Sunday, May 31, 2009


Lean-To sign at highway US 81

Today is Pentecost Sunday and we celebrated the 28th year for the Lean-To Christian Center. We met for the first time 28 years ago on Pentecost. There were two couples and each had a daughter.

The Lean-To started from a word from the Lord. We were going to church in Delphos and Darlene heard Him say "you can stay here if you want to, and that is OK, but I want you to know that this is the way it will be."

About a year earlier we were having praise parties. Several people were coming and we didn't have room for them all. So one day a couple came out to visit and we were talking about a place for the praise parties. We had talked about building on a room and Buck said 'do you have some used lumber?' So we went out to the shed where the lumber was and it looked like we had enough for a twenty by forty six foot room. We started that very day. We formed the footing and got it ready for concrete. Buck said he would call the concrete plant in the morning and we would pour that afternoon. Each day some people would come out and help work on the room. One business man hired three men to come and help. You never knew who would show up to help. People would donate things we needed, like three hanging light fixtures and furniture. The first praise party we had trouble finding chairs enough for everyone. The night before the next praise party someone backed up to our door and told us the Baptist Church bought new chairs and they wanted us to have these chairs. He unloaded 55 folding chairs. That helped to take care of the crowds of 100, or more, people we were having at the praise parties.

The name came from someone who said 'we are building a lean-to, like on a barn.' So we looked up the word 'lean-to' and it said 'a building supported by another structure, often a tree'. We thought that fit us as we can only stand with the support of the cross. There are several other things that the Lord did but I will write about them later.

I want to say something about Pentecost. I think it is over looked by many churches. Today at church we celebrated Pentecost with praise and worship, each person shared what the Holy Spirit meant to them. It was really powerful.

The day of Pentecost is the day the church started. It is the day that the Holy Spirit manifested Himself and it was a sign that Jesus is sitting at the right hand of God. ("Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the Gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with water but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit." Acts.1:4-5 NIV). Jesus kept telling them that when He got to the Father, the Father would send the promised Holy Spirit, and that HE DID. ("God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are ALL WITNESSES of the fact. Exalted to the right hand of God, He has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out WHAT YOU NOW SEE AND HEAR") Acts.2:32-33 NIV. This is a great promise for us because we are no longer under the law but the Spirit. V.41 tells us that at the Pentecost when the Holy Spirit was first given there were about 3,000 saved that day. But in the Old Testament when the day of Pentecost came the Law was given and there were about 3,000 that died that day. Ex 32:28.

What will you chose, the Spirit of Grace, or the Law?

"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-and this not from yourself, it is a gift of God." Eph.2:8 NIV

Ask Him for the HOLY SPIRIT

Saturday, May 23, 2009


Jeremiah. 7 1/2 years
15 mo. Iraq Sheldon. 8 years
12 mo. Afghanistan
39 mo. Iraq

Steve 4 years
15 mo. Iraq
Good pick Meg

Mark 4 years
nuclear submarine

George and I at work
Darlene & I lived with
George & Ann
2 Years

Darlene & I
The first day we saw
each other since leaving
for the Army 1952
Darlene & I at Fort Sill

Me at Kansas State University

We are proud of our family members who have made a big sacrifice to help keep our country free. 248 months, 93 of them in hostile territory, away from home and loved ones. We thank them and their individual families for their support and prayers. JOB WELL DONE!!!

Thursday, May 14, 2009


Communications have really changed in rural America. Our phone system has always been South Western Bell. They were always thought to be the best up to date service and equipment available but in later years the local companies have newer and better equipment like fiber optic. Our phone was the old crank type phone. The reason they called it a crank phone was because it had a small crank on the side to crank out the ring you wanted. You could crank the operator and the people on your line. The operator was one long ring and each person that was on your line had a different combination of rings. Ours was two long and three short rings. Our number was 22F3O.

There were 11 other people on our line plus a long distance operator which served a local farmer owned company. We would hear all their long distance calls ring. With one telephone line you would have to wait on people that were talking to finish before you could use it. It was good and bad. The good was your neighbor could watch out for you. If you needed help you could do a line ring (a long ring) and every body that heard the ring would come and help. When Pearl Harbor was bombed, leading us into WWII, someone heard it on the radio and gave a line ring so everyone knew about it right away. Also, if someone called you and one of your neighbors knew you were gone they would answer it and tell them you were not home, or where you went shopping.

One bad thing was that you had no private call because there was always someone listening. I remember that we had two women that listened to all the calls, and they would butt in when you were talking with someone else. They might say 'no that's not the way it is', or 'did you hear....? Most of the time when you would answer your phone you would hear click, click and you would know people were listening in on you. I guess that's why they called it a PARTY LINE, you always had a 'party' listening. Most of the time when you wanted to use the phone it would be busy, they would get on there and visit for hours. Every time you listened to see if you could use the phone they would know it because it made a click sound. They would say 'someone wants to use the phone', then keep right on talking! If they didn't stop you would have to ring in on them and that would make them mad and they would hang up. We had two neighbor women that didn't care much for each other. They would ring in on each other or tell each other 'get off the line I need to use the phone, you have been on it all day'.

The long distance line for Lamar was always busy in the evenings. Sometimes we had calls ringing all night long on our line. The operator could hear every thing that was going on in our neighborhood. Lamar Telephone Co. was a poor company. They had one wire and they hung it on fence posts, trees, and any thing to keep it off the ground. The poles they had were cut from hedge trees. They were short and not too big, but they had a telephone and that was better than n0thing.

My sister Donna worked for Bell in Minneapolis and Salina as an operator so we got to go and watch what the operators had to do when some one used their phone. They had several operators in our small town because they had to keep the switchboard open 24/7.

We kids had our own private phone company. We made 'phones' like the one pictured above. We would use them between two hideouts. Don't laugh---they worked!!

Saturday, May 9, 2009


The neighbor that lived one mile north of us had a coon hound.  His name was Wheeler. I believe he was what you call a black and tan, anyway that was his colors.   I didn't really know this man very well even though he was only a mile from us because he was in another township and the mail and telephone and schools were different than ours.  But sometimes he would be driving by our school at recess and he would stop and talk with us.  He always had a gun or two with him and had a hunting story to tell us. And he liked to tell dirty stories to us boys so we got to know him better because we were always interested in his stories, especially the off colored ones.  

One time he asked me if I wanted to go coon hunting with him that night?   I said yes.  I think I was 8 or 9 and I had never been coon hunting before so I didn't know what to expect.  It was quite an experience.   It was scary for me and he made it worse by telling scary stories that he was making up. It was cold and dark and after a half hour I wanted to go home but I didn't tell him.   That night I learned to tell the different cry of a coon dog when they are tracking a coon or rabbit or the opossum.  The cry is a distinct sound, when they tree a coon they really come alive.

Pipe creek runs through our land so we would hunt it often.   The neighbor to the east of us had some land that joined ours that made one mile of creek to hunt.   In his field he had a drain that drained the water from his land.   It was a 10 or 12 inch clay tile that dumped in the creek.   The smart coons would run into the tile.  It had two openings in the field and they would get in the tile and the dog couldn't get them.    One night we put buckets in the openings before we started so they couldn't get in the tile.    Old Wheeler started chasing a coon and soon we heard the old coon  hit the buckets so we got some of the smart coons that night.   One time when hunters from a northern town was hunting by the tile they had a small dog and it got caught in the tile and they finally had to dig the tile up to get him out.   

In later years my brother LaRoy hunted with Lester more than I did.   I remember one night all three of us were hunting on Briggs' place.  We just turned old Wheeler loose and most of the time we would wait for Wheeler to get his running around done before we started walking but tonight we were still getting our lights and coats on when Wheeler opened up a hot trail and a short time later  he treed.   So we took off to see what he had treed.  When we got there we were surprised there were 5 coons in one tree.    So Lester shot them out of the tree.   He said it was a family. We forgot to bring a sack so we put four on the dog chain and I put it over my shoulder, two in front and two in the back, and LaRoy carried the other one.    Lester said we will hunt a little more and as we were walking things were crawling all over me and driving me nuts so I headed back to the pickup.   When I got there I was covered with fleas I had to take my clothes off to get rid of them.  That was the last time I went coon hunting.

In those days the fur of the animals were worth a lot of money so coon hunters would skin them and sell the pelts of coons, possums, and sometimes, skunks.  If the dog cornered a skunk and got sprayed that was the end of the coon hunting for that night because the dog couldn't pick up the scent of a coon after he got sprayed. 

One thing that I really liked about coon hunting was looking at the heavens, all the stars and different lights in the sky, the night life you hear and see, owls, skunks, birds, farm animals and other sounds that made you wonder what kind of animal that was!  It was a whole new world. Fleas to you!!