Wednesday, April 25, 2012


From a sermon entitled "Deciding Questionable Things" by the late CURTIS HUTSON

"Late one night while driving through the state of South Carolina, I passed a hitchhiker and had a strange feeling that I should give him a ride and try to lead him to Christ. But after reasoning that I was alone in the car and it may be dangerous to pick up a stranger, I passed him by. However, I couldn't get him off my mind! Somehow the Holy Spirit was leading me to go back and get him. Now I heard no audible voice. I simply felt that I had made a mistake in not giving the man a ride. I even prayed, "Dear Lord, I have already passed him now, and it may be several miles before I can find an exit where I can turn around and go back ." But that inner feeling would not leave. Finally I found an exit, turned around and went back. To my surprise the hitchhiker was still there! I stopped and asked if I could give him a ride.

"Sure," he said, and he got into my automobile.

"We had been riding only a few seconds before I explained what had happened. I told him how I felt strangely led of the Holy Spirit to pick him up. I even told him how I had passed him by and turned around and came back. In a few moments, I explained the simple plan of salvation; and the man trusted Christ as Saviour. We had a wonderful time of fellowship; and he promised to find a Bible-believing church, join it, and set out to live the Christian life.

"Now when I talk about the leading of the Holy Spirit, I am not talking about hearing an audible voice or having strange visions. The Holy Spirit leads through our desires.

"Philippians 2:13 states, "It is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure." That is, God works in us the desire and then gives us the power to make the desire a reality. Rest assured that the Holy Spirit will never lead you to do something contrary to scriptural principles. And it says, "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness." Since all Scripture is given by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, that same Holy Spirit would not contradict Himself in leading someone contrary to the that Bible!

"In any matter where we have questions, we have a right to ask the Holy Spirit to lead us and to expect His gentle guiding."


Saturday, April 14, 2012

HYMN TIME #5: "Come Thou Fount Of Every Blessing"

Here's a GREAT old hymn!  "Come Thou Fount Of Every Blessing"  was written originally by the 18th century pastor and writer Robert Robinson.

Robinson penned the words at age 22 in the year 1757!  It is a great poem about Christ's love to the world... I especially love the stanza that says:

Jesus sought me when a stranger,
Wandering from the fold of God;
He, to rescue me from danger,
Interposed His precious blood!

Check out this version by yet another talented group of young singers and musicians:


STORY SONGS #1: "Sundown: The Ballad Of Bill Thaxton" by Marty Robbins

Bill Thaxton was an ex-Ranger,
One of the bravest by far.
It's said that old Bill was the fastest man ever
To pin on a Ranger's star.

Stories about him were legend;
Bill was the best of the bold.
Bad men all feared him way back in his day
But he was now growing old.

Into Bill's town rode an outlaw;
He wore his gun low and tied down.
He reined in his horse and announced to the crowd,
"If you speak to me call me Sundown!"

His clothes were all dark and fancy,
And topped by a black leather vest.
Somebody asked how he came by his name
And if he was one of the best.

The eyes of the tall stranger narrowed.
He grinned like the devil possessed.
"I never fight till the sun's going down
And my back is facing the West."

Said he wouldn't be with us tomorrow;
He only rode in for one thing...
He only stopped by to make Bill Thaxton die,
So he could add to his fame.

"Go give Bill Thaxton a message
And tell him a killer's in town!
Tell him we'll meet at the end of the street
Just as the sun's going down."

Somebody said it had been years
Since old Bill had toted a gun.
Sundown replied that it wasn't his hide--
Killing old Bill would be fun!

The old Ranger sent back his answer,
"Tell him that I'm on my way.
I've never ran and I'll meet this young man
At any time of the day."

Bill got there just about sunset;

It still hung like fire in the sky.
In just a few moments out there in the street
Old Bill or the outlaw would die!

Slowly Bill slid from the saddle
And started to make his advance...
The sun hit the old Ranger square in the eyes;
The shadows had started to dance.

Bill started talking to Sundown--
Judging his distance that way.
Their stride was the same and at just thirty feet
Both of the men made their play...

Bill's gun slipped leather like lightning!
His forty-four spoke with a whine.
The sun didn't bother Bill Thaxton at all;
Cause the old ranger was blind!

Six shots delivered their message!
The Ranger had emptied his gun.
Old Bill gave a sigh when there was no reply.
He knew that once more he had won.
The old Ranger lowered his six gun.

He just stood there staring ahead.
Watching you'd think that old Bill didn't know
In front of him Sundown lay dead.

Bill has been gone for a long time,
But old timers still can recall
The day the old Ranger stood up to the test
And proved he was best of them all!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

30 Random Things... including Meadowlark Lemon!

One random thing for each Day in April...
Why not?

1. My full first name is Albert and I am the youngest of 7 children. I think that kind of accounts for some of my personality traits. Specifically... it is often said by Birth Order experts that "youngests" are natural comedians who prefer to go by a nickname... Yup... "Our next act: Albie!" Heh heh!

2. When I start to get really cold, the 2nd toe on my right foot goes numb. None of my other toes do that.

3. I usually require Junior Mints on those rare occasions when I go see a movie.

4. When I was 8 years old, I was baptized by immersion  upon my personal profession of faith. I could not yet swim and was terrified of the immersion itself, so it is said I clawed wildly at the side of the baptismal tank as I went under! I wish there was a video of that.

5. My current car is a 1990 Honda Civic. The kids like it but feel it is too small from some activities. The gas mileage, however, makes "Danielle" [I always name my cars] worth her weight in gold! Praise God for my old car.

6. I generally dislike all TV reality shows, but for some reason I like one called "Celebrity Apprentice." I think it's because it's basically a really good game and when the celebs play it, it tends to show just what kind of people they really are, both in good and bad ways. I don't know if it's wrong to find that entertaining or not, but I know it takes a lot more talent and mettle than "The Bachelor" or even "Dog The Bounty Hunter." [that guy's skip-tracing is really over-rated... he's on an island, fer cryin' out loud! :) ] Besides, it's all for charity, so that's cool.

7. I love to read other people's blogs. I find I can read about most anyone's life and experiences, especially if they are honest about it.

8. This is probably why I blog so much's the only thing I still do online. That, and I have come to believe that confession really IS good for the Soul. So... i blog, i blog, i blog...;)

9. I try to make everyone I know read stories or books by Ernest Haycox, because he is my favorite non-Bible writer. For me, his fiction is the best I have ever encountered dealing with the American character. He is usually called a "western" writer but he actually was a very universal writer, thematically speaking. His themes were spiritual, emotional, sexual, historical and social all at once, and he dealt often with the plight of the individual in an increasingly collectivized world. Not bad for a "cowboy writer."

10. My first semester of college, in my first University level English class, I got a D at midterm. This was traumatizing since I had graduated H.S. with an English scholarship and my great aspiration was to be a writer. In fact, the class itself was an "honors" course offered to me because of my ACT score in English, which was quite high. [I ain't braggin' by the way... Don't ask about the composite score... let's just say THAT was barely enough to get me into the U of A.] I ended up with a solid B, though, because my sister Hallie saved me with some practical advice on how to actually study. I do love my sister Hallie.

11. I love to read westerns. I like some TV and cinematic westerns, but the print westerns are my fave. I think westerns are a uniquely american art form, like say, Jazz... or Bluegrass music. Having said that... I will concede one thing about old-time westerns in particular: Sometimes they were remarkably well done, and yet often they were really badly written... like, for example, some of the ones from the lower-paying golden age [1920-1940] "pulps"... I am amazed that some of that stuff is still being reprinted today.  In fact, I think some of those authors would actually be surprised themselves! :)

12. I like to walk in the desert.  No matter how crazy things can get, that act always clears my head.

13. The first Bible verses I ever memorized were John 3:16 and 17. Shortly after this I memorized all the books of the Bible to earn a jar of peanut brittle in an after school Church club. Later I memorized the whole first part of Luke chapter 2 from listening to a used record of the soundtrack of the TV special "A Charlie Brown Christmas" a million times. I still love that special, too. I share it with the kids every year. The story, the jazz sounds [Vince Gualaldi!], the scripture... it is a true American classic unlike any other.

14. During my sophomore, junior, and senior years of high school at Patagonia, I wrote for the school paper, the LOBO LINGO... I found one of these issues not too long ago in my Mom's house and was surprised by a piece I wrote for the April fool's day issue. It was a fake book review and the fake book was called CHEERLEADERS GO HAWAIIAN. It was actually funnier than anything I can write now... which is kinda depressing :(

15. I love going to antique stores, though I rarely buy anything from them. Bisbee, AZ is a favorite day trip of mine for this very reason.

16. I'm an Archie Club lifetime member. At least that's what they told me back when I joined at about age 8. I lost the card, though. [To be fair I really only read the comics for Jughead. He was hilarious... one of the greatest comic book characters ever.]

17. I love comedies of all kinds, as long as they truly make me laugh.  I am very big on laughter. The Old Book itself says "A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones."  I am always searching for some of that "medicine!"

18. I am, and will always remain, a firm believer in God. The longer I live and the more I see of life around me, the more certain I am of God's moving in our world. His Grace is everywhere... and so is His Mysterious Justice... Mark it down!

19. Back when I was attending college at JBU in Arkansas [about Jan. 1987], I had my heart broken so badly that I didn't think I'd ever recover. There are probably about 3 people in the world that have heard this story. Of course, very soon after, I leaned on many good friends and I healed just fine. Looking back, what happened paled in comparison to later heart-breaks, such as being divorced and some serious losses of loved ones, but it's funny how you think of those youthful disappointments off and on through your life.

20. If I were ever forced to tell you what movie I have seen the most times in my life my answer would be embarrassing. The winner, hands down, is the Jim Varney re-make of "The Beverly Hillbillies" from 1993.

21. I love hymns. My current church doesn't use them much, but I love them just the same. I think they are a great resource since they were often written by people who went through many trials long before we came on the scene. Plus, they are usually remarkably poetic... which is what made them last. I don't know if churches in 200 years will still be singing "Shout To the Lord," but I'll just betcha they'll still sing "Rock Of Ages."

22. I'm blood type O Positive... universal donor.

23. I am 6 feet 2 inches tall.

24. I am not, however, as proud of my weight, but I can tell you-- honestly-- that it is down by 30 pounds from May of 2011.  Praise God!
25.  My all-time favorite baseball player is Curt Schilling.  My late Dad's was Brooks Robinson.
26.   I have never written about this before, but I met Meadowlark Lemon, The Harlem Globetrotter, at the corner store in Sonoita AZ when I was about 11 [so probably 1975 or so.]  Me and my friend Bonky were out in front of the store when we saw these 2 black guys get out of a big fancy car and go inside to get sodas.  [You should probably know that seeing ANY black guys in Sonoita AZ in those days was a real rarity to begin with... sad, but undoubtedly true!]  Bonky said to me, "Albie! That's Meadowlark Lemon!"  [We knew just who he was because there was a concurrent Globetrotters Saturday morning show at the time. ]  I said, "I doubt it, Bonk, I think it just looks like him."  "Nope," he answered, "Haven't you seen the ads for their show up in Tucson? I'm telling you, that's him!"  Sure enough, when the two guys were walking back to their car, the taller one walked over and said "Heya fellas, I'm Meadowlark," shaking both our hands!!   THEN-- if I'm lyin' I'm dyin'-- the man proceded to entertain us with some loud and dramatic burps after gulps of canned soda... I kid you not!!    I will never forget that.  The only down side was that no one would believe our story later, which to this day makes it an almost surreal memory.  My older brother Chris has since told me that the 'Trotters had earlier actually visited nearby Patagonia AZ, so he theorized that Meadowlark was probably showing his buddy the beautiful scenery on this return trip. All in all, as childhood memories go, that one is AWESOME!  :)

27.  I love a good dog story.  SAVAGE SAM and THE PAINTED HILLS are a couple of my favorite movies ever.  In print form I love BRISTLE FACE by Zachary Ball and all the dog books by Jack O'Brien [such as the SILVER CHIEF series and the classic VALIANT, DOG OF THE TIMBERLINE.]   Great stuff. Canines rock!

28.  My favorite color is Red.

29. My favorite book in the Bible, although I like them all, is The Gospel Of Luke.  I love its picture of Jesus as the great, sympathizing saviour.   Only in Luke do we find the manger scene, the Prodigal Son, and The Travelers on the Road To Emmaus, among other things.  William Barclay called it "the Gospel of the Underdog."  I like that.

30.  I like to sometimes order a pizza that is medium sized and has no sauce and only Anchovies as a topping.   I always get to eat that whole pie by myself-- for obvious reasons-- and it is delicious!