Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Remembering Dr. Pryor...

Dr. Neale Pryor, a Searcy neighbor and one of my favorite teachers at Harding University, passed away on Sunday.  I remember him as an extremely bright and funny guy who delivered Bible lessons and sermons that were easy on the ears.

Dr. Pryor led off a good number of lectures or stories by saying, “Well allllllllllright.”  He always smiled and greeted people by name.

It still warms my heart to think of these things.

He will surely be missed.

 My sister Cindy’s photo of Neale Pryor (center) at the Flanders Road Church of Christ in Toledo, OH.  (My brother-in-law Jeff is on the right.)

Saturday, September 24, 2011

The Culture Warrior

My dad is a culture warrior.  He looks for two things in politicians:

1)      They must be against abortion.
2)      They must be against same-sex marriage.

I was telling a young/hip couple from our church about my dad’s political philosophy.  I expected them to respond with something like, “Really?  That’s all he considers?”

Instead, the woman said, “Hey, those are pretty important things.  That sounds good to me.”

(My first vote was cast for this guy, way back in 1984.)

Monday, September 19, 2011

The Good Stuff

This old photo of my Dad, my neighbor Dale, and me is one of my favorites.  We’re at a Harding event, maybe around 1969 or so.  Dad is shelling out some dough.  I’m guessing it’s for a “Coke” (all sodas were called “Coke”) or maybe for some popcorn.

I come across this picture in “volume one” of my old photo albums.  It reminds me of the good stuff I left behind in Searcy, Ark.  (And yes, I still remember the sign that hung in the old Harding post office.  It went something like this:  “There’s no place I’d rather be, than 72143.”)

The good stuff:
  • Cruising around town on my red Schwinn bike
  • Waking up on fall Saturday mornings to the sounds of the Harding College band as they practiced at the football field (just a block away)
  • Running around Harding Park, screaming like crazy with the other kids of Harding employees
  • Getting my first Harding Academy t-shirt with a Wildcat on the front and “ALLEN” printed on the back
  • Going to VBS, potlucks, Bible classes, gospel meetings, and about a million worship services at the College Church

I felt a strong sense of community in that place.  I look back, and I miss it sometimes.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Mixed-bathing … is that okay?

During my growing up years in the 1970s and 80s, I began to notice that my church was different from other ones.  For one thing, we had unique doctrinal views about baptism, weekly communion, and instrumental music.  There wasn’t a lot of wiggle room on those issues.  And for another, we had a long list of activities that we shouldn’t partake in … activities like drinking alcohol, dancing, or swimming with members of the opposite sex (which was sometimes called “mixed bathing”).

I shared this information with a friend who grew up in a Church of Christ in Arizona.  He said, “Yeah, at our church it was all about the same … except for the view about mixed-swimming.  It’s hot in Arizona.”

(Pictured above is my hometown church building, the College Church of Christ in Searcy, Arkansas.  This picture dates to about 1976 or so.)

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Baggage Check

My friend Bob, a Christian counselor, was telling me about his job:

BOB:  Mike, you’re Church of Christ, right?
ME:  Right.
BOB:  I see lots of people from the Church of Christ.  (Pause.)  And Seventh Day Adventists.  I see a lot of Seventh Day Adventists.