I just wanted to share with you a picture of my new truck. It was given to me from my wife Madge as a Valentine’s Day gift. I was tickled to get it, and it sure does taste good.
From the banks of Flat Creek
Living along the banks of Flat Creek
It seems sometimes that the seasons of my life have been stricken with only the “Winter” mode, and that of my wife as well. This is not meant to capture anyone’s sympathy, empathy or what ever, but I pray it will encourage you. I know, and am trusting completely in our Lord’s goodness, grace and love. He holds my life, my wife’s life, all our family’s lives in His powerful hands.
You see I cannot see the finished picture which He is painting for my life. I have only what is today; however, He sees the complete picture. When He is finished with this painting it will be a glorious picture which will glorify His Son Jesus. No work He has began in me or any of His children will fail.
Before I go on with this let me tell you what my wife and I have found out from our doctor, and blood tests. According to my last blood test I have a high glucose level, and a failing liver. She has also told me that my kidneys are only functioning at 60% (just the other day a woman gave one of her kidneys to her husband whose kidneys had failed completely, so she is on fifty percent kidney function) WOW!!! Thank the Lord.
My wife has an aortic anyrism (an enlarged aorta of the heart). When it was first discovered she was told it was at a 4, and when it reached a 5, they would need to do surgery. We were told Monday that it is now at 4.5. The surgery we have been told would be open heart surgery. I am so thankful that our God who has created all things, and holds all things together has it all in His mighty, everlasting hands.
We have also determined to fight these things through prayer, praise, and eating right, or at least closer to right, and getting some much needed exercise, starting with walking as often as we possibly can.
He can heal us if He chooses to do so, and we would be thankful, and we are thankful to Him for the privilege and “Right” through His Son Jesus for having a personal relationship with Him.
Jesus our Savior and God is the Creator of all, is worthy of our praise. We will love Him, serve Him, and will not bow to the words of men or the devil; but we will praise and serve the LORD of hosts. There is no rest without this God and Savior who died on the cross for our sins.
Look to Him today. Have peace through faith in Him. Live His faith.
Give thanks for every day you can arise from your bed, take a breath, take a step, look into the early morning skies and see the stars, the moon, the planets, and have a knowledge that there is the Creator. There are those who cannot do those things and are thankful still.
When we are oppressed by the rough seasons of our lives; let’s be sure we make it a season of praise to our Creator.
-Tim A. Blankenship
Our family of 5 children, minus one (he and his wife were away to Florida for their 6th Anniversary), their spouses, and our grandkids had our annual family get together at our son Philip’s and wife Sarah’s home in Booneville, AR. Our eldest son Timothy, his wife Sarah, their three kids; Naomi, Josiah, and Eli; along with Madge and I journeyed down that way last Thursday evening – Madge and I rode with them. Charity, husband Paul and their three kids; Rachelle, Jonathan, and Caitlyn beat us there. Monica, husband Sam, and Addison came along on Friday evening. It was James and Amber who was away for their Anniversary, and we missed them being with us, but understand.
On Friday my parents Mike and Juanita were brought down by my sister Jane so we could go up Magazine Mountain. They have quite the park on the mountain, and we enjoyed the beautiful day which our LORD provided us. There were several scenic view areas and you could see for miles and miles. You can see the Arkansas River from those views, and it is about thirty miles North of there.
My Dad enjoys things like that, as do I, and we had a very good time. I think Dad was exhausted, as was Mom, and they drove back home that afternoon. We were all pretty worn out for the day.
On Saturday we spent the day playing, enjoying the weather, each other’s company, and that evening we went swimming in the City Park Swimming Pool. We had rented it for a couple of hours. No one there but the Blankenship family, and the Life Guards. It was a nice way to spend the evening and to finish off the day.
Following church on Sunday we had Sunday Dinner together with Philip and Sarah Joyce, Rene’e, and Natalie (Philip’s and Sarah’s two). We packed up and returned home. We arrived home around 5:30 p.m. and spent the evening resting.
We missed the people of our church on Sunday. Look forward to being back this Sunday. They are like family to us. Best people I have ever had the privilege of being their pastor. I pray that I can become a better pastor for them, and always proclaim God’s Word for them to hear.
Great weekend. Great kids and grandkids. Majestic God and Savior. What a wonderful life.
-Tim A. Blankenship
Here in Southwest Missouri we have seen a good amount of Spring thunderstorms. I get the chance to view the activity of some of them. I love watching the bolts of lightning as they flash across the sky, and light up the darkness. Not too many months ago I had just driven out on a nearby highway headed into Cassville about 5:30 a.m. during a storm, and a bolt of lightning came down pretty close to where I was. You talk about a loud clap of thunder, and I let out a whoop. It startled me at first, but then I thought WOW!!!, that was awesome
This morning as I was driving into Cassville, and it was about fifteen minutes later or about 5:45 a.m. and off near the horizon; that I could see; there was a flash of lightning that lit up the whole western sky within the clouds. That was a beautiful sight to behold. It made me think of Nahum 1:3, “The LORD is slow to anger and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked. The LORD has His way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of His feet.” (NKJV).
The other night some had heard that a nearby community; the one that I grew up in; was under a tornado warning. Some of our family called to check on us, worried that we might have been near it. I went outside, looked to the south, and southwest, then all around, and there were no low lying clouds, not any that looked threatening at all. A daughter in law called doing the same thing, and her husband, our son, could be heard in the background saying, “Tell Dad to come in from watching that tornado”. My kids know me. I have always enjoyed the storms. I have to admit that should we ever get hit by a tornado I might not be so anxious to see one again, but then I don’t know.
I hurt and weep for those who are touched by the storms; whethere it is by flooding, winds, tornadoes, hail, or lightning it would be a horrible thing. In the midst of all this though we must remember “The LORD has His way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of His feet.” He is sovereign and in control of even the storms that touch our lives. Even the storms that have to do with sickness, finances, and He especially cares for our spiritual need of knowing Him. This wasn’t meant to be a sermon or even a Bible Study, but I hope any who read it may find encouragement in their storm.
There will be many more storms, much more lightning, more tornadoes, more hail, more straight line winds, and there will be more destruction, and more lives touched by the storms. How we handle them declares our faith in God or our lack thereof.
The next time you see that bolt of lightning, or a flash which I saw this morning, remember who is much more powerful than all the lightning ever lightninged [new word!!!], and the winds that have ever blown, all the tornadoes that have ever twisted their way through cities, farms, towns and homes, and more powerful than all the floods that ever flowed. His name is Jesus. To that I say WOW!!!!!
The past two weeks have been pretty busy for my wife and I. We have enjoyed the days though. On the fourth of July we had our Blankenship family, friends and neighbors celebration down at the swimming hole, with picnic, fireworks and all. On the weekend preceeding the ninth we had our kids and grandkids at the house for our annual family get together.
My previous writing was concerning produce in our garden, which has been greatly neglected. With the rain and lack of time to get to it it has only been tilled one time. Yet, it is producing. My wife Madge and I went on Friday and dug some new potatoes, picked some green tomatoes, some bell peppers and some cucumbers.
On the ninth Madge and I headed to Mt. Vernon, MO. to join others in the kitchen of Baptist Hill Campground for Barry County Southern Baptist Association’s annual Children’s Camp. We were about a dozen strong doing kitchen work, cooking, distributing salads, drinks, cereals, and such as that. It was a long day for about four days. The day started for me at 4 a.m. with my regular devotion times, then, at 5 would go to the cafeteria where some of the men would have a cup of coffee and fellowship a few minutes before getting breakfast started.
As soon as breakfast was over and the pots and pans were clean we started lunch, then as soon as lunch was over we started preparing for supper (dinner). There was rarely a time to relax. I don’t mean that as a complaint. The time flew by. It was also a joy to see those 280 campers come by getting their meals. Many of them were saying “Thank you” as they went through the line being served the food for that meal. That was a great thing.
One of the best things was having a young lady tell of her receiving Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior. An update from our Director of Missions was that there were 20 decisions for salvation. That is sure one of the worthy affects of camp. We praise our God of grace and mercy