow.
Friday, March 18, y2k5
Properties, Buildings, and Grounds folks at my church will be happy to know that Galt's Finest just now shined the spotlight on a suspect trying to get into our church office at 3:47 AM....me!
Yeah, I'm up kinda
early today...so much to do. Joe transcribed
some lyrics for the newly uploaded songs (on the
and... we keep getting 21st century ideas . . .
plus I've added this:
a video clip edited by my son, Daniel:
GHS freestyle wrestling: click here 1:04
Daniel is training with the GHS Barbarian Wrestling Club
I woke up with some practical ideas about 'tweaking' the 2 school districts in our current home town: Galt, California.
tweak (twēk) v. To pinch sharply and twist
spurred on by my parental concern over the
current challenges facing public education will
involve more productive and effective use
of the Internet.
I'm working on my doctorate and recently the creative juices have been flowing such that I regularly am awakened by ideas that I think someone 'oughta' do something about ... not quite the sort-of-thing a person can delegate out.
Well, I haven't heard any more from MTV yet; click here if you wanna see what I sent to them.
You may also want to read my journal entry mention of MTV on
Thursday, March 10th
for Journal Archives y2k5 March: Click here
Check back for more later
... right now,
I've gotta get to work on some of my
'night visions'. Rotary is at 7:0O AM
and, then, I'll go on my weekly
VisionWalk™ with Jebby.
btw, earlier (3:47 AM), when I noticed the source of the bright light, I gave the person in the patrol car a 'thumbs up.' That seemed to suffice ... hey, I'm a police chaplain; most of the officers know me by now. It's good to stay on the right side of the Law.
Thursday, March 17, y2k5
I don't really know when the last day was that I took a day off....but Thursday is set apart for that. So, I'm gonna give it a shot and try to spend my day around the house: cleaning. My wife's not online much these days so there's no filial accountability there!
Last night I took 'the Dream Giver DVD' back to our local Blockbuster. I think you should know that its back on the shelf (Twin Cities Rd. and Highway 99, Galt, California 95632).
This Bruce Wilkinson teaching (8 half-hour sessions) is quite good but it may seem 'kinda out there' to those who haven't first read his allegory (by the same name). I had a mystical/devotional connection to this book (even before it was written). I suppose that story will have to wait as well because...
"What happens next..." a one-act play
So...I drop off the video and pick up the babysitter girls (Mary and Aryelle). We drive out to the coolest Wednesday Night Home Bible Study in the valley.
...mm.. yeah? (nods head affirmatively)
This guy, Doug, (he's the teacher...) someone tells me that he's 'a publican' by day (for the Governator).
Well, I don't have my Bible with me, see, but I listen real close...the rest of 'em..they take turns reading from somethin' called Galatians chapter 5....
...mm.. oh..yeh (with wistful acknowledgement)
It's something about the Fruit of the Spirit. Man, you should see these people; they've all got Bibles and are talking 'bout...
This Doug guy and..uh..Ron...they're sayin' Greek words agape...pistos...chara... stuff like that. You know, it feels good to be there...in that room...with those people...talkin' 'bout God and stuff.
...mm..yeah, I know.
...You been there?!
...mm..yeah, in a sense; I've been to places like that. That's what happens when Christians gather together to share their lives.
Well, the music was good too.
This one guy...he's really funny...Sharif...he just starts singing this song...his mom, Joyce... she looks at me...sweet as can be... and asks if I know it. I don't.
So, her other son, Ron, he just gets up and runs out to his car...He comes back with a CD and Glenn (the guy that lives there)...he puts it in and cranks up the volume.
Its a good song...I don't remember it now though.
I woke up around 4:30 this morning with some ideas. I don't have time to write all of them down but one idea involves inviting the reader to consider the lives of people they have known: 'saints who have passed on.'
They could write to me with a short story for inclusion for a nine-fold feature (just a hyperlink away from this webBlog). The nine headings are enumerated above (love, joy, peace...etc.) Follow?
Hey, did anyone ever see the blurb for this particular reality show? I thought of it again yesterday...and again, this morning:
The Reality Show that transcends Reality
Wanna be the Editor for this new show? CLICK HERE
Perhaps I have been given the 'go-ahead from God' to be the show's producer (if I ever get dragged into court for allowing people to snoop around in the bottom drawer of our pop culture's collective conscious/subconscious reality then that will be my defense: j/k).
Oh, I know...an adversarial attorney could probably convince some judge somewhere that you can't use j/k for a defense...so throw me in jail, your honor. It won't stop me...j/k...
I wouldn't want the chore of editing that show! A certain web personality wrote me about it once but I thought she would make a better writer than editor. Then again, I think eva is much too serious for such a lighthearted show. j/k
Wednesday, March 16, y2k5
private note for eva and tom: in the last paragraph of today's journal entry is a secret link to a compilation of articles (from some newspaper) about same-sex marriage. Having read
eva's journal yesterday, I was prompted to consider doing some writing about the subject. However, I don't think I can really invest the time to write about all my opinions on the issue.
Eva, I understand and respect your viewpoint. You may have guessed, however, that I wouldn't hold to your opinion. You've been around me for several years...heard my preaching...and know that I accept people just the way they are. So, I would be interested in reading what you 'think' that I would write in response to that current event....however, please don't publish such thoughts....just send 'em to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This morning I am scheduled for an interview with
a reporter from the Sacramento Bee.
Jocelyn Weiner is writing a story about our
City Council's adoption of Barbara Payne's creative campaign for Galt:
Several weeks ago, Barbara came to me to share her Big Dream. Our Dreams for the children and teenagers of this growing town seemed to intersect at points.
Although she has not yet cast her Vision on a national level, I venture to guess that Barbara will want to offer other troubled communities a reproducible model.
After she shared with me some aspects of her dream, I asked Barbara to sit in the Captain's Seat (at Command Central) and served as her personal guide on a tour of this website. She seemed particularly drawn to our Youth's creative Inter-connectivity and the Napoleon Dynamite event which we were currently promoting.
Weeks later, Mrs. Payne told me that she had purchased a Napoleon Dynamite DVD and had decided to host a Napoleon Nite for all of Galt ('actually' and 'virtually'). I suppose you will just have to buy the SacBee to find out what happens next...
Last night, at the Executive Board meeting for the Delta Valley Baptist Association, I was 'the first' to 'so move' upon 2 recommendations (heh, heh):
To actively assist Pastor Julieto Magbanua in
planting of a new Filipino congregation in Tracy:
Light in the Valley and
To receive the physical properties of
(Mokelumne Hill) and acknowledge that this church has
It is always exciting when a
new church is born. As well, we should take time
to pause and reflect whenever we know of a
church that has died. Both sets of circumstances
have similarities with the human life cycle.
Long ago, I started dealing with the human
process of mourning and grief (starting with my
mother's death when I was five).
Death is normative for people and a local church. However, most individuals I know (myself included) aren't really yet ready to die. We still have hopes, dreams, and plenty of work to do. Likewise, most church members I have met deeply love their own home church and want to fully experience Christ as
He whispers ... His Vision ... to His Bride.
More on this tomorrow.
Tuesday, March 15, y2k5
A friend just sent me this article:
fbcgalt.org featured in
prominent internet journal click here
Today, I really need to continue with the process of organizing my office, my personal files, and thus, my life. For some personality types, filing is a very simple task. Not for me (ENFP). Much like trying to clean my room as a kid, the process involves discovering many long-forgotten treasures and toys. It is very difficult for me to 'stay-on-task' when such treasures seem to call for further discovery.
Hopefully, this webBlog will assist me as I begin to 'file' online.
Monday, March 14, y2k5
I woke up with the blues around 5 AM. Good thing that Cathy, Larry, and I went to the 6.5 hour seminar on Saturday (Depression: the Way Out). The presenter, Dr. Neil Nedley, was a fine speaker; each registrant was given a copy of his latest book. Although the seminar was a long time sitting and listening, I think we all felt that God would bring a great return on our investement of time and attention.
Tom Lane will soon show up for a Monday morning walk. By the way, an hour-long walk is a great deterrent to 'the blues' (...unless, maybe...you're all by yourself, head-hung-down...playing the harmonica).
I just remembered the dream I had dreamt
immediately before awakening. Perhaps it is the
reason I awoke with 'the blues.'
It was set in a hospital; I was carrying a teenager who had stopped breathing--speaking loudly--asking where I should take her. Nobody asked seemed to know...it was someone else's responsibility.
The young lady had been one of the cast members in Godspell (the show we watched on Friday night). She hadn't been a main character. Earlier in the dream I had simply recognized her in the crowd--that is how she became my responsibility. My limited medical knowledge was enough to know that this girl needed immediate attention. I was not politely following protocol; instead, I was acting like one of those over-the-top characters in a made-for-TV movie.
Although I was once certified by the Red Cross for CPR, it didn't occur to me, in the dream, that I was equipped to administer first aid.
I woke up before I was able to get the young lady any 'real' help. So, it was just a dream but considering yesterday's Communion readings from Philemon, I think I know what to do about the blues.
Sunday, March 13, y2k5
This morning my friends down at Lodi 12 Cinema wrote to tell me, pastorob, that they were bringing a RE-CUT version of THE PASSION back to their theatre within driving distance of the Epicenter.
Celebrating the Lord's Supper
You see, the Scripture reveals that every time we eat of that loaf and drink of that cup, we proclaim the death of Christ. 'The Lord's Supper' is a drama.
Saturday, March 12, y2k5
Yes, I highly recommend
the GHS production of
featuring Ryan Perez as Jesus
The last 2 perfomances are
at 2 pm and 7 pm
check www.mapquest.com for directions:
Galt High School 145 North Lincoln Way Galt, 95632
Epicenter Minister of Music, Dan Malloy, has
informed me of his plans to attend the
final performance tonight with his wife, Char.
And now, the long-awaited firstfruits
video-streaming of scenes from
Mike and Robin McCall's trip to Liberia.
for children chasing bubbles 1:02
Mike had formed a
bubble ring out of an old guitar string, took
some soapy water and created an environment for
a fun slice-of-life.
Bible Story with Flannelgraph 5:53
Mike teaches 'the Limbo' 1:23
Jumping Rope 1:11
We Wanna See Jesus Lifted High 1:19
Do you know your A.B.C.s? :14
Abigail and Eunice Dancing :41
The Wesley Family 1:08
Interested in learning more about our
outreach to these children? CLICK HERE
Friday, March 11, y2k5
Last night, I accompanied our third son, Daniel, to the school farm. This semester he has taken on the student project to raise a sow. He demonstrated his chore of cleaning the pigs' quarters, feeding them, and weighing them. I was impressed by the seriousness with which he approached the tasks. This morning, the video clip of Napoleon Dynamite (2 years later) was featured on GTV. We had lunch together today; Daniel reported that he was in Spanish class when it aired.
Jebby and I enjoyed our weekly VisionWalk™ today. I told him about the casting call for MTV (Jebby: click here if you wanna see what I sent them). I connected the idea of becoming involved with the nice folks down at MTV and yesterday's Daily Bread. Did you read that?
It was about those who live 'rabbit-hole' lifestyles (in contrast to the one modeled by Jesus when he 'invited himself' to the home of Zachaeus). Thinking again about the group of boys gathered around our kitchen table (March 10th entry) reminds me of the importance of the Oikos (see Joe's final paper).
Tonight, Cathy and I will accompany our church youth group to the Galt High School production of Godspell. I met up with a number of the cast members outside the auditorium last week and told them that we were coming. Aimee Sayre has already seen this production and reports a fine performance by cast and crew. A personal friend of mine, Ryan Perez, plays the Christ.
Yesterday, I officiated at the memorial service for a powerful Christian witness:
Here is a photo of Veda's penpal, Ruth Wesley (in Liberia).
As well, I invite you to
scroll down to March 4th and learn about this special cross-cultural relationship between an American senior citizen and a Liberian teenager:
click here to read their last exchange of letters.
Last night, the girls that hang out at our house skillfully executed their plan to throw a surprise birthday party for Aryelle. So, our home was packed with 13 and 14 year old young people (of various gender--2 to be exact). There was adequate adult supervision but we had to stay attuned to several discussion groups and fellowship options. I had a fun time.
As I was checking my email (our computer is in the kitchen) I mentioned to the guys (gathered around the kitchen table) about the possibility that I could be called to audition for a role in an upcoming MTV series. The boys seemed excited as they asked for more details. I told them about MTV shooting later this month in a nearby location (and that they were seeking actors my age to play schoolteachers, security guards, or the Principal).
the crowd called out,
"The Principal! You should be the Principal!"
MTV talent scout,
there's your market research...
a group of skateboard-carrying boys
think that pastorob
would be believable as the Principal.
Some of you know about Martin Kpau, the student preparing for the University of Liberia. Our son, Joe, sent some funds to help Martin with school expenses. Below is a recent letter from this young man.
Dear Pastor Rob,
I would like to greet you in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. We heard about your trip to South Africa, and I visited
First Baptist's web site and saw some photos of some activities there. t he
I hope mother Cathy and the
kids are fine.
The family that visited us
was very nice. It seems
that everybody in First
Baptist is very kind. We
had a wonderful time with
Brother Mike and
Sister Robin. I wish
and pray that they may pay
From your son in Liberia,
See Mike and Robin in Liberia CLICK HERE
I won't have much time to write this morning.
I noticed that our editors have been kinda rough on eva's journal the last two days. I'm puzzled. We have the same editors but it doesn't seem like they are near as tough on me. I don't exactly know why? I hope its not simply because I'm black.
I will probably write more later. There is much to do to get past yesterday's news and on with exciting new developments at some key sites:
I spoke with
and will have to find time to pass along to
their editors some news from my end of the
relationships. Also, Jebby's
documentary, needs to have some video clips and
viewer mail, so I'll want to look into the delay
There are some definite differences to serve as a pastor in the 21st century. I'm still learning how.
I have the privilege of speaking at a memorial service for my good friend, Veda Rackley. I hope you'll decide to come and hear recollections of her life and ministry.
Today 1:00 PM 653 A
Galt, California CLICK HERE for map
Tom Lane and I are planning to go on a VisionWalk™ today. I want to speak to him about the big controversy stirred up over yesterday's journal entry. It seems to bother some readers that my words aren't always in their dictionaries. I'm sorry.
I just don't always have a dictionary around me and at age 47, it seems that I ought to be able to design some words of my own.
7, y2k5 ...
We all need to read good news, right? Well, this Monday Morning Special 2nd Edition is being published to report a newsworthy reaction to the morning's news:
minutes ago, one of our members walked into
the Epicenter to drop off a check for $500; then
the phone rang--another member is heading down
here with an offering for the
Greater Love Children's
I woke up this morning reflecting immediately upon the need to 'update' our website recent focus on
"the Gathering" (since it is now 'yesterday's news).
.. . . .. .
OK, I'm back....hey, please take
time to read
Pastor Wesley's note from
He wrote today to tell me that the children had
only cornmeal to eat yesterday. Will you help?
CLICK HERE: www.pastorob.com/wesley.htm
Sunday, March 6, y2k5 2nd Edition:
Mike & Robin McCall, and MacDonald Wreh all dressed in African clothes to join Cathy and me after the Gathering. The guys played guitar and sang while the ladies managed to get certain passersby to stop.
A few chose to go ahead and sponsor one
of the World Vision kids. A good investment.
I also saw Tami Wood (Veda's granddaughter);
she told me that we will have
Veda's Memorial Service
on Wednesday at 1:00 p.m. CLICK HERE
First Baptist Church of Galt
Sunday, March 6, y2k5
Saturday morning has been spent in talk/prayer with four other significant guys. We keep what's talked about rather private but any man who sincerely desires to see God reveal his plans for us would do well to make this particular prayer meeting a priority. Over the years I have marveled at seeing the full realization of an idea first discussed in that intimate setting.
I just spoke to Cathy on the phone. She is in much pain today. It saddens her that she will be unable to 'interpret' for the deaf community and hard-of-hearing tomorrow (at the big event: The Gathering).
For nearly two weeks, Cathy has been experiencing the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome. Simple jobs like washing the dishes, making the bed, and doing the laundry are painful and/or tiring. Her job as an Interpreter at the school did not provide adequate breaks from repetitive hand motions.
So, this is a trial that we're facing in our family. I need to step up to the plate and start taking over jobs that she normally does at home. Guess its time to read Tom Lane's article on serving again. If you go to his page, scroll down, and spend some time there. Hopefully, our kids will start to voluntarily serve around the house more.
Hmm ... about Service:
If there is anyone out there willing to serve the community (or the world) in any way,
please call me on my cell phone:
pastorob (209) 323-0727.
That's right...that's my number.
Be reasonable, OK?
passed his written test and now has his
California Driver's Permit. If you're local and
would like to let him practice driving you around,
his cell phone.
MacDonald Wreh (from Liberia) 209-570-3766
See our girl? She's kinda shy...
Cecilia is an 8 year old girl from a family with seven children. She is the girl from Lesotho that Cathy and I are sponsoring.
there will be an opportunity for you to 'sponsor'
one of 650 other children
in her community.
Cecilia is seen drawing a picture of her mother and father with colored pencils, crayons, and a notebook that I gave to here earlier this month (during our trip to Africa).
Friday, March 4, 2005
Today marks an important moment in my life history. Before I tell you why, I'll recap a slice-of-life from yesterday afternoon.
Miss Parlee showed up at the office wanting her $10; it was in my car. So, I invited her to ride along with me to visit Veda (my Internet co-host and dear friend). She had just been released from the hospital the day before. When we got to Veda's home, I immediately showed her the enlarged photo of Ruth Wesley (wearing Veda's watch and Veda's bracelet). Veda exclaimed: "Ohh, she is so gorgeous!"
'Auntie Veda' had first sent the watch (to Liberia) to Pastor Wesley's daughter, Ruth (then 14) back in March of 2003. Veda had written a note explaining that, years ago (when she was 14), she had hoped for a watch--and that she never had gotten one until she was a grown woman.
Therefore, she wanted Ruth to have this watch. She wrapped it in a small box, with her handwritten note, and a photo of herself (with her name, Veda Rackley, written on the back). She put a rubber band around the small box and commissioned Pastor Wesley to deliver it to Ruth.
Pastor Wesley said,
"Oh my...a watch is a very valuable
item...perhaps it would be better to ..."
Veda politely interrupted him saying,
"No, it is for Ruth."
In February of 2004, I traveled to Liberia and knowing that it would be special for Veda, I photographed Ruth wearing the watch. Ruth took the time to write 'Auntie Veda' a thank-you letter. I photographed her lying on the floor under a small light (powered by the generator).
Veda treasured that note. She told me that she had a special place in her heart for Ruth. She said, "I feel Ruth somehow--right here--in my heart." I wasn't surprised that Veda wanted to send another gift to Ruth (along with Mike and Robin McCall).
click here to read her latest note to Ruth, and to read Ruth's letter thank you note to Veda; I read it aloud to her eager delight at Mercy General last week).
Today, at 12:55, my dear friend, my webBlog co-host,
another sweet mother graduated from the classroom of
suffering. She has stepped into eternity.
Well done, Veda.
Now, I'm gonna go somewhere and cry awhile...catch you later...
Thursday, March 3, 2005
Well, the time has come for good ol' Joe to finish up his paper and turn it in today, so I read it over again and suggested that he might want to mention one of my beliefs regarding growth in the Kingdom of God.
During my last year at GGBTS, I watched God grow our small church in Rohnert Park by reaching one household. By reaching one individual in a home, the established relationships of that home are also impacted by the near presence of the Holy Spirit being lived in and through that individual. Through one household member, we eventually baptized 23 'related' people in a six-month period.
I picked up the term Oikos Evangelism from one of my professors: Dr. Tom Wolfe (during his last year at Church on Brady--now known as Mosaic church). For twenty years he had seen exponential growth of the local church through the Oikos (Greek for 'house'). The family dynamics of eating together, sharing life's joys, and surviving life's tragedies together make one's family-of-origin a natural setting for seeing the Great Commission fulfilled. Sometime I'll upload the paper I wrote about the subject. It really rings true to me.
Alright, Joe. We hope this helps you as another source for the finishing touches on your paper. When you finish it, we will upload your final draft. It'd better be good!
Remember to cite the date correctly; I'm listing it Thursday, even though I'm writing it on Wednesday night. Remember, in Liberia, it is already tomorrow! More on TimeTravel™ later. Yeah, I've looked into it too--in cyberspace.
It ain't always 'easy' but it is possible.
OK, now for something completely different:
Before our first trip to Estonia (April, 2000), I
had corresponded with the webmaster for a
cutting-edge site called:
Remembering the great numbers of 'hits' his site had way back then, I recently attempted to reconnect with him since we were trying some new ideas with our local church website.
Back in 2000, David had been pastoring a church about an hour away from the Epicenter. In my email I asked him if he was still in Patterson, California. Here is the kind reply from another y2k5 - kinda guy.
January 11, 2005
No, I am not in Patterson. I am in Oregon
(4 years now). I like your web site.
I love the idea of
to Napoleon Dynamite. Do it.
Keep in touch
Oh....go ahead, click above. I think you'll be
pleasantly surprised! But, ya gotta come back!
By the way, we 'did it,' David.
Thanks for the encouragement!
CLICK HERE: Napoleon Dynamite Video
Wednesday, March 2, 2005
biographical accounts of Moody's ministry point
to a decision he made after hearing this
"It remains to be seen what God will do with
a man who gives himself up wholly to Him."
Moody's response: "I will be that man."
Recently, my good friend, Tom Lane, resourced me through the loan of a current book by Hugh Hewitt
(a New York Times Best-selling Author and
host of a nationally syndicated radio show).
To start, I did my usual scan of this y2k5 publication:
BLOG Understanding the Information Reformation
that's Changing Your World
Yeah, I found what I was looking for (on page 189);
an assertion that, for me,
is reminiscent of the Varley-Moody exchange:
The advantage of blogging is that it will oblige you to live in
the world of ideas and debates, and to do so at the modern
pace. At present no great blogger has emerged with a
distinctly evangelical worldview. When one does, with humor
and insight attached as well, that person (or persons) will
have an enormous impact on the world.
Speaking on behalf of fbcgalt writers,
deacons, composers, producers, neo-plagiarists, preachers, journalists, filmmakers and bloggers:
"we will be those
Tuesday March 1, 2005
IMPORTANT PUBLIC APPEARANCES by pastorob TODAY:
Royal Oaks Convalescent Center, Galt
11:30 AM Featured Speaker at Delta Valley Pastors'
Luncheon: Harmony Baptist Church, Stockton
when you least expect it: Save Mart or Longs, Galt.
Yesterday (and this morning) I dubbed 2 copies of the videotapes Mike and Robin brought home from Liberia. Oh, I know there are machines available...but for various reasons, we don't always have the technology to 'work smarter' even when we know it exists.
I dropped one copy off to Jim and Doris Fugate (since they have supported our work in Liberia since the very beginning of our partnership with Pastor Wesley). I really enjoy watching the tapes; I didn't take a video camera with me when I went there a year ago.
There are some great
moments I hope to
upload as online video clips ASA I gati :
1) Mike teaching the kids how to play LIMBO
with a broomstick (How low can you go? Lee-mbo.)
Pastor Wesley's daughters (Ruth,
and Eunice) leading the other children in games
like 'jump rope' (the McCalls brought the rope), hopscotch (Priscilla, 14, scratched out the grid in
the earth with a tile). Mike blowing bubbles as
the kids laugh and wholeheartedly jump to pop
4) Mike strumming the guitar and teaching the kids to
sing "We Want to see Jesus Lifted High" and
"I have never seen the Righteous forsaken."
Too much to write about!
Sunday night, we hosted "The Making of Elijah" the Director's Commentary. Jebby and friends were out in full force--an unforgettable experience. Cathy and I lingered behind with the families who are going with Jebby to shoot a film in New Zealand. It was an intimate time of reflection and simple, peaceful joy. Well done, everyone. We will post video, slides, and commentary on the Elijah page as we are able. Time is the prime factor here. I am working on the website in my 'spare time' .....yeah.
I've been getting feedback on various blog
CLICK on the links below to read whatever comes in;
I will try to add more viewer mail as I find time.
go to: pastorob at www.pastorob.com/rob’sblog.htm
Pastor Rob Patterson 653 A Street Galt, California (209) 745-4665
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