Saturday, April 22, 2006

Easter in Little Rock (April 15, 16)

When we arrived at Elwood's Friday evening we had the advantage of knowing we could park in his driveway since we had parked there last year . I didn't take a picture this time so I'm "recycling". This picture was taken February 28 2005 (My camera date was set wrong)

Saturday morning Elwood and I assembled a new power washer that he had obtained and cleaned up the area under their carport. I wanted to wash the BBB but we couldn’t figure out how to get the detergent siphon to work. I’m sure we were just missing something really simple but the instructions didn’t help at all. Ended up washing the front, which was covered with bugs, the old fashioned way with a bucket of soapy water and a rag. . It was warm again – close to 90 - we spent the afternoon sitting on the lawn chairs under the carport visiting and reminiscing. Interesting how 45 years can cloud the memory- we needed my brother-in-law Morris or my Dad who seem to have a better recall of people and places—several times we both remembered the same event in very different ways.

Elwood works at Harvest Foods purchasing for their chain of supermarkets. He met his wife Shirley while attending Abilene Christian College (now University) in the early 60’s. Shirley is from the Dallas area and they remained in Texas and then moved to Little Rock area. He has spent most of this time in the grocery business with a short period were he sold life insurance. They have their one granddaughter Chistina living with them and their other granddaughter Heather spends a lot of time here when her mother Kim is working.

Sunday we went with them to services at the Somers Avenue Church of Christ. Elwood and Shirley have attended this congregation for many years. He was an elder for awhile. Currently he coordinates their adult classes and was teaching from Daniel in the auditorium class. Their preacher Oran Burt has been with them for over 30 years having started their as a youth minister shortly after he graduated from university. I mention this because despite the long tenure this is not a “preacher centric” congregation – which can happen when a preacher serves for along time in one pace.

He was preaching a series on using your gifts – from Romans –and the lesson was on the gift of encouragement. – using Barnabas as the example. This was interesting to us since we are studying “The Barnabas Factor” in our LIFE (Bible study) group at home.

They opted to avoid special mention of Easter since the practice is to remember the crucifixion and resurrection each Sunday during communion. Personally, it seems that it can be used as a teaching opportunity - reinforcing what Jesus did for us while respecting the scriptures that teach about avoiding “special feast days”

There were about 300 present for services in the a.m.and perhaps 175 for the evening service. The building is relatively new (10 to 15 years old) and is a modern well equipped building. They provided for growth when they built and have room to seat around 800 in the main auditorium. They only have seating for around 500 which makes it fuller than it might otherwise.

After services we had dinner at Luby’s cafeteria – a tradition in the south . We ate with Christina and her boyfriend Kyle, his parents Steve and Debbie and his grandmother Pansy. They all attend at Somers Ave. and Steve is one of their deacons (I think).

We had a good conversation on some of the issues facing churches during the afternoon, attended evening services - another lesson on gifts and had supper together at their home.

Monday morning we headed north again via 167 through Searcy Arkansa home of Harding University. Kyle Lansdellwho is currently working part time as our youth minister graduated fromHardinglast spring . We didn't stopsince we didn't really have any close contacts there right now.

God Bless
Charlie & Linda

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