SBG welcomes back Nelson who spent the first five months of 2015 in Austin, Texas serving the Texas Legislature, specifically the office of Fort Worth State Senator, Konni Burton. While there he played a key role in the crafting and passage of several pieces of legislation, including, but not limited to, a bill to prevent municipalities from passing illegal laws to prevent fracking (yes, it's actually a fracking ban ban) and a bill that would greatly reduce the amount of superfluous paperwork Texas teachers are currently drowning in (yes, it's actually an attorney-initiated regulation to reduce paperwork). With the toil of long days and nights wrestling with Texas politicians and Austin traffic behind him, Nelson returns to Midland, glad for the experience and ready to rejoin the normal, serene work environment at SBG. Welcome home, soldier.
When a newsletter from Faith Comes by Hearing arrived this month with a story about the "End of the Spear," it captured, not surprisingly, our immediate attention. Upon further reading (fortunately, the article included pictures), we were relieved to discover the reference was to a compelling movie about the Waorani people of Ecuador, and not the code name for an assassination plot against the Spear brothers. According to the article, when FCBH provided the Waorani's their first audio bible this summer they were greeted with a reception far more pleasant than the one received by a group of Americans that visited them in 1956 (all deceased, 1956). Greatly heartened to know the full explanation, SBG recently greeted Ken Edwards of FCBH with a likewise pleasant reception, even allowing him full access to a set of sharp silverware at lunch. (Any push to accelerate finalization of SBG's Disaster Recovery Plan would be purely coincidental at this time.)
What do rifles, fishing rods and castrations all have in common? While a valid first guess would be that they all represent fragments of Shane and Nelson's collective childhood memories, they are also part of the boy-to-man experience at a unique camp in Snyder, Texas called "Ranch at the Crossroad." Over lunch today we learned that young men hand-picked by coaches at the local high school spend a week each summer at this camp, wrestling with all of these activities (plus a steer or two) while building character traits like respect and honor. Sensing an imminent enrollment request, ranch director, Dave Bilderback, quickly directed us to one of his YouTube inspirational videos instead.
SBG welcomes pastors and staff from Mid-Cities Community Church who will be occupying empty office space on our floor while space of their own is being arranged. Although the senior pastor claims that this temporary residency is intended to assist Mid-Cities in maintaining church operations during their office transition, we have to wonder if the antics of the Spear brothers have finally reached a level commensurate with the necessity of constant spiritual supervision.
On a recent visit to SBG, Morgan and Mari Jackson shared a soup recipe from Haiti which calls for one fresh torn page from a bible. They explained that some Haitians who lack the ability to read but still want to obey the ancient scripture "man shall not live by bread alone but by the word of God" take matters into their own hands and soup pots. Fortunately for the collective digestive systems of these innovative chefs the Jacksons have been able to offer an improved (although reduced fiber) solution for millions of reading-impaired peoples: scriptures they can ingest by simply listening to them in their native language. Even after hearing this, SBG insisted on providing the snacks for all future meetings.