When I last posted on November 14, I never dreamed it would take this long to get going again. What's the old proverb?--"The best laid plans of mice and men..."
I truly am thankful for the time off around Thanksgiving to spend with our family. Milbre and I flew to Houston on November 15th, picked up our rental car and drove to our son's home in Alexandria, LA. We enjoyed several days with Kevin and Pam and Nov 22nd, we drove to Fort Worth, meeting up with our other son MSGT Russell Howard and wife, Josie, along with Christina, Donnie, and Aleesha our three wonderful grandkids. Kevin and Pam joined us and we had three great days over Thanksgiving, reminiscing, eating out, shopping (they shopped), etc. There are many great memories from the DFW area from our days in the Pastorate at Calvary Pentecostal Church in Fort Worth in the late 60's to the mid-70's.
On Saturday, the 24th, we visited my sister, Sue Norris, in a nursing home in Granbury, Texas. She was in the last stages of cancer and little did we know, this would be our last visit before she passed on to heaven. Amazingly, she awoke from a semi-coma when we walked into the room. She recognized us and smiled.It was a moment I will cherish when the nine of us gathered around her bed and sang hymns, she quoted the 23rd Psalm with us, and we all prayed. I hugged her and told her I would see her on "the other side". It was as if she had waited for us to get there before she was released for her "promotion". She passed away a few days later.
We returned to our ministry in Auburn on December 1, back into the rush of the Christmas season.
We are blessed to serve Northwest Family Church in Auburn, WA., as Pastoral Care and ministry to the Seniors of our church.
The New Year brought new hopes and new challenges. Early morning Sunday, January 13, Milbre was suffering severe abdominal pain. I called 911 and she was transported to Auburn Regional Medical Center and diagnosed with "partial small bowel obstruction". After three days in the hospital with many tests, and much prayer, she returned home. One more day and she would have had major abdominal surgery, but God answered prayer and the blockage began to dissolve. Aside from a special diet for the last week, first liquids, then full liquids and then soft foods, she is doing well.
January 11th, I celebrated my 69th birthday, with fresh reminders of the Grace of God and what a privilege it is to be His child. It also brought awareness of the aging process--I had my hearing tested for the first time, and yes, my wife was right, I did have a problem. So down the road, it looks like I will need a hearing aid. Oh the vanity of man, how we hate to admit what is obvious to others!
It's good to be back!