On The Porch

I always knew that while my parents might dislike what I had done, be disappointed in my actions, and hurt by my decisions they would still always love me and long to see me.

When I lived in Waynesboro, Tennessee I use to call home and let mother know that I was coming up to visit them in Jackson. Mother said that when she would tell dad that I was coming that he would go out on our porch at 246 South Lindsey Street, sit in the swing and wait for me to come home.

She would say ‘Pop you know how Ivan is; it might be three or four hours before he gets here. He might not leave on time and he might stop a dozen times. You don’t need to sit out here and wait on him.’ Dad would say ‘I know, but I would just like to be here when he turns off of Lexington on Lindsey; I would just like to see him coming down the street.’

She would often say ‘well you could have a lot done by the time he gets here.’ But he would just smile and say ‘but I would just like to see him turning down the street.’

When I would make the turn from Lexington onto Lindsey I would see him way down the street sitting on the porch at 246 South Lindsey, looking my way waiting for me to come home. I think Jesus must be that way about us, there in glory he looks down the long road of time and says, “Ivan’s coming home, and I’ll wait to greet him.”


Published in: on May 23, 2016 at 10:30 pm  Leave a Comment  

The Silent Greatest Generation

The Silent Greatest Generation

All of us love to pay tribute and give honor to the more than 16,000,000 men and 640,000 women who served in our armed services in the second world war and the almost half of a million men who never came home, and we call them members of the ‘Greatest Generation’, and certainly we should for with their sacrifice they purchased for us freedom from those who would have destroyed our very way of life.

However we somehow have forgotten that remaining portion of the greatest generation, those who stayed on the home front and furnished our men and women everything they needed to win the victory.

By the day after Pearl Harbor Americans were moving toward a ‘war awareness’ that called upon all to save the items that could be used to build materials needed for victory. Farmers worked twice as hard to raise the food and even children gathered tin cans for the ‘victory drive’.

Before the war came to a finish almost 90% of the single women and 80% of the married women had worked in some way for the victory. Six million women who had never worked outside the home took those skills and learned new ones and kept our ‘boys’ supplied. “Rosie the Riveter” was joined by millions.

In that time they built 564 Destroyer Escorts, 387 Destroyers, 87 Cruisers, 9 Battleships, 87 Cruisers, 151 Air Craft Carriers, 126 Submarines and 2,751 Liberty Ships. No other nation in the entire world could have achieved such goals. With these they built 100,000 aircraft and 100,000 tanks plus millions and millions of rounds of ammunition. To put it in light neither Germany nor Japan build even one ship during that time. They never replaced a ship we sunk at the Battle of Midway.

Hitler accused his generals of lying to him when they told him they had shot down 40 planes in one night and the next night we had just as many over Germany. His generals told him that each time they shot down one, we build two more.

So stand up ‘Working People’ of America, take a bow and join your rightful place in ‘The Greatest Generation.’


Published in: on May 22, 2016 at 8:33 pm  Leave a Comment  

That Made My Day

That Made My Day

One of the nice things about being my age is you don’t have to do a lot to ‘make my day’.

For example; watching my grandson receive his degree from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga – that made my day. Running into a grand son and his wife, they looked great – that made my day. Seeing so many people for the Tennessee Baptist Children’s’ Home attending the graduation of one of their residence, made my day.

Eating lunch with my son and his family in a fancy restaurant, made my day – watching a grandson and his date attending the Navy Ball – made my day. Seeing him in full dress uniform receiving his completion of NAPS and his orders to the United States Naval Academy from a three star Admiral, made my day.

Eating with all of the family on a pier in Newport – made my day. Holding hands with Carole over dinner in a delightful place with a view of all the sail boats – made my day.

Having Sunday brunch with Carole, something we almost never do – made my day.

Watching another grandson walk across the stage and receive his high school diploma – made my day. Then eating dinner with all of them before driving home to Byrdstown – made my day.

Coming in the back door and having Max jump all over me saying where have you been, why did you stay so long – made my day.

Knowing that even without me our church had a glorious day – that made my day.

Walking into the shell and hearing several of them asking, ‘where have you been’ – that made my day.

Coming into the Dixie and seeing James Hill home from the hospital, first I said thank the Lord, and then thank you Dr. Mason for another miracle – really made my day.

See I told you -That Made My Day.


Published in: on May 16, 2016 at 10:16 pm  Leave a Comment  

Call Me

Call Me

Call to Me, and I will . . . tell you great and mighty things, which you do not know. Jeremiah 33:3

The teacher told us on the first day of school that if we needed help, had a question, or had a concern about his class to just come to him and he would be happy to assist us.

I never did understand why anyone failed his class; he stood on the first day and told us how to receive all the help we needed.

I think God may feel the same about us. He must surely say, “Why did you not call on Me?”

He made it so clear in His Word that He was searching for us, desired to know us, to enter into a relationship with us, and provide a way for us to be forever together.

Our world certainly has a lot of problems, we need a lot of help, we need to see moral values better, and we need to understand what right is all about.

He will provide the answer if we will but call upon Him but remember even though He stands at the door and knocks He will not open the door, the latch is on the inside and we must open the door of our heart and invite Him to enter.

We cannot last as a nation in the way we are going, we must see how serious the moral values of our land have been reduced and we must return.

If we choose not to invite Him in then who is going to win the battle, not us!


Published in: on May 15, 2016 at 10:06 pm  Comments (1)  

Nine Days

Nine Days

Today continues my special nine days of spring which began last Saturday as I attended the graduation of my grandson Blake Raley from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Blake will continue living and working in the area.

I also got to see my grandson Lt. Josh Sholly and his wife who were there for some of her friends as well as a number of people from the Tennessee Baptist Children’s Home as they were attending the graduation of one of our residents. Great time great visit, everyone’ looked so young.

Today we go to Newport, RI where grandson J R Osborn IV will be graduating from the United States Naval Academy Preparatory School. He will be home a couple of weeks and then report for duty at the Naval Academy where he will begin his journey to completing his education, playing football, and becoming an officer in the Navy.

Sunday will be graduation for Isaac Vaught from high school; he plans to continue his education at David Lipscomb University in Nashville.

So a wonderful nine days for this old man, they all look so much like kids. They are kids and even their parent’s look like kids… I am in the wrong world.


Published in: on May 10, 2016 at 10:47 pm  Comments (1)  

A Pillow For Jesus

A Pillow for Jesus

Come and lay your head in my lap, come and rest awhile with me. I will be so much the stronger to know that you found me worthy of just holding your head for even a moment.

I visited in their home when I was stationed in San Diego. They were one of the few older couples in our church at Balboa Park and always invited the sailors to go home with them for lunch on Sunday.

The house was small and humble but neat and well appointed a welcomed break from the sterile environment of the Navy quarters.

I noticed this beautiful, but well worn pillow on a table in the hall and asked the lady what was the special meaning that had to be attached to a pillow in such a place of honor.

She explained that the first time she hear the scripture that Jesus had no place to lay his head that she went home and cried all night. Her mother being full of wisdom got her this pillow and told her to put it in the bed and each night as she prayed for her to close her prayer by inviting Jesus to lay his head on the beautiful pillow.

She said she knew as she grew older that it was a bit crazy but I always wanted Him to know He had a place in my heart.

WOW, what a heart.


Published in: on May 9, 2016 at 10:18 pm  Leave a Comment  

A Broken Nation

A Broken Nation.

My grandfather, Arthur Raley, was about six feet tall and all the time I knew him his hair was whit 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 from 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.


Published in: on May 8, 2016 at 9:05 pm  Comments (2)  

The Enemy

The Enemy

Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. Ephesians 6:11

On April 7, 1945 Ensign Jack Fuller and his air crewman, Charles Williams, Jr had put on the full armor that their plane launched from the USS Bennington, could carry.  They assisted in the sinking of Japan’s largest battleship the “Yamoto” and while doing so were shot down by AA fire from the Yamoto. They had an enemy and they gave their very lives in helping to defeat that enemy.

God’s Word warns us of our enemy, the devil, and urges us to prepare for the battle he launches against us.

 We can believe in an enemy like we face now in terror attacks and have faced in our past from warring countries.  But few of us are prepared for the daily battle with Satan, How strange, how tragic.


Published in: on May 5, 2016 at 10:16 pm  Leave a Comment  

Two Things

Two Things

First today is our National Day of Prayer. In Byrdstown we will gather on the high school lawn beneath the flag pole watch as our Honor Guard presents the Colors, give our allegiance to our flag and nation and be directed in prayer by a number of our citizens.

This takes place at 9:30 with the students who wish to attend sharing with us. A second service will be held on the Court House steps at 12:00 noon, our community will pray, we love our country and believe in our Heavenly Father.

We know that the answer to our future is held in the hands of God for His people who ask.

Second: Today marks the 39 anniversary of my mother’s death. It was a Thursday then just as today, we had enjoyed lunch together in Jackson, purchased a weed-eater for dad and some strawberries for mom along with a beautiful dress.

At a few minutes before six that afternoon she slipped out of the house at 246 South Lindsey Street to the home prepared for her by our Lord.

The house never smelled the same, the rooms never felt the same, the celebrations with the family were never the same, mom was not there.

I am now older than she was at her death all the family of 246 South Lindsey Street are gone except me they share the glory of Heaven now and in time I will join them.

Life has been good, better than I deserve, I am grateful.


Published in: on May 4, 2016 at 10:39 pm  Leave a Comment  

We Have Sinned

We Have Sinned

For I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth. Job 19:25

I watched as the great crowd of people gathered in front of our state capital to pray for our nation. It was moving to see so many people standing, listing, praying for forgiveness of their own sins and for the forgiveness of our nation’s sins.

We were asked to pray and confess our own sins and you could hear the tears in the voices of all those around you as we each confessed to our Lord that we needed His forgiveness and His renewal in our lives.

The gathering with Dr. Franklin Graham was as nonpolitical as would be possible with all that is taking place in our country. He ask that all Christian vote and to study carefully those running for office and seek our Lords will in casting our vote. He expressed that the answer was not in a political party but was in God.

I could not help but remember in the early days of the nation of Israel when they sinned God often gave to them the leader they wanted, a leader that caused great judgment on their land. They wished for a leader who would allow their sin and God granted their wish. Can the same not be true today; a nation that wishes to be built on its on desires will receive the leadership of those desires.

Let us truly confess, turn and fall on our faces before our Lord, may He show us His hand.


Published in: on May 3, 2016 at 10:44 pm  Leave a Comment  

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