"The best laid plans andhellip;"

It doesn't pay to get too confident about things. I don't think the Lord likes for us to do that, and when we do, sometimes he reminds us just who is in control.

A couple weeks ago, I was confidently looking forward to getting my other hip replaced. After all, I had a fantastic recovery from the one in December, and why shouldn't recovery be exactly the same this time?

If you are a regular reader, you would have noticed there was no Church Notebook last week. At the time I would have been writing it, I was instead in the ICU at Sutter Coast Hospital. When we get old, things just don't always work the same.

The hip was successfully replaced in Grants Pass at Three Rivers Hospital a week ago Monday, and I came home the next day doing just fine. But sometime during the night Wednesday things started going wrong. After a lot of very scary hours, it became evident that what could have been a stroke resolved to just a TIA - a "mini-stroke" if you will, something I never want to experience again. Many thanks to all of you who prayed for me those two days. I am a firm believer in the power of prayer, and the outcome could have been much worse than it was.

Vacation Bible School programs are popping up now, so the kids will have some interesting things to do throughout the summer. The first one, at "The Refuge," just finished, but we have schedules for two more and the promise of a third. I used to help with VBS when I was a teenager, and really loved it.

First Baptist Church will hold their program starting Monday through Thursday.

Classes will be held from 9 a.m. through noon each day. This one is designed for kids going into kindergarten through sixth grade.

Also, as in previous years, First Baptist will be serving coffee and baked goods during staging for the Fourth of July parade. Facilities will be open for those who need to use the rest room. ( I can almost hear an audible sigh of relief here - bless you, First B!)

The next program will be at Pelican Bay Evangelical Free Church on Blueberry Lane. This one will run from July 7 to 10. Classes will run from 9 a.m. to noon each day and are designed for kids from kindergarten to fifth grade.

"Weird Animals VBS" will teach kids about some of God's most creative creations. They'll participate in memorable Bible-learning activities, sing catchy songs, play teamwork-building games, make and dig into yummy treats, and many, many more adventures.

Each day concludes with "the Tail End," a celebration getting everyone involved in what they've learned. Family members and friends are encouraged to join in daily for this special time at 11:40 a.m.

For more information, call 464-9184.

VBS and a couple other great programs are coming up at Grace Lutheran Church as well, and I will pass on the particulars as soon as I get them.

It will be an evening program at Fort Dick Bible Church. "Western Roundup" will take place Aug. 17andndash;21, 5andndash;8 p.m. For kids ages 4andndash;13, they will be taught and entertained by evangelist and ventriloquist Timothy Silcott from Altoona, Iowa. Dinner will be provided for the children. Thursday will be parents night, featuring root beer floats.

For further information, call 951-9662.

On July 20, there will be a special speaker at Pelican Bay Evangelical Free Church.

Chuck Neighbors is a professional actor and storyteller with a repertoire of presentations that are unique and entertaining, offering both comedy and drama. Sounds like a great evening andndash; why not mark it on your calendar and plan to go? And while you're at it, mark down those VBS programs for the kids, too.

Don't forget - when you think your church is too small to do a VBS, other churches are in the same boat. Get together and you'll be surprised what you can do!

To reach Martha Williams, call 460-3000, or email