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The Journey Continues: Three Years

Sunday, March 17, 2019

This column, "The Journey Continues," celebrates three years this month and was started through a fateful encounter with Don Moore, former publisher of the San Marcos Daily Record. Since arriving in San Marcos in 1989, I had read Jerry Bullock’s column “Life Is Like That” every Sunday. Upon Bullock’s retirement, after 31 years as columnist, Pastor Gary Smith continued a Sunday column which I enjoyed reading also, until it disappeared. At an opportune moment, I seized the chance: “Don, I want to do the Sunday column.” Without hesitation he returned fire and said “OK” to my request; adding that “it doesn’t pay anything, needs to be 400 words, and I don’t edit or type.”

At first, Lori Steindorf, followed by Laura Aebi, to currently Rachel Willis, were the feature editors of the San Marcos Daily Record and managed my weekly columns. Anita Miller, managing editor, and Lance Winter, present Publisher have supported my efforts.

I have written about equality, trust, respect, service to the nation, reading and summer ministry and national holidays, but always with a Biblical reference. I have interviewed a variety of folks, both wellknown and unknown to the general readership. I always asked them to share their favorite “life verse” from the Bible. Journeying from Fentress to College Station; to West Point, New York; to west Texas, to Vietnam, to San Marcos, some of my encounters were planned and some were serendipity, but I trusted the Lord that all were his divine appointments.

Today and over the next two Sundays highlights from three years of columns will be reviewed:

1. My first column was about running over a dog in Fentress and how I covered its little lifeless body with a communion cloth I had in the car. I wrote about my next task – finding the dog’s owner – and how in Texas when you run over a someone's dog, you don’t speed away, you stop and find the owner.

“A righteous man cares for the needs of his animal.”

Proverbs 12:10a

2. In one of my earliest journeys, I went to Sinai Pentecostal Church and its pastor, brother Sam Montoya – the longest tenured pastor serving in San Marcos; he is the dean. This month he will complete 48 years in the pulpit at Sinai and credits the Lord, his wife Melba and supportive family for his successful ministry. He loves his church family and his church family loves him.

3. The only column that I have repeated word-forword annually is the Nativity Play at Christmas. The script for this two-part series offers the complete story of Jesus’ birth as recorded in Matthew and Luke. The play was first performed in 1992 at the San Marcos Baptist Academy, but has been adapted for multiple audiences – mission trip presentations in Mexico, at the Austin Soup Kitchen and Southside Shelter, with the San Antonio Children and Family Services, and at Mission Churches like Redwood Baptist.

4. In October 2016, my journey took me to Ophelia Coleman while she was a patient at St. David’s Hospital with a severe case of meningitis. As she regained consciousness, she recited from memory the entire 23rd Psalm – she knew who her Good Shepard was. I discovered that she is the great-granddaughter of Martha Benny Lawshe, a slave born in Georgia in 1829 and brought to San Marcos in the 1850s as part of Colonel-Doctor Peter Woods household. Her life was interwoven in the well-received book, "True Women" by Janice Woods Windle. After Coleman’s recovery, she returned to San Marcos and is now the happy caregiver for her little granddaughter.