Monday, August 30, 2004

Being Afraid

Last Sunday night I was blessed by attending the Littleton church in Colorado. The lesson that evening was taken from Mark 5, and a five word sentence spoken by Jesus jumped off the page at me. Probably because it was as if he were speaking to me so personally. I don't know if he could have said anything more applicable for my life. Jairus has approached Jesus thru a large crowd and asked Jesus to save his "little daughter" who is dying. I never was blessed with a little daughter, but I was blessed with two little boys and I know how a parent feels when their children are sick.....I can only imagine how many times over that is when a child is dying. On the way, Jesus gets destracted by the woman who was ill and touched his garment. That is a whole other blog!! As that encounter comes to a close, some men came and told Jairus that the situation was hopeless, that his daughter had already died...and that he should quit bothering Jesus. Jesus heard what they had told Jairus, and here was his five word response: "DON'T BE AFRAID, JUST BELIEVE".

Those words may not resonate with you, but I confess they REALLY connect with me! I am a laid-back happy go-lucky dude on the outside, but on the inside I am a worrier. I find a peace in those words that I am not able to produce on my own. I have been told that phrase of not fearing or being afraid is the MOST repeated words of Jesus that we have recorded. Get the feeling he could relate to us? Get the feeling he knew what we feel on a day to day basis? I hope you will join me in trying to walk the walk of faith, that casts out all fear.

Yes, after being laughed at for saying she was only asleep, Jesus raised this 12 year old from the dead. He even used her father's words and called her "Little Girl".

I end with a question. For the rest of his life, how much of it do you think Jairus lived under the bondage of fear? There is no way to know, but we do know he had a sweet daily reminder walking around the house. Do you have any daily reminders?

I do.

Friday, August 27, 2004


I guess if I am going to write about somebody twice, Bill Harris is as good a choice as any. My first entry didn't post for several hours, so I thought it had gotten lost. Oh well, Bill is still teaching me patience even in his passing.


Mr. Bison

As of yesterday evening, I know what the new mascot in heaven is......a Bison. We lost Bill Harris yesterday. "Mr. Bill", as we called him in the Advancement Office, was a good friend, co-worker and mentor to me. He also was one of my Shepherds. I will miss him greatly.

My association with Bill goes back to 1974. Jan had grown up with Nancy, so I met Bill thru my courting of Jan. I also worked for Bill and Ben Berry in the old box factory when I was in my Sophomore year at Harding. But no doubt for me and most of you, when I think of Bill I think of Bison Athletics. I don't guess I can prove it, but I believe that Bill and Lil have been to more Bison events than any other people in the history of the University. I know Dr. Ganus has been to most of them also, but he is gone out of the country so much I assume he has missed some events because of that. I remember back in the 70's Bill and Lil working in the Concession Stand at Bison games. When Matt was playing for the Bisons, we would pull up to some stadium in the middle of no where, and there Bill and Lil would be sitting in the bleachers. Bill was what I think of when someone mentions the words "Ultimate Fan". Going to Bison games just won't be the same for a long time!
I am so glad that the Academy Gym was dedicated and named for he and Lil before his passing. He was very deserving of that honor.

I loved Bill Harris. I am a better person because of his work ethic and energy.
I will miss his Shepherding talks, and his wisdom. He had a good walk, and I am glad I got to walk with him for a short while. I look forward to the time we will walk again on the other side...........probably beside some field of Bison.

Mr. Bison

As all of you know, we lost Bill Harris yesterday. To simply say that he will be missed is a gross understatement. "Mr. Bill" ,as we called him up in this office, was dearly loved, appreciated, and highly respected. Bill came from the old school....the school that doesn't put out as many graduates as it used to. Those that went to that school came out with one very important common denominator.....a VERY strong work ethic. As many of you know from experience, Bill was relentless in his efforts to raise funds for Harding. He let you know that he would love you if you didn't contribute, but he also communicated very strongly that he expected you to do what you could to help out. I doubt there is anybody that raised more money from the folks in the Searcy area than Bill. He was a blessing to this office, and to Harding.

Even though I cherish the years I got to work with Bill in the Advancement Office, I will always remember Bill most as a Bison supporter. I can remember back in the 70's he and Lil working in the concession stand at Bison games. I wonder if there is ANYBODY that attended more Bison sporting events than Bill Harris? I would guess Dr. Ganus would be a close second, but Bill just didn't miss ANY Bison event! When Matt was playing for the Bisons, we would go off to some school in the middle of no where, and there Bill and Lil would be sitting in the stands waiting on everybody else to get there! When I picture a true fan in my mind, there is a picture of Bill Harris there. He was there no matter what kind of season they were didn't matter. He loved his Bisons, and nothing was going to keep him from supporting those kids and the team. I was blessed to get to witness him being a fan of his grandson, Justin, and that was really fun. I know he went to Nashville and Memphis to watch other grandchildren participate in athletic events. I am so glad that the Academy Gym was dedicated to and named for he and Lil while he was still alive! I can't think of anyone more deserving.

Lastly, Bill was one of my Shepherds for many years. I could bring any problem to him, and he made the time for me. He let me know that he would take as much time as we needed to talk about things.....and I always appreciated him doing that. He loved my family, and more importantly he SHOWED them that he loved them. They loved him too. Jan has loved Bill longer than anybody in our family because of her relationship with Nancy that goes back to early 60's. She will miss him greatly I know.

Thanks Bill for everything you did for Harding, for your influence for the Lord, for you support of athletics........and most of all for being a good friend. I love you much, and I will miss you. Bison games won't be the same for a LONG time. I know what the newest mascot in Heaven is! Thanks for blessing all of our lives.

Friday, August 20, 2004

"I'm just mad about Safron"

Ok, not every blog entry can be on the highest of planes. Most of my life hasn't been there......why should my blog be any different? So after getting that disclaimer out of the way, does anybody remember that song that says "They call me Mellow Yellow"? If so, then you have to remember the phrase in the song that is the title to today's entry, and here is my "Safron" the name he is saying, or am I deaf? It reminds me of the "King of Queens" episode where Doug and Carrie are arguing over what Neil Diamond is of em thought he was singing "Reverend Blue Jeans"!!! :) That is why I am scared.....have I been singing this song (no, not often) WRONG for all these years? It's just I've never heard of any female being named "Safron". Come to think of it, I am not sure I want to. I met a man once who looked like he was willing to fight over the fact that in the Creedence song "Down on the Corner", the next phrase was "Audi (the car) in the street." We just brushed him off, cause anybody that sick is not somebody you want to argue with! I will end with a confession. When I was up into my teens....I thought it was "there is a BOMB, in Gilead" when we sang that in church. Even though it's sad, I may have been a prophet!

Gone to Colorado next week! Somebody has to do it!

Thursday, August 19, 2004

The Olympics

I know I am just passing through this life. I know God loves matter what nation is named on the outside of their passport or their Olympic uniform. I know my citizenship is in heaven. I say all of those things with firm conviction. But let me tell you, I still get chill-bumps when our national anthem is played at the medal ceremony of any particular event at the Olympics. Especially if the champion has overcome great odds to achieve this ultimate prize. I am proud of ALL the matter what country they come from. But let's face it, I am even more proud when it is an American standing up there. If that is wrong, I will just have to hope God's grace is big enough to cover this shortcoming. Until somebody shows me the error of my ways......I say "GO USA"! Good luck to all the Olympic athletes from all over the world! Thanks for giving us all that you have, and then some. I know it is an old saying, but it's still true........they are ALL winners in my book.

Monday, August 16, 2004

Destin Wedding

Well, I have just returned from being at the most beautiful wedding I have ever attended in my life! Let me be about the quinzillionith person to's hard to improve on Mother Nature and what God has created. I was in Destin, Florida for the wedding of my nephew Patrick Cone and Lauren Cantrell. The ceremony took place on the whiter than white sands of Destin as the sun was going down on the emerald waters of the Gulf Coast. If heaven is an improvement on that, then I can't WAIT to get there. I have had a few surreal moments in my life, but this had to be one of the most vivid ones. It was like something out of a movie......a place so beautiful that it had to be computer enhanced. Ok, here is the kicker. The sky, beach and ocean were not even the most beautiful thing about the wedding. Without a doubt, the most beautiful creation present there that evening were the hearts of the two lovers getting married. God did something with those two precious kids that he didn't do with nature.....He BREATHED His life and breath into them and gave them a part of Him. The gleam of love in their eyes made the surroundings even more beautiful......and if you don't think that is possible, trust is.

Congrats to Jimmy and Andee.....Steve and Lisa.....all the grand-parents.....and all the other relatives and friends. Thanks Patrick and Lauren for inviting all of us to your special day! What a gift that was!

Most of all, thank you God for the gift of Love.....and for loving us even though we make a mess of that gift so often.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

74, 84, 94

Please tell me that I am wrong. My "Old Math" skills tell me that 30 years ago this month I came to Harding College as a freshman. NO WAY! I still remember the first night in Armstrong. I am not a person who sweats a lot, but I woke up that first morning in a puddle of own sweat. I remember Robert Burch and I being VERY anxious for Mike Mitchell to hurry up and get there with the window unit air-conditioner. That freshman year at Harding was one of the best years of my life! I had Neale Pryor every day for Bible at 8:00 in the morning, and even though I didn't go to a lot of classes as a freshman, I NEVER missed his class. I had never heard the New Testament being taught like this man revealed it to us. He was and still is an AMAZING teacher, and man of God. Both of my boys also had him for Freshman Bible.....what a blessing. I honestly thought that being at Harding that first year was the closest thing to Heaven that I had ever experienced. I could play all the ball I wanted to play, listen to music till all hours of the night, and see the most beautiful young ladies in North America. I met one of those beautiful young women during pledge week, and ended up marrying her. Jan Lawyer was a Ju Go Ju "Cutie Pie", and I was a Galaxy greaser. So this year marks the 30th year we have been in love! I made life long friends that year. People like Don Eudaly, Larry Beck, Phil Hoggard, Butch Gardner, Craig Jones, Brent Wilson, Mike Cope, Tim Stafford, Rusty Meadows, Rodney Cheatham, Dallas Dobbs, Jimmy Cone, Mickey Pounders, Charlie Carroll just to name a few............came into my life and have blessed me with their friendship ALL these years since that fall of 74. Besides becoming a disciple, I am not sure any other one decision impacted my life greater than the decision to attend Harding. All four and a half years were unbelievable, but that first one was the best.

20 years ago I was getting ready for my second child to be born. 10 years ago this month I started my second career at First Security Bank. So, the 8th month in the 4th year of every decade for the past 3 decades has been an important time for me.
Makes me wonder what the rest of this month in 2004 is going to be like!! My nephew, Patrick Cone, is getting married later this week in Destin, so that may be my memorable event from August, 2004.

I love Harding. My parents came here, my older sister came here, I met my wife here, all of her family came here, my two boys attended here, and most of my best friends attended here. This is a special place! The most special thing about this place is this..........God is here. Good people are here. It is not anywhere CLOSE to being a perfect place.........but people who love the Lord are here in this place. I pray that HE will continue to bless Harding, and that the lives of young people will continue to be impacted in such a way that deepens their relationship with Him.

Wednesday, August 04, 2004


Many of you know my father-in-law, Virgil Lawyer. He turned 80 just a few days ago, and I hope you will join me in wishing him a very HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! For those of you who may not have had contact with him lately, he is still in very good health.
He walks every morning for an hour or so, and also works out at the Ganus Athletic Center. I don't see him slowing down for the next 25 years or so!

Grandaddy has been a tremendous blessing to all of us, and especially to Matt and Luke. They grew up never being more than a few minutes or miles from Grandaddy and Grandmomma. Both knew they had a safe haven from any of the storms life might present them with....all they had to do was show up at 35 Harding Drive. Grandaddy has been a huge influence in their lives to be men of God. They see his constant reading of God's Word, and more importantly they see him living it. They see how someone can continue being a "searcher", even at the age of 80. They see how he is nonsectarian and Christ-like in his relationships with those of other Faiths. They also see how he loves and treats Grandmomma. They know by watching him what a Godly husband does on a daily basis. They witness his servant attitude in the home.

I will close by relating something that just happened a few weeks ago. Grandaddy, Grandmomma and I all go to the same chiropractor. He is Phillip Moore, who is a Harding Alum, and he had Grandaddy in a Civil War class back in the 80's. One day when I was there recently, Phillip said the following: "You know David, I was watching Virgil walk Lou to the car the other day, and I noticed how he was so careful with her and opened the door for her and just treated her with so much love and respect.....he makes me want to be a better man and a better husband".
It reminded me so much of the scene in the movie "As Good as it Gets" when Jack Nicholson says that same thing to Helen Hunt...."you make me want to be a better man". That was good Hollywood fiction, Virgil was real life light and salt.
I can't think of a much better compliment than what Phillip said about Grandaddy, and I also can't think of a truer one.

Thanks Grandaddy....for MANY things..... but especially for making us ALL want to be better people. We love you!