Looking towards the peach state

While I often say I have had one leg in Georgia and the other in Tennessee since my childhood, I will always be drawn to the things that make the peach state great. I have driven its highways and back roads, played in its theaters and music parks and acted in endless hours of television filmed in the Georgia heat and cold.

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Where do we go from here?

I remember it as if it was yesterday. The doctor had told my Mom that she might have breast cancer. I wasn’t much more than eight years old and hardly understood what it meant. All I know is that it worried her and she was extremely sad. I was sitting on the bed next to her. She had been crying and I went in trying to console her and make her smile. I do remember that she did stop long enough to smile at me and tell me that she loved me.

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Snow and the pot bellied stove

As I placed the log into the black cast iron stove, I watched the orange sparks rise up from the burning embers within its belly in grandma’s parlor.

I often stood at its front hopeful that it would make me feel warmer. It usually did at least on the one side until I turned and let the other warm.

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What a wonderful world

When I was just about just about six years old, I remember our family had a special reason to celebrate Christmas and New Year’s Day – my brother Jerry returned from his service in the Navy during the Vietnam War.

For my brother, whose birthday fell on New Year’s Eve, I am sure that was an even more fantastic present than he could have wished for in his life. Read more

Love of the season

“I’d Rather Be An Old-Time Christian Than Anything I Know.

There’s Nothing Like An Old-Time Christian With A Christian Love To Show.”

Those are the words that Albert E. Brumley chose to lead the chorus of this classic gospel song. To me the most important words there are “With A Christian Love To Show.”

Although it is something we should apply each and every day there is no better time to put it in practice than Christmas.

Christian love, what does that mean?

A love given in a Christ like manner; a love given in the name of Christ; a love shared on behalf of our savior; a love that has no bounds because it was initially shared with us by God himself to share with others.

While I realize these are just my meager attempts to describe what God wishes us to show to all we meet, if we just look around us, we can see the true aspect of Christian love within our community.

We can see it in neighbor helping neighbor. We can see it in the food pantries helping families be fed. We can see it in one child sharing his or her toy with a less fortunate child.

Wouldn’t this be a wonderful world if we knew that a helping hand was a close as the nearest person to you? While that may seem like an improbability, at Christmas time, we collectively seem to get closer than in other times of the year to finding a sense of greater purpose than clinging to our own needs and desires.

Each year, my hopes for America, my hopes for my fellow man are renewed. If there was no Christmas time, I am afraid many would forget that we are suppose to show each other Christian love.

I am thankful that in other times of the year we have wonderful songs written by icons like Albert E. Brumley to remind us.

Brumley brought us songs such as “I’ll Fly Away,” “I’ll Meet You In the Morning,” “I Firmly Promise You” and countless others.

His family through the work of Bob Brumley has brought a regular opportunity for gospel performers and gospel fans alike to reflect on all the music Brumley gave us to honor God at the annual Brumley Gospel Sing in Lebanon, Mo each August.

Now my Brumley friends Kevin and Betsy (Brumley) Bernier at I’ll Fly Away Productions have made it possible for you to bring dozens of performances from the 40th Annual Brumley Gospel Sing into your home and enjoy them over and over again.

The seven-volume DVD collection features over 200 songs and 15 hours of entertainment including some of the biggest Southern gospel music stars: Karen Peck and New River, Dixie Melody Boys, Dove Brothers, Primitive Quartet, Booth Brothers, Tim Lovelace, Kingsmen, Diplomats, The Dixie Echoes, The Lesters, Mark Bishop, Mark Trammell Trio, Gospel Enforcers, The Perrys, Palmetto State Quartet, McKameys, The Morlan Family, Blackwood Brothers Quartet, Chuck Wagon Gang, The Whisnants, The Tribute Quartet, Aaron Wilburn, The Lewis Family, Geraldine and Ricky, Larry DeLawder, and a historical volume including Albert E. Brumley and the history of the Brumley Gospel Sing.

Friends, as I sat and watched these performances it warmed my heart to hear and see so many friends sharing their love of the Lord in music. That is what these folks are to me – friends, and I know the same is true for many of you who care about their lives of service the music and comedy shared to lift our loads.

The DVD set is available for $119.95 plus $10 shipping or individual volumes for $24.95 plus $6.95 shipping. You may find more information at www.ifaproductions.com.

Merry Christmas to each of you…

Filling stations and a bottle of pop

As I eased down I-75 towards Atlanta, I knew it was a straight shot to my destination. I expected to be there well ahead of time, of which I try to make a habit. Then I heard that sound – thud, thud, thud…. I wasn’t sure but I figured I had a flat tire, so I pulled over to the edge of the interstate and began the change process.

Of course, this was a day that we were blessed with enough liquid sunshine to drown a duck but I was making headway I thought. Read more

The Christmas rush

Well the rush is on again to fill all those red stockings hanging above the glow of the fireplace on the oak mantle and to pile up the lavishly wrapped boxes underneath the silver shining evergreen limbs of the Christmas tree.

I just don’t know how we make it through this process each and every year. Especially as we realize that there are so many gifts yet to buy at the end of our money.
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Cooking, cleaning and compliments

Thanksgiving is a time in my memory that takes me back to the days of splendidly set tables, endless rows of holiday delights and friends and family gathered with their heads bowed thanking God for his blessings upon our homes.

I can still smell the turkey turning a golden brown, the sage that flavored the cornbread dressing baked from scratch, or the tempting urge to run my fingers through the icing of that double layered coconut cake. Read more

Take off the gloves and put on the mitts

The election season is finally over with a few post-count legal maneuverings left to go.

It is now time for all candidates on every tier of government to take off the boxing gloves, shake hands and come out fighting for the American people rather than against each other.

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A new fiddling master

Fiddling has always been part of my life, since the earliest tunes that I looked up at my great Uncle Tom and heard him play to this very day. I have come to know and learn from some of the greatest fiddlers in history. They have richly blessed my life.

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