June 26, 2017

TAKES MORE THAN A PAPER HAT


hat.jpgNot sure where it came from but I have a Krispy Kreme Doughnut hat! The outside of this fold-up hat is of strong paper not easily torn. The part that goes over the top of a head is little more than tissue paper. On the inside the "front" and "rear" of this headpiece is designated. One can pull out and expand the hat. It is one size fits all. Each side has the same info. "Eat Krispy Kreme Doughnuts". Inside is www.krispykreme.com and the address for the home office in Winston Salem, North Carolina. O yes, one other very small print label reads "MADE IN MEXICO".

So, you can find on the little hat all you want to know about these delicious doughnuts? Not hardly! Wouldn't you like to know the ingredients, place where they are formed, time of cooking, temp of oil, calories, wholesale cost of each one, how many stores or places produce them? Probably you aren't that interested. Maybe you would just settle with finding some as quickly as possible. Yummy!.

How satisfying, really, is reading " Eat Krispy Kreme Doughnuts " ? Not at all for me. I want to hold one in my hand; feel it sink into my grip; whiff the aroma, then enjoy the taste than is quite unique to doughnuts of all kind.

A fully- appreciated doughnut is experiential. It is feeling, smelling, tasting. No one else can do that for us. It is totally something we do...us and the doughnut.

I kinda see similarities in our walk with the Lord, beginning with conversion. One must know what "Jesus Saves" really means by discovering salvation for ourselves. We may be encouraged by something we read or sing,or is said, but that is like a step in the right direction, not the completed walk

If all the folks singing "Amazing Grace" would make it true we would be well on the way to a massive revival. Sadly, it isn't so. Thinking about a doughnut now? Then get one for yourself. It will be better than you imagined!


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June 24, 2017

RAT TALES


cagney.jpgIt was actor James Cagney who is quoted in a movie saying to someone, "You dirty rat!". If another person tells on us or gives out information about us, we might say, "he ratted on me". When something looks suspicious a person may conclude, " I smell a rat". These are just a few of the many ways we refer to rats daily. None of them good. That is because rats are generally un-liked and have bad reputations. At the same time they are often used in experiments to replace humans. White rats are the ones preferred. Some giant African rats have been trained to find landmines, thus saving human lives.

So you still don't like rats. Well, you can join the crowd. Most of us feel that way. Their unpopularity is well earned. They can be destructive, and even dangerous. They like to chew on wires, and if the wrong ones are chosen a house fire can be the result. Finally, I give you this little tidbit from the " know it all" machine. A rat can squeeze through a hole the size of a quarter! So, you think your home is rat-proof?

All of this is mentioned to tell you we have one visiting us. (I hope only one). He/she was first detected by a rather large stack of cushion bits from my easy chair where I sit and doze most every day. When my leg was so bad I slept there nightly! Ugh! This morning brought a declaration of war, for a beautiful tomato given us had been almost half eaten while on the kitchen counter. So we declared war. Now, what do we do? A simple mouse trap is almost worthless. Rat traps of the old kind had just as soon catch a humanoid as a rat. I made a trip to Ace to seek out the latest war weapons. We shall soon find out if any of them work or don't work. I know this, we are dealing with an intelligent and resourceful enemy. The two most common are Norway and Roof. There are many others as well. Estimates say there is at least one per person in the US!

rat.jpgRats are not found in my Bible concordance. That is encouraging. They were most likely comfortably settled in the Ark before the door was shut. It would be a fun trip for them with all that loose food! Yes, they are here to stay, and surely have a redeeming social value that I know not of. I know this, the war is on! I hope it is brief and bloody.

June 23, 2017

REALLY HOT!


wxhot1.jpg.jpgI don't have to tell you if you live anywhere near Rockport that it has been record-breaking hot for several days. After today there is hope for some relief. We are ready for that!

Thinking of those whose daily labor is outside it has to be tough. City workers with the streets, garbage, water repair, and other duties know the dangers of such heat bearing down on them.

Some live in homes without refrigeration from AC and so swelter in such unbearable weather as Corpus with 102. Can you remember or have you known an age where AC did not exist? I can remember such days and don't wish for them again. Our country church at Cavanaugh in Arkansas had only mounted wall fans that rotated back and forth. Oh yes, we did have funeral home fans on sticks like lollipops! They were man powered.

The most precious commodity in Bible days was water. It was a life-saving drink the body cried for, then, and today. Water!

Speaking to people in a way they could understand Jesus spoke of Himself as offering the two essentials of life; water and bread. Without these two essentials we cannot survive.

When Jesus visited with the Samaritan woman at the well that noon day, he told her he had living water to offer. That was Himself as he would be offered on a life-taking cross. I giving His life he offered to the world the life-giving water.

Have you drunk of this water? Have you eaten of this Bread of life? These are the essentials for Life eternal. The two are actually one. Jesus,

(Yesterday the service was not available so we had no Blog)

June 21, 2017

WATCH OUT FOR CINDY


Cindy is a very nice name except when she is tied to a tropical storm stirring less than three hundred miles from Louisiana. That state does not need or want another dumping of millions of gallons of salty water/mixed upon them. A dear friend, James Bell, just recently spent a week over there helping persons rebuild their storm stricken houses. He was with a Christian group called Eight Days Of Hope. Over two thousand people came to work and witness to folks who had been knocked to their faces with wind and water. James shared with me of the heartaches and hopelessness many of these folks felt before the "saints" came marching in to visit and work, (living in less than desirable comfort and convenience while they carried out their ministries.)


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An "Eight Days of Hope" Team At Work

The arrival of Cindy is a reminder that storms can build quickly in the Gulf. They don't have to be birthed off the coast of Africa, but can be like Cindy and just rise up from the Gulf in a matter of days.

Isn't that a picture of our lives as well? Often our plans and interests can do an about- face in a short period of time. It is best stay prepared and with a plan.

Years ago when a hurricane was heading toward our area I was pastor in Taft. Our dear friend, Herb Grebe, was mayor. A mayor has the power if a city when it is threatened by a storm. He can call for evacuation, etc. He can designate who stays behind. He told Ann and I we would stay in Taft. He had jobs for us. Ann, being a nurse, would be at the designated place for medical care. I anxiously awaited my assignment. Herb dropped this "bomb" on me." Reverend Pogue, you will be in charge of the morgue!" That would have been last choice for sure.

Neither of us were involved, for the storm swept in across land miles from Taft!

When such a time comes we need not feel left out if no assignment is given. We only need to look around us and see it.

June 20, 2017

FIRST DAY OF SUMMER!


You thought, perhaps it had arrived already? Not so. Officially, the first day of summer is tomorrow, June 21. Whatever you had planned to do this spring before it gets too hot; it may be too late!

One of my favorite hymns, words written by Thomas Chisholm, is "Great Is Thy Faithfulness."

In the second stanza he has us singing in only four measures about all four of the seasons. The verse says, "Summer and winter and springtime and harvest, Sun, moon, and stars in their courses above, join with all nature in manifold witness to Thy great faithfulness, mercy, and love."

The writer's full name was Thomas Obadiah Chisholm. Born in a log cabin in Kentucky in 1866. Without having attended high school he began teaching school at sixteen. By the age of twenty-seven Chisholm was editor of "The Franklin Favorite." Six years later he was saved in a revival meeting. He was ordained to the Methodist ministry and had a brief pastorate, but poor health limited him in what he could do, he could write and so penned more than 1200 poems. In 1923 he sent several of them to a musician associated with the Moody Bible Institute. The editor of Hope Publishing was captivated by the one called "Great Is Thy Faithfulness." W, M, Runyan, a musician there said: " I prayed most earnestly that my tune might carry over it's message in a worthy way." It certainly did. Bev Shea introduced it to Great Britain in a crusade in 1954. Chisholm also wrote the words of the plaintive hymn, "Living For Jesus."

Much more than Abraham Lincoln came from a log cabin. This rather sickly man lived to be ninety-four!


June 19, 2017

THE SHIFTING SANDS OF TIME

Our son-in-law, James Duprie, had his parents living in the Middle East for several years as Jim was employed by the oil industry. On a trip back home they brought me a gift I cherish. It is a kind of "moving picture" called "The Seven Sands" from Saudi Arabia. I call it a moving picture, for a person can pick it up and with a gentle turn, make the desert picture change. There are seven levels of sand of different colors. In the foreground and fixed is a rider on a camel. That pic never changes. Only the sand, level, or steep like the dunes we see at a beach. No picture is ever exactly like another, thus we have the statement, the shifting sands.

The shifting sands of time is an appropriate statement for any age. More particularly it is
fitting in the days in which we live. Most everything has changed. Once proud companies have closed their doors or been bought by former competitors. Eight to five work hours have largely gone by the wayside. A lot of people do their work at home by use of the computer. We are being "forced" to embrace lifestyles that are against all our teachings and beliefs. Newspapers are scrambling to survive as their news is "old" over against what we can get in other ways. Some are even changing their identities from what God gave them at birth.

Not a day passes but what the sands of time are touched by the winds of a desert seeking to shake us up and create a new picture from the tiny pebbles of life.

Do WE change with each gust of a desert wind? Do we run and hide? Rebel? Close our eyes and hope it will go back to the way things were? None of those are the best solution. Much better is to wrap ourselves in a protective garment and face those winds of change.
Some may be changes for the better. Often they are not. We seek guidance then choose.

Speaking of choice, The Book gives us help: In Joshua 24 the great leader said: " If serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me, and my household, we will serve the Lord."

A right choice in this matter will bring vital help in all the other shifting sand issues of life.

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June 17, 2017

EIGHTY FIFTH A WONDERFUL BIRTHDAY!

I am amazed at all the love and kindness shown to me on this week of the Eighty Fifth! I have received cards and calls galore. Gifts have been received. (I thought all that surely stopped at eighty.) We have been treated to dinners and donuts! Special acts of love and kindness such as James Bell fixing the lawnmower, then mowing the front yard!

I am now fearful that I must look my age! Anyway, God bless you all. What is in store at this age? I know already. Just don't have details or dates. Through all that uncertainty I have some wonderful certainties awaiting.

A favorite hymn by Charles Gabriel has words of depth and challenge for each and all of us. Take a moment, please, to read them:


If I have wounded any soul to-day,
If I have caused one foot to go astray,
If I have walked in my own wilful way -
Dear Lord, forgive.

If I have uttered idle words or vain,
If I have turned aside from want or pain
lest I myself should suffer through the strain,
Dear Lord, forgive.

Forgive the sins I have confessed to Thee.
Forgive the secret sins I do not see.
That which I know not, Father, teach Thou me.
Help me to live.



June 16, 2017

WHY SO MUCH ANGER?


These are troubling times. With such times come frustration, hurt, disappointment, and most of all, ANGER. So many people in our world and nation are ANGRY. Quite often that anger boils over and atrocious, unthinkable acts are committed. We have seen this recently on a softball field where people had gathered to play and have some innocent fun. A man burdened with uncontrollable anger burst on the scene spraying deadly bullets in all directions. A controlled round would take his life, as is often the case.

Some homes are anger- ridden. Children are angry with parents or other family members. Parents are angry at the action or inaction of children. Clerks become angry at customers.Managers are put out with the ones who work for them. Teachers hate their classrooms and the kids who come there each morning. Kids feel the same way toward teachers and school leaders. On and on the list could go of times and persons who become targets for anger.

Is there an answer or answers? Is anger ever acceptable or justified? I think we can easily say,"yes". Is uncontrolled anger acceptable or justified? I THAT is when the trouble rises up and actions get out of control.

Let's see what words the Book might have for us. The Lord is mentioned in numerous places as being angry with someone or about something. His anger brought response from holdbible.jpgGod, but it was always under control.

The writer of Proverbs was interested in this problem. His response was this: " Do not make friends with a hot-tempered man, do not associate with one easily angered." (22:24) Jesus said, in The Sermon, " I tell you anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgement, (Matt 5:22). The Apostle Paul gave more instruction. We must take this to heart. :" In your anger do not sin. Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry." (Eph. 4:26)

Why so much anger? Because so many do not follow the teachings of this Great and Holy Book the Lord gave us. Nuff said.

June 15, 2017

EIGHTY FIVE AT EIGHTY FIVE


What does one do at eighty-five years of age? For me, I spent most of the day driving. To make that matter worse, part of the time it was in Austin where I vainly sought a shopping mall that must have disappeared in all the building projects there. I also spent time going where I had no clue where I was, ending up at the famous swimming hole in Austin, Barton Springs. To add to this mix I got stuck in the downtown area of I 35 at heavy traffic time.Avoid that if at all possible!

85mph.jpgDays earlier in seeking to avoid heavy traffic, we traveled on their yet-to-be-completed by- pass where the speed limit is EIGHTY-FIVE! I just couldn't abuse my Honda to go that fast on a hot day, which it was. Of course, you know any speed limit, except in school zones, is open for at least 10 MPH more, meaning some folks went by us going ONE HUNDRED!

All that may sound like fun to you, but it is sheer terror for me. That is the speed of an airplane soaring. It is faster than any animal could ever run. Imagine what the jolt of a feral hog would be like? There would be nothing left but fried bacon.

85years.jpgSo what does one do at eighty-five? Stay home is a good idea. I am moving in that direction.

Moses didn't really want to go anymore at eighty. He was content in walking the sheep to find grass each day. No more travel for him! Wrong! God had other plans so he traveled another forty years with a gigantic crowd of griping people!

I am humbled and grateful God has given me this long. I hope my life might continue to make some difference in this crazy eighty-five age.

June 14, 2017

THE MUSE IS LOOSE - FINALLY


It is frustrating to be held prisoner by a company but that is what happened. A few weeks ago we had a rather violent thunderstorm with rain. We liked all that but it disrupted our cable lines that gave phone and computer service. For three or four days we were "down". A week or so passed and another storm and another "down". This time the situation was more urgent. A T & T decided some old lines would have to be undug, along with new lines being laid. This led to two weeks of being "down". In the end of that time we left for a brief but important trip to the Dallas area. The computer/phone service came back while we were gone. Minutes ago we drove in the driveway and thanked the Lord for His protection. One incident was REALLY close! We found service working so I send this brief blog.

So, for you who might have wondered, that is the gist of the story. We have no regrets for making this rather long trek. My left leg,etc, held up well, for which I am grateful. Ann served as a very good navigator when the GPS was needed. Weather was co-operative.

Tell you more later. Just wanted to put out the word that we are safely in the home station.

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