17 May 2012

Right now, this is where I am

by Dan Phillips 

Most of you who care (and many of you who don't) know I'm here in Houston, TX, pastorizing and very happy about it. What most of you don't know (because I haven't said) is that I've been without my family -- and not so happy about that!

This BTW is why it was especially dear to me that Frank Turk and his terrific family took the pains to be here with me on the Sunday when I was installed as pastor. It took some sting out of my family's necessary absence to have longtime dear friends here with me and my new friends.

My dear wife and youngest sons remained in Sacramento, selling the house and finishing up various necessities. They've been working like crazy day and night, so's to reunite here in Texas. Meanwhile, I've pastored and house-hunted... and house-purchased! Using iPhone pictures and working with a terrific local agent, I was able to purchase a house near a lake. In fact, here's one of the neighbors I met from a distance the other day:


I think that's a water moccasin. He disappeared into the water before I could say "Howdy." Texas has 'way more venomous snakes than California. In California, if it didn't have a rattle, it was friendly. Not so much, here. But I digress.

So all that to say that I don't have a post for you today, because today is the day when my family is finally to arrive! The cats arrived by jet a couple of weeks ago, the furniture arrived last Wednesday and was unloaded with the help of a wonderful bunch of folks from church, and my family's driving here today.

What I'll be doing is mowing, shopping, arranging, tidying, and basically getting ready for a moment I've been looking forward to since March 9, when the sight of my family waving goodbye was one of the saddest sights I've ever seen. God's been good to Valerie and me, holding us up and being with us. But we are really looking forward to being back together, and today is that day, DV.

Pray for them as they travel, and be good in the meta.

Dan Phillips's signature

38 comments:

Jay Beerley said...

God bless the sustaining grace of God! I pray your family rapidly falls in love with the best country (I mean state) in the world.

Tom Chantry said...

So that's why Texans wear boots! Got to be ready for a visit from one of the slithering neighbors!

Frank Turk said...

I thank God for it.

Rob said...

Hey Dan, I live in Spring, a little north of Houston, and here's the rule with snakes down here that I've learned so far. You won't see as many rattlesnakes, but watch out for copperheads, of which I've seen plenty, even in our suburban area. If you can creep close enough to examine the patterns, if they have a "Hershey's kiss" pattern, keep away! Those are the bad ones.

Jay C said...

Dan,

May I suggest you invest in a gun of some sort for those kinds of neighbors that you pictured?

Jules said...

Praising God that your family is soon to be reunited. Wishing I was close enough to drop by with a few meals for the lotta' ya :)

FellowElder said...

Dear brother,

Rejoicing that the Lord has called you into this marvelous service and is reuniting you with the family today!

If my wife saw a snake like that, we'd be relocating today! I'm thinking you'll want to buy her those boots Chantry mentions!

The Lord bless you and keep you in every way at all times,
Thabiti

Jill Miller said...

What a joyful day it'll be in Houston! Praying your family will arrive safe and sound to a happy reunion and delight at the new home!

Very happy for you and yours, Dan. :)

Mizz Harpy said...

Congratulations on finding a house. It's near a lake? Is it in a flood plain? Has it ever flooded during a tropical storm?

Marla said...

So happy your family is going to be all together again!

I'm with Jay C -- get a gun for those 'neighbors' or a long pole hoe to chop their heads off with.

GrammaMack said...

Rejoicing with you, Dan!

Scooter said...

Your cats can fly?! And you have a jet?! Do they operate as a team or does one do all the work?

I think that might be a copperhead or a watersnake. Water moccasins have much fatter and shorter bodies.

I must say Dan, you have one great family; one who is 100% behind you. May God make today a sweet reunion.

gringa said...

I'm so happy for you! Have a wonderful reunion!

Tom Chantry said...

On second thought, I wouldn't worry. Cats with their own fighter jets can certainly take care of the snakes for you.

Fred Butler said...

You were able to sell the house? In a Jerry Brown California? I'm amazed.

I use to spray weeds for the city of Jonesboro in AR. We were a rice community, so there were always standing bodies of water all over the place. Once I had to put on rubber trout pants and wade through this ditch with my weed spraying device on my back to spray a bunch of kudzo I couldn't reach with my weed blasting gun on my truck.

This shirtless fellow was standing on the bank of this ditch watching me and says "Hey. You want my .22 pistol?" I ask "What for?" "Cuz I seen a water moccasin in thar other day, mustin bin 8 foot long."

Oh the South.

DJP said...

Thank you for your prayers and kind wishes.

Pray especially for my dear wife. She left a house she really loved in Sacramento. She really poured herself into that house in numerous projects and upgrades, and only finished them all to sell it. Now she comes to a house she's never seen other than in dozens of pictures from my iPhone. So, pray for Valerie.

Pam said...

What a great wife you have! Moving to a new house with snakes for neighbors, well, you are very blessed to have such a supportive wife! Grace and peace be multiplied to you.

Lynda O said...

Best wishes and prayers for you and family, Dan!

Kerry James Allen said...

Chantry only had half of the story. When I was in school, the boot-wearers called them "spider squashers" since they had pointed toes that could get the rather large Texas spiders in corners. Now cue the oldie "I don't like spiders and snakes" by Jim Stafford.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jGJVA6pKWpw

DJP said...

Pam: troo dat.

Sir Aaron said...

The family is going to be a little disappointed that you let dinner get away, don't you think?

Mary Elizabeth Tyler said...

All the best to you and your family, Dan. :)

Years ago (my grandfather's generation) the road commission used pigs to get rid of rattle snakes here in Michigan. Maybe you should invest in a pig or two???

Herding Grasshoppers said...

Hurray! Hurray! Hurray! (for the family joining you)

Not so hurray for the wildlife...

What? No one has mentioned the scorpions yet? You have a black light, right? So you can find them at night? (The boys should love that...)

High praise to Valerie for adapting graciously and taking on the challenge of a new house to make a home. I see blue paint in your future ;D

Julie G

Herding Grasshoppers said...

And, hmmm, I think it's a mongoose you need next...

Julie

Steve Drake said...

From Jay C.
"May I suggest you invest in a gun of some sort for those kinds of neighbors that you pictured?"

And again from Sir Aaron:
"The family is going to be a little disappointed that you let dinner get away, don't you think?"

May I suggest you take a little trip to your local Cabela's or Bass Pro Shop and pick up a shotgun of your choosing? Maybe the good people of Copperfield can honor you with such a welcoming gift?

Since most think that all Texans own a gun, you wouldn't want to be outside that demographic statistic and join the club!

Praying for you and your family Dan. The adjustment might likely be tough for your wife, but us Texans are a friendly sort.

JG said...

Reminds me of when we moved here. We bought the house and the first time SoldierMan saw it was when he parked the truck with all our belongings in the driveway. No fancy video tour or anything. ;) I'm so glad y'all are reunited! Prayers for a smooth and easy transition.

Andy Morrison said...

insert simpsons "whacking day" reference here.

It may differ in America, but in Australia snakes are protected, and you're not meant to kill them. A surprising number happen to have their heads fall off in a manner that might suggest a spade had been used on them.

Notwithstanding the right to bare arms, is it commonplace in suburban america to use them to exterminate snakes?

Steve Drake said...

Andy,
"Notwithstanding the right to bare arms, is it commonplace in suburban america to use them to exterminate snakes?"

Most times one would try to capture them in a bag or some sort and release them to the wild. Depending on where you live within a county, at least here in Texas, you have the right to shoot them with your weapon of choice, skin them, and use the result as an adornment for your hat.

Andy Morrison said...

that's good. am reminded of the fact that here in australia, 90% of people who get bitten by snakes were at the time trying to kill the snake. that could speak either to the ferocity of snakes or the intellect of the locals here :)

Kerry James Allen said...

After seeing that snake photo and Googling Texas spiders, I'm thinking that DJP's new memory verse might be Mark 16:18.

mikeb said...

Glad to hear your family will be with you soon. 2 months is a long time without them. I bought my wife her dream house and then told her 7 months later I'm being called into the ministry and we have to move to LA for 3 years! Thankfully she already knew this before I did.

"Water moccasin" means any snake seen near the water. May or may not be the pit viper, very poisonous kind. And scorpions should not be bad near Houston. But out in the Hill Country we got plenty of 'em.

Rachael Starke said...

Love. Love. Love. this.

Except for the snaky part. Which I hate in equal measure.

donsands said...

"..my family is finally to arrive!"

Just a foretaste of what it will like when Jesus arrives.

You have a wonderful testimony of how our Savior has called you, and set things in order the way He does, and you and your family being good Christians.

Have a terrific weekend!

"May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God and to the steadfastness of Christ."-Paul 2nd Epistle to Thessalonians 3:5

VcdeChagn said...

You're more of a man than I am, to do without your helpmeet and family for so long.

I will continue to pray for your ministry and your church.

Oh, and I love snakes. Used to have one (watersnake, non poisonous). But it's good to have a .22 in the summer in areas that have poisonous ones.

Sir Aaron said...

@Andy Morrison:

The same is true here. Most snake bites occur because people were trying to kill them or get a closer look.

Having a snake remain in your yard in "suburban" America is rare. Usually this happens in more rural areas. Dan lives in a relatively new neighborhood so he is going to get more creatures in his area than usual.

I live a couple miles from him and I've only seen snakes twice, both very small and non-venemous (one was about an two inches long).

donsands said...

vcdechagn: I was wondering since you know snakes, could you tell me what this one is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=kQ71i_DD8ag

I thought it was copperhead. But perhaps it's just a water-snake?

"Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father, who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace, comfort your hearts and establish them in every good work and word."-Paul, 2nd Thessalonians 2:16-17

beachbirdie said...

I'll definitely say a prayer for Valerie!

I'm living in the house I never saw, it's been an interesting experience is all I can say. It was supposed to be a temporary home, 20 years later we're still here. :-( While I'm grateful for the roof over my head, I've never been able to love this home. Guess there is a larger lesson here...how am I supposed to view my life in this world? "This world is not my home" LOL. I'm not supposed to love it.

My husband moved with his job 6 months before the kids, pets, and I could move with him; we couldn't find a place to live in this town. Not many rentals that take ducks and chickens, which we'd promised the kids they would not have to give up, and we couldn't sell our house in a very depressed area. Lesson #2: Be careful what you promise!

Bill O'Neill said...

Praise God for the ministry to which you've been called in Houston. Praying for a smooth transition for your wife and children.