- We were in NC visiting Marilyn's family the week after Christmas, and I want to give an extra loud shout to her and her sister Carol who are working tirelessly to take care of their 88 year old mom. She is still hurting from the loss of her husband last summer and has various medical problems of her own, plus the strain of figuring out all of the new financial and administrative (insurance, home maintenance, ect.) realities of her life. Please keep Marie Steele and her family in your prayers.
- Meagan Hill Halquist (FUMC-Kissimmee) is currently in NYC and sent word on Facebook yesterday that they will dining at Carmine's this week. The mixture of happiness for Meagan and extreme jealousy that it is her and not me is a strange combination of emotions. But seriously, I hope you are having a blast, old friend!
- Our old pal Becky Rees Memmelaar (Springfield Friends Meeting) has been living in a sick house- her own- since before Christmas. Everyone there from her husband to her adult children and her grandchildren have had the epizutis (a fictional word that sounds better than "creeping crud"). They seem to be coming out the other side now, but please keep Becky and her beautiful family in your prayers.
- Ashley Goad (Springfield) tells me that she has 10 international mission trips panned for 2015, including one that is either just completed or nearly completed in Uganda. The work she is doing as a mission's pastor is both impressive and important, and I'm proud to be able to call her my friend. Love you, Prudence!
- I feel the need to shout AT some of my old friends from the days of my youth on this fine morning. Back in October when I visited with them we discussed making plans for a reunion at the beach in September of 2015. Seeing as how 2015 has arrived,the old youth pastor in me thinks it is time to get busy planning. So Denise Langley, Beth McGalliard, Tammy Foster, Carl Semmler, Steve Semmler and crew- let's get busy! All of this novel writing about a beach reunion has me ready to rock!
- Speaking of Steve Semmler- hey Steve, remember this one? "Mark Rudolph of North Hollywood, California...you are WROOOONG! Whew!" Recalling old stories for the novel has me digging pretty deep in the old memory bank. I just quoted from a Carpenter's album...
- Marilyn and I adventured over to the Kissimmee Christmas parade back in December and had a great time! We got to hug Jill Painter Watson and have dinner with Wayne & Janet Cook. Our next step is to plan a Sunday trip to hear Wayne preach at FUMC-K. Sunday lunch reunion, anyone? Pick a date and let us know!
- We didn't get to visit much outside of family while in NC over the holidays, but we did have dinner with Karen & Jimmy Chester (Springfield) one night. Not only are they dear friends who have given us so much love and so many great memories over the years, they are simply two of the nicest people you will ever meet. Thanks for dinner, and we love you guys!
- My old buddy and fellow Country Quaker band member Ray Luther has left Springfield Friends Meeting after nearly 20 years of ministry to that community. My prayers are with Ray & Katie as they begin again at Marlboro Friends Meeting and with Springfield as they seek to find only their fourth new pastor in the last 60 years or so.
- And finally- it is both exciting and a little scary that since last Saturday there have been over 500 views of the prologue to my novel that was posted here. After a year a work, writing over 100,000 words and rewriting and editing it down to around 60,000 words (about 210 book pages) I am one final read-through and edit away from calling it done. The book's future is still very much up in the air, as I have no idea if it will ever be published. But to begin with I would like a few friends to read the finished manuscript and give me their "reviews." In about a week I will be ready to e-mail copies of the "finished" (without professional editing) novel to around 10
suckersvolunteers. If you are interested in being one of the first to read Even Better Than Before, give me a shout. And thanks to everyone for all of the kind words and support over the past year. No matter where it goes from here, I've had a great time writing it.
Because of Jesus,