Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Good News About Chaplain Hoppy

I just received the following email update from Jerry Steele, President of God's Trucking Ministry:

We brought Hoppy home from the hospital today. He had been transferred from Howard County General to the 7th Day Adventist Hospital in DC so they could replace a collapsed stint in one of his arteries. They will probably have to do another stint in the future since one artery is about 60% blocked. They prefer to wait until it is about 80% blocked before they operate. He seems to be doing fine for now. He will have to relax for a few days. You can reach him at the T/A Knights Inn at the truck stop in Jessup MD. Room 200. 410-799-3835.


Praise the Lord!

In His name,
Chaplain Sam Houchins

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Problems with the Jesus' Tomb Theory

The BiblePlaces Blog has a good list refuting the Discovery Channel program scheduled for next Sunday night:

I've compiled a short list of problems with the theory that Jesus' family tomb has been located in Jerusalem...

Source: BiblePlaces Blog

In His name,
Chaplain Sam Houchins

Ten Reasons Why The Jesus Tomb Claim Is Bogus

This is in response to the Discovery Channel program:

The claim of James Cameron and the Discovery Channel that a tomb contains the bones of Jesus is bogus, said leading Biblical and archeological scholars today.

Source: View Press Release

In His name,
Chaplain Sam Houchins

Saturday, February 24, 2007

"Amazing Grace," A Film Christians Should See

A positive review from Evangelical News:

It's not very often that Hollywood positively portrays evangelical Christians, but such is the case in "Amazing Grace," a major motion picture about William Wilberforce's extraordinary leadership in the abolition of slavery. Celebrating the 200th anniversary of the slave trade's demise in Great Britain, "Amazing Grace" opens in theaters this weekend nationwide.

Source: View Press Release

In His name,
Chaplain Sam Houchins

Thursday, February 22, 2007

A Lion Funny

A hungry lion was roaming through the jungle looking for something to eat.

He came across two men: One was sitting under a tree reading a book; the other was typing away on his typewriter.

The lion quickly pounced on the man reading the book and devoured him.

Even the King of the Jungle knows readers digest and writers cramp.


In His name,
Chaplain Sam Houchins

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

A Very Special Treat

My daughter made me a very special treat last night - a chocolate cake.  Margaret brought it home with her today when she came back from Virginia.  The cake came with a warning tag.

Chocolate Cake 1

Well, I definitely qualify!

Chocolate Cake 2

It looks scrumptious.

Chocolate Cake 3

Margaret does NOT meet the requirements but I decided to be gracious and share some with her - the smaller piece on the left is hers, of course.

There is more to this cake than meets the eye.  Sheri fixed this late last night, after a full day, and after attending night school class, and while suffering from undiagnosed appendicitis.  She was determined to have it ready for Margaret to bring home to me today.

By the way, it is DELICIOUS!!!

In His name,
Chaplain Sam Houchins

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

God, Why Did You Let It Happen That Way?

A few weeks ago a seventy year-old friend of ours, Don Morris, passed away.  Don had just been out for a walk.  He came home and he and his wife sat down to watch TV.  His wife said he made a kind of gurgling sound and then he was gone.  Just like that.

Yesterday one of our TFC coworkers, Volunteer Chaplain Bob Chidester, died in a truck accident.  According to the news reports he was trapped in the cab of his burning truck and despite frantic attempts his rescuers were unable to remove him before he died in the flames.  Bob was conscious when the would-be rescuers rushed to his aid.  One of the rescuers is now hospitalized with severe burns.

Don and Bob were both strong men of God who unashamedly lived their faith throughout their day-to-day lives - genuine, authentic faith that spontaneously resulted in good works (James 2:14-17).

I don't dwell on when my own death might occur.  I know beyond doubt that whenever my Lord calls me home I will experience what Paul described:

"We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord" (2 Corinthians 5:8 NKJV).

However the passing of these two friends causes me to pause and ponder on the eventual manner of my death - not that I will have anymore say in the manner than I will in the timing.  Do you, like myself, harbor preconceived notions of how you would or would not prefer to die?  For me, being conscious and trapped in a fire would be high on my list of how I do not want to experience death.  I would much prefer something comparable to what our friend Don experienced - quietly, peacefully, painlessly, and quickly.

God's plan for each of us gives us a choice about where we will go after our earthly body expires (Romans 6:23), but not when or how that transition will occur.  At times like this I'm very uncomfortable with my lack of influence over these future events.  God, I don't like this arrangement!  Why did Bob suffer so and Don did not?  God, sometimes you are not fair!

Do you sometimes struggle with questions and/or thoughts like these?  I have been walking with the Lord for twenty-nine years and in ministry for fourteen years but once in a while I am faced with situations that bring these thoughts to the forefront of my consciousness.

Such thoughts always take me back to a pair of incidents related in the book of the Acts of the Apostles:

Now about that time Herod the king stretched out his hand to harass some from the church. Then he killed James the brother of John with the sword. And because he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to seize Peter also. Now it was during the Days of Unleavened Bread. So when he had arrested him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four squads of soldiers to keep him, intending to bring him before the people after Passover. Peter was therefore kept in prison, but constant prayer was offered to God for him by the church. And when Herod was about to bring him out, that night Peter was sleeping, bound with two chains between two soldiers; and the guards before the door were keeping the prison. Now behold, an angel of the Lord stood by him, and a light shone in the prison; and he struck Peter on the side and raised him up, saying, “Arise quickly!” And his chains fell off his hands. Then the angel said to him, “Gird yourself and tie on your sandals”; and so he did. And he said to him, “Put on your garment and follow me.” So he went out and followed him, and did not know that what was done by the angel was real, but thought he was seeing a vision. When they were past the first and the second guard posts, they came to the iron gate that leads to the city, which opened to them of its own accord; and they went out and went down one street, and immediately the angel departed from him. (Acts 12:1-10 NKJV)

God permitted James to be executed but miraculously saved Peter.  Why?

If you know your Bible well the first Scripture to come to mind might be:

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord.  “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts. (Isaiah 55:8-9 NKJV)

The last five chapters of the book of Job (38-42) are where God responds to Job's similar quandary.  He reminded Job that He was in charge.  Paul, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, also addressed this issue:

What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? Certainly not!  For He says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whomever I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whomever I will have compassion.”  (Romans 9:14-15 NKJV)

The bottom line?  God always has the absolute best plan, better than we could develop, (Proverbs 3:5-6), and His plan is always for good, (Jeremiah 29:11).

I don't know why these things happened the way they did.  But I have learned through experience that I can trust God - when I am willing to do so.

In His name,
Chaplain Sam Houchins

Friday, February 02, 2007

TravelCenters of America Looks Very Cheap

The title is referring to TA stock, not the appearance of the facilities.  TA went public today and their stock is now being traded.

TravelCenters of America (TA) started trading the regular way today...

Source: SeekingAlpha article

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Results Get Rewarded

A minister dies and is waiting in line at the Pearly Gates. Ahead of him is a guy dressed in sunglasses, a loud shirt, leather jacket, and jeans.

Saint Peter says to this guy, "Who are you, so that I may know whether to admit you to the Kingdom of Heaven?"

The guy replies, "I'm Joe Cohen, taxi driver, of Noo Yawk City."

Saint Peter consults his list. He smiles and says to the taxi driver, "Take this silken robe and golden staff and enter the Kingdom of Heaven."

The taxi driver goes into Heaven with his robe and staff, and it's the minister's turn.

He stands erect and booms out, "I am Joseph Snow, pastor of Saint Mary's for the last 43 years."

Saint Peter consults his list. He says to the minister, "Take this cotton robe and wooden staff and enter the Kingdom of Heaven."

"Just a minute!" says the minister. "That man was a taxi driver, and he gets a silken robe and golden staff. How can this be?"

"Up here, we work by results," says Saint Peter. "While you preached, people slept. While he drove, people prayed."


In His name,
Chaplain Sam Houchins