Published by the Rains County Leader on April 10, 2018:
Friendship is not easily defined. The dictionary says a friend is a person whom one knows and with whom one has a bond of mutual affection, but friendship is more than that. During the ten years when I was single again, I met Mary one night at choir practice. Before the night was over, we had discovered that we were both raised in small towns in west Texas, we were both single after twenty-three years of marriage, and we both had one child. We had so much in common that we sometimes wondered if I had been switched at birth with her twin sister. We were and still are fast friends. Friendships are often based on common grounds, but sometimes it takes some investigation to discover those grounds.
Ten years ago I read a book titled Same Kind of Different As Me by Ron Hall and Denver Moore. It’s not unusual for two friends to write a book together, but Ron was a millionaire art dealer, and Denver was a former victim of modern-day slavery who escaped only to end up living on the streets of Dallas and Fort Worth. Their common ground was Deborah, Ron’s wife whose passion was helping the homeless, and their heart-warming story is well worth reading. (more…)
Published in the Rains County Leader on May 23, 2017:
The last couple of weeks have been a bit rough for the Brendles. Actually, David has been struggling with one thing or another for most of this year.
He caught an upper respiratory infection from me toward the end of December, and he didn’t begin to really feel normal again until the end of March. Because of that, the early spring weather, and all the rain, the weeds were way ahead of him by the time he felt well enough to do anything about it.
Finally, about two weeks ago, he hauled out the mower, donned a protective mask and hat, and went to work. He knocked out the front yard in nothing flat, and the back yard up close to the house went well, too. Then, he ventured back a bit further where he made a couple of circuits before I heard him cut the engine and begin walking toward the house. I knew there must be trouble. If he was taking a water break, he would have driven up closer. I stepped out on the porch. (more…)
Published in the Rains County Leader on April 18, 2017:
Shortly after David and I moved to Emory in February of 2011, we were told that, even though Rains is one of the smallest counties in Texas, it contains approximately twenty churches.
“That means one of two things,” quipped our guide. “Either there are a lot of religious people in Rains County or they can’t along.” (more…)
Published in the Rains County Leader on February 14, 2017:
Because I’m the church secretary, I’m sometimes a few minutes late to Sunday School after I make a stop in my office to pick up a form I need someone to fill out or an envelope the treasurer has asked me to deliver. Then, it’s not unusual for someone to stop me before I make it to class to ask me to correct an address or to check the lost and found for a Bible. To tell the truth, I kind of like being one of the last ones to arrive. As I walk down the hall toward the Fellowship Hall where the adults meet, I can hear the sound of funny stories about the work week being told, of concerns for friends and family being exchanged, of lives being shared. It sounds a lot like love. (more…)
Published in the Rains County Leader on September 27, 2016:
If you drove north on Highway 19 last week, you probably noticed some unusual commotion going on around Believers’ Baptist Church. Actually, the activity started several weeks ago when ground was broken and a foundation was prepared for a new building dedicated to our youth and children’s ministries. Last Monday, however, the work began in earnest when a crew from Volunteer Christian Builders arrived. (more…)
Published in the Rains County Leader on September 13, 2016:
Sunday was 1st Down and a Season to Go at my church this week. Pastor Jason is one of the coaches of the 5th and 6th Grade Rains County Wildcat Pee Wee Football Team, and he invited his players, coaches, and their families to come to Believers’ Baptist for a Continental breakfast before joining us in the morning worship service. In honor of the day, the boys wore their team jerseys, and everyone else who had a t-shirt from a favorite sports team wore it.
There was a festive air in the church along with lots of smiles as twenty plus young men filed in and took their places on the front rows of the section where our youth usually sit. Lots of proud parents and siblings filled seats around the sanctuary, and the ushers brought in extra chairs to accommodate the overflow crowd. The morning proceeded much as I had expected, but what I didn’t expected was to be totally impressed by the way the team members conducted themselves and by the obvious connection between the team and the coaching staff. (more…)