Every year around the first of December, Millie and I try to take a trip to Branson, Missouri, as my “Birthday Trip.” This past year (2013) was no exception. This time was to be special. We were going for the express purpose of seeing a live performance of one of my favorite Christmas movies, “It’s a Wonderful Life!” at Silver Dollar City. This is a movie that I try to see at least once each Christmas season.
What was to make this trip extra special was that we found out not long before we were to leave that our special friends, Bob and Mickey Ward had made plans to be in Branson at the same time. If you read my articles with any regularity, you know that Bob, my brother is Christ, is closer to me than any brother could be even if we had been born in the same family. Both of us had made plans to be there not knowing that the other was going to be there.
Bob and Mickey arrived on Sunday, a day before Millie and I were to be there. On our way down, Bob texted me that they had seen “It’s a Wonderful Life!” on Sunday afternoon and it was great! (I must admit, I was a little envious)
Millie and I arrived on Monday and began to make plans to get tickets for Silver Dollar City, but found out that they were closed Monday through Wednesday. So, we got our tickets for Thursday. This was the week of December 2nd. If you have a good memory, you begin to get some idea of what was coming.
That’s right! We began to look at the weather and the threats grew larger and larger. But still, it looked like the greatest threat for Branson was not until Friday (the day we were scheduled to leave). So, we had high hopes! But as the days passed, the forecasts began to change. We began to be a bit undecided as to what we should do! And, I really wanted to see “It’s a Wonderful Life!”
By Wednesday, we were very uncertain that we should stay until Friday. That evening we called Bob & Mickey and told them we had decided to get tickets for the Christmas show at the Andy Williams theatre and get our money back for Silver Dollar City. Then we were going to start home on Thursday. Bob and Mickey said they had decided to do the same, so we enjoyed the Osmond Brothers and Lennon Sisters together and started home on Thursday.
And, are we happy that we did! The longer we travelled toward home, the clearer the Lord made it to us that we had made the right decision. It took us a lot longer to make the trip home because of the weather. And, as we drew near Harrisburg, my secretary, Cheryl, called to inform us that the mother of one of our dear friends and church members was critically ill in Harrisburg Medical Center. She called just in time to make it possible for us to stop by the hospital to pray with our friends.
God is so good! And, His timing is always just right! The Psalmist writes, “I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living” (Psalm 27:13). As we look back at 2013, may we see “the goodness of the Lord” even in the storms (and snow storms). And, as we step into 2014, may we not “lose heart” as we remember God’s goodness; and may we live courageously!
Once again, the weather interrupted plans this past weekend as we had to cancel the worship with the Sons of the Father. But we will reschedule with them soon!
Now I look forward to Sunday, January 12th. Millie’s and my children and grandchildren will join us to lead the Morning Worship. Barring any unforeseen obstacles, all 18 of us will be present. Actually, this is a postponement of December 29th (our Wedding Anniversary). Most of us will sing a few songs together (some prefer not to sing). Then our son, Matt, will bring the morning message. I would like to invite you to join us that day at 10:40 a.m.
SEE YOU IN SUNDAY SCHOOL!