Mike, I think you are trying to flatter me! I was not aware that I am “quite popular.” I really am trying to share life the way I see it. That being said, there is hardly anything I see that doesn’t relate back to Scripture and point to the person of Jesus Christ. Good question, but I’m not really sure.
You often speak about your conversion as a young man. Times have changed and young people deal with different problems—or do they? What advice would you offer a young man just starting out in the faith?
Times have changed and yet they really haven’t. Young people are still tempted with the temptations I faced in my generation. I do think that due to electronics and the availability of material and its quick access that these temptations are easier to fulfill. My advice would be the same that Solomon gave: “Get wisdom.” True wisdom is found only in Christ and in His word. I would advise every person, young or old, to saturate themselves in the word of God.
Certainly you’ve watched yourself progress in your love for God over your life. What does the Lord mean to you today?
The Lord is everything to me. I can’t say it any better than David did in Psalm 27:1—“The Lord is my light and my salvation.” He gave me the faith to believe in Him and then He saved me. How could He not be everything to a child of God for such a gift as this?
What is your favorite scripture and why is it important to you?
I have no single favorite verse; I have many favorite verses, and I will share one of them. “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 8:1). This verse can transform your Christian life, and it took me many years to finally get this. I knew it in my mind as mere words; but in my soul I really didn’t understand grace and ALL that Christ accomplished in His work on the cross. This isn’t cheap grace. It cost God His only Son, who willingly gave up His life for us. This verse means everything to me.
You live in Smalltown, USA—in Oklahoma to be exact—and you love it, often sharing really quaint and folksy stories of your goings about. You seem to be a careful observer of American life. How has it changed in your time?
Our country and world have changed so much in my brief life, some of it for the better, but much for the worse. I am sheltered from a lot of it living in rural Oklahoma, but I get around and know what is going on elsewhere. I don’t see people really caring for others or genuine love and respect for one another. People being friendly to one another is hard to find. We still wave to oncoming vehicles where I live, which is a ‘neat thing’ today. These trends don’t seem to be improving.
Have you ever seen an Oklahoma tornado, or any tornado?
Just last year all of the alarms were going off. I was tracking a storm on radar with my phone, and it was coming straight for us. We gathered up the grandchildren that were around and they ran for the “fraidy hole,” the storm shelter. My wife, kids, and dog were already safe inside, but I never entered it. I wanted to see as much as I could; and when it got close enough, I would jump in. I could see the storm approaching only a couple of miles west of us, heading our direction. Then, it suddenly veered north. I called for my grandson Matt and we followed it some. I have seen two other storms. Most of the really big tornadoes seem to hit around Oklahoma City, which is about 100 miles from us. Fortunately, I’ve never been involved in a direct hit.
A Master Gardener is one who teaches the public about plant life and maintaining it. Each year in August Oklahoma State University and the State Ag Extension office train 40 new Master Gardeners. There is a big application process. Since it is a volunteer-only position and costs money for training, I figured anybody could get in. The year I applied there were over 200 applications for the 40 spots. I didn’t think I had a chance. Well I was selected!
The training is very much like being in college and is taught by professors. We were tested on plant pathology, entomology, turf grasses, soils and fertility, pesticides, and many other subjects.
Our roles are what each Master Gardner chooses he or she would like to participate in within the program. I participate mostly by answering questions by phone, email, and in person at the Extension office; and I usually set aside Wednesdays for this. I am also on the Speakers Bureau. Garden clubs, Rotary clubs, and others invite us to speak to their groups, something I really enjoy doing. I also enjoy school programs. I cover seven different topics with kids in grades K-5; my favorite lesson is insects. I‘ve written posts about my participation at the Tulsa State Fair and in garden shows.
What is your writing process?
This depends on what type of post it is. If I’m writing a post on a past event in my life or just a thought, I am usually sitting in my favorite leather chair with my iPad, which I always have with me. If it’s a real lesson, I sit at a desk in my study, preparing with open books and my Bible. If it’s a sermon, it is much the same, but a little different yet. So I think in three different modes when preparing a post. Sometimes I get into teacher-preacher mode. I’ve noticed that I come across differently and even use some what different language.
I have no doubt that when I see Him face-to-face I will be humbled and will probably fall to the ground in total reverence of Him.
You are one of the most transparent persons I’ve read on WordPress. Still, what are two things readers would be surprised to know about you?
First, I’m an Anglophile. My family came from England, Ireland, and Scotland. I love the UK; the countryside is breathtakingly beautiful. I would liked to have lived there in the mid- to late-1800’s; and maybe I wouldn’t have, but I can identify with those people.
Secondly, I’m a cowboy who likes various types of music. I listen to very little Country. I may be in my study with Classical music playing today; tomorrow I may be listening to the Bee Gees. But I’m a real sucker when it comes to the Motown love songs, the kind I used to slow dance to at sock hops—“Ooh, Ooh, Oooh, Baby, Baby!”
Until tomorrow, Lord willing,