Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Sobering Glimpse into Pergatory and God's Mercy

I was toying with a couple of blog ideas for this week, one being how I have seen the blog world used as a tool for Christian ministry and spiritual growth. I was going to write about several blog friends I have formed (see my links) in which our spiritual dialogue and debate has benefitted us all, and use the example of us starting the Mere Discipleship Discussion blog which has led to the podcast of Lee Camp's Sunday AM class at Otter Creek.

Well this morning I received an email that committed me to such a post. However I am going to focus on one single situation that touches my heart to the point of tears. For my blog friends, if you question whether your blogging is serving the Kingdom, I hope today's post convinces you that God will use you. Here are excerpts from communications with the mother of Pergatory Penman.

Tony, I am the mother of Jeffrey Wallace, purgatorypenman. Thank you so much for the CD that you sent. You've gotten it back, I'm sure. They are not allowed to have electronic machines, contrary to the gossip that permeates our society which details instances of inmates having cell phones, TV's, etc. I guess that right only exists in the federal facilities where Martha Stewart and Michael Milken spent time. Thank you for allowing others to view his gifts by directing them to his blog. I truly believe God has a purpose for him in this life yet.

I really would appreciate your writing to Jeffrey. We set up the blog for my son even though, of course, he does not have access to a computer and cannot view his own writing nor make comments to others in real time. He sends the articles to me; I transcribe them to the blog; then, I print them out, along with any comments that might be left there, and send them to him. This way, he is participating in everything about the blog.

He begged me to set it up because it seemed a good way to disseminate information about his situation to the world--to tell his story. Under the subject matter of Christian Analysis and Discussion, I found your blog and others of the same ilk, leaving comments and asking for communication. God was leading me that evening because those people whom you directed to Jeffrey's blog have helped so much to raise his morale. And, of course, the things you have said have meant so much. It is my plan to publish some of my son's articles in either a devotional booklet or some similar publication. Your comment started me thinking along those lines.

My son has always been very religious but has waxed and waned in his walk with God over the years. His faith is very simplistic--isn't that what Jesus called for? He really thinks that God intervenes directly in the lives of His children, and circumstances have often proved his belief. [However], at intervals, he [feels] depression and despair--a function of the place in which he finds himself.

[Jeffrey] is very intelligent, and ... it is such a pleasure to discuss and analyze important subjects with him. This was true even when he was very young. I loved to go on automobile trips with him because they would give us a lot of time to converse. He is constantly pointing my thinking into new directions that I would never have thought of on my own (especially in the realm of spirituality) and I consider myself to be fairly intelligent. I knew he would have something to contribute to interaction among people searching for Biblical knowledge. That is why I contacted you and your friends through your blogs.

I am a retired educator from Memphis who has moved to the country [in] Tn. I bought 101/2 acres and moved up here just before Jeffrey's tragedy happened. It is necessary for me to drive to Florida every three months, at least--more often for special occasions. Much of my time is taken up with writing to officials in the Florida DOC, Jeb Bush, my Congressman John Tanner, Senator Frist, and anyone else who might be able to resolve whatever situation is critical at the moment for my son. I, also, do some freelance writing, garden, sing with groups at church, teach a SS class, do other church work, and even substitute teach at times. My son's situation is, of course, the number one priority for me these days.

May I please ask you again to write to him? It was so nice of you to send the CD. Sometimes, things like that can be directed to the facility's library. Otherwise, any books or periodicals must come from the publisher or well-known booksellers. I send many through Barnes and Nobel where I can order Online.

Please pray for Jeffrey and for all our family members who must live with this situation every day and still try to function effectively in our complicated society of today. Thank you again for being a real Christian and giving some of your time to reading Jeffrey's blog and making thoughtful comments. You have definitely been an answer to my prayers. It is good to make your acquaintance.

[Ms.] Wallace

I am constantly astounded by the exuberant thanks people express for acts I and others have done that seem so miniscule, so trivial. I often don't feel as if I did anything and yet it seems so important to them. I say this not to call attention to myself, but to call attention of to how God uses the smallest of actions, words, and gestures to make an impact in the lives of others--mustard seeds. Every now and then we actually get to hear or see that impact. How many unknown situations are you being used in by God? On the opposite side, our negatives actions must have equal impact and we never know how we have hurt someone.

I encourage those that read this blog to pray continually for Jeffrey and his family and to read and comment on his blog at Pergutory Penman. On his blog is his address. I encourage you to write him a note. The most occassional contact can sustain a soul.


Thursday, April 06, 2006

Nashville Reminiscing and Trivia Answer

First, the results of the trivia: 3rd place Jettybetty w/ 1 star; 2nd place Amanda w/ 2.5 stars (the half is for the Madonna remix fact); 1 st place SistaSmiff with 4 stars.

Answer: "the day the music died" was from Don Mclean's American Pie written about the day the Big Bopper, Buddy Holly, and Ritchie Valens (La Bamba) were killed in a plane crash.

Nashville Reminiscing
Thanks to Brittney of Nashville is Talking for linking me the other day. My 15 seconds of blog fame! Reading through some of the comments at Nashville is Talking leads me to this quick post today.

Nashville is so different from my child and teenage years. There are many good changes, but so many things I miss.

I miss:
  • KDF Rock--Nashville airwaves have never been the same since.
  • The old Tennessee Theatre downtown (saw Cheap Trick on the Dream Police Tour there--awesome)
  • The Belle Meade Theatre
  • Opryland (like we needed another mall--more traffic thank you very much)
  • Having the run of Radnor Lake natural area because it wasn't a trendy hiking place.
  • Jim Coursey's Barbecue -- the best ever and the greatest sauce known to man, and corn cakes that were like Manna.
  • Low Property Taxes !!!!
  • Carmen's family restaurant at Hwy 70/100 split. Some of the best Italian food ever--the pizza was gourmet before gourmet pizza became a marketing buzz word.
  • Kids could run free in their neighborhoods without fear.
  • Seeing Sara Cannon smiling and laughing with anyone at H.G. Hills, the post office, etc in Green Hills (Minnie Pearl)
  • H.G. Hills
  • Walter Nipper's Nashville Sporting Goods downtown store. It was to kids and sports what Phillips Toy Mart was to kids and toys. (correction: still there, but I miss going; will have to visit.)
  • No lines at the Pancake Pantry

If you want a great list of wonderful things that are no longer visit Nashville Memories.

Some things that are better:

  • The return of the Ryman as a main venue.
  • Rivitalization of Lower Broadway
  • Coffee Houses
  • No more Ray Blanton (but his legacy lives on in the state legislature it seems)
  • TPAC and now the new Schermerhorn Symphony Center

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Classic Rocker Memory Test

Okay, based on some dialogue from my previous post I decided to post a non-serious blog this week. If you think you have an answer to the question posed at the end of the commentary (confession) below, post your answer without reading other comments first, that way you don't cheat.

JMG felt old because music from the late 80's is put in the classic genre by some. Well how do you think I feel? I actually remember when WKDA-AM added WKDA-FM rock (1972) later to become KDF 103 The Rock (1976), the best rock station in the south if not east of the Mississippi. Carl P. Mayfield was the long time DJ for this hard rock station. Did anyone have a Trans AM with the big black and yellow KDF sticker on the back window? Or a guitar case or music equipment with that sticker? Here is a history link for this great station: KDF History.

I also remember when KDF switched formats from hard rock to classic rock and now it is a country station. All those Carl P characters you country people know came from his KDF Rock days.

Among Nashville rockers, the day the music died was when KDF went country.
OK...that should test the old folks. What song is the bold phrase from and to what did it refer in that song? If you know the artist, you get bonus kudos for being old but still have a great memory...for meaningless minutae.

Have fun.