December 2014 No Newsletter
Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We thank the Lord for you. For your love, your prayers and your support. We were blessed to see God work in wonderful ways this past month in revival services. Decisions for Christ were numerous and we thank the Lord for the privilege of being a part of what He’s doing throughout the country.
As you read this we are getting back to work following a little get away. It was nice but did not go without interruption. All that being said, it was wonderful to get away from everything for just a little while and we thank God for friends like Billy who generously offered us his vacation home. We are ready now to move forward into the remainder of our 2014 ministry schedule.
The schedule has continued to be quite busy between the ministry and the time required in Yazoo City with family matters. This month you can see that the ministry opportunities are limited to “Saturday/Sunday only” events. This is not our choosing but just how God has worked it this month. This will allow us to continue to minister to Patty’s dad and, of course, work on mom’s estate. The process is slow and time consuming but we know everything is in God’s timing and we have the faith to follow and trust His leadership.
We thank our God for every remembrance of you. Thank you for your love and support as we continue to fulfill His plan for our lives. Our life of ministry on the road and handling mom’s estate kept us busy as usual this past month. With three other siblings willing to help in any way but extremely busy in their jobs and therefore unavailable, the flexibility I have with this life on the road makes the choice simple. That and the fact that we are in Yazoo quite often anyway with Patty’s dad going through his battle with lymphoma and the 4th round of chemo.
All of this has kept us away from our home since mom’s passing. Our church family has been so very supportive, as many have written notes, sent messages and called just to check on us. As we sort through, clean, throw away or set aside things to eventually get to an estate sale, I find that there seems to be a time limit. After about 4 – 5 hours, I’m pretty much done. But it’s like the old question, “How do you eat an elephant?” The answer, “One bite at a time.” Progress is being made but we need your prayers to stay the course. I guess I would ask for continued wisdom, for physical strength, and that God give us the time He desires… both for the road ministry and for the homefront.
On September 10th, we were a part of a great night at Blackshear Place Baptist Church in Flowery Branch, GA. We saw 22 professions of faith and rejoice in the Lord for using us. The revival that was held in north MS, went well. I led worship and preached the meeting. We didn’t see anything happen until Wednesday night. The pastor told me there were several real victories that night and we are so grateful. We have two revivals coming up as you can see. I will be leading the music in the first and doing both the music and preaching in the second. I am so thankful to our Lord for each opportunity and the strength to fulfill the call.
Lord willing, we will be getting away at the end of the month. We will have communication but will be taking an escape that we are very much looking forward to. Until that time comes, we press on and thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your love and support!
Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
We appreciate your prayers for us and this ministry as we continue forward in this journey. God has kept us busy between the ministry and tending to things in Yazoo City but God is faithful, as always, and things are continuing forward.
My voice has done well and we are so very grateful for the strength to fulfill the call. And speaking of the call…don’t look for me “on a tour near you” as the Christian ventriloquist version of Jeff Dunham. Hahaha…
The Corvette Convention event held this past Sunday, Aug 24, went well but just isn’t my interpretation of the calling placed on my life. There were about 400 people in attendance and it was 5 years in the planning. It wasn’t a “car show” as I was led to believe but rather the southern region Corvette Caravan as they came from as far as Houston and had the kickoff gala at the Dothan Civic Center. They left Dothan and headed north with several stops and eventual destination of Bowling Green, KY, and the Corvette Assembly Factory. Anyway, I was part of the entertainment and presented 45 minutes of ventriloquism. As I said, things went fine but I was definitely out of my comfort zone.
Sure appreciate the prayers and I pray that something I said might plant a seed that God can nurture and eventually harvest.
Now with all the schools in session, most of the kids events will be limited to Sunday or Wednesday and some churches will begin their revival schedules. This month’s ministry opportunities contains both. In the revival scheduled, I will be doing both the music and preaching so please, please, pray for God to do a great work in hearts and lives.
Thank you for your prayers through our summer schedule. It was a wonderful ministry season as we saw many decisions for Christ through VBS and summer camp. My voice responded well and seems to be restored. With prayer, planning and careful deliberation I was able to use this ministry as God intended. For all these things we are truly grateful.
Moving on now, we find ourselves in a fall schedule that presents many different opportunities. Besides the “Family Day” that we find ourselves participating in so often these days and enjoy so much, God is placing us in a unique situation the end of the month.
Every year, the National Corvette Owners have one of their regional conventions in Dothan, AL, and I have been asked to present a program as part of the evenings activities. It seems the one responsible for planning this part of the convention was present at a Lion’s Club luncheon where I was the special guest program. I’ve been told there will be car owners present from TX, AL, north FL and LA.
So…on August 24th, I will be “salt and light”. I plan some fun things early in the program before presenting the gospel in the latter. It will be a 45 minute program of ventriloquism and we look forward to seeing God use this ministry in a more non-typical way.
We cherish your continued thoughts, prayers, and support as we enter this season of ministry. Please stay in touch with us.
We are so very grateful for your prayers and support as we continue pressing forward. The VBS programs this year have gone well. As I write this note, we are completing a week in Tyler, TX, with Family Night tonight. The curriculum from Lifeway is as good as it’s ever been in my opinion. The music has always been kid friendly and that has continued but the real improvement is the way the Bible Study was handled.
This year’s theme put the kids in the mindset of investigators. Each day they are presented with a claim of Christ and all throughout the day they seek and are presented evidence to back His claim and lead to eventual proof that He is indeed who He says He is. The kids really got into it and had lots of fun. We saw a number of decisions for Christ and are so very thankful that God is using us.
On a quick note and matter of prayer. We are still spending a great deal of time on the road between Enterprise, AL, and Yazoo City when we are not in a particular place presenting this ministry. All of the road time and lack of rest has apparently presented its own set of issues. Both Patty and I are finding ourselves in consultation with doctors to keep going. No need to go into any further detail but just to say we are pressing forward in obedience to His leadership and appreciate you remembering us as often as He brings us to your thoughts.
Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We appreciate your prayers all through the year, especially this past month as many of you sent cards, memorials, texts, and emails to remind us of your support in mom’s home going. I’m splitting my time between home and Yazoo City in order to keep up the properties. It keeps me quite busy but, right now, this is what the Lord has planned so it’s all good, right? We are forever thankful for you as you stand in the gap for the work to which we are called.
The summer is here and although it is difficult to believe, we are looking at yet another series of VBS’ and are anticipating God working in many hearts and lives. The summer months, for obvious reasons, are truly a field “white unto harvest” and with that in mind we want to encourage you to keep all the VBS efforts across this country and around the world in your prayers. We thank you for the blessing.
Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. There is so much to share I hardly know where to begin. Mom and I went back to the oncologist on April 4th and with a consult determined the best bet was to schedule a double mastectomy. Mom was really up and with good spirits the surgery was scheduled. On April 11, mom had surgery and it took no time at all for her to become the star patient. Floor nurses and even the surgeon wanted to keep her on the floor as a model for the “younger” patients. On the 13th she was discharged. Throughout the week we had a longtime friend that had stayed with her in the hospital, move in and remain with her through the recovery process. Another lady, a nurse, in the church volunteered to come and change bandages, etc, during this recovery time and everything could not be going better. Thursday night after supper and conversation, the nurse came in and I left the room as always. Before things began, the nurse called for me. I came down and mom had had a stroke.
The ambulance rushed her to Jackson where we were hoping to administer the clot busting shot. We found that because of her recent surgery that was not an option. The doctor at Baptist told us that there was a relatively new technique at University Medical Center where they catheter the brain and break the clot. He said that where this is done, there is a remarkable success rate and almost complete recovery. The only downside would be if the clot was not accessible. We transferred, by ambulance, to UMC, where we find that indeed the clot is not accessible. We elect to stay in the stroke unit and Friday and Saturday she is making startling advances. Late Saturday night, things changed. I had driven back to Yazoo City for the night and my youngest brother Jeff stayed with mom. He called late night, around 1:30 a.m. that mom had gone into respiratory distress. I went back to Jackson and we all stayed the night in the Family Waiting of the Neuroscience ICU. The next day we were told that mom had suffered another stroke and it was a stroke on the left side, the side of the brain not affected by the previous stroke.
On Monday the 21st, as a family, we fulfilled mom’s wishes not to be kept alive through artificial means. We entered hospice there at UMC on Tuesday and on Easter Sunday night, mom went to be with the Lord. The celebration of her life is Thursday, May 1st, at 11:30 a.m., First Baptist Church, Yazoo City, MS. We appreciate your prayers as we go through this difficult time and fulfill His call on our lives.
We have a number of opportunities ahead and look forward to see God’s handiwork in all things.
As always I want to take time to thank you for your prayers, love and support throughout this journey. As I reported in the March letter, my voice continues to be doing better in this reduced schedule so we will keep with this program for the time being. Of course, everything is aimed at the summer schedule. The goal is to be as strong as possible when June rolls around and everything seems to be working that way.
In the last letter, I also mentioned “knowing more after the 1st of the month. Here’s what’s going on. On March 5th, while our minds were on dad’s 2nd anniversary of his home going, I found myself with mom in the surgeon’s office. The surgeon began her conversation this way. “Well, it’s not good news”. Cancer had been detected. It didn’t take long to realize that all the vocal issues have been for predominately one purpose and that is to enable me to help where I can and we are thankful for that. Consequently, we are running the wheels off of the truck as we run back and forth between Enterprise and Yazoo City. There have been many tests as the oncologist, who has taken over complete treatment, seeks to discover the full extent of what we are looking at. Now that all tests are completed, this Friday, April 4th, we will have our meeting with the oncologist and find out where we stand. We pray for complete healing and that there be no sign of any cancer but desire to be in the center of His plan.
We had a good month of ministry last month and saw many lives changed for the Kingdom. In Paragould, as we ministered to the kids of West View Baptist Church, we witnessed 3 children give their hearts to Jesus and we praise the Lord for that. This was also a good test for my voice being the first revival we’ve done since things began. Although I was weak at the conclusion of each service, I bounced back during the next day as was good to go by the time the next evening’s service came along.
We thank the Lord for the road He has given us and we thank you again for your prayers and support during this journey.
Hi dear friends.
As always we thank the Lord for you and your prayers as we continue following the leadership of our heavenly Father. Through your prayers we have seen my voice strengthening and an ever increasing faith and trust in His plan. We have begun a “new normal” where I am not traveling 45 weeks out of the year as in the past 27 years but, rather, considerably less.
In this reduced schedule I find myself able to do a great deal more preparation for an upcoming event as opposed to “flying by the seat of my pants” and therefore the quality of each presentation seems better. Patty, the ever faithful encourager, tells me that she feels that all the presentations have been of high quality. She’s so sweet and I’m thankful for her. Nevertheless, I am spending a great deal of time rehearsing my horns and resting my voice, doing therapy and not much more. This seems to be moving things in a positive direction.
As you read this, we are loaded and driving to Yazoo City. Family things have us headed that way and we are grateful that God has placed us in such a position. As things stand right now, we will stay there until Friday when we will head down to Foxworth, MS, for the weekend. How things go this week will determine whether we will drive back to Yazoo City or home to Enterprise Sunday night.
Again, we appreciate you standing in the gap for us as we continue the journey!
Greetings friends, in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. It is good to report that God is continuing to work in this ministry and a great part of that has to do with all your thoughts and prayers. This past month has been trying at times with the cancellations and all but God has helped me focus on this ministry in different ways. The vocal rehab continues and we will know more as to how things have come along once we get into the February schedule. We look forward to all He is going to do as we move forward.
We are splitting our road time between Enterprise and Yazoo City, MS, as we do what’s necessary to help parents and, at the same time, fulfill His calling. We received word today that Mr. Shurley (Patty’s dad) is doing so well that the physical rehab center he has been in since December will be releasing him on February 13th. We are very grateful to the Lord for this “comeback” in his health and so we go forward day by day and look ahead with excitement to all He may have in store for us.
My doctor recommended we cut our schedule in half but God knows best. Here’s a way you can pray for us. Throughout these many years, the music has changed, some of the material has changed, new “friends” have joined the crew but the basic format has been the same. I need an extra dose of wisdom in putting together these upcoming programs so that all the gifts He has given me may be used most efficiently and effectively for the Kingdom.
We are also being very deliberate in the scheduling of events in hopes of increasing the longevity of this ministry and we would ask that if you view our web calendar for a specific date and see “unavailable” marked on that date, please consider another time for your event. We would love to help you but will be unable to book the dates previously marked off. Believe me, no one is more frustrated at this than we are but it’s for the best and we thank you for your understanding.
Greetings, friends, in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Happy New Year! I hope you had a blessed Thanksgiving and Christmas with family and friends.
Things with this ministry are much like they were in the last e-letter. After being silent for all of November due to the vocal issues, I had the privilege of leading worship in my home church on December 1.
I always enjoy those special opportunities and this time it was no different. However, once things were over, I had no voice whatsoever. So…back to the doctor we go. We find out that although there was a good deal of irritation, there was no further damage. The doctor said that he felt the fact I had been on “silence” orders for a month, it was just a little shock to the cords to lead. So, it has been back to limited talking.
The speech therapist gave me some good exercises but aside from that was little help. The problem is that ventriloquism breaks all the rules of proper vocal production. I cancelled my first weeks of engagements with my eyes on finishing the year strong and the 2 large Senior Adult Banquets that had been on the schedule for 6 months or more. I was given a steroid to take the morning of and again 1 hour prior to the presentations each time and that got me through.
On December 31st I presented a Watch Night Celebration. It was time to check my voice under the performance standard. Following that presentation, I had to cancel the remaining January schedule because the voice is simply not ready to fulfill these obligations. This has been a trying time to say the least but I know that God’s plan is perfect and we trust in Him!
In our last letter I told you how much better Patty’s dad is doing. It was the day after the letter arrived to you that he had to be hospitalized due to dehydration. He is now out of the hospital and in the swing bed/physical rehab facility that he was in last year. He is showing signs of getting stronger but not able to be released as of this letter. Patty has been with him since Dec. 7 and will remain there for the time being. I will be making trips to Enterprise and back to Yazoo on weekends to help with everything.
I have had to really limit my engagements for now and would appreciate your prayers simply for God’s will and perfect plan to be revealed!