Showing posts from December, 2010

For Ray:)

Ray Smallwood  August 1950-December 2010
I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. (Philippians 1: 3-6).

My first vivid memory of talking to Ray Smallwood, was after finishing preaching, I had asked the congregation to join hands and sing a song at the conclusion of the service. After most of the people left, Ray came up to me, and in his folksy, Will Rogers like way… asked “Are we gonna do that holding hands stuff very often”?

I thought to myself….what’s his deal? I asked him don’t you like that, He said no not really! The ironic part of all that, is while he might not have been overly thrilled at clasping hands and singing, he as only he could would actually hold people much much closer!

I did not know that then, oh but I know …

Christmas in the Old West!

In the three years that I have lived in Wyoming, I have felt the welcome of her people and the challenge of serving the Lord Jesus Christ in a state that is…. forever West!
This week  my mind was captivated by what the early pioneers….experienced as they settled the Land that would remain “Forever West”.

What was Christmas like for them 130 or more years ago?

*Far away from the tinsel, eggnog, and colorfully wrapped packages of civilized life in the East, explorers, mountain men, and pioneers usually celebrated Christmas with homemade gifts and humble fare.

As the West became settled, affluent westerners could order by mail virtually all the trimmings of Christmas, from toy trains to canned oysters.

*Christmas in the Old West:  A Historical Scrapbook, a mosaic of stories, reminiscences, recipes, photographs, newspaper clippings, magazine advertisements, and more, brings alive the spirit of Christmas on the American frontier.

Through diary quotes, letters, and stories we can f…

Christmas Memories!

“To perceive Christmas through its wrapping becomes more difficult with every year”  E. B. White (American writer 1899-1985).
Christmas memories we all have them. Time causes some to fade....yet others are just as vibrant as if they just had occurred.

For some memories of Christmas are stark, bleak....they are black and white, colorless.

For some, their Christmas memories are rich and full and take you back to a simpler time, when the World was not so rushed....when life was not given to endless reminders of what we need to buy to own to somehow make the Christmas season more fulfilling.

 For me.

Warm and vibrant, Christmas memories stand in line waiting somewhat impatiently to make their way into conscious thought!

How well I remember the smell of a fresh cut Christmas tree, no artificial trees allowed in my earliest Christmas recollections.

I recall the tree standing less than straight....the need to crank frequently the base screws, less the tree fall.

Hmmm if a …

Friendship always has its time!

* is a social network service created in 1995 by Randy Conrads. The social media website is designed to assist members in finding friends and acquaintances from kindergarten, primary school, high school, college, work and the United States military. has more than 40 million members in the United States and Canada.

In early 2008, Nielsen Online ranked Classmates as number three in unique monthly visitors (U.S. home, work) among social networking sites. * Wikipedia

I am a member. From time to time, friends from my past will reach out to say an overdue hello. It's been said ..."That no matter how good a friendship is, it always has it's time".  Meaning that the people who once occupied a prominent place in your day to day life....will not always be there.

Life moves like a stream, and the people we love and know...have goals and ambitions, that inevitably will lead them away, and we are left to consider their impact.


Hero for Breakfast!

It's in the day to day routine events of life that extraordinary events can occur.  On a beautiful November morning this week I was enjoying breakfast with my wife, Laura and oldest son, Brian.

The meal was nearly completed when a man walked in, aided by his wife he had an erect posture and a slow deliberate gait. They were seated at the next table, his shirt pocket full of cigars, and he had a winsome smile that he readily shared with me. He was also wearing a cap, nothing surprising about in their 80's and 20's wear caps....but only a handful of men who have ever drawn a breath are qualified to wear the cap he was wearing!  Navy blue, gold letters….with USS Indianapolis across the top.

I immediately thought, isn’t that the ship that brought the components to assemble the atomic bomb that ultimately led to the end of World War Two?  My son, Brian went online with his cell phone to find out.

I was thinking, could it be that the man seated just 4 feet away from…