Taking the Whistle to New Heights!

As some of you are unfortunate enough to have experienced (and the rest of you blessed!) I picked up a new hobby while on sabbatical… Yes, I bought myself a Penny Whistle (or Irish Whistle as they are often called) while on sabbatical, in Seattle if you really must know. Audiences everywhere have been mesmerized by the beautiful music I can now produce. So far I can play the theme from Titanic and Lord of the Rings (Hobbit’s Song) as well as several hymns such as “Hallelujah, What a Savior”, “O For a Thousand Tongues”, “This is my Father’s World”, “Amazing Grace” and “Jesus Loves Me.” It is tricky to find songs that can be played within a range of only 8 notes, but it is a lot of fun. I have since ordered four more on ebay so that I can have different keys and tone quality. My goal is for Pastor Tim to let me play during the worship service during the offertory. I have also discovered that a wonderful way to relax and de-stress is to play the Penny Whistle while riding on a 5 foot unicycle. It really calms your nerves… though it does tend to…

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A Jedi with a Shepherds Heart…

The hills as you drive to beautiful Corvalis, Oregon are filled with sheep lazily grazing on wide open green pastures. Counting the sheep would have been a pointless effort, as there were too many and constantly moving. Just a few hours from the coast of Oregon, it is a beautiful place to live and minister, and the sight of sheep on the way in was fitting, as we were on our way to meet a young father and pastor with a true shepherd’s heart. Strong in the Force this Children’s Pastor is… Henry and his Padawan Learner… After church at Kings Circle (See Kings Circle Gallery) we headed out to lunch at my favorite restaurant that is now sadly missing in Chicago… The best former Chicago restaurant in Chicago. Allow me to rant: The busiest restaurant at our local mall in Chicago went ‘out of business’ due only to upper management mistakes. Soon all the other Baja Fresh’s in Chicagoland started to disappear, and rumor is that they are pulling out of the MidWest. Dumb. Why would a popular busy highly profitable restaurant close? I’d like to say to Baja Fresh’s Leadership: “I find your lack of vision disturbing.” A…

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Railtown 1897…

Cutting Edge Technology (100 years ago) Sticking to our theme of “Planes, Trains, and Automobiles” we went on a historic rail ride yesterday that wasn’t even a part of our plans. On our drive from Yosemite to Lodi, we drove through the Gold Rush area of California, and stopped in Jamestown for some ice creme and shopping, and then noticed a Historic Railtown sign pointing up a hill that said ‘2 blocks’ so we turned – what a treat! We stumbled on Railtown 1897, one of the oldest steam trains in the USA still running, and turns out they only give rides on the weekends, so for $6 each we were on our way! Life Lingers Along the Tracks As well as being one of the oldest, this station and its #28 train is the longest running steam train in the country – after it stopped running for mining, it became a movie train, and has been in over 200 movies and hundreds of commercials and TV shows, such as Back to the Future III, Little House on the Praire, Unforgiven, among others. Engine pulling around to take us back to station. My favorite: a one-man hand-powered train! What fun!…

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Arrived in Spokane…

Rich Stafford anyone? We have arrived in Spokane WA after a looooong but fun train ride (pics to come, this is a Palm post). In addition to our visit at Shiloh Baptist, we are hoping to track down a college friend, Rich Stafford, who went to MBI with me and stood up in my wedding, but I’ve lost his contact info. Anyone know Rich and Donna Stafford? Let me know!!!! More later! Rich has been found! Check out his website: www.staffordstudios.com He now lives in Portland, and we are planning to see him NEXT WEEK! THANKS to those of you who helped, and especially to Pastor Rick who tracked his info down.

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Begun, This Sabbatical Has.

Well, the sabbatical is officially underway! In fact, this post is being made from a hotel in Richmond, Indiana – and with my laptop online with my cell phone, due to some fancy third party software that makes my Treo600 take my Powerbook online at 100K – not bad for free unlimited Internet while traveling (anywhere there is cell reception, of course) But since most of you are bored already with this ‘tech talk’ on to our adventures…. First stop: Fridays with Sara’s parents in the South Burbs… Next Stop: My older sister and her kids at Dairy Queen…(SEE MORE PICS FROM TODAY IN DAY ONE GALLERY) Me and Pastor Dave Barber. (boss man) I’d like to dedicate this first sabbatical post to my boss and pastor, Dave Barber. He’ll cringe for me saying it here (huuuummmmmble man of God that he is) but I am so grateful to be able to work with a pastor who truly seeks after God’s heart and who cares for his staff beyond just “job performance.” He really works hard to minister to us, encourage us, challenge us, and make sure we are doing well spiritually. While he is reluctant to accept any credit,…

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