Really, this time there are pictures

Here’s the old van, after the wreck…  you can see the damage to the frame and the radiator (which prevented us from driving it far).

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And here’s the new Van, which we still owe a couple thousand on, and have to get tagged (which means a basic tune-up to pass emissions).

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Quite a difference!  Praise God for His provision.  He is worthy of our trust, not only b/c He has always proven faithful, but also because He is the Almighty God.  We can trust Him.

JS

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Pictures Of The Vans

Gonna have to do this in a different browser… brb 😉

Editor’s Note: brb = “be right back”

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Upgrading websites…

Well… it was time to upgrade our websites….  we’ve got 6 that I manage, and they were all at least one version behind (dotnetnuke is an opensource web content management system, and periodically there are significant official changes).

So… I decide to upgrade them, starting with our personal site first (this one!)  I shut it down (so visitors don’t mess it up) and start updating files.  After enabling it again, I browse to it and get “Server Application Error”.  A few small changes, finding out that some files didn’t upload correctly, and everything works.  Not Bad.

Second site…   www.smdcomputerservices.com.  Our test site.  Upgrade fails completely…. it seems a module I was testing was done incorrectly, and now the site won’t upgrade.  Bummer.  Fortunately it’s a test site, so wiping it and starting over is no big deal.  Well… it’s now redone.  All good there.

Third, smdservicesllc.com.  Business site… very little use at this point, but it’s upgrade went perfect.

Three down, three to go…

And then I need to spend some time on skins, general content updates on this site (finish the Gospel pages), and maybe eventually learn to write my own modules.

For now, though, I think it’s time to go watch some more Doctor Who, and then do some getting ready for our Thanksgiving Feast.

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So, on the topic of faith…

I’ve thought for a while that we (Christians in general) lack faith.  This shows up in a few ways…

We worry.

We don’t ask for the elders to pray for us and lay hands on us.

Our prayers always leave an ‘out’ just in case what we’re asking isn’t God’s will.

We see a tremendous lack of obvious miracles, and most of the healings and tongues and such are obvious fakes.

I’m not gonna address each of these issues now, but here’s the text for a song by the group Georgia that we got to hear while we were in North Carolina.

Do you recall that certain chapter
Where pharaohs’ men were after all of Israel and made God’s people flee
God drowned pharaohs’ men and the children crossed upon dry land
I’m tellin you God’s gonna do the same for you and me
(chorus)
Well I believe He is while other’s just think He was
While they suppose He did, I know He still does
And I’m holdin to the promise where two or three agree
God’s gonna do the same for you and me
Well He healed ole Jirus’ daughter
He made the wine out of water
He was there when Peter crossed on the raging sea
And He fed the little sparrow and
He put the meal in the widow’s barrel
I’m tellin you God’s gonna do the same for you and me

You can hear them sing it here: http://www.myspace.com/georgiagospel.  The song is called God’s gonna do the same.

Do you believe that God’s gonna miraculously take care of you?  Or do you simply believe that whatever happens is His will, and thus you can pray, but your prayer is not really gonna make a difference as far as what happens?  I mean, if it’s His will, He’s gonna do it, right?  Or did Abraham really convince God to check and see if five people were righteous?  Did Moses really change God’s mind?  What about the healings, the raisings, the battles, the droughts, the rains, etc, etc…  Were the prayers and the faith necessary?  Do we have that kind of faith today?

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Some new sermons are uploaded

Finally!  I uploaded sermons for Sept 16 through Nov 4….  I guess it had been a while.  😉 I found out that my attempts to FTP the sermons up to had been blocked by my firewall.  A little more determination earlier would have been fantastic!

Yesterday, along with helping Bob Henkel and Dad work over at the Henkel House, I did some insulating in our new wall (I need to get some pictures up) and will finish it soon, hopefully… it’s a bit chilly around here.

Our van failed the emissions inspection.  Misfiring on cylinder 2.  I think it needs new spark plugs…  we’ll have to get it in the shop for a tune-up.

Anyway… it’s time for me to head out to work… have a blessed day!

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Quick, before bed…

Home, home again
I like to be here when I can
When I come home cold and tired
Its good to warm my bones beside the fire

We are back!  🙂

I’ll try to post more tomorrow

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We have a van!

Yes, you read it right!  We have a ‘new’ van.  🙂

It’s a 1999 Ford Club Wagon F150 12 Passenger (11 seatbelts, we need to replace one).  Thanks to some donations and a generous loan, we were able to purchase it from a seller in Franklin, NC.  It’s in great shape and everything works!  God has blessed us far beyond what we ever expected, and we are extremely grateful.  God is working on our faith, and we are learning to trust Him more and more.

Now we are on the way to visit family in Florida.  We stopped at L’s brother’s house to visit he and his family.  We also made a stop by two cemeteries where some of L’s grandparents and relatives were buried.  It is interesting and touching to read the variety of gravestones, and the epitaphs people chose.  Rather tear-jerking to see the grave of the soldier that died at 21 years old or the three week old baby, but it’s a good thing, I think.

Well, not much time tonight, maybe more tomorrow or the next day…

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I am soooooo exhausted!

But, it’s been a good day overall.

We decided to go ahead and move forward on the van that was available…  after a good day’s work with Wayne, we stopped by to pick it up, but it wasn’t quite ready for us, so hopefully we can get it tomorrow.  He hasn’t found the brackets for one of the back seats, but tomorrow may reveal them.  😉  We will still owe on the van, but I’m confident God will provide what is needed.

Work was a little frustrating.  A three or four hour job took us about six or seven hours, and we aren’t really happy with the way it turned out.  One side of the countertop seems to have been made incorrectly and the joint doesn’t line up right.  Wayne will probably go back with some countertop repair filler to get it to look better, and once the tile is on, it will be much less obvious.  But, even with the trouble it was a good day.

I’ve been learning a lot about faith recently…  one of these days I should get a post specifically about some of my musings.  It should be entertaining, it might be enlightening, and there’s a remote possibility it could be infuriating.  Anyway, I think God has really been working on my understanding of faith (note the Calvinistic ‘flavor’ of that sentence?)

I think it’s humorous when people who don’t believe God is active in daily circumstances use phraseology that gives God the credit for the daily circumstances they don’t believe He’s directly responsible for…  that’s just a little ‘aside’, a bonus for reading today’s blog, I suppose.   🙂

Hopefully we can get the van tomorrow, and once again have a set of wheels….  then Thursday we should be moving toward Florida, and Monday or Tuesday headed back.

We would greatly appreciate your prayers as we work through all that God has put in front of us!

JS

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A Replacement Vehicle?

Well, we’d like to drive home on the 8th of November.  But we have this issue…  our van is totalled and in Nashville.    I am fully confident that God has made a way for us to get back home, but we would appreciate your prayers for wisdom as we seek His will.

Just to give an idea, we’ve gotten some donations toward the purchase of a replacement vehicle, and are looking for something that would fit us and work for us long-term.  One van that we are looking at, the seller (a trusted friend of a relative) is asking about $3k more than we have available.  It’s a 1999 Ford Econoline, 12 passenger, in excellent shape.  If it’s God’s will, though, I’m sure He’ll make it obvious!

We plan to do a little more looking around, possibly find something a little older and closer to our price range.

Well, that’s an update on the van situation.

The cousins (Laurel’s brother Eric, his wife Beka and their children) left for their home today.  They live about two hours away, but probably won’t be able to make it back to the Byrd’s Nest.  We’d like to make it over to visit them, and we also had planned to visit L’s grandma and relatives in Florida.

God is faithful. He will work even this thing out for the good of those who believe!

JS

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A good day…

Well, it has been a good day.

We are using the church’s minivan (not quite enough seats, but we’ll manage) to get around for now.

We started out the day with breakfast at a restaurant called the Dillard House (a very good place to eat).  It’s in Dillard, Georgia which is just down the mountain from where we’re staying in North Carolina.

After that we came back to the Byrd’s Nest (the house L’s grandparents lived in, and Wayne and Genene are in for now) and got ready for the memorial service.  It was a good service.  Some from each side of the family were there, and it was encouraging to see everybody and to be reminded of the Gospel, that God loved us enough to sacrifice His own Son for us!  Laurel did some special music and the Byrd/Smith kids sang Amazing Grace.

We came back to the house after a good hearty meal at the church.  Lee and Liz had asked that their ashes be scattered on their property in the same area that their pets had been buried, so the family who was still around took care of that.  Some of Lee’s ashes will be buried with his first wife, and some of Liz’s will be sent to her daughter in L.A.

When all was said and done, it seemed like such a small service/memorial for two such impactful and long lives…  I can’t help but think of Ecclesiastes where Solomon talks about the end of every man is the same, whether the wise man or the fool.  Eventually we’ll all be gone from here.  Even if we do ‘great’ things in the sight of other people, eventually we’ll be forgotten.

One of the poems that was read talked about saying goodbye, using the analogy of a ship.  Their ship has left the harbor, and shrinking in our view it’s disappearing beyond the horizon.  But, there’s a port it’s approached, and the ship has not lessened, it’s not really smaller or less significant, and in that port people are welcoming the ship.  As we cry here at it’s leaving, there is rejoicing there at it’s arriving…

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