Monday, January 10, 2011

Hello All, I've Missed You!

Carmel Christmas 12/2010
Carmel Christmas 12/2009
 Happy new year to all of you! I hope that it has been a wonderful start to the year for you so far. It seems like things are "settling in" a bit—for awhile starting in late November until recently I started joking that I wasn't going to plan more than an hour ahead because things were happening and changing so fast!

For those of you who have "followed" our family traditions, I post for your enjoyment the third year of our traditional Carmel Christmas picture with my folks. Of course, the only ones looking any older from year to year are the girls. The prior two years pictures are included. Won't Heaven be wonderful where all who have made Jesus the Lord of their life will be able to fellowship and share together, and we won't have to be bound by distance! (And, I'll bet the coffee in Heaven is going to be amazing!)

Carmel Christmas 12/2008
Speaking of coffee, I have begun brewing some "Cowboy Coffee." I read about it in a novel I was reading and it intrigued me, so I let it be know I wanted to try it and my folks got me an enamel coffee pot that can go right on a fire. It has been fun boiling water and just putting the grounds in it, but Mary Ann is still pulling towards the more traditional approaches. Any tips or suggestions out there on making the best cup of cowboy coffee?

The first Sunday in January marked my 11th year of pastoring, and I am beginning a couple of new things this year in my study. Last Sunday I started teaching on the Kingdom of God/Heaven—a topic that I am more and  more convinced was the framework and core of the message shared by Jesus and the disciples. I have been studying on this for 6-9 months and I am very excited to share about it. We have such an amazing calling as God's children, and I believe that the enemy has eroded that calling and good news so down that we just "get saved" and then try and hold on until Heaven. To the contrary, I believe that we are part of an "invasion" from Heaven to earth, part of God's work restoring a people to Him, of plundering that which the enemy has stolen. If anyone wants to follow the series I will be trying to put the mp3 files of each Sunday up on our church's web page by the Wednesday after each teaching (hopefully the first teaching in the series, which I gave yesterday, will be up by tomorrow night). You can get to our church's audio download page by clicking here, or by going to the "About Me" page of this blog and clicking on the link near the bottom of it.

Also new, our family has begun going through the book of Acts in our morning Family Worship time. I am enjoying the discussion back and forth and hearing the girls' thoughts. It is amazing to me how the Apostles were with Jesus three years, they had the most chance of anyone to understand the Father's heart as revealed in Jesus, they had the Holy Spirit from when He breathed on them, and they still needed to wait for the Holy Spirit to come over them at Pentecost before they could have power for ministry. Wow! If that doesn't remind us how important the Holy Spirit is to our work then nothing probably will. I wonder how much we do on our own strength that God is just waiting to help us with if we would simply ask and wait, and make sure our lives are fully surrendered and that we aren't grieving or quenching the Spirit by what we do/think (or fail to do/think).

God bless you all. I look forward to sharing so much more with you in the coming weeks. Until then, stay in touch!


  1. "...I believe that we are part of an 'invasion' from Heaven to earth, part of God's work restoring a people to Him, of plundering that which the enemy has stolen."

    So true, Erick. I would do well to remember that, especially in light of world news. I think many of us believers (me) get cynical and nod our heads in disgust as we watch things get "worse". And yet, I have every reason to rejoice, because:

    "Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them." 1 John 4:4&5

    Thank you so much for the reminder. I really needed that.

    Happy New Year to you and yours!

    P.S. I don't have any cowboy coffee recipes, but I do recall my dad telling me about a similar preparation (over an open fire) when he was in Mexico many, many years ago. He said he's never had coffee as good as that since. So, don't give up in your search!

  2. Hey! Miss you all and I will try to make it down that way soon!

    Here is an article about cowboy coffe, looks like it has some pretty nifty hints! You would probably like a french press since you like your coffee this way!

    Miss ya guys!

    PS. Tell all the girls I said hello!


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