Category Archives: I REMEMBER

Looking back at things I remember from what seems like “not so long ago.”

Ivan Koloff: From Wrestler to Witness-From Title to Testimony

Hi Friends:

Today, I am deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Ivan Koloff.

Yet, there is an unexplainable joy I am feeling as I write this. A joy which comes from knowing about his life after wrestling, and the impact his testimony has made on me, and so many others. After growing up watching “The Russian Bear,” and then hearing, seeing, the sincerity of his testimony … I was so proud of him … Hearing his real voice, in his humble manner, talking about Jesus, and how Jesus changed his life … it’s just something I’ll never forget.

I was alerted to his passing by a friend, responding to a video of Ivan Koloff, which we featured quite a long time ago. The video is still one of my favorites, and among those I have been the most excited to share.

It was in July of 2013 that I first featured
“Special Video Testimony: Ivan Koloff.”

This will be the first time, ever, that I have repeated a video here. I just watched it again.
Here is part of what I wrote, as an introduction:

“Ivan Koloff, who accepted Jesus as Savior and Lord of his life in 1995, is now an ordained minister, and active in the ministry, traveling to share his testimony across the United States … how wonderful Jesus is, to take “bad guys”-like us, love them, save them, and deliver them. After all, we were all “bad guys” at one time. Funny how we forget that, sometimes … 
I just finished a story about someone at the end of their rope-and hope, calling out to Jesus, who answered their call, saved them … delivered them … and then, they answered His call …When I wrote the story, I thought about Ivan Koloff. How just listening to him, looking at him speak of Jesus, blessed me, and encouraged me so much.

I must be honest: I still sneak a peek at the old Wrestling Videos on YouTube … late one night, there was a video interview of Ivan Koloff, and It wasn’t the interview that grabbed my attention … it was the T-Shirt he was wearing. It said, “I Love Jesus.” WOW!

I checked it out, and, I am so proud of Ivan Koloff!
Here is Ivan Koloff’s personal testimony. I’ve seen it many times, and it still blesses me, still encourages me. He is able to reach many people that others can’t, and I hope this touches … blesses … encourages … and reaches you:”

That’s exactly the way I wrote it. I never had the privilege to meet Ivan Koloff … but, I will … one day. I can’t wait to hug him!
To look into those eyes. To hear his “real” voice.

For fans, I’m sure you’ve already gone to the news reports, detailing his real name, and his biography, including his battle with liver cancer. That’s why I didn’t include that here. I just wanted to share, again, what he would want you to remember

Here’s the link to the original post, which includes another video, and a link to the “Ivan Koloff” website, taking you directly to “My Testimony.”

“Special Video Testimony: Ivan Koloff”

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The Passing of Time, Years, and Diana, Princess of Wales

Hi Friends:

Amazing how time just goes by … seems like just yesterday … Is it just me, or do these two phrases automatically become part of our vocabulary as, well … time goes by. Anyway … it seems like just yesterday …

I’m going to share a video I had planned to share just after the 2016/17 football season began, prior to NFL week 1, and now, here it is, just after the New Year. Amazing how time just goes by … it seems like just yesterday …

It was the first week in this past September when I came across an article on ESPN about how, coming up, it would be the first time a football season would open without both Tom Brady and Payton Manning starting at quarterback … The article then went on to “take a look back” at what was happening on that opening weekend, August 31, 1997. Believe it or not, August/September 1997 was 19 years ago. 19 years ago … Amazing how time just goes by … seems like just yesterday …

Of all the news going on, on that weekend, 19 years ago, it was the news of the sudden death of Princess Diana which I remember the most. The events of that Saturday night, the week that followed, and the funeral held in London on Saturday, September 6, are still clearly etched in my memory. 19 years. The strong emotion I feel now, and felt while researching the facts to share in this writing, and then in putting this together, have surprised me, at their strength-and vividness. I will just never forget that week, in 1997, 19 years ago.

I write often about the power of a song, or a poem, really, any type of writing, to reach “deep down” within our very souls and beings; the ability to reach our deepest emotions. It is the beauty of such a gift to “bring this out,” even, yes, if it hurts.

I can’t fully explain why I, and so many the world over, felt such a personal connection with Princess Diana. In my case, maybe because we were close to the same age, and her story is so remarkable. When Lady Diana Spencer, at the age of 20, married Prince Charles, I was in broadcasting, and it was the biggest news event, up until that time, that I had been exposed to. And, this was after the hostages were freed from Iran. I still remember the special “commemorative” materials supplied by ABC news, covering every minute detail of the wedding, and the participants.

Diana’s wedding to the Prince of Wales, on July 29, 1981, was held at St. Paul’s Cathedral. The wedding was held there, instead of Westminster Abbey, because the Cathedral would hold more people. Over 750 million people watched the wedding on television. 600,000 people lined the streets to catch a glimpse of the couple on their way to the ceremony.
For generations, this was, truly, considered a “fairytale” wedding.

Princess Diana seemed to always be in the public eye, and she was considered “the world’s most photographed woman.”

It was Saturday night, August 31, 1997. I had turned on the television, a small black and white portable TV which had something like a 6” screen. I didn’t watch much TV, even then, but, because it was the only “live” show on television, I always tried to watch Saturday Night Live. It was around the 11:30 mark when NBC News broke in with a special news bulletin. There had been a car crash in Paris. No confirmation yet … but … then, the news broke:
What had been feared was officially confirmed:
Princess Diana was fatally injured in a car crash in the Pont de l’Alma road tunnel in Paris. With her in the car, also killed, was her companion, Dodi Fayed. The driver, Henri Paul, acting security manager of the Hôtel Ritz Paris, was also killed in the crash.

The news hit me hard. And, yet, I couldn’t exactly explain why. I also knew how big a world-wide event, and story, this was. Yet … I had no one to call. I felt like, so many others around the world, after hearing this news, that I had suffered a personal loss. I can’t explain it, but, something inside me shattered. How personally did this affect me? It was around 11:45PM, and I called my Mother. Yes, I did. I mean, I had to call someone, right? Yes, I woke her up.

Princess Diana’s funeral took place in Westminster Abbey on Saturday, September 6, 1997. Using that same little black and white television, I watched it all. Several hours of global coverage, and I still remember a lot of it.

Two thousand people attended the ceremony in Westminster Abbey. More than one million people lined the streets of London. I spent hours watching the procession.
The British television audience totaled 32.10 million, which was one of the United Kingdom’s highest viewing figures ever. Worldwide, two billion people watched the funeral, making it one of the most watched events in history. That’s 2 billion people: The earth’s entire population at that time was 5.8 billion people.

According to news reports, a set of rosary beads was placed in Diana’s hands. Those beads were a gift she had received from Mother Teresa.

Mother Teresa died on September 5, 1997 … just 1 day before the funeral of Princess Diana.

Originally, it was planned for Princess Diana to be buried in the Spencer family vault in nearby Great Brington. However, Lord Spencer was concerned about public safety and security, with the number of visitors which could overwhelm Great Brington. It was decided that Princess Diana would be buried where her grave could be easily cared for, and visited in privacy, by members of the family. Princess Diana’s grave is on an island within the grounds of Althorp Park, which has been the Spencer family home for centuries.

I remember the procession, the crowds, the Royal Family.
I remember Prime Minister Tony Blair reading 1 Corinthians, chapter 13.
I remember the quote regarding the irony of “The Hunter” becoming “The Hunted.”

I remember Elton John.
During the service, Elton John sang “Candle in the Wind,” which had been re-written in tribute to Princess Diana. Elton John had contacted his writing partner, Bernie Taupin, and asked him to revise the lyrics of his 1973 song “Candle in the Wind,” to honor Diana.
This singing of the song is the only time the song has been performed in public.
Just a month before Princess Diana’s death, it was Diana who had comforted Elton John, at the funeral of a mutual friend, Gianni Versace.

Here is what Bernie Taupin was quoted as saying, about writing the lyrics for “Candle in the Wind 1997: “I thought it was very important to project it from a nation’s standpoint. I wanted to make it sound like a country singing it. From the first couple of lines I wrote, the rest sort of fell into place.”

The song, “Candle in the Wind 1997″ was released as a single in 1997, with the global proceeds going to Princess Diana’s charities.
I am holding a copy of that Cassette Single in my hands right now. Clearly on the case is written: “In loving memory of Diana, Princess of Wales,” along with the information regarding the proceeds donated to the charity.

Now, back to Saturday, September 6, 1997.
Here is the BBC feed of Elton John’s arrival at “the Abbey,” and his live performance.
Note that, arriving with Elton John, is George Michael.
Here is the BBC’s coverage of Elton John’s arrival, and performance, of “Candle in the Wind:”

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“I’m not that old … but, I remember”… The Power of Music

I don’t know if you can have too many series going at the same time, but here’s a new one:

It’s amazing how powerful music is; how powerful songs are; how powerful the words can be. Not just to enhance a current moment in your life, but, the power that a song can have to take you back … to a moment, or series of moments, from years ago. How a song can just make you “think back” and remember … both good, and bad, times. The pure emotion that hearing a song can bring out.

On Friday night, I try to catch up on business paperwork, and do all of “the financials” for both home and business. It’s always “been an exhausting week,” so it gives me a chance to at least sit down, while still “getting stuff done.” Between doing the laundry and running the dishwasher, I get caught up on paperwork, ship out free gifts to customers …wait … this doesn’t seem like much of a “night off,” but, for me, it is among the “least busy” times of the week … So … I “treat myself” to listening to music, while I work. It is the only time I actually listen to the radio, except for Sports Talk, when I’m in the truck running errands or back/forth to work. Really … it’s not the radio at all that I listen to. It’s online music. I listen to AOL music online, and it’s always “oldies,” like their “Super Seventies.”

This may be odd for someone who is “an old radio man,” but, I like to listen to what I like to listen to … and … I don’t like the commercials on broadcast stations. It’s not the content of the commercials, just the commercials, period. At least they are limited, online, and are almost always for Home Depot or Lowes, so I can bear with those. Anyway, I probably do this “online music” thing about 2 times a month, but I enjoy the music when I do.

As an old radio man, however, sometimes listening online has its drawbacks. For instance, I always want to look at the picture of who is singing the song. I like to know what album it is from. I like to know the history of the singer, or the song, which you can usually get as each individual song plays. So, sometimes … I don’t get as much done as I could, because I am researching each artist and song … Sometimes, they play I song I really love, and I’ll just have to jump over to YouTube, and see the live performance … and, you know how that is … before you know it … you’ve spent the evening bringing up all those “related” songs showing up on the right side of your screen …

Ok, so one night, I’ll admit it … I set aside the paperwork, and compiled a list of my favorite songs, which could be shared, via YouTube, with our friends … Yes, I recorded them, or copied the links, just in case I wasn’t allowed to use them on our online ministries … Didn’t get much done that night … or, did I?

One of these days, I’ll have to write about our YouTube channel. Our writing, and what we do online, is never to “promote us,” so we don’t talk about it much. But, we are grateful for our friends who join us over on our YouTube channel. I will put a link at the end here, so that you can access all of the videos we’ve shared.

Ok, so I admit I love music, even though I don’t listen to it often. I recognize the power a song has. The power the words have. The memories they can “jar loose.” As a writer, I know the power words have, and how the words I have been so blessed to write have affected other people. I guess I am taking this moment to realize how words so many other people have written, have affected me.

The power of music. Is it any wonder that in “Old Testament Times,” before a battle … the musicians and “praise teams” would march out first? Often, the battle would be won before the soldiers “fired a shot.”

It strikes me now, this “singing and playing music” before a battle. I’m not comparing the two, I’m really not, but understand the intent: Don’t we play or sing (or both) our National Anthem before a sports contest? Wouldn’t we consider sports a “battle” of sorts? Again, I’m not comparing the two, trust me, but consider the point. Music, a song, can unite us, can spur our emotions, really, like nothing else.

So, I think it’s ok to listen to music. To even enjoy music. Some of my best friends have been musicians. Still are. I don’t get out much, but I enjoy, so much, listening to live music. To watch the band. Even between songs.

It looks like, yet again, I have written an introduction to a piece that is so long, I don’t have room for the original piece …

This series will be called “I Remember,” and will talk about memories I have, from not that long ago. It hasn’t been that long ago, has it?

It would be sub-titled:
“I’m not that old … but, I remember…”

I remember when there was no question: When the National Anthem played, you removed your hat/cap, and stood.
Period. There was never, ever, any question. Never. Ever.
No question.

I watched the football game from England last week. We have so many friends who join us from “across the Pond.” Bless them.
It was awesome to see both Anthems being played before the game.
The power of music, or a song, to unite us, to stir emotions. Like nothing else.

The older I get … the more I love “Georgia on my Mind,” regardless of who sings it … I’m listening to a version of it now…

I remember Karen Carpenter.
The older I get … the more I think that she may have had the most beautiful voice … ever…
Karen Carpenter.
I remember.
I remember being on live Radio when the news broke … and, announcing, live, that Karen Carpenter had died.
I can still see the teletype paper in my hand … shaking as I read…

In 1977, I was live on the Radio when the news broke about Elvis … I still remember the date…
I still remember.
August 16, 1977.
I still remember the time of day. The teletype in my hand. The teletype machine going wild.
Bells … News … Bells…

I remember “Ringing the Bells” at noon … each day of the Hostage Crisis in Iran…
I remember…

I’m not that old … but, I remember…

I remember when “instrumentals” were hits … even the themes of TV shows.
I remember “The Rockford Files.”
And, the theme.

I remember Henry Mancini.

I remember a lot of things.
Yet … I’m not that old…

Blessings,
Richard. Vincent. Rose.

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Wealth Stored for the Righteous-Part 17: “Double Debit Indebtedness”- Part One

Hi Friends:

I am so thankful to get back to writing, and to this series. I looked at how I began the last installment in this series, posted a while ago, and this is how it started:

“It is good to be back to writing. With job, business, and other writing responsibilities, it’s funny how “your first love” gets pushed “to the back.” Plus, the opportunity to travel has also figured into the time equation. We’re back to our series, in which, yes, we are thankful for what our Heavenly future holds, but, let’s not forget all of the benefits … all of the blessings … There are just so many blessings we have, in our life right now, which, often, we take for granted … “

When this series goes to print form, I am sure that I will use sub-titles for each chapter.
I had originally planned to write this as a separate, “stand-alone” post, but, I felt led to include it as a much-appreciated chapter in the series … At first, I was going to include this in our “Travel” series, but the exact same thing which prompted me to include it as part of “Travel” happened again … locally …

So, here goes: “Double Debit Indebtedness:”

I am so thankful that I was “raised right.” While this may mean different things for different people, what I mean is that I am so glad … and, so proud … and, so thankful … to have been raised “right.”
In a Christian home.
Taught the difference between right and wrong.
By honest parents.
Who taught me to be honest.
Hard working parents.
Who taught me to work hard.
My first job was at 14.
I haven’t stopped working.
Ever.

I was taught to be grateful for everything I had.
Somehow … I just knew that, regardless of how “poor” we may have been, there were so many others who were so much worse off.
I’ve learned that the best advantage I had, growing up, were my parents, and what they taught me.
What they showed me-by how they lived their lives.
I strayed … they didn’t.
Ever.
Again:
I strayed.
They didn’t.
Ever.

They taught me that the “important” things I wanted to have … in order to have them … I must work for them.
Period.
Period.

They were a moral foundation which I could build my life upon. Because … they built their life upon the same foundation.
I strayed.
They didn’t.
Ever.

They were honest. They were hard-working. They were respectful.
They were great.
The best kind of great.
The kind of great which influenced all who knew them.

Examples of how they lived their lives would fill many pages.
What drove me to write this installment of the series was just one example I was taught:
Honesty.
Being honest.

I can honestly say that I really don’t know how to not be honest. I don’t. I don’t know how to be dishonest. I never saw it in them, and I never learned how to be anything but honest.

Oh yeah … I am human, and there are certain traits which are “built into” all humans.
Like telling a lie.
You don’t have to teach a child how to lie:
“Who broke the lamp?”
The ability to lie is part of our sinful nature which you don’t have to teach. We are all born with it.

However … the ability to be honest … that is something which has to be taught.
We aren’t born to be honest. That would go against our sinful nature. We must learn to be honest.
Honest!
If we don’t “learn” to be honest …
We won’t be.
Yes, we can learn to lie. I won’t “lie” about that.
But, in order to “learn” to lie … if we have to learn to lie … that means it would have to go against what we have been taught. We’d have to “learn.”

I think back to what I wrote about what I’ve written about my Dad. How honest he was, and, still is. He is the only person I’ve ever known who, if he found money in the change slot of a pay-telephone or vending machine … he would put it back.
I’ve seen this.
He would, literally, put the change back into the machine.

It looks like it may be possible to have a “Part-2” as a part of a “part of” a series.

I am just so thankful that I had parents who taught me right from wrong.
Who were honest.
It is the “honesty” part which has driven me to include this installment as part of the series.

I am so thankful that I had parents who “raised me right.”
As a teacher in Public Schools … well … let’s just say … well … you know what I am saying.
I can honest say that I have heard the old saying about “the apple not falling far from the tree” many times in my time in the Public Schools. However, I can honestly say that I have never, ever heard that saying used in a positive way.
Never.
Ever.

This series is about being thankful for what we already have.
I realize there are so many, which Jesus has saved out of disastrous circumstances and upbringings. That there are many who have “turned away” from a Godly upbringing. I realize this. Yet, how often have those of us who were blessed to have been “raised right” thanked God for their upbringing? I mean, being thankful every day. When, every day, as you list what you are thankful for, that you praise God for the way you were raised?
I must admit, that, while I make a point, every day, to thank God for things I don’t want to take for granted, like electricity and running water (and always add “running hot water”), but I have failed to be thankful for the first real blessing of my life:
To be raised in a Christian home.
To have been taught the difference between right and wrong.
To have been taught to be honest.

What a blessing, “freely bestowed,” to have been “raised right.”
To know that, regardless of how I may have strayed …
They never did.
Ever.

Blessings to you, and your family,
Richard. Vincent. Rose.

Here’s a direct link to the entire series so far:

Wealth Stored for the Righteous

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Maine Memories: Cling Peaches and Bar “Harboring” Bible Study

It was one of those moments we never thought we would see … or hear.

Carol and I were traveling through the Maine coastline, trying to get in as many communities and lighthouses as possible in a few days’ time. We fell in love with Camden, Maine, and stood speechless as we experienced one of the most beautiful places on earth, the Pemaquid Point Light, in Bristol, Maine.

While we decided not to visit the area of Bar Harbor, Maine, wanting to devote several days there on a future trip (because it is the “Gateway to Acadia”), we spent much time in Boothbay Harbor. While there, in Boothbay Harbor, we just had to stop at a particular local restaurant … yes … based strictly upon the name … we just had to stop … as we stepped into “McSeagull’s Restaurant” … I remember thinking, as I read the sign overhead, “Eat, Drink & Flounder – Just for the Halibut!” … I thought, “You can’t make this stuff up” …

Not sure if I should mention one of the differences between restaurants in New England and other places … maybe things have changed, but, in New England, almost all restaurants are accompanied by the words “and Pub.” I remember, growing up in the South, that where you bought groceries, or where you ate, depended upon whether they served or sold alcohol or not. I can remember thinking, “Yes, but where do you buy your gas?” This is in reference to the only places open to buy gas were convenience stores, which sold more “stuff” behind the counter than just gasoline … Maybe that’s changed, as I can’t think of a grocery store “up here” that doesn’t at least sell beer. Restaurants the same. I know that in New Testament times, reading about Paul’s travels, for example, the word “tavern” is used. Why? Because these were the only businesses which were open. Often, as you travel, off-season, this is the same way in these United States.

Anyway, here we were, in Boothbay Harbor, at McSeagull’s, not in the “bar” area, but, certainly within sight and sound of the bar … as this was the only part of the restaurant which was open … as we heard something we never thought we would hear …

The date was November 6, 1971.
It was episode # 7, in the second season, of “All in the Family.”
This was the 20th episode of the series, and it was titled, “Edith’s Accident.”
The story was by Tom and Helen August, and the teleplay was written by Michael Ross and Bernie West.

Yes … “All in the Family.” To this day, one of our favorite shows. Somehow … that seems like a confession … I mention often that we don’t watch network television, but still watch the “old” shows on an “oldies” TV channel we get.

“Are you actually saying that you watch “All in the Family”?
Yes.

The show didn’t take place in today’s time. It took place in another time. A time we lived in, grew up in. And, shows like this take me back to those times. Hey … we love to watch “Sanford and Son” also … I think about this: People I know, who watch “All in the Family,” also love to watch “Sanford and Son.”
Interesting.
I remember when, on Friday night, we’d watch “The Brady Bunch,” then “The Partridge Family,” then “Sanford and Son,” then “Chico and the Man.” That’s a lineup, don’t you think? A common theme? Family. Have things changed? Changed on Friday nights? Think about it.

I remember my Mom laughing … laughing … I would be laying on the floor, in front of the television (black and white, of course), and Mama would be on the couch, behind me, and underneath the painting of Jesus praying in the Garden … laughing … and, on rare occasions, Daddy would come in … and, laugh … join in the laughter … I remember … I remember …

Yeah … I still remember that …

The “All in the Family” episode is entitled, “Edith’s Accident.” Edith, who doesn’t drive, or own a car, has a car accident. It is one of the most memorable episodes in TV history. Has there ever been a better cast? We all know their names. We all know the relationships.

This episode is also known by two words. Just two words:
“Cling Peaches.”

Edith has an accident, as a can of cling peaches … in heavy syrup … is propelled … into the hood of a car … Who owns the car? A Priest. Father Majeski, played by Barnard Hughes. Archie doesn’t trust Father Majeski, thinking he is taking advantage of Edith. In fact, he thinks Father Majeski is a fake … not really a Priest at all … Archie thinks the best way to catch this fraud is by tape-recording the meeting with Father Majeski:
Here’s the conversation:
Michael Stivic: “Archie, you’re violating his rights under the First Amendment.”
Archie Bunker: “Whose side are you on anyhow, huh? Look at me, I know I got a lot going against me, I’m white, I’m Protestant, I’m hard-working. Can’t you find one lousy amendment to protect me?”

Here’s the deal: Archie, to trick Father Majeski into proving he is a fake, comes up with a test to prove the Father’s legitimacy, by having Father Majeski quote a passage from the Bible.
I must paraphrase, but Archie introduces the test this way:

“Father Majeski, there, I was wondering if you could clear up a little bit of an argument we were having down at Kelsey’s Bar … we were discussing the Bible … it sometimes comes up between beers …”

Of course, Father Majeski answers the challenge, and quotes the Scripture in question …

Father Majeski has this exchange before leaving the house:
Father Majeski: “Go from the presence of the foolish man when thou perceivest not in him the lips of knowledge.”
Archie Bunker: “What does that mean?”
Father Majeski: “It means don’t waste your time arguing with an idiot!”

As part of one of the most memorable episodes in one of the most memorable series in television history, it was the “test” of Father Majeski which brings the most laughter to Carol and me. It is a favorite part of one of the favorite episodes of one of our favorite programs … I must admit that one of the reasons I can’t directly quote from this episode is that we have, literally, worn out the CD on which the episode appears. The whole program is just so funny, and it has become a personal joke between Carol and me, this “test.” We have watched this episode so many times, and it cracks us up every time. As with a lot of the comedy in this series … it’s funny because it is just so unreal, right???

Or, is it funny because it is so real?
I think we just discovered the reason for this show’s success.

Anyway, now, 45 years later …
45 years later …
45 years???

45 years later (we were so, so young when this episode first aired) … here we are, in a restaurant in Boothbay Harbor, Maine … I had ordered shrimp with my Pepsi … we were at a table over to the right of the bar … and, we could hear everything at the bar … Not that we were trying to listen, but, we couldn’t help it …then … we couldn’t help but to keep listening …

On the left side of the bar, a man, originally from North Carolina (as we came to know), was sitting. He was having a conversation with a man on the right side of the bar, who, as we listened, was a “local.” They were having a discussion … over beers … about the Bible …

Carol and I were speechless … just stared at each other … knowing that we were witnessing, in person, one of the most special, personal, and most improbable conversations we’d ever be privy to. They were actually having a discussion, between beers …

They were discussing many of the “finer points” of the book of Genesis, and, I’m not making this up … it was almost chapter-by-chapter … until they got to the part about … Sodom and Gomorrah … I’m not making this up … when they got to the part about Sodom and Gomorrah … it was decided, by both parties … that “we can’t go there” … that’s an actual quote … and the discussion ended.

As I wrote earlier, “Have things changed? Think about it.”

Yet, here we were, witnessing “history,” to us. It was an incredible moment. Once Carol and I realized what was happening at the bar, we sat mesmerized … listening to every sentence, every pint … I mean point …

There are two distinct parts of the conversation I remember. The man to our left, from North Carolina, stated that he was raised a Southern Baptist. This is as direct a quote as I remember:
Yeah, I was raised a Baptist. Then, I married a Catholic girl.”
He went on to describe, in detail, how he had gone to a sort of “weekend” with his betrothed, to a church-sponsored event.
The response from the other side of the bar:
“Yeah, I did that once.”

This man from the Carolinas also spoke at length about a tradition his home town had which involved firing black powder muskets. As a fan of black powder shooting (having experience in the art), I listened intently to this, as well. He told of how, in his hometown, on the 4th of July, they fired muskets for 24 hours straight … yes, 24 hours straight …

So, that’s how “Cling Peaches” and a Bar “Harboring” a Bible study come together …

Edith’s Accident.
Cling Peaches.
Father Majeski.
45 Years Ago.

45 years ago?
We’ll never forget how these two events came together, for us, 45 years later.
I was able to find the video of the “Cling Peaches” part of the episode.
What a great cast!
What talent!
What memories … 45 years ago, and, just 2 months ago:

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Mother’s Day/Every Day Classic: “Ears”

Hi Friends:

Well … I had … sort of … promised … to post a work honoring “Mothers” from our book … which, by the way, I had, sort of, promised while I was in the middle of writing my next post, which, ironically, involved the television series, “All in the Family.”

Then … I felt led to share with you a story which I’ve had “on file” for several years … so long, in fact, that it isn’t even included in my “Shared Email” collection. This is a story which I had been sent, by email, way before I began the online ministry. I’ve had it stored “in the files” for years, and, honestly, before today, haven’t even thought about it for a long time. But, I am thinking about it now. Thinking about the love and sacrifice it represents. When I think of Jesus, I think about “love and sacrifice.”

When I think about Mama … which I do so often … I think about love and sacrifice.

I am thinking that, right now, instead of being obedient to my own will, my own plans … even in the writing of the next post … I am being obedient to the Spirit’s will, not mine … I am thinking … yes, I am … I am thinking that I wished I had been more obedient to Mama … had recognized all of the sacrifices she made …

Please allow me to include this from the book:
“The first gift, and the best gift that God gives a child is a loving, Godly mother. The first view of Jesus that a child receives is through her loving care.”

 It was such a thrill for me to learn that Mama had shared this story with her Sunday School Class. It meant that much to her. How precious does that make this story now! It is a story of love … family love … sacrifice … family sacrifice … I have always called this story “Ears,” and that is the name which Mama called it.

Ears

“Can I see my baby?” the happy new mother asked.

When the bundle was nestled in her arms and she moved the fold of cloth to look upon his tiny face, she gasped. The doctor turned quickly and looked out the tall hospital window. The baby had been born without ears.

Time proved that the baby’s hearing was perfect. It was only his appearance that was marred.

When he rushed home from school one day and flung himself into his mother’s arms, she sighed, knowing that his life was to be a succession of heartbreaks.

He blurted out the tragedy: “A boy, a big boy… called me a freak.”

He grew up, handsome for his misfortune. A favorite with his fellow students, he might have been class president, but for that. He developed a gift, a talent for literature and music. “But you might mingle with other young people,” his mother reproved him, but felt a kindness in her heart.

The boy’s father had a session with the family physician. Could nothing be done? “I believe I could graft on a pair of outer ears, if they could be procured,” the doctor decided.

Whereupon the search began for a person who would make such a sacrifice for a young man. Two years went by.

Then, “You are going to the hospital, Son. Mother and I have someone who will donate the ears you need. But it’s a secret,” said the father.

The operation was a brilliant success, and a new person emerged. His talents blossomed into genius, and school and college became a series of triumphs. Later he married and entered the diplomatic service.

“But I must know!” He urged his father, “Who gave so much for me? I could never do enough for him.”

“I do not believe you could,” said the father, “but the agreement was that you are not to know … not yet.”

The years kept their profound secret, but the day did come … one of the darkest days that a son must endure. He stood with his father over his mother’s casket. Slowly, tenderly, the father stretched forth a hand and raised the thick, reddish-brown hair to reveal that the mother — had no outer ears.

“Mother said she was glad she never let her hair be cut,” he whispered gently, “and nobody ever thought Mother less beautiful, did they?”

Real beauty lies not in the physical appearance, but in the heart. Real treasure lies not in what that can be seen, but what that cannot be seen. Real love lies not in what is done and known, but in what that is done but not known.

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Special Video: The Greatest “News” … Every Day-The Intro

Hi Friends:

This is unusual … even for me …
I think this is the first time I’ve ever taken an Intro to a video into two parts …
But, I will be obedient …

I “carry” a pretty large “to post later” list of songs, messages, quotes, etc., which I store “for later use,” as I always seem to be in the middle of a series, or something I feel led to share “right now.” Often, this means that a special post has to wait until, well … later. Sometimes … much later …

I’d like to share with you a video which someone sent me, late last year.
OK …. I must confess … it was an attachment to an email, which a friend of mine sent me … what is now several months ago …
I just opened it a few days ago …

I think of a commercial I shared with you, a few months ago, which was popular several, several months before that, yet I was seeing it for the first time, and it touched me deeply.

Here’s another video, which many of you may have seen already, but … like me, perhaps many of you have not seen … which, in my way of thinking, qualifies it as a “new” video.

I think that Christmas has past, Easter is just ahead … but, I think the same as I always think about “Christmas” songs or “Easter” songs, etc. As Christians, we really celebrate “Christmas” and “Easter” every day. Think about it. We have reason … good reason … to celebrate what makes these two “holidays” important … every day … Because it is every day of our lives that we reap the benefits of what these two days represent …

The word “news” strikes a chord in all of us (did you catch that “music” reference?) as we watch and listen to what is going on around the world, especially this week. I think that, here I am, in the middle of a series on terrorism, especially Islamic Extremist Terrorism, and, like you … I turned on the news on Monday …

I think of a song by Anne Murray I used to play, in the old radio days, about someone turning on the News, listening to “Bryant Gumbel squawking about the fighting in Lebanon …”
The chorus, main idea, and, I think, the title of that song was something like:

“We sure could use
A little good news
today.”

I am doing this completely from memory, but I think that is close.

I think of a song which Carol and I used to sing in Church, a song I’m sure you know:
“Good Old Gospel Ship.”

I vividly remember, as it comes to me right now, listening to Public Radio, as I took the long drive home from work, back in Connecticut. Please note that this was right after “9-11.”
It was the afternoon “Drive” show, and they were interviewing a singer from Canada. I’m sorry … working strictly from memory now … they were interviewing a popular singer from Canada (in reference to above, it was not Anne Murray) … the question was about how popular this song was, which this singer used to open her show … she was not a “Gospel” singer, but she would step onto the stage singing a Gospel Song … the question was about why she thought this introductory song struck such a “chord” (there’s that reference again) with her audience … just the video of her singing this song had become a huge hit …

The question was, again, “Why?”
I’ll never forget her answer. She admitted that, no, she was not a Gospel singer. Yet, she understood the profound effect this particular song had on her audience.
The question came again:
“Why?”
The singer then spoke the first words to the song:
“I have good news to bring …”

That was why!
As she explained, with everything that was going on in the world, fresh from the Terrorist Attacks, how everyone felt vulnerable … even scared … even frightened …
Friends … this was in the Fall of 2001 … 15 years ago …
I remember this conversation so vividly … With all going on in the world …
When she came out on stage, proclaiming, “I have good news to bring …”

She was facing an audience that, “with everything that was going on in the world, fresh from the Terrorist Attacks, how everyone felt vulnerable … even scared … even frightened …”
Here she comes out, with the announcement that “I have good news to bring …”
This was an announcement … a proclamation … that there is “good news” to be heard …
That, she, in fact, was the bearer of this “good news” …
She had the audience spellbound from the start …

An audience … hungry … yearning … for “good news” …

That was 15 years ago, and certainly we’ve learned …certainly something like this could never happen again … I mean, think about the world 15 years ago …
How we needed “good news,” especially “with everything that was going on in the world, fresh from the Terrorist Attacks, how everyone felt vulnerable … even scared … even frightened …”
Here she comes out, with the announcement that “I have good news to bring …” This was an announcement … a proclamation … that there is “good news” to be heard …

I think of another song, which goes something like,
“If we ever needed the Lord my friends … we sure do need Him now …”

You are right:
If the world ever needed the “Good News” we bring … they sure do need it now.
Ever wondered “Why” you are alive right now … Why you were born when you were?
Ever wondered “Why” you are here …

Just turn on the news …
And, remember the announcement … the proclamation … even the example you were sent to make … for “such a time as this.”
Think of the “good news” you have.
Think about those who … right now … may just be willing to listen …

Blessings,
Richard. Vincent. Rose.

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