Thursday, June 29, 2017

My Other Brother Art

The guy in the photo over there is Art Rogers ... and wife Bonnie ... who I met during the 2005-2006 Blog wars ... the ones that eventually contributed mightily to Frank Page's election as 2006-2008 President of the SBC. He was pastor of Skelly Drive Baptist Church in Tulsa, and of late had pastored Redemption Tulsa, a new church plant.

Now, my only sibling, growing up, was my brother Art. He was a couple years older than I, and we were pretty much typical brothers.

I got saved as a youngster, and got active in church again when my sons were still pre-school. Sadly, my brother never did profess Christ .. that I know of ... and died a converted Jew.

Earlier today, my friend Art Rogers died. Sadly, he suffered from the same illness that claimed my sibling, namely metastatic esophageal cancer.

After I heard the news about my eternal brother's death this morning, I felt moved to write a poem for him and his family. Specifically because of the nature of his illness and the freshness of the memories of my sibling brother, albeit he died in 2000.

Bonnie, Art Rogers' widow, kindly is allowing me to post the poem here, for any who might have known Art, and might be interested.

Herewith:


ETERNAL BROTHER ART


I lost another brother today

His name was also Art

Unlike my sibling who went away

We’re just, for a while, apart

For the Art named Rogers who left this earth

Had served the Lord while here

Through a life of acts of Heavenly worth.

For people he held so dear.

His faith was strong, for all to see

Right up until this end..

That punctuates our time on earth

When we must lose our friend

But lost is not the word to use

For when a thing is lost

We know not where it is right now 

Despite its earthly cost

That’s not the case with Brother Art

For we know where he went

And where he is, we too shall go

For life, here’s only lent

To us to get to know the One

Who saves us from our sin

And waits beyond the Heavenly gate

One day to show us in.

To where Eternal Brother Art

Has found a glorious home

Away from smog and sin and all

We see as earth we roam.

For now we say “Auf wiedersehen …

We’ll see you then, one day

When our Heavenly home we gain

You sure showed us the way”.

Saturday, June 03, 2017

A SIMPLE PLAN

Peg and I were sitting on the back porch/deck this afternoon. I was finally finished putting some new boards down on the shed entrance, and I was dog tired. But not too tired to notice something important.

I think.

I recalled when Brad and I built the deck and the roof over it. It was 1993, just about the time of the big Birmingham Snowpocalypse ... two feet of snow are not well received by folks in Central Alabama ... and it posed the first test for our building prowess. We had one side of the roof deck on, while the other side was just the rafters. So we had two feet of snow (which weighed a bunch) on one side and nothing on the other.

Thankfully, it didn't budge at all. And even at that, I added 50% more to the central beam.

So the deck and its enclosure has been there for a couple dozen years, and we've enjoyed it immensely ... especially since we have retired. And we built it years in advance of the bulk of our use thereof.

1993 was also around the time we started saving for retirement. Our employer started a "Simple Plan" ... a simplified retirement plan, per the IRS, in which  the employer can match certain amounts of the employee's contribution ... and we jumped in with both feet. Or wallets.

The Simple Plan has performed wonderfully and contributed much to our years of retirement.

NOW: That got me to thinking of faith.

There was a certain sense of security in preparing for retirement. In knowing we were being prudent in the handling of\ our income, so we'd be able to retire without worries about income. So that part of the preparation was enjoyable, from that perspective.

And now that we're actually retired, we're benefiting from what we did back then.

The same can be said for our deck. It was fun to build, and it was nice to have in the following years. But now that we're retired, we can go out there most any time.

That's where the Spiritual comes in. It's nice to know that, when my time here is up, and I keep that appointment specified in Hebrews 9:27, I have nothing to fear. Plus it's really enjoyable living as a Christian in this foreign land of E.A.R.T.H.