Get Your Kicks (Finally)….on Route 66!

April 28, 2008

The Davis household keeps plugging along while we wait for warmer weather to finally arrive in earnest. We have been teased by some warmth, but then a cold front plunges through northern MO, sending overnight temps back into the 30’s.

Spring, indeed.

But on the upside, we look forward to vacation time in a little over one month from now (39 days to be exact, but who’s counting?). The first part of our extended time away begins at the Missouri Annual Conference in Springfield, where we’ll be for the better part of four days; after that, we pack up and head to points west to spend a week with Jeannie’s brother Jerry and his wonderful girls, Fesha and Jelly (Falesha and Angelica) in Arizona…then we had back via old Route 66 to show the kids some of the forgotten parts of our country that are still quaint and inviting. We had planned on taking this same route last year when we went on vacation, but our plans were scrapped whenever we had to sink major bucks into our family van (transmission and such went out).

It was on this highway that my family traveled on as we moved from CA to MO back in 1972; so, it will be a very nostalgic trip for me as I remember that special time that helped to shape my future life.

And, life is indeed good for the Davis’s; we are so blessed to be able to have this kind of vacation to spend together. We thank God so much for the extra finances and time off to embark on what will prove to be a very interesting and enlightening trip.

Stops along the way: the Grand Canyon, Petrified Forest, Painted Desert, Red Rock State Park, Wigwam Motel, Blue Swallow Motel, TeePee Curios, Silver Moon Restaurant, Cadillac Ranch, and Cactus Inn…just to name a few. As soon as we get our trip mapped out, we’ll see what other things Route 66 has to offer!

Anyone have any good sightseeing suggestions?


Wondering Where I’m At?

April 18, 2008

No, some gigantic sea creature ala “Cloverfield” didn’t come gobble me up; nor did Jesus come back to take us home…the Davis family is in a state of remodeling their home and adding a pastor’s study; so, in the midst of building walls and hanging sheetrock and painting (plus all the various other assorted tasks that come with home renovation) I thought I’d drop a line.

Things are well here with just the usual tasks of working, preaching, studying for sermons, foster parenting, visits, Disciple Bible Study. etc. Plus we’re gearing up for Annual Conference and vacation; it will be nice to have a few weeks away from the pulpit to recharge the ol’ spiritual batteries.

Hope and pray everyone has a safe and enjoyable weekend! Springtime is here! Woohoo!!

April 2008 Linn County Leader Column – “One Nation Under God…Or Something Else?”

April 1, 2008

Folks, it’s an election year once again; the presidential candidates are in full swing across this great country of ours, scrambling for votes in what appears to be one of the closest races in years (at least on the Democratic side). It’s a case of “he said, she said” as the accusations fly over who is the better one to institute change across out fifty states; who is the person who will most unify our divided nation; and who will be able to foster better relations globally with our neighbors. We see states bitterly split as fighting over each candidate reaches an epidemic of pettiness.

One has to wonder: when will this madness end?

And, the only answer that really counts is this: whenever we give our nation, fully and totally, back into God’s Hands; whenever we quit bickering about who is best suited to run our country based on previous experience, or oratory excellence, and instead ask which person follows the Lord in their actions and words; whenever we can forget about a person’s past and instead focus on what they want to do to further the Kingdom of God here in this nation.

Yeah, it’s a tall order to ask. And it’s a lot harder to do than to say with words. But, my friends, I believe the time has come for all of us to make a choice; are we going to, as Christians, stand up for Who we believe in and plant both feet firmly on the foundation of Christ…or are we going to just lie down and passively take the continuing garbage that this world throws at us? Are we going to get backed up into a corner and cover up while whimpering and crying…or are we going to stand tall and proud and come out “spiritually swinging”?

Persecution is part of the package if you believe in the Lord. After all, we are set apart to do His will, and since we are strangers in this land, we will be subjected to a lot of murmuring and finger-pointing. To these things we should say: bring it on! We serve a Risen Savior, and the entire Power that created our world and our universe is behind us if we choose to take a stand for Him. What’s a few bad words about us compared to helping foster change for this nation?

We need to remember that we are truly “One nation under God.” We were founded with the Lord as the centerpiece of all of our freedoms, and as the focus for our future. Sadly, we have veered far off-course, with prayer being taken out of public school; with evolution being taught as a standard course during primary education; with “alternative” co-habitation lifestyles being accepted as the norm in society. Our airwaves are saturated with death and destruction; with mayhem and malice; and with sex and slander. It’s no wonder that we’re in the mess that we’re in, because we haven’t had a whole lot of positive things in the world of today to encourage us to live better lives.

The only constant our United States of America has ever had is God. He has been there through our fledging steps as a nation; through wars and rumors of wars; through divisive issues such as segregation and abortion…He has been our steadfast Guide; and to be honest, we have failed Him miserably at times.

Where there is no vision, the people perish. And, as a nation, we are perishing without seeing, and doing, God’s vision for us. He wants our country to be a Lighthouse in this dark and subversive world, just like we used to be. The Lord wants His people to draw a line in the dirt and say, “This is OUR stand, and we’re going to fight for our God!”

People, all He wants is for us to turn our hearts back to Him…and He will truly lead us home. And, we will be a stronger, and better, nation with Him at the helm.

Trust God…because we ARE one nation under Him.

Richard is pastor of Purdin, Bear Branch, and Pleasant Grove UMC’s in northern Missouri. He is also a regular columnist for the Linn County Leader. You may reach him via his blog at or via e-mail at