Acorns From Oakes

Seeing With Our Father's Eyes

…In Bakersfield

I guess Tony Bennett left his in San Fransisco…but I left mine in Bakersfield…my heart, that is. That’s close enough, I reckon. I flew to Tulsa on December 13th. We began loading the 17ft. U-haul truck that afternoon. We soon discovered that the truck was too small. So we went for a 5 X 8 trailer to pull along behind…which meant our plans to tow the car went awry. So, I drove the truck and trailer…my son drove the car. We travelled from Bartlesville, OK to Okla City on Friday. Jr. was presiding over a wedding for good friend, Jay Morgan. Spent Friday night in motel. I left Saturday AM with the U-haul stuff. Doug, Kelly and Remi stayed for the 1 PM wedding.  Then Doug took Kelly and Remi to the airport and left them to fly to Bakersfield from there. He got on the road and headed west to rendezvous with me in Albuquerque. There’s a lot more to say about the trip…but I will summarize this way…12 hours on the road Saturday…15 hours on Sunday…walkie talkies…infernal “meowing cat” beside me on the truck seat ALL THE WAY…tough, windy, icy weather starting out for the first 5o or so miles…awesome weather the rest of the way…grace of God which kept me from wrecking my kids’ furniture in the truck more than once, which kept me awake (did He keep that cat going?), which brought us safely in on Sunday night around 11 PM CA time. Then next day and a half was a blur of unloading things, deciding what we would leave in storage and what would go to Kelly’s parents’ home (where they are living for a time), returning U-haul truck and trailer, playing with, feeding, changing, holding Remi (8 months old now). Tuesday…just before noon, I stole into Remi’s room where she was about to nap. I kissed her beautiful face one more time…then I whispered into her tiny ear, “I am your Poppa Oakes. Remember me.” Then we left for the airport in Burbank. I got home to Ohio around two in the morning on Wednesday.

I want to thank those of you who breathed a word of prayer for us. Seriously, I appreciated it so much. It gave me strength along the way to know of my friends…my family in Jesus who went to the Throne for us. It gave me strength for leaving my son, my daughter-in-law, and my granddaughter, the Amazing Remi baby, in the foreign land of California. (We actually were stopped for an inspection at the California state line.) And I’m pretty sure it must have been your praying that kept the “cat” alive. I had spent quite a bit of time while driving and listening to its howls, planning its demise in various ways that would not point to me. The cat made the entire trip in good health (and in good voice).

During our trip, Vicki (my wife) called. I know she was feeling blue. She had been online looking for flights to CA. I booked a flight for her (for February) at the second motel in which we stayed. That lifted her spirits some. That’s for sure.

I have missed commenting on your blogsites…I have been able to do some checking in and reading. What you are saying…what you are wanting to do for Jesus…what you are wanting to offer other folks just like us…this is all GOOOOOOD! And it honors Him. And it blesses people who really need a break. You are like lights shining in a dark place (that seems to remind me of Another Who brought a Great Light to a people steeped in settled, thick darkness). You (like Him) help us find our way…encourage us to take the next step…strengthen us for our journey.

I left my heart in Bakersfield, but it didn’t break. That’s because my hope is in Heaven. I find my heart is in lots of places these days…it’s with a sister, a mother and brothers in my hometown of Bellbrook, OH…it’s with my wife’s family of faithful people who love our Lord… it’s with a friend in Lubbock, TX, and the growing “Open” church there he ministers with…it’s with a friend and his dear family in Withamsville, OH…it’s with some people (some I’ve met and some I will one day meet) who write out (on blogsites) their hearts about the wonderful differences Jesus makes in their world…it’s with a church in Dayton, OH, and Christians there who have known and blessed me from my youth…it’s with a church family and friends in Troy, OH, with whom I served, sorrowed and rejoiced for 18 years…it’s with a faithful little assembly of the Lord’s volunteers in Somerset, OH, who took a chance on me in 2003 and with whom I have worked ever since…it’s with a son and his family in CA…it’s with a daughter and her family in KY…it’s with a son and his wife in WV…and it’s with a beautiful Christian lady, who, for me, will always be the girl to whom my heart belongs.  It is truly a wonder to me that God has graciously gifted me with you all. To have simply known you would be splendid beyond my dreams. To have been befriended by you is simply outlandish. To love and be loved by you is so far out of line with anything I could ever deserve or ask of Him…but, I AM SO GLAD FOR ALL OF YOU…FOR EACH OF YOU. Feel His pleasure in you today, please.

Single Post Navigation

3 thoughts on “…In Bakersfield

  1. I like the idea of your heart being in all of those places, and that your hope is in Heaven. I’m sure that in each one of those places that you mentioned … there is someone that is grateful for the fingerprints you left on their hearts. They smile when they think of you … just like we do. I know this without a doubt, because I’ve seen some of the things you can do with a heart … you are amazing.

    I am proud of you for not hurting, losing, or harming that cat. I can’t even imagine having to listen to the “meowing” for that whole trip. You are a good man on many levels … cat tolerance is one level you have mastered.

    I’m sorry that you are far away from your children … grandchildren. I saw my dad begin to cry this past week as he watched a slide show of some pictures of their grandchildren. I have seen him cry less than a handful of times. It really touched me … to see him so moved. I have no idea what was going through his mind … but I think you might understand. His grandkids are only 2 hours away … but that’s too far for them. So I know you are struggling with this. I’m glad that you are handling it okay.

    Happy to have you back … thankful you had a safe trip.

    PAIGE,
    I REALLY APPRECIATED WHAT YOU SAID ABOUT MY FINGERPRINTS BEING ON THOSE HEARTS IN DIFFERENT PLACES IN THE WORLD. I REALLY HADN’T THOUGHT ABOUT IT LIKE THAT. OF COURSE, I REMEMBER GETTING IN TROUBLE FOR PUTTING MY FINGERPRINTS IN THE WRONG PLACES, LIKE THE WINDOWS OR MIRRORS OF OUR HOUSE WHEN I WAS A KID. BUT YOUR THOUGHT WAS GOOD FOR MY HEART.
    I’M NOT TOO SURE I REALLY PASSED THE CAT TOLERANCE TEST…BUT I’LL TAKE YOUR WORD FOR IT. I REALLY DON’T HATE CATS (BUT I PRETEND TO). AS A KID GROWING UP, WE JUST NEVER HAD ANY CATS…ONLY DOGS. I’M NOT TOO SURE MY MOM DIDN’T HAVE SOME SUPERSTITIONS ABOUT CATS. BUT FOR DAYS AFTER THAT CA TRIP, I KEPT HEARING THAT “MEOW” AT THE ODDEST TIMES. I AM BETTER NOW THOUGH.
    YOUR DAD’S TEARS TELL A HOPEFUL STORY, DON’T THEY? WE DADS AND MOMS CAN KEEP OURSELVES SO BUSY THAT WE MISS THE IMPORTANT…THE BEST. I RECENTLY SAW A YOUNG DAD WALKING WITH HIS WIFE AND LITTLE DAUGHTER AT A MALL HERE IN OHIO. ACTUALLY, HE WAS WALKING ABOUT FIVE STEPS IN FRONT OF THEM. HE WAS MISSING IT. HE WAS MISSING THE VIEW AND DIDN’T KNOW IT. HERE WERE THE TWO MOST IMPORTANT PEOPLE IN HIS LIFE AND HE WAS UP AHEAD ON HIS OWN…OBLIVIOUS. HIS DAUGHTER WAS SUCH A BEAUTIFUL LITTLE ONE. I WANTED TO WALK OVER AND TELL HIM…”YOU ARE MISSING A WONDERFUL SIGHT, MAN. PAY ATTENTION NOW…ESPECIALLY IF YOU HOPE FOR HER TO PAY ATTENTION TO YOU LATER.” (NOW, I UNDERSTAND I MIGHT BE MAKING TOO MUCH OF WHAT I SAW IN JUST A FEW SECONDS, BUT HE WAS PAYING TOO HIGH A COST, EVEN FOR THOSE SECONDS.) I’M GLAD YOUR DAD HAS THAT KIND OF HEART.
    I’M GLAD FOR THE KIND OF HEART YOU HAVE AS WELL…I SEE THE MASTER’S FINGERPRINTS THERE…NO DOUBT ABOUT IT.

  2. Doug, having your heart in all those places is an exciting thought. One thing that I have learned about you and your heart is that it has a strong desire to serve and to be like Jesus. This being the case, having your heart in all these places is further proof of your influence for the kingdom in so many different places.

    Thank you for your service, for your heart, for your example of love to your children, your wife and your friends – it serves as a great example for those of us younger men who are striving to be the kind of man that you are…

    I’m glad God kept you safe – and brought you back home as I am ready to sit at the table and feast some more on your sharing of the Word and the blessings we have in Jesus…as you write on this blog!

    DENNIS,
    I WAS TOUCHED BY THE POINT YOU AND PAIGE MADE ABOUT MY INFLUENCE BEING IN THOSE OTHER PLACES IN THE WORLD WHERE MY BELOVED LIVE AND WORK. I GUESS I DON’T GIVE MYSELF PERMISSION TO CONSIDER A THOUGHT LIKE THAT…BUT YOUR OBSERVATION BLESSED ME. IT REALLY DID. I’M GRATEFUL TO YOU FOR THAT AND PRAYERFUL TO GOD THAT IT HAS, DOES AND WILL CONTINUE TO WORK LIKE THAT.
    GOD DID HELP US…A BUNCH ON THE TRIP. THERE WERE SOME WEATHER CONDITIONS EARLY ON THAT MADE IT A BIT HAIRY…AND THERE WAS ONE TIME I TRIED TO CRUNCH THE TRUCK INTO ONE OF THOSE IMPACT-ABSORBING DEALS YOU SEE AT PLACES WHERE THE ROAD KIND OF “Y’S” OFF…LIKE AT AN EXIT OR A TOLL AREA…FORTUNATELY (CODE FOR “BY HIS GRACE”) THE BRAKES WORKED WELL. AND, WHAT I REALLY DIDN’T EXPECT, I DIDN’T GET TIRED BEHIND THE WHEEL OF THAT OLD TRUCK, EXCEPT FOR A VERY BRIEF EPISODE OR TWO. SINCE I SEEM TO ALWAYS BE SLEEPY WHEN I’M DRIVING AROUND HERE, I WAS JUST SURPRISED I DIDN’T HAVE THAT PROBLEM ON THE ROAD. GRACE OF GOD! THANKS FOR CHECKING IN, DENNIS. THANKS FOR TELLING THE STORY…TO YOUR OWN FAMILY…YOUR FRIEND…AND THE LOST YOU MEET ALONG THE WAY, ESPECIALLY NOW IN MEXICO. YOU AND YOURS ARE PRAYED FOR IN OHIO. I LOVE YOU, BROTHER.

  3. Doug,
    So glad that you are back. I know that it was hard on you to leave people so dear to you so far away. But I’m glad that you have a heart like you do. And that you have shared it with others….that you have opened up your heart here on this blog. It has been a blessing to me to get to know something about you….and to hear from your good heart.

    You are a really good man if you can put up with a cat all that way! Yikes~~

    SHERRY,
    THANKS FOR CHECKING BACK IN HERE. I’VE TRIED TO KEEP UP SOME WITH READING YOUR BLOG AND REX’S AND PAIGE’S AS WELL. IT’S ALL SUCH GOOD WRITING FOR THE SOUL…GOOD LISTENING TO GOOD HEARTS THAT LONG FOR LIKENESS TO THE SAVIOR. IT SHARPENS MY FOCUS AND MY PURPOSE AS WELL. I CAN’T TELL YOU HOW GLAD OF HEART I AM THAT THERE IS A GROUP OF THE LORD’S FOLKS IN LUBBOCK WHO CALL THEMSELVES THE “OPEN” CHURCH BECAUSE THEY ARE OPEN TO THE LORD…TO THE WORD…TO THE LOST…TO ONE ANOTHER. GLAD ALSO THAT THEY MINISTER WITH REX B., A CHRIST-FOLLOWER INDEED, WHOSE PREACHING AND TEACHING AND LIVING AND SERVING AND LOVING LEAVES US ALL BLESSING GOD AND OTHERS…GLAD ALSO THAT THIS CHURCH IS COMPRISED OF PEOPLE LIKE YOU AND PAIGE AND THE OTHERS WHO TRULY CARE ONE ANOTHER AS JESUS TEACHES US. PEOPLE ARE WATCHING…THEY ARE TAKING NOTE THAT YOU ALL ARE SPENDING TIME WITH JESUS. GOD BLESS YOU AND ALL OF US AS WE CONTINUE LOVING JESUS AND GROWING LIKE HIM.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

<span>%d</span> bloggers like this: