Tuesday, June 21, 2016

The wife's T-Shirt says it all: "Family Matters!"

Hello out there in that somewhat mysterious black hole, known as the world wide web, (WWW). Today is Tuesday, June 21, 2016, and I bid you a hearty hello from deep in the heart of Texas. Even though I am a Louisianian through and through, I am entitled to use that Texas greeting after having lived here as a kid for a few years before my dad passed away in 1954, and because I've had my earthly physical address here since 1969. This past Sunday was a Fathers Day to remember. I will be 70 soon and the wife will follow suit several months after me. She sometimes wonders if she has lost her touch in the kitchen. Last Sunday should prove to her that she's not close to losing her touch. I have 18 witnesses to attest to her culinary skills. You've heard of Christmas in July. Right? Well, she put in to make us a Thanksgiving in June celebration. It's hard to know where to start. She had relish trays for the kids, of all ages, to snack on before the meal along with a huge amount of deviled eggs. She had made two loaves of hot fresh bread. She made hen and cornbread dressing served with cranberry sauce. She prepared chicken and dumplings. We had a baked ham that was fall off the bone delicious. Potato salad. English peas. Asparagus. Brewed iced tea. And, to top it all off, she had made a banana delight dessert that required a couple of hours layering to get it ready to bake. I've been in the eating game a long time. I've seen my clan consume lots of food. I don't recall ever seeing that much food going so quickly. I can't even think of one single item that could have been improved on. Not one. It was absolutely melt-in-your-mouth perfection. That meal along with having a total of 19 of us gathered together will make this Fathers Day one that will rank very high on the all-time list. Thanks, sweetheart, you did it again!

Our Kenneth, 1935-1975
We were up very early Sunday morning. When I looked at Facebook there were many tributes for dads showing up. Rightly so. I was not prepared for one that landed. It was to honor my former brother-in-law Kenneth. He had been married to my eldest sister Frances. My niece, his eldest daughter, put it up. It caught me by surprise. It had been a while since I saw that face. He left us so suddenly back in 1975 when he was killed in a hunting accident. Kenneth was a legendary person. He wasn't perfect but he was a man's man and when he got saved and gave his heart to Jesus, he didn't hold anything back. I've heard old time preachers say that some people get saved better than others. They say that because of the amazing change in their lives. Kenneth was already qualified to be an honorary good Samaritan before the Lord made him His own. He would help anyone at anytime. Anyone. Anytime. Think about it. He had that kind of natural instinct and when the Lord got hold of his heart, he was something to behold! I've hunted and fished with Kenneth. I've cut wood with Kenneth. I've enjoyed many a time of food and fellowship with this great example of what it means to care ... enough. I would not even begin to try and quantify the impact of his passing along with it being a forever mystery for us all as to God's timing and plan. Seeing the photo took my breath away and made me immediately homesick. Homesick for heaven. We'll catch up with him and so many others when we get to the other side. Amen.

There's so much more to our Kenneth's story. He was one of those who signed as a witness at our wedding. One thing is certain. He did make an impact during his sojourn here on the planet. I'll never forget what his pastor had to say at his home going service. All of Kenneth's co-workers were at the service. Pastor Welch was aware of Kenneth's burden for those he worked with and how he had been often made fun of and rejected when he attempted to witness to them. Bro. Welch gave them a verse that I have never heard used at a funeral. He spoke directly to those that Kenneth had attempted to influence. He quoted from Hebrews 11. He told them while they may have thought it was something to ridicule along with most of the world, in actuality, from God's viewpoint, they were not worthy of this man and his caring heart and testimony. Wow! I have some very personal recollections of Kenneth and all I can say is, that we, in our family, and those privileged to know him, were blessed. Reading all the postings from people on Facebook remembering him, well, even 40 years after his passing, it sets forth the power as his testimony of integrity and faithfulness lives on. It's good to know that he is a part of that cheering squad in heaven we read about in Hebrews Chapter 12 who are urging us on as we each run the individual race God has given to us. Okay. That was a walk down memory lane I had not anticipated, but, may God be praised for giving me those recollections. And, may He help us all to be a positive influence on others. Amen. ....More later.

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