Tag Archives: SOWERS

Here’s a question –

Can you guess what these six pictures have in common?


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painttray Journeythrugreif



souplabels SPIKiteFestival

Answer – They are all found in the February SOWER e-Newsletter! Every month I put together a little newsletter for the SOWER Ministry called “Hear Ye the Master’s Call”.  This month there was a real potpourri of items, and since I spend the better part of the first part of each month putting it together, I thought I’d share a link to it if you’d like to see just how all these pictures relate to each other. 🙂

Mondays are for Memories – Canyon Lake and the Hill Country of TX

A good friend left a comment on my post about our New Neighborhood asking whether or not Austin was pretty. Well, truth be told, I haven’t actually formed any “pretty” opinions about Austin since what I mostly see in Austin is TRAFFIC. Perhaps we’ll get a bit more into town later in the month and can form a more accurate opinion (especially since I’ve heard that it really IS a lovely city!), but in the meanwhile I did want to report that the Austin Area is in one of the prettiest parts of Texas. Austin is located in the Hill Country, filled with lakes and winding roads and, yes, hills! Several years ago we stopped for a couple of days at Canyon Lake in the Hill Country, and I thought I’d share that post today. As you can see – it IS a beautiful part of Texas!

October 5, 2013 – Canyon Lake


What a beautiful couple of days we had at Canyon Lake. It’s just outside (north) of San Antonio and in the beautiful Hill Country area of Texas. Our good friends Jo and Roy had raved in the past about the beautiful Corp. of Engr. parks on the lake, so we thought it would be a great stopping over place before we completed our final leg of our journey to the Rio Grande Valley. And the fact that Jo and Roy were actually going to be there = well, we couldn’t not stop!
Unfortunately, due to the partial shutdown of our dear Federal government, the COE campgrounds were closed, but J&R found nearby private campground (still on the lake) and soon we were settled in nicely!
And look, nice quiet neighbors!
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Our buddies had some in-town errands to run on Thursday, so we were left to our own devices. It seemed like a good morning to check out Canyon Lake.
The morning walk at Canyon Lake. All good!.
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It’s always a treasure to find tiny pockets of color appearing in the pot marked surface along the water’s edge.

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Given the heat (it was in the 90’s) and the fact that we were on our own, I confess that we spent the rest of the day in the cool (relatively) of the RV. (I had a couple of deadlines to meet, so it was really a good thing!) But Friday was a play day for sure!
With Jo and Roy as our guides we set out to Gruene, TX (pronounced Green). It’s a quaint Texas town located along the Guadalupe River, just outside of New Braunfels.
Along with interesting architecture and touristy shops and places to eat, it is also home to Gruene Hall – one of the oldest (if not THE oldest, depending on who you ask 🙂 )dance halls in Texas.
Apparently, on this very stage, George Strait got his start!
Oh, the historical significance of it all! But Country & Western legacy beside, it really was a fun little town!


It’s all about tourism these days in Gruene, but they do it pretty well and Jo and I even found a bargain or two! After a lovely late lunch in Gruene (check out the Gristmill River Restaurant for great riverside dining if you ever get to town), we took a little drive to nearby New Braunfels but found we were too late to get into some of the historic buildings there. Besides, we had one more important stop to make –
As you can see, Mrs. Bush also sells Texas sized cookies!
But that Key Lime Pie – My.Oh.My.
Mrs. Bush's Key Lime pie. Oh yeah, baby!
We showed great restraint in not eating the whole thing!
So it was a wonderful couple of days. We shared meals when we could, got in a couple of games, and just hung around and caught up with each other. We love that we have such dear SOWER friends that we can go for years between visits, and still pick up right where we left off.
But – like many good things, it came to a prayerful end on Saturday morning. We hugged and prayed and promised to keep in touch (thank-you, Facebook, for making that easier than it used to be!).
And then we hit the road!
Final leg of our fall journey. The long road to the Rio Grande Valley!
300 miles later, we were parked and getting settled in the Flame of Truth Campground in Alamo, Texas.

And here we will be for the next little while. Gary’s been asked to head up the A/C installation at the new school building for Macedonia Christian School. There is one small glitch, though. The actual building isn’t up yet. Soooo….we’ll see what the weeks ahead will bring. Right now we’re thankful for our safe arrival and are looking forward for tomorrow’s cold front. Right now, it’s 93 and the A/C is a humming away, trying to catch up from the hot drive. And I think it might just be time for a nap…….
…………….and I might just be dreaming about that pie……………..

We’re Baaaaaack…..

Wow! Happy New Year, friends! We’ve returned from our Columbus Christmas trip, regrouped in Waco, and then headed down the road to our January SOWER project – Highland Lakes Camp in Spicewood, TX (between Austin and Marble Falls).  The camp is located right on Lake Travis, so although we are in a pretty remote area,it’s also pretty touristy so we are still enjoying some good ‘first world’ perks. Like several TV (OTA) stations, good cell phone service and reasonable internet. Not to mention a nice full hook-up and great neighbors (other SOWERS or staff here at the camp). I’m looking forward to a great month!

Meanwhile, I’m still sorting through photos from our wonderful family time in Ohio and I’m pretty sure I owe you a recap from the end of our trek through Arizona and Utah to get here. But all in good time. Or sooner or later.
I’ll sure I’ll get caught-up eventually.

Thanks for stopping by, friends!


Camp Bighorn – Adventure with Purpose

Wow – We had such a good month at Camp Bighorn. In our 12 years as SOWERS, we’ve worked at dozens of Christian Camps across this country. We’ve worked at big camps and small camps, mountain camps and desert camps, lakeside camps and oceanside camps. And all those camps, regardless of their size, or activities or facilities, have one purpose in mind. To share the Good News of Jesus Christ and disciple young (and old) people. This camp has the same goal, but they go about it in a way different from any of the other camps that we’ve experienced. One of their taglines is “Adventure with Purpose”. And the purpose is to “steward environments where questions arise and hope is shared.”

At Camp Bighorn you won’t see the typical morning and evening worship/chapel schedule. (Although each day starts with a personal devotion time and ends with a group gathering.) Instead, they use the great outdoors as their chapel, and one-on-one interaction with counselors and  staff during and after “adventures” as venues for discipleship.  We were here for three very different camping sessions: Achieve Camp – a program for kids and adults with disabilities (inspirational to say the least),  Youth Adventure Camp (many kids coming from the foster care programs in the area), and finally Family Camp.  As always, it was great to see this camp in action –
(Truth in journalism – I got this picture off of Facebook. The action we enjoyed was mostly during meals and watching kids leave for rafting or paddle boarding or kayaking or high ropes, etc. After all – we were working, right? But even though we didn’t see THIS type of action – we knew it was going on! And you could tell the kids LOVED it!)

So while the camp’s action plan is a bit different that others that we’ve worked at, our SOWER work was right in line! Like all camps, big or small, they all need help! The ladies, with a fair bit of help from the men, continued on where the last group left off – cleaning and recovering 225 +/- chairs. What started out looking like this –
ended up looking like this –
(Pay no attention to the summer staff (and Gary) standing on our beautiful chairs. It’s a camp, right? They were just welcoming the campers to lunch.)
Here are a couple of “Hard at Work” pictures of the Chair Rehab Station –
(Look – they let me play with the staple gun! Happy to report no fingers were stapled in the production of these chair covers.)
While there were three couples working this month, one couple had worked through the break, so they were only there for the first week. I don’t think we could have finished up those chairs, though, if it hadn’t been for their faithful contribution (and the fact that by the time we got there they had figured out a good system.) While Gary came and helped occasionally, he was mostly working from his own list. Like A/C checking and ice machine adjusting, and electrical-type stuff. He’s handy to have around for those things. Plus he was busy building a concrete base for a generator that was being installed after we left.

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Here is our group, posing in our “Album” cover look.

This was a very memorable month, from our rafting start
to our fancy dinner-out finish –
and all of the crazy camp moments in between!

Yes, that’s “Slip ‘N Slide kickball. Who knew!.

We continue to be thankful for the opportunities we have to see Christ in action, working in the lives of staff, and campers, and yes – even us old SOWERS! To HIM be all the Glory and Honor!
Parking majesty


A Sower’s Reunion

We’re here in Beautiful Vero Beach, Florida, where we’ve enjoyed several days of perfect Florida weather, great fellowship with many new Sower friends, and a time of spiritual and physical refreshment. We’re at the Florida Sowers Reunion being held at The Youth for Life Camp – a beautiful camp/retreat center. Since we’re so new to the Sower Ministry we’ve especially appreciated hanging out with friends from our January Project, Dave and Edie Williams. They’ve been showing us the ropes and introducing us to folks. Everyone one has been wonderfully friendly! It been a great chance to see how this ministry has impacted people for so many years. We are definitely one of the younger couples here – and it really is inspiring to see so many mature Christians really living out their faith in this ministry.
The reunion ended today, and most of the gang has headed off to their next destination. We’re hanging around at the camp until it’s time to go to our next project at the Teen Challenge Ranch in the Florida panhandle. We have some chores to do, but hopefully we’ll get to the beach while we’re here. Can’t beat this fine Florida weather!
Here are our friends Dave and Edie –