The Back Pew - Winter 2022 / 2023
Submitted: Ernie Isbell, VLOA Chaplin
Happy New Year!!!!
This part of Texas (Dallas area) underwent very cold and icy weather the week before Christmas. It seems that a great deal of the Nation experienced nasty weath- er as well. Heavy snow storms trapped many people in the Northeast in their homes without electricity and multiple deaths resulted. Since most of the Outlaws are in our senior years my prayers are for everyone to plan for severe weather and take pre- cautions as necessary. Better safe than sorry.
Christmas is a time for families to make memories and enjoy the season. The good part about grandchildren is that they grow up and make memories of their own
and you get the pleasure of watching it all happen. Linda and I have three grandchil- dren. One is a male age 35, who has never married. We have a set of 18-year-old twin granddaughters, both of whom are enrolled in college in the Oklahoma City
area. I’ll brag just a bit about these two very intelligent young ladies as both are pursuing degrees that will serve them very well.
I encourage everyone to continue to take precautions regarding exposure to Covid. Seem that the virus continues to mutate and I encourage everyone to get vaccinated and take the booster shots as they are available.
Plans are underway to determine where our next reunion will be located. Each of
you should have received emails asking for your input regarding the location. Please let the leadership know your views and plan on attending. Linda and I will be there– God Willing.
May the Lord Bless you and your family. Ernie Isbell
Vinh Long Outlaws
What can the Chaplain do for me?
My primary job as Chaplain of the V. L. O. A. is to conduct the Sunday morning worship service at our reunions. In addition, should you have the need to talk with someone who has "been there, done that," I am available to listen.
Outlaws Devotional - February 2021
Pain Is Not Forever
2 Timothy 2:3
Accept your share of suffering like a good soldier of Christ Jesus.
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.
About 11 years ago, I began having pain in my shoulders that grew progressively worse as the months past. Along with the shoulder pain, pain began building in my hips and soon matched the level of shoulder pain. Surely this was just the process of aging, and would soon subside and go away. Over the counter medication helped marginally, but wasn’t enough to divert my mental concentration on the pain. Finally, the pain progressed to the point that it limited my ability to function well, especially in getting dressed and caring for myself.
It became clear the pain was not going away by itself. Over the next four months, I was evaluated by two general practioners, a neurologist, and an orthopedic surgeon, none of which could identify the source of the pain even after an MRI, two CT scans, two sonograms, and numerous blood tests, but all had their own solution to mollifying the pain. Finally, my wife said that both of us had had enough of the pain, and found a rheumatologist who gave me an emergency appointment. He reviewed all the medical information, and diagnosed the problem as polymyalgia rheumatica. Prescribed medication relieved the cause of the pain in less than a month, but weaning me off the medication took another 11 months.
One night during the midst of my pain, I realized that my pain was insignificant compared to the pain and suffering Jesus Christ experienced during the 24 hours leading up to dying on the cross. We should never forget the earthly, physical pain Jesus felt in giving his life in atonement for our sins.
Submitted by Frank Estes