Garret and Jennifer Jones

Garret and Jennifer Jones
Garrett and Jennifer Jones

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Brandon Remembered #1

This last week I received a very nice reminder of my firstborn. I'll have to look back at my posts because I can't remember what I may have written about Brandon. and I don't want to be repititious. But we tried to raise our 3 the very best we could. We tried to teach them that though there were other kids with richer parents, we were not dirt poor but just plain folks. We drove older cars, got reduced lunches early on, and their Easter clothes were always bought by their Aunt Sugar. But we tried to instill in them that there were folks not as blessed as we were. And to always treat everybody the same. We may have been looked down on in some circles, but we didn't look up to others or down on anyone. Go out of your way to help someone that may need a friend, because someday, you may need that person. I wanted to share the story sent to me because it brougth tears to my eyes, that Brandon was once again remembered by someone. Over the next few weeks I'll try to share some of the stories of our Brandon Journey. I did not ask this young lady's permission to share this, so I won't reveal her name::::::::
I can't remember the exact year, but Brandon had already lost his leg at this point. I was very young, not even 16. Brandon had asked me to go with him to a football game away from PG (Pleasant Grove-fj) and, of course, I obliged. I came home from school, told my dad about our "date" and began to get ready. My dad, as most dad's should, forbade me to leave the house with any boy unless they got out of their car and knocked on the front door properly. This one time, he decided to make an exception. Though he felt that any boy picking up his daughter should show enough respect for her parents and walk to the door, he wasn't trying to prove anything here by making the kid with one leg tromp up the driveway. I was sitting on the couch when I heard the truck pulling into the driveway. I fussed with my hair for a split second and took off toward the door. When I reached the bottom of the steps and could see through the window in the front of our house, I froze. Brandon was already out of the truck and reaching into the bed for his crutches. "Dad, he's already out of his truck," I remember saying because I didn't know what to do next. Should I run out so he doesn't have to trouble himself any further? Do I wait so I don't embarrass him and waste his already given effort. My dad answered me before I could give it much thought, "Get up here and sit down," he said to me looking out the window to see Brandon lumbering up our uneven driveway on his one leg and crutches. "I'll be damned," were his next words. So I sat down, waited on Brandon to knock on the door, listened to the embarrassing rundown my father gave him about safe driving and curfews.
Brandon and I were never more than buddies, but I'll tell you this: I had lots of boys coming to my house to pick me up and lots of boys who had to suffer that same speech from my father. All of those boys I have forgotten. Except Brandon.
I'll be back,,,,,,,

Friday, October 21, 2011

A Tale of Two Stories

(Stephanie here: I got behind on posting Frank's FB notes the past couple of months, but got them all caught up today. So even though all the posts are dated Fri., Oct. 21, they go back to August 25. Keep scrolling down to the first "Oct. 21" entry to catch up, and my apologies to my brother and all of you.)

It's late Thursday, in fact in 9 minutes it's Friday, and while this was fresh on my mind, just thought it should make the page.
Shortly after Garrett's passing, we received a call from a reporter with the Birmingham News, Veronica Kennedy. She had written several articles on the victims of the tornadoes, which were written before his death (you don't know how hard it is to type that). But she was intrigued by what all she was told about this "perfect couple", and wanted to do a more indepth piece, but if possible, with our imput. I told her that when we felt more comfortable doing so, we would call her, and kept her name ond number on our message board by the phone. Then two weeks ago another reporter, Mike Oliver, contacted us about a series of articles he is doing for The News on different aspects or angles of the storms, and wanted our input on some pointed questions. I told him of Veronica's interest and that if cleared it with her we'd be honored to help. Together tonight, they came, pen in hand (literally - no recording like Denzell asked Julia permission for in The Pelican Briefs?) and sometime in the next few weeks, an in depth article and a brief analysis will be published. They were both very nice to work with. And the subject of a book came up, because Veronica reads our GPW page. Besides the award winning articles she has written, she has also been instrumental in several Pulitzer winning articles written by her husband. And her comments were encouraging. So though I have been humbled by readers comments, I've tried to just let that ship sail off in the sunset. But the sails are getting bigger on the horizon instead of smaller. Where is the airport?
Also, tonight while reading The Alabama Baptist, I see where Frank Jones has resigned his staff position with Calvary Baptist Church in Tuscaloosa, and moved back to Birmingham to concentrate on Frank Jones Ministries. I have known Frankie (yes for 50 years he was Frankie) and we were able to keep our names separated that way. Now Frank(ie) is an outstanding and gifted musician, comedian, speaker and minister. Nothing like me. But just as it seems that the Lord is opening doors for me to share our story with folks, Frank (ie) is cranking up Frank Jones Ministries. Obviously, God has a sense of humor, putting us in the same town, with the same name, he is a Minister of Worship - I'm a minister of music, we both sing (he's done more weddings than funerals, I'm just the opposite which should tell you something right there). So pastors, if you wish to have polished professional perfection instead of an accomplished ameteur audition, Frank (ie) can be reached at and you can't go wrong. If you accidently book me instead, prepare your next sermon on Forgiveness is Divine.
I'll be back ... yawn,,, (wow, it's 1:00AM!)

How it All Began

(Oct. 17, 2011)

This weekend Janell went off with her brother and one of her sisters to Gatlinburg. It was a good time for her to get away from speech therapy, the house and me. They were going anyway and stayed after her till she gave in, and I think she's having a good time. But I do miss her. She'll be home soon, and though she's been gone only three days, it seems like a week. She is definitely my better half. I can't say enough good about her. She keeps my feet on the ground when my imagination will sometimes pull a Tinker Bell and make me think I can fly.
March 4th, 1973, I was driving down Bessemer Super Hiway, after church on a Sunday night coming back towards Central Park, with Daryl Thomas and Jim Gill in my '65 Volkswagon, headed towards McDonalds. In the lane next to me was a '68 Buick Wildcat, and I almost traded paint with it changing lanes. The driver hit the horn, I pulled back sharp, and this Buick with 5 girls in it pulled along side. This real knockout was driving, and Daryl rolled down his window and she did the same. I hollered an apology to her and she accepted. I offered to buy her a Coke if she'd pull into McDonalds. She hollered she couldn't, that they were late getting out of Shoneys aqnd had to hurry to get everyone back home, it was a school night. She drove on off, and I pulled in to McD's and turned off the engine. Daryl asked what I was doing. I said I was waiting for "that girl" to come back. He and Jim both laughed and said I was crazy if I thought she was coming back to meet me. I said "laugh all you want, but she's coming back". To which they responded "Oh yeah, what makes you so sure?" I looked 'em straight faced and said "That's the girl I'm gonna marry". Well, the whole car shook while they had fun with that statement. But ten minutes later, here came that Buick. We all three got dates for the following Friday night, March 9th, and as they say, the rest is history. I told her on our third date, I'd have her married in two years. She was 16 1/2, and went home and told her mom what I had said. To which my future mother-in-love replied "You better get rid of him, he sounds like trouble." One year later to the day, at El Palacio's, I proposed in the same booth we had on our first date. We were married nine months later, on Nov. 23rd. (made it with 3 1/2 months to spare!). And till the day he gained a second son in law (about 16 years), my father in love would always introduce me to someone new with,"This is Frank, my son in law. He's not much but he's the only one I've got". He even told me the night I asked for permission to marry his daughter, "just don't have any kids cause you're ugly as H_ _ _ !!!
I have never regretted pulling in at McDonalds and waiting. Yeah there were fireworks and heavenly voices going off in my head when I saw her that night. But thats not what made me know she was the one. It was the still small voice that I heard over the fireworks and Hallelujah Chorus. And I love her more now than I ever have. I don't know what she heard that brought her back, she'll tell you she felt sorry for me. But I believe if she heard what I did, it's been replaced with the hum of a C-PAP and bellowing from the shower. But she's still here, and she probably deserves several crowns for that. Brandon, Jennifer and Garrett have probably already picked 'em out.
I'll be back.......

Ministry Date Open

(Oct. 13, 2011)

Frank here~As I shared a couple of weeks ago, God appears to be adding another form of ministry to my life. After discussing things with my pastor and with his blessings and encouragment, I have set some dates for congregations that expressed an interest in me coming to speak and/or sing in one of their services. I am excited but nervous about this new avenue of sharing my faith, I don't mind confessing. Singing has always come easy, but speaking is something someone else did, not me.
Anyway, the Sunday evening of Nov. 27th (the Sunday night after Thanksgiving), I will be enroute from Gulfport, Miss. (where I speak that morning) back to Hueytown, Al., about a 5 hr. trip. If there is a church between here and there that would feel led to have me come that evening, I am available. No telling what my nerves may be like after that morning, (LOL) but since I won't make it back to my church in time for services that evening, I could share with another congregation that night. Another church in or within 3 hours of Gulfport would be ideal, to allow me time to get there and meet with the church sound sytem operator who could run my solo tracks ( CD's &/or cassettes, yeah I'm an ole geezer with 40 years of buying solo tracks, but no 8-tracks!)
So if your pastor is interested, please get in touch with me at 205-966-6604. You will get my voicemail between 8AM and 4:30 PM, M_F, but you can call up until 9PM. I have no promotional materials and no CD's to sell. I hope to have one by early next year if God provides. But for now, what you see is what you get.

Life Goes On

(Oct. 11, 2011)

Wow, what a difference 5 1/2 months make. I drove through Garretts neighborhood this weekend, and there are signs of new life in the community. The carpet business at the bottom of his hill, which was wiped off the face of the earth, just like Jennifer's and Garrett's house, is almost rebuilt. The grocery /gas station is just about completed with it's restoration. There are new houses going up across the main street (Warrior River Road). There is actually new life staring to replace the devastation that has been the landscape for what seems like years. Yeah, years. I know how long it's been since I had my last neck massage from those huge hands. I know how lomg it's been since I had a hug and a smile from my newest daughter in love. It was the Sunday before April 27th, Easter Sunday. The last pictures ever taken of them are stored on a four GB memory card you can hide under a postage stamp. Yet the hole it's left in my life can only be filled by the Creator of the universe that holds this planet in His Mighty Hand.
The neighbors of G&J's that lived to the left of them, whose house also was blown apart, (a 2 year old and it's mother and father survived it) are down their every week cutting their grass. They've cleaned up their lot, but can't rebuild. Yet they have found the strength to tend to the lot, keepiing it just like it was at 4:30 PM on April 27th, 2011. I can't keep it together long enough to go down there and recover some concrete blocks that I might have a use for. But they're not going anywhere. They are reminders of just how fragile earths foundations are. With life at it's best, everything to live for, and thinking you have decades of grass mowing ahead of you, 30 seconds wipes out your past, present and future. But I hope I am a better father, a changed man and a stronger Christian for the trials God chose to send my way. Though the pain is simply overwhelming at times, it always draws me closer to the one who can soothe it. As Janell put it yesterday, Life Goes On. You can't get off when you want to and feel the need to, and then climb back on. Not even having a stroke will give you that opportunity.
I'll be back.......

Time Released Medicine

(Oct. 6, 2011)

Frank here: This has been another of those weeks when for some reason, my mind is reliving different days in the hospital with Garrett. Mainly the last time I was able to speak to him and he could respond before they put him to sleep, and the morning we held his hand and watched his chest rise for the last time. I've thought back to the day that we took him to church, a few weeks old, and dedicated him to the Lord, just as we had done our other two. And it has been really thought consuming, hard to concentrate at work, and night dreams full of Jenn's and Garrett's faces. Waking is almost a relief each morning.

And then last night, I am contacted by a former co-worker of Janell's from years back. I sang at her husbands funeral and she attended Garretts. But she knew nothing of FB. She said God had just put me on her heart last week and she had been praying for us, and out of the blue asked her pastor that if she could get in touch with me, would they have me come down for their 5th Sunday night singing. He was excited about it, and so she was calling to ask if I'd be available. I was just floored by what seems to me to be a God thing. Then at church tonight as I'm in the sanctuary doing one of my weekly solitary practices where I just sing to different tracks for an hour or so, my pastor comes in and says the Birmingham Baptist Assoc is interested in me singing/speaking at a pastors meeting/luncheon in February, and he also feels God wants me to take a Sunday morning at our church and share with our folks what I feel God is doing in my life. I am taken aback at this because for any pastor to yield his pulpit on a Sunday morning is just, well, special.
So it appears I will be in revival at New Faith Baptist in Pleasant Grove Oct 23rd thru the 28th. I'll be in Stanton/Maplesville on Sunday night, October 30th; speaking in the morning service at FBC Sandusky on Nov. 13th, tentatively in Gulfport Miss Sunday morning, November 27th, and hopefully, Lord willing that same evening speaking somewhere between Gulfport and Hueytown, and then The BBA Pastors luncheon in February. And somewhere in there, if He provides the means, I'll be going into studio to cut a CD, which has been a prayer request for years, and I feel the time is near, just waiting for him to confirm it. This has been the right medicine at the right time. And we all know He's never late.

Who is Watching?

(Oct. 2, 2011)

A few years ago there was a movie titled Eagle Eyes and it was a story of how some people had built a computer "Eye in the Sky" so to speak. And they were able to watch your every move with surveilance cameras and satellites and all. I realize this is not science ficttion, but it was a reminder of you're being watched. Now there is a series on CBS "Person of Interest" and I have to admit, I'm a fan after two episodes, but it has a similar vein of thinking in it. But before all of this for centuries, we as Christians have been watched by the world.
Take last Friday night for instance. I had gone to see a good friend, Squire Parsons (singer/composer of "Sweet Beulah Land") who was in concert close by. By the way, please add him to your prayer list , he is battling a form of leukemia, which they caught in the early stages a year ago and seem to be controlling w/medication. But doing 3-5 concerts a week on the medication is very very difficult. Anyway, I stop on the way home to grab a Milo burger and fries to take home for Janell and I a late supper. (If God doesn't have these in heaven, we're going to have a serious discussion!) She is at home w/the grandkids. And at an intersection close to home, a pick-up turns right on red without stopping, and I have a green light making my left turn. when I realized he wasn't going to stop, I hit my brakes and my horn, and watched in horror as the sack with 'God's best on earth french fries" nose dived into my floorboard, and see those golden sticks of cholesterol, cheese salt and starch spread themselves across my passenger floorboard. Now it's a fact that I clean out my car twice a year whether the trash is touching the glovebox or not. And, had three or four weeks of newspapers (I read 'em at lunch) been in the floor I could have claimed the 30 second rule and Janell would never have known. But no, they made it to the floor mat which hasn't been vacuumed in a year (Don't look so pious, I know there's some of you just like me out there it's a work car for cryin out loud!) But as I realized the seriouness of my loss, not to mention the driver never slowed down, EVEN THOUGH HE SAW ME COMING, never pulled over to apologize or even knew of or offered to pay me for my loss, they saluted me with one finger and just kept on going like I was the one at fault. It's a good thing there won't be cars in Heaven, I'd be kicked out in a week. That's a whole 'nother story. But after I hollered "You stupid idiot" at the top of my lungs (and I have some pipes folks), I was reminded of what so many people have told me over the last ten years and a couple already in the last couple of months: We have been watching you, or "There were (are) people watching you". And even though I'm sure nobody heard me or saw my anger, I knew God did. And once again, I had let Him down. Remember, you may be the only sermon some people ever hear. What will they get out of it? Will it be enough for them to seek Him because they want what you have? And as someone once said , a picture is worth a thousand words. ( In case you're wondering, I stopped, got the fries that didn't touch the mat and finished filling Janell's cup. I put the remainder in mine after blowing them off real good. There are worse things than throwing away an order of Milo's french fries, ....I'm sure there are.... gimme time I'll think of one....
I'll be back, I'm still thinking......


 (Sept. 27, 2011)

As I have gotten older, I have noticed a trait or quirk or wahtever you want to call it, emerging. HUGS. I need hugs. And I'm not sure what is causing this. Now I know there are going to be positive and negative feedbacks on this one, but hey, what else is new?
As I look back over my life, I can't remember any real affection being shown to us kids from my parents. Mostly the opposite, and seems I was the recipient of most of that. I do remember affection being shown between the two of them. So I've always enjoyed hugs. As a teen, I was the dweeb, the dork, the unpopular one. I remember the popular guys who would always get the hugs from the girls in the halls, or at the game or whatever. I was the poster child for the plague.
When I went to Sandusky FBC as minister of music, there was a pastor emeritus named Archer Thorpe. And all 5'2", 140 lbs of him was solid hug! He might give a handshake on 1st encounter, but the second meeting, here came the hug. Even for a circumferencly challenged individual like myself. And as my sons became men, I have enjoyed, even craved their hugs even more. At 6'6" and 290 lbs, Brandon had a good hug until cancer destroyed his shoulders. At about 5'10" and 190, Kevin still has a great hug. And Garrett, oh my goodness, 6' 4" and 285 lbs and shoulders at least 3 foot wide was the recipe for a bear hug. And now, I'm getting those "Love you too, Papa" hugs. And those are priceless.
But now in my "Autumn" years, I find that hugs do me a lot more good mentally than ever before.
So if I am fortunate enough to ever meet any of you for the first time, I'll try to remember my southern gentleman manners and extend my hand. If you want a hug, go for it! But on the second chance meeting, watch out. And when I get through those pearly gates, and find the neck of my Saviour, I'll get the hug of the ages. But immediately after that, if they aren't close by, I'll search out their mansions and get the hugs I so desparetly miss. And just maybe, if our bodies ARE perfect, Bro Thorpe will finally get his arms around yours truly. Hug somebody in the next twenty four hours. Better yet, hug several people. It could do you both some good!
I'll be back.....

Ministry Opportunities

(Sept. 21, 2011)

I mentioned last week my availability to come speak if needed/wanted. I spoke with my pastor this evening and he is supporting me 100%. He suggests that I simply let everyone know I am available at least one service per month for the rest of the year. If someone is interested, just contact me. I will let my personnel committee know the services I will be gone and I will get a supply person for those services, if it happens to be a morning service. And we will just see what doors God opens. He told me, "Frank, if God is in this, I would not want to be the person that stood in the way or said no. Our ministry for Him should be bigger than we are, so go where He leads." So if it's Texas, or Gulfport, Clanton or Hueytown, just as long as I'm in my office chair Monday morning. I just want to make a difference. I kinda feel like His foundation has been poured, and cured. He will now start the walls. Can't wait to see what He builds!
I'll be back.....

What Do You Do With Anger

(Sept. 18, 2011)

As I start this post, please let me say up front that I am never trying to toot my own horn or pat myself on the back. I am not worthy to even be writing this except that God has allowed me to experience many things in my 57 years and suddenly, He's given me a forum to tell others how He's brought me through the valleys. Especially the last 14 years.
The other day the friend that cuts my har and has for almost twelve years asked me, she is a Christian herself, how can I still be smiling . How can what you've gone through not made you angry and bitter?
I thought a minute, and just told her this. What would anger accomplish? What would it get me? Bitterness and anger, the best I can remember, have never been a part of my adult make-up. I don't remember really ever having anger.... I take that back. When our boys were small, I can think of a few times I really got angry with them, mostly Brandon. He really tested us a few times. And several times when one or two out of the three would not do their yard work chores, I would get angry. But I can't remember going to bed mad. Now in 37 years of marriage, I'm sure there has been a time or two when I went to bed mad at Janell for something. But I can't remember them. God says in His Word, to not let the sun go down on your anger. And in the last 14, I can't remember ever going to bed mad at all. If I have something that gets me heated up, before I go to bed, I've dealt with it in my own mind. Ninety-nine percent of the time, I'd rather just forgive and forget. And I MEAN forget. I don't have a good long term memory, never have (except for song lyrics - strange). But I just see anger and bitterness as emotions that can cancel out happiness and good things. Sure, in 10 months I've lost a brother, mother in law, aunt, daughter in love and a son, and my wife has had a stroke. Mad?.....No...Questions? lot of 'em!. Bitterness?.... none yet (won't say never but ...) Someone close to me said, "I don't mean this ugly, but it's almost as if you're not even phased by all this." Well, I hurt inside, and I often (almost daily) ask God to let me see my boys and Jennifer, if only for a few seconds. Two or three people I can name say they have see Brandon or Garrett, post homegoing. But not me ....yet. We had Brandon for almost 20 years. Garrett... 25. We were so blessed to have them, know the love that comes from being a parent. I saved a few card Brandon gave me on Fathers day, because we knew his days were numbered if God didn't change things. I never saved any of Garretts, I don't think. Just thought he'd be here to bury me. So yes, I have my pity parties where I'm the only attendee. But I have SO MUCH to still be thankful for. God gave me three sons, not just two. I know folks who could never have kids, and weren't able to adopt. I have grandkids. I know people that died before ever holding a grandchild. I have another great daughter in love! Yes, my wife had a stroke, but I've seen so many stroke survivors that have suffered major physical and neurological damage. Janell's dictionary just got cloudy. But the sun, I mean Son, is shining thru now. Life is too precious with family, friends, God's calling on your life, and work. Don't just stop and smell the roses. The smell after a rain, the smile from a stranger, the encouragement of friends, the lyrics to a song remembered, the colors of a sunset, yes even the snapping of a 17 game winning streak by your favorite team,..... they are all worth moving to forefront of your mind. Don't let anger or bitterness rob you of a minutes happiness or enjoyment. You can't get that minute back. And, I can testify, life is too short.
I'll be back...

Music Notes II

(Sept. 15, 2011)

Frank Here:
Some have messaged and commented on possible venues outside of my home area that might be interested in hearing our story. I am not a professional speaker or singer ( not even polished). But no matter the occasion, if you would like someone to come share about a journey most people have never traveled, I will do my best to accomodate you. I have a full time job M-F , 8-5, and I am part-time music director at a church. I will soon be discussing with my church about occasionally being gone for speaking/singing engagements. I believe they will understand about an event here and there. Sunday evenings will be easier to miss than mornings. Between now and Christmas I do have choir rehersals on Sunday afternoons practicing our Cantata which will again be done in unison with FBC Roebuck Plaza. But I have prayed and let God know that my heart is full and bursting with stories and songs of His mercy and grace during our families trials. And my desire in 2012 is to do more for Him than ever, and if He would open doors I would go. Whether by land or air doesn't matter. If that means resigning my church and fulfilling the opportunities He sends my way, I have no problem with that. He will provide what will be needed. I live on the western side of Birmingham, five minutes from the interstate. So if you pray about it and feel the need to contact me, my email is and I'm in the phone book under Frank & Janell Jones (yes we still have a land line!). As long as I can be back in my office chair Monday mornings at 8:00, I'll try to be as available as my current obligations will allow.
Ill be back....

Music Notes

(Sept. 14)

Just wanted to quickly let those who have been asking know some event information. The church I have served for 21 years, FBC Sandusky, is celebrating our 125th Anniversary this Sunday, with worship services starting at 10:00AM. Besides my choir doing a couple of numbers, I will also be singing a couple of solos. Everyone is welcome to come, and there will be covered dish luncheon afterwards. Anyone who wishes to, please come and worship, celbrate and then hug my neck.
Janell is doing VERY WELL in her recovery. In about a weeks time she has completed over 3/4's of the goals set by the speech therapist for a month. Thank you all for loving on us and praying for us.
Darra McCrories worries has been eleviated and thanks for the prayers. All of her reports are coming back great.
I'll be back, soon, I promise.

Rains on the Just and the Unjust

(Sept. 8, 2011)

Thanks to everyone for your prayers over the last week. I know 95% did not know what you were praying for, but I had to keep Janell's privacy wishes. But I've received permission to share the last few's days events with you. Last Thursday evening, after a full day at work, Janell came home and cooked supper. We finished and she fixed me a plate of leftovers for lunch the next day, and said she was feeling tired and went to lay down for a few minutes. Within 15 minutes I heard her talking rather loudly and went to check on her. She was trying to tell me something but the words were all jumbled up an not making sense. When she answered my question, "Janell what is my name?" with "yes", I knew she was apparently having a stroke. I rushed her to St. Vincents hospital.
We spent the next 5 days being assessed, tested and regulated on blood thinners and tortured on hospital food. She has suffered a very mild stroke caused by a blood clot. It has ONLY affected her word retrieval ability and hearing comprehension. No physical impairments at all. Everything about Janell and all her memories and vocabulary are still there, she just has to find a new pathway to retrieve her words. The doctors and therapists are just amazed at her improvement in one week. She is expected to maske a full recovery, it just might take 2 weeks or 2 months, we don't know. For this brief amount of time, I'm enjoying a respite from her always having the last word. But I know that is what's driving her to full recovery at such a fast pace! The usual result of such a stroke located where it happened is much more debilitating. So, though we wish it had never happened, God was good to us. It could have happened a week earlier on a cruise ship in Alaska, or on an airplane. It could have happened during the night where sleeping hours would have made a big difference. And it could have been much, much more damaging.
So again, thank you to all who lifted us up in prayer without a clue of what was needed. I went back to work yesterday, and someone said to me, "when I heard what had happened to Janell, I thought to myself, "why would God allow this to happen to such a Christian couple who try to live for Him?" I told her that He says in His Word that it rains on the just and the unjust. We are nothing special in His eyes. We are being tried by fire, just like gold, and He's hoping to burn out all the impurities before he makes us into that final eternal being that with walk and talk with Him just as two of my sons and my "daughter" are today. I have more to report on in coming days about our trip, and some thoughts I've had about our childrens homegoings that I'll share in the coming days.
Please remember Darra Graham in your prayers. She has a real prayer need right now, and I will try to bear that burden with her as she has mine the last four months. I ask you to join me.
I'll be back.....

Trip Tidbits (Mon, Aug. 29)

We have arrived back home after an eventful conclusion to our Alaskan cruise. I'll pass that on in another post. The sights were awsome. We took a helicopter ride to the surface of a glacier and i actually got to drink glacier water while laying on the ice. 30 degrees with a 30 mile an hour wind! We took an old engine train ride up an old gold minig route that went up thousands of feet in elevation in old timey rail cars. We took a seaplane trip to see bear in their natural habitat in federaly protected grounds. We had to stand on the pontoons of the plane because we could not step out on land legally. We went whale watching Sat. night. Those were the exciting parts of the trip. But the down side is to the pounds I gained eating fresh pineapple and 3 or 4 meals everyday that my doctor is going to berate me for (not to mention Janell's chastisment) and I've got some serious dieting to do. I treid to enjoy myself with some restraint, but wasn't as successful as Janell.
As far as pictures, I will have to wait untill we get them on a disc where I can try to learn how to pull them off and post them. If you knew what I did to the pictures on the memory card when the 2nd grandbaby was born, you'ld understand why I will wait till the disc is made. Believe it or not, I truly missed Facebook, reading and praying for prayer requests on GPW's page, and just the comraderie. It will take a while to get back into a routine, but will jump back in with both feet.
FYI, I start revival services this Sunday at New Faith Baptist in Pleasant Grove this coming Sunday morning w/Bro. Doug Moore (former pastor at Bethel Baptist in Pleasant Grove) doing the preaching. I haven't sung in over 3 weeks, so I have to get back in voice pretty quickly. Your vocal nodes are muscle and since I haven't worked them out in a while, I'll have to do some serious shower singing this week!. Poor Janell, pray for her ears. Hope some of you will come out to at least hear some good preaching.
I'll be back...

Blogging from Afar

(Sorry, I am very behind in posting Frank's FB notes. This one came out August 25, 2011)

Just a quick few words to say hello from Alaska. Yes, Janell and I flew out last Sat.morning and our ship, The Norwegian Pearl left Sunday afternoon from Seattle. We have been to Juneau, Skagway and the Glacier Bay area so far, and will visit Ketchikan and Victoria B.C. before flying back home this weekend. A great time for relaxation and the rest we needed has come in spurts. We surprised my sister, Stephanie her husband Jack and my Niece Dawn, (who was in on it) and are enjoying some time with them. We had booked this before the storm and decided it was important for us to go through with it. I will be back with some reflections next week. I have prayed for those on GPW pages, though its too expensive to use the internet on board. I must get off now, my time is almost up. Love to all!