Aug. 3, 2017

Dallas...Dinosaurs... and Dara...

“If history repeats itself, I am SO getting a dinosaur!”

“Real life would be more fun if we rode dinosaurs.”

“Dinosaurs aren’t extinct, they’re just hiding.”

Yes, friends and family, we’ve seen dinosaurs! Well, actually, we’ve seen so much more, having just returned from our annual July trip to Texas. We celebrated Emily’s 7th birthday at Chuck E. Cheese with about a million of her friends and their moms. We celebrated her mom’s birthday – our daughter, Crissy, (age undisclosed) – at Salt Grass with just the Texas family. Salt Grass is another one of those places like Claim Jumper that features chocolate cake with about eleven layers. Man, but that’s good! We went to breakfast at the brand new iHOP in Wylie. We went to the movies and saw The Emoji Movie. We saw Spiderman! We spent a lot of time hanging out, going out to lunch, shopping, playing checkers and tic-tac-toe. We ate fantastic Chinese food from P F Chang’s and Ming Moon, the local take-out place. We had pizza at The Rock and Jessie and Emily had mac and cheese, French fries and fruit every place. We had pink candy-cane martinis and ribs at TGI Friday’s. We had champagne at Crissy’s in-laws house, darling Mike and Dianne, and I even cooked a little,  finishing off our visit by baking my famous, and much sought after, cinnamon coffeecake.

AND we went to Ft. Worth to see Dinosaurs! Live! John and I were so impressed with Crissy for finding the right place, parking in the exact right place, and then resisting the sales pressure on every side to Buy! Buy! Buy! This whole thing was awesome with really huge robotic dinosaurs of every kind imaginable who moved and roared and looked terrifying. We loved it all and came away with a pink stuffed dinosaur for Emily and a blue stuffed dinosaur for Jessie at the bargain price of $19.95 each. Nobody got eaten, nobody got in trouble and we were all done just about when John and I really needed to sit down. No chairs at Dinosaurs! Live!

And we got to go to church twice at First Baptist Church of Wylie, which is simply amazing and wonderful. Their Pastor, Dr. Kris Segrest, is a great speaker, deliverer of God’s Word, and terrific story teller. He’s 40ish or a little less. To show you what kinda guy he is, his first Sunday at First Baptist he rode his motorcycle up onto the platform. He’s that kinda guy. The kinda guy who brings people in in droves. Young people attached to babies and toddlers by the score. Young people, middle-aged people, older folks, all of whom are beyond friendly. Smiles abound! With three packed services on Sunday, one on Saturday night, and an expansion program underway, they’re doing something right. We love getting to visit there.

The Mission Statement at First Baptist is this: Spreading God’s fame (the vision) by making disciples (the mission) of all people (the goal).

Here’s what I wanted to share with all of you out there in Blog-land, a story Pastor Kris told about being on a flight from Dallas to New York. He started out by saying what we all know, which is you sit down on the plane and the person next to you is either going to let you catch a few zzzz’s and read your book or they’re going to be your new best friend. Kris got on, hoping for the former but when the woman next to him said, “want some gum??” he knew she was going to be his next best friend. She gaily chatted with him using language enough to curl what was left of his hair, and eventually asked him what he did. “I’m an evangelist!” he said. “Oh good,” she said, and launched into what was wrong with Christians. Eventually, he had the opportunity to express God’s love for her. His gift of grace to her. His sacrifice for her. His eternal seeking to bring her into His kingdom. His forgiveness, no matter what she’d done. She sat and listened with tears streaming down her face. Everything Kris said brought more weeping. Finally, he told her that she could step into God’s love and forgiveness right that very minute. That she didn’t have to do a single thing except ask Jesus into her heart.

But she said... no. She said...no. He told her God loved her as though she were the only one in the world to love. But she said...no. She wept and said...no. We could see that he is still suffering over this. To be offered the joy of God’s love and to turn it down. He is still praying for her. And so are we.

“For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul.”

Mt. 16:26