Monday, December 16, 2013

What's Your Best Method?

I heard a story about a person criticizing a preacher years ago for his method of evangelism. When the preacher asked what style of evangelism they used the person was left stammering for an answer. Then the preacher said, "I prefer my style of doing evangelism to your style of not doing evangelism."
So, what is your style of evangelism? Kinda forces you to choose after reading that story doesn't it?
But seriously, what's your preferred approach? We know that we are to make disciples and preach the gospel "as we go." So how would you prefer? A door to door style hit and run expression of the gospel? A soapbox on a busy urban corner? Leaving a gospel tract on a plane or in a restaurant? Or maybe you just want to talk to children in Sunday School, or folks at a rescue mission. So what is it?
It has been suggested for sometime that "Friendship Evangelism" is a more effective method. To do this though, you have to be a genuine friend. Not just a surface friend by asking "key" questions suggested by EE or FAITH evangelism programs. But the kind of friendship that earns the right to say something to someone when they are going through tough times. The kind of friendship that earns the right to be heard on weightier matters than what's the score of the game or what's happening on your favorite TV show.
In fact one of the complaints I've heard from students of evangelistic programs is that they seem to suggest a utilitarian friendship, one that is friendly for a purpose. The purpose is noble, even great, to share the gospel. But people don't like to be 'utilized.' By used car salesmen or evangelists. It is no wonder that post-moderns view truth-claims as a method to control or abuse.
Now, I always think sincerity trumps a utilitarian approach to anything. (Unless maybe you're an executioner.) And the idea of making friendships to be a genuine friend and perhaps have an opportunity to share the gospel at the right time is right.
But, does it take God time? Is sincere friendship the power of God unto salvation? Well I think most would agree that both of these answers are "no."
That being said it does appear, as in my life, God does 'take' time to pursue and reveal Himself, and to bring about regeneration and salvation thru the communication of the gospel.
How do we account for the effectiveness of friend sharing the gospel with a friend as opposed to a more confrontational style? I'm not sure I know the answer to this. But I suspect it may have something to do with the truth being communicated in love. God does seem to use the love of a caring friend. THis is not to say evangelists from Billy Graham to Whitefield didn't love the masses that gathered to hear them. I believe they loved the Lord and He gave them a love for the lost.
Still, when you get to know someone and love them, even if they're difficult to love, it may be akin to preparing the soil for the seed.
The problem with friendship evangelism is that almost any other kind is easier.
Did Jesus call us to the easiest methods of sharing the gospel and making disciples?

Friday, November 22, 2013

JFK and CSL Made Their Marks

I remember that my parents did not vote for him. When I heard he had been shot I was only 9 years old and unsure how to respond. The general tone of my school was one of sadness and reflection. I didn't know how to feel. It was sad that a man had been shot. It was sad that so many people I knew were sad. But my parents really thought JFK was not good for America. So was it good he was gone? I didn't know.
I also don't remember knowing he was a Catholic. Maybe I did. I don't remember knowing what any of our president's denomination was until JC, Jimmy Carter came along. He was a Baptist. That was nice I guess.
But on this 50th anniversary of the assassination of JFK people are remembering its the 50th for other men as well. One writer looks at the proximity in death of Kennedy, Lewis and Huxley here: Ed Stetzer writes of the greater impact of Lewis here:

     I remember browsing through a tiny bookstore at a Catholic Monastery near Pecos, NM. It was just a few miles down the road from Glorieta Baptist Encampment. I was close to my 19th birthday when I discovered these books. These Chronicles of Narnia. And the Perelandra trilogy. I hadn't seen these at the much larger Baptist Bookstore at the Camp, so I wondered... are these Catholic? Are they contraband? To be fair, I hand't been looking for these books, but I stumbled across them at a Benedictine Monastery of all things.
Later I found out this was one of the least "Catholic" monasteries around.
     It was 1973 and I couldn't read them fast enough. CSL, Clive Staples Lewis, had been dead some 10 years now. He died the day JFK did. I was sad there would be no more tales like Narnia. That Summer I tried to wrap my brain around The Problem of Pain and the Great Divorce etc. They were hard, and profound, and I wanted to 'get' what he was saying. I had only been a Christian a year at this time, though raised with the Bible stories and the gospel being preached. I didn't 'get it' till I was almost 18 and now I was trying real hard to 'keep it.' It would be sometime before I understood He was "Keeping" me!
     Can I say, my life has been much more influenced by CSL than JFK? The stories of Narnia were life like in my mind and as I read them a few years later to my little girls. The concept Lewis dealt with in His other works caused me to think more deeply about things than I ever had.
     JFK was a smart man, a proud veteran, and a fairly centrist democrat. I think he would have been re-elected and become one of those presidents who goes on to be a statesman. But I don't know that he would ever have had the long term effect on folks that Lewis did. Because Lewis' effect's touch the eternal. And he taught us that Aslan is no tame Lion.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

John Chapter 2: Outline and Footnotes

Joh 2:1 On the third day there was a wedding at Cana
in Galilee[C1] , and the mother of Jesus was there.
                2 Jesus also was invited to the wedding 
                 with his disciples.
                3 When the wine ran out, the mother of Jesus 
                 said to him, "They have no wine."
                           4 And Jesus said to her, "Woman[C2]
                           what does this have to do with me[C3]?
                           My hour has not yet come."
                           5 His mother said to the servants, 
                           "Do whatever he tells you[C4] ."
                6 Now there were six stone water jars there 
                for the Jewish rites of purification[C5] , each 
                holding 20 or 30 gallons.
                           7 Jesus said to the servants, "Fill the 
                            jars with water." And they filled them 
                            "Now draw some out & take it 
                            to the feast-master." So they took it.
                9 When the master of the feast tasted the 
                                 and didn't know whence it came
                                   (though the servants who had 
                                 the master of the feast called the 
                                 bridegroom 10 and said… 
                                 "Everyone serves good wine first 
                                 and when people have drunk 
                                 you have kept the good wine
                                            [C10] until now."
11 This, the first of his signs[C11] , Jesus did at Cana in Galilee,
                and manifested his glory[C12] .
                And his disciples believed [C13] in him.

12 After this he went down to Capernaum[C14] , with 
his mother, brothers and disciples, and stayed there 
a few days.13 The Passover of the Jews was at hand, 
                14 In the temple he found those who were 
                and the money-changers sitting there.
                                15 And making a whip[C18]  of cords 
                                he drove them all out of the temple 
                                w/ the sheep & oxen.
                                And he poured out the coins [C19] 
                                of the money-changers and over-
                                turned their tables. 16 And he told 
                                those who sold pigeons, "Take 
                                17 His disciples remembered it was 
                                written, "Zeal for your house will consume me."
                18 So the Jews said to him, "What sign do you 
                 show us for doing these things?"
                                19 Jesus answered them, "Destroy 
                20 The Jews then, "It's taken 46 years to
                build the temple, will you raise it in 3 days?"
                                21 But he was speaking about the 
                                temple of his body.
                                22 When therefore he was raised 
                                from the dead,
                                                his disciples remembered 
                                                he said this, and they
                                                and the word Jesus had 
                23 Now when he was in Jerusalem at the 
                Passover Feast, many believed in his name 
                24 But Jesus on his part did not entrust 
                himself to them,
                           because he knew all people[C26] 
                           25 and needed no one to bear witness 
                           about man, for he himself knew what 
                           was in man.

 [C1]In Jn 1 Jesus is in Judea then suddenly appears in Galilee.  But, 1 ends with story of Nathanael and acc to Jn 21.2 he is from Cana!
 [C2]Woman, like Ma’am, not in a motherly way but respectfully
 [C3]OR: Jesus said to her, `What--to me and to thee, woman? ‘
 [C4]Obedience is vital
 [C5]Jesus redeems the OT
 [C6]Not ½ or ¾ - fully obedient
 [C7]The miracle changed the substance of water, transubstantiation doesn’t!
 [C8]And so word got out
 [C9]Ref to inebriation
 [C10]Jesus didn’t make bad wine
 [C11]Called signs not miracles because signs point to something
 [C12]Joh_12:32  if I be lifted up
 [C13]The purpose of “Signs”
 [C14]From Cana – up in the hills, to Capernaum on the coast of Galilee
 [C15]South in Judea but “up”
 [C16]Some say this is cleansing just b4 crucifixion, but details are different!
 [C17]Not in Synoptics (oxen, sheep)
 [C18]Not in synoptics
 [C19]Not in synoptics
 [C20]Not in synoptics
 [C21]Not in synoptics –  doesn’t quote scripture but claims His Father’s house
 [C22]Not suggesting thievery just a wrong use of God’s house and impeding to true worship.  Zec 14:21 every pot in Jeru-salem… shall be holy to the LORD… so all who sacrifice may come…boil the meat of sacrifice… And there shall no longer be a merchant in the house of the LORD… on that day. Mal 3:1
 [C23]Mt 26:61 and said, "This man said, 'I am able to destroy the temple …
 [C24]A purpose of His teachings
 [C25]Purpose of signs

Monday, November 4, 2013

John Ch. 1 In Outline Form

I often find outlining the text of scripture helps me understand it. Not outlining the main points but arranging the words in outline form. It helps frame conversations, activities and teaching material in a logical points and sub-points.
I submit these examples for your consideration but encourage you to outline passages for yourself.

John 1 Prologue (A Chiasm)
A 1 In the beginning was the Word, the Word was w/ God, the Word was God.
  B 3 All things were made through him,   
    C 4 In him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 The light shines in darkness, and 
        darkness has not overcome it. 
      D 6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 He came as a witness,to 
         bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. 8 He was not the light, 
          but came to bear witness about the light. 
        E 9 The true light ...was coming into the world.
           F 10 He was in the world, the world was made through him, yet the world 
                 did not know him.
             G 11 He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him.
             G 12  But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to 
                       become children of God, 
           F 13 who were born, not of blood nor the will of the flesh nor the will
                    of man, but of God.
        E 14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, as of
                the only Son from the Father,  full of grace and truth. 
      D 15 (John bore witness about him, cried out, "This was he of whom I said, 'He who 
               comes after me ranks before me, because he was before me.'")
    C 16 For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.
  B 17  For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
A 18 No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father's side, he has
       made him known.

Testimony of John
Joh 1:19 And this is the testimony of John,
                when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him,
                 "Who are you?"
                         20 He confessed, and did not deny, but confessed, "I am not the Christ."
                21 And they asked him, "What then? Are you Elijah?"
                          He said, "I am not." 
                 "Are you the Prophet?" 
                          And he answered, "No."
                22 So they said to him, "Who are you? We need to give an answer to those 
                      who sent us. What do you say about yourself?"
                          23 He said, "I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness,
                            'Make straight the way of the Lord,' as the prophet Isaiah said."
                24 (Now they had been sent from the Pharisees.) 25 They asked him,
                 "Then why are you baptizing, if you are neither the Christ, nor Elijah, 
                   nor the Prophet?"
                          26 John answered, "I baptize with water, but among you stands one 
                              you do not know,
                          27 even he who comes after me, the strap of whose sandal I am 
                               not worthy to untie."

Confession of John re Jesus
28 These things took place in Bethany across the Jordan, where John was baptizing.
                29 The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said,
                 "Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!
                30 This is he of whom I said, 'After me comes a man who ranks before 
                       me, (not worthy to untie) because he was before me.' 
                31 I myself did not know him, but for this purpose I came baptizing
                      w/ water, that he might be revealed to Israel."
                32 And John bore witness: "I saw the Spirit descend from heaven like a 
                     dove, and it remained on him
                33 I myself did not know him, but he who sent me to baptize with water 
                      said to me, 'He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain, 
                      this is he who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.'
                34 And I've seen and have borne witness that this is the Son of God."

The Gaze of Christ
35 The next day again John was standing with two of his disciples,
           36 he looked at Jesus as he walked by and said, "Behold, the Lamb of God!"
           37 The two disciples heard him say this, and they followed Jesus.
           38 Jesus turned & saw them following & said, "What are you seeking?" 
                And they said, "Rabbi" (meaning Teacher), "where are you staying?" 
           39 He said to them, "Come and you will see." 
                So they came and saw where he was staying, and stayed with him 
                 that day, for it was about the tenth hour.
           40 One of the two who heard John speak and followed Jesus was Andrew,
                Simon Peter's brother.  
           41 He first found his own brother Simon and said to him, 
                 "We have found the Messiah" (which means Christ). 
           42  He brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, 
                "You are Simon the son of John. You shall be called  Cephas"
                 (which means Peter).
43 The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip 
and said to him, "Follow me."
           44 Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. 
           45 Philip found Nathanael and said to him, "We have found him of whom 
                 Moses in the Law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, 
                   the son of Joseph."
           46 Nathanael said to him, "Can anything good come out of Nazareth?"
                      Philip said to him, "Come and see."
           47 Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him and said of him, 
                 "Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom there is no deceit!"
           48 Nathanael said to him, "How do you know me?" 
           Jesus answered him, "Before Philip called you,
          when you were under the fig tree, I saw you."
           49 Nathanael answered him, "Rabbi, you are the Son of God! 
               You are the King of Israel!"
           50 Jesus answered him, "Because I said to you, 'I saw you 
           under the fig tree,' do you believe? You will see greater                     
           things than these."
           51 And he said to him, "Truly, truly, I say to you, 
                you will see heaven opened, and the angels of  God ascending 
               and descending on the Son of Man."

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Strange Fire Hub-bub

Dave Miller and many others have been blogging about the recent Conference at Grace Community in LA where John MacArthur pastors. Some say His 'thugs', the Pyromaniacs, have been doing the heavy lifting for him and that his broad brush approach to Charismaticism has damaged the unity of the body. They are tired of these "bashing" conferences. And any conference they are suspect of is a "bashing" conference.

What about the damage of the charismatic movement? I don't have to agree with everything that was said at the conference, nor do I have to believe every so-called quote that someone says MacArthur said.
I don't care to accuse or criticize, defend or attack until and unless I see something that is clearly damaging and see it in it's context. MacArthur doesn't need my help, nor do those who accuse without all the facts.

I know that MacArthur invited Charismatics, some are in agreement that certain aspects and leaders within the movement are heretical and dangerous. I wish they'd spoken up. Maybe some did and I didn't hear about it.

But let me say something about MacArthur's so-called "broad brushing" and "bashing". Its not just the Benny Hinns and the Copelands, the Rodney Howard Browns and the vineyards etc. that are a problem.  There are in fact many Charismatics who don't follow after those types.
I know this because I WAS a Charismatic. I graduated from a Charismatic Bible College. I know what is taught in many Charismatic circles. I have friends who still are Charismatic.
But "many" of those who reject the Charismatic extremists still open the door to rate experientia above the Word of God. They defend the teachings of Joyce Meyer and Joel Osteen, who are both so unbiblical at times it's amazing. They often encourage "words of knowledge" with: A) No Idea whatsoever whether God has truly said it and B) No Biblical Basis for supporting the idea that the "sure Word" (2Pe1:19) we have from God is open to modifications and additions by modern day prophets.

There have been Baptists who have taught these dangerous doctrines that people can get these 'leadings from God' and go do some of the most assinine things, and fall back on the old slogan: "God told me to." To which I always want to reply, "OK, show me the chapter and verse."
"Oh He didn't show in the Bible, He spoke to my Spirit."
"OK, show me the chapter and verse where it says He will do that!"
I know that Rom 8:16 says the Spirit will bear witness with our spirits that we are His children, but it doesn't say His Spirit speaks to ours about what we are supposed to do today.
And that doesn't mean that God doesn't guide our steps, or that God doesn't give us opportunities to be witnesses for him, or to help the widow and fatherless, or to pray for someone who comes to mind. YES, certainly. But I would be so careful to NOT attribute to God words that HE may never have said. That is blasphemy.  And yet all too common in Charismatic, Baptist, Methodist, and maybe even (really? could it be?) Presbyterian circles!

The Spirit speaking to the churches during the 1st Century, Apostolic, times is very prevalent in the New Testament. But even during that time, before the Apostles died out, there is a verse that I think should be an example to all of us.

Act 15:25  it seemed good to us, being assembled with one accord, to send chosen men to you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul...
"It Seemed Good." What a wonderfully liberating way of saying why we do what we do as believers.
It seemed good to John MacArthur to held a conference warning people of the unbiblical excesses of the Charismatic movement.
It "seemed Good" to Ed Stetzer to write another missional comeback church planting book with lots of charts and statistics.
Attack Cat
It "Seemed Good" for me to write this blog.
You know what? The Proof is in the pudding. We'll see A) if it was good or not, and B) we'll analyze the things that were actually said, in their various contexts, and hold people accountable for saying things untruthful or unloving. (Just remember, the person who is trying to hurt someone else will say you're unloving if you call them on it.)

So, all of you who feel free to 'go after' the people whom you disagree, who are going after MacArthur and company, get all your ducks in a row, verify the quotes that bother you, and then if it "seems good to you" go after John MacArthur.

Then it will be someone else's turn, to go after you.

One last comment. There are many Charismatics or Charismatic defenders whom I admire and appreciate. I'm sure they have many of the same concerns that MacArthur has expressed. Chuck Smith was one of them. And the Matt Chandlers and John Pipers have good reputations and good track records for Godly preaching and ministry, just as John MacArthur does. Maybe we should stop and ponder what they all have to say, and what they all bring to the discussion. We might reject some of it. I've become a cessationist, but I'll listen to a continuationist if he is attempting to make a valid biblical point. But I am quite sure MacArthur has listened to many of these comments and it seemed good to him to warn people of the dangers of what is held dear in much, maybe most, of the charismatic movement.
And I'm glad he did.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

A Memorial (For a Dear Sister in Christ)

Now and then someone comes along who is the picture of humility and a tender heart: 

Mrs. Viola Barron, Born Dec 18, 1930, went to be with her Savior and Lord Oct 16 2013, just a couple months shy of turning 83.
And interestingly, she went into that good night without fear or sadness. In fact, she went willingly and gladly into the embrace of God. She was telling family members goodbye and promising to see them on the other side.
That sounds like Viola. The only answer I ever got, when I would visit her in the hospital, or call her on the phone, and I would ask how she was doing was “I’m fine.” There she be in the hospital with IVs and breathing treatments and she’d say, “I’m fine.”
Well it’s true; she was a very Fine lady. But she didn’t want to be a burden or a bother.
She didn’t think of herself as special or heroic or interesting when she was actually all of those things!
She was special to so many people; to her husband of 65 years, to her children and grandchildren. She was special to her Sunday School class and to her church family.
She was heroic. She took 5 little children, all under 6, by herself, to Germany in the mid-1950s. It wasn’t that easy to travel the world in the 50s. Of course she got a little help on the flight when a different soldier looked after each child on the troop carrier that she got to travel on. She was a heroic teenage girl working as a waitress who was willing to go on a date with a truck-driver named Harold. A truck-driver of all people! She was heroic as a grandmother always willing to do projects with the grand-kids around the house no matter what kind of mess they made.
And she was interesting. As a 12 year old she made a profession of faith in Jesus Christ and was baptized at First Baptist Seymour, Tx. At around 14 she was working in the fields picking cotton. At 17 she got married to a man who went from being a truck-driver to a soldier.
She made all these moves with a house full of little children, moving between the USA, Germany and England, and from Washington State, to Hawaii, to Texas and several different places in Texas! She studied to be Nurses aid and worked at a State school for a while. When they lived on military housing she kept her house and her husband in tip-top condition and she became an expert at packing and unpacking for the many times they moved.
Yes She Was interesting, but I think for another reason. She embodied Ephesians 4:32 – Be Ye Kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake has forgiven you.
Someone who lives such a compassionate, tenderhearted life is interesting to behold.

So there are a number of things we know about her. But one thing I haven’t mentioned too much about was her relationship with Jesus Christ!
Thumbing through someone else’s Bible is almost like reading their diary. You feel like you are getting a glimpse of someone that maybe you shouldn’t be allowed to have.
But you can learn what was important to them about their faith.
I want to share a few scriptures that I know were important to Viola:
At the very front of her Bible she had written Psa 71:3 Be thou my strong habitation, whereto I may continually resort: thou hast given commandment to save me; for thou art my rock and my fortress.
In fact she has a number of verses from Psalms highlighted.
Psa 16:7 I will bless the LORD, who hath given me counsel: my heart instructs me in the night seasons. 8 I have set the LORD always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.
Psa 18:1 I will love thee, O LORD, my strength. 2 The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower. 3 I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies.
And Psalm 20 and 23, and 27:14 Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD. And 31 and 32 and 37 and 40 and 42:11 Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.
And on it goes through the Psalms and then we get to Psa 147:3 He heals the broken in heart, and binds up their wounds. 4 He counts the number of the stars; he calls them all by their names. 5 Great is our Lord, and of great power: his understanding is infinite.
Its not just the Psalms there were many proverbs marked, like Pro 24:17 Rejoice not when thine enemy falls, and let not thine heart be glad when he stumbles…
There are places in her Bible where you can’t turn very many pages without finding a verse that has been highlighted or has parentheses around it. And many of her verses have to do with the Salvation of the Lord. Like Isa 59:1 Behold, the LORD'S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy that it cannot hear:
Or Jer 29:11 I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. 12 Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. 13 You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.
She had some of my favorite verses highlighted like Lam 3:22!
Then you come to the New Testament and find many verses there, too; in the gospels and the letters. But I want to get to 2 Tim 4:7 where she highlighted: “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”
You know, you can’t say that about everybody, but you can say it about Viola Marie Barron. And one of the reasons she fought to the end, and ran the race and kept the faith is because of Jesus Christ. She knew she was loved by God.
She knew He was and is a saving God.

And today, right at this moment, we are remembering Viola, a mom and grandmother, a sister and wife, and our friend – Right At This Very Moment – She’s basking in the presence of Jesus Christ. Bowing at His feet, or singing a new song, casting down her golden crown around the glassy sea; or who knows, dancing with abandon because of the unadulterated joy of His Presence.

     And I know, beyond any doubt whatsoever, she wants to see each and every one of you there - someday.
And she wants you to know, here, in this life, your sins can be forgiven. Your past can come to an end and your future can begin down a brand new road leading to Heaven. That if you will believe in your heart the Lord Jesus was crucified for you, died in your place, and took the punishment that you deserved; and trust with your whole heart that He rose from the dead to give you eternal life, then you will be saved. You will receive eternal life right now, and that life will carry you beyond the grave.

And that’s why Jesus said:
Joh 14:1 "Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me.
2 In my Father's house are many mansions. If it were not so, I would have told you, I go to prepare a place for you.
3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. 4 And you know the way to where I am going." 5 Thomas said to him, "Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?"
6 Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.


    Viola went to meet her Lord on October 16, 2013 in Fort Worth. She was born December 18, 1930 to T.A. and Lilly Watts Copeland in Seymour. Left behind to cherish her memory are her husband Harold Barron, sons Danny Barron and his wife Marie, Steve Barron and his wife Frances, Mitchell Barron and his wife Judy, daughters Joan Williams and her husband Rick, Jan Copeland and her husband James, Jane Stephen and her husband Bill, sisters Katherine Miller and Roberta Bradley and numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Viola is preceded in death by her parents, three brothers, two sisters and grandson Lee Williams.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

The Grommet (Installment 1)

It was a beautiful sunny springy morning when Bobo Bastrop set out for a walk by the markets. He was between his second meal of the day commonly called "briskets" and his third meal of the day which Bobo like to call "burrito-time." After the 3rd meal was naptime, then afternoon coffee, which may include a funnel cake. The evening meal was dinner (there was no supper) followed at bed-time by "bluebells."
Out to barter with his friends and neighbors at the markets he brought along a Bag of his own 1015 onions along with carrots and red peppers to trade. On this bright day he couldn't wait to fellowship with his friends; walking over the hills, wading through streams and wending through his little shiner, Bastropolis. 
Middle Tex
Since it was Marketday he just wanted to go there and back again. He had no intention of getting lost or getting shanghaied by his old Wizard pal (who lived in a mobile-hovel at the lake) to some cockamamie adventure involving dwarves and Dragons.
     But lets back up. Bobo's shiner, or village, called Bastropolis is in Middle Texas; an area of peace and harmony that is often hotter than H E Double toothpicks, but has its nice days in Spring, fall and 2nd fall. It only has a week of Winter, usually in February.
He is of a people called the Grommets, because, while they don't do much, they serve a useful purpose. Or so I am told. 
They come in all shapes and sizes but can be identified by their clothing. There are two rival seamstresses in Middle earth who turn out pounds of denim ware with rear pockets that have a curious 3 and a half inch diameter faded circle. There are differences to what the two Budas (widows) produce but it is best left to an expert to itemize them. They look identical to outsiders, but there favorites are fiercely championed by the Grommets. 
Many have come to grow their hair long except for the ones who start to go bald, they shave it all off. Men and women. And while 6 meals a day are common, some never really stop eating.
The wizard of Grommetland and surrounding territories is "Ford the pickup." He is known for collecting things wherever he goes and has acres of odds and ends that many come and look through when something breaks. Nothing there will help them, but its comforting to know that others have much more broken stuff than they do.
On this fine day, between Mike Eska's brisket stand and the Pig Stand, Ford, the wizard, stepped from seemingly out of nowhere directly into Bobo's path; making him jump back like a kitten with a cough.
"Fine Day Bobo!" Ford spoke confidently. Because, in fact, it was.
"You scared me to death pickerupper! What are you doing that for?"
"I have news," Ford started. "Grave news from the highlands."
"And your point?"
"We must retire to your house. You shop, I'll go wait for you." Ford had no sooner spoken than with a small movement to the right he seemed to dissappear.
"Holy Guacamole, that guy scares me sometimes." And with that, Bobo continued his shopping.

(This is the first of what may be many installments in the adventures of Bobo Bastop. Or, it could be the only one, who knows. I don't. Stay tuned. Don't touch that icon.)