Travel

Digging It – Friday Photo Journal

digareaKids are not the only age group that enjoys digging. Patty began planning once she learned we would be grandparents. Day trips. “Once the boys are old enough,” she would say, ” we are going to take them on some trips here in Oklahoma.” Every Saturday she funds her imagination with Discover Oklahoma. It paid off.

A couple of weeks ago we took our first day trip with the boys. We let their parents tag along for good measure. Our designation? The Great Salt Plains near Jett, Oklahoma. Why the Great Salt Plains? We were going crystal digging, selenite crystals to be exact.

pattykjdiggingOur event would be no spectator sport. Grammy had as much fun as the boys, maybe more. Patty and Kimberly kept digging and skimming. We learned as we went. “Dig a 2 foot by 2 foot hole. Skim the edges of the hole and the sandy dirt hole that fills with water.” I am not sure we actually found any selenite. We still need to wash and examine our haul.

tddiggingTommie took digging to a whole nutha level. We monitored her closely lest she dig a hole so deep she might disappear.

theboysdiggingThe boys? Well, when there is room to roam, roaming they will do. They dig a hole and it ended up being big enough for the both of them. They were not real interested in finding crystals. But, Max found the salty dirt to his liking. Cohen simply saw the wide open space and it was work just to keep him in our dig area. At one point we looked up and he and Grammy looked to be a quarter of a mile away.

We dug for about two and a half hours. It was enough to work up an appetite. We found a Mexican food restaurant in Enid and took care of our growling stomach.

maxdigging

“Max Digging” – Copyright 2013 Todd Littleton

cohenexploring

“Cohen Exploring” – Copyright 2013 Todd Littleton

Now our appetite is truly whetted for the next trip. It may be the Fall before we take another day trip. Before then we will load the boys up and head for Missouri and our annual Family Vacation fishing trip. I am thinking the boys may need a bit more time to enjoy the confines of a boat. However, we will be sure to find fun and the pool and beyond.

Good Friday – Shouldering the Cross

Last year I was in Guatemala the weekend before Palm Sunday. The annual parade includes life size figures telling the story of Jesus. Look close and you will see an interesting image. A person shouldering the cross of Jesus. Quite the image.

"Shouldering the Cross" - Copyright 2013 Todd Littleton

“Shouldering the Cross” – Copyright 2013 Todd Littleton

 

You Won’t Hear Pastor Pedro from the Big Stage

More than 30 years ago, before Southern Baptists discovered Church Planting Movements, CPM’s, and adopted the same for a growth strategy, Pastor Pedro began planting churches. He traveled by foot. He planted thirty-four churches in thirty-two years.

Pastor Pedro

Pastor Pedro

We stopped to meet Pastor Pedro. His son-in-law helped with our translation needs for the Pastor’s Seminar. Pastor Pedro came to the first couple of events associated with the Pastor’s Seminar. He could not make this one. His health would not allow the travel.

He sat in his chair moved by the visit. His tears moved us. We may have not understood his words, but we did understand his heart. Not the one giving him physical trouble. The one that drove his steps, the one that considered the needs of others more than his own.

Quietly and unmotivated by the need to be heard far and wide, Pastor Pedro planted churches.

I recall an event my mentor once shared from his pastoral experience. We Southern Baptists would call it revival that led to evangelism. The church he pastored prayed one million minutes for friends to know Jesus. In fact, they prayed more than one million minutes in the designated period of time.

The consequences of their commitment led to phenomenon that could not be explained by the normal empirical senses. We ascribe such activities to the Spirit. The events were the sort that often keeps the Christian turned skeptic from completely abandoning the thought of God, a person or an event.

News of the revival spread. Soon people were calling. Like Simon in Acts, they wanted the secret to the power. It was and is customary that when such an event takes place we elevate the pastor and consider him especially gifted. Rick had been invited to talk about this event in a number of places, even here in our State. I remember him saying, “You cannot export the activity of the Spirit.”

But, in America we do. We tour and write books about the unexplainable in order to explain how others may do the same. Green rooms are created. Conferences are planned. Books are written. Eager young ministers are lured by the popularity. If we do it like [ ] then one day we too will speak from the big stage.

But, in out of the way places, where men travel by foot for more than thirty years planting more than thirty churches, we find stories that call into question the things we celebrate here in the first world. After all this is our context and that is theirs. We privilege ours and we diminish theirs. We take pride in our theological formulations. We express suspicion of theirs.

If it is all the same, I will find in those steps taken to bear Good News over those years to carry more import that the crowds wowed by the stage and screen. Bill Hybles wrote, Who You Are When Nobody Is Looking. One wonders, with all the fanfare and fanboys, if we would see the proliferation of celebrity if we did not receive our reward here – the praise and adoration of people.

I once read where a leader suggested celebrity is a matter of scale. Every group, small or large, has their celebrity. This leader is himself a celebrity. The move seemed intent to lessen the sting of what is unmistakeable about the American celebrity culture and the way Christians play in the same space. After all, even among Christian writers, there are A-list, B-list, and those who have been told they won’t make the list. There is a difference.

Pastor Pedro, now above seventy, will not make the big stage, in his Country or ours. And, I am glad. His quiet faithfulness speaks louder than the buzz created by our personal or professional PR machines.

May Pastor Pedro’s tribe increase – in his Country and in ours.