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Friday, September 19, 2003

Ray Pritchard pastored in Los Angeles, Dallas and Chicago. Married to Marlene for 38 years, he enjoys being a husband, a father and a grandfather, riding his bike, and playing with Dudley and Gary, beloved basset hounds.

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10:47 PM Tonight Marlene and I did something unusual for us: We went to see a movie. I don't think we actually go to a movie theater more than once a year (although that may change a bit now that we are nearly empty-nesters). We saw the movie "Matchstick Men" at the Lake Theater in Oak Park. The movie has received rave reviews, including a four-star "better than average" rating from Christian Spotlight on the Movies. The review sums it up well when it says that the film "emphasizes that what's really important is family and investing your life not in financial pursuits, but in the ones you love." We enjoyed ourselves, and afterwards went to Mancini's where we bought fried calamari and a few other things that we took home for a late-evening supper. 2:56 PM Gene Edward Veith pays tribute to Johnny Cash. 12:23 PM Later this afternoon the Allied Force high school ministry leaves for their Fall Retreat at Phantom Ranch in Mukwonago, WI. Josh Yates (who served as an intern with Allied Force during his student days at Moody and now leads a youth group in Washington) will be the speaker. The theme this weekend is "Leave No One Behind." A total of 84 students and leaders will be going on the retreat. Pray for Craig and Megan Hammond, for Josh Yates, for the leaders, and for the students—for safety, for God's blessing, and for many students to respond to the call to salvation and dedication to the Lord. 11:25 AM Early today I drove to Moody Bible Institute to do a little work in their library. Found out that my outsider borrower's card is about four years outdated so I couldn't check anything out. I browsed the stacks for a while and came home. On my trip to and from Moody I listened to two CDs by Denise Davis whom I knew from my growing-up days in Russellville, Alabama. She was a couple of years behind me in high school, and was named Miss Alabama in the early 70s. I hadn't had any contact with her in at least 30 years until she sent me an e-mail several months ago. She has a busy career performing Christian music and telling about her spiritual journey, which includes her struggles with multiple sclerosis. She sings with deep conviction (born of her own experiences) of God's faithfulness in the hard times of life. 6:28 AM Bob Bruce wrote the Living Sacrifices devotional for today based on Luke 14:26, "If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters—yes, even his own life—he cannot be My disciple." Here's an excerpt:
My Mom died a year ago, August 3, two months shy of her 100th birthday. Her experience of counting the cost occurred when she and Dad lost their first child during birth. Devastated, she was greatly helped by Dad's sister, a lifelong missionary to Ecuador, who encouraged her to surrender her life to the Lord… .Instead of becoming bitter and angry, Mom turned to the Lord and with Dad started attending a small church in Oak Park called Madison Street Bible Church (later to become Calvary Memorial Church). They buried little Roberta after a simple ceremony. But that's not the end of the story. Thirty-four years later, the Lord gave Mom and Dad another Roberta, this time as a daughter-in-law.

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