Monday, May 16, 2022

My Story #78 -- "I Almost Died"


My Story #78


I wish I could remember all the times that I almost died. I actually cannot know how one almost dies, but I think I did it a few times.

I was told by my mother that, when I was two years old, I drank turpentine and almost died.Later my brother explained it in more detail, because he remembered the event. He said that I turned blue, because I could not breathe. Well, God took good care of me.

When I was two years old, I contacted the Polio virus, and many people died as a result of that virus. Fortunately, I did not die. I remember the iron lungs, but I did not need to be in one. God took good care of me. I still have the scars from that virus.

Once I and two of my brothers were swimming in our pond, and I was floating on an inner tube, and my two brothers were at the edge of the pond fighting about something (or playing; I am not sure). I turned around and slipped off the inner tube, which popped into the air and was thrown away from me. I sank to the bottom of the pond, pushed with my only working foot on the bottom to push myself to the top of the water. I called to my brothers, but they seemed too busy to hear me. I went down for the "third time" and wondered if I would be able to come up again. My brothers at last saw me and rescued me. Maybe I almost died that time.

I was going to cross the railroad track at Morgan, Kentucky, on my way home from work at Griffin Industries (1970's). The train came and went, but the lights were still flashing. I decided that the train was already gone by, so before the lights stopped flashing, I drove across the track and got to the other side safe. Just as I cleared the track, a train came from the opposite direction going very fast. My heart went into my head, and I probably almost died that day. The Lord took care of me.

Now here I am nearly 78 years old. I no longer drink turpentine, swim in ponds, or cross railroad tracks while the lights are still flashing. WHEW! I almost died.

Monday, May 2, 2022

My Story #77 -- Swimming Hole


My Story #77


When I was young, my siblings and I would go to the creek, and there was a small pool of water that was always there both winter and summer, even when the weather was dry. We would go there to swim, but the first thing we had to do was to throw rocks in the little pool to scare out all of the water snakes (and there were plenty).

Once, while we were in the water, I came out and noticed that, on the surgery that I had had some time before, one of the stitches had scabbed over, because they did not get the stitch all the way out. The scab broke off, and I remember that I could see inside of my leg. It was "gross." Fortunately, I did not get infection from it. God has always been good to me in that way, for which I am thankful.

Monday, April 25, 2022

My Story #76 -- "Playing Jacks"


My Story #76


My wife and I met in Lexington, Kentucky, when I was in school at Lexington Baptist College, a unique and high-quality school that is no longer in existence. I knew Shirley Maddox for about eight (8) years before I started dating her seriously.

Shirley and her family are from Lawrenceburg, Kentucky; and, as the occasion usually is, we went to visit her family in order for me to meet her mother, her five sisters, and her one brother. It was an enjoyable occasion, as we all had similar religious beliefs, and the family were a loving family. Actually, the mother and siblings treated Shirley almost as one would a queen, but that is beside the point.

While visiting once, I remember watching some of the folks there as they played JACKS on the floor. Many of our young people today have never played this game, but it is challenging and a lot of fun.

I decided to challenge Shirley to a game of JACKS, because I had played the game as a child. We both sat on the floor, but Shirley did not say a word. I started picking up JACKS, but I missed in, I think, the sixth round. Then it was Shirley's turn. I feel ashamed to say anything about my ability to play this game, because Shirley went to 10 and all the way back to one and stopped and won the game hands down. I asked her where she learned to play like that. She said she had been playing them a long since she was very young.

I never played JACKS with Shirley again. What kind of a bad person am I?!

Monday, April 18, 2022

My Story #75 -- Piano On The Pulpit


My Story #75


This happened on a day when I was young and strong. The Bluegrass Boys Quartet were to come to Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church in Chesapeake, Ohio, for a weekend meeting, and I was busy preparing for the meeting.

One thing I wanted to do was to put the piano on the pulpit so the entire quartet could be on the platform together to sing rather than my being far away from them at the piano.

So, MY BIG IDEA was to put the piano on the pulpit. In my foolishness, I decided to try to do it myself; so, I acquired a couple of appropriate boards and leaned them on the pulpit and the floor. Then I proceeded to roll the piano toward the boards, pushing it with my body.

I aligned the piano wheels with the boards; then I put my back against the piano and pushed as hard as I could and, with great effort, I pushed the piano up the boards and onto the pulpit--I will never be the same.

Perhaps that is why I have such serious arthritis as I do. We had a good meeting that weekend, and God blessed, but I am paying for my foolishness now. 

Monday, April 4, 2022

My Story #74 - Satan As A Serpent


My Story #74


Once I read a book entitled, "Satan Is Alive And Well On Planet Earth." Actually, I do not agree with that. I believe the Satan is very alive on the earth but is not very well. Let me tell you about an event that took place when I was pastor of Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church in Chesapeake, Ohio.

We had a few snakes to come around our house from the woods behind the house. My wife was extremely afraid of snakes. One day, when I went out the back door of the house, I saw the largest black snake I think I had ever seen in my life. He was just lying there on the back yard very quiet. I thought he may have just eaten a small animal.

I approached him slowly; then I took my crutch and pushed on him to see if he would leave, but he didn't. After doing this a few times, I thought about my wife and considered what would happen if she saw this huge snake in the yard when she comes out from the back door. Then I made a serious decision--to kill the snake.

After a few seconds of planning in my mind, I took my crutch and pushed the tip of my crutch down on his head, and I just left the crutch there as I pushed down as hard as I could.

While I was crushing the serpent's head with my crutch, the snake began to curl up. He wrapped himself around my crutch all the way up to my hand, and his tail wrapped around my hand. The snake then uncurled and curled again and again. I must have kept my crutch on his head for a good 10-20 minutes as he kept curling.

As his curling slowed, I took my crutch off from his head and watched as he kept curling very slowly, as he was dying.

Then I realized that, just as this snake died very slowly, he was not in very good health; he was not well. I believe we can understand Satan in our day just as the snake, as Satan is working frantically to try to win his war against God.

1 Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

Satan is very busy, as he is dying, since Jesus crushed his head on Calvary when he died for our sins on the cross. Satan will be curling and uncurling until he finally dies in the Lake of Fire prepared for the devil and his angels (Matthew 25:41). Satan is NOT well; he is dying, thanks to our Savior, who crushed his head on the cross.

Monday, March 28, 2022

My Story #73 -- "Sparks Of Fire"


My Story #73


When our quartet was young, we traveled quite a lot. Sometimes we would travel a great distance to get to our destination. As a result, we stopped to eat here or there.

Once, after stopping to eat at a restaurant, we were all getting into the car to continue on our trip, and, as usual, Bro. Jones was in a hurry. All the boys sat down in the car and closed their respective doors, but it took me a little longer to get into the car and close the door. As a result, Bro. Jones thought everyone was in the car, and he began to drive the car. Well, my leg was still hanging out of the car. I called out for him to stop the car, and he did (thankfully). Now, when Bro. Jones tells the story, he says that, as he took off, sparks were shooting out because of my brace's scraping along the pavement.

That, of course, is not true; but that's Bob Jones! I just let him continue to tell it "wrong," because it seems to be a little more interesting. You would not believe what I had to put up with just to be with those boys. 

Tuesday, March 22, 2022

My Story #72 -- Praying Simple

My Story #72


I was attending Ashland Avenue Baptist Church in the 1960's. They had a Sunday morning attendance over 900 people; so, it surprised me that they did not have anything for the young people during the week.

The Southern Baptist Convention had a program called Young Ambassadors for boys, which usually met on Sunday night or on a week night. I decided to meet with some of the young boys on Thursday nights in order to teach them the Bible and to try to be a witness to them. There were about 12-14 boys in that group.

Once an invited boy came, and he was Roman Catholic. He kept talking about Mary and how she helps us when we pray, so I began to speak to the boys about prayer. After a while the boy made a profession of faith in the Lord.

Then one night I asked him to pray for us. He immediately bowed his head and began to talk. But he did not talk in prayer the way in which we were all accustomed. He just began to talk to God as though God were right there in the room. I am not sure of all that he said, but I do remember that, when he was finished praying, he just said, "That is all." His prayer was finished.

At first, I wanted to teach the boy more about how to pray, but then, after thinking about it for a while, my thoughts were prompted to a gracious surrender to his personal way of talking to God and the end of his prayer.

Perhaps we should all learn to pray as this boy did. He did not teach me much theology, but I think he had an impression on the way I pray. God is our friend; let's talk to him as a friend! What say?