Strict//EN" ""> EAGLES' REST: I Guess They Were Doing It All Wrong

Friday, February 08, 2008

I Guess They Were Doing It All Wrong

The picture on the right is the Hammond (Indiana) Evangelical United Brethren Church. I took this picture in the fall of 1969, on our way through the Calumet area, headed for Neenah-Menasha, Wisconsin. We were going to visit some neighbors who'd moved away about a year before.

According to all the stuff I know now, good ol' EUB Hammond had it all wrong. You could join without getting more than the top of your head wet, and they moistened me when I was a little bitty baby.

I guess Mom and Dad didn't know any better. They thought they were doing a good thing.

I don't recall a lot about the preaching there. I was a bit young to know whether sermons were topical or expository, and we didn't go all that often anyway. But for all the things Mom and Dad may or may not have done right, they did send me to Vacation Bible School there. More than one summer, I think. Frankly, it's been so long, and I was so young, that I don't recall how many times, or how old I was. But one thing I DO remember that I remember.

I was whatever age I would have been to have gone to VBS that summer. Some 2 or 3 months later, I tried to imagine what it would be like to be dead. To not exist. To not be "me" any more. Not silence, not rest, not peace. Just non-existence.

That's a really really depressing thought. So, I moped around for a couple of days, and recall not having much of an appetite. I recall, vividly, a lump in my throat, a weight on my shoulders, and a hollow feeling in my chest.

I can recall those like it was yesterday. No joke.

Right after supper one evening, Dad noticed my lack of appetite .. heck .. anybody would have, I suppose .. and asked me what was wrong. I said "I'm afraid of dying". His response is burned into my memory more surely than any hard drive or tape system could ever record:

"Don't you remember what they told you in Vacation Bible School? If you believe in Jesus, when you die, you go to heaven."

I said "Oh .. YEAH!" The lump in the throat, the weight on the shoulders, and the hollow feeling in the chest disappeared instantly.

I know it was still summer, as I got up, ran outside, and played with the neighborhood kids.

Anyway, for all the stuff those EUB folks may have gotten wrong, you're going to have a tough time throwing rocks their way when you're around me. If it hadn't been for those ladies and their love for kids and their little loaves of flour & salt imitation bread (we made plaques with verses spelled out in alphabet noodle letters) and the games they played with us, I shudder to think where I'd be now.

It took me a lot of years, tears at altars, and chasing around trying to be righteous, to discover what had happened that evening. As my friend and then-prayer-partner Dave Van Veld said, I'd given as much of me as I could give, to as much of Jesus as I could get. I know doggone well I was saved right then, through a simple act of trusting Jesus to take me to heaven when I died.

All the stuff that's gone on since then (the good parts) has merely been God taking me at my word, and doing what He wanted with me.

God seems to have taken care of things with the church. The EUB joined with the Methodist Church to form the United Methodists .. the building was Christ United Methodist Church by 1969 .. and the building isn't a church any more, anyway. This picture, taken in 2003, shows some sort of business now inhabits the premises.

In case you hadn't guessed, I got a slide scanner (from me) as a retirement present and I've been scanning some of the thousands of 35mm slides into my computer. And no I am NOT fibbing. I'm already up to 1380 and I have 350 on my desk to scan, yet. Plus several trays of 100 downstairs and a few 120 trays, too. Then I can get on to the similar number .. or more .. I inherited from Mom and Dad.

I don't want to think about the print pictures, yet. They date back to the time Dad was an infant, and I probably have more of them than I do slides.

If anybody needs to contact me, I'll probably be here a while.


At 7:41 PM, February 11, 2008, Blogger Nancy said...

I feel your pain with the slide scanning.

In fact I know that pain so well, I'm going to share what we found to be a much easier method.

We set up a carosel slide projector, and then a digital camera on a tripod right beside it. We projected the slide at about 2 feet wide on a poster board, since we didn't like the usual sparkly slide screen. That size gave us a nice clear image. We then focused the camera to take a picture of just the projected image - letting it do the cropping for us. Oh, and we had the room fairly dark - not necessarily night time dark, but shades pulled.

We found that our camera card would hold just about the same number of images as the tray of slides. Then just just transferred to the computer.

We actually had two of us doing this, but it can be done alone. While one person was transferring images to the computer, the other was unloading the reloading the slide tray. I don't remember exactly, but I think we were doing about 200 per hour.

Since we had over 3000 slides to do, it was a method we really liked. Just some food for thought for you. Of course, you'll need some equipment, but it is likely you have those things now, or can easily borrow them.

Good luck with your project. If you are so inclined, you can do some follow-up corrections in Photoshop.


At 8:34 PM, February 11, 2008, Blogger Bob Cleveland said...

Actually, I have a digital slide scanner, with ICE3 technology. I can do about 75 per hour with that.

It came with Photoshop so I'm using their Smartfix option and cleaning them all up to show. It's working really well for me and I'm about 1800 into the stack, with another 600 of mine sitting here. Plus loose ones plus Mom & Dad's.

And the quality is astounding on all the slides.

PS: Your suggestion would work too, so thanks, but I don't even have a working projector any more.

At 11:44 AM, February 12, 2008, Blogger Nancy said...

"I see" said the blind (wo)man.

It sounds like you gave yourself a wonderful retirement gift. You may even find yourself inundated with requests from family and friends to do their slides.

The greatest joy for me was to be able to give my brothers copies of all the photos of our childhood.

Like you, I am now moving on to the hundreds of family print photos my dad had also collected. Unfortunately he no longer remembers who most of the people are, but I am slowly figuring it out.


BTW are you also looking forward to the new blog Pioneer Woman mentioned - the one related to Photoshop? I so admire her photography.

(If you get this comment multiple times, it's because I thought I didn't do it correctly. Sorry)

At 12:45 PM, February 12, 2008, Blogger Bob Cleveland said...


It is, indeed, a nifty gift. But I seriously doubt I have any friends who have slides. I don't hang around with old people (like .. my age). Most of my friends say things like "Film? .. What's THAT?"

I'm not a picture buff, either. I just use Quickfix on Photoshop to make my lousily-taken pictures discernible.

Thanks for commenting. It gets lonely here at times.


At 10:25 PM, February 12, 2008, Blogger Dori said...

Bob -

Most of the pictures from my childhood are on slides. My dad has tray after tray of them. I used to always make them pull them out, because for some reason, my sister's pictures were in the photo albums, but most of mine ended up on the slides ... good memories. I would love to give him the opportunity to get them all into the computer. Hmm, idea for a birthday present for him. :)


At 10:07 AM, February 27, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had similar circumstances with my salvation experience. Not the fear of dying part, but the rest. I was saved at six years old, but became lost in the new charismatic movement of working your way into heaven by your faith. Don't get me wrong, I have no problem with praise bands and raising hands, etc. It's the way that salvation by works slips in with the doctrine that messes me up. We have been blessed in the last year to have learned the doctrines of grace (John Piper and the like), and for the first time in 12 years, I have assurance of my salvation. It's a wonderful feeling. :)

At 10:15 AM, February 27, 2008, Blogger Bob Cleveland said...

Good for you, Jessie. My experience is unique, too, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

I refer to my self as a Charismatic Calvinist .. presently a Baptist .. like Dr. Sam Storms (who fills in for John Piper when he's out of town). I'm glad to know I'm not alone, anyway.

At 1:55 PM, February 27, 2008, Blogger foolery said...

Hi Bob! This was a lovely post. I haven't been here in a while, so it's nice to poke my head through the doorway and find this gem.

Also, I love the furry church picture.

-- Laurie


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