Published in the Rains County Leader on November 14, 2017:
When I sat down to write this week, my mind wandered to the veterans we have been honoring for the weekend surrounding Veterans Day. I found an article I wrote in November of 2013, and I want to share it with you again. The Veterans Day program at the High School this year was a little bit different, and there were only 67 veterans, but the sentiment and respect were the same. So, to all the veterans who are reading this, once again I’ll say thank you for your service.
History runs in cycles and so do attitudes toward veterans. When I was a kid, soldiers were respected, and even idolized, often portrayed as bigger-than-life characters on the silver screen. Then came the 60s and 70s, and young men returning from Vietnam were met with disrespect and even hostility. Instead of being welcomed home as heroes, they were spit on and villainized as warmongers and baby killers. More recently, especially after 9-11, attitudes have shifted back toward a more positive view of our military personnel.
But one thing that still seems to be lacking in the treatment of our veterans is dignity. In recent years, restaurants have used Veterans Day as an advertising ploy, competing to see who can offer the best special. Charities vie with one another to offer the most compassion to those who have been wounded or those who have lost loved ones in the defense of our country. Sometimes veterans are used as political pawns in heated campaigns. But there are still places where members of the military, past and present, are treated with dignity. Emory is one of those places. (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 October 25, 2016:
I missed my 50th high school reunion last year, because it was scheduled in October when we were in Oregon visiting grandchildren. I had a second chance of sorts this past weekend as I accompanied David to Jonesboro, Louisiana to attend his 50th.
We missed the morning homecoming assembly and the afternoon parade on Friday, but we arrived in time to attend the tailgate party and football game that night. We also attended the big party on Saturday night. We both had a great time, and with David’s encouragement, I thought I’d share a few impressions, most of which center around two words – commitment and perspective. (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…)
The most common definition of community is “a group of people living in the same place.” When David and I left our home group Bible study on Friday night, I turned to him and said, “Now that’s what community is all about.” While Emory is a wonderful place to live, I was referring to the kind of community that is defined as “a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals.”
Our home group began meeting over a year ago, and we’ve been through a lot together. The obvious purpose of the group is to study the Bible. Darren Brumit, the Student Minister at Believers’ Baptist Church, has led us through a ten-month study of the book of Hebrews, and now we’re working our way through the Minor Prophets. As you might have guessed, speed is not a high priority. We ask lots of questions, and we don’t move on until everyone is ready. Through the process, we learn a lot about God, and we learn a lot about each other. (more…)