Friday, March 10, 2017

Relationships Are the Essence of the Christian Faith

Rachelle and I are part of a 28-member group touring Israel. Most of those with us belong to Emmanuel Enid, but a couple from Texas, Rex and Judy Ray, have joined us for this trip. I only knew of Rex through his online presence. He has commented on blogs I've written for the past decade, and we have corresponded periodically via email. Today, our group toured Caesarea by the Sea, Mount Carmel, Megiddo, and Cana. Rex is 85-years-young and he kept us with us from beginning to the end. Today also happens to be Rex's 85th birthday. At Cana, I remarked that as wine ages it can either become better or bitter. So too, when a human being ages, the prospects are either betterment or bitterness. In wishing Rex a "Happy Birthday" at the place Jesus performed His first public miracle, I told the group that Rex is definitely getting better as he ages. Though I'd never met Rex or his wife Judy until we gathered at the OKC airport on Wednesday. After three days in Israel, I feel he's been a friend for life. I'm reminded through people like Rex and Judy, our friend Jan Pointner in New Hamphsire, and a host of other people Rachelle and I have known and loved from a distance, that the essence of Christianity is relationships. Happy Birthday, Rex Ray. We trust the Lord will grace you with many more to come.


Instugator said...

Happy birthday Rex!
- Stew G

RB Kuter said...

Happy birthday, Rex! I know you're celebrating in the best place in the world with an awesome group to party with!

Christiane said...

Very happy birthday to Rex Ray! It is great that he is celebrating while in the Holy Land and in such good company. My hope is that all goes well and everyone has a safe and meaningful journey. Well, I guess Rex will have some wonderful new stories to tell when he gets home. :) No one tells a story like Rex Ray.

Prayers for the safety of all on this journey. God Bless!

Rodney Sprayberry said...

Rex and Judy are a joy and blessing to our fellowship as well. So tell Rex not to try and swim the sea of Galilee again...he might not make it this time. We want them back safe and sound.


Anonymous said...

You guys have a good and profitable time in Israel.

I, also, want to wish Rex Ray a Happy Birthday!

We have not always agreed on issues, but I have always appreciated Rex's engagement and obvious love for the Lord.


Rex Ray said...

The older I get the more I realize I’m behind in this world.

My youngest stepson, Jim Abbott, spent the day with us. This tells what he does:

He explained why I could not read any of Wade’s post past January 2, 2017. (I somehow was not ‘logged in or something like that.) I wrote the last 20 comments on that post with no response. I felt as on a deserted island. ):

Wade, it was really good to met at last but I’m afraid you exaggerated about me keeping up. Well, I did keep up real good when we rode the bus. In fact I was a self-appointed bus guard and got a lot more ‘hotel time’ when you guys did a lot of walking. That 5 mile day would have been the Bataan Death March for me. I appreciate very much riding through airports with my bad ankle.

Judy enjoyed every moment as it was her first trip. I saw more this trip than my previous four trips put together. Our son, Joe, was a missionary for seven years and every time they had a baby my first wife and I would babysit. A Muslim told him he would be a Christian if he knew God would give him five sons as Joe.

I’m writing in the middle of the night because I got up to take another pain pill. I knew I needed it when in a dream a large hog ran between my legs and I couldn’t get off. He kept dragging my ankle through the dirt.

Thanks everyone for wishing me a happy birthday.