OZARK ADVENTIST ACADEMY STUDENTS WALKING TO CHURCH
Last Saturday, Gina and I drove the three and a half hour drive to Gentry, Arkansas. Gentry is where Ozark Adventist Academy is located. My daughter Cynda and my son Gavin both attended High School at Ozark. We were going to Ozark because it was Young Alumni weekend, and Gavin had been asked to give the Sabbath morning sermon at the Gentry SDA Church.
We left Mena early in the morning with temperatures in the upper forties. As we were traveling on I-540 we noticed that many of the cars coming from the north had snow on them. As we got nearer our destination we saw snow on rooftops, and began to see some white on the ground. When we got out of the car we were met with an arctic blast. a temperature of about 20 degrees with a stiff breeze.
OZARK ADVENTIST ACADEMY CAMPUS IN THE SNOW
Even though it was cold outside, we received a warm welcome when we arrived at the Gentry SDA Church. The greeter was an old friend who we had known from the time we lived in Loveland, Colorado in the 70's. It was a wonderful church service that highlighted the young alumni who were in attendance. Gavin gave the sermon titled "I Have Seen God". He recounted how he had seen God in the lives of those around him.
GAVIN AT THE PULPIT OF THE GENTRY SDA CHURCH
He made a special point of mentioning his parents and grandparents. He made Gina cry when he told a moving story of how his Grandpa Ready had shown him unconditional love. One day when Gavin was four years old he asked his mother if he could call Papa Ready. Gina dialed the number and let Gavin talk to his Papa. Gavin asked, "Papa would you come have some hot chocolate with me". Papa Ready told him, "I can't come today but I will come tomorrow". Papa Ready lived in Denver, Colorado over 900 miles away. He drove 900 miles to have a cup of hot chocolate because a little boy that he loved asked him to.
Gavin challenged us to be the kind of people who show God's love to others. What kind of examples are we. Do we show the people around us what God is really like?
You can watch the video of Gavin's sermon by clicking on the arrow in the box below
VIDEO OF GAVIN'S SERMON
After church we got to catch up with friends that we hadn't seen for a long time; Steve and Rebecca Burton, Marlin and Marice Clegg, and Jim Bieber. We spent the afternoon visiting Marlin and Marice and making friends with their dog Piper. I have known Marlin all of my life. Our mothers were in nursing school together in Madison, Tennessee. I give him a hard time by telling him that he is my oldest friend.
MARLIN'S BACK YARD IN THE SNOW
By the time we headed back home, the roads had become icy and slick. There was glare ice on the side roads. Once we got to the interstate the roads were only slick in spots, especially the bridges. Once we went through the tunnel on I-540 south of Fayetteville there was no more snow and the roads were fine. I was thankful that the drive over the Boston Mountains was on good roads with no snow or ice. It was a long day but a wonderful one.
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I was born in 1956 in Madison, Tennessee, while my parents were attending Madison College. I grew up along the Front Range in Colorado, attending schools in Longmont, Brighton, Boulder and Loveland, Colorado. Two years after graduating from Campion Academy, I married my sweetheart, Regina. We lived in Loveland, Colorado for six years before moving to Mena in western Arkansas.
I love the people of Mena and the friendly easy going way of life here. I have owned and operated my own business since moving to Mena. I enjoy the natural beauty of western Arkansas and being out of doors.
My newspaper column in The Mena Star, An Arkie’s Faith, premiered on January 7, 2016. In March 2017, I published my first book, titled An Arkie's Faith, using articles from the column.