New Slice of Home E-mail

July 24, 2007

Since we’re now moved and have changed Internet providers, we’ve also changed e-mail addy’s. My new contact address for this blog is:

sliceofhome@gmail.com

Save it, bookmark it, burn it…whatever you prefer.   🙂


Where To Begin?

July 23, 2007

Yeah, we’ve been away for a few days; moving to a new house tends to do that to a person, ya know? But now we’re (mostly) unpacked and settling in, so I thought I could take a few moments to update everyone on news around the Davis household.

We are so enjoying our new abode! It’s totally spacious as compared to our old house (1800 square feet versus 960!!) and there is plenty of room to roam about outside as well. We have a pretty big yard, and then there is the vast amount of acreage behind it that we can explore; the nice thing about that is there are some woods included as well, and a HUGE wash-out area. I wandered back there Saturday afternoon and found one place where the run-off area is about 40-50 feet wide and about 25-30 feet deep; it gave off a Stephen King-ish sort of vibe and reminded me of The Barrens, a setting captured in his novel “It.” I’ll have to give it a more in-depth look (nice pun, huh?) in a few weeks. Things like that have always fascinated me; hence the short story “Attack of the Killer Hay Bales” and other stuff.

Yeah, I know. Creativity (and strange ideas indeed) breed unchecked in the mind of this fella. ONE day, I’ll get some of this stuff published…even if I have to do it myself. LOL.

Besides this otherwordly weirdness, the farm is a really wonderful place; I know that as soon as we are fully settled in, I will be able to relax more during the evenings and work on sermons and get back to writing like I used to. I have always dreamed of having a place where I could look out a big front window and see the countryside…this is certainly the place to do that.

OK, enough rambling…here’s what else has been going on since we spoke last:

  • The fuel pump went out on the van–total cost: $400. So far we have put about $1600 in the van in the past three months. At this rate, we should have a new van shortly. 🙂
  • The drive back and forth to Marceline to work every day is 64 round-trip miles. Lots of good time to talk to God and get sermon ideas. Now if I could JUST find where my microcassette recorder is packed up at…
  • It’s amazing how many boxes we have torched in the past few days at our burn barrel…it never seems to end.
  • In the country, when night falls..it gets D A R K. But it’s cool to be able to see millions of stars in the night sky. Just another reminder of the amazing Creator we have.
  • I actually get a Sunday off this upcoming week; both churches don’t have 5th Sunday services, so we are free to go to another church service. We might mosey on down to Pleasant Grove UMC by our house; it’s where most of our church members usually go during 5th Sundays. It’ll be nice to relax and enjoy being fed from God’s Word during worship; sometimes in the leading of worship services, I get spiritually drained. This will be a nice recharge.
  • Speaking of church, we had THREE people join our fellowship yesterday morning at Bear Branch! PRAISE GOD!! (of course, two of them were my wife and daughter, but they still count) 🙂
  • The pool is filled, and the trampoline is set up. So now Kelsey will be having friends over for the rest of the summer. LOL.

That’s about it from here for now. It’s cloudy with rain forecast; which is nice. Farmers need the rain for their crops, and our yard at the farm is a little dry.

More later!


We.Are.Back.Online

July 19, 2007

More later on the move and another vehicle breakdown, after I get my desk somewhat organized and catch up on some much-needed website updating.

Cheerio!


“Judge Not, Lest Ye Be Judged”

July 12, 2007

You know, we as sinful and prideful people are so full of ourselves sometimes; we tend towards pointing our fingers at everyone else without seeing the big ol’ log in our own eyes that’s blinding us about the Truth.

As I read the news online, and watch the news at home on tv; well, it’s the same mess. We want to focus on the negativity and gloom and doom of life today instead of seeing all the joys and wonders and miracles that the Lord continues to do for us, even when we SURE don’t deserve it.

And I only have to look as far as a mirrored reflection of my own image to see that same behavior and sinful garbage as well. I thank God that He gave me new life by giving His Life for me on Calvary; I thank Him that He wiped the slate clean from ALL of my past behaviors; from all of my arrogance and pride; and from all of the stupid situations I got myself into at times. It is only through God’s Grace that I am where I am today…and that is proclaiming His Word, and not my own, to His people.

I am so glad that I don’t have to answer to anyone on this earth for my shortcomings, of which there are many. I am glad I am judged by only One, and His Name is God the Father. And, I am glad I have an Intercessor who stands at God’s Right Hand, and His Name is Jesus. No one else can, and will, judge me at the end. And that is how it should be.

So, next time someone points fingers at you, laugh it off and then pray for them…and be reminded that the three fingers pointing back at them could very well be representing the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit chastising them.

“Judge not, lest ye be judged.” That’s a good lesson all of us need to learn, isn’t it?


July 2007 Linn County Leader Column – “Coconut Contemplations”

July 10, 2007

There are many things that sit on the top shelf of my home computer desk; among those prized possessions is a small, light brown oblong shell that sports three small openings at its bottom…it is an unobtrusive, almost forgettable object; yet in the very innermost parts of my soul this unlovely husk brought new meaning to my spiritual life many years ago.

To give you the full meaning of this lesson in a short time, I must first flashback to around 1995; I was adrift in the storms of life, bitter and alone, and had recently went through a pretty nasty divorce. Basically left with the clothes on my back and in my closet and not much else, I went through a period of despair, anger, hurt, denial, betrayal, etc…I had so many emotions to vent. And, of course, I was also feeling sorry for myself, so I decided to take some time walking up and down Fernandina Beach in Florida to clear my head and find some answers.

I can remember that there was a nor’easter blowing into shore on that early morning day in March; the salt spray blew off the churning waves and stung my face as I wandered aimlessly up and down the sandy shores. The one thought that ran unceasingly throughout my mind was, “Why, Lord? I just don’t understand. I feel like You’ve left me all alone.”

And it was at that moment an object washed up at my feet from the angry sea. As I picked it up contemplatively, I saw that it was a small green coconut, clumped with shells and barnacles; it looked horrible, and smelled likewise. After a few reflective moments, I threw it back into the ocean and set out on yet another random trek down the beach.

About two or three minutes later, a huge wave whoosed over my bare feet; and lo and behold, here was that ugly, toxic-smelling tropical nut again. Again, I picked it up and laughed to the heavens. “OK, God, what’s with the coconut? You trying to tell me something?” I bitterly barked out, and turned and heaved the coconut back towards the opposite end from where I had walked.

And then, like that uninvited guest who keeps turning up at your door over and over again, I felt a thunk! at my feet about 30 seconds later…and there, nestled between my big toes, sat that diminutive, noisome fruit.

“OK, OK, God,” I whispered resignedly. “I don’t know why you want me to have this…but I’ll take it…even though I don’t want it.”

So I trudged back to the hotel room, laid newspapers out on the lone desk that was there, and perched myself in a seat across from the coconut. Quickly, the room filled with the pungent odor of decay and marine life. I stared at that beckoning object for a long time; it stared right back at me. And, deep in my spirit, I heard a small voice breathe these words: “Peel the skin back.”

Huh? Peel the skin back? What kind of nonsense was this, anyway? Yet, the voice persisted; and after another few minutes of wrestling with this gentle calling, I pulled out my pocketknife and went to work.

And, slowly but surely, that tough exterior skin of corruption and decay on the coconut came loose…and what was revealed underneath not only brought tears to my eyes; it slammed home a spiritual Truth from God that I had been missing out on because of my own selfishness and pitying.

For, you see, at the center of that mess was a gleaming white core; the “nut” of the coconut…untouched by the ravages of the boiling seas that it had been adrift in for so many years; an immature, yet viable seed that could go on to grow if given time and nourishment and nurturing…

And it was then that the Voice whispered to me again…and said, “It’s just like you, My child. it’s just like you.”

Yes, I had been going through some stormy seas; it seemed as if all hope was lost and that the huge waves of life’s trials and tribulations were going to overtake me and I would perish. But, on that day so long ago, I learned this one valuable and so-very-important lesson from our Lord–that no matter what we might go through in this life, and no matter how the noxious and smelly sinful skin of this life might try to drag us down…we are ALL like that pure and unadulterated inner “coconut” in God’s eyes; we can be nurtured in His Love and Grace and Mercy; we can overcome those day-to-day things that threaten to swamp us through His Word; we can grow in Him and sustain our faith through a daily walk and relationship with God…and the best thing of all is this–one day, when we take our last breath of life on this earth, our Lord will peel back this sinful flesh and give us pure, and holy, and PERFECT bodies in those heavenly realms forever.

I thank God each and every day for the lesson that He gave me; a Truth so full of Life and Mercy and Grace that it still takes my breath away when I think about it twelve years later; a Truth that could only be told…through a seafaring coconut.

Richard is the newly-appointed pastor at Bear Branch and Purdin United Methodist Churches. His column appears monthly in the Leader. You can leave feedback for him at sliceofhome.wordpress.com or via e-mail at sliceofhome@sbcglobal.net.


Pictures of the New House!

July 7, 2007

We’re not moved in yet, but here are some pics of the house outside of Browning. We went there this morning to get measurements, find outlets and phone jacks, and take a gander on where we will put the pool and trampoline. You know…the necessary stuff!

This is a view of the front of the house.

Here is a view of the back of the house from the front yard.

This is a wonderful view from the back patio sliding glass doors.

From our front yard, there’s nothing but grass and hills!

Looking down Route O westward. If you look close you can even see a windmill twirling in the breeze!

Finally, our backyard, with a barn, garage, shed, and the requisite storm shelter. This is Kelsey’s favorite thing about the house. LOL.

There you have it! We are excited; only one week to go!!


“Eight Things You’ll Regret Asking Me About”

July 5, 2007

Sis-in-law over at Thinking Things tagged me for 8 facts that people don’t know about me (and probably don’t WANT to know after they read them); so, here goes with the requisite info:

  1. I’ve been a landscape worker on a golf course in Florida during my homeless days.
  2. Speaking of golf, I used to love to play frisbee golf in its heyday, and could “drive” for a pretty long ways and even made some difficult “putts”.
  3. I have no “formal” theological education (as of right now) except for a love of the Gospel. Seminary awaits!
  4. Like brother Ron at CHATTER, I’ve put hundreds if not thousands of stories and thoughts to pen and paper…and I still don’t think any of them are great, or even good. But I still write anyways.
  5. I’ve stood on the stage at the enlisted club at Orlando Naval Training Center and sang lead vocals with their bar band (in my wilder and stupid days). That was my brief and financially-spent career in rock n’ roll.
  6. My favorite song of all time is REO Speedwagon’s “Golden Country”. It’s a good “call to arms” for activists. LOL.
  7. During my pre-Steven Spielberg days, I made an 8mm film of my novel “Tornado!” back about 1978 or so, and used the ball field and concession stand at Hickman Field in Brookfield as a prop. Where that treasured slice of history is, no one knows.
  8. I once drove from Waycross, GA, to Springfield, MO (867 miles) without a bathroom break. That is NOT recommended for those who are bladder-challenged.

So now you know some worthless things about this guy here. Now it’s my turn to tag! Wifey Jeannie, and Amy at Gentle Whisper, it’s your turn to dish.