Monday, July 30, 2007
It has been a busy (and tiring) two weeks.
On Monday, July 16, I traveled to Newark, Ohio, to Brother Tony Bartlett's congregation – the Licking County Church of God, for their annual campmeeting.
I had a pleasant time and enjoyed the fellowship and services.
The sermons seemed especially clear and strong this year.
It was good to see my Army buddies – Tony and Danny Bartlett, Walt Williams, and Abraham Jeeter – whom I met in Korea.
This was also the time and place that we learned of the Church of God.
I traveled back to Alabama on Friday, July 20th.
My Saturday run was limited to two miles because of my fatigue from all the travel the previous day.
It was a useful session but I cannot say it was fun.
But it is good to be running again.
The curve ball came Monday at work, where I was assigned to a project on Redstone Arsenal.
This involved setting up tents, carrying equipment, and basically playing Army like I did forty-one years ago.
The temperature each day has been around ninety degrees.
I am not the man I was then.
I went home each afternoon exhausted.
Thus, the run this past Saturday was again limited to 2.3 miles.
I was clearly tired, but I was visited by a biological problem that I work diligently to avoid.
This morning I failed.
The distress this caused only added to the distress of the session.
Like I have said many times, it is good to be running again, but the practice has its hazards and problems.
This is one of them.
And this Saturday was a very special day in that I was to travel to Knoxville, Tennessee to attend the marriage of Jill Allison and David Parker.
I did not want to miss this very special event.
So after the run, and my usual shopping trip, I drove to Knoxville.
I have known David since he was about one year old.
He is a dear brother and I have always enjoyed his company and fellowship.
He is now about forty or so and has never been married.
I have prayed for years that his patience and faithfulness would be rewarded; and so they have.
I do not know Sister Jill as well as I do David.
What little I have been around her she has seemed a sweet, kind person with a hint of fun hiding beneath her quiet exterior.
She was married to Jimmy Allison – one of the most intimidatingly spiritual and talented young men I have ever known.
He was big, handsome, and an awesome singer.
I always admired him from a distance.
I felt that if I were to stand too close to him, the obvious differences and inequalities between he and me would be too apparent, so I kept my distance.
I just assumed that he was a “good” daddy and husband also.
What little I saw his interactions with his family seemed to support that impression.
Tragically, Brother Jimmy died a couple of years ago (three or four years now?) of cancer (I think).
For sister Jill and her three children, I cannot imagine the shock, pain, and loss this circumstance must have caused.
I was shocked.
I have never been able to express my sympathy to sister Jill and the children for their loss.
I certainly did not want to spoil a happy event like her wedding to David by bringing up her sad past.
But my heart went out to her back then and my prayer is that she will find comfort and happiness with David.
So, a couple of hours Saturday were spent greeting old friends and saints that I have not seen in several years, and meeting/observing a new generation of children whom I know not.
Then, because of local church responsibilities, I had to jump in my car and drive back to Huntsville that evening.
I made it all the way from Huntsville to Knoxville to Huntsville on one tank of gas.
430 miles round trip.
Actually, I stopped for gas about one mile from my house because my tank was so low.
I get really nervous when my needle gets close to “E”.
More wedding pictures to follow....