Friday, May 31, 2013


Every Body Has at Least One

At the visitation for Mother Shumaker, I happened to be standing by our Mother and Hattie White while we looked on her silent form.  As they reminisced, Mother said, "I don't know how I ever could have made it without her.  She helped in so many ways:  sewing, canning and knowing the answers to all the questions."  Then she suddenly realized, and said, "But, Hattie, you were the youngest of your six, three brothers and two other sisters.  And you were only fifteen when your Mother died.  How did you make it?"  Hattie pointed down into the casket, and said, "I had her."   That must have been about 31 years ago.  And it brings tears to my eyes, even as I write this story now.  It surely must be very ok to have more than one Mother!

After the Civil War, Grandma and Grandpa Luker were married and had the first two of their eight children, they joined their covered wagon to ten more and made a train of eleven covered wagons leaving Alabama for the great new state of Texas.  They traveled west day after day, crossing out of their home state, and through Mississippi and Louisiana until they came to the River.  It flows down the middle of Louisiana.  They set up camp.  They built a raft of fallen logs.  On the day of crossing all was ready.  Then by daylight they were loading the first wagon, family and whatever belonged to them onto the raft.  They launched out into the waters of the river with cattle and horses in tow.  As they rowed forward, they drifted down river.  By the time they reached the west bank, they were about a mile down river.  So then they had to tow the raft up river with horses far enough that the unloaded and empty raft could be guided to drift back to the waiting wagons at the camp site on the east bank.  It took all day.  The last wagon was unloading from the raft on the west bank of the Mighty Ole Miss in the moon light.  Grandma said, "I'll never cross that river again, even if I never see my Mother."  What sacrifices people sometimes make!  The good part is that her Mother eventually made the trip to Texas and lived out her life with her family over there.

Our own Mother gave birth to eleven little babies.  It was the fourth one of us who was still born.  So we never got to know him, hug him, hold him, kiss him, rock him, play with him, or even name him.  He is the one who has gone on to heaven, ahead of us all.  I know that Mother and Daddy measured the time of his loss by comforting the parents in other homes who had experienced the untimely departure of one of their own.  Once when I was home from College, I waited in the car for about an hour while they visited a couple who had recently dealt with such pain.

The angel warned Mary, mother of Jesus, that she would suffer much pain in her life time.  God warned Eve that women would suffer pain in child bearing.  I think many Mothers suffer lots more pain than that.  During a revival meeting I preached at the Oregon, Illinois Church of the Nazarene, a gracious older lady came crying to me at the close of one of the services.  She said, "I thought when I got my children all raised, that would be the end of my troubles."  She and her husband had ten or eleven children.  Years ago when their children were younger, their house caught fire in the night.  Their oldest, thirteen year old son, died in the fire.  When the Husband told me about it after forty or more years, his voice broke and tears ran down his face.  She continued her story.  Their oldest daughter and husband had been married thirty or thirty-five years.  They had several grown children, five or six.  Almost all those years they lived in south central Wisconsin.  Late every Sunday afternoon he bid goodbyes to his wife and children.  She manned up to the household chores and guided the kids through the thick and thin of life on the lot, in the school and through the summer.  He came home after work every Friday.  Saturday and part of Sunday were their hours together.  The dear old Lady and old Man reported the sad story they had just learned the week I was there.  The faithful laboring man brought money ever week so the wife, their daughter, would have no needs.  Now, he had just confessed, he had been living with another woman and had raised another family with her.  Should he be congratulated on being faithful to each, wife and woman?  Should he be congratulated on raising all his children, on supplying enough income to support two families?  O the awful pain, heart ache and deception that sin brings.

Our Great Grandmother (Bond) Shumaker was a girl of twelve years when her parents immigrated from England to the United States.  They moved to Texas.  There were ten children in all.  Their Daddy's name was James Bond.

The girl, Our Great Grandmother, married Elbert Shumaker.  They had several children, in two groups:  George, Bessie, Johnny, (?) and then our Grand Daddy Shumaker, Ernest Albert, Uncle Bill, maybe Fannie Beth, Uncle Jim and Uncle Milton.  Those four older ones were married and gone from the house by the time our Grand Daddy was thirteen years old.  At that time Great Grandfather told Great Grandmother that he just could not give up his addiction to alcohol.  So he wanted to leave home rather than be a bad example to those younger boys.  He took all the cattle, drove them to market, sold them and left.  Great Grandmother was a woman who loved God and attended Church with her family.  There was a wonderful family in the Church who were best friends with Great Grandmother.  The good family was an evangelist, Rev. Davis and his wife.  They had six children.  The oldest, a boy, Everett Davis was best friends with our Granddaddy, Ernest.

Ernest naturally became the man of the house.  The Davis family gave encouragement and hope to Great Grandmother.  Eventually Ernest met Liffa Mae Maberry at a Church social.  He drove her to her home that night in his buggy.  She said of the event, "The rest is history."  Liffa's parents, we all called, Mama and Papa Berry.  Papa Berry's occupation was, "trader."  He made his living by trading: cattle for horses, or a team for an acreage, or a house for something else, a well made pocket knife for a one carat diamond ring.  So they were often moving from one place to another.  Roosevelt, Oklahoma was one destination,  Another small farm was down the hill to the west of High Point, five or six miles east of Eldorado, Oklahoma.  The Maberry's had five daughters and two little sons.  The boys were younger than the girls. Chester, died at about two or three years of age.  Homer lived to old age.  Liffa, V., Alta, Dazie, and Lou were the five little girls.  They all grew up to be remarkable Mothers.  Sometime in the 30"s or 40"s Mama and Papa Berry moved to California.  There he bought or started a Grocery Store.  I think they ran it until they retired.  Around that time, Aunt V. moved to California, also.  Eventually Aunt Alta moved to South Texas and Aunt Dazie to Tuscon, Arizona.  That left Aunt Lou (she lived to be 100 years old) and Mother Shumaker in Oklahoma.  They all were outstanding women.  Because I knew Mother Shumaker week after week for years on end I knew her to be a most phenominal woman!  She is a story all her own.

Our Great Grandparents:  Easleys and Lukers lived near each other in north central Texas.  Both Great Grandma Easley and Great Grandma Luker were amazing women.  Grandma Easley had seven sons and three daughter.  Grandma Luker had four sons and four daughters.  Easley's eldest son, Will married Annie, third daughter of the Luker's.  Some years later Easley's sixth son, Frank, married Kate, Luker's youngest daughter.

There in brief, you have the seeds of our roots:  Shumaker's, Maberry's, Luker's and Easley's.  At least three of our four Great Grandfathers served in the Civil War.  They married wives, raised families, traveled by foot, horse back, buggy, wagon, boat, train and car in their own life's time.  All eight of our Great Grandparents were born by or just before the middle of the 1800's.  Our Easley Grandparents:  Frank and Kate (Luker) Easley were born in 1887.  Our Shumaker Grandparents:  Ernest and Liffa Mae (Maberry) Shumaker were born -- Ernest in 1889 and Liffa in 1891.  Airplanes were first built in 1903.  All eight of our Great Grandparents lived beyond that time in history.  Great Grandma Luker died in 1918, our Daddy was
three.  Great Grandma Easley, Great Grandpa Luker, Great Grandma and Grandpa Shumaker all died in the 1930's.  Great Grandpa Easley died on Christmas Eve 1940.  Papa and Mama Berry died in the 1940's.

The first of our Grandparents to die was Granddaddy Shumaker in 1958.  He was 68 years old.  Mother Shumaker was 91,  Papa was almost 92 and Granny lived to 101 years and 4 months old.  The amazing thing to me is that all our four Great Grandmothers and two Grandmothers lived to their old age.  In the years of their times, it was not unusual for women to die early in their lives and sometimes to die in child birth.  We are so very fortunate and grateful that so many of the Mothers in our family lived long and have highly impacted our own lives.  Praise God for our Mothers:  Mothers who pray and are such wonderful examples to our families.

God bless, favor, protect and guide our Mothers through all this present century or until Jesus comes!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013


Four Days on an Indiana Farm

This is Memorial Day Week-End with Ray and Dianne on the farm at the west edge of Greenfield where the quiet and peaceful life flows by, largely unnoticed by the rushing world.  We left home in Illinois at noon on Friday.  Joanna drove.  The Kids, E. S. and L. sat in their seats reading, writing or dozing.  I sat with my right leg elevated on the right hand dashboard.  I have no idea how many times I, myself, have driven that road (or parts of it ) from Oregon, Il. to Indy, Ind. during the past 37 years.  And there were the trips from Red Oak, Ia. (and other Iowa towns) to Indy. beginning in 1961 for 15 years.  During those 52 years we watched the slow but steady development of the Inter-state highway system crawl into being.  Little country towns and very busy city streets gradually got bypassed and we joyfully hurdled over the countryside to reach our destinations hours ahead of the previous trips.  This time I was the passenger, observing the pointy green spears of baby corn leaves reaching out of the dry earth.  We had very few, but a few, pit stops and potty breaks.  There was the excitement and anticipation of the planned stop for gondola sandwiches at Avantis in Bloomington-Normal.  We ate on them the rest of the way.

It was a great feeling to unfold from our confinement onto the welcoming green lawns of Heritage Summit   Farm to be greeted by the Farmer and his Wife, with Titus, the old golden pooch, who mostly warms the floors of the farm house these days.  The fields are almost completely filled with seeds and growing plants.  We put in the last of the okra seeds and the nine remaining rows of pop corn.  Onions, potatoes, beans and strawberries had already been planted.

The Kids immediately fell into farm life, chasing the ducks and chickens.  The hum of work emerging from the bee hives was a warm sound from seventy years ago.  Bryan and Leslie with their children soon dropped by.  That added to the movement of life in the yard.  Cousins chasing cousins, playing ball, transplanting onion sets, scattering chicken feed, running races down the field road, riding in the trailer behind Uncle Ray's ford tractor and anticipating more cousins at Reunion in July.

Sunday Worship at Brandywine Church was a time of Memorial, of High School Graduation celebration, of lifting up hearts in worship and praise to the Almighty God whose love endures forever.

The Cheatham siblings had reunion during the week-end.  Our brother Paul was able to come away and spend three or four hours with us at the farm on Sunday afternoon.  So we were three of the five brothers.  Our five sisters were all in their own places.  For me it is always so rewarding when any of us are able to get together.

Now it is Monday morning.  Soon we will be loading back into the van.  Joanna will set the cruse control and point the front bumper toward Illinois.  Dianne is filling the house with the smell of frying bacon.  The Kids have gone out for their last forage around the farm grounds.  It is a great day in the beautiful heart land of central Indiana.

Thursday, May 9, 2013


From Earliest Times there Have Been Such Men and Women

Most of these stories I have taken from my own memories.  There are stories taken from the memories of the ancients and our ancestors that bear remembering.

Goodness and badness, success and failure, victory and defeat have been featured in the cultures of all people through all of time.  Sin and righteousness have been practiced through the ages of man.  "Adam met Eve and they were the pair on the ground, not the fruit on the tree" that have caused our biggest problems.   (This insight comes from our friend, Bill Sunnison, in a song he wrote.)  Sin in the human heart is the problem and righteousness  through Jesus Christ is the solution.  Ancient history and the Bible gives us a lot of insight.  More modern times continue to remind us of our sad and loveless societies.

Often it seems that worlds of men have forgotten or disregarded God as our Creator and hence the Biblical account of a world wide flood.  Noah, a man God declared to be righteous, built The Arc for the saving of the human race.  Job and Abraham were known as righteous men.  Abraham and God had a conversation about Sodom and Gomorrah and those cities were the losers.

Through time prophets, priest and kings have been good or bad.  Sometimes they started out to be good and became bad, sometimes the other way around.. But the call of The Almighty God of Ever- lasting love has continued to reach the hearts and minds of righteous seeking men and women.  He has called to people through all the ages, but not many have given heed.  There were the apostles who followed Jesus and many followed who weren't apostles.

The Church of the last 2,000 years has many names of remembered and forgotten believers who walked with God through good times and bad.  Satan has been the ancient foe of the centuries.  As in the case of Job, God has permitted the righteous ones to be tested, sometimes even to death.  All the Apostles, except John died a martyrs death and the Romans tried to kill him but he outlived the trials and finally died of old age.  In the generations following that first century AD. there were a plethora of evangelists crossing continents, mountains and seas to bring the Gospel to the masses.  Christians in the Roman Army brought the Message to Great Brittan and from there we have the great story of Saint Patrick of Irland.

The early Waldensian movement, in 1170 AD,  under the leadership of a Frenchman named, Peter Waldo, was one based on voluntary poverty as Jesus and his disciples did during Jesus' ministry. (The early Waldensian community did not call themselves Waldensians, but "The Poor of Lyons" or "The Poor of Christ" or just "The Poor".) Waldo, a successful and wealthy merchant in Lyons, France, sold all of his possessions and gave the proceeds away to the poor and advocated that his followers do the same. Waldo and his followers relied on donations and handouts collected while they were preaching.

So then laymen of the Church were being encouraged to evangelize their neighbors.  They became known as the Waldensians.  The Pope excommunicated them, but they continued to thrive in their way of life.  In time they were forced to flee from their homes and seek shelter in hidden caves and cannons of the Alp Mountains.  The Papal militia and the Italian army massacred them by the thousands over a period of at least 700 years.  Finally in 1859 an English Captain took up their case with the King of Italy.  The King gave them citizenship and built them a Church in the northwestern Italian City of Torino.  They still live freely in their several villages.  I have been pleased to visit their Church in the City and walk through one of their villages.

The Wesley brothers, John and Charles, are credited with bringing revival to Great Brittan in the 1700's that saved the nation from a revolution such as hit France.  That revival spread to the Colonies in the preaching of Whitfield and Edwards.  Later came such well known names as Finney, Moody, Sunday and Graham. 

In the late 1800's and lapping into the early 1900's men and women of God, some remembered, many forgotten were praying, preaching and reaching out for a mighty spirit of revival.  Our grandparents were children and youth during that era.  There was a kind of "hot spot of holy hunger" in large parts of Texas.  In west central Louisiana a farmer craved a revival of Christian religion to come upon his family and neighborhood.  He sold his only milk cow for $20 and called an evangelist to come.  He cut polls from the woods on his farm and built what was known as a brush arbor.  Under it's protection from the weather he constructed benches for the people to occupy during the singing and preaching of the meeting.  After two weeks of faithful singing, preaching and praying only one eight year old boy from the place had come forward to dedicated his life to Jesus Christ.

The farmers family were without milk for a long time and a new cow was almost a bank vault away.  The neighborhood laughingstock marked the farmer as a fool.  The eight year old boy held faithful to his devotion, he finished what ever schooling was available to him, then entered the young new Texas Holiness University where he grew in the graces of Christian manhood.  His name was R. T.  Having saved a little money, he looked for a way to invest it.  His acquaintance, Will Easley, knew of a quarter section of land for sale near the north bank of Red River in western Oklahoma, newly become a state.  R. T. Williams bought the property.  A year or two later, one of Will Easley's younger brothers was looking to buy.  In 1912, our grandparents, Kate and Frank Easley were the happy owners.  There through the next half century or so, they raised their four children.  We grand kids all grew up playing on the hills, hoeing cotton, combining wheat, shocking bundles, hauling hay bails, tying sheep's fleeces and stomping them into the eight foot bags for market, digging sweet potatoes, gathering other garden produce and helping plow or hoe Granny's yard.

R. T. Williams became in his early 30's a General Superintendent of the Global Church of the Nazarene and was an influential man of God throughout the remainder of his life.  The old song says, "Little Is Much When God Is in It."

 As a young woman before she and Papa were married, Granny was an accomplished organist.  She was often called upon to pump the organ and play the music for Camp Meetings and Revival Meetings of their area, west and a little south of Dallas-Fort Worth, in such towns, cities, or rural settings as Dublin, Stephenville, De Leon, Comanche, Proctor, Rising Star, and many I don't recall at the moment.

Under the preaching of Evangelist like Bud Robinson, (J. E.) Threadgill, Jernigan, Abe Tucker and other Pastors and Evangelists the Holy Fires of Revival were rising up through out the State of Texas and spreading elsewhere.  A famous Camp Meeting called the prominent Rev. Dr. H. C. Morrison, president of Asbury College in Wilmore, KY and publisher / editor of a Christian Magazine known through all the circles of that day, to Preach the Camp Meeting.  It was largely attended and supported by Methodist Congregations and their pastors.  The Bishop of the Conference sent spies to report on pastors and people who attended the Meetings.  Since H. C. Morrison was known nationally, he left unscathed.  But all the local pastors of Methodist Churches who had attended were removed from their pastorates and their licenses were taken away.  Uncle Abe Tucker, Granny's brother-in-law, was among those.

But as always, the holy war could not put out the Holy Fire.  Phineas Breeze began preaching as a young pastor for the Methodist in New York State.  He soon was moving west.  He pastored at Chariton, Iowa a year or two, and churches and chapels in Des Moines, Creston, Clarinda, Counsel Bluffs, in various orders.  He arrived at Red Oak in late summer about 1873.  About the first of October he announced a ten day revival which he preached, himself.  Not much happened, so he continues on to make it two weeks.  A few Sunday School children came to the altar for salvation.  That spurred the meetings forward and some prominent folks of the community began to be saved.  They then started praying in earnest for their families and their employs to be saved.  By the beginning of March 1874 he brought the nightly preaching to a close.  There had been not less than 300 people who were saved in the meetings.  Large numbers of those joined in membership with the local Church and others joined other Churches of the community.  Their numbers hugely outgrew the seating capacity of their building.  They built a large new Church.

Eventually Bresee was pastoring Methodist Churches in Los Angelos.  There came a riff because he was reaching out to the poor of the neighborhood.  By 1895 he left Methodism to found the Church of the Nazarene, seeking to reach out to the poor families of the area.  Rapidly this movement spread up the west coast and east ward to Chicago, New England and down the mid-Atlantic states.  In 1907, East and West met in Chicago to form what was known for a few years as the Pentecostal Church of the Nazarene.  The next year, 1908 the northern body met with Texas proponents of heart holiness to formerly establish the Pentecostal Church of the Nazarene at Pilot Point, Texas, (a town that no longer exists).  Bresee died in 1915.  I believe the name, Pentecostal, was dropped at the General Assembly of 1919.

A large contingent of godly men and women throughout the State of Texas had formed together from the late 1800's into various groups and eventually came as the Holiness Church of Christ to join with the northern body, the Pentecostal Church of the Nazarene in 1908.

In 1888 there came to a place a few miles from Tabor, Iowa a medical doctor / preacher named George Weavers and L. B. Worcester.  They establish a Church known as Mt. Zion and referred to it as the mother church.  By 1893 they had bought 40 acres near the southwest edge of Tabor.  There they established a school, an orphanage, an orchard and gardens.  The name of the organization was Hephzibah Faith Missionary Association.  Many families went out from there to other settlements west of Tabor and into Nebraska and Kansas to set up farms and establish homes.  But their enduring goal was to bring the story of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to whom ever they could.  Where they went they built Churches and collected funds to send out missionaries from the school back in Tabor.  The name Hephzibah is referenced in the Bible: 2 Kings 21:1 and Is. 62:4.  It means "My Delight Is in Her."  The Church and Mission sent out dozens of missionaries for 40 or 50 years to Japan, China, India and Africa.  As their home Churches in America were unable to support all of them, they gradually merged with more established organizations on the field.  After 1944 the workers in China united with the Wesleyan Methodist Church.  In 1950 the Institutions in Tabor joined the Church of the Nazarene.  I think that is the direction Missionaries Irvin and Fannie Dayhoff took, as well as their son, Rev. Paul Dayhoff and his family.  Those were good folks we knew during our pastorate at Red Oak, Iowa, some 30 miles from Tabor.  Also, Rev. Paul Worcester, who had retired from pastor of the Tabor Church, wrote a little volume on the history of the HFMA.  Paul's wife was still running the Nursing Home, in place of the Orphanage.  His son, Leonard and family lived there.  Rev. Paul Mitchell was pastor of the Church and his wife was a school teacher in Glenwood.

The Church of the Nazarene in the State of Iowa is all one district.  The district is divided into Zones.  We at Red Oak were in the Tabor Zone.  There were six Churches in that Zone.  O my!  What great fellowship.  Every month for all those five years at Red Oak the Pastors and Wives of the six Churches met in each others homes for a meal together.  The Pastors and Wives of the Churches in Red Oak did the same thing every other month.  Those were the best years for close fellowship with the Men and Women of the Ministry during our 15 years in the State of Iowa.  Not that we didn't have great fellowship every where we have lived.  But there was just something about Tabor and Red Oak that stands out through all these years.

Now that I've come to the end, I think that I have not told it the way I had hoped.  Let's remember what we can of the men and women, youth and even the children who have hungered and thirsted for the deep things of God.  Some have been vilified, criticised, mistreated, some even killed and still have more often than not held tight to the loving and gentle hands of the Almighty God.  Let us remember.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013


The Church of God Seem Brimming with Folks Who Love God and His Holiness

This has been a wonderful half-week of sharing the Word of God with a small congregation of people who are bound together in the Love of Christ.

These days had been scheduled sometime back in February.  Then came that blister and infection on the top of my right foot at the ankle.  In mid April I had planned to visit three of my sisters and families in northwest Arkansas, but landed in Hospital for seven days.  I had another week of rehab at Pallie and Darrell's house.

Pallie had planned a trip to her daughter's place in Houston.  After some days there, Pastor Keith Beckman of the Church in Port Arthur came and gave me a ride to southeast Texas.

Services started Sunday morning, May 5 and have continued for four night services.  Tonight will be the close of those and Friday, the Lord willing, I will fly home to joyfully reunite with Joanna and the Kids!!! 

Through it all, this has been a most blessed time of renewing fellowship with family, friends and new folks I'd never known.  The Doctors and nurses at the hospital were all so kind, knowledgeable, helpful and friendly.

My family at home, throughout the States and in Italy, old friends and new acquaintances have been such a great source of encouragement and inspiration.  David and Joy came down from Missouri on a Saturday.  He brought music and picked some most beautiful cords that blessed my heart.  The Folks at Ozark View Chapel came out to hear me on my last Sunday there.  Gary and Dori's family entertained us, fed us and gave beds for our sleep and rest.  Judy and Aris were a drink of fresh water from a story of long ago.  Randy and Naomi with their children, gave up a bed and brought out wonderful food for our nourishment.  Thanks to you all.

I must give credit to hundreds of folks throughout the world who know of my long story and have without any question, been praying for me.  Thank you dear friends and I pray God's rich blessings come to you from all directions and fill your lives and hearts.  Amen.

I close with this pray of St. Paul to the Thessalonian Church, "Now may the Lord of peace Himself continually grant you peace in every circumstance.  The Lord be with you all!"    Amen.

Thursday, May 2, 2013


Like Have Yourself an Unexpected Hospital Stay

In the spring of this year, I developed a blister on the top of my foot at the ankle.  I now think it was all because I was cutting down on the amount of meds I should have been taking, The blister developed an infection.  I tried to treat it and slowly it got worse....

My schedule for full spring developed:  A weeks trip to the Ozarks to visit my three oldest sisters, all younger than I; a conference to attend with my good friend, Pastor Randy Newton at Leaf River Baptist Church, Leaf River, Illinois; and finally a Revival Meeting with an old friend, Keith Beckman, in Port Arthur, Texas, May 5 and three more evenings. 

I did make the plane for Branson, Mo. and on ground, Pallie met me.  It was difficult to walk.  On arrival at their beautiful mountain home in Turner Community, near the Church our Parents had completed debt free in 1991, I went straight to bed.  Pallie checked my temp every four hours.  By morning they had decided and I was in full agreement, we should call the ambulance.  They did.  Before noon I was in ICU at Mercy Hospital, Fort Smith, Arkansas.

After about three days I was transferred up to a proper floor.  Dr. Paul Bean was my very excellent and capable hospitalist!  Wow!  What a Doc!  He knew what to do and did it.  I went in on Saturday and was discharged the next Saturday.  I could not have had better care.  Every nurse of any sort and all aids, all people of that hospital were wonderful... THANKS!

The Visit My Sisters Trip, was altered only in that they came to see me every day they could.  So I didn't go out hunting them.  We had some great visits that we might not have had.  After a great checkup with another most remarkable doctor, Gregory Pineau, I believed I was good to go.  (Am still sitting, walking a little, and recouping.  Dr. Pineau recommended, as well as did Dr. Bean, take to the end of the year to return to full use.)  I accept that as an important order.

Pastor Randy and his Church of Praying People, who paid my way to the Conference let me skip out on attending and I stayed in the mountain.  Sunday morning, April 28, Darrell had me sit on the platform with my leg elevated and bring a message to the small band of believers, several of whom had been gathered into the fold as teenagers forty years ago.

That afternoon Pallie drove me to Dallas, Texas where we spent the night with their daughter, their son-in-law and three beautiful, well behaved children.   In the morning they all went to work or school and we kept an appointment with dear friends of the past.  We stopped by a gorgeous market where I bought a bag of fresh walnuts, a bag of fresh pumpkin seeds and a small bottle of lemon oil to drop in drinking water.

Then on to the splendid home of dear Judy and Aris Cook.  We were mere children the last time I saw Judy Ryan under the great old elm tree where her mother, Sylvia, supervised us seven or eight children in the fine art of  cutting up lye pealed peaches (our Daddies had prepared) and dropping them into the number three cans to be filled with a delicious golden syrup our Mother was making in the kitchen before Sylvia sealed on the lids.  That hour and a half flew by far too quickly.  But such is life.  Great thanks to both of you, Judy and Aris.  It was truly an inspiring and elevating renewal.

Before nightfall Monday afternoon, May 29, Pallie had safely guided us through the rest of the Dallas complex and on down the road to Houston.  Here we unloaded for a few days in warm sunshine and beautiful green leafed trees, amid multitudes of flowers and cars and houses and people of all heights and races.  It has been a good time to sit in my corner, of the room, on the bed, in the back yard, at the eating table, under the overhang of the garage, with a computer in my lap, or a book in my hand and observe how a metropolitan family operates.  This one seems to know the importance of quietness.  Thank you Randy, Naomi, Andrew, Brendan, Jamison (for loan of your bed),  and Melissa.  Even Lucy and Pepper understand the importance of NOT yipping very often.

Tomorrow about noon, Pallie or someone, will drive me across town where old friend Pastor Keith Beckman will chauffeur me to Orange, Texas where he pastors the Anderson Indiana Church of God in Port Author, Texas.  Keith was a high school teen when I first met him in a Revival Meeting at Oregon, Illinois, Church of the Nazarene pastored by our Old and Very Dearly Venerated Friend, Stewart Able.  That was sometime in the mid 1970's. 

If the Lord wills, Friday noon, May 9, I expect to be flying Midwest Air from Houston to Midway Airport in Chicago.  There, all things being normal, I plan to catch a bus to Rockford where Joanna and the Kids, Elizza, Sebastian and Leo will inundated me and be inundated by me with multiple layers of hugs and kisses.

Thanks to all of you who read or wait to read.  Our readers of late include the USA, Germany, Russia, Brazil, Belarus and France.  God Bless!  Amen.