Woodlawn CC

Woodlawn CC

Monday, April 21, 2014


Well I pray that you all had a wonderful and restful Easter Sunday.  Our family attended the 8:30 am service at Benson Baptist for Easter Worship.  It was a full house with a mix of the normal early service folks, some of the second service folks and no small number of the folks that only seem to be able to make it to church for Christmas and Easter.  Pastor Paul and his staff put together a great worship time and the choir did a wonderful job with their portion.  It's sad that these days one rarely sees a full choir perform for a worship service.

I still haven't gotten Maddie to get the video for my Palm Sunday Sermon online for me, though she apparently found out what was going on and loaded an app on her phone and computer.  She was in the process of uploading from her phone yesterday but never got to the point where she was ready to put the video on youtube for me.  Hopefully, she'll get it up for me next weekend when she's home again.  If not I'm going to have to breakdown and buy an actual video camcorder so I don't have to rely on her phone.

The Maundy Thursday Service at Judson went very well and was a nice little service.  Not a big crowd but it's a very small church and there is a limited number of folks that come to Maundy Thursday Services anyway, but the church has always had a service for Holy Thursday and we kept that tradition alive for them.  Gail recorded the service on her phone but it's too long to put up, I can't believe anyone but me would commit the time to watch it all again.  We recorded it strictly for my own use in reviewing and correcting anything that needs to be corrected in future services.  I haven't tried taking it off of Gail's phone actually since it's the exact same phone as Maddie's I'm sure I'll run into the same conflicts, sometimes I don't think it's worth updating your technology.

On Friday night several of the men from Sunset Hills Baptist met me at Mary Alice's (Gail's mother) house and helped me clean up her yard.  She has some enormous trees and we pulled 43 lawn bags of leaves and 8 trash cans of branches out of her small back yard.  The front yard had already been cleaned up for spring.  There is likely another 2 or 3 bags worth of leaves back there but we ran out of bags and it was getting dark as well.  My mentor Bob Molby was one of the men and we visited for a while after the rest of the men had left.  I loaned Bob a couple of books when we had lunch a couple weeks back and he returned them to me already.  Bob preached at Judson Baptist yesterday and I haven't heard how it went but Bob has so many years in the pulpit that there is no way he can give anything but a great sermon.

Maddie's car broke down on her Friday night as she was running an errand and we had to have it towed to the shop.  I'll be waiting today to hear just what is the matter with it, not exactly what I needed right now as her last installment of tuition is due this week as well.  Going to be an expensive week.  Oh well, the Lord will provide I'm certain of that.

My preaching engagement for May has been canceled as the Pastor of the Church where I was to preach has had a change in their travel plans and will be in town that weekend after all.  I continue to pray and anticipate more chances to preach and spread the good news of God's abundant love and endless grace.  I shall continue to wait in anticipation as to where this path He has placed me on will ultimately lead.

May you all be richly blessed and find comfort in the Lord for whatever trials may come your way this week.

In God's Grace & Peace,

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Palm Sunday with Judson Baptist

This morning Gail, Maddie and I attended worship services at Judson Baptist Church in La Vista.  I had been invited to do pulpit supply for them on this Palm Sunday.  It was a great worship service, in spite of the fact that due to the weather their organist was stuck in Lincoln.  We went without an accompanist for the hymns and it went just fine.  My sermon was entitled "His Will" and it seemed to be very well received by the congregation, with a great many of them commenting on how much they enjoyed it or needed to hear that message.

There was cake and refreshments after the service and then we went along with approximately twelve of the church members and had lunch at the Pizza Ranch.  I'd never been to the Pizza Ranch but it was very good, and I'll have to remember it when I next need a 'cheat meal'.

Gail and I will be going back to Judson this coming Thursday night to conduct a Maundy Thursday Service for them.  They are currently without a Pastor, and so I am filling in for these two events for them and then my friend and mentor Bob Molby will be conducting the Easter Sunday Service for them.

We truly enjoyed our visit with the folks at Judson, they are a very friendly and laid back congregation, and are very open and welcoming to visitors.  I'm very much looking forward to seeing them all again Thursday night and I think we have a good program set up for them.

Maddie did record a video of the service but for some reason it's giving her fits trying to upload it to youtube or photobucket.  I'm not sure what the issue is but I'll keep fussing with it and sooner or later I'll get it up for you all to view.

Yesterday April 12th was as always the toughest day of the year for Gail and I.  April 12th was the day that our second child Wyatt Christian Karlen was born into heaven.  It's hard to believe that it's been 21 years now since we lost that little one, but the pain is still there.  When we lost our little boy we immediately decided that we did not want to have him buried in case we ended up in another part of the world, and he would be left behind here in Omaha.  So we had his little body cremated and since there were no urns that were available suitable for a baby we went to a silversmith and had a silver piggy bank modified to become an urn.  This little bank has several teddy bears on the top of it and so we started the tradition of purchasing a small crystal or pewter teddy bear for Wyatt each year.  

Our agreement is that Wyatt will be buried with which ever one of us passes first.  But I can tell you that if I survive my lovely wife, I will continue to purchase these little bears up until the day I too pass.  I honestly think Gail will likely do the same, and I wouldn't be at all surprised if that once we're both gone Maddie will continue to collect bears for her big brother.  She has always been very keen on being involved in selecting these birthday gifts and I know the ritual is very important to her as well.

It's late and I need to get some rest so with that I'll post again come Thursday or Friday, until then...

God's Blessing & Grace to you all