Saturday, April 3, 2010

Friends - Jack and Sherry Darnell

Yesterday I had the privilege of having two very special friends with me for a day here at the Cabin. Jack and Sherry Darnell. What a wonderful thing friends are. The Bible says, in Proverbs 27:17, "Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend." This visit certainly brightened our faces as we reminisced about "the good old days" of our times together. This picture was taken as we were leaving our home in Cleveland for the trip out here to the woods.

In 1959, I was a lonely Church of God pastor's kid who had joined the US Coast Guard and had been sent to Point Cadet Loran Station in Biloxi, Mississippi. I was only 19 years old and was just learning to live so far away from home. I still did not own a car, but had a bicycle which I rode to work. First thing I did was to find the Church of God and met the pastors, Charles and Eloise Matthews. In those days the COG was just extended family. Very soon Brother Matthews (we called everybody at church Brother and Sister) suggested he would go to Tennessee and pull my 8X35 house trailer down so that my wife and 3 month old daughter could also be with us. In just a few days after we got settled in, here came Jack and Sherry with a trailer and their spot was next door to ours - maybe 8 feet away from trailer to trailer. Imagine our delight when we learned that Jack and Sherry were Church of God and that his Dad was also a Church of God Pastor. That made us brothers and sisters. They were/are "true blue" friends.

We were only together for one year there - but what a bond was created in that short time. I was there the first time Jack got up to preach his first sermon. I remember saying (out loud) "Amen!" when he had made a good point. I was trying to be helpful. Really I was. But upon hearing my loud "Amen", Jack lost his place in his notes!!! :D Later, after I was fresh out of the CG Jack and Sherry came to Tellico Plains, TN (my first church) and he preached for us. How great it was to have them as friends. And by now he had learned to ignore my outbursts of attempted encouragement. It doesn't really surprise me that he has turned out to be a prolific writer.

Above is a picture of a buck deer which I snapped as we were on our way out of the mountains. There were three deer - and every one of my pictures were made in a rush, so turned out too fuzzy to post. I decided to post this one though, because, as you can see, it is a BIG buck! I think he was an eight-pointer!


jack69 said...

Fred, my man!
We certainly had a great time. This has been one trip to remember. Spending the day at the cabin, learning of Guyana and Africa. I got a kick out hearing you speak Swahili.
As I said on my blog, the singing was great too, especially the religious ones like, 'Folsom Prison Blues'.

Love from up the road aways.
Sherry & jack

Favorite One said...

I'm so glad God allowed you to make friends with Mr. Jack and Mrs. Sherry. What a delight for us to get to meet them and be around them! I think Chloe would go live with them! :0)

Glad y'all got to have a great day at the cabin & even tho the pic may not be the clearest - you're right - you can tell it's a BIG one!

renewd42 said...

What a neat way God inter twines our lives together! Even in the woods! Blessings! thanks for sharing. Great times, happen in the woods, camping, singing, campfires, and sharing the Lord!

Fred Alton said...

Thanks Renewd42!

Jen said...

I grew up going to an Episcopalian church where we never yelled out during a sermon. The first time I visited a Baptist church and heard all the Amens, I was in shock.

Fred Alton said...

Jen, can you imagine what it must feel like for those who grew up in one of these loud churches to visit an Episcopal or Catholic service? I thought I had gone to a funeral!!! :D ☺