Who is this Guy

Who is this Guy?

Many who knew him as a youngster would likely have called him a ‘shooting star’, he was quick to learn, matured early, and sought by the best teachers as a student for their class.

By the time he reached thirty he was made a member of his countries Supreme Court. He was determined, opinionated, even head strong. Everyone who knew him knew where he stood, and he was firm in his beliefs.

Then one day he just vanished, he didn’t appear in court, it was as if he had dropped off of the edge of the earth. When you asked his family they said, ‘He is gone.’ Nothing more.

He began to travel in a string group, some said he was a hippie, others a Jesus freak, he was different, and he even changed his name.

He spoke a lot, traveled more and then he began to write, and write he did. He was a better writer than speaker and this was certainly his calling.

One day some of his old school mates saw a crowd of people gather and they heard a very familiar voice coming from the speaker. One of them said to the other, ‘That sounds a lot like our old school mate Saul.” The other answered, ‘Man it sure does, listen that sounds just like him.’ Then one said, ‘But that tall fellow at the side there called him, Paul, in fact they all just called him Paul.’ Just Paul.

 

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Published in: on July 9, 2018 at 10:37 pm  Leave a Comment  

America – Hope of the Word

America- Hope of The World

  • I stood on Sunday and looked across the green fields coved with the white markers of our fallen military. Our Tennessee Veteran’s cemetaries for those from Tennessee are beautiful. I remembered standing in the American Cemetery at Normandy and seeing the 10.000 crosses of those left in France. Most of you have seen the more than 250.000 markers of Arlington in our Nation’s Capital. In all more than one million and one hundred thousand have paid their all for the freedom we now know.
  • I remember what George Washington had spoken in those early days of our nation:
  • “It is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, and humbly implore His protection and favor.”
  • Thanksgiving 1789 “We beseech God to pardon our National transgressions.”
  • We stand today as a necked nation, our churches half full our moral codes like old leaves floating in gutters, we need to return.
  • We can say the pledge, sing the songs but until we live His will, NOTHING will get better.
Published in: on July 3, 2018 at 3:40 pm  Leave a Comment  

Do you have a coat hanger?

Do You Have A Coat Hanger?

The judge called and asked if there was any way that the children’s home could find room that day for a family of three girls and two boys. He explained that due to matters he could not control they would be homeless. If he placed them in state custody they could not assure him that the family could be kept together and he strongly believed that in this case it was important to all of them to remain in contact. I assured him that we would make it happen and went with one of our social workers to the office of a pastor where he had arranged for the children to be kept on a temporary basis.

As the social worker interview each child I tried to keep the others entertained and to assure them as terrible as all of this seemed I believe that they would discover that it was not going to be as bad as their fears. I asked if they had any question they wanted to ask me and the smallest boy wanted to know if we had any coat hangers. Now I expected to be asked about TV’s, computers, ball equipment and a hundred other things but never a coat hanger. So I said, “I am not sure I understood you, can you ask that again?” Once again he asked if we had any coat hangers. I asked him why a coat hanger was important and he said, “I have always wanted a coat hanger. When I go to my friend’s house his mother takes my coat and puts it on a coat hanger and then hangs it in a special place. At my house we just throw our coats in the floor and sometimes I use mine for cover, so I would like my own coat hanger. I smiled, hugged him and said, “Son you have died and gone to coat hanger heaven for we have hundreds of coat hanger and I will be sure that you have several of your own as well as a closet to hang them in.” He smiled, rubbed back the tears and hugged my neck. Most of us have such long list of our wants and here was a small boy being taken from his home and all he asked for was a coat hanger. Little children shall lead them and this boy did exactly that, God has been so faithful to provide a ministry like The Tennessee Baptist Children’s Homes for families who reach that moment when the uphill climb is too great even for the little engine who says ‘I think I can.’ Without any tax payer money they reach out and embrace these hurting families with their loving arms and God’s great grace.

Ivan

Published in: on June 11, 2018 at 9:26 pm  Leave a Comment  

June 6, 1944

D-Day June 6, 1944

 

Seventy-four years ago today a German solider looked out from his bunker and saw the English Channel covered with more than 5,000 ships, overhead he heard the roar of more than 13,000 aircraft and in those ships and planes was more than 160,000 young men with only one purpose; to remove him and all his forces from Europe. One of those young men was my neighbor from across Lindsey Street in Jackson, Tennessee; this is his story.

Murray Evans was the oldest of the three boys in his west Tennessee farm family. It fell on him to be in charge of the animals, preparing the land, and in general do all the things that his father’s frail health would not allow him to do.

Having been born in July of 1922 he was 19 when the Sunday of December 7, 1941 plunged us into war. By September of 1942 he like many of the boys of East Jackson found himself in training to become a member of the infantry of the United States Army.

The discipline and hard work of his years as a farmer’s son made the discipline and training of the army a natural for him and he quickly rose to the attention of the army leadership.

Murray was chosen to attend officer’s candidate school and received his commission as a lieutenant in the army in time to make the invasion of North Africa. From North Africa Lieutenant Murray went to Sicily for the tragic fighting for that Island where he was wounded and returned to England for hospitalization.

He was returned to duty in time to make the invasion of Normandy as part of the first wave on June 6, 1944. Lt. Murray led his men to safety and was in the first group to move inland in France.

Six weeks later on July 25, 1944 he was critically wounded and became part of the more than 10,000 Americans whose bodies remain buried at the American Cemetery in Normandy.

I was with my father the day they came to our house looking for his parents to bring them the official news that their oldest son would never come home. I remember the blue star in their window changing to gold and the deep silence that fell on that little home on South Lindsey Street.

For the next several years I would visit with the family, sit on their porch and listen to Mr. John as he spoke of his oldest and read some of the letters he had sent from all the places where he had served to keep me free.

I didn’t know Lieutenant Murray well, I was too young to be in his circle, but I saw firsthand the pride he brought to his family and the certainty in their hearts that while he had paid the greatest price, it was a price he would gladly pay to know that his family was safe. The bible says to train up a child in the ways that he should go and he will not depart from those ways when he is old. Murray was never old, his time stopped at age twenty two but his training as a boy paid great dividends to his family and our freedom.

The sacrifice for freedom has never stopped and the more than 400,000 who paid it in the Second World War has continued to be added to by the young men and women of today who fall in a foreign land that their land might be free. Let us not forget, for their price is too great for us to waste. It is time our country returned to the days of joining hands and coming to an agreement so that once again we can stand tall and strong as America, the land of Beginning Again.

 

Published in: on June 5, 2018 at 9:46 pm  Leave a Comment  

A Broken Nation

From John’s description of Jesus in Revelations 1:14 His head and hair were white like wool, as white as new fallen snow, “A Broken Nation” https://ivanstories.wordpress.com/

A Broken Nation.

My grandfather, Arthur Raley, was about six feet tall and all the time I knew him his hair was white like snow. I asked my grandmother once why his hair was so white and she said, “Your grandfather is like Jesus, he is a really good man.”

Years later as I read this passage I realized where she got her answer and smiled that after all of those years together she still could call him a really, really good man

Yesterday I watched as person after person praised their mothers. I did the same in my message. My family had the joy of being in that age when parents were right, when they stuck it out through hard times and when in spite of all the faults and failures they still found the best in their partners.

My mother loved my dad all of those years and he returned that love. I am sure they had their moments of conflict but they never had a moment that not being together was even a question.

Remember the rhyme from your childhood, Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall, Humpty Dumpty had a great fall and all the kings’ horses and all the kings’ men could not put Humpty together again.

We have a broken nation and the pieces are scattered most of all in our families. Until we allow our Lord to put our families together again our world will remain broken, pieces that cannot be put together by all the Kings Horses and all the Kings men, only God can put together a shattered nation and it will not start in Washington, it must start in our homes.

Ivan

Published in: on May 21, 2018 at 9:19 pm  Leave a Comment  

A Boy From Lindsey Street

For the Memory of a Boy of Lindsey Street

Bill Murray was the oldest of the three boys in his west Tennessee farm family. It fell on him to be in charge of the animals, preparing the land, and in general do all the things that his father’s frail health would not allow him to do.

Having been born in July of 1922 he was 19 when the Sunday of December 7, 1941 plunged us into war. By September of 1942 he like many of the boys of East Jackson found himself in training to become a member of the infantry of the United States Army.

The discipline and hard work of his years as a farmer’s son made the discipline and training of the army a natural for him and he quickly rose to the attention of the army leadership. Bill was chosen to attend officer’s candidate school and received his commission as a lieutenant in the army in time to make the invasion of North Africa. From North Africa Lieutenant Murray went to Sicily for the tragic fighting for that Island where he was wounded and returned to England for hospitalization.

He was returned to duty in time to make the invasion of Normandy as part of the second wave on June 6, 1944. Lt. Murray led his men to safety and was in the first group to move inland in France. Six weeks later on July 25, 1944 he was critically wounded and became part of the more than 10,000 Americans whose bodies remain buried in France.

Published in: on May 17, 2018 at 7:25 am  Leave a Comment  

The Home on Lindsey Street

It was a cold November day in 1941 when we left the rental house at the corner of Hampton and Lexington to walk through the lumber yard then across McCrea Street through an unpaved seldom used alley to 246 South Lindsey Street to see our new home. It had been built as a duplex with a porch and two doors on the front and a porch running across the back with three doors opening onto that porch.  One door each for the two units and then a door leading into the common bathroom. The house rested on concert pillows about three to four feet off of the ground.  You could stand in the front yard and look under the house all the way to the back yard I was only four at the time but I still remember my dad holding mother and telling her that it would be alright. While the house was not as nice as the one we were leaving this would be our house and we would make it into a real nice home.   We stood there in the cold November wind listening as my father dreamed aloud of all the plans he had for the house and how he would fix it up for mother and someday she would come to see that it was hers and it would look like her dreams as well as his.  For the next forty-five years dad kept that promise and the house at 246 South Lindsey became home to the Raley clan. It was from that house that I would walk to Whitehall Elementary School, Jackson Junior High, Jackson High, and even my first year at Union University. It was from that house that my three sisters would leave to build houses of their own and from that house that my mother would leave on Thursday night May 5, 1977 to enter her new house build for her by Jesus.

This Sunday we observe Mother’s Day, the house at 246 South Lindsey would never have become a home if it had not been for mother. Dad did a wonderful job with the structure, but mother made that wood, brick, and furniture into a home, a real home. I hope all mothers know how very special they are and how the place they dwell is never as important as the person they are; Lindsey Street was never the same after mother left, try as hard as we all did, it was just never the same, mothers you are so very special and we are so blessed to know you, never forget the power and glory of your part in the ‘Home’. Without you it would never be the same. Ivan

Published in: on May 7, 2018 at 9:58 pm  Leave a Comment  

Grumpy Old Grandfather

Grumpy Old Grandfather

Most of you know that I have a grandson, J. R. Osborn, attending the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis where he is also a member of the football team. J. R. is a sophomore and has kicked in a few of their games this year. In fact he kicked the winning field goal in the SMU game with 11 seconds remaining.

The Grumpy problem came in the Military Bowl against the University of Virginia. J. R. kicked off several times in the second half and the ESPN Sports Casters never called his name. Each time it got me a little hotter and hotter.

When I knew something had to happen I dialed 1411 and when it asked for City and State I said, “I need to talk to someone who can help a grumpy grandfather.” After several trials the auto system gave up and put me in touch with a real person, I told her that I needed to talk to someone who could help a grumpy grandfather. She said she knew just the person and put a supervisor on the line.

She asked how she could help a grumpy grandfather and I told her about my problem, she asked where the game was being played and in two seconds I was in touch with the press box at the stadium. I explained my problem to the person who answered and he said that he was neither with nor near ESPN but would send them a note explaining the problem.

They never did call his name but about six o’clock someone from ESPN called to let me know that they were ‘so sorry and would be more aware in the future. I thanked them and begin to worry about how I was going to explain to J. R. if ESPN called the team. Then I looked in the mirror and smiled, I also slept well that night.

Published in: on January 11, 2018 at 11:36 pm  Leave a Comment  

Christmas 1944

Christmas Mindoro, Philippines 1944

It was necessary to establish airfields and supply points for the January 1945 invasion of Luzon as America reclaimed the Philippines. Mindoro was the attack point and on December 13 two days before the planned invasion the Navy invading fleet came under attack by the Japanese air force. The USS Nashville was hit by a Kamikaze plane killing 133 men and wounding another 190. She stayed in the action but the flag was removed to another ship and the Nashville returned for repairs. On the 15th the American 6th Army under Lt. General Walter Kroger made the invasion with light resistance. The Navy and Army Air Force took out 700 Japanese airplanes and so crippled the enemy that the skies belonged to American for the rest of the war.

Cpr. Meredith Cook made the invasion on that December day and found himself in the North East part of Mindoro by December 22. His platoon was sent into the jungle to round up any of the enemy still active. Cook and the others of the platoon were divided during a firefight and darkness found them lost and separated. He took cover in a drainage ditch to wait for the morning light. The next day a group of Japanese walked over his body and camped within hearing distance. Cook remained for the next two days in the thick of the jungle ditch before relief came to route the enemy. That night back with the company they sung songs of Christmas and gave thanks that all were accounted for and safe. Christmas 1944 may have been spent in a ditch on Mindoro but Christmas 1945 was shared with his family on Cherry Street in Dyersburg, Tennessee.

Cpr. Meredith Cook was my first cousin, the oldest son of my father’s sister, Oma Cook and her husband Hershel; they had two sons in the Second World War and one in Korea.

Published in: on December 21, 2017 at 4:31 pm  Leave a Comment  

Christmas 2017

Christmas 2017

It is Saturday and I should be deep in my study for the message tomorrow. But for some reason I just cannot stay focused and on track.

I visited the nursing home this week I tried to see and pray with those from our church and any others that I knew.

One lady heard me praying and asked if I would pray for her, I held her hand and asked our Lord to touch her and give her His presence and peace. Paul always asked for Grace and Peace for those to whom he wrote I sought to do the same.

But all of a sudden I just had to leave; maybe it was just not my day, maybe it is my age, my health, my own dreams, I really don’t know but I had to go.

I have had other moments like that, I really do dislike them but my anxious heart was made calmer when I learned that the ladies in our church were giving to each one in the home a lovely gift for Christmas and then on Wednesday night I watched as our people gathered up more than 80 baskets and headed across our community on Thursday to share them with others.

My heart is better now, I helped a family with a power bill in the name of our Lord and our family at First Baptist, I gave a complete stranger a ride from near Nashville to Cookeville, maybe I need to stop looking in the mirror and keep looking out.

Merry Christmas, to all.

Ivan

Published in: on December 16, 2017 at 6:43 pm  Leave a Comment