Friday, October 17, 2008

Back Home

Wow what a ride. It is a long way up there to the great countryside of Alaska. Man what beautiful scenes we saw on the way to Anchorage, AK. We saw the sun for the first time in a week and it made those snow tops glisten. Everyone in the van was picking on me as I must have shot over 100 photos of some of the same mountain tops, but it was just so beautiful.
It really was a great ride. We also got to stop at the former pastor's house for some lunch and I had the opportunity to speak with him some more and meet his lovely wife and even his grandchildren.
Then came time for the LLOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONNNNNNNNNNNNNNNGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG plane ride home. But it made it worth while when on the leg from Salt Lake City to Los Angelos David Archuleta (runner up for this last season of American Idol) came aboard the plane with a friend of his. My girls went nuts as well as everyone got whiplash from turning their heads so fast to get a glimpse of the superstar.
His was very kind to give my girls an autograph and pictures with him after we landed in Los Angelos.
Well now for the hard part of resigning one ministry, packing up, saying goodbye to good friends, and moving to another chapter in my life.
Until next post.

On The Way To Anchorage, AK

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Latest Pictures

Valdez 10_16 Valdez Glacier and road to 10 mile

Judgement Day

Today was another awesome day in Valdez, AK. We started off the day sleeping in a little (we needed it as it has been a fast and furious week). I took my family to eat at the Totum Inn for breakfast, a place I got to experience our first morning here with the XO of the Coast Guard.
We found a few souvenirs there to take home with us and had a fantastic breakfast.
Brittany had the privilege of going to school in Valdez as a visitor with a young lady from the church and got to experience the Valdez school system. She came back that afternoon saying she had a great time, which is a first since she never has fun at school.
We had lunch at the interim pastor's home with he and his wife. They are a fantastic couple and have done a great job here. They have already become good friends and I hope to stay in touch with them even when they move on.
Victoria got a chance to tour the JH and she seemed to like the school and the things they had to offer.
We had a chance to visit the Valdez Glacier area where the ice from the glacier drifts to a little pond area that is frozen over. It was a great 4x4 ride as we all like to got concussions from banging around like pin balls.
Finally the time came that we have been waiting for all week. Time to face the firing squad and answering any questions before making a decision that will change the course for the church and for our family.
After sharing a little of my testimony and taking questions, I was requested to sing Old Rugged Cross and thankfully I had someone to help feed a couple of words to me and my mind went blank singing a song on the spot. After I made it through, my family and I went to the library of the church and awaited the decision from the people.
Waiting, waiting, waiting, finally the decision came.

The church voted unanimous. I am the new pastor of First Baptist Church Valdez Alaska. We could not be more thrilled as there is such promise for this area from ministry and missions.
Pictures will be on the next post and we are going to bed as we have a long to trip to Anchorage, AK to make a long flight home to New Orleans to begin the final chapter of our lives in Louisiana.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Tuesday in Valdez

Today was the first day to get a little rest. We have a had a very busy but productive schedule of meeting with people and committees and seeing the sites. It was nice to sleep to around 7:45 am Alaska time.
Today, I had lunch with some of the senior adults at Fu Kung, the local Chinese restaurant. The food was good and the fellowship was sweet. I sat across from a sweet lady named Irene. She cannot see very well but was so pleasant to talk to.
We left there and went to sign up for our first Valdez, AK phone number. I now own an ATT phone and will soon be dropping Alltel (so sad as they have been a good company but not supported up here) and will have to begin giving out the new number which is always fun to make sure everyone has the new number.
We then had an opportunity to visit one of the local gift shops to pick up a few things to commemorate our trip to Valdez.
The evening was topped off by a wonderful dinner at a young couples house in an area the locals refer to as 10 mile. As we drove out there, we saw some of the most amazing sites I believe we have ever seen.
Tomorrow is the big day as we will have a special called meeting to vote to receive as our family as the next pastor of FBC Valdez.

Here are a few more pictures

Valdez, AK Snow

Valdez, AK Prince William Henry Sound

Monday in Valdez

What a wonderful day that we had on Monday as a wonderful family took us out on their boat and we got to experience some beautiful scenery and a little wildlife. We saw some otters and sea lions out and about. But most of all, the scene of God were just absolutely awesome. I could never get tired of looking at this inspiration.
We had a great dinner with two families and just absolutely enjoyed the food and the fellowship. It also began snowing while we here and it is just breath taking to see the white on the ground and such big flakes falling.
Pictures will soon be posted.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

FIrst Sunday

We had a great day in the Lord today.

This morning I delivered my first message at FBC Valdez and I cannot believe how nervous I was. Everything went well but it was not my best sermon. I believe my nerves made a difference. The place was packed and the first thought that came to mind was that we are immediately going to have to two morning services to accommodate the growth from young families. It was also very refreshing to see such a blended age group, as many churches that are older, do not have a diverse group of people.
Valdez is a place that no one is from. Everyone is from somewhere else. I had dinner with people from Texas, California, Louisiana, and many other places.
The morning service was followed with a potluck dinner. Boy I have missed those. And man was it a spread of food. That got some good cooks.
We had dinner with a great couple that had just moved up from California and what a wonderful time we had.
Tonight's service had a great attendance. We had probably half or more of the attedance from Sunday morning which is very unusual as most churches have either done away with Sunday nights or attendance is very small. Man the sermon tonight was a homerun and had a great response from the people afterward. We cannot wait until tomorrow, as we get to go out on the Prince William Sound and look for wildlife.

God bless.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

First full day

Today was a busy day.

It started off by getting woke up my wife at 5:30 am. Followed by meeting the XO (second in command) of the Valdez Coast Guard.
We had an incredible visit over a very good breakfast. It was very interesting to see the background he was raised in, theologically speaking, and to see where he is today.
That was followed by a good Junior High basketball game at 9:00 am and then an opportunity to go and see what we would be dealing with in grocery prices.
It was not as shocking as I might have expected in the grocery isles. I had sticker shock when I went from West Texas to New Orleans and went from paying $3 a gallon for milk to $4 a gallon.
Here the milk is the same price as well as most everything else I would buy at somewhere like Rouse's. The meat prices were the sticker shock. It is nearly $5 higher on many of the items we purchase on a regular basis.

We then met with the pastor search committee at 3 and had a fantastic time with them although as soon as we were done I got back to the B&B and saw my Tigers were stinking up the field. But a good meal with the committee tonight made it all worth it.

We had a chance to see a bald eagle, more mountains with snow, where we would potentially live (which was an awesome house), and had great fellowship with some great people.

Well, I will be preaching in the morning and am looking for to the Word of God flowing. I am praying that even though I will be on display for all to hear and see that the Holy Spirit will fall fresh on each person and we have a great awaking that these people have never experienced in their lives.

I also had some incredible food tonight. Many dished that seem to be native to this area that were awesome.

Well until next time.

First few pictures

Here are a few pictures that we took yesterday and today:

Click the pictures below to see the album.

Valdez, AK

Friday, October 10, 2008

Meeting With Former Pastor and DOM

We have arrive in Anchorage, AK and have had a great time so far. We had the wonderful opportunity of meeting with the recently retired pastor of FBC Valdez and the Director of Missions for that area. What wonderful people they were and full of information.
It is amazing that the type of ministry we are doing in New Orleans is very accepted and is being embraced by the people of this region. We can't wait to get to Valdez and see what the area is like there.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Looking Into A New Life In A New Land

This coming Friday, we are heading to the land of the Eskimos known as Alaska. We will be going as a candidate for the position of Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church Valdez, AK. We are so excited and cannot wait to see a land that we have never set our eyes upon in which God is leading to go.

As I look back over my years of ministry, I have noticed that God has always led us to places we have never been and we have loved every minute of it. We are so excited about the prospect of pastoring the people of Valdez and the opportunities that await us there.