Your Town

75th Annual Will Rogers Memorial Rodeo. By the time you read this it will all be over, it will be history. The story is that Will Rogers came to Vinita, Ok., to visit some ranchers and when the subject of a rodeo came up, he said, “Hold a rodeo next year and I’ll come back.” But before the year was up, he and Wiley Post had met their Maker in a plane crash.

I love rodeo week, the absolute highlight of the Vinita calendar, but I haven’t been to the rodeo itself in several years, and as it looks right now, I probably won’t make it tonight, the last night of the rodeo.

The rodeo parade takes place on Wednesday at 11 a.m. during rodeo week, to start the week’s festivities and it shuts down most of the town. Downtown Vinita streets are closed off to through traffic, which might not sound unusual, except it is Route 66, or Highway 60/69 through town, the main truck route, besides I-44. Trucks are backed up for miles as they are routed down the side streets around the parade.

Trucks give way to horse-drawn hearses, 1930’s tractors, and a long line of Rodeo Queens from the 1940s through present days. The Vinita High School band showed up as well as the Pom Squad and the high school and middle school cheerleaders. Many businesses drove the parade throwing candy to the little kids who lined the streets dressed in cowboy boots and hats.

Towns need to celebrated their heritage and their uniqueness. The towns who no longer celebrate no longer know who they are, and the townspeople find their town drying up around them, turning into a ghost town.

Jeremiah 29:7   “Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the LORD for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.”

Celebrate and pray for your town.

New Crayons


Every year when the stores put out school supplies, I have a strong irresistible urge to buy new crayons.

When I started school each year, my new crayons, a Big Chief tablet, and new wooden pencils made me so proud. I worked hard to keep my crayons new. I hated it when they got worn down enough that I had to tear the paper to continue using them. By the end of the year, my crayons were down to “nubbins,” as mama used to say, just stubs.

Then when summer was over and it was time for school to begin again, I would get a new set of crayons. When we were in grade school, we bought our school supplies at the corner grocery store, but when we were in junior high, I remember visiting Ashby’s bookstore.

I learned to color inside the lines, then to blend the colors together to make new colors. I learned how to use a darker color on one side, representing the shadow. When I was in eighth grade, I took art class, but I was never very good at it. I learned just enough that they should have called it “art appreciation” class.

My crayons, my children’s crayons, my grandson’s crayons. Now I am the one using crayons again. A new beginning, a chance to start over, to make the picture perfect and pretty. I don’t take much time to color now, but I have that unopened box of 75 crayons and coloring books ready and waiting for when the urge strikes me.

Lamentations 3:27-28, “Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.”

The seasons of our lives change. Just as autumn follows summer and school begins again for another year, we can look forward to another day, another month, another season, another year of the mercy of the Lord.

The Lord’s seasons may change but He never will, because He is faithful.

Hummingbird Feeders


This morning when I let the dog out, there was a hummingbird at the empty feeder, but thank goodness, he wasn’t going to starve, since I have trumpet plant, hibiscus, rose of Sharon, and other plants that hummingbirds seem to like.

I have two hummingbird feeders in the backyard, the standard red and clear plastic kind that you fill with sugar water or the formula that you buy and mix with water.

Sometimes I’m really negligent and don’t get the feeders filled back up. I’ve seen hummingbirds come to my empty feeders, and then whiz away, apparently to some other yard, bypassing all the good plants in my yard.

This is just like us, attracted to the bright flashing lights and brilliant colors of the world, looking for something to feed our souls, our emotions, our minds. We pass right over the good things that God has provided to get to the cheap thrills that soon fade away.

When we get up close and stop long enough to think, we realize that the “feeder” is empty.

The prodigal son traveled afar off from his father, and left his real self, his true self back home.

He followed the bright lights and brilliant colors of the world looking for fun. He enjoyed wine, women, and song, spent all his inheritance, ended up living on the streets.

He went to an empty feeder, looking for something to feed his soul, but all he found was dry corn husks that the farmer fed the pigs.

“But when he came to himself.” Luke 15:13 NKJV.

He realized who he really was, the son of the master of the house, whose very servants ate better than the he had in the pigpen. He returned to himself and he went back to his father, asking to be a servant. Oh, but his father had better things planned for him than that. He welcomed him back as his son and held a party in his honor.

The prodigal son returned to the place where the tables were full, where his soul could really be fed. He returned to his father’s house.

Let’s return to our Father God’s house, where the table is full with the good things of God which truly feed our souls.

The Right Information


I’ve always believed that, given the right information and material, I could do anything. Even years ago when I was in college, I worked on my own typewriters and sewing machines. If I could look it up in a reference book, read it and see it, I could do it.

We Baby Boomer generation were raised by parents in a booming economy just out of World War II, excited about the future with the chance to make a good living. They worked hard, built homes, bought cars, saved their money, and planned for their children to graduate high school and go to college, because most of them hadn’t been able to do so.

These parents made their children believe that the sky was the limit, the world was theirs, they could be president, if they worked hard enough.

We the Baby Boomer generation graduated and raced out to change the world. We used the manuals that were there and wrote manuals for the things that didn’t have them. We invented new things and wrote the guidelines to go with them. We developed new ideas for using old things and gave the world the information in written form.

This generation has been the Information Technology generation. We were the ones who made the shift from industry to information, because we were taught that if you had the right information, you could do anything.

The world is full of people who are living their whole lives based on the wrong information. They believe you can work your way into heaven. If you work hard, treat everyone well, do good deeds, and give to charity, then when you get to the Pearly Gates, Peter will pull out the balance scales and if your good deeds outweigh your sins, you will get into heaven.

However God’s Manual the Bible says, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16 NKJV

There is only one way to have everlasting life, to enter into heaven when you die, and that is to believe in Jesus, God’s only Son.

Jesus is the only way to heaven.