Friday, June 29, 2007

Dentist: a prestidigitator who, putting metal into your mouth, pulls coin out of your pocket. - Ambrose Bierce

I know, I know - many of you anxiously awaited the next story of hilarity, calamity and absurdity (aka H.C.A.) regarding my dental woes. Yet, when I arrived home, I just didn't want to spend 30 minutes typing out a hilarious review of my ROOT CANAL. I felt just fine, which I describe in further detail, but I wanted to take a nap, so I did.

The morning began with my excitement of going to the dentist. No seriously, I was excited. Stupid perhaps, but excited nonetheless. Several had told me horror stories of root canal experiences, but thankfully, Brother Jeff Zimmerman gave me some good comfort about it. I actually wasn't very nervous anyway, but it is nice to receive reassurance.

I arrived for my 9 AM appointment right on time, I had a big smile on my face and they looked at me as though I might need to be placed in an asylum. They said I was the only patient they had that comes in with a bounce in his step and smile on his face. But what can I say? I am a happy guy. (Most of the time.)

Then the Doc came out and said, "Let's get started!" So get started we did, boy did he waste no time.

I got in the chair, he gave the swab of anaesthesia, then about 10,000 shots, and while I don't enjoy them, they weren't too bad. Plus I know if I don't get them, the real pain will follow afterwards.

Then that nice nurse Terri put the nitrous oxide on, and boy did I like that again. Once more, I felt as though I were floating away, I opened wide and let the Doc do his thing.

He strapped some kind of bands around the two teeth. Oh, by the way - I like this dentist a lot, a whole lot. Yet he could communicate a little better. Two weeks ago, I thought I was having one tooth removed, no - it was two. Today, I thought it was one root canal - BIG MISTAKE, it was TWO.

So he straps on some bands, then places some plastic thing which isolates the area, and allows me still to breathe and swallow just fine.

The next two hours (yes, TWO HOURS) are a bit of a blur, especially since I couldn't see what they were doing. All I could see was this dentist with funny goggles on looking over me - so I decided to close my eyes and try to sleep.

As I was dozing - I heard that familiar buzz, yes, you know it too - the drill! The poor Doc wasted several $'s worth of bits, I know he broke at least two. One got stuck down in the tooth!!! The nurse asked if he could get it, and he said "I don't know." So I am left thinking I'll walk around the rest of my days with a drill bit in my mouth.

Then, as he's digging for his drill bit, she exclaims "the gas is almost gone - I've got to get another bottle!" I was thinking, "YES, FORGET THE BITS, MORE GAS PLEASE, MORE GAS. I DON'T WANT TO FEEL WHAT'S COMING!!!" Of course I can only think this, because there's no way to talk. (Sidebar: I used to have a dentist that liked to have conversations with his patients while working on them, a huge annoyance because you can't effectively answer questions while your getting a filling.)

So the Doc loses drill bits, I'm thinking I'll offer him my Bosch drill with some 1/4" heavy duty metal bits, and perhaps they won't break again!

I hear him taking measurements of the length of nerves and depth of canals. Then I hear him talking about their removal - and then he said, "let's irrigate." Now, I'm a west Texas boy where irrigating* means watering the cotton fields. (*In that post on Stremmed Out, you'll see the type of irrigation systems I'm talking about.)

So, my canals got irrigated. They should be well watered, and hopefully now in good shape. Then, after he finished that - they started mixing up the amalgam (sp?) and glopped that on my teeth. They're waiting to do some other work before they put the crowns on.

When I get finished, I'll resemble the Panama Canal, with a nice bridge with a bunch of "kingly crowns put on."

So he wrapped up - and asked me to stand up. Last time, I was on the gas about 30 minutes - no big deal. This time, 2 hours. So, when I stood up, I took a bow. Not intentionally, you see the Doc should've taken the bow, he did the work!

I had to wait a few before I could drive home as I was a bit woozy. But thankfully I've had no pain, and just a bit of sensitivity yesterday. Today, it's all good.

For those who wrote or called wanting a blog post - I am so sorry you worried - but you know, I just didn't feel like it. I felt good, just not like blogging. And so I know you anxiously awaited the arrival of a H.C.A. post, but you'll just have to G.O.I. Perhaps some of you will remember what GOI means? Leave me a response if you do!

More dental fun occurs next Thursday at 10:00 AM. Fun, fun! I can't hardly wait.

Monday, June 25, 2007


Friends, all:

Caylub was released from the hospital this morning and made the three hour drive home very well. Dad said he slept most of the drive, and is now playing a video game. He's still a bit groggy, and of course sore, but overall he is doing amazingly well.

We're not exactly sure the schedule of his full recovery, such as how long it will take his skull to heal, and also the work to reduce the visibility of the scars, but hopefully by the time he starts back to school everything will be all set for him.

Above all, we're grateful he is alive and suffered no brain damage. Our hearts are full of love and appreciation to our precious Lord.

For those who have prayed, please return a word of thanks to our Father for His grace upon Caylub. We know God is the "the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort," and to Him all praise belongs.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Update on Caylub

This morning, Caylub was moved out of ICU and placed in a regular room at Cook Hospital. They are still watching for swelling, but all indications show that he is going to be fine, and they expect a full recovery.

Less concerning, yet relieving all the same, the doctors said that the scars and all will be completely taken care of by plastic surgery soon. They're very confident that he'll bear very few marks from the accident.

I am extremely amazed at the progress of, and the abilities of the medical field in our day. Above this, I am thankful to our Father who has blessed us with these blessings, and how His hand intervenes at times when the doctors come to the end of their abilities.

Great praise to our God!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

A Not-So-Welcome Guest

The little guy pictured below, or the little gal, is awfully cute, seemingly cuddly and very small. Thus far this furry critter hasn't caused too much damage to our garden; however, he does like green bean blooms that are near the bottom of the plant. Thankfully he's too small to reach the blooms on top!

We're trying to wait until he's mature, just like with squash or green beans, and then we'll decide if he's a pet, or if he's supper! Just kidding. He's causing so little harm, and so much amusement that we'll plan to keep him.

My Brother Caylub

Yesterday afternoon, my 12 year old brother Caylub, was crossing a busy street with a friend, and was struck by a car. When the car hit him it threw him into the other lane of traffic and he was hit a second time.

Throughout last evening, we weren't sure that he would live through the night. Among all his injuries, the most severe was a head injury that caused some swelling of his brain.

He was rushed by ambulance from Merkel, TX, to Hendrick Medical Center in Abilene. Abilene currently doesn't have a neurologist, so he was flown by helicopter to Cook Children's Hospital in Fort Worth, TX.

When he arrived there, they rushed him in to operate and relieve pressure from his brain. His forehead had a golf ball size injury that was crushed near his temple, they cleaned that well and placed a steel plate in. He had a small amount of spinal fluid leaking and they stitched that injury.

Among the other problems was a bad cut to his knee, cheek (almost to the bone), above his eye and the back of his head. He also had bad bruising to his chest and at first we were told a lung collapsed, which it did not.

They got him all bandaged and stitched, the surgery went well and at the current time we're waiting to know the extent of the damage.

This morning, early, he awoke and my sister and father were with him. He immediately recognized them both, knew who he was, how old he was, all the facts and figures. He didn't remember the accident, but did remember the helicopter ride which he thought was exciting.

Above all, he wants to go home! We are now waiting results of the latest CAT scan, and if they're good he'll be removed from ICU today. Last night he was on a respirator, but not life support. He is now off the respirator and functioning by himself.

The doctors are "cautiously optimistic" that he will be OK. They are saying that the first 72 hours are most crucial and swelling to occur again anytime. They have drilled a hole in his skull and have a monitor to keep constant check on the swelling, if any.

They are hopeful that there is little or no brain damage, as he is responding so well to all stimuli.

We are so thankful to our Lord for His great mercy toward us all, but especially toward Caylub. Caylub is a very sweet boy, as far as I've seen has never caused our parents any real trouble, and has a genuine love and meekness that I should more closely emulate.

Our family is grateful to those who have prayed, and we ask that you continue to pray especially over the next two days. Our Father who has delivered from so great a death, we trust is delivering and will yet deliver. We deserve not His grace, but yet our hearts yearn with thanksgiving for His mercy thus far.

Please pray for the man who hit Caylub also. My cousin works for the insurance agency where the man has his insurance, and immediately after the police released him, he went to the agency requesting a check be made right then so our family wouldn't have any worries. He is a 73 year old man, and she said he was crying like a little child and so scared for Caylub. It was simply an accident, certainly not the fault of this dear man. This morning, we were able to contact him to let him know how well Caylub is doing, and he let us know that his prayer group from the local Baptist church was meeting at 10 this morning for specific prayer for Caylub. I am thankful for this man's faithfulness, and I know he also stands in need of the grace of God.

May our great God be praised, for his mercy endureth forever.

Monday, June 18, 2007

1st Peter 2:17

"Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king."

This is a verse that I have long thought to preach on, many commands are contained therein, and in following them, many peaceful times await those who obey.

Honour all men.

That is, show proper respect to all men. The Bible tells us we're to "do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith" (Galatians 6:10). While we may think our duty lies only with Christians, the scripture is clear that even our enemies are to be honored, through our love, blessing, prayers and our work of good upon them.

It is so easy to show honor to honorable men, yet, there should be given respect to all humans, even when it seems there's so little to respect.

Love the brotherhood.

That is, we're to love the whole body of the Lord Jesus Christ. We are brothers together in the Lord. When Paul wrote to Philemon about a servant named Onesimus, a servant who had likely stolen from Philemon, and left his service without permission, Paul requested Philemon to receive him, "Not now as a servant, but above a servant, a brother beloved, specially to me, but how much more unto thee, both in the flesh, and in the Lord?"

As a child, it was at times easier to be kind and charitable to friends than it was my own siblings. And sometimes in the house of the Lord, we are kinder to those without than we are to the "brotherhood." Yet when Paul commanded the Galatians to be kind and do good to all men, he said, "especially unto them who are of the household of faith."

Fear God.

Solomon wrote, "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge..." Later he recorded, "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom..." Again, "Let not thine heart envy sinners: but be thou in the fear of the LORD all the day long."

We, as finite, poor, weak creatures of the Great Creator God, should stand in the fear of the God. Christians used to be known as "God-fearing people." Now, it seems everywhere there is "no fear of God before their eyes." When Abraham lied about Sarah being his wife, and instead called her his sister, when found out he gave the following reason for his lie: "Because I thought, Surely the fear of God is not in this place..."

There is joy in fearing the Lord, there is understanding and wisdom. We recognize His great power, but then we also see His great love. How as a disappointed Creator (in that we fell), He has chosen to be merciful, yet we should remember the terror and dread of the Lord.


Honour the king.

Turn on CNN, MSNBC, ABC - pick up the New York Times, or simply enter a coffee shop and you will hear men and women cursing our king. While we may not agree altogether, or perhaps very little with the man who is our leader, the Scriptures do not give us the right to curse him. Instead it tells us to respect him, and to pray for him.

Perhaps if we spent as much time honoring and praying for those in positions of authority, the Lord would bless them and us, to follow that which is right in the Lord's eyes.

Children of the Heavenly King

Words: John Cennick, Sa­cred Hymns for the Child­ren of God, 1742.

Children of the heavenly King,
As ye journey, sweetly sing;
Sing your Savior’s worthy praise,
Glorious in His works and ways.

In our journey on earth, so often we focus on affliction, turmoil and trouble, instead of focusing more on praising our "heavenly King." In our journey we are not called upon to murmur and complain, but rather, to be happy and joyful, even in our afflictions. While we know it is hard, the happy soul is a blessed soul. Certainly, our Lord is glorious in all His works, and in all His ways. There is far more to praise than to utter complaint. "Behold, we count them happy which endure." "But and if ye suffer for righteousness' sake, happy are ye." "If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye."

We are traveling home to God,
In the way the fathers trod;
They are happy now, and we
Soon their happiness shall see.

Our "journey" is a trip to glory, a short while and we will arrive at home. It makes it so much easier to make the journey when we know it is no long, and our desired haven is our home in heaven. We are traveling, the writer says, in the "way our fathers trod." What a blessing to see their footsteps, to notice the landmarks and memorials along the way, gracing us with further evidence of the truth of our Lord's word. We know they are now happy, and not only we will soon see their happiness, we shall join with them in the "new song."

O, ye banished seed, be glad!
Christ our Advocate is made;
Us to save, our flesh assumes—
Brother to our souls becomes.

Sometimes the journey seems long, at times we feel banished to a world of dearth and death, yet our loving Saviour is our plea, He has saved, and He is our elder brother! We are the children of God, "And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ."

Shout, ye little flock, and blest,
You on Jesus’ throne shall rest:
There your seat is now prepared—
There your kingdom and reward.

All too often we'd rather cry than shout, but should we should, while we may be as a small remnant, or a little flock, we are blest. What an amazing thought to know that our precious Redeemer has gone on to prepare a place for us, and because He has, He will come gather us so we may be where He is.

Lift your eyes, ye sons of light,
Zion’s city is in sight:
There our endless home shall be,
There our Lord we soon shall see.

King David once wrote, "I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth." Have you ever been blessed to look up by faith, and as it were look straight into "Zion's city?" It's a beautiful sight, but more beautiful yet is the Lamb of God, our Lord who resides there in our "endless home."

Fear not, brethren; joyful stand
On the borders of your land;
Jesus Christ, your Father’s Son,
Bids you undismayed go on.

While we may view that wondrous sight, our Lord says, "Not yet, my child, not yet." Our "time is not yet come." We are called upon to stand joyfully and fight in the army of our God. Our discharge will soon come, but until then, we're to stand firm for the Lord, serving the Captain of our salvation.

Lord, obedient we would go,
Gladly leaving all below;
Only Thou our Leader be;
And we will still follow Thee.

Are you now ready to leave all below? When the Lord bids will you complain, or will you joyfully lay aside this tabernacle of clay? Will you trust Him as your leader. You shall. His grace will be sufficient in that dying hour, He will be our leader and beckon us to follow in the way He and our fathers have trod. We will be home, forever home, with our God.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Gardening - Almost Week 7

Well, I didn't get the opportunity to photograph the garden last week, so I took one mid-week instead.

Yesterday, I picked the first mess of squash, boiled it in butter, salt and pepper and boy was it good! The beans are almost ready, and there are several tomatoes that are green on the vine, they should be ready before long. Everything is proceeding nicely!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

God Leads Us Along - George A. Young, 1903

This song has long been an encouragement to me, to know that in each situation, "God leads His dear children along."

In shady, green pastures, so rich and so sweet,
God leads His dear children along;
Where the water’s cool flow bathes the weary one’s feet,
God leads His dear children along.

Psalm 23 teaches us that our Lord, our Dear Shepherd leads us to "still waters" and also to "green pastures." Because it is the Lord God of heaven that leads us, we shall not want, meaning we shall not suffer any need, as He is faithful to provide. What wonderful times when we're able to feel the water's cool flow, and taste the rich and sweet pastures of our God.


Some through the waters, some through the flood,
Some through the fire, but all through the blood;
Some through great sorrow, but God gives a song,
In the night season and all the day long.

I especially love the chorus - it is true that many are led at time through the overwhelming waters that seem to wash us away in affliction's time, some are just completely flooded with misery or pain, while yet others suffer through the fire of affliction - yet we're all bathed in the Blood of Calvary's Lamb! Even in the worst of sorrow, we have the song of redemption to sing, both in the night of affliction, and in the day of rejoicing.

Sometimes on the mount where the sun shines so bright,
God leads His dear children along;
Sometimes in the valley, in darkest of night,
God leads His dear children along.

I'm sure you've experienced the mountain's height - those times when no sorrow could seem to approach you because you were there on Mt. Pisgah, viewing the land of promise, seeing all that is, and shall be in the Lord. Yet, no mountain was so glorious, except before it were some valley. For Moses, it was the knowledge that his sin kept him from the promised land, for us it might be a multitude of affliction. Yet, even in the depths of the very worst valley, God still, and especially then, leads His dear children along.


Though sorrows befall us and evils oppose,
God leads His dear children along;
Through grace we can conquer, defeat all our foes,
God leads His dear children along.

The scripture records, "Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivereth him out of them all." It might be sorrow or evil, but "Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world." Through the help of God, "we shall overcome."


Away from the mire, and away from the clay,
God leads His dear children along;
Away up in glory, eternity’s day,
God leads His dear children along.

Truly, on this "low ground of sin and sorrow," we are continually bogged down in the mire, often stuck in the clay wishing for our release. The Lord is so faithful to lead us along and help us in our hard journey. He will take us up from the mire, and "away up in glory, eternity's day, God leads His dear children along!" What a joy and relief to know that this too, soon shall pass from mire to glory! What reason to praise to know we have One who leads us through every pathway, through every sorrow, to every joy!


Monday, June 11, 2007

A dentist at work in his vocation always looks down in the mouth. - George D. Prentice

Today I went back to the dentist to have that pesky tooth that has caused many painful moments removed. However, when I arrived, I found out the bad news that the Doc was going to pull TWO of 'em instead of one.

Well, the nurse came out and made me sign a release (in addition to the regular one) stating that I release them to release my teeth, and release them from any worries or concerns of lawsuits if the releasing of the tooth/teeth wasn't releasing of the pain.

So, the Doc got immediately to work. First, he swabbed this gel in the area that numbed me pretty good, then he gave me about 13,000 shots and after which I felt better and better. Then the best of all, he thought it best to use laughing gas. Well, I wasn't laughing, but it was a surreal experience.

I've never been "gassed" before, and the feeling it gave was very peaceful, but also very strange. I felt the "movement" from my head, until finally even it seemed my feet were numb. I was a bit light-headed, and I was seeing a few stars. I asked to go to sleep, and he said, "you can try."

Well, about a moment later, I saw the pliers. And I saw them enter my mouth. I felt them wrap around tooth #1. Then, I felt pressure, not pain. He started cranking those things and you could hear bone crushing, feel blood squirting, and then the nurse quickly vacuumed it all out with that suction thingy which is SO VERY COOL.

Then came #2, and the process began again - but I didn't care, I was feeling GOOD.

Then he started sewing it all up, and I could feel a tug here and there and I bet I have more thread in me now than 300 count sheets.

Then the most dreaded part. You see, I've not been faithful to go to the dentist, so he has some work to do. $4,534 to be exact. Would have been over $8,000, but thankfully I have a good discount from the good Doc. Now I know why Miguel de Cervantes wrote, "Every tooth in a man's head is more valuable than a diamond."

I will have a "bridge to nowhere" in my mouth, a couple or three root canals, and a couple more extractions. Sounds like they will mine the mountain for gold, then build a bridge across it. All at this taxpayers expense, and that's no pork barrel spending neither.

I told the good Doc that if he requests me every six months for checkups, I'll be there every three. My teeth are my new best friend, they will be the most expensive part of my body when this is over.

He says in three months time, about 5-6 more visits, I'll be as good as new. I asked, "Am I your worse case ever?" He responded, "Oh no, not even close." I felt a little better, then the nurse handed me the bill.

So, we'll see how the woes of the next few weeks go, I think it'll all be OK. Thankfully, I am yet in any pain, but thank the good Lord for Ibuprofen!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

"O give thanks unto the LORD; call upon his name: make known his deeds among the people."

This weekend, the Lord was so gracious to us, blessing us with an abundance of His felt presence, showing His approval for the ministry and ordination of Elder John Yadamec, and once more granting His kindness to us.

I would love to describe His "deeds among the people," but am quite tired from the weekend. However, I will try to give a few highlights.

First, here is a photo of the presbytery that ordained Brother John:

Pictured from Left to Right: Row 1, Elder John Yadamec, Elder Chris Crouse. Row 2, Elder Eugene Janes, Brother Tom Lewis, Brother Jim Gambill, Brother Paul Reynolds. Row 3, Elder Jeff Cochran, Elder Charles Whitten, Elder H. D. Fulmer, Elder Jim Ridings, Elder Marty Smith. Row 4, Brother Dennis Stremmel, Brother Jeff Zimmerman, Brother Gordon Ten Pass, Brother Galvin Ten Pass, Elder Paul Blair, Elder Loyce Fuller, Elder Tim Montgomery, Brother Ben Anderson, Elder Garland Broadway, and Elder David Harrison.

On Friday night, the Lord blessed Elder Smith and Elder Fulmer to preach wonderful sermons that rejoiced our hearts and honored the Lord.

On Saturday, the ordination took place. Elder Charles Whitten questioned Brother John, and asked several pertinent doctrinal questions, which Brother John answered very ably.

Elder Loyce Fuller then offered the ordination prayer while we layed hands on Brother John, Elder Fuller's prayer was very sweet.

Elder Tim Montgomery then charged Brother John to stand strong in the doctrine, never wavering in the faith once delivered to the saints.

I then charged Brother John to be patient and gentle as he stands firmly in the truth, never warring or fighting with those he serves, but meekly teaching.

Brother John was then returned to the church as Elder John Yadamec.

Then Saturday afternoon, and again Sunday morning, the Lord once again blessed Elders Smith and Fulmer!

One of the highlights, other than the wonderful visitors and the encouragement from the ministry, was the singing of praise to our Lord. The singing this weekend was some of the very best I have heard in a long time, it was a time of glory to God in the highest, and edification for us.

I will not soon forget this weekend, I thank our precious Lord for His kindnesses toward us!

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Our Annual Meeting

Tomorrow it all starts, whether we're ready or not! I always greatly anticipate our Annual Meeting, and I am looking forward to it this year, but boy oh boy, it snuck up on me.

The meeting starts Friday night with supper at 5:30, then services at 7:00. Then Saturday, at 10:00 the ordination of Brother John Yadamec to the gospel ministry will commence. I am very thankful for Brother John's call to the ministry, and the great progress the Lord has blessed him with. I trust He will make his ministry a success.

On Saturday afternoon we'll have regular worship services, then in the evening a time for fellowship.

On Sunday, at 10:00 we'll once again meet to hear the word preached.

This year, Elders Marty Smith and H. D. Fulmer are to be with us and preach at the regular worship services. Please pray for their delivery to preach the word!

If you can, come join us in worship!

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

The Dentist :-(

This morning, for the first time in many years I had to see a dentist. Seeing a dentist doesn't bother me in the sense of being afraid. I don't worry about the pain as usually a person is in enough pain that you know the dentist will bring relief. What I do fear is the bill!!!

I am also hesitant because you never know (with a new dentist) if he/she will do a good job, be gentle and kind, or will be a bad doctor with a gruff manner. Today, I made an appointment to see Dr. William Stapleton. I went in a bit nervous until I met him. He's about 55, white hair, a big smile and very gracious. The ladies that work for him, Lisa and Linda say he's a great dentist too. Of course, I am sure they say that out of obligation, or they would have to work for another dentist!

Anyway, I have a tooth that is abscessed, so today all he could do was give me antibiotics and pain medicine, and I have to return Monday so he can remove the tooth.

Since it has been several years since my last visit, he has his work cut out for him, but I know by the time he finishes, I'll be able to smile without a grimace!


This past Saturday, Grandma and I headed off for Nashville, Tennessee. Elder Ronald Lawrence, pastor at Bethel Church had asked if I would preach in his absence while he was away in North Carolina. Bethel Church is a wonderful church, and since it had been almost a year since I've missed a Sunday at Little Flock, I agreed to do so.

On our way down Saturday, we passed this sign in Kentucky. So you understand the relevance, my Great-Grandmother's last name is Mayfield. She was excited to see this sign pointing the way to Mayfield, Kentucky.

We arrived at Brother Truman and Sister Barbara Stubblefield's home around 3:00 Saturday, and had a refreshing time of rest and visitation before supper. The Stubblefield's had invited about 20-25 over for supper, ice cream and time for fellowship. It was such a blessing to be with the folks. Here a couple shots:

Here is Brother Eddie Huff and his wife Sister Betty. Brother Huff is the man who built my pulpit that I use here at Little Flock. To see it, please attend our annual meeting starting this Friday.

The young man in the back, with his back to the camera is Brother Tim Lawrence, Brother Ronald's second oldest son, and next to him is Sister Shannon Sanford. The lady standing is Sister Shannon's grandmother, and I can't remember her name! (Shame on me, I know.)

Here, with his back to the camera is Brother Mark Lawrence, Brother Ronald's youngest son, next to him is Sister Velda. To the left of Velda is Sister Sherri Malone and her husband Brother Mike Malone. Brother Mike is a very interesting Brother. He sells real estate and helped Bethel find their new property and is helping a great deal on their building project. I was thankful to glean some of his wisdom to put in practice for our own project here. Next to Brother Mike is Sister Barbara Stubblefield, our gracious host!

Here is my good buddy, Brother Truman Stubblefield, also known as "Stubby." He is a wonderful deacon, and great to help any in need. Each time I've been with him and Sister Barbara I've had a wonderful time. To the left, in the white shirt is Brother Mark Lawrence, and in the dark shirt is Brother Todd Sanford. Brother Todd takes care of all recording at Bethel. He and his wife and two sons, Braden and Cole are wonderful saints.

The fellowship broke up around 9:00, and I was quite ready for bed! I stayed up and visited with Brother and Sister Stubblefield for a while, then we hit the hay.

On Sunday morning, we went to services at Bethel and had a wonderful time in the Lord. I felt exceptional liberty to preach Sunday morning and was thankful for a very attentive and appreciative congregation.

We then went to the basement for lunch and had a delicious meal prepared by the members. Immediately following, Sister Velda, Grandma and I headed for Dickson, TN to visit Sister Edgie Burton in the nursing home. Sister Edgie is Velda's mother. My Grandmother and Sister Edgie were blessed with a closeness over the past few years, and it was sweet to see them "greet one another with an holy kiss." We visited for about an hour and then headed back to the Stubblefield's for a little rest.

Later that evening we went back to the church-house for the evening service. I was exhausted, but tried my best to preach and either did well, or had a very good congregation who enjoyed it despite myself. I think it was just a really good congregation!

After services, about 25 of us went to Rafferty's for supper and had a wonderful time. I was able to spend most of it playing with all the children while the adults ate and visited. The children are always such fun!

We then headed for bed, as Sister Velda, Grandma and I were going to leave early Monday morning for St. Louis. On Monday morning, Brother Ronald (having arrived home late Sunday night) came to the Stubblefield's for breakfast, and he and I had a good time of fellowship. I always enjoy being with Brother Ronald, and love to hear his counsel. The Lord has blessed him with a rich mind, and much wisdom.

We got on the road a little after 9 and had an uneventful trip. I wasn't feeling well due to a toothache, so I tried to be still and quiet. We arrived at Brother Paul and Sister Barb's house around 2:30 and Sister Barb had lunch ready for us. We had a pleasant visit, then Grandma and I headed back home.

It was a wonderful weekend that I'll not soon forget. I enjoyed the services at Bethel, but the fellowship we had Saturday & Sunday evening was some of the best I've ever experienced. I am thankful to our Lord for His providence, His gracious hand in providing such a blessing to me, though I deserve it not.

Gardening - Week 5

I'm continually amazed the at the speed at which this garden is growing. Never before have I had a garden grow so rapidly. I know I'm late posting on week 5, but I'll have week 6's pictures up on Saturday which will hopefully show some picked squash!

Notice in the last picture there are squash circled, if you enlarge it you can see the little tiny fruit. Not so little now!

Friday, June 1, 2007

Onward, Christian Soldiers

Words by Sabine Baring-Gould, 1865. Music, St. Gertrude, by Arthur S. Sullivan, 1871.

Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war,
With the cross of Jesus going on before.
Christ, the royal Master, leads against the foe;
Forward into battle see His banners go!


Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war,
With the cross of Jesus going on before.

At the sign of triumph Satan’s host doth flee;
On then, Christian soldiers, on to victory!
Hell’s foundations quiver at the shout of praise;
Brothers lift your voices, loud your anthems raise.


Like a mighty army moves the church of God;
Brothers, we are treading where the saints have trod.
We are not divided, all one body we,
One in hope and doctrine, one in charity.


What the saints established that I hold for true.
What the saints believed, that I believe too.
Long as earth endureth, men the faith will hold,
Kingdoms, nations, empires, in destruction rolled.


Crowns and thrones may perish, kingdoms rise and wane,
But the church of Jesus constant will remain.
Gates of hell can never 'gainst that church prevail;
We have Christ’s own promise, and that cannot fail.


Onward then, ye people, join our happy throng,
Blend with ours your voices in the triumph song.
Glory, laud and honor unto Christ the King,
This through countless ages men and angels sing.


*Baring-Gould wrote about this hymn:

Whit-Mon­day is a great day for school fes­tiv­als in York­shire. One Whit-Mon­day, thir­ty years ago, it was ar­ranged that our school should join forc­es with that of a neigh­bor­ing vil­lage. I want­ed the child­ren to sing when march­ing from one vil­lage to another, but couldn’t think of any­thing quite suit­a­ble; so I sat up at night, re­solved that I would write some­thing myself. “Onward, Christ­ian Sol­diers” was the re­sult. It was writ­ten in great haste, and I am afraid some of the rhymes are faulty. Cer­tain­ly no­thing has sur­prised me more than its pop­u­lar­i­ty. I don’t re­mem­ber how it got print­ed first, but I know that very soon it found its way into sev­er­al col­lect­ions. I have writ­ten a few other hymns since then, but only two or three have be­come at all well-known.

*This hymn was sung at the fun­er­al of Amer­i­can pre­si­dent Dwight Ei­sen­how­er at the Na­tion­al Ca­thed­ral, Wash­ing­ton, DC, March 1969.