Devotion After Church Closes

“Oh, come, come, come. Come to the church by the wildwood.”       That line’s from our favorite Sunday School hymn when we got to pick one. While we can’t sing, it still “gets us in the spirit.”

Reflection came Saturday night when we sadly gathered for the last summer picnic of the church where Mom, our grandparents and family attended eight decades ago.

Influence of Emmanuel Church in rural Wabaunsee County southeast of Alta Vista spread faith to many generations in its 134 years. We attended with our aunt, uncle and cousins in the early ’50s, and tagged along as Mom never missed the Germany Picnic at Emmanuel.

Light bulbs were strung from trees around the one-room churchyard with its cemetery just feet away. One-by-twelves were set up on barrels for a counter, as menfolk grilled hamburgers from homegrown beef, while the seemingly bottomless lemonade tub, with freshly squeezed lemons floating, provided cool refreshment.

Hand cranks started churning homemade ice cream early, with fresh cows’ milk and cream provided by church goers, flavored by homegrown strawberries, peaches, and blueberries, creating supper highlight.

Turtle races, ring toss and beanbag pitch with canes for winners were most important to us then, but the country church programs on hayrack stage, opened by preacher’s prayer, featuring young to old singing, acting and everything in between, are quite memorable.

Started in 1880 by German immigrants, Emmanuel Church was erected in 1889 with member and community contributions from 50 cents to $50. Originally, sermons were said in German as men sat on one side, and women on the other.  Ministers started using English in 1917, when Germany was at war in Europe

The Germany Picnic was celebrated annually from the beginning, with more than 600 attending some years.

Our grandson was baptized at Emmanuel, and we’ve again partaken the picnic in recent times. Emmanuel Church felt resurgence Saturday evening with pews filled, and the kitchen addition overflowing

Reflections were of baptisms, marriages, funerals, Saturday and Sunday  services, happy times and the sad.

Despite efforts to continue, the “little white church by the side of the road” is closed. Yet, the faith spread for generations continues into eternity.

Reminds us of First Timothy 3:15: “Church is the family of the living God.” Therefore, Psalm 100:5: “His faith and truth endure to all generations.”


Meatloaf And Homemade Pie Just Inkling Of Paxico’s Festival Lineup June 28

Yep, there’ll be the best meatloaf and homemade pie in the country.

And, a whole lot more, too.

“We have meatloaf and pie baking contests as special attractions, but a full packed daylong slate of additional activities are planned for our sixth annual Paxico Meatloaf Festival Saturday, June 28, at Paxico, right off Highway I70, Exits 333 and 335, west of Topeka,” announced Larry Winkler, official of the Paxico Merchants Association.

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Inflated Tires Essential

“It’s only flat on one side.”

The comment seemed funny as our brother-in-law said it while we were doctoring up other family newlyweds’ car minutes before they planned to leave the church on their honeymoon.

Obviously, their getaway took longer than intended, and hearsay was that the deflation was manmade orneriness intended toward the groom. Although an accusing look came our way, we were innocent of any mischievous deed.

Appreciating just how disheartening flat tires can be, we offered assistance, first by pursuing jack and wrench, but decided there was sufficient inflation to limp the car across the street to an air pump.

Actually, the prank wasn’t much of a hang up at all, and even had humor, as everyone attempted to figure out the guilty party, who never admitted, and isn’t yet known for certain.       There are many things worse than flat tires. But, it’s still a dirty, aggravating, wasteful inconvenience, especially when we’re already running late.

Some small cars we’ve driven really weren’t that difficult to change a tire on, with a little scissor-jack and only four lug nuts. That is if the spare had air in it. Unfortunately, on more than one occasion, it didn’t.

However, when there’s a flat on the feed truck  in a snowstorm, or in 112 degrees, that’s a major ordeal. The cow manager has been caught in that predicament many times, but somehow, fortunately, she seems to take changing them as “part of the job.”

Likely, she’s just decided it’s easier to “just do it,” than call for help that won’t assist, will endlessly complain while helping, or, most likely, she can really do it better than they can anyway.

Regardless, we had four new tires put on our car last week. We’ve had the vehicle about 16 months, driven it 60,000 miles. We don’t know how old the rubber was when we got the vehicle, but there was always a shimmy.

That didn’t matter, because we never had a flat tire. Actually with more than 225,000 miles on the odometer, the spare, jack and wrench are still factory installed. We have no intention of that changing.

Reminds us of Exodus 23:10: “Just leave it alone.”  But, Philippians 3:1: “Better to be safe than sorry.” Yet, need be, Amos 9:11: “Repair the holes to fix up like new.”


Tough Competition As Rhythmic Recitations Yield Champion Kansas Cowboy Poets

It’s not easy to be a champion cowboy.

While there’s always been a romantic sense about the cowboy way of life, there’s nothing that’s ever been easy about the profession.

Likewise, it’s plenty hard becoming a champion cowboy poet.

Proof is readily verified as tough competition in three qualifying rounds brought the best from three states to the 2014 Kansas Cowboy Poetry Contest Friday evening at Alma.

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