August 18, 2017

SCHOOL DAYS - FOURTH, FIFTH, AND CALIFORNIA

To be in the Fourth Grade with sixth graders in the same room was a big deal!.....but only for FOURTH GRADERS. Some sixth grade boys, in the country, were already smoking. Some of them "cussed" and that really bothered me. I figured they hadn't heard the things I had about "cussin". I still don't like it. They wanted to play games where we fourth graders were victims. . One recess game was marbles we called it "doodgies." (Hope that isn't a bad word) There were two marble games played. One was a bit like golf where nine holes were dug. After a marble had gone in the nine holes he was "poison" and got any marble he hit. No one could hurt him except another poison player. A second marble game was one where a circle was drawn. Opening shots were taken from the outside ring. Any marble knocked outside the circle went to the shooter.


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Keeping those marbles was against school rules. No one enforced the rule. Marbles were usually kept in a Bull Durham sack. The big guys would get some "victims" on the merry-go-round and push them. Not for fun, but to try to see how many they could sling off the machine. It didn't take long to by-pass that. We played the usual outside games that still exist, drop the handkerchief, tag, and dodge ball, among others.

Those years in fourth and fifth grades were the best learning years of my life. I love to read and the library was in our class room. I read all the "Tom Swift" books in the library.

I remember well one summer at Cavanaugh a young woman came to help bring out our artistic abilities.She was not from the school so we didn't respond to her well. She gave me a part to memorize and quote to the audience when they came...(and they did come) . That night came far too quickly. and my part was not memorized well enough to do. She kept sayig, "I will prompt you". That did not calm my nerves. When my turn came I walked on stage with a fright beyond belief. My mind went totally blank. I could hear words being whispered off-stage but they sounded like something from another poem.. This was not working! I had to get out of this mess. I let the room get quiet, then looked out at all those "foreign faces" and said rather dramatically. "I am sorry folks, I have forgot my part.". Then I gave a sweeping bow and hurried off the stage. I got a great ovation for that. It helped ease my suicidal thoughts. I decided then I would never again perform on a stage. Little did I know that in years ahead I would have the lead role in "Life With Father" in Fort Smith High School, (second largest school in Arkansas.) This would become part of my college major.(Speech and drama). One last story tomorrow and I will tell no more.....to be continued.

August 16, 2017

TALK TO THE TUNE OF THE.....WHAT???

We were the closest house to Cavanaugh School. A small brick wall and gravel road separated us The playground consisted of a merrry-go-round, slide, set of swings, monkey bars, sidewalk to roller skate on (in summer only), and some good climbing trees. This meant we Pogue kids had our own summer playground.

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On that first day of school in August the rules changed for us. Now we shared a campus at recess with grades 1-12 located in that big, brick four-room school house. Grades 7-12 had the second floor. There was a stage at one end. When we had an assembly, which was rare we would all go up the stairs to where the "big kids" went to school. We weren't allowed up there. The restrooms were at the back of the school ground, beyond the basketball court (dirt) . A kitchen was also out there.An iron fire escape hung on one end of the building. I hoped someone knew how to open the steps. Of course, it was only for the second floor. A school bell hung in the middle of the building in a small tower. The rope ran to ground level. It could be heard for a long way.

On the first day of school I was nervous. I knew my room was nearest our house That room would have the first, second, third grades sitting in their assigned rows and seats. There was an old hole in the desk for an ink-well of earlier years. A slot for pencils in the front- middle. A pencil sharpener was at the front of the room near the teacher's desk. A blackboard covered most the front wall. Flags were in both front corners. There was a flag pole out front. The flag was raised each morning.

In a bottom drawer of her desk, (we were told) , was the feared paddle. Not a hickory stick of olden days but much more lethal. I had heard it had holes drilled in it to make it more painful. I had also been told to put a book in the seat of my overalls before I got a "whippin'". It would give protection, if the teacher didn't notice. If she did it would be double licks! I didn't have to deal with those issues my first three years..Fourth-fifth-and sixth would be a different story.

An awful thing happened about the fourth grade. Some folks talked my daddy into running for the school board. He got elected. No one ran against him. Now they would know everything I did at school. The few teachers were all friends of Mother and Daddy. I didn't have a fair chance.....to be continued.....

August 15, 2017

WHERE WILL YOU BE?

eclipse1.jpgThis rather pointed question is found in a booklet that accompanied my purchase of a pair of "solar viewing glasses". I paid $1.00 for a second pair for Ann. In case you haven't heard about the coming SOLAR ECLIPSE you will, unless you live in a cave or monastery. It is coming Monday, August 21. The time will depend on your location. What you will see also depends on your location. It will NOT be viewed 100% anywhere In Texas. The swath of total eclipse is only about seventy miles wide and extends from the area of Salem, Oregon to Charleston, South Carolina. Those in Texas will have to cross at least one other state to see this phenomenom at 100%. We have to be in San Antonio for two doctor's appointments plus a birthday party so will drive out I 10 to Boerne. Our viewing there will be 70%, or just a wee bit more than you will have in Rockport..

The full event is from 2 to 2 1/2 minutes. A friend of ours has plans to drive to Missouri for the 100% view.If you miss this one you will have to wait 375 years if you choose to stay in the same location where you are Monday.

The brochure says: "Where will you be for the greatest phenomenon of your lifetime?!?!?!"
It goes on to say: "Be prepared for one of the greatest events of the century...." I would accept nearly all of that statement from a Biblical view. (I would only drop the word ONE to say "The greatest event of any century."

Paul In First Corinthians spent some time on a similiar event. Not an eclipse but a grand climax. A wrapping up of history and beginning of eternity, See how this sounds:

BEHOLD1 I SHOW YOU A MYSTERY; WE SHALL NOT ALL SLEEP BUT WE SHALL ALL BE CHANGED, IN A MOMENT IN THE TWINKLING OF AN EYE AT THE LAST TRUMP, FOR THE TRUMPET SHALL SOUND AND THE DEAD SHALL BE RAISED INCORRUPTIBLE, AND WE SHALL BE CHANGED" (I CORINTHIANS 15:51-53)

That, dear readers, will top every eclipse ever seen. It will be faster than any of them. Blink your eye. It will be that fast! For Believers it will be THE greatest phenomenon!! For the unbeliever it will be the greatest tragedy, for when this happens it will simply be TOO LATE!

We are being "warned" of the coming eclipse. Two minutes in the total solar eclipse and it is over. We have photos and life goes on. For the Biblical event...it covers the rest of eternity....good and tragic. Where will you view that day or night? What will be your preparation for it? It will take a lot more than $1.00 sun glasses. Think abou it. Both events are GOING to happen!

August 9, 2017

COUNTRY BOY - GLEN CAMPBELL

glen-campbell-guitarist.jpgHis birthplace is usually listed as Delight, Arkansas. Actually, he was born in the country. Delight was the closest little town. His was from a really big family. His daddy was a sharecropper. Folks in those settings wanted to have a lot of healthy children so they could work at pickin' cotton when they were old enough to drag a sack. No child labor laws back then.. The pick'in was done by hand, dragging a cotton sack. His one great love was a guitar. He got one at the age of four. When he got good enough he started to sing and play. His church was his outlet for his music, as was the case for a lot of past musicians. He went on to become a top artist in the sixties and seventies. You can read about his ups and downs somewhere else. I simply want to honor a man ,with words, who sang my kind of music with a good old-fashioned Arkansas sound. His life ended at 81 with Alzheimer's being the culprit. I hope a battle is not now beginning over the vast estate he must have accumulated. That is so often the case. I won't bother to read about all that but simply remember the plaintive melodies of "By The Time I Get To Phoenix", "Wichita Lineman" and many many more. I hope in those days when he sang in a country church that someone turned his heart to the Lord for salvation. I kinda think that happened. Those country churches were good at that. One showed me the way to Jesus one August in Cavanaugh, Arkansas, and I was baptized in a muddy pond. It took!

August 7, 2017

DONE IT ALL IN TENNIS

If you have ever attempted to play tennis you know it is a game not easily mastered. Many things push their way into a game. Serve, return, lob, attitude; all enter. The opponent makes a difference. Practice certainly does. Those who achieve greatness in the game are few and far between. The greatest men's player at this present time is Roger Federer. August 8 is his birthday. He will be 36, I believe.Born in 1981.

Roger-Federer275.jpgRoger is from Switzerland. He began playing the game when he was 8. Six years later he was the Junior Singles Champion at Wimbledon. He has gone on to win EIGHT Wimbledon titles among the men. He has won 19 grand slams. His championships go on and on when you look at the computer statistics. He is an incredible performer. I know nothing of his personal life. It would be obvious he is self disciplined to still be at the top at 36.

Two things interested me as I read about him. The first is that his fellow pros have voted him the Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship award several times. Sportsmanship has been hard to come by in past years among our own great men's players. He proves one can be a sportsman and also win.

The second is that he chose Wilson as the company he would work with in making rackets and equipment bearing his name, and he is still with them! With the big money offered in that area it is special when loyalty to one company comes through. It has paid off for him. Wilson has most every kind of racket bearing the name Federer. From beginner to pro where a racket costs $100's of dollars. Wilson uses the expertise and loyalty of Roger Federer.

What inspired me to write about this Swiss athlete. Well, I must confess it is not that his birthday is August 8. I didn't know that until I began writing this BLOG and looked to see how old he is. Why then did I choose to write about him? Don't laugh! Well, go ahead if you wish. It is kinda funny. Saturday afternoon Ann and I wandered in to Castaways. It was almost closing time. We did our separate thing. In that process I found a tennis racket. It looked like new! No scars or wear at all. The name Federer was prominent as was the name Wilson. Since Emily our grand made it to state last year in doubles I thought of her." This might be a really good racket." I looked at the price. It was $4.00! I looked again. Surely it is $40.00! No, the $4.00 was good. She hasn't seen it yet. Wouldn't it be funny if she could go to state again this year swinging her $4.00 Federer?

Hey folks, it's Monday. What do you expect from an old guy? Have a great week.

August 4, 2017

OUR NATIVE LANGUAGE

Reading this morning earlier from The Gospel of John I was impressed with the forcefulness Jesus used in speaking to his hearers in John 8. It angered some but others heard and responded; "Even as He spoke many put their faith in Him" (8:30) As we know, the Lord often taught with parables. On this day, however, he "took the gloves off" and said clearly what he wanted his listeners to hear. In that He exposed to them the true colors of what the Devil is.

Jesus told these folks He would only be with them for a short time. That was presenting the urgency of his message. Speculation, however, caused many to miss the point. Some would later,perhaps, be involved in his death.

In exposing the Devil to them He minced no words. Read them: " If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and now am here. I have not come on my own, but He sent me. Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say. You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father's desire. He was a murderer from the beginning not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. WHEN HE LIES HE SPEAKS HIS NATIVE LANGUAGE, for he is a liar and the father of liars".

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So the native language of the Devil is any one he chooses to use. His native language is spoken daily by those who willingly or ignorantly follow him. I am amazed and disgusted at how the usage of words that are unacceptable are commonly heard most everywhere today. The use of God's Holy name is abused by young and old, those of places of influence and honor. There is no honor, however, when His Name is taken in a curse word.
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We know what his native language is. What is ours?

August 3, 2017

"REJOICE WITH THOSE WHO REJOICE...

MOURN WITH THOSE WHO MOURN.LIVE IN HARMONY WITH ONE ANOTHER."

That sounds like a rather easy assignment given by Apostle Paul to Believers. I must tell you, as I am completing ministry that spans some sixty years, this can be really tough at times on those who do ministry. It hasn't happened often to me. Charles Fake experienced it many times in his service. That is, being in a setting of bringing comfort to friends and family at the funeral of a dear friend and fellow Believer who has died, then going on the same day to one of the most joyful times for family as they see and experience the joy of a family wedding.The pastor well knows that funeral comforts are not appropriate at a wedding. The opposite is true with a funeral after a wedding. The more emotionally charged a pastor is, the more difficult such a day may become. That is a time when we call on the Lord for His help and guidance more than ever,

Moving to another setting we all deal with. WEATHER. This morning in Rockport we received a small shower of rain. Hardly measurable. The darker clouds passed us and the red on a radar screen showed that inland it was a different story. Some, in the heart of cotton-raising land may have gotten harmful amounts for this time of year. While we are pleased with our pittance, we feel empathy for those who could see severe damage just weeks before harvest.

Paul's message did not give exceptions. It did not offer special advice to those with farmer friends....so....I am pleased for the few drops that came our way. I will mourn for those who might have lost a crop. So much of our economy depends on those crops.

If you received a good rain this morning I rejoice with you! If your cotton rows are standing in water I mourn with you. I, most of all, want to live once again in harmony with my fellow believers of all races and political persuasions. God bless you each and all! Dale


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August 2, 2017

THE RAVEN

raven.jpgMost birds are members of a family. I am focusing on the Corvidae family this morning. Don't leave me just yet. I think you might be interested. In this family are these winged creatures: jackdaw, crow (four species), raven (two species) nutcracker, magpie, jay, The largest of these is the common raven with a 53 inch wingspan. That is the bird I will be writing about.He is the giant of these mentioned flyers.

The raven does not come to Rockport.They can be found in central and west Texas. They are larger than a red-tailed hawk! Crows are more common. You can see them from Victoria on. They have similar characteristics as a raven. The raven, however is special in many ways.

The RAVEN is the first bird mentioned in the Bible. "Noah opened a window he had made in the ark, and it kept flying back and forth until the water had dried up from the earth." A raven was a faithful feeder of the prophet Elijah, bringing him bread and meat in the morning and bread and meat in the evening. That was a dedicated bird! Jesus speaks of this bird by name in Luke 12:24 the Lord said: "Consider the ravens. They do not sow or reap. They have no storeroom or barn, yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable than you are than birds." There was a big problem with the raven. He was classified as a carrion. He ate dead and decaying flesh like vultures (and many others including our national symbol, the bald eagle.) I saw one eating alongside the highway near Goliad, among vultures and caracara.(Mexican Eagle).

So where did the Raven get such a bad reputation so as to be called funeral birds, thieves,mischievious, etc.? They will steal golfballs from driving ranges; remove loose rivets from planes, and eat whatever is available. They are intelligent and can be taught words. Their usual call is a coarse "cawk". Their name in Greek is corax meaning "croaker".

Their dark and unsavory reputation, I think, comes from Edgar Allen Poe's poem called
"The Raven". This brilliant but unhappy and unsavory poet wrote:

"Ghastly grim and ancient raven wandering from the nightly shore. "Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night's Plutoniam shore!" Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore"

"Prophet!" said I, "thing of evil - prophet still, if bird or devil, Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy frame from off my door!" Quoth the raven, "Nevermore".

Poor Edgar Allen. He died at forty of a mad dog bite, some said. Alcoholism did not help. He did once quote a bit from the Bible. This is the quote "Is there, is there balm in Gilead? - tell me, tell me I implore." Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore."

"Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there? Why then is there no healing for the wound of my people?" (Jeremiah 8:22)

August 1, 2017

ANTICIPATION

ANTICIPATION - "To look forward to; to foresee and enjoy in advance; to speak of or consider a matter prematurely." New World Dictionary\
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For we South Texans August is an anticipatory month. We all know it is a month capable of spawning an unwelcome storm visiting us. This month and the next one are two where weather reports and movements in the Atlantic off the coast of Africa command interest and respect.

There is anticipation for many with the beginning of a new school season. Seeing our children or grands face a new step by enrolling in a University with a goal or goals in mind for their future. In high schools there is anticipation about classes and teachers. Budding athletes anticipate the year in sports and the part they might be able to play. Bands and choirs will tune up. Special clubs will seek to bring in students of like interest. Teachers, administrators, staff, coaches, and even bus drivers will seek to prepare and hone their skills as they await that first day when faces become real, walking up the steps or into a classroom.

For some smaller kids moms will anticipate, but with mixed concern, their little one being in a new setting. Will they participate or choose to be unhappy? Will the new leader come to understand the ways and quirks of their child?

At church gatherings there is also anticipation. Some will accept a class responsibilty to teach or help. Decisions are considered in what special activities one becomes involved in.

Older adults have really big decisions to anticipate. Sell and get a smaller place, or simply move to a retirement community with others.? Sometimes we anticipate that it is time to get close to other family members to help us as we age. Anticipation brings excitement but can also bring anxiety.

God wants to be active in our anticipation experiences. We must not forget His plan and plans for us. They can be easy but sometimes involve disrupting all we have done in our lives earlier.

Think for a moment about Moses. He was raised in a palace and in line to be a ruler, but fled Egypt to move in with relatives. He had had and done enough. Tending a flock of sheep would be more than enough for an eighty-year old man. He hadn't readied for God's plans for him. They would involve the NEXT forty years of his life. They would be more difficult than all other earlier events. At eighty? God had not heard of retirement plans for his children? What do you think?.


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July 31, 2017

THE BEST JOB I EVER HAD

It was a part-time high school job. I loved it. I had a feeling I was doing something really big and important, although I rode my bike to work. The job? I operated the switchboard for the second largest newspaper in Arkansas.( Number one was The Arkansas Gazette.) I came to work promptly at 5:30 and stayed until 8:00. The switchboard was on the first floor amid advertising. Those guys had usually gone home. In a back office to my left with glass all around was the Publisher. He would sometimes be there a bit later. Beyond his desk was the Big Boss...His name was Donald W Reynolds Mr. Reynolds was the owner. He also owned other papers and was getting into TV , cable, and radio. He would parlay all that to become a very wealthy man. The Razorback Stadium bears his name. Often we would be the only persons on the first floor. It was a huge room/ Second floor was the newsroom. At the end, away from us a bit. were the presses. They were easy to hear. Printer's ink smelled like money. I answered all the calls with "Fort Smith Times Record". I would tell the caller I would ring such and such a desk. Another part of the job was to take "kicks". A "kick" was a call from some subscriber telling me, "I didn't get my paper!". As soon as I got their name and address I would call the district manager for that area of the city. He did the rest.


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When things were slow I could study a bit. After work it would be dark so I rode in the dark across the city to home. Always had a light or two on the bike. A box on the back carried my books, and the papers I threw early in the morning. So, I actually had two jobs and still managed some how to be active in school events such as drama and choir. That was my best job. Was I over paid? Not a bit. I earned every dime!