Monthly Archives: June 2013

Unfinished Story…contd

We're all here to help!

We’re all here to help the cause of children, the fatherless, and gratitude for the gift of life!

Several of Matt & Ginny’s close friends initiate and host a book launching party for Matt in the city of his birth-through-high-school years, Fort Smith, Arkansas, on the evening of June 27th, 2013. On the same day a nice article appeared in the Arkansas Gazzette puting out the word about the book launch. Many old and new friends came together to bless the Mooneys, their new book, and support their worthy foundation, 99 Balloons! The event was a huge success, with every book being sold in addition to some very large donations. Thanks to everyone who came and everyone who helped, especially the host of friends, and the friends who were the hosts. Enjoy the photos!

Video introduction to the book “A Story Unfinished” by Matt Mooney

Beautiful venue!

Beautiful venue!

Matt & his Dad

Oaks Manor Retreat Center Event

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIf you’ve read A Friend of the King, you’ll remember that I made a big point of starting some new habits or disciplines to become a better friend of the King, and to improve your spiritual sensitivity and hearing ability. Dallas Willard in his book The Spirit of the Disciplines made the statement that “solitude is the most important spiritual discipline and the the hinge of all the others.”

I believe that’s true and never more so than in our rushed, crowded times. That’s why I love, support, and look for places like Oaks Manor Retreat Center near Fort Smith. It’s a short drive to the north, and although it’s close you will feel like you’re in a remote setting. It’s designed and provided for people like you to “come aside, and rest for awhile.” To seek the Lord in a quiet and undistracted setting.

On Sunday, June 30th at 6:00 p.m., there’s an excellent opportunity for you to get better acquainted. Please take advantage of this event to look Oaks Manor over, mingle with some like-minded people, and plan on coming back by yourself or with a few friends. For event details, click here: Oaks-Manor.pdf

“He will be the sure foundation for your times, a rich store of salvation and wisdom and knowledge; the fear of theLord is the key to this treasure.” Isaiah 33:6 NIV


Unfinished Story

Matt Mooney is a great young man! He’s one of my son’s best friends, and I’ve known and loved his parents since the 80’s. He’s recently written a book, A Story Unfinished, about their first son Eliot who was born with Edward’s Syndrome and lived a miraculous 99 days. But the real miracle is what Eliot’s experience has brought about in the lives of his parents, and in the earth.

As the young parents walked through this devastating experience, they did so openly and honestly with their friends and their faith community. Matt, a very gifted communicator, is very honest and real. Not foreseeing anything that has since happened, he blogged about the whole experience while they were going through it, a blog that received about one million hits and resulted in this video.

Since then he’s been on national TV a few times and received a “Father of the Year” award from Tony Dungy’s ministry organization.

His life exhibits courage, sacrifice, honesty, and many other manly qualities that we so need today. It also speaks to the preciousness of life, and opportunities for ministry to those in need. It most clearly speaks about faith in God, and God’s faithfulness in pain.

Enough of all that, Matt would have said several sentences ago. I just want to encourage you to get his book and read it. I plan to review it on the blog when I can pry it out of my wife’s hands.

What I’d like to say now is this: [1] He’s a native Fort Smith lad, let’s support him! [2] There is a book launch party for him on June 27th at the Pavilion. [3] Be there to hear and support him if you can. [4] But the organizers need a RSVP! So go to this link and do so if you plan to come. Thank you for your time.

God Bless Matt & Ginny, and God bless “99 Balloons!”


More from Moore



The Missing Auto Repair Shop

Continuing our Moore OK story… We found no one at home when we arrived at our assigned location. Just a recently placed travel trailer in front of a home that was totaled; split down the middle and missing it’s front porch, much of it’s roof, and all the trees in it’s yard. There was also the foundation of a metal workshop where the owner previously repaired automobiles.

As I walked with Lance who lived there with his wife and four children, ages four to thirteen, he related that they had purchased the property to build their dream home, a small farm in the edge of the country, one year ago. I told him I had moved our small children and family out to a farm years ago and knew the sweat equity and work the first year involved. He turned, looking deeply into my eyes, then slowly shook his head up and down. I told him, “I’m sorry.” There followed several seconds of silence and walking, then I said, “You’re here, uninjured, and your family is OK; that’s what’s important.” It’s a truth that is never clearer than when you’re standing in the middle of rubble. It doesn’t take away the pain or awareness of the loss; but it provides a time to reflect on the true value of such things in comparison to people’s lives and relationships. We too seldom take time to meaningfully calculate the difference between the temporal and eternal? And the worth of each?

My mind flashes to the book I just finished writing, and the discussion of simplicity v.s. materialism; also simplicity as a spiritual discipline or spiritual habit practiced by followers of Jesus over the centuries. I also think of Dr. Richard Swinson’s three rules for establishing priorities: [1] People are more important than things. [2] People are more important than things. [3] People are more important than things.

Lance tells me he turned thirty-four the day of the tornado. Curious huh? He thought so, and he was in deep reflection about his life–something the pace of our times seldom affords. I become deeply aware of the value of such mediation in this moment, watching and listening to Lance.

He tells me his wife called shortly after the storm but it took her five hours to get through the debris before reaching their home. His children were positioned on the north and south sides of the tornado, and he didn’t know about their welfare until two or three tense hours after the storm. All had been spared.

Lance had been home alone that day, and as the monster storm approached he jumped into his nearby storm cellar, joining four neighbor kids and a seventy year old neighbor man who were already huddled inside. The storm passed over with it’s incredible winds, roar, and pressure drop. One thing Lance recounted was that the older gentlemen prayed aloud as the tornado roared over their heads, “God please spare my home.” They emerged to the utter devastation of missing and torn homes, twisted trees like fly-paper, holding belongings from who-knows-where; but with thankful, awed hearts that none of them, nor anyone they knew had been hurt or killed.

And yes, the old man’s house was the only one standing as far as the eye could see; relatively unhurt by the killing, crushing, destroying tornado.


Shelter from the Storm