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 Pastor's Pen 
Saturday, July 29 2017
Divine Appointments

The trip had been pretty much uneventful for the pastor. The time volunteering to drive the disaster relief truck had represented a welcome break from the rigors of leading a small church. His 53 foot trailer was loaded top to bottom, side to side and front to back with a cargo of shoes on their way to the hard-hit Indonesian coast ravaged by the tsunami of 2004. 

Hunger had driven him into the truck stop. But little did he know God had arranged an appointment for him.

The hurried meal was over. His thick bug collection on the windshield and headlights had been carefully removed. A brief pre-trip inspection proved what he already knew; the truck and all its equipment was in tip-top shape. Just a few more moments to make an entry in his logbook and he would melt back into the endless train of loaded trucks headed for who knows where from the factories and warehouses of Chicago. 

The driver became aware there was someone moving purposefully from truck to truck down the long line of idle vehicles. In seconds, the man climbed up onto the steps of his tractor and grabbed hold of the mirror bracket on one side and the grab bar on the other. His uniform and professional smile disarmed the driver, prompting him to lower the window and ask what the man wanted. Turns out he was a recruiter for a major trucking company trying to hire drivers away from their current job. 

It didn't take long for the pastor to run his flag up and let the recruiter know his plate was already full. Of course, that led to questions about the disaster relief organization. Which led to a discussion of God and His push to help the helpless. 

Within minutes the busy driver had scrapped his carefully laid trip plans and had invited the recruiter into his truck. Shortly, the man was pouring his heart out, weeping over personal problems that were overwhelming his coping mechanisms. Not the least of his concerns was the fact that his wife had just been diagnosed with cancer. 

His shoulders shook with grief. Tears flowed as he related the seriousness of her prognosis. 

The driver's small travel Bible fell open to familiar verses underlined and crinkled with tears from previous encounters with the impossibilities of life. Soon, prayer filled the front office of the Convoy of Hope tractor trailer that just "happened" to be at that truck stop at that time for that broken heart nearly swamped by the tragedies engulfing his life. If any tiny detail had been different, the paths of the pastor and the recruiter might never have converged. 

Only God could arrange two busy schedules so that the need encountered compassion in a timely fashion. it possible that's what Psalm 37:23 is driving at?

Schedules can be rearranged.  Especially when lives hang in the balance. 

Be led of the Lord dear ones!

A servant,

Richard Orrell

Posted by: Pastor Rich Orrell AT 06:14 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Saturday, July 22 2017
Take time to be refreshed 😊

Take time to be refreshed

Proverbs 11:25  NLT

" The generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.”

They’re here again, the hot days of summer.   Some days we just can’t get motivated and we long for the cool days coming in the fall.

Scripture tells us to refresh others and we’ll be refreshed.    A smile across the room, a kind word, a gentle hug, a genuine question, “how are you doing?”

People are “thirsty” for refreshing, be honest, we all need to know someone cares.

Purpose with me this week to be that cool breeze that refreshes someone.   When we do that we ourselves will also be refreshed, God promised that.    Normally when we smile at someone, we get a smile back. Yeah, there are the perpetual grumps, but hey, give it a try,  Smile, they may like it and return it 😊

Love ya,  Pastor Phil      

Posted by: Pastor Phil Illum AT 06:00 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Saturday, July 15 2017
Watch out for life's traps

Out of town guests had arrived the night before requesting that we make a run down to Key West the next day. The coolers were packed with picnic makings and ice. Everyone loaded into the van and soon the road began its monotonous hop from one tiny island to the next as we made our way into the famous Florida Keys.

A particularly lovely island with a nice park right beside the road attracted the notice of the teens in the visiting family. We were nowhere near Key West but they just had to try the beautiful clear blue waters stretching toward the Atlantic horizon. They were enjoying an invigorating romp in the warm shallows when a sudden shout of alarm rang out. And no, it wasn’t a shark or some other toothy threat from the deep. One of the teens had picked up a living sponge from the bottom and had wrung the water from it thinking to take it home with her as a souvenir. What she didn’t realize, the seemingly innocent sponge was equipped with a powerful defense mechanism. As she had squeezed it, the sponge had exuded a powerful toxin designed to ward off potential predators. 

The pain was excruciating. Her hands swelled alarmingly. Attempts were made to wash the toxin from her skin. But only time blunted the effects of the clever defense mounted by the innocent looking sponge. 

Life has any number of similar traps waiting for the unwary willing to pick up some apparently innocuous and attractive vice. In the case of the teen and the attack-sponge, a few hours of pain and swelling plus a lot of Benadryl and Tylenol were the only apparent consequences to her naïve actions. But some of life’s traps are much less forgiving. There are things out there that if you pick them up, you simply cannot put them down. They look great but they bite.

Be careful what you pick up this summer. 

Love ya!

Richard Orrell, Pastor

Posted by: Pastor Rich Orrell AT 05:50 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Saturday, July 08 2017
Powerful plans from God

Powerful plans from God -  -

I Corinthians 4:20  NLT

“For the Kingdom of God is not just a lot of talk, it is living by God’s power.”

On any given day you can receive a host of “counsel” from many different well intentioned “saints”.    Seems like we’re often surrounded by a host of “spiritual experts” that will tell us their take on what is God’s will for our lives.

Listen to what our scripture says today, don’t turn to the humans that are just dying to tell you what God’s plan is for your life, and exactly what you should do.  

When you’re distressed go directly to the Source.  GOD has promised to give wisdom and power to us, all we have to do is call on Him and then listen to what He has to say.

Let the “experts” follow their own counsel.  God has a plan for you and He will share it with you if you ask Him.

God loves you and so do I,

Pastor Phil      

Posted by: Pastor Phil Illum AT 05:32 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Saturday, July 01 2017
Happy 4th of July

Growing up in a household with three sisters there always seemed to be young people at our place around the 4th of July. Perhaps that was when they got leave from their service obligations and could pursue some sort of normalcy. At any rate, there they were. When the young soldiers showed up things got exciting. Like the time one of them decided it would be fun to catch the 6 foot gator living in our pond. He discovered it was a lot easier to get the thing to bite the lure than it was to get it off the line once the hooks were set. He dragged it from the pond and up the trail to our yard before Daddy realized what he was doing. Dad was not too happy having those snapping jaws so close to his children and grandchildren. He suggested with a certain degree of forcefulness that the young man cut the line and let the beast go back to the pond. When he saw the fire in daddy’s baby blues the young man decided he was finished playing with the gator and he “could” replace the expensive fishing lure clamped fiercely in the gator’s jaws.

Or how ‘bout the time one of them brought out his stash of illegal fireworks purchased in a neighboring state on the way home from boot camp? The thunderous boom of the M-80’s and Cherry Bombs were the loudest noises our sheltered lives had ever heard! And the strings of firecrackers all lit at once rivaled any machinegun activity we had ever seen on TV. Sparklers, smoke bombs, roman candles…we had them all thanks to our guests.

Mother always put on a feed for everyone. Oh, nothing fancy. Just sandwiches and maybe a fried chicken. And did I mention Mom’s special potato salad? The best!

I’m still not sure where the watermelons came from. Certainly not from our meager resources. Maybe one of the young warriors had thought to get them as they passed through the melon fields. I just remember they were good!

In those days I’m not certain I grasped that I was witnessing the blessing of God on our Nation. A country that could produce the finest youth ever to wear the uniform and grow the bountiful harvest we all enjoyed as well. Plus provide the pure freedom to enjoy it all without fear of interference from anyone. As an older and hopefully wiser person, I now know that the life blood of some of those very young men was shed to keep our way of life from becoming a thing of the past. I remember the solemn services as their lives were celebrated over flag draped coffins as bugles softly blew taps when prayer was done.

This Fourth of July, let us remember our roots and heritage as one nation under God. And let us pledge ourselves anew to the principles that made us a great nation to start with.

“I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all!”


Richard Orrell, pastor

Posted by: Pastor Rich Orrell AT 06:00 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
    Battlefield Assembly of God
    5154 S. State HWY FF  | Battlefield, MO 65619 | PH: (417) 882-1116  |