February 24, 2017

REPRIMAND

Only days after the parade and my team winning the Seventh Army championship in small arms, I found myself on maneuvers with a new job as liason officer. I wasn't sure what I did, but I liked it. I had my own driver, a big radio, and a jeep. Soon I was at a dusty crossroads where armored vehicles were roaring through from both directions. My job was to keep them from crashing in to each other and go the right direction,. When that was completed we raced off to another crossroad for similar duty. On the way I suddenly realized my carbine was gone! I had laid it on the hood of the jeep and forgotten that. You do not lose your weapon! But I had. A quick return on the road did not help. It was lost.

Following maneuvers a message came for me to report to the Battalion Commander, Colonel Lang. This was the man who had to plan a parade for me. I was told to enter his office. I stood before him and saluted. I said, "Lieutenant Pogue, reporting sir". He gave me an "at ease", looked at me silently then finally said, "Pogue, have you lost anything soldier-rifle.jpglately?". Gulp! I answered, "Yes Sir". "What have you lost, Lieutenant Pogue?". Now I was going to make a confession that would send me to the guard house or to a trial for sure. "My carbine, sir", I meekly replied. The old colonel leaned over to reach under his desk. "Did it look anything like this, Pogue?" He held up a carbine, one of millions that had been made. "Yes sir" . "How did you happen to lose it, Pogue?" My answer was what I knew you were supposed to give when you had really made a big mistake. I simply said, "No excuse, sir". With that the Colonel said something about penalties for losing one's weapon. When he finished his little speech he said, "I am going to reprimand you, Pogue". ( O dear, here it comes) "You are hereby reprimanded! Now, take your carbine and get back to your duty." Finally, he gave me a rather mischievious smile as he handed me my carbine. I left that room wanting to shout, "I am free!!" That was the end of it. Nothing appeared on my records. I really was free.

Sometimes wouldn't it be best to stand or kneel before our Supreme Commander and simply say, "No excuse" and then accept his forgiveness? God does not buy into excuses but is generous with His forgiveness. We just need to get back to our duty.

February 23, 2017

MY SHOOTER'S EYE IS SHOT

The doctor pronounced to me what I had already expected to hear; my right eye is in need of cataract treatment. The left eye is not far behind. Perhaps both will be treated by summer. I am very hopeful.

My right eye has been very good to me. I have been blessed with excellent vision. That became more evident to me when I first picked up a military 22 in the basement of the gym at Ouachita. The ROTC firing range was down there. We fired at small bull's eyes on cardboard sheets at fifty feet.. My experience in firing any kind of weapon was limited then. I had fired a shotgun once or twice and a 22 just a bit more. My weapon of choice was a Daisy BB gun with Red Ryder pictured on the stock. I could " shoot your eye out" .. With a steady hand and clear eye, marksmanship was a natural for me. I made the Rifle Team at Ouachita my freshman year, lettering all four years. We were state champions two of those years. In going through an old scrapbook this morning I saw a news clipping telling of my being high scorer in a match against West Point!!

At Fort Benning in Basic Officer Training I qualified "expert" in M1 Rifle, Carbine, and BAR (That stood for Browning Automatic Rifle). All of that went in my records so that when I arrived in Germany in 1955 I was assigned to Second Armored Division and my name was selected to be coach of the Small Arms team which would fire in the Seventh Army Match in early Fall of 55'. I mention all of this to brag a bit, but mainly to tell you I didn't really know what I was doing! I was blessed with a group of guys who really could "shoot your eye out". I just got them to practice each day and then on a train that traveled halfway across West Germany to this huge range once occupied by German troops.

At the competition all the Generals of the competing divisions were present. I think they may have been making bets on which team would win. We had competition with the M1 Rifle, 30 cal Carbine, 45 Pistol, and sub-machine gun! These were all weapons from the battlefields of WW 2,years earlier.


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My guys swept the competition and Second Armored Division won. (General Patton would have been proud of his boys. He had commanded Second Armored at an earlier time. He died ten years before this event.). I was in shock when I arrived back at Mainz and my Base I received a Certificate of Achievement from Headquarters and signed by the commander,, Major General Clark L Ruffner. In the certificate was a most significant sentence...."The professional competence and devotion to duty displayed by Lieutenant Pogue in this important assignment are indeed worthy of high praise".

That statement caused them to honor me with a parade, as i stood on the reviewing stand with our local commander, Col. Lang. As they passed by I received an "eyes right" from the marching troops.

Was that my "fifteen minutes of fame" ? Probably. I can't really recall any other time quite like that. Did I deserve it at all? Absolutely not! My contribution was getting the men to the right range at the right time and reasonably sober. They already knew how to fire their weapons for they had to compete to be on the team. I received the glory that should have been showered on them.

That is the way life often is. The glory earned by us goes to another. The glory earned by others often comes to us. As Believers this is why we can sing from the depths of our hearts, "To God be the glory. great things He has done". That is really where all our glory for any and all things good should go.


February 20, 2017

PRESIDENTS DAY

I really don't get caught up in Presidents Day. Guess I am too old. I will always think of happypres.jpgthose two men we were taught about the most when I was in school; George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. Each had a February birthday. The twelfth for Abe and the 22nd for George. We really celebrated those days in our country school in Arkansas. Now there are 44 presidents on the list (45 if Grover Cleveland is listed twice-he served two separate terms). They don't fit in a single mold for what they did or did not do. I have had fifteen presidents up to this point in my life who have completed service in this high office.One served from 1933-1945 and died in office. That was Franklin Delano Roosevelt. The other one i mention was before my lifetime. William Henry Harrison was a war hero, known for fighting Indians at Tippecanoe in 1811. He served as a congressman and senator from Ohio. He was elected to the presidency in 1840 and inaugurated March 4, 1841. He stood in the rain and cold and brought a much too long speech. This sixty-eight year old man caught pneumonia and passed away exactly one month later. That was the shortest time ever served by a president. The longest and shortest both died in office.


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Three Great Leaders

It is believed by many historians that Zachary Taylor ( 1849-1850) brought his army to Rockport from the Gulf when they were on their way to fight the Mexican-American war in the Valley and beyond in the early 1840's. There is an old oak tree in that park called Taylor Oak. (You know, of course, he slept under it during his brief stay. Ha!). In that army, however, were two young lieutenants who made names for themselves. Ulysses Grant would become president in 1869. Robert E Lee would command the confederacy army during the Civil War! These three men spent a night or so in Rockport before marching on to Corpus Christi and the Rio Grande Valley. Enough about presidents. I knew none of the fifteen presidents of my lifetime, but I respected each and prayed for them as I was older. I continue to do that, for it is a Biblical command for we Christians.

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George Washington, 1789-1797 John Adams, 1797-1801 Thomas Jefferson, 1801-1809
James Madison, 1809-1817 James Monroe, 1817-1825 John Quincy Adams, 1825-1829
Andrew Jackson, 1829-1837 Martin Van Buren, 1837-1841 William Henry Harrison, 1841
John Tyler, 1841-1845 James Knox Polk, 1845-1849 Zachary Taylor, 1849-1850
Millard Fillmore, 1850-1853 Franklin Pierce, 1853-1857 James Buchanan, 1857-1861
Abraham Lincoln, 1861-1865 Andrew Johnson, 1865-1869 Ulysses S. Grant, 1869-1877
Rutherford Birchard Hayes, 1877-1881 James Abram Garfield, 1881 Chester Alan Arthur, 1881-1885
Grover Cleveland, 1885-1889 Benjamin Harrison, 1889-1893 Grover Cleveland, 1893-1897
William McKinley, 1897-1901 Theodore Roosevelt, 1901-1909 William Howard Taft, 1909-1913
Woodrow Wilson, 1913-1921 Warren Gamaliel Harding, 1921-1923 Calvin Coolidge, 1923-1929
Herbert Clark Hoover, 1929-1933 Franklin Delano Roosevelt, 1933-1945 Harry S. Truman, 1945-1953
Dwight David Eisenhower, 1953-1961 John Fitzgerald Kennedy, 1961-1963 Lyndon B. Johnson, 1963-1969
Richard Milhous Nixon, 1969-1974 Gerald Rudolph Ford, 1974-1977 James Earl Carter, Jr., 1977-1981
Ronald Wilson Reagan, 1981-1989 George Herbert Walker Bush, 1989-1993 William J. Clinton, 1993-2001
George Walker Bush, 2001-2009 Barack Hussein Obama, 2009-2017 Donald J. Trump 2017-present

February 18, 2017

NEED A GOOD BIRDING BOOK? YOU HAVE ONE!

You have a Book, I am sure, that you carry about and read from often. It is your Bible! This Book has many references to birds. It is not a Book of Texas birds, or even America. Since the Bible is a Book for the world, some of the birds are in far-off lands. "Lee's Birdwatching Adventures Plus" has done a great favor to Christian birdwatchers as he has compiled a list of Bible birds. I will take liberty to share some of these with you. If you want to get more information and materials you might go to http://leesbird.com

bittern
buzzard
chicken (hens and roosters)
cormorant
crane
cuckoo.jpgcuckoo (view at right)
dove and pigeon
eagle
falcon
kite
hawk
heron
hoopoe
ibis
lapwing
nighthawk
osprey.jpgosprey (view at right)
ostrich
owl
partridge
quail
raven
sea gull
stork
sparrow
swallow
swan
swift
thrush
vulture
water hen

There are more but this will give you the idea The great Creator of all things beautiful really did it up right when He came to birds. Grab your Birdbook and see what you can find.

" Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself where she may have her young...a place near your altar, O Lord, my King and my God. Blessed are those who dwell in your house." (Psalm 84:3-4)

February 16, 2017

BELLS

I spent a part of yesterday sanding, then painting an old bell that has been in the Hall and Pogue family for at least one hundred thirty-five years. It was the dinner bell at my grandfather (Preacher) Hall's when my mother was a girl. This bell could be heard much further than a vocal call. When it was rung the kids working in a field knew to come to the house for "dinner" (known as lunch today).

A bit of bell research followed the starting of this bell project. I quickly discovered one could spend a life-time learning about bells. They have been around for at least four-thousand years! The Chinese are recognized as the people who first made bells. They were, as you would suppose, rather simple instruments.

Bells would become associated with worship in early days. Not just Christian worship. Many centuries ago the bell and bell towers became an important focus for Christians. Bell towers were a part of church buildings. Their ringing in a city or town carried messages to the people.

What is very important is how a bell is made. The shape, and metal used, decides the sound.Some bells have been made that weigh several tons. The one we have is a number 2. It weighs about forty pounds. A person could order a bell from Montgomery Ward in times long past. Can you imagine the UPS delivering a bell like that today?

Bellfoundries are found around the world. There have been more than two hundred of them in our country through the years. The only American bellfoundry that has survived from early days to now is the McShane Bell Foundry in Baltimore. The Revere foundry of Boston began in 1792 by Paul Revere. The largest American producer of steel alloy bells was the C.S. Bell Company Of Hillsboro, Ohio. They mainly produced dinner and church bells from 12 to 48 inches in diameter. This company had a special cast steel alloy called "crystal metal" Our old bell was made at the C S Bell Company.

The sounds of bells today are mostly electronic. We do hear at our church the wonderful sounds of handbells. One can quickly see the pitch is related to size. They make a lovely and worshipful sound.

The vision of bell-ringing at a church is one from a movie of long ago. One could leave the ground when a huge bell was rung! I think his name was Quasimodo.


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Quasimodo in "The Hunchback of Notre Dame"

If you want to become an expert on something ,at this point in time, you might try bells. It would be a "bell-ringer' for you in talks made at civic and church gatherings.

February 14, 2017

WAS THAT MARCH MARCHING OUT THIS MORNING???

stormywx1.jpg It was those musical geniuses of a time past who wrote...." March went out like a lion, a whippin' up the water in the bay." (Rodgers and Hammerstein)

But it isn't March! It's Valentine Day! February 14,2017.Only half through this second month! Whatever....something came through our little city this morning with a howl of wind and a growl of a lion. Alarms on our phone went off. I heard words rarely heard here. "Tornado warning! Extreme alert! Take cover immediately!" I was enjoying my second cup of coffee, but set it aside to go awaken My Valentine. She had already taken cover so I probably did not need to awaken her.A bit of that cover had been mine.

Ann asked me if she should get dressed! " Well,it would be more dramatic if you were walking around our home foundation in your night gown." ( I didn't say that!). Ann came to the kitchen where our respective valentines were displayed. She was more interested in the chocolates than the storm. I prepared our shelter, which is a tiny shower room a few feet away from where we sat. It is surrounded by concrete blocks. Looks like the best place in the house. I added a chair and a couple of pillows. A second look made me wonder if we both could get in there at the same time. Might have to flip a coin...or go by age. Youngest first in this case.

The alert was appropriate. I watched clouds from the south and north collide. It was not a friendly meeting, but no funnels sighted.

In just a few minutes the norther claimed it's new territory. Some much-needed rain had fallen, and we were free. I could not help but have a pang of feeling for those who were not spared from the storm. Such storms can be deadly and devastating. In New England and nearby states the problem is a different one. Mounds of snow and ice, bringing everything to a halt. Bitter cold joining in on the misery. In the West some folks are "holding their collective breaths" and pray that an overloaded dam will hold back the waters on a lake that is already maximum capacity.

What is going on? Not claiming to have any revealing connection with the great God who manages it all, I simply do not know. This I do know. His way and purpose will be seen in time. Perhaps. just perhaps he is seeking to lead us to think about "other" things and put aside some of the bitterness and anger that is choking our land. There is nothing like a storm from the Lord to help us regain focus on life.

Now the cool winds blow in Rockport. The much-needed rain will quickly green grass and shrubs. God's infinite plan is still at work. We should worship Him and Him alone. We should follow the teachings of His Son who spoke of LOVE so often....then lived it out in a way beyond our imagination. Have a nice day that is named for a Saint..... Valentine.

"Greater love has no one than this; that he lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command." (John 15)

February 13, 2017

A GOOD DAY IN GOLIAD

Ann and I left Rockport about NINE yesterday morning for Goliad. I had a meeting with Jay Fleming, pastor of First Baptist, to talk about baptism. Calvin Duprie, grandson, was baptized. Jay graciously allowed me to do the honors. A pastor doesn't have to do that, so I am grateful to him for allowing me. It was VERY special, in that Calvin was the fifth member of their immediate family that I have baptized across a period of FORTY -THREE years and in FIVE different churches! The first one was Laura. She was eight when I baptized her In Wharton. She was the fourth person ever for me as I was pastoring my first church! Taft, Rockport, Comfort. and Goliad were the other places. James was raised in Taft and has coached in Rockport, Comfort, and Goliad. Coaches move as much or more than preachers for many of the same reasons!


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A salute to James and his basketball team at Runge! This little school won two games last year. This year they have won EIGHT and have made the playoffs! Ann and I went to Tivoli Friday evening with Jeff Groseclose. We saw an exciting game where a win was vital for Runge, and they got it!

Yesterday, Dempsey and Hailey came from Waco for the baptism and to celebrate Dempsey's 22nd birthday. That was a treat. Emily let me drive her "new Jeep", a 1999. Now, if she can only get a license.

Rain is promised for tomorrow. That is why I am running my waterwell sprinklers today. Weathermen are forecasters, not prophets. The call has already been changed several times. I will be convinced when it is splashing on the patio.

Chaucer wrote this over 600 years ago: " Lord, this is a huge rayn! This were a weder to slepen inne! " O how we love those kinds of rains!"

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February 11, 2017

SKIMMING ON THE SKIMMER

My sister, Dorcie, treated Ann and I to a boat trip on the "Skimmer" to see whooping cranes and other wildlife yesterday. The three of us really enjoyed the ride. We left at !:00 P.M.from Fulton Harbor, which bothered me just a bit, but the wind was never bad, combined with a slightly overcast sky. so it was a good day to be on the water. We crossed Aransas Bay to enter the Intercoastal waterway, a deepened "river" within the bay that can take an adventurous boater all the way to Canada! You had better have plenty of petrol money for it is a long trip around the South end of Florida and into the Atlantic. Our trip was more like six miles. Our captain Jay, gently pushed the boat into a shore line and a pair of whoopers were not more than 100 yards away!


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They locate in small groups, and match-up for life to raise their chicks in a desolate place in Canada. Moving several times, we surely must have seen twenty or more. Their young ones are as big as the parents. Soon they will begin the trek back to the boggy fields of Canada where they birth and raise new families of young. We watched one catch and devour a huge blue crab. It was a rather delicate operation done flawlessly.Their existence is a story of amazing dedication on the part of a few. These huge, beautiful creatures numbered less than TWENTY at one time. Now there are more than 300 here. The only untouched flock is the one that comes to Rockport.....in the world! Other small flocks have begun in Louisiana and Florida, so that if one population is wiped out there will be another one.

We saw many other birds along the way.A wild (feral hog) showed himself for a few minutes. They are far from endangered and have become a destructive force on the landscape.

We passed some really big barges carrying petroleum products. Also, we had to edge our way into Fulton Harbor through oyster boats loaded with sacks of these delicious mollusks. I like them raw, with a little red sauce.

What a world the Lord has made for us to live in and enjoy! From the largest land-owner to the family with a small house on a fifty-foot lot, we are all only tenants. It all belongs to God but he graciously allows us to live here and tend the earth, Let's thank him for that!

February 9, 2017

CORPUS POLICE NAB ESCAPEE _ NO CHARGES FILED

pig1.jpgNot since the days of "Bubba", the beer- guzzling javelina, has a four-legged bovine gotten so much news attention. The latest name-less pig was confronted at a service station near Old Brownsville Road. He was taken without incident and no cuffs were needed. One can easily see why he/she is called a pot-bellied pig. In the news report , the critter is an obese beast. It was also plain he/she had been involved in an accident or event. Numerous skinned places were easily seen. The leery policemen confronting this animal were not comfortable with his overly friendly approach to them. Guess that is part of their training. Never trust an overweight pot-bellied pig!

The pot-bellied incident took place in the wee hours of morning, near 3:00 A. M. . It was not known at press time where "Pot Belly" had come from. Animal Control came to relieve the officers guarding the pig.

Pot-bellied pigs often become pets of unusual pet owners. They can be taught to live in a house and go by the house rules of sanitation and such.

opossum-2.jpg For the last two days I have given each morning to Animal Control an almost- as- ugly animal of the wild. O'possums have become feasters on grapefruit. My grapefruit. They begin with a small hole chewed, then expanded to opening the fruit and cleaning it out. The mess is horrific. What else would you expect from a "possum" ? My trap has scored the last three nights with two possums plus a neighborhood cat who is after the birds. I called his owner to come get this feline, which she promptly and gratefully did. Had I turned it into Animal Control there would have been a fifty-dollar fee. She is a nice lady and I had rather just call her to come get "Reddy Boy", as she calls him.

Are you missing your pot-bellied pig? Just call Corpus Animal Control and make your claim. Do you remember "Bubba,s" fate of many years ago? He was taken away from his houseparent and hauled to some unknown place, never to be heard from again. At least he had a chance to sober up and lead a decent javelina life in the brush country.

I did not mean for this event to "hog" all the space , but it has. "Whooo Pig, Sooey!"

February 8, 2017

JOINING UP WITH THE SCOUTS

It was the forties and the war still raged in Europe and the Pacific. My dad moved his homesick family back to Arkansas from California. He was now working for the railroad.. We settled in a small town named Centeron. They had a school there where kids through Junior High attended. After that the kids were bused to a larger city named Bentonville. It was five miles away. My sister, Velda, rode the bus there for school. There was no Wal Mart back then.

My dad bought a little house in the "country". We had a pond in back along with a chicken house. He was hired by Missouri Pacific in Fort Smith so we only saw him on week-ends. It was a long mountainous trip from Centerton. We had no car so walking or hitching a ride was our way of travel.

I heard about Boy Scouts. There was a troop, 13, that met in the basement of the Methodist Church in Centerton. I went to join one Monday night. After meeting all the initial requirements I became a "Tenderfoot". We could not afford a uniform but I was able to get a scout neckerchief with that neat scout slide to adjust it. Later I would get to have a shirt and my mother sewed on the patches. I thought this was the neatest thing ever.

There was a problem: With no transportation on Monday night to meeting I had to walk a full-mile down a gravel road with no traffic to the basement of that church. That meant I had to walk back alone.....in the dark! It was a growing experience for a twelve year old boy. I not only was a tenderfoot I was a fast-footed tenderfoot!

Scouting was perfect for me at that point in time. I never made it very far in ranking but did earn eight merit badges and became a "star scout". My scout book had equal place with my Bible.

I remember this pledge...."On my honor I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country. At this point in time I think I did pretty well through the years of honoring that pledge. I served eight years reserve and active duty for my country. I have tried to be a worker as a staff person or member of churches for sixty-years. My thanks to scouting and a dedicated Scoutmaster who began me on that road.

I write all this from memories on this BIRTHDAY of Scouting.


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