We crossed the state line into Texas on March 8, 2013. First stop Lubbock, TX. The drive from Albuquerque was long, hot and the landscape was flat for miles and miles. In fact, it was so flat that it felt like we were plastered to the ground. Trains ran along the highway and we had fun counting the cars and wondering if we knew any train hoppers on board.
It took us about 5 hours to reach our host home, the Latham family. We were referred to this big ol’ Texas family by our friends, the Morfords, in Bend, OR. Scott and Diana along with their teenage and adult kids are real givers. They are actively involved in the spiritual growth of their community and host regular gatherings at their home for young adults and couples. They are beautiful, thoughtful kinfolk and graciously welcomed us into their community. It was inspiring to be around the depth of conversation and experience that they offered, specially listening to their children share the genuinely positive influence growing up with parents who live by faith and service. They offered us an opportunity to share our gifts and talents in sacred space at a little Methodist church on a Sunday morning.
This was our offering…
Call to worship- Song, Come Before the Lord.
Deceleration of God’s faithfulness- Song, No Other.
Reading: 2 Cor 4:18 The things we see now are hear today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can not see will last forever.
Sharing/Teaching: Walking by Faith, Our journey learning to “swim upstream”
Lectio Divina: (prayerful reading of scripture) Psalm 62
Response: Song- Unfashionable Wisdom (No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind conceived, what God has for those who LOVE him)
Closing Songs: Morning Star, Old Timey Trio- I’ve Got a Home in Gloryland,I’ll Fly Away, Amazing Grace, Oh When the Saints.
Sunday evening we drove down to Snyder, TX to visit with an old friend, Brad Floyd. Brad is one of the brightest stars we know. His smile is contagious and he’s about the kindest big ol’ Texan you’ll ever meet. He introduced us to his wife Sally, mother and a few friends, made us Chicken fried steaks. Dinner was a hoot as we heard stories from one of their friends, Anne. She’s in her 50’s and suffers from MS. However, her spirits were high as she declared her mischievousness and shared about some of the nonsense she got up to as a youth. For example, the time she and a few friends shot an arrow into the town generator and the whole power grid went out. Or the time she stood at the top of a water fall and dumped laundry soap down the falls. The bubbles filled the river so high that they began to spill over onto the streets. Our favorite story was of her two friends who’s fathers owned the two car dealerships in the town, one Chevy and one Ford. One night the three of them snuck into the showrooms of both car dealerships and switched the hub caps. It was a few months later that a customer came in questioning why his new Chevy had Ford hubcaps? Ha! Meeting folks like Anne and experiencing these kinds of moments are so special to us. Later in the evening it was a natural progression to for us to share a few songs with these kinfolk, and so we did. The next day we followed Brad down to Fort Worth, where he treated us to a tank of diesel, a stay at The Comfort Inn and dinner out. Their gift to us was more than we can possibly repay and so we are glad it’s a gift 🙂 and we are honored to call Brad and Sally friends.
Our next stop took us to Dallas were we stayed at an RV park for two nights. We meet up with our old friend Donny. He, his wife, Jenny and baby daughter came out to our bus and we shared dinner, while hearing their story. It’s amazing where life takes you. When we met Donny in 1999, he was a tattoo ridden, cool drummer dude. In fact, he was drumming at the time, in a band called Unwed Sailor that performed at our wedding in March of 2000. Then fast forward to March 2013 and he’s newly wed to a precious woman named, Jenny and has a son who is 11 and beautiful little girl. He has his PhD in Biochemistry/ Chemical Biology and is working at UT Southwestern Medical Center, researching cancer. It was an honor to hear his story and to be able to encourage him in his marriage, faith and efforts in science.