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We’d been hearing it for years … “There’s nothing like a grandbaby.” “Just wait ’till you have grandkids!” “It’ll change your life” … and so on and so on! Well, all I can say is, “you told me so.” It’s true, there is nothing like a grandbaby!
Ours arrived on November 1, and our lives are forever changed. We love getting to be nearby and hangin’ with Charlie two or three times a week.
We got to join Charlie and his mom and dad for his first road trip – to meet my Mom, her husband, my sister and her husband, and some cousins in Wichita Falls. It was a great trip and a special time. I think he already subscribes to my “Enjoy the Journey” philosophy!
So now I’m a believer! There is nothing like having a grandchild! I cannot deny the truth of Proverbs 17:6a – “Grandchildren are the crown of old men …” I want to make the most of every opportunity to invest in him and encourage him to be the very best version of Charlie he can be, by the grace of the Lord!
Since receiving the call to Simple And Mobile Uncluttered Encouraging Living, Ann and I have held firmly to two scripture passages: Psalm 143:8-10, and Isaiah 30:21, which says, “and whenever you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear this command behind you: ‘This is the way. Walk in it.‘” We’ve experienced our Lord’s leadership in ways that can be described in terms no less than amazing!
As we were getting started good in Branson we began seeking the Lord about our next assignment. Rich and Johanna, our son and his wife, came to see us in early May. We were calmly visiting in our living room when Rich blurted out, “Johanna’s pregnant!” We immediately knew that our next home would need to be near them. We’ve had too many friends proclaiming the joys of being near their grand kids to miss this cue!
It has been a remarkable journey from that announcement to where we are now, at The Vineyards Campground in Grapevine, only 30 minutes away from Rich and Johanna! We first checked out any work camping opportunities. It didn’t look like anything was available. Next we researched campgrounds, with the understanding that I would have to work somewhere outside the campground. The RV park choices within a 30 minute radius of Richardson, where Rich and Johanna live, were limited, to say the least. I kept searching and eventually found a top-rated campground in Grapevine, but quickly found out that it was out of our price range … way out of our price range. So I just ventured a question, “Do y’all use work campers?” “Yes. You would need to get in touch with our director …”
We entered the application process for one position, but with several applicants. With our limited experience we weren’t too positive about getting the position. So we planned a tour of all the campgrounds that I’d found that had some decent reviews. The tour started at the Vineyards. Oh my gosh! A first-class, beautiful RV Park that is on Lake Grapevine, but only minutes from Bass Pro Shop, The Great Wolf Lodge, and historic downtown Grapevine. We wouldn’t let ourselves get excited about it and pressed on to explore five more “players.” As we sat down to dinner, somewhat disillusioned by the plan “B” choices, I glanced at my phone and noticed an email from the Grapevine campground director. I thought, “oh no, here we go, the ole thanks for applying, but we’ve decided to go with someone else” email.
But that’s not what it said! We were chosen! It is a total God thing! We are here now, getting settled in, ready to begin training! God’s provision goes on and on! We needed a smaller vehicle that got good mileage, and the Lord provided a 2005 Civic Hybrid. That’s a whole other story!
While in Grapevine I hope to have some speaking opportunities. I hope to get to share the message of Simple and Mobile Uncluttered Encouraging Living, including how to get in to work camping. (I am a Concierge for Workamper News.) Ann and I have signed on to be Ambassadors with RV Churches USA. We’ll be busy and blessed as we look forward to the much anticipated arrival of our grandson, Charlie!
All this to say that our God is an awesome leader! I totally recommend living by Isaiah 30:21!
After over 5 months of enjoying the journey in Branson, Missouri, it is time for us to roll on down the road. To the people of Branson Lakeside RV Park, White Water, and The River, and the Griffith small group: thank you for making this 5 of the best months of our life! We’re gonna tour some in Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, and maybe do a little Route 66 and some Lincoln Highway as we find our way back to the Hub City! Then it will be on to Dallas where, Lord willing, we’ll call home and enter the realm of grand parenthood!
Though Amazon is currently out of stock, you can order from them through private sellers by going to Amazon. The book is a parallel journey of historic Route 66 and the 66 books of the Bible. Experience stories and accounts of Route 66 from Chicago to L.A. These encounters illustrate key quotations from every book of the Bible revealing God’s amazing purpose for people!
On January 1, I passed the senior pastor leadership baton at Live Oak Community Church, in Lubbock, Texas, to Doug Halcomb, who over 18 years ago helped us plant the church. He was a college student back in 1993, serving with me at FBC, Lubbock, and left with me to start Live Oak. He served with us in various staff capacities for almost 10 years, then left for the mission field. Our church helped support him in that endeavor. After a lengthy and thorough succession process, He was God’s man to take over the role I had held.
Now Ann and I are pursuing God’s call to Simple and Mobile Uncluttered Encouraging Living – SAMUEL! It is based on 1 Samuel 7:15-17. We have sold our home and downsized into a 37′ 5th Wheel Travel Trailer. This enables us to go and stay wherever God leads us. Currently He has brought us to Branson, Missouri, where we are working as “workampers” at the Branson Lakeside RV Park. We work a few hours each week in exchange for a beautiful space in which to park our RV.
Our “ministry of encouragement” takes on many different looks, such as casual conversations with other RVers, park management, co-workers, people in the churches we attend, those with whom we come in contact through Route 66, preaching, and sharing with others about the RV workamper lifestyle. We seek opportunities everyday to encourage someone in the Lord.
Please feel free to email me (email@example.com) or call or text at 806-687-7866, if there is ever a way that we could encourage you or pray for you!
Being a human being is good! I’ve spent my whole life measuring my significance by what I accomplish (even though I have taught that performance was not the measure.) Now God is teaching me that my true worth is solely in who I am in Christ … in who I be … a “human being” not a “human doing.” I still do things, and enjoy doing them, but I’m learning to not measure the success of a day by how much I accomplished!
Here is an update of our schedule for the next few weeks:
We are currently staying at the beautiful Baytown/Galveston Bay KOA.
I’ll be speaking at Fellowship at Northside Baptist in Baytown, March 4-7.
We plan to travel to Lubbock March 10, staying through noon-ish 3/13.
We plan to stop by Wichita Falls 3/3, then be in Carrollton, TX for about a week before heading to Branson Missouri for the summer.
Enjoy the Journey!
We are off and running in our Simple and Mobile Uncluttered Encouraging Life! Currently we are staying in Canton, TX, at the Mill Creek Ranch Resort. It is a beautiful East Texas destination! We have had the opportunity to get to know some wonderful people who make up the Mill Creek Fellowship. They have Sunday services here in the Grand Lodge at 10:00 a.m. They’ve invited me to speak this Sunday. I will be sharing about following God taking one step, then another. The first step is always to hear God or see what He has for you, while the second is to respond in obedience. My text will be John 10:27, where Jesus says of His followers, “My sheep hear my voice, I know them, and they follow me.”
Ann has captured the highlights of our last few weeks of transition in a Smilebox creation which can be viewed at the following link:
On January 1, I passed the leadership baton of Live Oak Community Church, Lubbock, Texas, to Doug Halcomb, who has become our second senior pastor. Ann and I have been called to simple and mobile living, and to serve the Lord as He leads. We are in the process of closing on our home, and have moved into our new home, a 37′ Bighorn 5th wheel. For a while we plan to take a sabbatical.
I am speaking at Northside Baptist Church in Baytown the first week in March. After that … we don’t know for sure where we’ll go with our “little house on the axles.” we just know the Lord has great plans for us … encouraging, equipping, and sharing the great news of Jesus wherever we go … hopefully all across this great country of ours.
We’ll be taking Isaiah 30:21 to heart, which says, “and whenever you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear this command behind you: “This is the way. Walk in it.”
We recently received the following letter, dated June 18, 2011 –
Dear Chuck and Ann,
I work in the surgical intensive care unit at the VA hospital. I hope to be able to continue in intensive care until I can retire but it gets harder with every year that I get older!
I wanted to tell you about a patient I took care of last week. He is a young man named Jamie who is 52 yrs old & has been recently diagnosed with multiple myeloma (Did you ever think there would be a time we would think that 52 is young?). He is in the intensive care unit because of a complication of his cancer. He has not been able to start treatment for the multiple myeloma because of continued complications.
He was on the ventilator for several days and was sedated most of the time. The sedation had been turned off to give him a break from all the drugs for a couple of hours one morning and he was more awake and alert. He wanted to write a note to his Dad who has been at his bedside constantly during his stay in the ICU. He wrote that when he got well he wants to buy a yellow corvette and travel down Route 66. His father turned to me after reading the note and said that he was going to make that happen. He was going to buy him a yellow corvette and map out their journey along Route 66. I told him that I had the perfect book for them to read together during their journey. I gave them my cherished copy of “Eternal Route 66″ the next day. They were grateful and excited to start the book and start their journey.
I don’t know what the future holds for Jamie but I know he has a difficult road ahead of him. But he has the love and support of a loving family and a Loving God. I don’t think it was a coincidence that I was his nurse at this time and had a copy of your book. It is obvious to me that God used your book to assure Jamie that He holds him in the palm of his hand and will be with him throughout his journey battling this terrible disease. I was blessed to be a part of God’s message to Jamie and his family.
I hope with all my heart that Jamie and his Dad get to take that journey down Route 66 in the yellow corvette some day. I’m sure they will be blessed tremendously. It’s amazing how God uses us and our talents for His glory!
In Christ’s Love,
P.S. I have already ordered another copy of the book.