Sunday, September 28, 2008

50th Anniversary 1958 -2008

50 Years and moving forward

As a teenager I dreamed of being a Navy chaplain and seeing the world. I never dreamed that God in His infinite wisdom had a different plan for me where I would minister and still see more than I ever thought possible. Which I must conclude I could have never improved on what He had chosen for me.

Not only have I had a good life, I have had a wonder helpmate who gave us sons that brought joy to our lives. She cared for them so much in our early marriage while I was away before we could travel together.

Now our children have children, and we are together again to share, as we did then, each others joy, along with illness or displeasure that might affect us. But we do it together.

The last two years have been rough years for us. I spend a total of 143 days in St. Louis hospitals and Parkland in Farmington . This year my wife was operated on in Nashville, Tennessee and later air vac back there for another five week stay. When I saw the helicopter lift into the sky from the hospital pad I felt so alone. No wonder Benjamin Disraeli said, “Teenage is a mistake, middle age a struggle, but old age a regret.” These were days when we thought our togetherness would end, but due to God’s provision we continue to share each other.

I am so thankful for the many doctors, nurses, and staff members that I now call close friends. Some even visit us in our home or meet us for a meal. Due to my long stays in the hospitals in St. Louis, I became like a resident pastor to so many who sought my prayer or advice. Some were foreign born working in various roles. Many were Hindu, Buddhists, Oriental, Black, or people totally unreligious, that became my friends and I theirs. God did me a great favor in allowing me to meet such wonderful people. Perhaps, my travels to so many lands had prepared me because I understood the cultures and sometimes the languages. I can honestly say, “God is an awesome One.” What an opportunity to share the abundant life of Christ to seekers and hurting ones.

Farmington and friends everywhere shared during both our times of crisis and we are so grateful for you. Over 450 cards from around the world came to us. Phone calls from pastors or friends came daily. Over 10,000 emails came before I could respond or delete then while in rehab where I had access to the Internet. Even the CEO of that hospital became my daily coffee partner and friend. Visits to the hospital helped us know you cared. We have not forgotten--nor has our precious Lord.

Recently, friends from Ohio called and asked us to go with them to Branson. They knew I was unable to drive at that point. They detoured just for us. What a time we had. This was the first time we have really enjoyed ourselves in a vacation setting for over two years.

Travel has really changed since I was a lad. The driver pushed a button and a voice replied, “Where do you want directions to?”
“Branson , Missouri to the so and so motel,” she stated.
“I am downloading your directions. Have a good day!”
What was so disconcerting I couldn’t even backseat drive, because someone out on some star did all the directing. It was truly interesting to a boy who remembers when there was no TV, jet airplanes; and when electricity came to our home for the first time.

Likewise, two weeks ago we visited one of our sons in Ohio , and then spent a week in Gatlinburg before going to Nashville to see my wife’s doctor for a checkup. Even there, friends prepared a resting place and special dinner at a friend’s home for four families that have been longtime friends.

Friends! That is what life is all about. It is even said of Christ that he is a friend that sticks closer than a brother. What a fact!

You know a lot about us, so we want to know more about you. Therefore, my wife and I, want to invite you to join us as we celebrate our 50 years of marriage together, at the First Free Will Baptist Church, 305 W. Columbia, Farmington, this Saturday, October 4th at 2 p.m. as our son, Steven Loveless from Tulsa, Oklahoma, will officiate as we renew our wedding vows in the church sanctuary. Afterwards, meet with us for the reception provided in the church fellowship until 4 p.m.

Leviticus 25:11, “A jubilee shall that fiftieth year be unto you…”

Monday, September 22, 2008



During a recent trip to Tulsa, Oklahoma, we stopped at our favorite restaurant near Fort Leonardwood, Missouri for lunch.

After ordering, I noticed a number of military officers, with an unusual mix of larger men wearing the dress of another country.

Being the curious person I am I walked over to visit the table of 12 to 14 men and developed a conversation with them. Within minutes I learned they were from American South Samoa who had come to celebrate the retirement of one their own. In the midst, was the governor of that country who was sitting next to a Major General. Suddenly, I saw I was in the company of high officials.

While standing with them the Samoan men began to sing, causing a hush that calmed the noise of the large eating area. Everyone stopped and just listened. While we didn’t understand the language, the melody and harmony was beautiful. It was like a trained male choir. Afterwards, I inquired about the song and was told it was a song of thanksgiving for the meal.

Later in the day we arrived in Joplin, Missouri, where we were to spend the night with a long time friend. We were able to celebrate the 81st birthday with our friend and her son and family. It was indeed a joy to renew old memories.

Continuing for Tulsa we decided to visit the Will Rogers Memorial in Claremore, Oklahoma. As we turned into the parking area we immediately saw it was full and even the streets we all lined with cars. On our second trip through the lot we stopped a man and asked what was going on there today?

“An event of the Cherokee Nation was his reply.”

We had just wanted to visit the memorial, I told him, and he told us to park on the grass near the entrance to the door with his permission. He was the director of the memorial so I thought it would be safe for us to do so.

To our amazement we found some very interesting booths and met many Native Americas who asked who we were and welcome us to their concave.

While my camera was clicking a number of our new friends, a beautiful young lady was approaching us in Indian dress with a sash draped across her which read Miss Cherokee.

After a few minutes I learned her name was Little Feather and she had just been crowned Miss Cherokee. The 19 year old beauty submitted to my request of a picture with her and then of her father.

We spent a good part of the mid-day in the building and memorial grounds which brought back many things about Will Rogers who himself was a Cherokee.

So we finished our trip to stay in a motel so we could make a surprise entrance into the church for a Pastor Appreciation service the church was providing for our son.

The service was already started when we slipped into the back of the church where we waited to be introduced as speaker for the occasion. What a surprise it was to him as we walked to the platform visible for the first time to him and the church.

So this week was full of surprises. First, the governor of South Samoa, second a celebration with an old friend, thirdly to meet the Cherokee Princess and then our pastor son.

Life may have its special days but there is coming a day we have heard about all our lives. That day will be when we meet the Lord face to face.

“But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.” II Peter 3:10.

Sunday, September 14, 2008


Hostel in Northern Spain

My wife and I had completed a weekend of speaking at a church near Madrid, Spain and were to travel to southern France the next day to speak to a concave of Missionaries from Spain and France.

The next morning we left headed north on the winding highway meeting and passing hundreds of cars on the narrow highway. Our driver, who understood Spanish drivers made an additional lane in the middle section of the highway and blew his horn repeatedly to warn of our presence. To say I was terrified would be a correct evaluation of my feelings.

As darkness was beginning to present itself we stopped at a hotel that had been built in an old castle. It was unique and would have been a good place to stay, but our missionary companions thought it was a bit high. So we traveled about two more hours until starting into the high Pyrenees with rugged forested hills and canyons, and the snowcapped mountains of the Pyrenees themselves.

We entered a small village and we pulled into a hostel and found they had room for four. At the check-in we were not told that they were without water for the toilets or for the heat boilers. It was very late by now and we didn’t desire to go farther since it had taken so long to find this place. We went into the little cafĂ© that was ready to close and ate what they had left to offer then headed for our room. With nothing working we went to bed. Our beds were narrow, only enough for one, and we were weighted down with heavy quilts. We could barely move and nearly froze to death.

I was nearly asleep when my wife asked if she could move in with me because she was cold. Since the beds were so narrow, we soon learned she would have to move back to her own bed, because it was so uncomfortable for two. What a night to remember! My wife and I rejoiced for a roof over our heads, but didn’t get much rest.

In our 50 years together we have had many interesting events. This one causes us to have a frigid feeling each time we remember it.

“Whensoever I take my journey into Spain, I will come to you: for I trust to see you in my journey and to be brought on my way thitherward by you, if first I be somewhat filled with your company.” --Romans 15:24

Sunday, September 7, 2008


My wife and I, along with a team of four others, had flown from Columbus, Ohio to Jamaica to conduct Vacation Bible Schools in six churches in the interior of the country near Montego Bay.

My former employer had donated over six thousand dollars worth of VBS material and had previously shipped it to the location where we would be teaching. Other suppliers had given us glue, scissors, and other items we would need to make the school a success in an area where things like these were not as available.

During the week we enjoyed a combined attendance of over 1100 students and local workers who we taught in advance how to use the school material. It was a wonderful experience watching the children, most of whom had walked 5-6 miles through jungle like areas or banana fields to and from the churches. We were amazed at the dedication of their attendance and desire to learn more about the Bible characters in each lesson.

On our return to the airport to check in our rented van, we had to detour due to a large crowd of people surrounded by about 50 police and military personnel. As we got closer we saw that a cow was tied to a telephone pole and was groaning loudly. I was still without understanding for the large gathering until I was stuck with the amazement that both rear hams and legs had been cut off of the cow. No wonder it was mourning in pain.

I later learned the cow had wandered into the street and was hit by a car damaging it. Since cows are not supposed to be loose, the driver of the car took the amount of estimated damages to his car from the animal fulfilling an unwritten code of the area.

As we flew out that afternoon the discussion surrounded the subject of the dying cow.

Nearly 2000 years ago there was another sacrifice on a pole. This was when Christ died to pay the price for the sins of the world. It was enough that the father in heaven accepted it as “Paid in full.”

Ephesians 5:2
“And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling savour.”