Letters 2019

Beaver

 

108 S Douglas - PO Box 490 - Beaver, Oklahoma 73932

A Positive Web Page for Beaver, Oklahoma

7-11-19

By Rev. Jim Reeves

I have had two pieces of bad news this past week. It seems that newsógood or badóseems to come in waves. First, a life-long friend of mine who lives in Vega, Texas recently had back surgery.

Unfortunately, the surgery went horribly wrong and now he is paralyzed from the waist down. Here is a guy that I grew up on the pipeline with back in the 50s and 60s. We both started going out on the job with our dads when we were ten years old. Every summer through college, we worked the pipeline, often side-by-side. He was a robust, big, stocky guy that you could never imagine being anything else. He played football, even into his freshman year at WT.

He took over the family farm, married, had kids, and was always the healthy, hard-working individual. Back in those days, nobody ever told us there was a proper way to pick up heavy objects. We just grab them and went on. Unfortunately, today, too many of us are paying for it and in the case of my best friend, paying for it way too dearly.
The second bit of bad news concerned my little sister, thirteen years younger than me. Her appendix ruptured and when they went in to get it, they discovered a tumor that was a centimeter and a half long.

There was also a tumor in her left side colon. Tuesday, they did surgery and discovered that the cancer has spread throughout the stomach cavity. In the next couple of weeks, they will start extensive chemotherapy treatments. I may be moving to East Texas to help take care of her.
The interesting thing is that both of these individuals have every reason to be bitter about their circumstances. Instead, what I have found is two upbeat individuals, ,strong in their faith and maintaining a positive attitude. I have truly been inspired by both of them.

We all need to understand that, no matter how bad things may look for us, thereís always someone who has worse problems than ours.

Until next week, may the good Lord find you riding on His trail.

Brother Jim

 

7-4-19

By Jim Reeves

While we Americans tend to be very proud of our history, there are, in fact, many parts of our history that we ought to be down-right ashamed of. For instance, many of the Founding Fathers, who wrote the Declaration of Independence and Constitution, promoting the idea of equality for all people regardless of race, creed, color or national origin, were, in fact, owners of black slaves. Thomas Jefferson is known to have fathered several children by one of his slave women.

There is the tale of the Trail of Tears, where thousands of Cherokee Indians were uprooted from North and South Carolina and forced to march hundreds of miles to a place called Oklahoma. Hundreds died along the way.

Then there were the Indian campaigns where a leading Army general said, "The only good Indian is a dead Indian." The massacre at Wounded Knee was an atrocity equal to anything that we tried ex-Nazis for after WWII. The years between 1865 and 1900 constitute the second bloodiest years in American history, second only to the Civil War and ahead of the number of deaths in World War II.

Born in l946, I witnessed first hand the prejudice against blacks across the south. White-only bathrooms, restaurants, hotels, schools and other institutions are stark reminders of prejudices against people simply because of race. The violent riots of the 60s were a blood-letting period in which America was supposed to grow up, but Iím not sure that we accomplished much out of that period.

This last week, my wife and I visited the Amache Relocation Center National Historical Area in Southeast Colorado near Granada. It was the sight of a concentration camp, right here in America, for over 10,000 American-Japanese who were incarcerated during World War II, following Pearl Harbor. Less that 2% of these people were ever shown to be a threat to the national security of the United States. Over 100 of the internees at Amache served in the 442nd Army Division in the European theater. There is even one Congressional Medal of Honor winner (an American-Japanese) buried in the cemetery at Amache.

These people were uprooted, often in the middle of the night, from their homes in California and herded onto railroad cars, buses and trucks for the long journey to the middle of some of the most desolate country in America. They were forced to live in plywood shanties for three years. Sometimes, there were several families in one hut. The rattlesnakes were rampant and the living conditions deplorable. The shacks were not heated against the winters and of course, there was no air conditioning in those days.

All of this simply because these people were of Japanese descent. Many were second and third generation American-Japanese. Never mind that almost all of them were either born in the United States or had been legal residents. They simply were Japanese.

 

Until next week, may the good Lord find you riding on His trail.

Brother Jim

 

6-27-19

By Rev. Jim Reeves

Someone once said that childhood is wasted on children. I have been thinking lately that this is becoming truer with each passing year. Childhood does seem to truly be wasted on children, especially in todayís world.

When I look at my own childhood (and no, it wasnít back when dinosaurs roamed the earth) and compare it with the childhood of this present generation, I am both amazed and saddened. I am amazed at how totally different our children experience childhood today and how we experienced it back when I was a child. our television sets were not the flat-screen "smart TVs" of today and yet we enjoyed them, maybe even more than our children of today.

We were lucky if we lived in an area where you could pick up all three of the networks: NBC, CBS and ABC. We didnít know what FOX was, except that it was an animal that looked like a dog and ran wild through the woods. We certainly didnít have 999 different channels or the magic "clicker" or Blue-Ray or all the other things connected with TV today. But there was something important that we didnít have. We didnít have "surfing".

We tended to have our favorite shows, maybe even our favorite networks. We looked forward to gathering as a family around the black and white screen, then later the color TV and watching a show all the way through, from beginning to end. Now our children seem unable to focus on any one show or channel more than 15 seconds at a time and they have become addicts to surfing the hundreds of choices.
Childhood is meant to be fun.

Most of us older folks can remember when you went outside and played from the time you got home from school until you were called in for the evening meals. We knew what "pick-up" baseball games were. We knew what it was to have "best" friends that you actually talked to instead of texting. We knew what it was to take an old cardboard box and play with it, coming up with pirate ships and army forts and spaceships and a hundred other ideas for its use.

We had something that is vitally important to childhood. We had imagination. We dreamed of sailing ships, spaceships, being an Air Force pilot and all kinds of other things. Children today seem to have little or no imagination.

Yes, school and education were important to our childhood, but it wasnít so consuming and demanding that it blocked out being able to just have fun. Teachers actually taught the fundamentals instead of teaching to state-mandated tests. Education today is not something that is fun. It is a demanding, high pressurized "business", a lot like turning out automobiles.

We have become so dependent on the "technology" of today that we somehow have forgotten that the greatest "technological" tool ever, given to us by God, is the human brain. Our children arenít taught to think, to use their deductive reasoning skills. Instead, they are taught how to "google" the answers to everything. We have become so dependent upon technology that our children today cannot give the proper change or function without a computer to tell them what to do.

Call me old-fashioned, old-school or whatever, but I still like being a child at heart, even at my age. Maybe some children remain children always.

Until next week, may the good Lord find you riding on His trail.

Brother Jim

 

6-20-19

By Rev. Jim Reeves

I am beginning to have a real dislike for weeds. I havenít really thought too much about weeds, that is, not until this year. With all the rain we have had this year, weeds have suddenly become significant in my list of things I dislike.
My old pappy used to say, "Son, never fault the rain until you see the ark go by." Well, I have tried to follow that bit of wisdom as much as possible, especially being a resident of this part of the country. Mind you, I am not complaining about the rain, but when it comes to the weeds in my yard, I am really starting to rethink my old pappyís advice.

I know the farmers always like the rain. Only they want to give thanks for the rain only if it comes at the ideal time of the year. Well, apparently, it hasnít come at the right time of the year this year and I am even starting to hear the farmers saying enough is enough. I have been tempted, with all of this rain, to find me a piece of land somewhere and go into the weed-growing business. Might even apply to Washington for a weed allotment. Those of you who are old enough to remember Billy Sol Estes, remember that back in the 50s and 60s, old Billy Sol got rich applying for gourd allotments through the agriculture department.

He convinced some dumb bureaucrat that gourds were a viable, marketable agricultural product, got government loans to plant a gourd crop, then claimed a loss on a failed crop. Evidently, they donít grow gourds back in Washington.
The thought has crossed my mind to try the same thing with weeds. But then I think that surely they have weeds back in Washington, D. C., even if some of them are the two-legged variety. Surely, even the government doesnít employ people dumb enough to believe that weeds would be a viable agricultural commodity.

One thing about pulling weeds in your yard is that it gives you a lot of time for meditation, prayer, and other religious activity. Iíve said the rosary several times this summer, several Hail Marys and Iím not even catholic. Thereís been a lot of prayer and a whole lot of thanking God that I donít have a bigger yard than I do. Iíve also come to realize that weeds are a whole lot like the woes in our lives.

You know the old tune, "If it werenít for bad luck, Iíd have no luck at all. Gloom, despair and agony on me." Our woes are a lot like weeds. Our woes grow every time we cry about all the things that are going wrong in our lives. Our woes, if not pulled out by the roots, will eventually choke out the beautiful green grass of all Godís blessings and our lives start to get as ugly as a yard full of weeds.

My, thatís an awful lot of deep thinking for such a shallow well.

Until next week, may the good Lord find you riding on His trail.

Brother Jim

 

6-13-19

By Rev. Jim Reeves

I recently had the privilege of being a part of a "Biker Sunday" at an area church. There were thirty-six present. Some of them were dressed completely in their leathers. Some looked as though they hadnít bathed in awhile and a couple looked as though you might not want to meet them in a dark alley. However, I looked at them and felt the experience of that worship service and I came to realize that those bikers probably come closer to what real Christianity is supposed to be than 98% of the churches in America today.

Bikers have always gotten a bum rap, in my opinion, from the so-called church going Christians. They have been seen as the rough-riding, hard-living, drinking, carousing bunch of rejects that terrorize communities, and generally donít fit in with your "polite" population. They get pegged as being part of the "gang" and that word brings with it a bad connotation. Maybe we should realize that, as Christians, we are all part of a "gang", the gang of Jesus Christ.

However, during that worship service I saw Christianity as Christ intended it to be. I saw forgiveness. I saw acceptance without judgment about past, or the kind of clothes one wears or what kind of vehicle they drive or whether they fit the normal idea of "polite" people. I saw grown men hugging each other, high-fiving each other, laughing, clapping their hands and truly worshipping God with a true joy. I heard testimonies of pasts that were pretty rough, but I also heard the miracle of Godís love, grace, mercy and forgiveness for even the worst sinner. I came to realize that if Jesus were present today, this would be the very group that he would be ministering to instead of visiting the prim and proper churches.

The fundamental fact is that the mainline churches of today are killing themselves off because they have forgotten the mission of Christianity and ministry as Jesus saw it, taught it, and commissioned all of us to continue after him. He saw the true ministry as one that accepted even the worst sinner without judgment or reservation. He saw the power of love and what it can do to unite people. The problem with churches today is that they are so busy trying to proclaim their denominational beliefs that they fail to see that those very denominational stances serve only to divide rather than unite. The church of today has become a country club or social group rather than being the church that actively seeks to go in ministry to those who donít fit in with the rest of the world. The churches or fellowships or whatever you want to call them that are seeking and ministering to those that no one else wants to have anything to do with are the ones that are growing.

Bikers may not always be your most acceptable-looking group, but they will stop and help the person stranded on the highway when everyone else is speeding by. They put on more benefit runs for cancer patients, sick children and tons of other ministries than do the mainline churches. So the next time you look at a biker, donít look at the clothes, the beards, the tattoos, the piercings or whatever. Be like Christ and truly look at the person.

Until next week, may the good Lord find you riding on His trail.

Brother Jim

 

6-6-19

By Rev. Jim Reeves

Before school let out for the summer, I had an opportunity to be in Booker High School when the principal came on first thing with the morning announcements. First, he asked the students to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance and then for the pledge to the Oklahoma flag. What caught my attention was what he said next, "Please join me in a moment of silence during which you may pray, meditate or otherwise engage in personal reflection."

As I was looking around, I noticed that some students were actually praying. In fact, there was a small group of may five or six who joined hands and silently prayed together, heads bowed.

It warmed my heart to know first of all that the word pray or prayer was actually being used in the public school and secondly, to know and witness students exercising their right to pray. Ever since we took prayer out of the schools, there has been a trend to downplay the exercise of prayer for fear that we are going to offend someone, get sued or for whatever other reason. Sadly, we have seen the results of this trend.

Some years ago, as a pastor in a small community near San Angelo, Texas, I was given a free pass to all the home football games. Immediately, I noticed that the term "moment of silence" was used with no reference to prayer, praying or other religious connotation. So, being the person that I am, I started standing during that moment and reciting the Lordís Prayer out loud. By the third time, most of the home stand was praying out loud with me. It was not led by anyone connected by the school, but rather by a private individual. You see, there is no abolition of our right to publicly pray, out loud.

In the light of recent mass shootings and other acts, I think that what we need are more people who will stand up and pray out loud, whatever and wherever the occasion might be. We just might find that others will join with us. After all, it is one of our rights.

Until next week, may the good Lord find you riding on His trail.

Brother Jim

 

5-30-19

By Rev. Jim Reeves

One of the most precious gifts that God has given to us is the gift of children. Anyone of us who has witnessed or been a part of the birth of a new-born baby knows the feeling of awe that comes with birth. I have had the privilege to be in the delivery room for the birth of all three of my girls. I will forever remember the moments before, during and after the birth of my oldest. I remember the wife holding my fingers so tight that the circulation was cut off, screaming her head off that this was all my fault.

I remember the doctor bringing her into the world and the feeling that I was witnessing a miracle. Then the nurse handed me this screaming little bundle and said, "Here, take her down the hall to the nursery." I looked at that woman like she had lost all her marbles, and I remember holding it out away from me, like it was something that had some kind of disease that I did not want to catch, and saying to the nurse, "I donít know what to do with this. What if I break it?" She replied, "Youíll do fine. Babies have been being born for thousands of years. Fathers have had to hold their babies for thousands of years, and guess what? Only a handful of fathers have ever dropped their babies. So get going, youíll be fine."

I literally ran out of that delivery room, determined to get rid of that bundle as quickly as possible. My mother-in-law was in the hallway and I went by her like a runaway locomotive with her saying, "Jim, can I at least have a look at it?" And me saying, "No, Iím in a hurry. Iíve got to get this thing to the nursery."

Of course, by the time the third one came along, I thought I was an old pro at this game. I wasnít, but I was certainly more knowledgeable than I was on the first one.

This weekend, we had the chance to be in Fort Worth for the graduation of one of my granddaughters by my first child. I sat there, filled with pride, both in my granddaughter and in my own daughter for being the nurturing, loving mother that I raised her to be.

Then I thought with sadness at the number of graduates who only had one parent there for one of the most important events in life. I thought about who gets hurt the most when parents donít stick together. Marriage should not be something that we approach like we are buying a pair of shoes. With shoes, if you donít like them, you simply take them back and get another pair. Way too many couples approach marriage in the same way.

The most precious gift God may have given to you is a child or children. Unfortunately, they donít come with an instruction book. We have to learn to be a parent as we go along. Sadly, too many donít ever learn parenting at all.

Until next week, may the good Lord find you riding on His trail.

 

5-23-19

We had just finished making an ambulance run to San Angelo. We had picked up the patient and gotten them to San Angelo about 3:00 in the morning. After all the paperwork was finished, we decided to get something for breakfast before returning home, so we stopped at a What-A-Burger. We had just pulled out on the street, about sunrise, when we noticed a group of people gathering at the side of the curb just down the street. We knew something was wrong, so we stopped to see if we could offer some assistance and to call the San Angelo 911 number.

Down on the sidewalk was a man, probably in his mid-thirties, obviously a homeless man by his clothing, and he was non-responsive. We called it into the San Angelo 911 and began CPR. As we were working on the man, and getting no response, I overheard someone in the crowd make some remark about why were we helping him anyway. I thought about that on our trip home. The man was gone when the San Angelo ambulance got there, we turned the scene over to them and left, but those remarks stayed with me. So when I got home, and after we got the ambulance cleaned up and ready for the next run, I sat down and wrote the following poem.

Nicki

Nicki was a homeless man,

I guess everybody knew.

Nicki liked to drink a bit;

He was a hopeless addict, too.

Thereís no telling what diseases

Nicki carried along the way;

We just found him lying face-down

On the cityís walks that day.

Nearby, an onlooker muttered,

"Why not let the drunkard die?"

A rather cruel statement,

And I later wondered why.

For Nicki was a child of God,

Just the same as everyone;

His sins were just as washed away

By the life blood of the Son.

No, God did not abandon

This one who slipped away;

He was abandoned by the rest of us

Who met him every day.

Yes, Nicki was a homeless man;

I doubt that very many knew,

By turning our backs on Nicki,

We were denying Jesus, too.

We need always to remember the saying, "There but by the grace of God, go I." Each and every one of us can be that homeless person, that derelict, that forgotten person in the blink of an eye. Letís all seek to be more compassionate for those whom this life has forgotten.

Until next week, may God find you riding on His trail.

Brother Jim

 

5-16-17

By Rev. Jim Reeves

As I am writing this weekís column, it is Motherís Day. We had a great time at church today with Motherís Day and I hope your Motherís Day was a blessing, also.

As I am thinking about Motherís Day and all the mothers, I am drawn to Jesus and His sermon on the Beatitudes. I realize that it may be hard to think of the connection between the two, but let me give it a try.

First, we have to remember that Jesus elevate women to a new level. Prior to Jesus, in Old Testament times and according to Jewish tradition had almost no status at all. They could talk in the council with men, they couldnít own property and they were not supposed to even speak with strangers unless their husbands were present. They were, in essence, little more than slaves.

Jesus and His ministry changed all that. When Jesus sat by the well and asked the Samaritan woman for a drink of water, He was doing two things that were virtually unheard of in His society. First, He was a Jew talking to a Samaritan (Jews and Samaritans did not like each other). Second, He is a male speaking to a woman, a Samaritan woman at that! He engages her in a long conversation, forgives her and offers her salvation and redemption.

In the case of the woman brought before Him, Jesus does not condemn her as the other men were doing. Instead, He speaks with her and ultimately forgives her. Throughout the ministry of Jesus, there are examples of Jesus lifting women up out of a lowly status and assuring them that Godís grace, forgiveness, mercy and love are for everyone.

In the beatitudes, we read where Jesus said, "Blessed are the poor in spirit, the meek, those who mourn, those who are peacemakers, etc." He assures them that they will inherit the blessings of Heaven.

While the Scripture does not say that He was speaking to women as well as to men, I have to believe that He was. All of who were once children, have caused our motherís spirits to sink low in the valleys. They wept for us when we went wrong, yet they loved us in spite of our faults. There have been mothers who mourned for the loss of a child, whether it was a loss of life or the loss of a relationship with the family. Most of our mothers put their families ahead of themselves. How many of you remember when your mother was umpire and referee in the midst of all the disputes that come up in our childhood? True, there are some women who shouldnít be mothers, but for the most part, they put family above self.

So, for all the mothers, past, present and future, God bless you!

Until next week, may the good Lord find you riding on His trail.

Brother Jim

 

5-9-19

By Rev. Jim Reeves

Last Sunday I did a childrenís sermon during church on how our lives are, in some ways, like a pencil. An ordinary, common yellow wooden pencil like we have used in school classrooms for years. A pencil has two ends to it: the end where the lead is and the end where the eraser is.

We use the end with the lead in it to write with. Each one of us is writing a story every dayóit is the story of our lives. We write our story by the words that we say throughout the day. Are they words that encourage other people or are they words that are used to tear other people down? Are they words that show some intelligence or are they words that only serve to show our ignorance? Are they words that we wouldnít be afraid to use in front of our mothers or are they words that would make a sailor blush?

We write our story by the actions that we take throughout each day. One of the biggest problems in our society today is that we have become the "me" society. We think that everything is about ourselves. Wrong. A life truly lived to its fullest is not a life that is about ourselves, but a rather, it is about a life that is spent interacting with others in a positive, uplifting way. A writer once said that no man is an island. Yet, the very electronic tools that are supposed to enrich our lives are, instead, creating isolated islands in each of us. How often do we see our young people of today spending all their time on their cell phones, I-pads or other electronic devises. They are oblivious to the world around them. Nothing irritates me like seeing three or four young people sitting at a table, each one on their electronic devices, and not having any conversation with each other. Often, they are texting each other, sitting right across the table from each other. As we are writing our story every day, it should be a story of at least being aware of those around us.

A big part of the "me" way of thinking is that we have lost the art of volunteerism. We donít want to visit the sick, feed the hungry, clothe the naked, visit those imprisoned or any other activity that enhances the lives of others and makes this a better world in which to live Weíre too busy being wrapped up in ourselves and what we want. Living, true living, is not focused on ourselves, but rather on our interaction and our giving of our time, talent and resources to help others.

The other end of the pencil is the eraser part. The eraser is like the love and forgiveness of God. When we make mistakes (and there are many in each day), we simply have to ask God for forgiveness and he "erases" our errors. In fact, just like a total use of the pencilís eraser, God can erase our mistakes and errors so completely that they canít be seen anymore, they are gone, forgotten, done with. We can be a part of erasing our own mistakes. How often can a simply apology erase some hurt that we have caused in someone else? Yet, we find it so hard to say, "Iím sorry".

Every day that we live, we are using up the writing end of the pencil. As we write our story each day, the lead gets shorter and shorter until it is gone, but the eraser can still be there to forgive us for our mistakes, right up to the very end.

We may not think of it, but our lives need to be more like the pencil. We need to be careful of what we write in our life story, but we need to always remember that, in our relationship with God, we are connected to the eraser.

Until next week, may the good Lord find you riding on His trail.

Brother Jim

 

5-2-19

By Rev. Jim Reeves

I was a sophomore at South Plains College over in Levelland, Texas, when I got the call that my granny was in the hospital in Lubbock. My mother said Granny had something call pleurisy and could I go over and help my Aunt Sharlott stay up with her at night. I had no idea was pleurisy was and I sure had no idea a person could die from it.

It was the middle of March, the week before Spring break. I went over on a Tuesday evening, planning to stay all night and keep my aunt company. Along about midnight, my aunt said she was going to take a break and go downstairs to get some coffee. I told her I would stay in the room and watch Granny and Sharlott said sheíd be gone about thirty minutes or so.

I was sitting in one of those straight-backed chrome chairs that hospital rooms used to have and all the lights were either turned down or off. It was very peaceful and quiet, and I was resting with my head back against the wall. No one else was in the room.

Suddenly Granny sat bolt upright in the bed. She looked down at the foot of the bed and with her eyes closed, she said, "Iím not ready. I have clothes still to wash and my kids are not all home." With that, she laid back down on the bed as though nothing had happened.

Needless to say, I cleared that room in a hurry. Standing out in the hallway, I was trembling, trying to catch my breath. I had no idea who or what, but I had not a doubt that Granny had seen and was talking to someone at the foot of the bed.

Two nights later, I was again in her room under almost the same conditions, alone in very dim light. Again, she sat upright in the bed, eyes closed, but this time, she said, "Iím ready, Lord. The wash is finished, the clothes are all folded and my kids are all in. Iím ready." With that she laid down and died.

Did Granny see the Lord standing at the foot of her bed? Yes, I am convinced of it. Leaving that room that night as fast as I could, I believed then and I believe now, that she saw Jesus as plainly as anyone can see someone else.

That incident was and continues to be, one of the foundations of my faith. Over the years, I have witnessed numerous times when terminally ill individuals see and have conversations with Jesus. For me, it is one of the fundamental reasons that I know my Lord is real.

This week, we lost a fixture in this community. Fifty-eight years old, he and we had no idea that his life would suddenly end last Wednesday night at work. He was going about his normal routine of closing down the store when he suddenly collapsed in the floor and died. Unlike the incident with my grandmother, he had no choice about whether he was ready of not. We can only hope that he was.

He was always smiling and loved to joke and converse with people as he loaded their groceries in their car. He was not someone that stood out. He would probably never receive the Citizen of the Year Award or serve on the city council of the school board, but he touched the lives of everyone he met. We never know when our time is going to come. We, too, may not have time to say, "Iím not ready." We should all strive to live in such a way that weíre always ready.

Until next week, may the good Lord find you riding on His trail.

Brother Jim

 

4-25-19

By Rev. Jim Reeves

Once there was a family living in a small village called Canyon in the panhandle of the land called Texas. There was the father, the mother, and two childrenóone son and one daughter. The son was approaching the age of twelve, and the father did perceive that he and the son were growing farther apart as the child aged. The father did feel that it was perhaps time for that ritual called "bonding" and so he did decide that during the Christmas break from school, he and the son would go fishing at a faraway land called Possum Kingdom. Now the son was not too interested in such a trip, but the father did insist and began planning for this trip to the land of Possum Kingdom.

Finally, the day did arrive that the father and the son were to start out on their journey and the mother did say to the father, "Let me prepare for thee a basket of food that you might have to eat on your trip." The father, in his infinite wisdom and sureness of his abilities, did say to the wife, "Nay, we shall eat what we catch."

Thus, the father and the son did depart from their village and did travel to the faraway land known as Possum Kingdom. Arriving there, the father and the son did begin to search for a merchant who might be open and there they would buy some bread and other items for their time fishing. However, it being the Christmas week, the father and the son did find that all the merchants thereabouts were closed, save one. The father and the son did enter into that merchantís establishment and did find there that the merchant was sold out of everything but some loaves of bread, and a whole shelf of Vienna sausages. The father and the son did buy up seven loaves of bread and the cans of Vienna sausages and did depart to the lake to set up their tent. The merchant did close up his shop with glee and went home.

The first day, the father and the son did arise and fish all day, catching nothing. At the end of the day, the father did take up a can of the Vienna sausages and fry them up and put them between two slices of bread, give them to the son, and the son did partake of the meal and allowed that it was good. Thus ended the first day.

The second day, the father and the son did arise and fish all day, catching nothing. At the end of the day, the father did take up another can of Vienna sausages, open the can, boil the sausages, put them between two slices of bread, give them to the son and the son did partake of the meal and allowed that it was somewhat good. Thus ended the second day.

The third day, the father and the son did arise, fish all day and again they caught nothing. That evening, the father did take up another can of Vienna sausages, broil them over an open fire, put them between two slices of bread, give them to the son and the son did partake of the meal and did allow that the meal was good, but it was slipping. Thus ended the third day.

The fourth day, and the fifth day did go the same, ending with fried Vienna sausages and roasted Vienna sausages between two slices of bread, and the son did eat and did allow that the sandwiches were filling but that the quality of the meals was definitely declining.

The sixth day did arrive, and again the father and the son did fish all day and again, they caught nothing. When the evening came, the father did take up another can of Vienna sausages and prepare to open it, whereupon the son did grab the can of Vienna sausages and heave it as far out into the lake as he could and did yell at the top of his voice, "No more Vienna sausages." The father did perceive that the son was becoming angry and did begin to fear for his life. The son did inform the father that come morning, he was going to start walking home and the father did begin to think of returning to the village of Canyon.

Next morning, the father and the son did leave that place called Possum Kingdom and arriving at the first village that had an inn, did go into that establishment and order breakfast. The father did order a dozen eggs over easy while the son did order the biggest, juiciest hamburger that he could and did allow that it was good. Thus was the seventh day a rest from Vienna sausages.

The moral of this parable? Even in the midst of your Vienna sausage days, have faith that a hamburger day is coming when you will feast at the heavenly banquet.

Until next week, may the good Lord find you riding on His trail.

Brother Jim

 

4-18-19

 

By Rev. Jim Reeves

I came from a family where showing affection was not something we did. I donít recall ever seeing my mother and dad hugging or kissing each other. We didnít say, "I love you" and as a child I think it bothered more than I thought at the time.

While I was growing up, my dad never said, "I love you" to any of the three of us kids. I used to really ride him about this, and looking back, I guess I should be ashamed that I did. But it was important to me. If I really wanted to get something started, I would say to him, "You donít love us, do you?" Of course, that would get things stirred up big-time, with a few expletives thrown in for good measure. He would say to me, "What do you mean, I donít love you? I provide you with food and clothing, with a place to live." And my reply was usually something along these lines, "Yeah, you provide all of that, but you canít say the words. You canít say ĎI love you.í" We would go round and round for a few minutes and finally, he would just storm off. Thatís when I usually held up my arms in the victory sign and said, "Got him again!" I could be a little snot when I wanted to be.

All through school, and into adulthood, I wanted to hear him say it. I got married, we had three daughters and still he couldnít or wouldnít say, "I love you." And every chance I got, I would goad him about it.

When my wife and kids and I moved to Tulsa for me to go to law school, I decided that I would be just as stubborn as he was. We invited them to come visit and it was always the same. They were too busy or he was working or whatever, but we were more than welcome to come visit them.

About the age of forty, I made a decision that we were not going to go see them until they made a effort to come see us. For two years, I did not grace the doors of my parentís home. Oh, we would talk on the phone, but still there was never that "I love you" at the end.

Then one day, my sister called and said, "I think you need to come home. Daddy has been diagnosed with terminal cancer and is not expected to live long." I remember hanging up the phone, thinking he had done this on purpose just to make me come visit. We started making the long journey to East Texas every other week or so and I watched him grow worse. I came to realize it wasnít on purpose.

Then, just before my 42nd birthday, we went home to visit. As we were standing out on the front porch saying good-bye to mother, my wife came out and said, "I think you need to go back inside. Your daddy is having a tough time." I went in and knelt down by his easy chair, asking what was wrong, and in a very weak voice, he said, "I know I never said it, but I want you to know. I love you." I gladly would have made that trip a thousand times more just to hear those three words. They were the last words he ever spoke to me.

Life is too short for all of us. Love your kids, your spouse and your neighbors. Most of all, donít be afraid or too stubborn to say, "I love you."

Until next week, may the good Lord find you riding on His trail.

Brother Jim

By Rev. Jim Reeves

Why is it that so many people are turned off by churches? Iíve been thinking on this for a very long time and have come to the conclusion that people are not turned off by church as much as they are turned off by denominations of the church. Let us go back to the Scripture to find out why.

When Jesus laid his hand on Peter and said, "Upon this rock will I build my church", notice what He did NOT say. He didnít say, "I will build upon this rock the Methodist Church or the Baptist Church or the Presbyterian Church or any other denomination." The fact is that denominationalism is an abomination to God and to Jesus. Denominations can be dividing while the church that Jesus envisioned is uniting.

One of the reasons that people are turned off by the church today is that most denominational churches are more worried about getting their membership up instead of trying to attract worshippers. A lot of this is because of the hierarchy of denominationalism. When I was pastoring in the Methodist Church, our annual reports had a question about how many members we had gained or lost during the year. Membership became more important than worship. Sadly, this is the major problem with denominations. Itís also the reason that non-denominational churches are growing when the old denominational churches (for the most part) are not.

We have to quit worrying about how many members we can get on the rolls and start focusing on providing meaningful worship for those seeking a relationship with God. The fact is that every person seeks to have a relationship with someone or something greater than ourselves. Each of us is born with that desire. Itís as much a part of our needs as food, clothing, or shelter. Some people suppress the desire for such a relationship, but the fact is that so many people are seekers, but too few of our churches are searchers.

Another reason for declining attendance at many denominational churches is the attitude of the church that makes it more of a club and less of a house of worship. If the church looks down on people who donít dress a certain way, who donít look a certain way, people who are ex-offenders, homeless, tattooed or whatever, those seekers get turned off. Church is not about how one dresses or how much money they have, etc. It is about providing a meaningful fellowship with like believers and a meaningful worship of God and Jesus Christ.

Another reason and a major reason is that too many preachers and too many churches have become so worried about being "politically correct" that they forget about being "scripturally correct." Seekers today are looking to know the truth as it is spoken in the Bible, the Word of God. When we start watering it down, we turn people off.

Weíve got to change the whole attitude of the church if we truly hope to see it survive. Weíve got to actively go after the disfranchised people (those who feel left out by the "in" crowd of the church). Weíve got actively preach the Word of God as it was and is meant to be preached. Weíve got to change the way we worship.

There are churches out there who are trying to do all of this and they are growing. If you are turned off by denominationalism, donít give up. There are churches that welcome you regardless of you are, what your background is or what your circumstances might be. There are churches that are more concerned about meaningful worship than about membership. Look for them, and find the fellowship that you seek.

Until next week, may the good Lord find you riding on His trail.

Brother Jim

 

3-14-19

By Rev. Jim Reeves

As many of you know, I like to write poetry. A lot of poetry. Every now and then, I think that some of it is actually pretty good. I probably have written more than 2,000 poems over a lifetime, but I would say that maybe less than 100 of them are actually pretty good. I write inspirational poems, humorous poems, cowboy poetry, pretty much every kind.

About four weeks ago, I was sitting, looking at my atlas at the different states. I was recalling places that I have been, places I have lived, but most of all, I was thinking of places I would like to go. Now, you have to understand that I am kind of a weird tourist. I donít get a real big kick out of going to places like New York, Chicago or San Francisco. In fact, I donít get much out of going to any big town, except when I just want to get away for a night or a weekend. I donít go to football or baseball games, so I have no reason to go to places like Dallas or Oklahoma City, unless I happen to be going for a hospital visit or something like that.

Anyways, I digress. I was looking at my atlas and I got to noticing little towns (and some not so little) that had really weird names. Names like Dime Box, Texas. Or Gotebo, Oklahoma. Or Punkin Center, Colorado. Or Dunmovin, California (I wondered just who it was that was done moving and if that was where they wound up dying). I got out a notepad and started jotting down some of the weirdest names for towns in each state. Then I came up with a really weird and wild idea. What if I wrote a poem about each of the weird towns that I had found? So, I came up with the idea of writing 50 poems (one for each state) about some weirdly named town in that state.

I had a lot of fun with this little project. I wrote a poem about Atomic City, Idaho. I wrote one about Alligator Alley, Florida. I actually did write one about Gotebo, Oklahoma. The fun part was writing something about a town that I have never visited. I wrote about Neligh MIlls, Nebraska, a poem about a boyhood memory of living at the flour mill in Neligh, Nebraska, where there just happens to be a historic old flour mill. I wrote about Muddy Gap, Wyoming. I wrote about a young girl from Soddy Daisy, Tennessee, who goes to Nashville to seek fame and fortune as a country/western singer.

I wrote about two star-crossed lovers who jumped off the bridge at Monroe Bridge, Massachuesetts, kind of a take on Romeo and Juliet. It became a lot of fun to imagine a story to fit the town name.

I finished all fifty poems this past week. They may never be read by many, but I had a lot of fun, learned a little geography and got to use my imagination in a little bit different way. What next? Wouldnít it be fun to take a motorcycle trip and visit all those places, from Sourdough, Alaska to Bayou Teche, Louisiana? Hmmmmmm.

Until next week, may the good Lord find you riding on His trail.

Brother Jim

 

3-7-19

By Rev. Jim Reeves

I donít know what happened to the groundhog in Paxatowny, Pennsylvania, but I have a feeling he is suffering from a severe case of dementia. That little fellow thinks heís living in Florida! Well, at best, he has never lived in Oklahoma. Here I was looking forward to an early Spring with warmer weather and maybe even a little rain. What do we get? Winds of thirty miles an hour or better. Temperatures with a 2 for a high. Lows of 5 and possible accumulations of 2 or more inches of snow! Whereís my gun? I think it is time to go groundhog hunting!

I find it amazing that my wifeís weather app and my weather app on our cell phones give us two completely different weather forecasts. For example, up until Saturday at least, mine said nothing about snow and bitterly cold winds, while hers did! The strangest part of all of this is that our weather apps are the same weather apps. The only difference is the phones! Talk about confusing!

When I was going to school at West Texas State University (thatís right, the true West Texas university), there was a weatherman on TV by the name of Dan True. Some of you old-gummers will remember him. One time, he came up with this really crazy gimmick called a "weather rock". It was just a plain ordinary West Texas rock, with a tag taped to it with instructions on its use. You put the rock on the window sill between your window and the outside screen. Most homes in that day did not have weather screens or such. The instructions went something like this. If the rock was wet, it was either a heavy dew or it was actually raining. If the rock had a film of dust on it, you were having a dust storm. Duh! Thatís pretty logical. If the rock had a white film on it, then you were having a frost and if the rock was completely hidden by a white powder, then it had snowed. The one I loved, though, said, "If your rock is moving violently around on the sill, you are perhaps in the middle of a tornado and should probably seek shelter under the sink." Those things were like hot cakes. They were free and thousands of people wrote in asking for one. Maybe we were just as unsure of the weather as we are today.

Another thing that old Dan True would do is that he wouldnít give you a 20% or better chance of rain unless he had already looked out the window and seen that it was raining! I liked Dan True. He had a pretty funny way about him and he often joked that telling the weather was like rolling the dice at best. Dan, you have no idea how true you really were.

So, Iíll just sit at home with the heater turned up in case of snow and wintry weather, sipping on a glass of iced tea just in case it is turning warm outside. As for the groundhog, he probably has more sense than all of us. Heís burrowed deep in the ground.

Until next week, may the good Lord find you riding on His trail.

Brother Jim

 

2-28-19

By Rev. Jim Reeves

I just completed a menís Emmaus walk at the Waka Christian Center in Waka, Texas. Throughout the three day weekend, I was constantly amazed at the stories shared by both the team and the pilgrims we were working with. Over and over and over again, I heard stories of men coming out of families where they were abused, where they witnessed parents getting drunk or stoned on drugs, where the parents were divorced ands how all other actions and many more had affected them. The institution of marriage has steadily broken down over the years since World War II. Too many couples now treat marriage as though it were just an other shopping trip to Wal-Mart or the shoe store. If you donít like what you got the first time, them simply traded it in and get a new one.

What couples donít realize is that their actions affect their children in many ways for the rest of their lives. Children who come from homes that are alcoholic or drug addicted are ten times more likely to become alcoholics or drug users than those from homes where such practice is not evident. Parents who divorce are more likely to have children who treat marriage in the same flippant way. Our country is in the shape that it is in, due in great degree to the I-donít-care attitude of parents who donít realize the effects that their actions have on their children. The moment that we get married and have children (hopefully it works in that order), it is like we are taking up a large stone and throwing it into a still pond. We all know what will happen. The stone will create a ripple effect that spreads out for a long way.

In my work with the prison units, it disturbs me that over 90 % of the men incarcerated today come from homes where they were abused or where they watched abuse. They have fathers who skipped out and were never around or they had fathers who never hugged them or said, "I love you".

To feel love, to know acceptance and to feel wanted are basic fundamental needs of all human beings. We all need to know that we are cared for, especially children. When we as adults act in stupid ways, those actions will affect our children, our grandchildren and their children. We all need to think hard about how we deal with our children. What we do today not affects our lives, it also affects the lives of generations yet unborn.

Until next week, may the good Lord find you riding on His trail.

Brother Jim

 

2-14-19

By Rev. Jim Reeves

I have long thought that tolerance was somewhat based on the same idea as the Golden Rule: do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Tolerance is a two-way street or at least it is supposed to be. If you want others to be tolerant of you, then you need to be tolerant of them. Somehow, the liberal Democrats have forgotten that idea. They want everybody to be tolerant of them, but somehow, they donít want to be tolerant of others.
Two examples. A few weeks back, a man was walking down the street of one our major cities. He was wearing a Make America Great Again cap. A Hispanic women runs up behind, snatches the cap off his head, screaming that the cap was racist. When the man pursues her to recover his property, the women dashes into one of the businesses along the street screaming that the man should not be wearing the cap because it is racist. She refuses to give the man back his property and ultimately winds up using the F bomb and a few other choice words that should not be used in mixed company. The guy simply wants his cap back. She is calling him all sorts of vile names and finally the police have to be called. She spits in his cap and the police finally have to take her away. Turns out she is an illegal alien.
First of all, letís get something straight. There is absolutely nothing racist about a cap that says Make America Great Again. Now, if the cap had said I Hate Blacks or used the N-word, I would agree that it was racist. I have seen T-shirts on students in our schools that are more racist than a cap that says Make America Great Again. It simply is a piece of headgear designed to keep the head warm. Nothing more.
Secondly, I would say to the liberal Democrats, why do you have a problem with a cap that says Make America Great Again? When you attack people who wear these caps, are you in fact saying to them that you donít want to make America great again? Attacking these caps is about the most-un-American thing that I can think of. What red-blooded, true American would not want to make this nation great again? To attack these caps is about as stupid as saying that you want to ban all sale of pork products because they offend the Muslims of our country and that pork producers, and users of pork products are intolerant. If you want to attack me as being intolerant because I want to eat pork, are you not being intolerant of me and my ideas?
This morning, I received a Facebook message that said, "To all of you who wear Make America Great Again caps, what world are you living in?" Well, whoever you are, let me reply. I am living in the real world, where tolerance is something that works both ways.

Until next week, may the good Lord find you riding on His trail.

Brother Jim

 

2-7-19

By Rev. Jim Reeves

December 8, 1941, the day after Pearl Harbor. President Roosevelt stands in front of a joint meeting of Congress and asks for a declaration of war against Japan and Germany. Every member of Congress, but one, votes for declaring war. The lone dissenting vote is a Republican congresswoman. Following that vote, she is publicly attacked by her colleagues in Congress who label her as a "traitor" to her country.

Other members of both the House and Senate call for her removal from office and possible arrest for being a "traitor" to her country, Both the Senate and the House are controlled by Democrats and the president is a Democrat. Why is it alright for the Congress to call one of its own members a "traitor" yet it is not alright for me to even suggest such a thing? Sounds kind of like the kettle calling the pot black, doesnít it?

I would like to point out that every single war, police action or major military engagement, with the exception of Iraq and Afghanistan have occurred when a Democrat is in the White House. Historically, the Democrats have been more supportive of military action than the Republicans. But then, I forget that the Democratic party very conveniently forgets all about historical FACT when the finger of blame points back at them.

I would also like to point out that the people immigrating from Central America are not doing so to escape political oppression, since most of the Central American countries are not controlled by dictators, but rather they are countries where free elections are held and the countries are basically democracies just like the US. The fact is that these people are headed for our borders because "organizers" have gone into those countries to organize these caravans, handing out flyers that promise free food, free housing, free medical care and free education if they can just get to America. The same idea was used by the state of California, which was controlled by Democrats, during the Depression. Huge numbers of flyers were distributed in the dust bowl areas, promising good paying jobs if the people could just get to California. Yet, when the flood tide of migrants arrived, they were labeled as "Okies", and "Immigrants". They were left to work for pitifully low wages and to live in shanty towns, tent cities and even by the side of the road. Native Californians labeled these people as "immigrants" and demanded that they go back where they came from. Sounds kind of like the kettle calling the pot black, doesnít it?

I have several friends who are immigrants or the sons and daughters of immigrants. The difference is that they came to this country legally, by the book, according to the law. There is a world of difference between a legal immigrant and an illegal alien. I want to emphasize that I am in no way opposed to immigrants who wish to come to this country legally, by the book, in accordance with the law. I have either sponsored or helped to sponsor several children in an effort to bring them to this country because of being street children or whatever in their home countries. The difference is, we did it by the book, legally, according to the law.

In December the ministers of this community, including myself, gave out more than 60 boxes of food to families that needed help. More than half of those recipients were non-English speaking. We did not ask them if they were legal immigrants or illegal aliens. Since then I have personally taken more than one food box to people in this community without asking their immigration status. There is a huge difference between helping those in need in Beaver, Oklahoma and standing on the banks of the Rio Grande River with a box of free food, waving those who are swimming the river to make it to shore so I can shake their hand. Unlike the liberals, this I will not do.

I encourage immigration to this country. I welcome immigration to this country. I will even help immigrants to come to this country, provided they do so in accordance with the law, by the books, legally. This is a nation based on laws and adherence to those laws. The bottom line is that people who choose to come to this country illegally are lawbreakers and should not be treated any different than we treat any others who break the law.

Until next week, may the good Lord find you riding on His trail.

Brother Jim

 

1-31-19

Dear Friends,
Oklahoma Senator, Joseph Silk has authored SB 13 (Oklahoma Abolition of Abortion Act) http://webserver1.lsb.state.ok.us/cf_pdf/2019-20%20INT/SB/SB13%20INT.PDF
http://webserver1.lsb.state.ok.us/cf_pdf/2019-20%20INT/SB/SB13%20INT.PDF
SB 13, if passed will criminalize abortion as murder, ending Oklahoma's Holocaust which ends the lives of 5000 innocent unborn children annually.
I encourage you to attend the rally in support of SB 13 at the capitol, February 12th beginning at 10am. We will hear from speakers as well has lobby senators to support SB 13. This will be one of the most vital events you will ever attend. With your help Oklahoma will be on it's way to being the first Sanctuary State for the unborn.
There is no charge to attend the rally and help but you can register at
https://freethestates.org/register-aaok-2019/
https://freethestates.org/register-aaok-2019/

if you wish, to help with the cause and pick up some shirts and literature.
With God's help and you, we can bring an end to Oklahoma's Holocaust in 2019.
Hope to see you there!
Rescue those being led away to death;
hold back those staggering toward slaughter.
If you say, ďBut we knew nothing about this,Ē
does not he who weighs the heart perceive it?
Does not he who guards your life know it?
Will he not repay everyone according to what they have done? Proverbs 24:11-12
For Life,
Kenny Bob Tapp
Boise City

Editor,

I have thought long and hard about the article Rev. Jim Reeves submitted to the Herald-Democrat a couple weeks ago. In Reverend Reevesí article, he made a recommendation to President Trump regarding how to "deal with" the immigrants on our southern border, as well as, harsh treatment of the Democratic leadership.

However, I will point out that he not only called out for violence against immigrants that he described as "undesirable illegal aliens" but also called democrats hypocrites five times and recommended they be arrested for treason! I know I am only one of a few democrats who live in Beaver County, and I have kept respectfully quiet when I hear people denigrate democrats with no thought that I might be one. But, in this instance, I have to stand up and say, "I do not agree, Rev. Reeves!"

As a self-reported man of God, how can you promote violence on people who are fleeing from poverty and injustice in their own country? Were not Jesusí ancestors immigrants out of Egypt? Were your ancestors not immigrants to America at some point in history? Do you think they were filled with fear about how they would be received and treated in a new country? Why do you live in fear of them? The reason you gave in the article stated they were coming to destroy us. I guess I would fear them too if I had believed that. We are a country of immigrants, people have been coming to America from other countries since our inception. We stand for freedom and a letter life. You want to deny them what you and your ancestors came here for? Not only deny them, but kill them?

Which leads me to my second point of your vehemently judging democrats as treasonous hypocrites. I believe it is biblical to paraphrase, "Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." In addition, as a professed pastor, you are held to a high standard. Put simply, would you pass the "what would Jesus say" test?

Respectfully submitted,

Janell Pirtle

Forgan, OK

By Rev. Jim Reeves

First of all, let me say that I feel for those government workers who have been furloughed during this latest government shutdown. I truly pray that your situation will be rectified and that you will soon be back to work. I hope that you will be able to sustain yourselves through these times.

Now, having said that, I want to point out that most of us have not noticed any change in the way things go, in spite of the fact that the government has been shut down. My Social Security check (even in its pitifully small amount) has continued to be deposited, the mail has continued to run, airplanes have not been falling out of the sky, and terrorists have not chosen to take advantage of the situation to invade our country. Schools have continued to operate, babies have continued to be born, people have continued to die and the nightly news continues to report all the bad things that are happening in our world. In other words, our daily lives have continued to go on in spite of the fact that the imbeciles in Washington canít even agree on whether it is night or day, much less on whether we need a wall or not.

What does this say about our government? I think it says a number of things. Number one, it says that our government is grossly overbloated. It is way too big. If we can lay off this many government workers and not many people even notice it, that tells me that the government is far bigger than it needs to be. Maybe President Trump needs to help all those laid-off workers to find jobs in other sectors and just leave the government shut-down.

Secondly it tells me that whether or not the government is working really doesnít affect the life of the average American all that much. We continue to live our lives pretty much as normal in spite of the government. Maybe we just need to do away with it altogether.

Third, I would point out that the government shut down really doesnít affect those members of Congress and others in Swamp City. The Senators and congresspeople continue to get paid, in spite of the shut-down. They continue to get free medical care in their own private hospital. They still get to fly around the country at our expense. Their corrupt spending continues unabated by any shutdown. Maybe, if they had to suffer the same way that laid-off workers are having to suffer, they would get off of their dead brain cells and solve this problem.

Last, but not least, you can rest assured that the IRS will continue to collect our taxes.

Until next week, may the good Lord find you riding on His trail.

Brother Jim

 

1-17-19

By Rev. Jim Reeves

I read this morning where, in light of the looming continuation of the government shutdown, President Trump is considering declaring a state of emergency in America. I have a much better idea Mr. President. Declare war on Mexico. Put military forces on war status, man the borders and use any and all force needed to repel the immigrants. Then arrest all of the Democrats in the House and the Senate and charge them with treason and high crimes against the government. Clear the whole bunch out!

Why so drastic a measure? Friends, letís face it: we are at war! As much of a war as the Vietnam War, the Korean War, WWII, WWI and all the other wars we have been involved in. The illegal aliens trying to get into this country are trying to invade our country with the same intentions as the German Nazis and the Japanese did in the second World War. They are seeking to destroy our way of life, our economic system, our moral standards, our religious beliefs, the whole nine yards. Their intent is just as serious threat to this country as the intent of all the enemies who have ever attacked this country.

The sad thing is that the Democrats are not only aiding this invasion, they are encouraging it! They are bent on turning our entire nation into the same cesspool as California is.

I find it interesting that Nancy Pelosi lives in a multi-million dollar home in California and guess what she has around her house? A wall! Thatís right folks, she has a high wall surrounding her house because she doesnít want undesirable people invading her space, yet she attacks President Trump for wanting to build a wall to keep undesirable people from invading America! Come on! How hypocritical can you get?

President Clinton and Hillary and President Obama and Michelle have all built a wall around their homes to keep out undesirables, but they want to attack President Trump and the Republicans for wanting to do the same thing. Not only that, but guess who paid for those walls to be built around the Clintonís home and the Obamaís home? We did, you and I, the American taxpayer! If that isnít being hypocritical, I donít know what is.

So, Mr. President, letís just declare war on Mexico and the illegal aliens trying to cross our borders. I mean, letís go after them just the same way we did the Germans and the Japanese in WWII! And arrest those who want to practice hypocrisy. Shut the government down and leave it down.

While Iím at it, I find it rather hypocritical that the Democrats want to tell us that they want to lower the unemployment rate in America, but because of their resistance to stopping this governmental shut-down, they are directly responsible for the unemployment of over 800,000 government and auxillary workers. How hypocritical can you get?

Letís wake up people. We are at war and you donít win wars by giving ground!

Until next week, may the good Lord find you riding on His trail.

Brother Jim

 

1-10-19

By Rev. Jim Reeves

It has been said that the definition of stupidity is "doing the same old thing in the same old way and expecting different results." If that definition is true, then we, the American voters, must be the dumbest creatures on the planet. Why do I say this? Because we have been doing the same old thing in the same old way since the Second World War and expecting different results.

We all are pretty much in agreement that our government is in a mess. This recent shut-down only goes to prove that. It is inefficient, morally corrupt and outstandingly over bloated. Ronald Reagan was probably our last good president and the Congress hasnít fared a whole lot better.

Yet, what do we do? We continue voting the Republicans in for awhile and then the Democrats. We know that we have major problems, we know they need to be addressed and fixed, yet we keep voting in one of two parties that havenít been able to fix the problem in almost eighty years! In fact, they have made the problems worst! So why do we do it? Why do we keep voting for professional politicians who are so interested in lining their own pockets and advancing their own welfare that they totally forget the reason they were elected in the first place! Our elected officials, all of them, are elected for the sole purpose of representing the constituents back home. They are supposed to protect our best interests, yet they are so interested in their own interests that they canít see the interests of the public.

Our society is going down the toilet because our governmental leadership is already in the toilet! They spend more time bashing each other, one party against the other, that our general population thinks that this kind of behavior is acceptable. A recent news video showed a Hispanic one snatching a "make America great again" cap off of a young manís head and refusing to give it back to him. When the young man told her it was his right to wear the hat, she told him it was genocide and what he could do with his right. The issue escalated and finally, in desperation, the young man told her it was the law that she had to return his property and she promptly told him what he could do with the law, that she didnít have to obey the law! Turns out this woman was an illegal alien. The members of Congress have spent so much time bashing each other and ignoring the fundamental laws of the land that this woman believed that the law and the young manís right to free speech didnít matter!

We know we have a major problem with immigration, yet the two parties are so busy criticizing each other that you could sneak an entire continent into this country and the government would never know it. The Democrats want to bash the president and the Republicans for trying to do something, yet they did nothing for eight long years under Obama! I was always taught that if you thought you could do something better then prove it. Neither party has been able to prove that it has a better plan for running this country for almost a century.

It is time for the common voter to wise up. If neither party is doing what itís supposed to, then itís time to get rid of the whole bunch. Some people seem to be worried about the governmental shutdown. I say let it close down permanently. Letís scrap the whole thing and start over!

Until next week, may the good Lord find you riding on His trail.

Brother Jim

 

1-3-19

There are two things that you can always talk about around the table at the local coffee shopóthe weather and politics. I would rather talk about the weather because nothing about politics makes any sense at all.

For example, take the president. I have never seen so much bashing of a president in my life! It seems that no matter what President Trump does, it isnít right. One could expect the Democrats to constantly be on his case. After all, thatís the only good thing the Democrats are good at. However, the Republicans seem to be bashing the president just as badly.

I have said it before and Iíll say it again. People expect the president to fix all the ills of our country. Iím not even sure that Christ Jesus himself could do that. The simple fact is that the president doesnít have as much power as everybody seems to think he does. He canít raise or lower your taxes. He canít set the spending budget for the government. He canít ratify treaties. He cannot declare war. About all he can really do is to suggest and to exert pressure on Congress. If you really want to be unhappy with anyone in our government, be unhappy with the horsesí rears that we have in the Senate and the House of Representatives and I mean from both parties.

There, Iíve done the obligatory talking about politics. So, letís talk about the weather for a moment. My wife and I both have these "smart phones". Hers gets the weather from one place and mine gets it from somewhere else. Every morning, we check both these so-called "smart phones" and every morning we discover that they give us two totally different forecasts. Sometimes the forecasts are so different as to be comical. For example, we woke up this morning and first thing, checked our weather forecasts. One had that our high temperature was going to be 71 and that we had a 40% chance of rain.

The other said that our high was going to be 52 and that we had a 10% chance of moisture. How can the two weather forecasts ( both of which come from the National Weather Service) be that much different?

Well, guess what? Neither one of them was right! We did get a little moisture (about three drops of rain in three minutes), but certainly not enough to say grace over and the temperature never got out of the 40s.

I have always found it amazing that weather forecasters are the only people I know of that can be wrong 90% of the time and still keep their jobs. If weather people got paid according to their accuracy in their forecasts, we wouldnít have any weather forecasters. Weíd have a whole of street people holding up signs on the street corner that would read, "Will tell your forecast for food" or "Missed my last forecast. Need help getting out of town."

In the movie "Good Morning, Vietnam", there is a line where one of the soldiers is asked to give a weather report over the radio. His reply was, "You got a window? Open it, fool, and see for yourself. Itís hot and wet." To me, thatís the best weather advice possible. Just go outside and see what the weather is doing. You may not know what itís going to be doing for the rest of the day, but in the Oklahoma panhandle, you or nobody else knows that, because the old adage in this part of the world is, "If you donít like the weather, just wait five minutes and it will change." In a conversation with someone the other day who was obviously a Yankee, I made the statement that we, in the panhandle, live 360 days a year, just so we can experience 5 days a year without wind. The guy thought that I was just being windy. Shows how much Yankees know.

Until next week, may the good Lord find you riding on His trail.

Brother Jim

 

12-27-18

By Rev. Jim Reeves

This weekís column will be a short one, as the computer is choosing this season to act up. I have been thinking the past few weeks, as I do every year, about the meaning of Christmas. Yes, it is about the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. However, it is about much more than that.

When you read the stories surrounding the birth of the infant Jesus, you see the intertwining stories of many people. You see the stories of Mary, Joseph, the wise men, the shepherds and others. You see the story of two angels, the one who visited Mary to inform her about the pregnancy, but you also see the story of the angel that visited Joseph and assured him that it was okay to go forward with the marriage.

But you also see the story of another angel, and that angel is Jesus. No, we donít think of Jesus as an angel. After all, we call him the Son of God. But in a way, Jesus was an angel. How many times have you seen a new-born child and said, "oh, what an angel!" Just as the angels were sent to bring a message to Mary and to Joseph, just as the "herald" angels were sent to the shepherds to proclaim the glory of God, Jesus was sent to us to bring a message. In fact, to bring two basic messages: love the Lord your God with all your being and love your neighbor as yourself. He was sent to "herald" or proclaim the message found in those two commandments.

As Christmas is followed so closely by the coming of a new year, this season is not just about receiving and sharing the message of Jesus. It is also about the idea of being renewed, revived and readied for new and exciting things.

It seems that this year, we are focused too much on the things that divide us. Hatred, distrust, uneasiness, bigotry, all seem to be pervasive. But they donít have to be. If we focus on the message, the true message of this whole season of Christmas and New Yearís, we can focus on the love, grace, mercy and forgiveness of a little infant child that was and is a gift to all of us and upon the renewing call that that gift sends to us to focus on what brings us together instead of what separates us.

As we come to the close of one year and the promise of another, from my family to yours: Merry Christmas and may you have the best of a New Year.,

Until next week, may the good Lord find you riding on His trail.

Brother Jim

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12-20-18

By Rev. Jim Reeves

There is an old Chinese proverb that says, "Never tell a man that he canít accomplish something when he is in the middle of accomplishing it." Over the past several weeks, I have had numerous people, some even from the church community, tell me that we couldnít accomplish putting together 1000 of the "blessing bags" to deliver to the homeless folks in Amarillo, Oklahoma City and Wichita.

It is with a great sense of accomplishment, that by the grace of God, along with a lot of faith, this past Saturday, we not only achieved our goal of 1000 bags, we actually exceeded that goal by ten.

We took a trailer, packed full with 600 plus bags to Oklahoma City. While there, we discovered that many other groups have started similar projects primarily because of seeing our efforts over the past few years. We have another 350 bags which are going down to a particular shelter this week. This shelter feeds that many homeless people every day.

We have already delivered 150 of these bags to the homeless in Amarillo. If your math is any good at all, you can see that we are going to go over 1000 bags by the time this is through because we are also going to be taking bags to Wichita to the homeless shelter there.

We have had the occasion to give bags to transient, homeless people passing through Beaver. We will be putting together several of these bags to be kept at the local food bank for our own people in Beaver County as well as people passing through who need help. In other words, this project has grown enormously over the past few years and it is continuing to grow.

I want to take this opportunity to thank many people who helped with this project. While it is true that my wife and I poured a great deal of our personal money into this effort, it is equally true that many other people helped out to varying degrees. Our collection box at Downingís has been great for getting the word out in our community, and to all the people who put items in that box, we say, "Thank you."

To the various civic groups that have helped out, we say a big "Thank you." I have been surprised and touched by rank strangers who have seen us buying a hundred or so blankets in Wal-Mart who have slipped a $10 or $20 bill into the check-out ladyís hand and said, "Put this toward their bill." Once people have found out what our project is doing, especially with veterans, we have had a lot of encouragement and fortunately, support. I have had people say to me, "Wait a minute and Iíll run back and get you 5 more blankets or socks or gloves or whatever." We have had cans of vienna sausages show up on the step of the church during the night.

I especially want to say, "Thank you", to Downingís market here in Beaver. They have been gracious to order large supplies of vienna sausages, fruit pies, chips, crackers, and other non-perishable food items and to give those items to us at the best price possible. To Craig and all the staff at Downingís, a heartfelt "Thank you.". You have had a part in touching the lives of 1000 people who probably will never get to meet you personally, but they are appreciative, too. I encourage Beaver residents to shop locally at all our businesses, but especially at Downingís. I encourage you to buy an extra can of vienna sausages, a fruit pie or any other non-perishable food item and put it in our donation box in the foyer at the store. Weíre already making plans for next yearís effort.

Finally, thank you, God. You gave us the vision to see a need, the courage to think outside the box of normal ministry, the faith to believe in ourselves and you, and the warm feeling of doing your work. Itís all about you.

Until next week, may the good Lord find you riding on His trail.

Brother Jim

 

12-13-18

By Rev. Jim Reeves

This week, I read in the newspaper that Amarillo was finally going to do something to try and help the homeless folks in that city. They are going to try and establish a voucher program that will get some of the worst cases (families, the most ill, etc.) into some kind of housing. After all, there are hundreds of empty and abandoned houses in Amarillo, as there are in Oklahoma City and other cities and towns, including Beaver.

After all, a totally empty house deteriorates faster and becomes an eyesore in the neighborhoods. Thereís no reason why there shouldnít be some program or some way to get at least some of the homeless people in out of the cold.

In sharing this story with some folks here in our community, I heard the comment that I so often hear, "Well, why should we worry about it? We donít have any homeless people here. That doesnít affect our community."

Oh, contrary to your belief, we do and it does. Just this past week, we had a homeless individual right here in Beaver. In fact, we have more than one, if the truth be known. While this individual was not on our community for long, the fact is that he would have been relegated to sleeping on the sidewalk or in one of our parks had not the ministerial alliance intervened to care for him.

Because this individual had two dogs, none of the motels would allow us to rent a room for this individual, so we were forced to rent the little bunkhouse out at the dunes. It has no indoor plumbing facilities, it was one of the colder nights of last week, and the individual certainly had no food to eat. It only has some bunks, but at least he was out of the wind.

We gave him one of the "blessing bags" from the Share The Warmth project that I have been writing about for some time, and you would have thought he had hit the lottery. He started pulling the stuff out of the bag and when he came to the blanket, it was like he was about to cry. He commented that no one or no agency had ever given him a blanket. In addition, he had a stocking cap, a pair of cotton gloves, a pair of socks, cans of vienna sausages, crackers, and other food items to help him later on. He was fed a meal.

The homeless folks are not a problem that exists "somewhere else and we donít have to worry about it." The homeless folks are human beings: men, women and often, even children. They donít exist just in the big cities; you find them in the rural areas, too. This individual moved on the next day, but he just as easily could have wound up sleeping on your sidewalks or in your parks. When are we going to realize that, just because we live way out in the panhandle, that we are not isolated from the rest of the world.

The Share the Warmth project is intended to help those individuals less fortunate than ourselves. We still have a ways to go to reach the 1,000 bags that we hope to put together. By taking these bags to Oklahoma City, maybe we can help them to find some relief from the winter and perhaps they wonít have to travel through the little towns trying to find some place.

The donation box is still at Downingís and any help that can be given is greatly appreciated.

Until next week, may the good Lord find you riding on His trail.

Brother Jim

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12-6-18

By Rev. Jim Reeves

Today, our nation is mourning the loss of a former president, a Godly man, a great patriot and veteran, and quite possibly, one of the last great statesmen of our time. There was a heart-wrenching picture posted this morning of President George H.W. Bushís service dog guarding the casket of his former master. The caption read, "Mission Completed." Yes, Mr. President, your mission and the mission of your service dog are completed. May you rest in peace.

The most memorable quote from George H.W. Bush that has stuck with me came from his "a thousand points of light" speech, where he challenged all of us to bring a light into the world of darkness. We were and continue to be challenged by his words and by his character to make a difference in our world. Sadly, the world in which those words were spoken has grown worse since then.

The "Share the Warmth" project that I have been working on since October is my effort to be one of those "points of light" in this world. There are those who are being critical of the effort. Sadly, some of those who are being critical are people who go to church and call themselves "Christians". They say itís a waste of time to try and do something for "those people". It saddens me to hear people using that term as if the homeless are something less than human. I want so bad to remind them of the phrase "there but by the grace of God go I." The majority of us are merely a paycheck or two away from being in the same boat as the people who have to sleep on sidewalks and in alleys and storefront doorways. How would we feel if we suddenly became "one of those people" and heard the supposedly good-hearted talking about us?

President George H. W. Bush was the essence of a man who didnít just "talk the talk". He "walked the walk". His challenge to us to be a part of the "thousand points of light" was a challenge which he, himself, rose to. Born into a wealthy, New England family, schooled in the Ivy League tradition, he was a man who chose to give his life to service. First, as a pilot in World War II, and then later in public office.

People in public office learn quickly what most ministers learn. No matter how you try to do the right thing, thereís always going to be those who criticize everything you do. The ones who are out want to blame everything on the ones who are in. Yet, so often, the ones who criticize the loudest are the very ones who donít vote, donít volunteer, wouldnít serve no matter what and expect something for nothing.

Great statesmen like George H. W. Bush learn quickly to do what you feel you are called to do and let the criticism roll off like water. My favorite expression is "lead, follow or get out of my way." Those who want to criticize the loudest are seldom around to do the work when it gets the hottest. So be it.

Pastors, politicians and others who commit to a life of service must set their vision higher than the vision of the world or nothing ever gets accomplished, nothing ever changes. Like Robert Kennedy, I choose to see the world, not as it is, but as it can be. My vision is of a world where someday there will be no homeless people, no matter where they live. Maybe that day will only come in Heaven, but until then I choose to try and bring a little bit of Heaven to this life. My light may not be much, but I would rather be a part of the "thousand points of life", trying to illuminate the darkness, than to live in darkness, hoping for a little light. And President Bush, I would be honored to be a part of your effort to change the world.

Until next week, may the good Lord find you riding on His trail.

Brother Jim

 

11-29-18

By Rev. Jim Reeves

What a marvelous Community Thanksgiving dinner we had this last week. The 15th annual event turned out to be the biggest and best so far. It is estimated that we may have exceeded our expectation of 500 meals served. There were many who didnít sign in, many to-go boxes taken to local folks, the workers who ate and the to-go boxes we sent to the homeless in Amarillo. This year, we sent 150 boxes to Amarillo plus 150 "blessing bags". Each bag contained a pair of gloves, a pair of socks, a blanket, a stocking cap and several non-perishable, ready to eat food items. Needless to say, they were much appreciated.

So many of our homeless people are mentally or physically disabled and over 50 % of them are veterans. Yes, some have gotten hooked on alcohol or drugs, but that is not the issue. They are homeless and need our help. I am so proud of the little community with such a big heartóBeaver, Oklahoma!

I want to share with you a heartbreaking story which came out of our effort to help the homeless in Amarillo. Toward the end of the day, a family of 4 was found living in an alley in downtown Amarillo. They are living in a small utility building about 4 ft by 6 ft, a man, woman and two children. The only meals the children get are the free breakfast and lunch meals at school, so they are missing 7 meals a week counting weekends and evenings.

We are currently working with this family and officials in Amarillo to find an apartment or small house for them to live in.

We are also trying to put together 1000 of the "blessing bags" to go to Oklahoma City which has more than 5,000 street people. Our target date to get these bags down there is Friday, December 14th. Right now, we have about 150 bags ready to go. As you can imagine, this is a gigantic effort and we can use all the help we can get.

The food items, including the small bags of peanuts, saltine crackers, small cans of Vienna sausages, fruit pies, mixed fruit cups, snack packs of chips, granola bars and other items can all be purchased right here in our local food stores. The cotton gloves can be purchased at Downings. A large collection box is sitting outside the fellowship hall of the Presbyterian church and you can place donated items there.

Monetary donations can be mailed to "Share The Warmth", Box 1311, Beaver, Oklahoma 73932.

It is efforts such as this, the childrenís boxes, the food baskets and others that remind us that we so often lose sight of what the church really is. We need always to remind ourselves that our churches are not buildings. Our churches are the hearts of people who are moving in the lives of those less fortunate every day of the year. Jesus never intended for the church to be a building. He doesnít worry about the color of the carpet, the paintings on the wall, the siding or even the roof. The church He envisioned was a body of people making a difference in the lives of the sick, the hungry, those without clothing, the widows, the orphans, the imprisoned and all others who need to know the love of God.

You and I, we are the church, not just in Beaver, Oklahoma, but to our neighbors. Our neighbors are not just those on our local block or even in our community. Our neighbors are all those who need our help no matter where they might be. May God bless each one of you as you strive to be the church in this season.

Until next week, may the good Lord find you riding on His trail.

Brother Jim

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

           

      

               

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For Hunting information go to


http://www.wildlifedepartment.com
 

Weather Service web sites at:
http://www.srh.noaa.gov/ama/    http://www.crh.noaa.gov/ddc/    Mesonet

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Pictured above is the tornado that hit the Woodbury home. Vance and Barbara Woodbury both died from injuries when the struck their home about 1/2 mile from this location near the Northern Natural Gas plant east of Elmwood. The tornado hit their home Wednesday evening, March 29, 2007 . Photo courtesy Beaver County Sheriff's office.

 

 

 Above is a photo of the USS Mullinnix DD-944 which was used as a sink test back in the 1990's. The United States was testing new weapons. The ship was used during the Vietnam war but later decommissioned in the 1980's. The editor and publisher was stationed on the ship from 1963 until 1965.

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