The Back Pew - October 2021
Submitted: Ernie Isbell, VLOA Chaplin
For Everyone Concerned About Covid, this message is for you and your family.
Linda and I are living in my hometown of Paducah, Texas, a small town on the lower edge of the Texas Panhandle. The population has dropped from 3800 when I was born (1941) to what’s likely to be less than 1000 when the census numbers are released. It’s a great little town but the nearest Wall Mart is 30 miles away in Childress, Texas. Even so, it's only a 30- minute drive since there is very little traffic on US Highway 83 from Paducah to Childress. Lots of deer to watch for and sometimes there may be a cow or two that find the grass along- side the highway to be better that what they have on their side of the fence.
Paducah’s population and the lack of hassle plus the fact that we bought a two-bedroom brick home 17 years ago for the whopping price of $9,900 (it was a government repo) are the reasons we moved from the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex when the Covid pandemic began. The house is complete with everything we need and USAA tells me that I have to insure its replacement value at $300,000. It has a concrete storm cellar in the back yard, a She Shed for Linda that’s complete with bathroom, central heat, and is perfect for her sewing machines and her quilting hobby. We have renovated the house and it meets our needs. But we do miss our friends so the next time any of you are travelling from Colorado down to the central Texas ar- ea on US 287, turn south at Childress and you can be at our house in 30 minutes. The She Shed can handle two really close friends and it’s available to all of you.
The local population has lots of older residents and I’m sorry to report that Covid has taken its share of people who were struck by the disease. Linda and I are vaccinated and we intend to get the booster when the Moderna vaccine is available. I bring this up because recently an elderly couple both died of Covid. They were in their mid 80’s. He died first and his wife passed within the next week. She was heard to say that she regretted that she and her husband had not gotten the vaccine.
They are not the only one’s who have been taken by this pandemic, yet I find it amazing that lots of seniors have decided not to take the vaccine. If you or your family members are not yet vaccinated, please be a leader, indeed a former Outlaw, and set the example needed to protect yourself, your spouse and all your extended family.
At our age range we all need to be leaders by example, just as we were when we followed our country’s Call to Arms and served our country in the past.
May God Bless You and Your Family.
Ernie Isbell, Chaplain, VLOA, October 2021
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