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Smart Phone

August 2022 Rick McPherson

Just last week I visited the phone store and got a new one.  It’s a smart phone.  The name alone is a little intimidating.    Seems that you have to be that to operate it and not get mad and throw it at the wall.  Or, if IQ is a real number, the phone wins.  Nevertheless, the lady laughed when she saw my old phone and said something very demeaning about its memory and battery strength.    After the transaction; I left with a protective case, new charger and cord, another protective cover so the face wouldn’t  get scratched, an insurance rider in case the phone is lost or stolen or falls in the lake or toilet and  the phone itself.   I began to fumble with it.  During my foray I found “photos”.   To my surprise and entertainment the phone showed pictures from a year ago, two years, four, six and even eight years back.  All were organized, named, filed and otherwise packaged to warm the heart of every obsessive, compulsive and meticulous person out there.   How cool is that?  Smart?  You bet!  What a trip down memory lane. 

You know that we are quickly approaching the New Year and our 50th Anniversary for this ministry.  A lot has happened since 1973 when we started helping and serving Native Americans, physically and spiritually.  We live in a very different world now than we did then.  But, the message of God’s love, acceptance and forgiveness is the same.  He never changes, nor does His Word.  He is the same, yesterday, today and forever.

Wouldn’t it be fun to go back and see pictures of the past and remember the ministry to our Native brothers and sisters, families and children?  Not all of these pictures are on my phone, of course, but you’ll reminisce as we print these in our newsletters in the months to come.  Enjoy! 

Another “MULE” report…

Thank you for your extra giving to help us replace the OLD MULE, better known as our 1993 Ford E350 box truck.  To date, we have received $2,500.00 in designated giving, which helps us towards our goal.   As I told you last month the used truck/car market is rather crazy right now so we are going slow and waiting for the right vehicle at the right price.  Your designated gift is in a separate fund and not co-mingled with other mission funds.  You may still give towards this project and mark your gift accordingly. And, THANK YOU for your generous, faithful and regular giving to the ministry of Pacific NW Outreach, Inc.   God bless you!

*****

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Golden Anniversary

July 2022 Rick McPherson

There are some birthdays and anniversaries that get more attention than others.  Precious stones and jewels are often used to commemorate the events and given as cherished gifts.  We reflect on the dates and think of the historic significance and how they have affected us.  I happen to be a “calendar guy” and can trace back in my history to special days.  Maybe it’s quirky, but history and dates have always been of great interest to me.  That brings us to this newsletter and the fact that Pacific NW Outreach is on the verge of celebrating our Golden Anniversary!  That’s right; it was 1973 when this ministry officially began.  We’re just a few months away from that date.  Think of what’s happened in the last fifty years and what our world was like then.

*Richard Nixon was the President.

*George Foreman was the Heavyweight Boxing Champion.

*The Godfather won best picture at the 45th Academy Awards.

*Billie Jean King defeated Bobby Riggs in the “Battle of the Sexes” in tennis.

*American Indian Movement activists ended their occupation of Pine Ridge Reservation at Wounded Knee, South Dakota.

*Oakland Athletics won the World Series.

*Miami Dolphins won Super Bowl VII.

*Gas was 55 cents a gallon.  Bread was 27 cents a loaf.  A dozen eggs cost 78 cents.

Well, things have changed in the last 50 years.  In spite of the changes, this ministry continues.  It’s impossible to tally the numbers of Native Americans who have been impacted by our efforts.  Only Heaven will reveal those souls who have been regenerated and have come to a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, as Savior and Lord.  Our trucks have travelled tens of thousands of miles.  We’ve burned untold gallons of diesel fuel, carried tons of groceries, supplies, clothes, boots and household items to Reservations across the country.  We’ve preached scores of sermons, conducted Vacation Bible Camps, Bible Studies, Prayer Conferences and counselling sessions.  We’ve laughed, cried, prayed, bled and sacrificed with our Native brothers and sisters.  The anecdotes of real-life experiences are legendary and certainly entertaining.  It’s all true, too!  And, it’s not over, yet!

So, enjoy the party!  After all, it is a Celebration of God’s goodness and blessing over these 50 years.  Every grocery box, pair of boots, warm coat or bottle of water that has been given, expressed God’s kindness and generosity.  Every Pow Wow we’ve attended, campsite we’ve visited, trip we’ve made, sermon we’ve preached, expressed God’s love and acceptance.  And, you’ve been right there with us.  You’ve been a vital part.    THANK YOU FOR BEING A PART…A BIG PART!  Your faithful giving and prayer support enable us to do this ministry. 

Now, it wouldn’t be a party without cake, right?  Think I’ll get a piece.

*****

Special “MULE” report!  Last month we told about the need to replace one of our small delivery trucks, a 1993 FORD E350.  Many of you responded with extra giving, which we really appreciate.  We’re looking at used trucks but it’s a strange market these days, so we’re not rushing ahead.  When we find the right truck at the right price, we’ll let you know.  If you would like to contribute to this need just mark your check accordingly or use the convenient PayPal option.  Thank you!

 

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The Old Mule

June 2022 Rick McPherson

To my knowledge he wasn’t a mule skinner, but he was a cowboy, a real one.  We had seen the ads for trail rides in the Animas River valley near Durango, Colorado.  Being a pretend cowboy my whole life, I’ve always been ready for a horseback ride.  This one featured a cookout with steaks and baked potatoes, iced lemonade and a cobbler of some sort to finish.  Before long I was talking to the old wrangler who asked if I would rather ride a mule  than a horse.

 “They ride a little different, smoother gait,” he explained.

  “And, they’re a lot smarter than a horse.  Truth is, a mule saved my life, right here in this valley.  And, I know this place like the back of my hand.  I was born and raised here,” he continued.

  “What happened?” I asked, eyes wide- open.

  “Snow storm.  Blizzard.  White out.  Couldn’t see my hand in front of my face.  Totally lost.  Freezing,” he explained, squinting and serious.

  “So, I laid the reins on the neck of that old mule and he walked us to the barn and saved my life.  Been partial to mules ever since.” 

The cowboy’s story piqued my interest in mules. First, I learned, they are the offspring of a male donkey and a female horse.  They combine characteristics of both horse and donkey parents to create a tougher, more resilient working animal.  They are hardier, eat less, live longer and have more stamina than horses. They are smart and cautious and aware of danger, making them safer to ride when crossing dangerous terrain. And, finally, the skin of a mule is less sensitive than that of horses and more resistant to sun and rain.  It’s no wonder that a good mule team costs  thousands of dollars.  Worth every penny, I imagine. 

Okay, that’s all well and good.   But what does any of this have to do with Pacific Northwest Outreach,  and helping Native Americans?  Good question.

We have a “mule” in our ministry.  And true to its name, it’s a hard worker. 

Our mule, is a 1993 Ford, E350.  The old girl has a 12’ stake box, V8 engine, automatic transmission, dual rear tires and a one ton chassis.  She’s lived a long life and is held together with bailing wire and bubble gum.  She doesn’t complain, but it’s obvious, the end is near.  She has been tremendous, helping with this ministry, travelling thousands of miles and carrying tons of groceries and supplies. Our local ministry depends on her constantly. 

Now, I know, things are crazy these days.  Inflation is soaring.  Gas and diesel prices are obscene.  Our economy is volatile.  Current events are worrisome.  Supply chain shortages are affecting everyone.  Is this the time to be asking for “extra” giving to replace an old, worn-out truck?  Well, yes!

None of us can do everything.  But, all of us can do something. Will you do something?  That’s all I’m asking.   If we all do something, together, we can replace the old mule and keep on, keeping on. 

This ministry exists and continues, because of the faithfulness and generosity of people like you.  People who love God.  People who love people.  People who love ministry.  People who love Native Americans!  So, if we all do something “extra” this month, we can reach our goal and purchase a new, used mule for this ministry.  Your gift will be very much appreciated.  Thank you!  God bless you!

In the meantime, think I’ll head down to the corral, saddle a mule and hit the trail.    

*****

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15 CENTS FOR GAS

April 2022 Rick McPherson

I drove a ’55 Chevy in High School.  Purchase price was $325.00   I had saved my money from my part-time job at Otis Bennett’s apple farm in Ancaster.

 For the gearheads among us, it was a 265 c.i., V8, “3 on the tree”, with a Stewart Warner tach on the dash and an oil, water temp and amps gauge panel under the dash.  It was a Bel Air, 2 door hardtop.   It was green and white.

I also had a girlfriend, bought my own clothes and went to the stock car races, every Saturday night.  I could put $2.00 worth of Sunoco gas in my Chevy and drive all week.  Gas was 15 cents a gallon.  I remember actual gas wars when gas stations would compete to see who could sell the cheapest gas.  Those were the days… 15 cents for gas….imagine!

This week I pulled into Costco to buy diesel fuel for the Peterbilt.  The big 12.9 liter Paccar engine gets 9.5 miles per gallon and has two 50 gallon fuel tanks.  The price was $4.57 for diesel…imagine!  I bit my tongue to keep from saying something I would regret later and pulled the lever.  When I reached $200.00, I vowed to run for President and return the world to the sanity I had known when Otis Bennett was in charge.  Sheesh!  A friend called later and told me he had just paid $10.00 a gallon on a recent trip to Death Valley.  Poetic justice, I thought. They had accurately named the place. 

Now as I ponder the supply chain woes, inflation, economics, unemployment, lawlessness, political unrest, wars and rumors of wars, hypocrisy, corruption and fuel costs, (again), my head hurts; not to mention my heart.  And, I think about our mission to help Native Americans.  I also think about you.  My thinking quickly turns to praying and my praying becomes very simple.  Usually one word sums it up, “help!”  Perhaps that one word is the most used in prayer language these days.  Can you think of a better one?

 “I will lift up my eyes to the hills

From whence comes my help?

My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth.

He will not allow your foot to slip;

The Lord is your keeper; The Lord is your shade,

The Lord will protect you from all evil;

He will keep your soul.

From this time and forever.”

Psalm 121:1-8

 Notice the four distinct principles that will keep us from harm.

God is…Our Helper, Our Keeper, Our Protector and Our Preserver.

I feel better now that I’ve prayed and been reminded that my help is not Costco, Texaco or Sunoco.  Rather it is this truth, “…greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.”  I John 4:4

I feel better now that I’ve prayed and been reminded that my help comes from the One who made heaven and earth.

I feel better now that  I’ve prayed and been reminded that my help is not dependent on the media, Big Tech, Wall Street, intellectual elites or politicians.

I feel better now.

*****

Special note…thank you very much for your ongoing financial help for this ministry serving Native American children, youth, parents and adults on Reservations.  Your gifts enable us to provide the truth of God’s love, acceptance and forgiveness.  God bless you abundantly for your gifts.

 

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IT’S A JUNGLE OUT THERE

March 2022 Rick McPherson

I admit it.  I’m a big fan of the TV show, “Monk.”  Tony Shalhoub, the gifted actor who portrays the quirky detective, Adrian Monk, has captured our minds and imaginations showing the wonderful idiosyncrasies of the obsessive compulsive disorder that resides in so many of us.  And, having watched way too many episodes, (I admit to some binge watching with Orville Redenbacher’s and Barq’s Root Beer ice-cream floats) I’ve almost memorized Randy Newman’s theme song, “It’s A Jungle Out There.”  With the music dancing in my head, I realize that as a poet and secular prophet, he has captured an extremely accurate commentary of  world events.   “It’s a jungle out there!  Disorder and confusion everywhere.  No one seems to care…It’s a jungle out there.  Violence and danger everywhere.  It’s brother against brother, pounding on each other…it’s a jungle out there.”  Granted the over-all gist of the song is environmental and political, but it still conveys sentiments that affect all of us.  And, the ensuing questions.

Let me remind you of what Jesus told His disciples when they asked him regarding His return and the end times.  He said, “You will hear of wars and rumors of wars…nation will rise against nation, kingdom against kingdom…there will be famines and earthquakes…many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another…lawlessness is increased…most people’s love will grow cold.”  Matthew 24:4-28.  In other words, get ready and don’t be surprised when these things happen.

In another passage, Jesus says, “These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace.   In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”  John 16:33.   In other words, trouble visits everybody.  The bumper sticker, “SH*T HAPPENS!” rudely interrupts our civility.  But, it doesn’t end here…there’s more…much more!  Gloom, despair and agony have been replaced by, joy, hope and peace.  That’s the truth!  That’s the message!  That’s the bumper sticker! 

The rest of the message is this:  JESUS HAS OVERCOME THE WORLD!  Dr. John MacArthur says it this way: “The fundamental ground for endurance in persecution is the victory of Jesus over the world (John 12:31; I Corinthians 15:57).   Through His impending death, He rendered the world’s opposition null and void.  While the world continues to attack His people, such attacks fall harmlessly, for Christ’s victory has already accomplished a smashing defeat of the whole evil rebellious system”. (Romans 8:35-39)  

When Jesus said, “I have overcome the world!”  He said, “I have conquered, defeated, overthrown, reduced, subdued and vanquished evil in this world….and the jungle!”

*****

Your faithful, generous giving to the ministry of Pacific NW Outreach, Inc. is greatly appreciated.  Each gift enables us to help Native American children and adults on Reservations both physically and spiritually.  Thank you very much and may God bless you!

 

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IN LOVING MEMORY

January 2022 Rick McPherson

It seems that old Texas cowboys say important stuff.  “Some friends are for a reason, some for a season and some, for a lifetime!”  When you think about it, you’ll probably agree.  Maybe you’re making a list right now and putting people in their place. 

Just last week, I lost a lifetime friend.  Carl Maier was promoted to Heaven.  He lived this life for 98 years and it was a privilege to call him friend for over fifty.  What a wonderful man he was!  All of us who knew him will miss him dearly.  His wife Lois, who was married to him for over 75 years, his daughters, Shari and Carol, their husbands and children will grieve his passing but rejoice knowing that he is in Heaven with Jesus, his Lord and Savior.  The Scripture says it so succinctly, “We sorrow, but not as those who have no hope.”  Our hope is in the Truth that we will be reunited with our loved ones who have preceded us in death, on that, “great Resurrection morning.”

I met Carl in the spring of 1971, when I was a student from Central Bible College, Springfield, Missouri.  I was invited to Portland, Oregon, as a candidate for the Minister of Youth position at First Assembly of God.  The pastor, Rev. Jim Swanson, picked me up at the airport in a yellow MGB GT (which sealed the deal immediately for me) and drove me to the hotel.  “But first we need to stop and visit a couple in the church who are celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary,” he explained.    When we arrived at the Lake Oswego home, the front door was opened and a smiling gentleman said, “Welcome, my name is Carl!”  Friendship, day one!

His business career included real estate.  He was the one who helped my wife and I purchase our first home.   He said at the Title Company when we signed the papers, “Rick, never miss a mortgage payment!  No matter what, never miss a payment!”  The monthly amount was $254.00!  I remember leaving the office and wondering what did I just do?   Heeding Carl’s advice, no mortgage payments have been missed. 

Integrity is the salient word that comes to mind when I think of Carl.  He epitomized it.  He served as a Board Member, Secretary-Treasurer and Administrator in several different churches and most recently as the Chairman of the Board for Pacific NW Outreach, Inc.  He was committed to serving people and particularly Native Americans in the mission that helps them physically and spiritually.  His faithfulness, commitment, humor, tenderness and disposition set high standards for us to follow. 

Now, this life’s work is over and Carl has entered his final rest.  I know that he was welcomed into Heaven with this greeting, “Welcome, Carl!  Well done, good and faithful servant!”  I imagine that he has already rounded up his hunting buddies and is having coffee and visiting around the campfire. 

So, from this lifetime friend of Carl Maier, “Good bye for now…I’ll see you in the morning!”

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MERRY CHRISTMAS! HAPPY…AND BLESSED NEW YEAR!

December 2021 Rick McPherson

From our hearts and home, please accept our Christmas greetings and prayers that your New Year will be happy and blessed!  I’m reminded of Charles Dickens’ opening sentence in his classic, “A Tale of Two Cities”, when he said, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.”  You could argue that he was describing today and the challenges we face.  With rising diesel fuel costs, supply chain delays, staggering inflation and economic uncertainty the future is worrisome. 

In the midst of current events, our Mission, helping Native Americans both physically and spiritually, continues.  Your faithful and generous donations make it possible.  The pictures in this newsletter from previous years are indicators of what will happen this year.  With God’s help, as my mother used to write, “DV”, we will deliver toys, gifts, food boxes, boots, clothes and household items to Reservations…boys and girls, Moms and Dads…Native Americans who will be blessed, indeed!  Thank you for helping us!  By chipping in and doing what you can, financially, we will fuel the truck (yikes!) and deliver the goods!  Who knows, there may be a couple of elves who will ride with me in the big, red, Peterbilt sled.

MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL…AND GOD BLESS YOU, ABUNDANTLY!

*****

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Merci beaucoup…Muchas gracias…Mahalo…Thank You!

November 2021 Rick McPherson

As a child, growing up in Canada, I was subjected to my second language in High School.  Memorizing vocabulary, conjugating verbs and learning masculine and feminine nouns in the French language overwhelmed me.  My only saving grace was that my teacher was also the hockey coach.  That really helped.  I could score goals easier than translate a sentence.  So, to pretend that I am bi-lingual, is preposterous.  But, I do remember, “merci beaucoup.”

Years later, Charlote and I moved to San Antonio, then Corpus Christi, Texas.  The church population of Hispanics in both locations exceeded fifty percent and the cities were more.  In everyday life, the Spanish language surrounded us.  We embraced it and loved the people, culture and the food!  Tacos, enchiladas, tortillas, burritos and sopapillas became our favorites.  We also learned, “muchas gracias.”

While directing the church school in Texas, a generous couple provided a trip for Charlote to an Educators’ Seminar, sponsored by Youth with A Mission, in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii.  Because the dates coincided with our tenth wedding anniversary, I got packed in her luggage and delivered to the airport as well.  Together we were introduced to paradise in the Pacific.  Weather, water, scenery, food and people affected our lives like no other experience.  We found ourselves constantly saying, “mahalo.”

Now, I find myself writing to you today with gratitude in my heart for the past year of your support.  I want to say, thank you!  I will say, thank you and mean it sincerely.  Your faithful and generous financial support enables us to do this important ministry, helping Native Americans both spiritually and physically.  We could not do this without people like you!  Period.

It’s no secret; we are living in unprecedented times.  The news bombards us with shortages, supply chain bottlenecks, hyper-inflation, staggering debt, open borders, military threats, pandemics, mandates, vaccinations, education interruptions and on, ad infinitum.  Being flummoxed is understandable.

However…in the midst of it all, we carry on.  We’re thankful that His grace is sufficient.  His love is unconditional.  His mercy is new, every morning.  He is forever, faithful. 

So, to each of you…MERCI BEAUCOUP… MUCHAS GRACIAS…MAHALO….

THANK YOU FOR YOUR FAITHFULNESS AND YOUR FINANCIAL SUPPORT!

*****

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BUT FIRST… COFFEE!

September 2021 Rick McPherson

The sign hangs right behind the coffeemaker in our kitchen.  My wife hung it there to remind us of the priority. Each morning we abide by its edict.   And, for the most part, we have behaved nicely in our fifty plus years of marriage by being reminded of the early morning credo.  After the caffeine hits, the day seems much more manageable.   I’m not sure if King David had this in mind when he said, “This is the day which the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.”  Psalm 118:24 Perhaps he was on his second cup.

Notwithstanding, I’m reminded the days and months are flying.  I was emailed this week for the Christmas Toy Drive!  Wait!  Wasn’t the 4th of July, yesterday?  Christmas? Yikes!  Oh, then I saw a full, shrink-wrapped pallet at a donor’s dock with “Christmas” scribbled across the side, in permanent, black, broad-tipped Sharpie.  Serious!

To catch up, we have been selected, (again), to receive gifts and toys from the local, Les Schwab Tire Centers and TV12 annual Toy Drive.  We’re thankful and honored to participate because it enables us to provide for Native American children on Reservations these gifts at the Christmas season.  Along with groceries, boots, used and new clothes, household items and miscellaneous goodies we deliver the makings for a very Merry Christmas.  I will never forget one Native grandmother who said to me just a few years ago, “Because of these gifts there won’t be no  tears, this year.”  When you work through the double negative, you understand, what she was saying. 

The tradition of gift- giving dates to the beginning of time and certainly the First Christmas.  The Wise Men brought gifts to the Baby Jesus in Bethlehem to express their love and respect.  Indeed the act of giving is foundational to love.  The Apostle John wrote these words to record the Greatest Gift, ever;

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him will not perish, but have eternal life.”  3:16

But wait, there’s more…

“For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.”  3:17

The act of giving demonstrates love.  We don’t just talk about it.  We do it.  We do it because we love God and God loves people.  So do we.  The “we” is us.   It’s you and me and all the other people who partner with us in this ministry, helping Native Americans, both physically and spiritually. 

I’m reminded of this truth every time I climb into the Peterbilt and head out for yet another trip to a Reservation with a box of groceries or a pair of boots or a stuffed Teddy-Bear.  We, together, are doing something in God’s name that demonstrates His love, acceptance and forgiveness.   We really are.

Thank you for standing with us and being a faithful team member.   Only Heaven will reveal the final results of what we’re doing together.  Your prayers, your financial help, your compassion and love enable us to do what we do.  

Now, may I pour you another cup?

*****

On a personal note:

CONGRATULATIONS to our team member, Scott Kemery, who was married to Marissa Farnsworth on Sunday, September 19th

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Game Plan

August Newsletter, 2021  Rick McPherson

Since childhood, I’ve been a sports fan.  Growing up in Canada my sport of choice was hockey, but that did not preclude my interests in baseball and football particularly.  I can still recall starting line-ups, statistics and general information for my favorite teams.  Names like Frank Mahovlich, Gordie Howe and Bobby Orr are cataloged in my brain, along with Carl Yastrzemski, David Ortiz and Willie McCovey.   And who could forget, Roger Staubach, Gale Sayers and Lawrence Taylor?

As the years have passed, I have realized that what intrigued me about these sports was the strategy behind them.  Tactics that were carefully, even meticulously, honed to gain an advantage over the opposition were a vital part of preparation.   Games days were not happen-stance and casual, they were the results of hours of preparation, study and insights.  Strengths, weaknesses, tendencies and habits were all carefully dissected and known, so that the slightest advantage would insure victory.  A well-prepared game plan was the key.

Thinking through this metaphor I realize that the greatest game we will ever play offers our soul as the trophy.  Can we live our lives in a lackadaisical manner?  Can we be casual and unprepared?  Can we under-estimate our opponent?  I think not.

Peter wrote these words to help us with our life, game plan.  “Be of sober spirit, be on the alert.   Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.  But resist him, firm in your faith…”  I Peter 5:8

Another translation says, “…prepare your minds for action.”  One coach I know would say, “Alright, alright, alright!  Get ready, get ready, get ready!”  What he was saying was to focus, pay attention and not get fooled.  In the spiritual realm, pull in all the loose ends of your thinking, and reject the false teachings of the world.  After all, deception is one of the main tactics that the enemy uses against us.  When Peter says, “…be on the alert…” he’s talking about deception.  It’s a terrible thing when we’re deceived; tricked, scammed, hustled.  Don’t let it happen to you. 

Now, let me remind you that we have The Greatest Play Book, ever written.  It contains every play, offense, defense, and strategy that you will ever need for anything that your opponent throws against you.  But you have to read it, study it, memorize it, know it and do it…for it to be of any benefit.  It’s up to you.

As Coach would say, “Alright, alright alright!  Get ready, get ready, get ready!”

*****

In the midst of the ongoing Corona Virus Pandemic, our ministry to Native Americans continues.  Recently, we responded and helped a family on the Yakama Reservation at Celilo Indian Village with much-needed car repairs.  In addition to the groceries, boots, clothes, school back-packs and household items that we frequently deliver to the Reservations in the Pacific Northwest, we’re often able to help with other needs and convey the message of God’s love, acceptance and forgiveness.  THANK YOU for your ongoing faithful and generous financial support for this important ministry to our Native American brothers and sisters and their children.  GOD BLESS YOU!