Maybe I can share something...

Saturday, April 29, 2006

A Great Quote

I was listening to a sermon by Rev. David Busic, senior pastor of Bethany First Church of the Nazarene. He was preaching on the subject of true worship. And this line really stood out to me so I thought I'd share it with you.

"The God we worship is not a domesticated, tamed poodle that we potty trained with a folded up newspaper. Worship is a stunning, overwhelming, life changing encounter with the Living God."

Now that'll preach if you just dwell on it and realize what true worship is. If you would like to listen to his 2-part sermon on worship you can find it here. The sermons are Ture Worship Part 1 and Part 2. They're dated 1/15/2006, and 1/22/2006.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Have I Told You How Lucky I Am????

I just thought I'd brag a little bit!! I know Scoot is tired of hearing me talk about the upcoming wedding, but hey, I can't help it!!! ;-) Less than 2 months till the big day!! We're so excited and ready! I'm just ready to get all this wedding planning over with so we can get on with the rest of life!! Anyway, I just thought I'd share another photo with you.

This photo was take at Petry Photography in Crowley, LA. If you live in that area and are looking for a great Christian photographer, let me know and I'll get you in touch with them!!

Paying Close Attention

We must pay more careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away. (Hebrews 2:1)

Paying more careful attention involves recognizing dangerous ways of drifting. Busyness that keeps us from spiritual disciplines and promotes a neglectful lifestyle is one way. Another way we drift away from God is by being "desensitized". When Satan cannot tempt us to sin outright, he desensitizes us to sin, so that we live closer and closer to the edge, rather than closer and closer to God. As we are desensitized to sin, it does not look as horrendous, thereby not shocking us. I'm sure we have all been in one of those, "I remember when that was considered terrible", type conversations at one time or another. There are words that we use, things that we watch, materials that we read, topics we discuss, activities we participate in, that were once considered vulgar, or dangerous, but now we consider them common place, no big deal. Our involvement and use of such things was subtle. It is like a slow methodical poisoning. A person is not given a lethal dose all at once. Rather they are given small amounts over a period of time until the amount in their body is lethal and takes their life.

A newspaper in Georgia ran a story several years ago about a young boy who had died in a local hospital. A police officer was driving down the road when he saw this young lad walking along carrying a long string of fish he had caught. The boy seemed to be laboring under the task so the officer stopped and ask the boy if he'd like a ride. The boy was delighted. As they traveled the officer ask the boy where he had caught so many fish. The boy told the man with great delight. The officer said he had fished there many times but never had a catch like that. The boy responded that it wasn't the spot, but the wonderful worms he dug up that morning. They were the best bait. As the boy was talking the officer noticed that the boys hands were extremely swollen. He quickly ask the boy what the worms looked like. The boy having a few left, opened the bag he had them in and showed the officer. The officer looked in to find, not worms, but baby rattlesnakes. He ask the boy if he had felt anything when he reached in to get the bait. The boy replied that he felt very sharp pain at first, but the bait worked so well and after a while he didn't feel it so much. The officer immediately changed his course and drove the youngster to the nearest hospital. Sadly the boy died. One or two bites would not have hurt him, but he had been bitten so many times that the poison was too much for his system.

This is what is taking place in all to many. We like to call these changes "openness", "enlightenment", or "maturity". In reality, the majority of them are compromises and complacency. We are drifting away from the holiness. We are being methodically desensitized and deluded. It has come to the point where Christians aren't even recognizable. Barnard took a poll and found that non-churched people saw no significant difference in the way Christians live from the way they live. There are many factors to this, but one is that we have drifted away from the center. Too many Christians are more concerned how close they can get to sin and still remain a Christian than they are how close they can get to God. We are frightened about being considered a fanatic. Beloved, we need to pay more careful attention. The snake is biting, but we're not paying attention.

Keep Close To Jesus
Pastor Gerry

A Pause To Ponder God's Word
is written and distributed by Gerald Whetstone, Ordained Elder and teacher in the Church of the Nazarene. These devotionals may be transmitted, duplicated, used in part or in entirety without permission for nonprofit purposes only.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Something To Think About

If you're not familiar with the work of Steven Wright, he's the famous erudite scientist who once said: "I woke up one morning and all of my stuff had been stolen... And replaced by exact duplicates." His mind tends to see things a bit differently than the rest of us mortals. Here are some of his gems:

1- I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize.

2- Borrow money from pessimists - they don't expect it back.

3- Half the people you know are below average.

4- 99% of lawyers give the rest a bad name.

5- 42.7% of all statistics are made up on the spot.

6- A conscience is what hurts when all your other parts feel so good.

7- A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.

8- If you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain.

9- All those who believe in psycho kinesis, raise my hand.

10- The early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.

11- I almost had a psychic girlfriend, but she left me before we met.

12- OK, so what's the speed of dark?

13- How do you tell when you're out of invisible ink?

14- If everything seems to be going well, you have obviously overlooked something.

15- Depression is merely anger without enthusiasm.

16- When everything is coming your way, you're in the wrong lane.

17- Ambition is a poor excuse for not having enough sense to be lazy.

18- Hard work pays off in the future, laziness pays off now.

19- I intend to live forever; so far, so good.

20- If Barbie is so popular, why do you have to buy her friends?

21- Eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines.

22- What happens if you get scared half to death twice?

23- My mechanic told me, "I couldn't repair your brakes, so I made your horn louder."

24- Why do psychics have to ask you for your name?

25- If at first you don't succeed, destroy all evidence that you tried.

26- A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking.

27- Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.

28- The hardness of the butter is proportional to the softness of the bread.

29- To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism; to steal from many is research.

30- The problem with the gene pool is that there is no lifeguard.

31- The sooner you fall behind, the more time you'll have to catch up.

32- The colder the x-ray table, the more of your body is required to be on it.

33- Everyone has a photographic memory; some just don't have film.

34- If your car could travel at the speed of light, would your headlights work?

Friday, April 21, 2006

California Education Bill SB 1437---UNBELIEVABLE!!

If you are a resident of California you need to contact Gov. Schwarznegger and your legislators and demand that this bill be voted down!

Senate Bill 1437 has passed from the California Senate Judiciary Committee and can at any moment be voted on by the full Senate. If signed into law, it would force all public school teachers to present to students a one-sided message about homosexuality, bisexuality and transgender issues.

The bill would ban lessons, discussions and activities that reflect adversely upon one's sexual orientation , which would end any open discussion about the issue of homosexuality in public classrooms and effectively silence the Christian voice on the issue.

To compound this bias, the bill calls for all facets of education to be stripped of any non-endorsing messages about homosexuality.

Amendments made to the bill in late March also require social science lesson plans to include the contributions homosexuals, bisexuals and transgenders have made to society.

Visit to find more information

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

State Police Suffer 15 Fatalities In 2005

As I have mentioned before; if I wouldn't be singing, I'd love to be working in law enforcement. I still have many friends that are police officers and try to keep up somewhat with whats happening in that field. So tonight I was looking through some websites and ran across this article. Take time to read it. Let's not forget about the men and women that put their lives on the line everyday to keep our cities and neighborhoods safe. The next time you see a police officer thank them for the job they do, encourage them and pray for them!

Taken from
by Craig W. Floyd
April 13, 2006

Missouri State Highway Patrol Sergeant Carl Dewayne Graham Jr., 37, had once written, "If I'm killed in the line of duty, I would like people to be aware that I was killed doing a job I believed in and loved doing." Those words were used to help comfort the more than 1,000 mourners who attended Sergeant Graham's funeral on March 24, 2005.

Sergeant Graham, a 12-year veteran of the Missouri State Highway Patrol, was found lying next to his patrol vehicle at his residence a few days earlier. He had been shot and killed in what appears to be a cold-blooded act of revenge. "My son was no superhero, just a common guy who worked hard and believed in what he was doing," declared Sergeant Graham's father. "I couldn't be more proud of him."

Those same sentiments could also apply to 14 other state police officers who had their lives cut short last year. Carl Dewayne Graham Jr. was the first, but others soon followed, including three more from the Missouri State Highway Patrol. One month to the day after Sergeant Graham was killed, Missouri Trooper Ralph C. Tatoian, 32, died in an automobile accident while rushing to assist in the manhunt for a suspect who had shot a deputy sheriff. A photo of his wife and three young children was the only thing found tucked in his pockets.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol lost their third member on August 17 when Corporal John A. Sampietro Jr. was struck and killed while investigating an earlier accident involving multiple fatalities. Like Sergeant Graham before him, Corporal Sampietro understood the risks of the job and was not afraid to die for something he believed in. When another Missouri officer was killed earlier in the year, he had written the following message in tribute: "Should I pass before I'm ninety in my sleep, I can only hope my death is in the service of my community. As much as we will all miss [our] fallen heroes, I can think of no more honorable way to die than in defending the safety and freedom of those we have chosen to serve."

Never before in the history of the Missouri State Highway Patrol had they lost more than two officers in a single year. But when Trooper D. Kevin Floyd was struck and killed on September 22, they had lost twice that number. The driver of the pickup that crashed into him said he was leaning over to pick up some papers on the floor of the truck when the accident occurred.

Sadly, the California Highway Patrol matched Missouri's fatality figure for 2005. On September 23, Officer David M. Romero, 47, was on patrol and sitting at a traffic light on his motorcycle when a driver under the influence of narcotics crashed into him from behind. Less than two months later, Officer Andy T. Stevens, 37, was shot and killed during a traffic stop. Then, on December 21, Officer Erick S. Manny died in an automobile accident while attempting to stop a speeding motorist.

Just 10 days later, with the New Year less than two hours away, Lieutenant Michael E. Walker became the California Highway Patrol's fourth and final fatality of the year. He was struck and killed by a vehicle while working at the scene of an earlier accident. One of the sergeants who worked with him said, "He was the kind of manager who wouldn't ask anyone to do something he wasn't willing to do himself, which is why he was working New Year's Eve."

Similar tragic tales occurred in other states across the country. On May 16, South Carolina Trooper Jonathan W. Parker, 29, was sitting in his patrol car when it was rammed intentionally by a fleeing robbery suspect. Just 10 days later, Texas Trooper Jimmy Ray Carty Jr. was fatally injured in a training exercise. On July 8, Tennessee Trooper Todd M. Larkins was struck and killed by a speeding 18-wheeler during a traffic stop.

By all accounts, Arkansas State Police Corporal Mark W. Carthron, 31, was one of the best at his job. He distinguished himself over eight years of service. It all ended, though, when robbers attempted to elude police during a high-speed chase on the evening of Sunday, September 11, 2005. Trooper Carthron had deployed spike sticks to deflate the tires of the suspect vehicle. His efforts were successful and the suspects were captured, but as he went to retrieve the spike sticks from the roadway, he was struck by one of the pursuing patrol vehicles and mortally wounded. He died the next morning. Massachusetts State Trooper Vincent P. Cila, 45, was killed in a motorcycle accident on July 22 while on patrol in downtown Boston. The Chaplain of the State Police, Joseph Bagetta, said, "Vinny has just changed addresses . . . He no longer patrols the streets of the Commonwealth, now he proudly patrols the streets around the throne of God. Visit him at his place of rest. Visit him in your hearts. Visit him in your memories."

Senior Investigator Thomas M. O'Neill, of the New York State Police, had stopped at a local gas station on the afternoon of July 6 when he was asked to remove a disorderly person who refused to leave. A struggle ensued and after getting the man handcuffed and under arrest, Investigator O'Neill complained of chest pains while on the way to the station. He was taken to the hospital and died soon after.

A colleague described Corporal Joseph R. Pokorny of the Pennsylvania State Police as someone "who cared about other people before he cared about himself." His life was violently ended by four thugs who did not share his philosophy. Corporal Pokorny was beaten, and then shot and killed during a traffic stop in the early morning hours of December 12.

Corporal Pokorny often spoke the words that were in the hearts of all of his fallen colleagues: "If you need me, I'll be there."

Reprinted with permission of the author and AMERICAN POLICE BEAT.

Southern Nazarene University Is Going Wireless

Southern Nazarene University is going wireless. The SNU WiFi world will make wireless laptops available to incoming freshmen students. Patrick Allen, SNU Provost states, "Creating a wireless campus environment is a natural step for SNU. We are committed to providing educational technology tools that can be utilized in all corners of the campus 24 hours a day. Our wireless laptop program helps us meet that goal." The laptops issued to each new full-time student will be paid for out of tuition and fees and become the property of the student upon graduation. More details about the SNU wireless laptop program will be available from the Office of Admissions in the Spring of 2006.

Cathedral Quartet Tribute Website Launched

News Release
Cathedrals Tribute Site Launched
April 19, 2006

A new and unique tribute to the Cathedral Quartet was launched today. is the most extensive tribute to the Cathedrals made available on the Internet.

Daniel J. Mount, who prepared and maintains the site, became interested in the Cathedrals' history, but could not find any comprehensive source of information about their history. So he decided to prepare and launch this site.

“The history of this group is an important chapter in the history of Southern Gospel,” he said. “Yet I found that different parts of the history are scattered in various books, websites, and articles, or are only preserved in group members' memories. I wanted to preserve this history before it was lost.”

The website includes information on the group's history, awards, and members. It also includes a complete discography, as well as information on albums in which members appeared while with other groups. Lyrics from various Cathedrals albums will also be posted.

“To some extent, a project this extensive is never complete,” Mount said. “While I have compiled the information I was able to find, I will welcome input from Cathedrals fans as the information on this site is revised and updated.” Mount can be contacted at

The official Cathedrals website,, is still operated by the Payne and Younce families. Before launching the tribute site, Mount sought and received their permission. This tribute site can be found at

Urgent Prayer Request

I just wanted to let all of you know about my Great-Aunt, Mavis Jameson. She is 92 years old and has been in the hospital for the last week and a half. Unfortunately last night she began to start losing ground and things are not looking good. She is in the Heart Hospital of Lafayette, LA. They're having trouble keeping iv's in her and her kidneys are not functioning correctly.
Also pray for my Grandmother, June Henderson who is 81. Mavis is her only sister left and this taking quite a toll on her physically and emotionally. Her health is also becoming a concern to us. I know alot of you out there believe in prayer, thank you so much!!

Don't Hold Onto Me

Taken from Preacher's

This sermon is presented by Philip McAlister. Philip has served as pastor and district superintendent and is currently field director of the North Europe field on the Eurasia region for the Church of the Nazarene.

When I was ready to propose to my wife-to-be, I decided to do it the old-fashioned way and first ask her for Dad’s blessing, permission, or whatever degree of affirmation he could give me. I stopped by their house and made up an excuse to get him outside away from the rest of her family, so we could talk.

I don’t even remember how many times I rehearsed my “speech” in my head before I ever actually spoke it. I kind of stumbled my way through it, and thought I had made myself clear. But I will never forget his response. The first word out of his mouth after I paused to let him reply, his first word was, “Well,” followed by a long pause.

What followed didn’t help my anxiety level much. “You know, our daughters are probably our most treasured gifts.” That was followed by a lengthy talk about what a wonderful young lady Liz was, and how important she was to them.

Just when I thought he was about to give his answer, he’d talk a little more about what a great person Liz was, and how much they loved her. It felt like being in an airplane that’s just circling the airport. Every time I thought it was about to land, it would pull up and circle some more. His answer was finally good news; he said “Yes,” but it just took a long time to get there.

John’s account of Easter is something like that. It’s good news, but John takes his time in getting there. It seems slower than all the other gospels.

In Matthew’s account of the resurrection, there is more action, and Matthew gets the good news announced quicker. There is an earthquake, then an angel descends in dramatic fashion. The angel rolls the stone away, and as an exclamation point on it all, he perches on top of the stone. The first time the angel speaks, he spells everything out: “I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said” (Matthew 28:5-6). In just a few verses, the message has been proclaimed. Christ is not here! He is risen!

Mark and Luke both get to the point pretty quickly too. The followers of Jesus head to the tomb and right away they encounter someone who tells them, “I know you’re looking for Jesus, but He’s not here. He is risen!”

But not John. John’s account begins with a lot of details without revealing much. John tells us Mary Magdalene gets to the tomb and finds the stone is rolled away. It’s an interesting detail, but it doesn’t really tell us a lot. It makes you wonder why the stone was rolled away. Earlier in John’s Gospel, at another tomb, the stone was rolled away in order to get Lazarus out. This time, though, it seems more like an invitation for those on the outside to come in, to see that it’s empty. But Mary doesn’t go in at first.

Instead, she runs away from the tomb to tell Peter and the beloved disciple that the body is gone. Now, standing on this side of the story, we assume that should have been a clue to the resurrection. We know the dead body is not there because Jesus had risen. Mary just knew the body was not there, and it deepened her grief. She thought someone had stolen the body. In her frame of mind, an empty tomb means a tomb has been raided.

She was there when the body was placed in the tomb. To have seen the body put into the tomb and then to discover it’s missing—I assume that is as difficult as when families have lost a loved one, but the body has not been discovered. We hear it all the time on the news: a grieving family, they know their loved one is dead, but the body has not been discovered. They need a body to bring “closure” and to walk through the grieving process.

But Mary Magdalene says there’s no body. It has been stolen. So Peter and the beloved disciple look in and confirm: Mary’s right! There’s no body here.

Then John adds more details. The strips of linen used to wrap Jesus’ body have been left behind, and off to the side, neatly folded, was the cloth that had been around his head. But there is still no body. And there is still no figure in the story who gives any helpful information. This story is just barely creeping along, with lots of little facts, but no real plot development.

The others disciples head back home, John tells us. But not Mary. Mary stays and cries. She finally musters up enough courage to poke her head inside the tomb to see for herself. This time, instead of just seeing an empty tomb and grave clothes, she sees two angels seated there: one where Jesus’ head had been laid, the other at the foot of where the body had been placed. Angels usually bring dramatic announcements. But there are no grand announcements from them, only a question, “Woman, why are you crying?” Through her tears she says it’s because they have taken Jesus’ body, and she doesn’t know where they’ve put Him.

The body is still gone, but that doesn’t mean resurrection. As the story unfolds in John’s Gospel, we’ve got an empty tomb, a lot of running back and forth, believing without yet seeing anything, and then tears. Buckets of tears. But still no body. Mary had come to find a body.

As the angels speak to her, they seem to see someone standing behind her. Mary turns to look over her shoulder, and she sees a man. She thinks He is the gardener. “Woman, why are you weeping?” He asks. “Who are you looking for?”“If you’ve taken him away, tell me where, and I’ll take him away.”

I’m not quite sure how she thought she would be able to move His body, but that’s what she said.

Then the man calls her by name, “Mary!” His sheep know His voice, He had said, and it’s true. Even when she doesn’t recognize His appearance, she knows His voice. Mary hears the voice that stilled the storms, the voice that called Lazarus from his tomb, the voice that brought multitudes into the very presence of God, the voice that spoke forgiveness, even from the Cross. He speaks her name; He knows her by name.

“Rabbi!,” she says, remembering Him as He used to be.

So many of us long for the way things used to be. We face difficult times and we just wish we could go back to some stage in our life and live it out again. A failed relationship. An illness that has changed the course of our life. A career that hasn’t gone as we had planned. If I could just rewind the tape and have a fresh go of it. To re-do the failures, or to re-live the successes. We want to hold onto the familiar times. That’s what Mary wants. If only she could go back to those moments when she was part of the crowd that heard Jesus teach. So she clutches Him so He can’t get away.

But Jesus says to her, “Don’t hold onto me.”

“Don’t hold onto me” sounds kind of harsh, but it reveals the truth of the resurrection. Resurrection is not going back to a time when things were better, and starting over. Resurrection is when the past is dead and we have a whole new life.

Resurrection always looks to the future, the new things God wants to do. But there is no resurrection without death.

Resurrection is good news, but at the same time, it’s sometimes painful first because there is death involved. Before the power of the resurrection can take hold in our own lives, we’re called to die to sin, to die to self. We may even have to die to our own dreams, so God can do what He wants to do in our lives. Resurrection is about seeing our world in a new way. Early that Easter morning, Mary saw things clearly, but she saw nothing clearly. She could rattle off the details, but nothing added up. Mary never did find what she came looking for that day, the dead body of Jesus. But she found something better than she could ever have imagined: the risen Jesus.

Sometimes, in our search for God’s presence in our lives and our world, what we think we want the most, we cannot have. What we get instead is an experience of God’s new ways of working in the world. That’s resurrection power. And when those moments come, then we, like Mary can’t help but spread the news: We have seen the Lord!

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Easter Pics

I just thought I'd add some pics Cherie sent from the Easter weekend.

Uhm....Sarah, I don't think that's your basket!!

Monday, April 17, 2006

Authorities Say Missing Teen's Kidnapping Story Was A Hoax

Taken from KCTV 5
Associated Press Writer
(AP) -- A popular 16-year-old girl's harrowing tale of being abducted at gunpoint from her family's driveway was a lie, authorities said Thursday, declining to say why the girl perpetrated the hoax.

The police and FBI said Kelsey Stelting acknowledged Thursday morning that the abduction "did not happen" and that she spent more than 16 hours alone in an area southwest of Independence.

Her disappearance prompted an Amber Alert, with the FBI bringing in 30 agents to join police and county officers in the search. Friends and family, meanwhile, papered the town with thousands of posters and fliers with her picture, and at least two churches held prayer vigils for her.

But police Chief Lee Bynum and FBI Special Agent Jeff Lanza said investigators never obtained any physical evidence to corroborate the girl's story, despite her frantic-sounding 911 call early Tuesday morning. Authorities never released a detailed description or drawing of the white male who the girl claimed kidnapped her, nor did they ever find the white van in which she supposedly had been kept.

When she reappeared Tuesday night at the front door of a two-story brick home less than a mile away from her own home, she told the occupants she clobbered her assailant with a glass in nearby woods and ran away.

Authorities acknowledged having suspicions early on that the girl's story was false, and Bynum said that by the time Stelting acknowledged lying, "It was not a surprise to me."

Said Lanza: "Pretty early on, things weren't adding up in terms of her story. If you have not one minor, even minor, small piece of evidence that corroborates a story, then you have a problem with the story. And we couldn't find anything at all that corroborated her story."

Bynum said police would turn over reports to the county's juvenile prosecutor late next week to determine whether charges would be filed. Lanza said he didn't foresee any federal charges.
In state court, she could be charged with filing a false police report, a misdemeanor. An adult charged with that crime would face a year in jail and a fine of up to $2,500.

Authorities would not say what motivated the girl.

"That's between her, her family," Bynum said. "You're asking us to make medical terminology that I'm not even going to touch at this point."

The family did not return calls seeking comment Thursday, but a family spokesman read a brief statement during a news conference.

"Given her state of mind Kelsey didn't realize the consequences of her actions, which she wholeheartedly regrets," Tim Valentine told reporters. "We've all made mistakes, and Kelsey just happened to make hers under the glare of the spotlight."

Valentine declined to answer questions after the statement.

On Wednesday, police released an audio file and transcript of the 911 call the teenager made.
In it, she said a man with a gun had approached her from behind in the driveway of her home about 6:30 a.m. Tuesday, forced her to run several blocks as he followed, then forced her into a white van sitting in front of a lumber yard.

"To me it sounded like there was distress there as well, and that was the initial indication that she had been kidnapped, besides just the call itself -- the tone of her voice," Lanza said. "Sometimes tones can fool you, and I guess that was the case here."

Bynum, noting Stelting is an athlete, said Thursday that the girl jogged to an area southwest of town, where she made the 911 call, then stayed there.

Neighbor Richard Basham said the girl had embarrassed the small southeast Kansas town.

"It destroys the trust in a small community. It just deteriorates a small town's integrity," he said. "She has to take responsibility for what she did. She hurt the community. "I don't feel sympathy. She really cheated the community."

Lanza and Gov. Kathleen Sebelius both said they did not think the case would hurt the Amber Alert system.

"I think people are always going to pay attention to Amber Alerts because they know that most of them involve an actual abduction, or a good percentage of them do," Lanza said. "People always pay attention to that, especially when you have a child of tender years, and that's what it's geared for."

In Topeka, Sebelius said in an interview that the Independence case wouldn't hurt the Amber Alert system "any more than a prank call diminishes 911."

Friends and acquaintances had described the girl as bright, a good student who is involved in activities such as softball, cheerleading, dance squad and student government. They said they didn't see signs of trouble at home or school or anything to cause them to doubt that she'd been abducted.

"Every single one of us will tell you that Kelsey's a very forthright young woman," Stelting's mother, Kelly Cox, said Wednesday. "If you listen to that 911 call, and I think if you're a mom or a dad, I think you hear in her voice the trauma, that she is afraid."

------Associated Press Writer Roxana Hegeman in Independence contributed to this report.
Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

Should I Let You See These....????

The time of the big day is finally drawing closer!!! Yup, in just over 2 months I'll FINALLY be married!!!! So all of the planning is beginning to come together. One of the things we're planning for is a video slideshow that Valerie's brother is putting together. It will play just before the beginning of the ceremony. So this past week I spent a day scanning photos of yours truly. And since I don't mind laughing at myself, or giving all of you something to laugh at, I thought in my infinite wisdom(or lack thereof) that I would share some of these photos with you!! So I hope you take time to realize all that I've done to become the hunk that I am today!!!!

Fantasy of Flight

This past weekend the Dixie Echoes found themselves traveling through central Florida. On Friday morning Randy got up early and took the bus to get some parts. Since he decided to do this early in the morning(before noon!) all of the rest of us stayed in bed trying to get as much sleep as possible. Eventually as we all started rolling out of our bunks, we were headed down Interstate 4 from Orlando to Lakeland where we were to sing that night.

We needed to stop for fuel so Randy pulled into a Pilot truck stop in Polk City, FL. While we were fueling I noticed an old bi-plane flying around above the truck stop. If you don't already know, Randy is a pilot and has recently finished building his own airplane!!!(no one has been willing to fly with him yet!!!) You can see and learn all about Randy's plane on his website here. But consequently the rest of us have learned a little bit about aircraft and flying so I notice more than before. When Randy came back to the bus I asked him if he had noticed the bi-plane flying above(dumb question), and of course he had. And he said to me, "And guess where we're going?" My immediate thought was, "Oh no, here we go, we're going to have to sit around on the bus all afternoon while Randy goes and pokes around some little airport trying to get a ride on that old bi-plane."

It just so happens that at the same exit as the truck stop was a place called Fantasy of Flight. This is a place that is a privately owned collection of vintage aircraft. Visit the website for all of the details. We actually had a great time there that afternoon! I would encourage you to stop in and visit Fantasy of Flight if you're ever in the central Florida area. Owner Kermit Weeks has 2 hangars jammed full of aircraft that he has purchased and restored covering the entire history of flight. Check out his collection here. You can also try your hand at a flight simulator and go back in time to WWII and fly a Corsair in a dog fight over the South Pacific. You can compete against your friends to see who gets the most kills. And there's lots, lots, more!!! There's just so much to do you need to check it out for yourself.

So I just happened to have my camera on hand and was able to snap a few shots of our day. Below are just a few of the pictures from the day.

Tracy(me), Scoot, and Dallas in front of a Consolidated B-24J "Liberator"
I suggested to Randy that he repaint is plane to match this Fokker D-VIIIHere is an original North American P-51c Mustang
B-25J Mitchell
A funny looking plane appropriately named "Duck"Curtiss Model "D" Headless Pusher
Your pilots for today's flight....
Randy standing in front of a replica of Charles Lindbergh's Spirit of St. LouisLockheed VegaOf course I had to get an Oklahoma connection in here! This is a close up of the side of the Lockheed Vega which has been painted to represent the original "Winnie Mae" that was flown by Oklahoma native, Wiley Post. You can read the flight records that are recorded on the side of the plane.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Kelsey Stelting Found Alive

Taken from
Tuesday, April 11, 2006

On Tuesday morning, April 11, Kansas authorities issued an Amber Alert (missing person alert) for 17 year-old Kelsey Stelting. The alert was issued shortly after she was taken from her home in Independence, Kansas.

Late Tuesday evening, authorities and news entities were reporting Kelsey was found alive in the Independence area.

According to KCTV5 television Tuesday morning in Kansas City, a male reportedly took Kelsey from her home at 215 E. Pine St. in Independence (located in southeast Kansas) to a business called Wood Lumber, about two blocks away. There, she was forced into a white van of unknown year and make.

The van then left, possibly southbound on U.S. Highway 75 at about 6:35 A.M., but authorities weren’t sure where the van was heading, KCTV5’s Sandra Olivas reported.

At approximately 4:08 P.M., the Kansas Amber Plan web site was reporting they had received several leads that were being investigated.

At 10:30 P.M., KCTV5 and the Kansas Amber Plan web site were reporting Stelting was found alive.

The Stelting family is actively involved in the Independence Church of the Nazarene. The church contacted NCN News Tuesday morning requesting assistance. They were asking Nazarenes around the world for their prayers to help bring Kelsey home safely. A Breaking News Prayer Request notice was released.

More information on this story will be posted when it's made available. As of late Tuesday evening, all that is known is Kelsey was found in the Independence, Kansas area, and she is alive.
--NCN News

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Amber Alert Issued for Nazarene Girl

Taken from
April 11, 2006
Independence, Kansas
Kansas authorities have issued an Amber Alert for 17 year-old Kelsey Stelting, taken from her home this morning (April 11).

According to KCTV5 television in Kansas City, a male reportedly took her from her home at 215 E. Pine St. in Independence, Kansas (located in southeast Kansas) to a business called Wood Lumber, about two blocks away. There, she was forced into a white van of unknown year and make.

The van then left, possibly southbound on U.S. Highway 75 at about 6:35 A.M., but authorities weren’t sure where the van was heading, KCTV5’s Sandra Olivas reported.

Stelting was wearing black gym clothes or workout attire.

She is described as being 5 feet 4 inches tall and weighing 110 pounds. She has blond hair and blue eyes.

Anyone with any information is urged to call 911, the Independence, Kansas Police Department at 620-332-1700 or the Kansas Bureau of Investigation at 1-800-KS-CRIME.

The Stelting family is actively involved in the Independence Church of the Nazarene. The church contacted NCN News this morning requesting assistance. They are asking Nazarenes around the world for their prayers to help bring Kelsey home safely.

For continuous updates on this Amber Alert, see the following Kansas Amber Plan web site:
--NCN News

Monday, April 10, 2006

A Pioneer Passes On

On April 9, 2006, just after midnight, J.G. Whitfield passed away at the age of 90. "Whit" was born in Santa Rosa County September 8, 1915 and then resided and worked in Pensacola, FL, until his death. His life was dedicated to singing and promoting Gospel music. His contributions to Southern Gospel music include the founding of the Florida Boys and the Dixie Echoes, assisting the formation of the Gospel Singing Jubilee, owning and operating the National Quartet Convention 1980-81 and founding its board of directors, founding the Singing News Magazine, promoting thousands of Southern Gospel concerts throughout the U.S. and much more.

For 27 years, he broadcast "The Pleezing Gospel Hour" on WPFA Radio for the Pleezing Grocery Store, 1980 North "T" Street. Whit and his wife Hazel owned and operated Pleezing Food Stores and Whit's Record Shop in Pensacola for many years.

Visitation will be Tuesday, April 11, from 4:00pm to 8:00pm in the Whitfield Center of the Calvary Way Full Gospel Church, 100 Jones St., in Pensacola. Funeral services will be held Wednesday, April 12, at 10:00am at Calvary Way Full Gospel Church with Pastor Carl Shiver and Pastor Jim Diamond officiating.

"Whit" is survived by Hazel, his wife of 47 years, sons Guy and Johnny, daughter Maurine, six grandchildren, three great-grandchildren and several nieces and nephews.

You can read all you want to know about "Whit" at these following links.

Southern Gospel Music Association

Myself and "Whit" at the Suwannee River Jubilee, June 2005

Monday, April 03, 2006

Strong Men in Marriage

Fellows, no matter what the feminists say, no woman wants to marry a weak man. I don't care what a woman says about submission, they want a man they respect enough to entrust their life to. Gloria Steinem, the queen of the feminist movement, once said, "We women have finally become the men we always wanted to marry." Women are looking for a real man, not abusive, not quick tempered, not rude or arrogant, and certainly not passive, but men who will make her feel safe, protected, and will lead her with strong unconditional love.

--Rev. Tommy Nelson

I first heard Rev. Nelson on Dr. James Dobson's radio program, Focus On The Family I've linked these two broadcasts for you to enjoy Rev. Nelson's view of romance, dating, sex, and marriage. He teaches all of this from the Song of Solomon with great insight and humor. I hope you enjoy it!

Please note that this is not recommended listening for children

Okay, so you admit it—dating can be a pain! But does that mean you should give up on relationships all together? Tommy Nelson shares from the Song of Solomon, and presents the secrets to building solid, Christ-centered dating relationships. Find out how you can master the art of courtship!

Solomon on Romance, Part 1

Rev. Tommy Nelson continues to offer wisdom for dating and married couples based on the Song of Solomon. He unpacks the imagery of "foxes that ruin the vineyards," equating them with dangers that threaten romantic relationships, such as unresolved conflict, poor communication and premarital sex. He also discusses the Song of Solomon's celebration of sex within the marriage relationship.

Solomon on Romance, Part 2

Rev. Tommy Nelson Online

No Pruning, No Fruit

And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.

Romans 8:28

Do you really believe God works for good in all things?

Being able to make that statement begins with acknowledging that God knows what He is doing. He is not only all-powerful, or sovereign, but also all-knowing. Even when pain and tragedy strike, we can trust God to know what is best for our good.

The problem is we don't know His plan. We would like to know the reason for our trials, but God doesn't always reveal it to us. We wonder how He could possibly cause this or that problem to work for good.

But through Scripture and the natural order, God gives us a hint that it can happen, even when we can't see how. Jesus said:

I AM the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it, that it may bear more fruit (John 15:1,2).

During the last several years, our own family has endured several such prunings. Barbara has weathered major heart surgery, the removal of a benign lump in her breast, five debilitating sinus infections, sinus surgery and Lyme's disease. And I have previously told of our son Samuel's bout with muscular dystrophy.

I don't know about you, but sometimes I grow a little weary from so many snips from pruning shears in my life.

But I really love the fruit bearing. While I wish it could happen without the pruning, life just doesn't work that way. Our family has experienced growth from the pruning. It has enriched my ministry to other families who hurt.

Scientists don't fully understand the pruning/fruit-bearing connection in the plant world. Why should I insist on understanding it in human lives? It's more important to bear fruit than to understand the pruning process.

How has God pruned you in the past in order to make you bear more fruit?

Excerpted from "Moments Together for Couples" by Dennis and Barbara Rainey.Used with permission. Copyright 1995 by Dennis and Barbara Rainey. Allrights reserved. To purchase the book, visit ->