September 28, 2016

THE BEST MADE PLANS....

Apparently interruptions to plans happened years ago. It was Robert Burns who penned those immortal words; "the best maid schemes o' mice and men gang aft a gley". "To A Mouse" 1785.

Have you made plans that did not develop quite as planned? Sure you have. It is frustrating at times. Even plan "B" can go awry. At these moments a long-planned birthday party for the Bates' twins is still on. These girls graduated from Ray High School in 1954. They were known as Barbara and Betty Bates. Barbara Menking of Killeen. Betty Booth from Tyler today. Their gala party is planned for the Marriott in Corpus Saturday evening.
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What about "best maid plans"? Yesterday in Tyler, Betty's oldest son, Dale, had an attack of appendicitis. His appendix ruptured. He is in a Tyler hospital. His family was all planning to come. A second son, David, who works in Atlanta, Georgia, simply could not leave the restaurant where he works because two valued employees are out. He had planned to fly to Texas but cannot now. A third son, James, is coming with his family from Amarillo, as far as we know at this point in time. An older sister of the twins had a son to have a heart attack and is in a Corpus Christi hospital. I am afraid to say that Ann and I will be there....but hopeful!

It was James who wrote: " You ought to say, if it is the Lord's will we will live and do this or that..." I say that and think it, much more than I did in younger years. It was laughingly said, "The Lord willin' and the creeks don't rise."

The Lord willing Ann and I will be at the gala Saturday. Whatever, we wish these two a very happy 80, considering all the troubles in getting there!

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September 26, 2016

RETIRED AGAIN BUT WORKING


I spent the morning trying to create room in our garage to get in and out of the car without an accident. There is ample room for the car. It is people who have a problem! We have a one-car garage and one car. Garages have a way of becoming storage places. Some people I know have given up on having a garage for vehicles. No room for such. We like driving in and being able to close the door behind and enter the kitchen without weather problems.....but I have to fight for every inch in that car-place! Christmas boxes, keep-sake boxes, tool boxes, tackle boxes, clothes boxes, empty boxes, all vie for space in our one- car garage. Would a two, or three, or four- car garage make any difference? I doubt it! Just more stuff would accumulate.

When I do DARE to throw something away it seems only hours afterward and Ann will say something like this, "Honey, would you get me that freezcro from the garage? It is in that ole brown box with a purple bow. Should be on the third shelf above the box with the drafdoodles." Gulp! burglar_p.jpgNo way out except to make up some wild story about the thief that occasionally sneaks in the garage and takes old boxes. Guess I will try that one one more time.
"Ann, I've been meaning to tell you. That guy that sneaks in the garage and steals old boxes.... he's at it again.."

September 24, 2016

SAKES ALIVE - HE'S EIGHTY FIVE !

This is the eighty-fifth birthday of Charles Fake! He is an institution. He is an icon. He is a citizen of renown. His skills are many, as are his friends. I am blest to be one of them.

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Charles with Grand daughter Jenny and GGD Claire

H - Honorable. With that word he is worthy of honor unlimited.

A - Able At this age twenty years beyond retirement he is still preaching each Sunday. He writes a BLOG most every day. He preaches weddings, funerals, and anniversaries!

P - Private. He is that a bit. One has to be to survive in the ministry. He does not share a lot because he prefers to be the one to decide WHAT to share.

P - Personal. The word here speaks of his interest in each and all. One can talk with Charles and he will lend a personal ear. What is shared is kept personal. A great attribute.

Y - Young at heart. O yes, he is. He is not out of tune with where you are, be it fifteen or fifty. He has maintained that youthful interest in the world about him.


B - Brief. No hour-long sermons for this man. He says it and moves on. He remembers those words from a seminary prof "preach about God and about twenty minutes".he might go over....just a tiny bit.

I Intelligent. A natural for ministers? Not so.One of the smartest persons I have ever known!

R - Reserved. He rarely draws attention to himself. When he does he didn't mean to!

T - True to His calling. True to the Word. True to himself. " This above all, to thine own self be true." (Hamlet)

H - Historical - This man knows history. He is able with Rockport history. You want to know about the last hurricane and the one before that? Ask him. He knows.

D - Delightful! He can be a barrel of fun and laughs! (When you can turn over the barrel to get him out)

A - Accurate. When Charles says it,It is goin to be right. Even if it isn't he will make you think it is. (Just kidding)

Y - Years come and go. For Charles now 85! Keep them coming old man. We are still behind you!


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September 22, 2016

JAKE MYERS - A TRUE HERO

jake.jpgThis morning, the first day of Fall, at 10:00, I will participate in the funeral service for my long-time friend Jake Myers. Jake and Jeri first came into our lives, Ann and I, in Taft in 1962. We had their daughter, Jana, in children's choir. I was a music and education guy. We had some really great years back then.

I didn't find it out from Jake but i heard he was in Europe in World War II. He participated as a machine gunner with a 50 caliber weapon mounted on a jeep. He was assigned to the 76th Infantry Division, 304th Regiment in a machine gun platoon. He was there in Belgium when the "Battle Of The Bulge" took place. That was the largest and deadliest of all battles during World War II. It was Hitler's last ditch stand and he pulled all his troops possible into it. Nineteen thousand Americans died during that 41 day siege. One hundred ten thousand were casualties. The Germans had 85,000 casualties. It was war at it's ugliest in extremely cold weather than dropped to four degrees.

Jake didn't talk about the war, not to me or anybody. He had several bronze stars and other medals from those days. He served three years and was discharged April 11, 1946.

Jake was a gauger, a golfer, and a family man. I never played with a better golfer. Shooting his age was not even a challenge in later years. He is one of those who deservedly belong in the family of "The Greatest Generation" that Brokaw wrote about. My salute to a quiet hero,Jake Myers. He died at 91.

September 19, 2016

A CENTRAL BLESSING


Although I entered the picture at an awkward time, following the pastor's resignation the day before, my time ministering at Central Baptist Church, Ingleside, was a blessing. I am planning my last Sunday to be this coming Sunday morning.. That will be four months as their SUPPLY pastor!

churchsteeple.jpgThey had wanted me to be interim pastor. The energy needed for that responsibility is not here anymore. At eighty-four it is time to step aside so they can seriously search for a leader. I did enjoy the challenge of study and preparation for both a Sunday morning and evening service. I won't miss the eighty- mile round trip each Sunday. There are some dear people there, as is the case in all church fellowships. It is not a Southern Baptist Church so that was a bit different.People I know in ministry meant nothing to them by name or work. It was also a change in that I was expected to use KJV Bible, since that was their pew Bible. That was no big problem either.

I am grateful I had the opportunity to step in and try to help a hurting church.

Churches are all unique. No church is exactly like another, as no preacher is. What we remember a church being at an earlier time in our lives may not have been just like what we remember! Does that make sense? It does to me. I was baptized into the membership of Cavanaugh Missionary Baptist Church, in Arkansas, when I was nine. My first paid church staff position was at that church, when I was TEN!In fact, I was the only staff member. The preacher just came for services. I had to mow the yard with a rotary push mower then pick up all the song books left out from Wednesday night, along with the funeral home fans. For that work I received.75 a week. (That is cents)

After Sunday morning I will again be gainfully unemployed. Looking forward to it.

September 17, 2016

MOVING ON...


I have enjoyed the looking back at past times with Bob and Charlene Lawrence. The pictures Charles Fake added were wonderful. I hope you read his blog about these folks now in Heaven. But we move on.

Today is here and tomorrow is before us. There is not even a guarantee of tomorrow. Life is like a vapor (a fog if you will) it can appear heavy and something that will last for a day, but with a touch of sun and a whiff of the wind, the fog is gone....as are we.


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Yesterday while driving to Corpus on Highway 35, a small red truck pulled out from the opposite lane of the divided highway. The driver did not stop for the vehicles moving swiftly in the other half of the divided highway. He pulled out in front of the truck next to me, in the left lane. He then came on across and in to my lane. We were vehicles, the truck and me, who were going 65-70 (well below the 75 speed limit) Suddenly this little red truck is thrust in front of us. It is hardly moving. I tested the Honda brakes like never before. By the grace of God i stopped forward movement just inches from the side of the uninvited red truck. It could have been a bad scene. Thank the Lord, it wasn't! Times like those remind us of life's uncertanties on the highway, in the hospital, and at home. I am enjoying today in a different frame of mind. "His eye is on the sparrow and I know He watches me."

September 12, 2016

BOB AND CHARLENE


If you knew them...really knew them, you know what a special couple they were. Charlene has taken her leave from earth to join Bob in Heaven. Our lives, Ann and I, are filled with sweet memories and wonderful times with these two servants of the Lord.

We met Bob and Charlene in Rockport. They wintered here away from their Colorado ranch house home just out of Salida. They were missionaries for the convention. They were "home missionaries". That is, their work was in these United States. For them it was the West. Bob started Sunday Schools and helped struggling churches in that vast area. Bob and Charlene were trained musicians so they helped train folks to do music and build choirs. He sang for revivals. These two did it all. They had "retired" when we first met them. We had just retired and had purchased a twelve- year old Honey motor home. We knew nothing about RV'ing but took it on and loved it. On our first trip West we targeted a stop with the Lawrences'. Bob had a hook-up back of their house. The ranch house was on a hill in a blind spot for traffic. You suddenly went steeply down into their yard. I prayed our brakes would hold, else they would lose an old barn!

The stay was one of several. Charlene would put a feast on the table. After dinner we would play games. They loved game playing. We would also hear wonderful stories of their many years traveling the West and starting Sunday Schools and churches. Both of them had grown up on ranches so knew how to relate to those folks.


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Charlene Lawrence, Bill Strong, Bob Lawrence, Dale Pogue, Ann Pogue, Wanda Fake, Effie Strong
Colorado 1999

We saw them many times up there in the mountains, then back in Rockport. Woody Acres was their home here.

Now their earthly ministry is finished. Results of it will last forever. Heaven has people there today from the work of these two saints. Bob especially loved singing, "Sweet Little Jesus Boy" at Christmastime. I will never forget the christmas party of our class, held at the Country Club. For the music these two made an entrance in night gown and pajamas. They circled the large room, leaning on each other while singing the country song, "Help Me Make It Through The Night". It was hilarious! They made it and far beyond!

Thanks, Bob and Charlene. We love you so much.


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Charlene and her Colorado home

September 10, 2016

PARABLES

When parables are mentioned one usually remembers that definition learned in Vacation Bible School. "It is an earthly story with a heavenly meaning". A bit over-stated, but not a bad definition. At least it helped us to remember SOMETHING to say when asked "What is a parable?"

Are you aware that parables were a favorite way of instruction from Jesus? He used almost fifty parabolic teachings in the gospels. Some of them left His disciples scratching their heads and anxiously awaiting to ask, "What were you speaking about?" . You see, they weren't the greatest parable solvers. The up side is that the Pharisees were even worse! Some teachings went right by those guys, otherwise more interruptions would have occured and Jesus did not have time for all that.

Today, our form of parable- telling is in illustrations. Illustrations capture people's attention. It may be the only thing one remembers after leaving church. That is, besides a joke. They do remember jokes. Hopefully, the teller will also remember.

There were parables sprinkled about in the Old Testament. Proverbs could pass the test at times. One of the pointed parables was a dark one told by Nathan the prophet. It was directed toward David after his inexcusable actions involving Bathsheba and her faithful soldier husband, Uriah. (II Samuel 12)

"Once upon a time...."

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September 7, 2016

HOW SILENT IT WOULD BECOME!


Do you enjoy silence? Some people cannot stand it. It makes them very nervous to not hear a human voice.Their TV.s blare each waking moment. A bird or stream is okay. Total voice silence? No thanks!

That is the way it would be, however, were God to answer a request from David found in Psalm 12. Charles Fake is preaching through Psalms and wrote about chapter twelve in his blog. He featured verses in three translations. The NIV says of the subject: " Everyone lies to his neighbor. Their flattering lips speak with deception. May the Lord cut off all flattering lips and every boastful tongue that says, 'we will triumph with our tongues. we own our lips - who is our master?' "

quiet.jpgJust think about it! Most commercials would be gone. Their half-truths and no truths would be cancelled. Talk show gurus would have to find real jobs somewhere. The political scene would become strangely and enjoyably silent. Some ministers might also discover wordless voices. Courtrooms would close. Scammers would disappear. Teachers would have to rewrite some old notes they have used for years teaching their subjects. Parents would become limited in what they say about their "angels". Husbands and wives would search for meaningful things to say to each other. Even God would not have to listen to prayers of insincerity and half-truths!

It just isn't going to happen. It was a nice thought from the beleagured King David, but that is all it is.......except, in his plea for such an extreme action from God we are reminded of our responsibility in this area.

It is attributed to George Washington who as a child made a confession to his father. " I can't tell a lie. I did cut it with my hatchet." (The cherry tree) I think George said it and did it. He was a person of honesty and noble principles. A bit of a rarity in some circles today. .

September 5, 2016

BAILEY STONE - EVANGELIST and FISHERMAN


Bailey Stone passed away August 26. His funeral service took place at Prestonwood Church in Dallas. I am not writing an obituary for this great servant of the Lord. Instead I am recalling meaningful times I was blessed to have his company. Bailey was an effective evangelist and soul-winner. He rarely let an opportunity slip by. I remember him at a Chili's in Portland. He had jusr flown in from Dallas. He quickly knew the waitress' name and gained her friendship with his kindness. When we prepared to pray Bailey explained to the young woman we were about to say "thanks" for our food. Did she have anything we could pray about for her? She was taken back by that, but in a moment a need came from her heart and as Bailey prayed for her by name and for her request she stood by the table. It was not a loud, showy time. It was soft and meaningful. I doubt that young woman has forgotten those moments! I haven't.

Taking Bailey fishing was a treat. No one loved to wade fish more than this man! I took him one morning into the shallow waters inside Aransas Bay. I poled while he cast. Soon we saw what was hoped for....the blue tails of redfish waving gently in the water as their heads were feeding on the bottom. Before I could warn Bailey the bottom was soft he was over the side of the boat and heading toward those reds, excited as if it was his first trip!

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On another trip to Aransas Bay, this time with Homer Hanna, we let Bailey out at his favorite spot, just outside Traylor. Homer and I stayed in the boat and went up the shore. We came back around noon and Bailey came to the boat to join us in eating. He soon headed out again, catching little but loving every minute. Homer and I "hit the water" and waded until about 4:00. We both came back to the boat exhausted. We could barely see Bailey in the distance. Waving to him did no good. Finally, we slowly headed the boat to where he was fishing. Easing up, one of us said " Bailey, it is almost five. We need to go." With an excitement in his voice he said, "Okay, but just one more cast!" That one became several. Such was the love of this sport with Bailey Stone. I will miss him and our fishing times together. He is enjoying the rewards of Heaven so faithfully earned over many years of service,If there is a bay nearby he is in it!