Sunday, July 29, 2012

Go figure

While I'm on the subject of Sunday worship, something has troubled me the last few weeks.

It's the news out of the hills of West Virginia that a pentacostal holiness preacher died from a rattlesnake bite.

Seems Pastor Mack Wolford, 44, was handling the snake during a May 27 church service when the creature bit him on the thigh.

Pastor Wolford was a true believer in the Word of God, and he took seriously what Jesus said--as recorded in the Book of Mark in the New Testament:

"They shall take up serpents; and if they drink of any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them."

Wolford, like other snake-handling preachers, asserted that Christians should handle poisonous snakes as a test of their belief in God. Snake handling is thus a testimony of their faith in the Almighty.

Guess the snake had not read the Bible.

Another thing: Pastor Wolford died the same way as his dad did. He definitely knew the risk, but held the serpent anyway. He recalled in an interview with a Washington journalist, for example, that his father lived 10 and one-half hours after being bitten: "And when he got bit, he said he wanted to die in the church. Three hours after he was bitten his kidneys shut down. After a while, your heart stops."

Horrible way to check out, I'd say.

Handling a rattlesnake as a testimony of your faith?

Sorry but I don't buy it. Seems more like a testimony of your stupidity.

God never meant for us to put our lives in jeopardy.

Stay away from rattlesnakes!


It's Sunday, a day or rest and reflection and worship. I went to church this morning, and heard a good sermon from Pastor Mike Lowery of Impact Community Church in Rock Hill.

He spoke of the correct way to be a parent--always a challenge. I came away from his message with this: We never quite finish being a parent. We raise our kids and they come back to us or move back in. And even if they don't move back in, they always need us--even till our 80s or 90s. They look to us for wisdom, guidance and support--always.

And we always need kids or to be around kids. They help keep us young and unselfish.

Never thought of it that way, but seems very much on target. Thanks, Mike.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Jazzy stuff at Snucks grocery store in St. Louis

Hey there.

Been awhile since the old guy posted, but I've just returned from a trip to St. Louis, Mo., where I visited by oldest daughter and her family.

Definitely a memorable time in the Midwest, what with the 107-degree temperatures on three or four straight days, and keeping up with my two granddaughters. One is 15 months old, and I call her "Rolley Polley." The other is two-and-a-half years old. She's my "Rang Tang."

Well, we stayed busy the entire time, and the old guy had a grand time with Rolley Polley and Rang Tang.

We read.

We played with toys.

We swam.

We rollicked in the swings.

We played under a big fountain in a park.

We bottle-fed goats.

We road trains and trams and saw exotic animals from Africa and the islands off the coast of South America. (The biggest turtle I've ever seen poked along and posed for our cameras.)

We sang and we danced.

We bounced around, here and there, throughout St. Louis, and I learned how to fasten and unfasten both of them, in fairly quick order, in their car seats. (No easy thing in such torrid heat!)

We ate like kings and queens throughout my stay. (Daughter knows how to cook.)

Rolley Polley and Rang Tang got their food all over the place--in their hair, all over themselves and any furniture or floor within range.

When they napped, we napped. (The only time you get rest when you have such live wires in the house! Daughter says having a 2-year-old is like having a blender without a lid.)

One highlight of my stay was a visit to Schnucks grocery store. Well, we're sitting there in the dining area devouring our food, and I hear this soft, smoothe jazz. It seemed to be coming from the produce section, about 40 feet from our table.

And there they were, a three-person band making music next to the cantelopes. This is something you don't see in a grocery store in South Carolina. But in laid-back

Missouri, folks do their shopping at Schnucks and get entertained.

Below is a clip of the bongo player in that band. Take it away, produce rhythm master!