Tribute to Bill and Sonnye Dingler
In 1958, family and friends watched Bill Dingler and Sonnye Bell walk down the aisle to form an unbreakable union under God. Did their financial future look promising at that time? I imagine our elders shook their worried heads over a young man whose job resume would have boasted “experienced and speedy cantaloupe packer”. When cantaloupe season ended in Pecos, off drove Bill and Sonnye in search of California fields.
Through the years, we watched Bill’s transformation from being a Pecos boy with few occupational skills to an established owner of a successful construction company. How did he learn all he needed to know? I’ll give God major credit. I also credit Bill for taking care of Sonnye and two beautiful children. He did a “whopping” good job of it, too!
For fifty-eight years, Bill and Sonnye served as role models for the rest of us. Their marriage lasted when many others failed. They parented lovingly within firm boundaries. Now, the result of their diligence pays off with a bounty of love from their children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.
Most of all, Bill and Sonnye exemplified an unwavering faith in God. Their steadfast love for Jesus as their Savior laid a foundation of life for them. As we bid farewell to Bill and imagine him on a better journey, we recognize that he and Sonnye will continue to bless us. We give our heartfelt thanks for both of them.
Good job, Bill. Carry on with God as you have always done.
How does any ordinary citizen respond to endless shootings? Blacks and Latinos in minority neighborhoods, police working in our streets, church goers at prayer meetings, classes in schools, children at McDonald’s, gays having fun at a bar — It appears no place delivers safety and no human on any continent can enjoy feelings of security.
News from Germany states that as ISIL loses territory in Syria, Libya, and Iraq, their leaders encourage sympathizers around the world to create as much horror as possible. Today, we experienced that horror as we learned about children in Germany who became targets for murder. Continue reading
Dedicated to our grandson Lane and Margie, his bride-to-be, in preparation for their August wedding.
Also, in honor of our own wedding anniversary July 14, 1990 when I married Chris, the love of my life.
Everything about this wedding in Mother Glover’s living room had to be timed perfectly. Guests clustered in anxious anticipation, the minister stood ready with Bible in hand, and the nervous bride clutched her bouquet while standing in the kitchen waiting for a signal. Her tall groom nervously paced back and forth in the shade of the front porch.
The time arrived. The bride’s nephew, Darrell fiddled to tune in KIUM on the household radio. Out of the static came the familiar “Here Comes the Bride” melody. The groom entered and moved ceremoniously to stand next to the minister. The dining room door opened and in strolled the smiling bride. She walked in perfect cadence to the radio music and stood patiently next to her groom until completion of the wedding march.
Following the ceremony, guests gathered around the dining room table to enjoy wedding cake, punch and assorted pastries. Before the guests left, the bride slipped into her new wine colored coat with the wide, dramatic collar. A new black fur felt hat with an outrageous feather completed the bride’s going away outfit. Only her niece, Peggy, who had accompanied the bride-to-be on her shopping spree at Popular Dry Goods in El Paso, knew the hat’s extravagant price – a whopping $30.00. After waiting seventy-eight years, Peggy decided she could finally share my mother’s secret wedding day indulgence with me.
To Lane and Margie — it’s worth every penny and more! Get the hat with the feather!
Although I support responsible gun ownership, stockpiling weapons for the purpose of defending one’s home and family seems like a poorly thought through plan. A wiser proposal suggests abdicating responsibility for protection to police and military troops. In an effort to think about a new perspective on personal weapons, please join me on an imaginary time-travel journey as we contemplate the following question:
Can the words of Jesus work in today’s world?
Imagine for a moment that just outside the walls of Jerusalem, we mingle with devout followers of Jesus. The Last Supper has been eaten, Judas departed, and Jesus has withdrawn to pray. Although most disciples sleep, a few of us crouch around a small fire to discuss possible actions to take. All of us realize that danger lurks. Our Master’s life hangs in jeopardy.
As we linger, we hear “Jesus will be arrested. He will be tried and found guilty of blasphemy. We have to do something.” Following a hushed moment, a disciple mutters, “We must arm ourselves. In order to protect our Master and our lives, we must resist. Let every man take up arms and be ready for defense. When the soldiers arrive, we will be ready.” Continue reading
On a “perfect weather” Saturday, an unlikely group of people convened for a single purpose —to honor Brian David Passsarelli. Our original expectation of around fifty people quickly became three times that number and overflowed the enclosed pavilion. Once we realized that the shear number of individuals could not be squeezed into the enclosure, we picked up chairs and reconvened under a grove of oak trees. Looking around the group, I saw people sitting on chairs, others on picnic tables, and even more standing.
Joy’s dad reminded us of the story about the Little Drummer Boy. Each of Joy’s four parents read a selection of scriptures or spiritual readings. Eleven-year-old Sidney Dean sang a song she wrote for Uncle Brian. A dear friend from Brian’s past played and sang. Joy’s dad invited those who wanted to speak to do so. For over an hour, stories, testimonies, tears and laughter filled the Mansfield Dam Park. Repeated statements of “brother” “love” and “always a gentleman” over flowed our hearts as we experienced the genuine love and respect of Brian’s friends.
This story has been around and I have read it before. Today, as I read the piece again, I realize that the message provides much more than a sweet sentiment. The message provides an important truth. This story reminds us that love and kindness always top winning the game — or winning the argument — or making more money.
At a fundraising dinner for a school that serves children with learning disabilities, the father of one of the students delivered a speech that would never be forgotten by all who attended.
Here is the father’s story
Shay and I had walked past a park where some boys Shay knew were playing baseball. Shay asked, ‘Do you think they’ll let me play?’ I knew that most of the boys would not want someone like Shay on their team, but as a father, I understood that if my son were allowed to play, it would give him a much-needed sense of belonging and some confidence to be accepted by others in spite of his handicaps. Continue reading