Yankee-land

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My eyebrows furrowed as we entered Pennsylvania and took in the expanse of her rolling hills, farmlands and forests. Puzzled, I wondered, Where are the sky-scrapers? Upstate New York was more bewildering. Any Oklahoman knew that most Yankee states were blanketed throughout by asphalt and concrete. Our ever-expanding world as we motored northward from South Texas, alerted me repeatedly to…

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Recall

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Of things I prized in my Bible college years, nothing matched the volume of raw text Mr. J. Andrew Freeborn had us ingest. Coaxing everyone to scripture memorization. Unforgettable. The Romans course found every student rehearsing countless times Chapters Eight and Twelve. Their combined verses came to sixty. While for some sixty verses could seem a modest number, for youth…

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Remember The Alamo (City)

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A springtime San Antonio breeze caressed IBC’s Hallelujah Hill as I strolled about her dome. I would savor some memories these parting moments, taking in a view of which I never tired. A myriad twinkling city lights stretched to the southeast below. My reflective mood wakened images – faces, scenes – of our recent years, Ann’s and mine. We would…

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Black Heart

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“SO, this is the man with the black heart!” It was my first time receiving such a greeting – from anyone – much less a distinguished organizational head. Wednesday chapel ended, the guest speaker had found his way from the platform to the early row of students gathering up their textbooks. Stepping before me he had seized my shoulders and…

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Coincidence

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“Yes, this is Art Dodzweit, can I help you?” Thus began for Ann and me our decades-long adventure among an intriguing breed of people called missionaries. But it really started in a Church History class. “Students”, Reverend Jensen, portly and congenial, rolled out our assignment in steady, methodical tones. “On each of your desks you see a list of names…

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Shiftings

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Shifting direction requires more time and space for some. The Willis Brothers made popular a truck-driver song, Give me Forty Acres and I’ll turn this Rig Around. For others, like Leonard Coote, redirection happens in an instant – a one-eighty. Tweakings, adjustments come as life moves forward. Still, the word radical characterizes Leonard’s shift. Peace displaced the turmoil of past…

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A Stilled Mind

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The prophet’s words broke over him like a great wave deluging a child at play on a calm beach – sudden and unforeseen. Overwhelming. One moment all is serene. . . all is chaos the next. Tears surfaced from a bottled place deep within Leonard, like a long-capped reservoir straining for release. The emotion driving the tears was anguish –…

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Undone

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“Splendid dining”, Leonard smiled to the missionary wife. “I’m a lucky chap, finding this home for my lodging.” He nodded gratefully to the family. “I shall now get on with some things”, he offered, and stepped from the room. Entering his own room he rolled his head slowly about and gave his body a long stretch. Moving the few steps…

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Insistent

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The ambitious Brit puzzled his dilemma. “If I’m to make my case that the book this naïve teacher calls holy is simply no more than a collection of fables chock-full of contradictions, I suppose I must fetch a copy for myself.” He mulled the idea. “By Jove, I shall”. The San Antonio College I was drawn to came with a…

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Defining moments

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Non-sectarian. I liked my childhood church, whose wooden benches supplied on their underside, a landing place for my thoroughly-spent chewing gum. Before entering I studied the odd word on the church’s sign-board. I practiced sounded it out well before I knew its meaning – Non-sec-tar-i-an. It was a bold word – a statement declaring our religious identity – holding a…

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