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Saturday, July 21, 2007

Happy 105th Birthday

E.E. Hinkle!

Welcome To Our Last Emorymas

We're going to take a couple days off from our search for Shawn Cable to pay tribute to E.E. Hinkle. A man who never sought glory for himself. He never chased after fame and fortune, content to be, as he put it, "A farmer tilling the soil to feed a hungry world". He and his wife raised a family of three kids during a time when feeding anyone was a high calling indeed. How they got through it, God only knows, but get through it they did.

E.E. Was more than a farmer. As a matter of fact, he was many things. Not only farmer, but family man, a Methodist, and a Democrat. E.E had very little time and patience for those who were not in these four groups of people. However, with the passing of time, he began to realize that people were people and he mellowed a bit. If we told you how much, we doubt you'd ever believe it. Then again, you might.

E.E. Made it to his 103rd birthday, and lack a month and a half to his 104th. We have decided that this will be our last Emorymas tribute. His birthday may get mentioned when the time comes, but nothing like this. E.E. disliked tributes and honors, especially when he felt they were not deserved. Besides that, we're running out of ideas of how to honor him anyhow. The usual Cowboy Breakfast on July 22 may have to do it for a while. And of course, a lesson from the Upper Room. That said, sit down, relax a while and enjoy Our Last Emorymas

Psalm 139
For the choir director: A psalm of David. O LORD, you have examined my heart and know everything about me. 2 You know when I sit down or stand up. You know my every thought when far away. 3 You chart the path ahead of me and tell me where to stop and rest. Every moment you know where I am. 4 You know what I am going to say even before I say it, LORD. 5 You both precede and follow me. You place your hand of blessing on my head. 6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too great for me to know!
7 I can never escape from your spirit! I can never get away from your presence! 8 If I go up to heaven, you are there; if I go down to the place of the dead, F104 you are there. 9 If I ride the wings of the morning, if I dwell by the farthest oceans, 10 even there your hand will guide me, and your strength will support me. 11 I could ask the darkness to hide me and the light around me to become night � 12 but even in darkness I cannot hide from you. To you the night shines as bright as day. Darkness and light are both alike to you. 13 You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother's womb. 14 Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous � and how well I know it. 15 You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. 16 You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.
17 How precious are your thoughts about me, F105 O God! They are innumerable! 18 I can't even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up in the morning, you are still with me! 19 O God, if only you would destroy the wicked! Get out of my life, you murderers! 20 They blaspheme you; your enemies take your name in vain. 21 O LORD, shouldn't I hate those who hate you? Shouldn't I despise those who resist you? 22 Yes, I hate them with complete hatred, for your enemies are my enemies. 23 Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my thoughts. 24 Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.

South Dakota Songbook

Beyond the Sunset

Should you go first and I remain to walk the road alone

I'll live in memory's garden dear with happy days we've known

In spring I'll wait for roses red when fade with lilac's blue

And in early fall when the brown leaves fall I'll catch a glimpse of you

Should you go first and I remain for battles to be fought

Each thing you touched along the way will be a calloused spot

I hear you boys I see your smile though blindly I may grow

The memory of your helping hand will boil me on the thought

Beyond the sunset oh blissful morning when with our Saviour heaven is begun

Earth stroll is ending oh glory dawning beyond the sunset when day is done

Should you go first and I remain to finish with the scroll

No lightening shadows shall creep in to make this life seem droll

We've known so much of happiness we've had our cup of joy

And memory is one gift of God that death cannot destroy

I want you to know each step you take that I may walk the same

For someday down that lonely road you'll hear me call your name

Should you go first and I remain one thing I'll have you do

Walk slowly down that long long path for soon I'll follow you

In that fair homeland we'll know no parting beyond the sunset for evermore

I'm Never Alone

by Jerry Hinkle

As part of a lay speaker training exercise,

I had to write a Sermon for the week of my birthday.

Well, as often happened, guess just whose birthday

just happened to fall on the Sunday of that week.

This is what I wrote:

Today is July 22, 2007. It would have been my Grandfather's 105th birthday. He may not be here with us today, but I know where he is. And he is not alone.

Grandad was in nearly perfect health for the first 99 years of his life. It was at that age that he fell and broke a couple ribs. He was never really the same after that, and for almost 5 years I took it upon myself to look after him. Of course, there were times that I didn't want to leave him in his house alone for fear that he might need something while I was gone. When those occasions did present themselves, he always say, "I'm never alone. God is always with me." That was a statement with a lot of truth behind it. God had indeed been with Grandad through all of his 100 plus years on Earth. God saw him through floods, fires, droughts, tornadoes, and one form of sickness or another. God saw him through the deaths of many friends and family members, including his own wife. He told me when Grandma dies that "Letting go of her hand was easy because I knew that God was holding her other hand.

God was also with King David. Reading Psalm 139 shows us that there is literally nowhere that we can go that God is not with us. And if we go nowhere, God stays right there with us. It's a promise he makes to us.

Grandad died last summer at the age of 103. Many well meaning people have tried to console me since then. They wonder if I feel lonely. I simply reply that "God is with me. I am never alone." God is with Me! Just like he was with King David. Just like he was with Grandad. And just like he is with you here now today. He is with us all. We may all live to 103 and beyond, or we could die this afternoon. It doesn't matter, because God is always with us. And as long as God is with us, everything is all right.

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