Happy New Year

A HOMELESS MAN

Steven Pyle knows how easy it is to become homeless. A few short years ago he says that he had a lifestyle that 90% of the population would envy.

A regional marketing manager for an energy company covering the Arcola, Fresno, and Almeda area, he was raking in the dough, recruiting other salesmen and getting a percentage of what they made. Easy come –easy go. He gave generous bonuses, spent money freely, bought a $64,000 violin and paid cash for a $32,000 vehicle. In one week the violin was stolen and the car wrecked. No insurance since he had paid cash. Then he lost his job. Pyle says, “I made some stupid decisions.”

He lost his wallet with all his identification. Three times he paid to get his birth certificate from California. No luck. It is hard to find a job without identification. Too proud or fear of rejection from his family, he had no where to turn and found himself on the streets.

While sleeping outside the Central Library in Houston, he prayed for a Bible. The next morning, Pyle woke up and saw a leather bound brand new Bible on a nearby ledge. He went to a church in the park primarily to get a cup of coffee but the sermon by Pastor Marcos changed his whole attitude. Pyle found peace.

At first he was a high class homeless man, sleeping on Styrofoam, but the Styrofoam soon went flat and he was sleeping on cardboard. He made friends with two other fellows, who neither drank or did drugs. They would go to McDonalds and order a cup of coffee and have a Bible study. They didn’t look homeless, but the employees knew they were. Where did the money for coffee come from? Pyle never asked anyone for a dime. He was given money once. It was a cold, rainy night and a woman slipped two dollars under his “bed”.

Pyle continued to attend Church in the Park every day. Sometimes he listened while standing in the rain soaking wet. He begin helping the pastor setting up chairs, picking up trash. While it seemed the homeless could find people willing to give them food and clothes, Bibles were hard to get. Pyle got in touch with a church in Humble, which gave him Bibles he could pass out.

After being on the streets for about four months, the director of the Disciple House, Enrique Salamo invited Pyle to live and receive training in the Disciples House. Everyone who works with the 1000 Hills Ministry has been homeless. Now Pyle is the operational coordinator. As a 12-year-old boy Pyle knew he was suppose to be in ministry, but he was too shy to speak to people. Now he can look back on his life and see where everything that has happened, prepared him for this ministry.

Although Pyle slept on the streets for only four months, he knows first hand what it feels like to be homeless and he knows how easy it is for a person to get in that situation. Nobody is immune. Most homeless are ordinary, nice people, who are on the streets for a variety of reasons. Each person is an individual and each one has a story. Pyle estimates that chronic homelessness affects about 15 to 20 per cent of the homeless and maybe 50% are in that position partly because of drugs or alcohol.

At Church Under the Bridge, you will see Pyle giving a bear hug to first one ‘brother’ and another. “A lot of the men feel unworthy of love. They have been looked down on all day long. Sometimes just a smile goes a long way,” says Pyle. “You might be surprised that some of people you see walking down the street are actually sleeping on the street. I’ve seen men who were lawyers, deacons, pastors, teachers, sleeping on cardboard.”

Getting food and clothes is not so difficult for the homeless, but those things don’t change a person’s heart. They can get a job, but they can’t keep it. Getting spiritual help is more difficult, but that can change a person. Many times, Pyle, and the others he works with, have had men come back and tell them, they are doing good. That makes it worth it.

www.1000hills.org

FREEDOM OF RELIGION

According to Oklahoma City television station KOCO, the Federal Reserve has ordered a small-town bank in Perkins, Oklahoma to remove religious signs and symbols on display. Federal Reserve examiners come every four years to make sure banks are complying with a long list of regulations. The examiners came to Payne County Bank last week.

The team from Kansas City deemed a Bible verse of the day, crosses on the teller's counter and buttons that say "Merry Christmas, God With Us" were inappropriate. The Bible verse of the day on the bank's Internet site also had to be taken down, along with Thomas Kinkade paintings hanging in the bank's lobby.

The employees and enough other people complained and the Feds backed down.

Almeda moe

Moe decided to get a doctors degree and practice medicine. His first patient was a woman with a swollen lip. The woman began ranting and raving at how bad her husband was and she didn’t know what to do when he came home drunk. Moe told her when her husband was drunk as soon as he walked in the door for her to take a mouth full of tea and swish it around and around in her mouth but not to swallow it until he went to bed. A week later the woman came back and told Moe, “That tea just works wonders. Thank you so much.” Later Moe’s nurse questioned him on his prescribed remedy of tea. Moe said, “When you have a mouth full of tea you have to keep your mouth shut.

BLUE FRIDAY

To show support for our troops, join others in wearing something blue every Friday.

VINSON LIBRARY

Mon. 11am-7pm, Tue. 10am-6pm, Wed. 10am-6pm, Thur. 11am-7pm., Fri. 10am-6pm, Closed Sat. & Sun. 832-393-2120

FOOD PRICES GOING UP

Now is the time to get an early garden started with stuff like cabbage, broccoli, carrots, onions, English peas, strawberry plants—all stuff that can take a light freeze. It is a lot cheaper to plant seeds than to buy plants, except for strawberries.

QUOTES

It is not an endlessly expanding list of rights – the ‘right’ to an education; the ‘right’ to health care; the ‘right’ to food and housing. That is not freedom. That is dependency. Those are not rights. Those are the rations of slavery: hay and a barn for human cattle. Alexis de Tocqueville.

Control oil and you control nations; control food and you control the people. Henry Kissinger

Within a few years it is predicted that due to the ice melt the sea will rise and make most coastal cities uninhabitable. The Washington Post reported by the AP Nov. 2, 1922.

Let’s Bridle Our Tongues

If we don’t bridle our tongues we are going to give account of every idle word that comes out of our mouth.

Copyright by Emmaline Wiley

Matthew 12:37 For by your words you shall be justified and by your words you shall be condemned.

Condolences

LOLITA BENNETT, a resident of Fresno was born July 14,1954 and passed away October 29, 2010 from a brain aneurism.

BOBBY FRANK SLOAN passed away November 29, 2010 after a brief illness. He was born February 14, 1931 in San Saba, TX to Edith and Floyd Sloan. Bob was a self employed general contractor for over 30 years and a life long resident of the Almeda area. He spent his entire life as an enthusiast of music. He recorded many artist and especially loved Western Swing. Many weekends were spent visiting and listening to local bands. Bob was also a pilot and fisherman who loved to soar through the clouds or the sea. He leaves behind his wife of 58 years, Geneva; sons: Bryan and Edwin, Daughter Becki/Keith Bonner, granddaughters: Janae/Dusty Littrell, April/Tony Simons and great grandsons: Cooper and Orion. He was buried at Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Houston.

JEAN HARRISON McQUEEN, 75, went to be with our Lord and Savior on December 6, 2010. Jean was born June 10, 1935. She came to Almeda when she was six and met Edesal McQueen at Almeda School. In 1952 they were married in the old Almeda Methodist Church. For years, Jean ran the Texaco Station on Almeda Road. Even after she and Edesal moved to Manvel, Jean was active in community affairs in Almeda. Through her efforts in getting an Almeda cookbook compiled, more than enough money was brought in to pay the expenses of the Almeda Centennial held in Oct. 1992. Jean and her sister, Sue, worked to get the Almeda Cemetery fenced in, a marker with names of known deceased, and a sign so that those barreling down the Beltway to 288 could know they were passing a cemetery. Even though in bad health and unable to attend, she remained faithful to her church in her attitude and paid to have the chimes installed which others enjoyed for many years.

Jean is preceded in death by her parents Earl and Helen Harrison. She is survived by her husband Edesal McQueen, daughters Deborah, Evelyn, and Dayle, sisters; Betty Fife and Sue Hughes. Four grandchildren, and five greats.

JANICE BAILEY, 72, was born December 5, 1938 and passed away December 8, 2010. Janice and her husband came to Almeda in the ‘50’s and opened up Almeda Auto Salvage across from the Almeda Diner. Janice was in the Powder Puff Derby, the ladies version of a destruction derby at the Astrodome. She drove the last car standing one year. One of the prettiest women to ever grace Almeda, she loved to hunt and fish. Preceded in death by her daughter, Darlene, Janice is survived by Kitty, Dennis, and Joe Dan. Grace Memorial Church at 3240 FM 725 New Braunfels, TX 78130 helped Janice tremendously in her last days.

MEASURING TIME

Where did we come up with the idea of measuring time in terms of 7 day increments or a week? Since a year is approximate 365 days wouldn’t it make more sense to have 5 day weeks? That would make exactly 73 weeks in a year.

Apparently the Russians agreed with my logic because at the height of the efforts to cure their citizens of their mental illness of religion, they attempted to change the length of the week to 5 days, where workers would rest every 5th day. (By the way, whose idea was it that workers need to rest once a “week”?) The French had tried something similar except they elected to make a week 10 days long. It’s interesting that both of these attempts were introduced by governments hostile to the concept of GOD as the creator and both attempts failed. Both the intellectual Enlightenment of the French and the Atheistic Humanism of the Soviets failed to changed what GOD had established from creation, the 7 day week. Their failure was so complete that we now have an international standard (ISO 8601) which defines the week as 7 days.

There are some antagonist to Biblical Christianity that claim the 7 day week is a product of the ancient Babylonians. My short answer to that is GOD created the Babylonians too, why wouldn’t they observe a 7 day week.

What’s the point? Paul wrote in Romans 1: 19-20 “Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God has showed it to them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:” I’m always grateful for a day of rest. I’m also thankful for the reminder every 7 days that my CREATOR has a purposeful plan for my life. HE has established a time of rest for me. Just like HIS gift of Salvation though, there are many who chose to ignore HIS gracious gift of rest to their own hurt. The signs of GOD’s mercy are everywhere and plainly to be seen. But some choose their own human wisdom instead, to hide or discredit the goodness of GOD. The 7 day week is not the invention of any culture, but it is a gift to all. Every gift has a giver and to that giver, gratitude is due. The gift of Sundays tells me the GIVER has not forgotten me, HE knows my needs, even those needs I may not recognize. Each Sunday is a fresh reminder of GOD’s care for me. Thank you GOD for Sundays.

There are people who scoff at the ideas of “creator” and “giver”. Everything to them must have a naturalist or scientific explanation. I challenge them to provide that kind of explanation for a 7 day week. There is no astrological or mathematical explanation for having a repetitive cycle of 7 days. It doesn’t describe the phases of the moon, the course of the stars or the orbit of the Earth around the sun. Apart from the Creator’s design there is no scientific necessity that requires any such division of time, much less exactly 7 days. Those who scoff may track worker productivity or mental and physical health only to discover that there are no flaws in what GOD has designed. Paul wrote about these people also in Romans 1: 22, “Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools”. Our CREATOR created us in HIS image and then set an example for us to follow that we should work 6 days and rest on the 7th. No government, economist or scientist discovered the necessity and benefits of this rest, it was established by GOD. By Robert Andrews

AN OLD TRUNK

It was December 1960 we married and left Arizona for my home arriving in Almeda, Texas with a trunk tied to the car and everything we owned in it. We had no jobs, no money and no place to live. But we had each other and a lot of love to give. After a short stay with my folks we rented a two room apartment with glee. Staying with my folks was ok but we needed to be free. I got a job making $1 an hour really raking in the dough. We stayed home all the time-no place we could afford to go. Jean became pregnant, oh to be young and stupid. We took advice from no one except Cupid. Ricky was born in 61 now I had a son. With food to buy, rent and car payments to make, oh what had I done. Times were tough I won’t deny. Jean never complained. She washed diapers by hand and prepared meals from nothing, never going insane. We managed to scrape by and in 63 Jeff was born, now we had another tot. If we thought times were tight before we were in for a shock. I was a carpenter working any job I could, but it wasn’t enough. When winter came and I couldn’t work it really made it rough. Things were not easy for Jean, with two babies and no washing machine. We couldn’t be where we are today without her on the team. We left Texas the next year with a u-haul this time around. We still had the old trunk and was Arizona bound. We struggled, but compared to Texas it was milk and honey. I got out of construction and started to make a little money. We bought a new home in 66. Jean went to work, I had three jobs and we had money to burn. Ricky and Jeff married, and once again it was just Jean and I. We bought a new home, where we hope to have many more years to stay. We are blessed to have our families with five grandsons a great grand-daughter, Auora Lee. Life hasn’t always been easy but for the most part it’s fun. In December we’ve been married 50 years and some are amazed we managed to stay together after meeting and marrying in 52 days. Through the years we have bought a lot of things and threw away the junk, but in the garage, stored away, is the original old trunk. Now the year is 2010 and we are happy as can be. We still love each other after all these years and look forward to celebrating 50 years with cheers. Rick and Jean

Do you have a Short I Remember Story? Email it to siskeyworth@att.net or mail to P. O. Box 450336 Houston 77245.

: