Saturday, July 11, 2009

I spent the last week in Spokane, Washington with my son and his family. We arrived on the Fourth of July and enjoyed the huge firework display by the river. The next day, Sunday, we went to church and I got the treat of hearing my son preach what I think was one of Christendoms finest sermons. I realize I may be somewhat bias, but he is no novice behind the pulpit and the scriptures came alive, the anointing was there and I was captivated. During the sermon the true need of Christ and His church was apparent; a police car pulled up in front of the church, then another and finally there were five police cars directly in front of the church. There was a domestic disturbance in the apartment above the church and the police had to break down one door to remove a man and take him off to jail. Eric's wife, LeeElla, offered her assistance and helped the police find out what was actually going on because the woman spoke Spanish and the man spoke Russian, so the language barrier escalated a simple incident into an arrest. But two nights later, there was a far more serious situation; one block from the church, an argument escalated and one man drew a knife and killed the other. Jesus has grown this little store-front church right in the midst of great need; it is no cozy little church in the suburbs, but rather a refuge on the front lines of battle.
And the battles waged right in front of our eyes.

Later that week, one of the members of the church offered Eric the use of his cabin in the mountains, and we enthusiastically drove to the mountain paradise. I'm not sure who snapped this picture of me fishing off the dock, but it captures the moment far better than words can describe.

Here I am with my oldest son Eric preparing to catch dinner; hmmm, good thing we had hamburger along because we didn't exactly empty the lake :) But I did spend a spellbinding afternoon talking and drinking up the beauty with my son. I wish I could spend many more hours like this with all my children and grandchildren; we had such a great time.

Last, but not least, Mel and I got to meet face to face. My oldest granddaughter and I met on her lunch hour and it was so much fun to finally meet after blogging for so long. I have enjoyed Mel and her comments on my blog but I have to say after meeting her I have an even greater appreciation for her. Mel, you were so full of life, far prettier than photos can capture, and a joy to be with. It was a special part of my trip to walk and talk together, go to places you have written about and just soak up the sunshine that beamed from within you.

While we stood before this beautiful Catholic church, we couldn't help but think of Joseph; so, we had my granddaughter take this picture as we waved to you Joseph, we wished you and all our blogging friends could be with us.


Trudy said...

Oh, how wonderful Fred! I'm glad that you were able to enjoy the time away with your son and that is just fabulous that you got to meet Mel! I must say, I am jealous and would have loved to have been there to meet you both! Someday, perhaps.

I love the picture of you fishing, especially with the rainbow in the sky. I chuckled a bit as I thought of the rainbow being the sign of the covenant (promise) with Noah to never flood the earth again. What's with all the water in the picture, LOL?!!

It sounds like God is ready to do some work at your son's church indeed. He does move in powerful ways in troubled areas. Has anyone considered a prayer walk, or prayed over the building? That is a very powerful thing too. I hope and pray that things settle down a bit in the neighborhood and that God's peace is soon felt by many!

God bless you!

Mel said...

Hi Fred!

I soooo enjoyed reading this post! I'm glad and grateful that you were able to take a much-needed vacation, to spend quality time with your son and family, and that you and I were able to meet face-to-face. It was one of the highlights of my life, and I'm so glad that you enjoyed the encounter also. :) Welcome back to the blogging world, you've been SORELY missed.

God bless!

Mel :)

Mel said...

I also want to join you in saying an enthusiastic "Hello!!" to our dear Joseph, and that I would have loved it if he could have been there with us...

Also, I'd like to express my appreciation of and gratitude for Pastor Eric and LeeElla, and the impact they and their family and church are having on an area of Spokane that so desperately needs light, and salt, and unconditional love. Way to go, you guys! You Rock!

FCB said...

Hi Trudy,
Thanks, it was a wonderful time away from it all, and with the joy of meeting Mel, came the eagerness to meet you as well. Who knows but what I may make it to your neck of the woods; I used to go to Chicago once a year, and I agree with you that it is a facinating city.

I found out that Eric's wife LeeElla snapped that picture, she has an eye for the moment, and she caught me truly in the moment.
We all love water, earlier in the week we went to a water park and rode the slides and wave pools, what fun!

You and my son think alike in that he does prayer walks each day, as each day he is reminded by some need. In just the few days we were there the needs were so apparent, not like the area I live in. It was a sacrafice for him to move there, but God has used that sacrifice in many wonderful ways.
God bless,

Hi Mel,
Thanks, it's good to be blogging again. Yes, it was so meaningful to meet with you. I carried the afterglow for days. As sweet as you come across in blogging, I had a far greater appreciation for your tender heart and insights.
You are a peach!

Thanks for the kind comments about Eric as well.
The post above this one comes from the book "Voice of the Heart", which you will find included in the books I gave to you.
God bless and good reading,

Joseph Pulikotil said...

Hi Fred:)

I was thrilled with boundless joy to see you and Mel posing like royalties and waving to an enthralled audience including me. Both of you looked so happy, charming and regal. Touch wood!

It is always a dream come true for blogger friends who only write and see photos of each other to meet and have a chat, exchange notes, discuss about mutual friends , laugh and go for a walk. In fact I was wondering when you wrote that you were going to Spokane whether you will be meeting Mel. I am sure both of you had an exciting time. So this was the lovely Catholic Church which Mel was talking about in her blog. I wish I was there but as the saying goes IF WISHES WERE HORSES BEGGARS WOULD RIDE.

I can see you had a wonderful time with your son and family. The photos substantiate the fantastic time you had. Needless to say you have wonderful children and grandchildren who love you and pamper you. You are truly blessed.

It looks like Eric’s Church is surrounded with problems and God has chosen him to take care of their spiritual needs. I pray that God will shower upon him all the graces needed to bring these people with evil tendencies to relent and become good citizens.

Many thanks for sharing this lovely post along with interesting photos.

Have a wonderful day Fred:)

FCB said...

"If wishes were horses beggars would ride" That made me laugh and if wishes were so easily obtained Mel and I would be on the steps of a church in India beside you and our other blogging friends!
Maybe someday?
Your description of the visit Mel and I shared described it to a T.
The air was electric and we both soaked up the moment. I will look forward to seeing her each time I go to Spokane.
Both Mel and I anticipated with joy your response to this post, thanks for your kind words my friend,

HAINAngel2000 said...

Nice to see you back! I missed you. Nice to hear about you meeting Mel. One day I hope to contact her and spend time getting to know her.
One day I hope to meet Eric and listen to him preach :)
Love fishing and love, love ,love the picture of you fishing with that beautiful rainbow only God can create in the background!!

FCB said...

Hi Mary,
Thanks, good to be back, sort of.
I hope one day you and Mel could get together; Christ burns bright in you both and I know you would enjoy each other.
I know you love fishing from the photos on your blog. Nothing like it to be in nature. Now, the down side is, when that picture of me was snapped with the rainbow in the background; I was so into fishing I didn't even notice it was there! Something wrong with that.... I think?
Love Fred

Matt said...

Great to see pictures of that blogger man. He exists! And he fishes! I imagine to someone who hasn't met you it must have been very interesting to see your picture. I hope they weren't let down... just kidding. Anyway liked seeing the pictures.

FCB said...

Hi Matt,
now being my son, you know how broken this camera was that shot these pictures that made me look out of shape and far older than in person :0)
Shoot, truth is I'm happy as a clam to be above groud and still have the measure of health I have.
Should be better, but could be far worse.
Love Dad