Sunday, December 18, 2011

Operator Please...

When I was a young boy, I lived in Fairfax, Alabama.  It was a small town that holds many sweet memories of easier times.  Our phone number consisted of only three numbers - 934.  My younger brother, Don, not only remembered our number but many others in town as well.  The phone at our house was housed in a brown box that hung on the wall.  The speaker protruded from the box and could move up or down.  The earpiece hung from the side.  Most of the time Mom or Dad answered the phone. 

I don't know who wrote this wonderful story. It had to be someone who lived in that time period. This story brings back memories of precious friends who stopped everything to listen and to interact.  I hope you enjoy this as much as I have.

Operator please

June 23, 1998

When I was young, my father had one of the first telephones in our neighborhood. I remember well the polished old case fastened to the wall. The black receiver hung on the side of the box. I was too little to reach the telephone, but used to listen with fascination when my mother used to talk to it.

Then I discovered that somewhere inside the wonderful device lived an amazing person - her name was “Information Please” and there was nothing she did not know. “Information Please” could supply anybody’s number and the correct time.

My first personal experience with this genie-in-the-bottle came one day while my mother was visiting a neighbor. Amusing myself at the tool bench in the basement, I whacked my finger with a hammer.

The pain was terrible, but there didn’t seem to be any reason in crying because there was no one home to give sympathy. I walked around the house sucking my throbbing finger, finally arriving at the stairway.

The telephone!

Quickly, I ran for the footstool in the parlor and dragged it to the landing. Climbing up, I unhooked the receiver in the parlor and held it to my ear. “Information Please,” I said into the mouthpiece just above my head.

A click or two and a small clear voice spoke into my ear.


“I hurt my finger.” I wailed into the phone. The tears came readily enough now that I had an audience.

“Isn’t your mother home?” came the question.

“Nobody’s home but me.” I blubbered.

“Are you bleeding?”

“No,” I replied. “I hit my finger with the hammer and it hurts.”

“Can you open your icebox?” she asked. I said I could.

“Then chip off a little piece of ice and hold it to your finger,” said the voice.

After that, I called “Information Please” for everything. I asked her for help with my geography and she told me where Philadelphia was. She helped me with my math. She told me my pet chipmunk that I had caught in the park just the day before would eat fruits and nuts.

Then, there was the time Petey, our pet canary died. I called “Information Please” and told her the sad story. She listened, then said the usual things grown-ups say to soothe a child. But I was un-consoled. I asked her, “Why is it that birds should sing so beautifully and bring joy to all families, only to end up as a heap of feathers on the bottom of a cage?”

She must have sensed my deep concern, for she said quietly, “Paul, always remember that there are other worlds to sing in.” Somehow I felt better.

Another day I was on the telephone. “Information Please.”

“Information,” said the now familiar voice.

“How do you spell fix?” I asked.

All this took place in a small town in the Pacific Northwest.

When I was 9 years old, we moved across the country to Boston.

I missed my friend very much. “Information Please” belonged in that old wooden box back home, and I somehow never thought of trying the tall, shiny new phone that sat on the table in the hall.

As I grew into my teens, the memories of those childhood conversations never really left me. Often, in moments of doubt and perplexity I would recall the serene sense of security I had then. I appreciated now how patient, understanding, and kind she was to have spent her time on a little boy.

A few years later, on my way west to college, my plane put down in Seattle. I had about half an hour or so between planes. I spent 15 minutes or so on the phone with my sister, who lived there now. Then without thinking what I was doing, I dialed my hometown operator and said, “Information, Please”.

Miraculously, I heard the small, clear voice I knew so well, “Information.” I hadn’t planned this but I heard myself saying, “Could you please tell me how to spell fix?”

There was a long pause. Then came the soft spoken answer, “I guess your finger must have healed by now.”

I laughed. “So it’s really still you,’ I said. “I wonder if you have any idea how much you meant to me during that time.”

“I wonder”, she said, “if you know how much your calls meant to me.” “I never had any children, and I used to look forward to your calls.”

I told her how often I had thought of her over the years and I asked if I could call her again when I came back to visit my sister.

“Please do, she said. “Just ask for Sally.”

Three months later I was back in Seattle. A different voice answered “Information.” I asked for Sally.

“Are you a friend?” She said.

“Yes, a very old friend,” I answered.

“I’m sorry to have to tell you this, she said. Sally had been working part-time the last few years because she was sick. She died five weeks ago.”

Before I could hang up she said, “Wait a minute. Did you say your name was Paul?”


“Well, Sally left a message for you. She wrote it down in case you called. Let me read it to you.” The note said, “Tell him I still say there are other worlds to sing in. He’ll know what I mean.”

I thanked her and hung up. I knew what Sally meant.

Monday, August 22, 2011

I Don't Need to Understand - in Spanish

Maggie and I were happy to get an e-mail from a family in Paraguay.  They were excited about connecting with us.  We sent them a copy of the sheet music for Maggie's song, I don't Need to Understand.  They wanted it so their daughter could play the piano.  They have a copy of the song on their home page.

You can visit their website at Cristianommv

Here's their video,

I hope you will continue to pray for Maggie and myself as well as Christians around the world!

God bless you,

Pastor Ken

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


I've been an ordained minister for well over 60 years. A wonderful lady who is the vice president of the large bank where I do business invited me into her office and shut the door. It had a large glass window but she wanted our conversation to be private. She told me that both her and her husband were devout Christians and they study the bible together each night. She asked: "Do you think we are approaching the end of time as mentioned in the Bible in Daniel and Revelations?"
     I told her it may be so but I  immediately thought of the statement of Jesus:  (Mark 13:32 NIV) "No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. I also thought about  Matthew 24.   In this passage Jesus gave us numerous things to look for.  "No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 

     It's not unusual to look at all the problems created by corrupt politicians, greedy people who want to be filthy rich, and selfishness everywhere.  Add to that countries all over the globe falling apart, murder, mayhem and craziness everywhere and it's easy to think the end must be near.

In Matthew 24 Jesus gave us  "HIS" list of bad things that will come. (Mat 24:7 NIV)  Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. (Mat 24:10-12 NIV)  At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, {11} and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. {12} Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold.

(Mat 24:24 NIV)  Jesus said: "For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect--if that were possible. (Religious con men are in the church, on TV and everywhere you look...)  Want to know how to spot one? Jesus has the answer to that one also. "They don't have an ounce of compassion for anyone ...unless... "they can use it to fatten up their "bloated" bank account. Try to get one of them to help anyone - whether it's a young man called by God to preach the gospel, a church in need or sick and needy people all around them.  They will simply ignore the request.

In traveling and preaching - literally all over the world I've met many ministers who had little interest in helping anyone but themselves.  I've also met some really dedicated ministers and Missionaries who would risk their very lives to help anyone in need and especially the desperately poor people who were all around them.  I've put together some very large medical - humanitarian projects for some of the poorest people in the world. Lots of Godly people helped, including medical doctors and ordinary people who volunteered and gave everything they could to help needy people.

In Iquitos Peru doing a medical project my heart was broken by the little children who looked like they were pregnant. According to my long time friend and  cardiologist - Dr. William Ezyguirre - who was born in Peru, and wrote most of their medical text books -- he said it was caused by drinking contaminated water filled with parasites and Lord only knows what else.  Yes, many of them knew they should boil the water for several hours before they drinking it - but how can you wait for it to cool when you are hot and feel like you are dying of thirst? 

We saw dozens of "outhouses" in a village placed on the top of the surrounding hills. Below that was a shallow well where people came to get drinking water. Dr. Ezyguirre didn't have to draw me a picture when I looked at the polluted and sickening well.

We raised thousands of dollars to drill deep wells in Iquitos Peru. It was odd that the city was surrounded by the Amazon river, the Nanay, and other rivers. The Perfecto General who was in charge of this great city told me while looking out over the Amazon river - "I could be the president of Peru if only I could get drinking water to the people who need it." 

(They had hired a German company to put in a water treatment system, and pipes in the city. Unfortunately within a year the aluminum pipe they used in the sandy soil was cracked and leaking all over the city and the Germans were long gone.)  

I talked to engineers and people in the US who knew how to drill very deep wells. Money and  skill was the answer to the problem. I came home and raised $10,000.00 then went back and found an honest engineer who could drill wells 130 meters deep.

The perfecto General had already built small building to secure and house the wells. I remember standing in the entrance of the bank, with an absolute blizzard of bugs swarming around the entrance light. (Yes the big ones hurt when they nail you - but we had work to do). I signed all the Cashiers checks I had brought and started the project.  We joked and told our contractor drilling the wells that we were going to break his legs if the wells didn't work.  He laughed and said "I'll make sure they do."

This good and kind man knew exactly what needed to be done and he did it in record time.  We gave have him some money to get started and paid him in full when the job was finished.  There was a large storage tank in the top of the building, water was pumped to that and a line gravity fed the water to a outlet on the side of the building.
   Here Is a photo of the pump inside the locked building already working to fill the storage tank in the ceiling.

They were 130 meters deep and we placed the electrical pumps in a small locked building with a large storage tank in the ceiling. Then we ran a water line through the wall with a flat "snap" valve that could only be opened with a thumb and finger. Anyone could get clean drinking water only as long as they held the value open. When they let go of the value the water stopped. 

The prefecto General of Iquitos told us they spent a large amount of money having a German company put in a water system for the city. The first day they turned it on it went dry in a few hours. The Indians from the forest turned all the facets on and left them running.  When he tried to stop that the Indians from the forest said:  "We don't have to turn the rivers off and on - why do we have to turn this pipe off and on." 

Then a year later the aluminum pipes used in the sandy soil was cracked, broken, and the whole project was a total waste.

In Iquitos Peru - which is on the Amazon river, I took a team of doctors, nurses, medical supplies and volunteers to help the desperately poor people who needed treatment. Their greatest need was for clean drinking water. "Outhouses were everywhere and "yes" near by were shallow "drinking wells."
Our team spent days getting to know the local preachers. I discovered they only had a single bible.  These preachers would tear out a page and take it into the Amazon jungle and preach to their own people in tiny villages. Then they would bring the page back and others would use it to do the same thing the next Sunday.

I was so troubled by this that I called a wealthy friend who didn't claim to be a Christian and told him about these local preachers and their one bible.  He immediately sent me a large check and I spent every cent of it in a Bible book store purchasing boxes of new study bibles.  I got the airlines to fly them free of charge to Iquitos.  

In a few weeks I took them down to Iquitos Peru, got these preachers together and gave each one of them a new Bible for themselves. They were filled with joy and amazement like children on Christmas morning.  I had a good cry myself as I thought of God's goodness. 

Later this great friend who bought the Bibles sat on my back porch in Georgia and asked me a question. "Can I be a Christian without all the "mumbo jumbo" religious stuff of joining a church?"  I knew he didn't want a sermon so I said: "Yes, all you need to do is to talk to God, just like you are talking to me, and tell him what's in your heart."  I didn't say another word and neither did he. I knew" without a doubt" that God would open his heart and fix this problem. I was blessed to see that happen. We didn't talk about it but I knew God was changing his life.

Jesus said there would be a day or reckoning between the sheep and the goats. Matthew 25:34  (I dare you to read it.)  Here's what Jesus said to the true Christians:  (  (Mat 25:34-40 NIV)  Take time and read it carefully.

"Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. {35} For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, {36} I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'

{37} "Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? {38} When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? {39} When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?' {40} "The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.' 

That test came in various ways for me as a pastor.  I knocked on a door and heard little children saying they were hungry and crying for food. I knew the father was a liar, and had a long track record of cheating and swindling people.  (I had heard it all from his victims.)  I knew I had to do something so I took all the money in my pocket and bought $70 dollars worth of food - took it to their door and prayed that the children would be fed.  The next day my daughter made a turkey dinner with all the trimmings for them and took it to the family.

A church member told me the plumbing was stopped up at her sisters house.  Two little children lived in their house.  Her sister and husband was spending large sums of money on Pot and drugs.  After a lot of thinking about it I called a contractor and paid him to fix the plumbing.  The innocent little children could live a decent life and take a bath. I knew the parents could buy more dope but God would deal with them about that problem in his own way. 

(Mat 25:41-46 NIV)  "Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. {42} For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, {43} I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.'

We need the wisdom of God to help us know who is worthy of help.

I went to see a couple that briefly attended our church.  They lived in a really nice home on a lake and was obviously doing well financially. They told me they were in financial trouble and didn't know what to do. While I prayed a silent prayer about their problem his wife said:  "If someone doesn't help us soon I don't know what we are going to do".  She cried and said: "We will have to cash in one of our CD's" to pay the house note.  I told my wife it was time for us to leave and we did.  (We were not even being paid a modest salary for being the pastor of our small church)

{44} "They also will answer, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?' {45} "He will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.' {46} "Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life."

Remember this is Jesus our Lord and Master who told this story.  

(Luke 16:19-31 NIV)  "There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. {20} At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores {21} and longing to eat what fell from the rich man's table. Moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.

{22} "The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham's side. The rich man also died and was buried. {23} In hell, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. {24} So he called to him, 'Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.' {25} "But Abraham replied, 'Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony. {26} And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.'

{27} "He answered, 'Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my father's house, {28} for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.' (Even in hell the rich man had no compassion.  He wanted Lazarus to go starve to death as the gates of his five selfish brothers. 

{29} "Abraham replied, 'They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.' {30} "'No, father Abraham,' he said, 'but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.' {31} "He said to him, 'If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead." 

There is not a single word is this story told by Jesus that indicates the rich man ever did a mean thing to Lazarus.  He didn't run over his feet with his beautiful carriage - nor forbid his servants to give Lazarus the crumbs from his table.  All he did was nothing!!!!!   God looked at the rich man's total lack of compassion and sent him to hell.

How bad was this wealthy man?  Even in hell he was selfish and mean.  He pleaded with father Abraham to send Lazarus to hell to be his servant. "Send Lazarus down here to dip the tip of his finger into water to cool my tongue for I am tormented in these flames.  This is the awful story told by Jesus of people who should have compassion on those in need but choose to "let someone else do it...."I worked hard for what is mine! "  

 My wife Maggie and I have just celebrated our 60th wedding anniversary. Both of us have been ordained ministers for over 60 years. We live on a small little social security check because our Government decided to change the rules. Instead of going back to the time when we first started paying social security (over 60 years ago) they decided to only go back 10 years. In that period I was working as a Missionary Pilot (hours of sheer boredom interrupted by moments of sheer terror....)  and Maggie was keeping our tiny little new church going. So we had very little income. 

We had decisions to make just like everyone else.  In 1990 I stopped being a pastor.  My wife Maggie wrote a song that blesses everyone who hears it. I recorded it and It's been recorded and sung all around the world. It's called: "I don't need to Understand I just need to hold his hand."   (Songs for troubled hearts.)  We started Christian Ministries in 1990. We made the decision to "give" the booklets I was writing and the CD of "Songs for troubled hearts" free of charge to anyone who needed or ask for them". 

I make the CD's and booklets in my office and we give them to anyone who wants them. We have given thousands of them to troubled and needy people. Yes, they are expensive and time consuming to make - but God has provided the money through Godly Christians who send us gifts to keep this ministry going. We have never had to ask for help.  God sends it and we rejoice.

It cost money and lots of time to make the CD's and Booklets but God has been faithful for all these years.  It's really been amazing when it's time for me to make the CD's and Booklets. Always someone sends just enough to pay for the material needed for new Booklets and CD's.  (We live on a tiny Social Security Check - Was it stupid to give them away?) We still believe it is the right thing to do. !  My wife will soon be 83 years old and I'm not far behind. It's amazing how God has supplied our needs without us begging, selling "stuff" or asking for help!!! 

We have also sent them around the world to places like Assension Paraguay.  A pastor there had heard Maggie's song "I don't need to understand I just need to hold his hand". He sent me an e-mail and wanted the sheet music so his daughter could play the song on the piano while the family travels, sings and preaches across the country. It was a pleasure to give them sheet music, booklets, CD's and everything they needed as a gift to their ministry.  

Many years ago I earned a Master's degree in Psychology at Georgia State University, and a later on a Ph.D in Theology. I've been blessed with the ability to talk with anyone about any subject.  I could name a dozen millionaires that I've spent time with because they wanted to talk.  All of them needed help with problems that money can't solve.   

I can only remember one of them who gave money to help sick, poor and needy people. He bought the Bibles for the Pastors and Preachers in Iquitos Peru and graciously help us keep going with Christian Ministries.  Several years ago he passed away - and we rejoice that he is blessed and in our father's house.

The Apostle Paul wrote in (Acts 20:35 NIV)  "In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: 'It is more blessed to give than to receive. "

We may be near the end of the world, but it is our duty to continue until he comes.  To help the sick, to care for the needy to comfort the old.  Are you doing what God wants you to do - even to the end of the world?

Table of Contents for Ken's Blog

To make it easier to find posts on this blog, I've created a list of all the posts.  I hope this will make it easier for you to find the topics you like.  At the bottom of this list you will find a link to all the Bible Studies found on my blog....Study with Ken.

A Tough Instructor

A change of mood

Anarchy the death of America

Have A ----- Christmas

Is it God's will?

God's Presence

The God of all Comfort

Is Barack Hussein Obama a Muslim?

Obama needs to tell us who he really is

Sarah Palin - Republican Vice President


My 60 years as an Ordained minister

Airmail from God

Missionary Pilot begins

Being a missionary pilot

How was Jesus supported?

Good and Evil

A Baloney Sandwich

Feeling Inadequate

Receiving the Gift

Christmas Music

Money - the root of all....

God and the Astronouts

Love is not a bargain

I've never been afraid

Thank you for your generous donations

Christmas love and compassion


Is This promise mine?

Truth - Is it important?

Is the Bible True

God speaks to His People

The Bible is God's word

The Key to Heaven

The ministry of Jesus

Don't be negative

You take what life gives you and just go on

Anxiety and Worry

Unintended Consequences

Does Prayer really work?

Who killed those people in Kansas?

Christians don't talk much about Heaven. I wonder why?

Better than the Alternative

I found a blog in a ditch

FROM the Blog - Study with Ken

Job recovers his Faith

A Snake in the Garden

Good and Evil

The Amazing Christian Bible

Two examples of False Doctrine

Why is the subject of Bible Translations Important?

The Bible can be trusted

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

By Ken Crocker

As a boy I loved airplanes, built lots of models and longed for the day when I could take my first ride in a real plane. I was 14 when I jumped off the bus and walked down a two-mile dirt road to the only airport in town. The owner Fred Robinson smiled when I placed two dollars in his hand. He led me to an old Taylor craft airplane. I was filled with joy, amazement and fascination as we puttered over the valley. The blue green river wound around deep emerald trees and golden fields. The road looked like tiny ribbons that went in different directions. “It’s mighty pretty up here, Fred said.”

I was hopelessly hooked. Everything looked beautiful and fascinating from a low flying airplane. Houses were stretched out like a giant architect’s model. The river was smooth, shining and glorious as it wound its way through the Valley.

Fred became my friend and over the next few years I did odd jobs and painted signs on the buildings for flying lessons. Fred was a bachelor and had made the airport his home. He had a flying car that he hoped to finish someday. He said it would work and I believed him. He was a master mechanic, an aeronautical genius and had helped design and build the B-29 and taught pilots how to fly this massive aircraft during the Second World War.

In his shop Parts and tools were scattered everywhere; airplanes were disassembled and waiting for various repairs and always there was the smell of hydraulic fluid, oil, gas and grease. I loved it all.

He never talked about himself much, except to tell me about things like meeting Charles Lindberg. Lindberg was riding a motorcycle wearing a CCC uniform and showed up at an airport Fred was working for in Georgia. Fred suggested to him that he go down to South Georgia and trade his motorcycle for an old Jenny. In case you don’t know that’s a World war one biplane with an open cockpit. Lindberg did exactly that and took a few flying lessons. He nosed the plane over and broke the prop. They fixed it and he was going to have another lesson the next morning. However Lindberg decided he knew enough and headed west just after dawn.

Somewhere in Mississippi he landed and again nosed the plane over and broke the propeller. He convinced a farmer to put the plane on his truck, take it back to Georgia for a new propeller and left again heading west.

Fred told me stories about working at Candler field in Atlanta. Today it’s known as Hartsfield International Airport. Back then it was just a grass field. Amelia Earhart landed her Lockheed Vega there one day and forgot to retract the long trailing antenna for her radio. Someone was suppose to wind it back onto a spool in the plane with a crank but forgot to do so. Fred found it in some brush, repaired and reinstalled it.

In looking back I think I reminded him of his own love of flying as a young boy. He built his first airplane and learned to fly it in his Fathers cow pasture. Later he worked around various airports, sometimes for free and later for pay and the simple joy of flying.

I loved this old veteran pilot with his stories of Aviation. His career was ending and mine was just beginning. I was on the long road to becoming a good pilot. Maybe something about my enthusiasm and love of flying stirred some memories of his life when he was young and eager to pursue his dreams.

He was a master mechanic and kept his dream in one of the hanger bays. He was building a flying car that could drive on a road if the weather was bad, or soar above it all in good weather. I was sure it would fly and was eager to be there when it did.

Fred was a very demanding flight instructor. I didn’t like it when I was in the front seat trying to learn how to fly and he would reach out from the back seat, thump me on the head to get my attention and talk to me about something. “Look at both of the ailerons. Center the stick. Pick up that drooping aileron. Sloppy flying will kill you!” He wouldn’t let me make the slightest mistake without talking about it or doing something to make sure the correction was burned into my brain. One day he reached up, took my head, and physically turned it from side to side.

“Don’t sit up there staring straight ahead like a dummy. Keep your head on a swivel and look around all the time,” he said. “There are other planes up here, weather to keep in mind, instruments to monitor.”

There were times when I felt like he was too hard, demanding, and always “nitpicking” everything I did. Sometimes I felt exhausted, incompetent, and hopeless about ever mastering the art of flying. Once on the ground he would turn back into my friend and tell me I was doing well and making progress. I asked him one day why he was so hard on me.

“Columbus Aviation teaches pilots to fly,” he said, “and they have about 35 students pushing up daisies. I haven’t lost a one and you’re not going to be the first.”

I took flying lesson in the Aeronca Champ which had no flaps, no radio, and just a few basic instruments. Back then the FAA required pilots to do stalls and spins. I hated power on stalls - when the nose was pointed up the plane would run out of airspeed and fall straight down. If I held the stick back and pushed in left or right rudder the plane would spin. To get a pilots license I also had to learn to recover from a spin.

One day Fred told me we were going to go up and do spins until I loved them. He reminded me that the plane was going to stall, and head straight down. “You’re trying to stay up there without stalling and what you need to do is to just make up your mind to go down with the plane.” After a half dozen stalls and spins he was right and I begin to enjoy it.

Suddenly we both heard a loud bang, and he grabbed the controls. He shut the engine off, and pointed the nose toward the airport. The river ran around both ends of the single runway, and I relaxed as he skillfully turned, back and forth and lost altitude. He reached final approach lined up exactly right for a landing. When a sudden gust of wind picked the light aircraft up, he quickly did something he had told me never to do. He used left stick and full right rudder and we quickly lost the altitude and touched down. We stopped just before we ran out of runway and into the river.

A young mechanic had put new spark plugs in the plane and forgot to tighten one of them causing it to blow out. After he chewed out the mechanic, he fixed the plane and told me to get in the cockpit. We were going to go back up and do some more spins. Years later I realized that he didn’t want that bad experience to stick in my mind. He wanted me to fly some more and end the day with a feeling of success.

Later he taught me how to cross control the plane and crabbing sideways loose altitude quickly. He called it a slip and he taught me how to do it. I soon felt at ease doing it. Recently I looked at my old logbook and this is what he wrote to sign off that flight. “Aeronca N82561 Blew spark plug, forced landing, used up heap of field, downwind landing.”

I got his point about precision flying when he started cutting the engine and telling me to find a place to land. He expected me to line up on a proper grass field, check the wind direction, bleed the airspeed off, and come over the end with perfect airspeed and altitude. Often we were close to the ground before he would let me apply full power and climb out.

We kept in touch over the years. I flew my own Cessna Skyhawk into his private airport one day. The Chattahoochee River curved around both ends of the single runway and I felt good as I lined my plane up, made a perfect landing and taxied up to his office. He walked out to the plane to see who had landed on his private strip. After a big welcome I told him that I had become a missionary pilot and he was keenly interested in that. He took the time to give me some fatherly advice on “terrain and mountain flying”. He told me he was proud of me and knew I would do a lot of good.

Several years later I took my daughter and family to see him. My grandchildren walked around in the large hanger full of beautiful ultra light aircraft he designed, built and sold but they soon lost interest and were running outside in the grass—playing with the dog.

We heard something like an angry hornet and went outside to see a yellow ultralight plane landing at his strip. When it taxied up and stopped a man got out. Of course he was a friend who had built his own ultralight with Fred’s help. It had a lawn mower engine in it. He turned out to be a pastor of a church and this was his favorite kind of recreation.

We laughed and talked and Fred told me how his friend has built the wing with so much thickness on the front, (chord in aeronautical language) that it would climb almost straight up, but would only do about 24 miles an hour. Of course Fred told him how to rebuild the wing, let him use his shop and tools, and now it flew about 60 miles an hour. It still climbed pretty steep but that was O.K.

Ron, my son-in-law and I walked over to the old hanger with Fred and looked at the flying car. It still wasn’t finished. Times had changed and it was an old dream that the aviation world had left behind. Things kept getting in the way of working on it. I’m sure he kept it because he knew everyone needs a dream to keep them looking to the future.

The years had taken their toll on him and I had a sad feeling when we drove away that I might not see him again. A year or so later I went back and found the airport fenced off and city trucks and equipment parked in what use to be the hangers. He was gone and no one seemed to know where. The Valley chief of police didn’t know what happened to him. For us there were no good-byes because he will always be in my heart.

We had made a long video of him showing us around his shop, looking at his work, talking and just being old friends. I’m glad I did that, but I don’t look at it very often. There’s no way to put on tape the long friendship and kindness between us. In the hundreds of hours of flying that followed, I often found myself in a tight place and heard him “in my head” telling me what to do. His careful and demanding instructions saved my life many times.

I feel sorry for young people when I see their parents letting them do as they please. I feel sad when teachers allow college students to slide by without really learning anything. I often encounter people who don’t know how to do their jobs and all they seem to want is their paycheck. The craftsman who takes pride in his work is hard to find in our fast world of the bottom line.

Then I remember Fred and others like him who gave me the precious gift of competence and pride in a job well done. The frustration, tedium of doing it over and over until I got it right, the hours of study and hard work has almost been forgotten. It’s been replaced by a loving memory of a friend who gave me the precious gift of self-respect. I wish every young person in the world could have that treasure.

Years later I was working as a missionary pilot. We flew into a very high mountain rock strip called “los chochos”. Jerry, a missionary pilot I was working with thought we could fly into this remote area with two people in each plane and just enough fuel to leave for the return to Durango. We had to leave before the sun got too hot and made the air at eleven thousand feet too thin to fly in.

Instead a doctor was there and asked us to fly a dying woman to Durango hospital. It was a day and a half by road, and about 45 minutes by air. Our problem was that we would leave with 3 people in each plane and high density altitude. I would have to clear a row of tall pine trees with too much weight in the plane. As I flew down the clearing, the stall warning went off every time I tried to gain a little altitude.

Sweating it out I heard in my head my old flight instructor Fred Robinson telling me how he put a plane in the trees and walked away from it. “Don’t fly nose first into the trees he said. When you get to the trees use full flaps and pull the nose straight up”. I did what he told me and managed to clear the trees. On the other side of the trees, the mountain side dropped away. I dumped the flaps, put the nose down to gain some flying speed and headed for the airport at Durango.

We used the radio to have an ambulance waiting and soon the woman was in a hospital and recovered. Thank you Fred for saving our lives. The local police commander of this tiny village was so grateful for our rescue that he asked us to please come back and start a church in the area.

I often think about the wonderful results by reaching people in very remote villages and their amazing stories of encountering the presence of God.

Sunday, February 8, 2009


Click on the photograph to see a larger view.

If you've read my blogs you know that I've been a licensed pilot for over 60 years. For you who don't know - a pilots license is good for life. It never expires. Of course if you want to rent a plane you have to demonstrate that you know how to fly. You do that by flying around the airport with an instructor on board to make sure you can fly. Oh, and you do have to keep an updated "Medical card showing that you are in good health and not ready to "kick the bucket."

I got to indulge my love of airplanes by serving for years as a missionary Pilot. One day as the Pastor of a new church I met Jerry. He was a Senior Delta Airlines Captain and we had a common interest. I tried not to bore him with too much "hanger flying." After visiting with him at his home we finished a Bible study. He ask me if I would like to go with him to the Delta Training Center and fly the 727 jet simulator. I eagerly said yes and waited for the Invitation.

We were both busy and as time went by I forgot about his invitation. One particularly stressful and frustrating day I came home in a bad mood. We all know that feeling. Too tired to move, wishing things would just go away, unwilling to even think about the next problem. I thought back over all the study and research I had done on stress.

I knew for example that stress and unpleasant circumstances produces depression. As the 20th century wound down Doctors were prescribing hundreds of millions of doses of antidepressants. Serotonin, the secret of Prozac, and norepinephrine - another neurotransmitter are the current drugs of choice for depression. Here's a clue. The brain makes both of these chemicals. Serotonin is made by the body from tryptophan, an amino acid found in protein-rich foods such as meat, fish and milk.

Years ago in a graduate psychology class I was taught that the body makes every single chemical that doctors proscribe in the form of pills. The big question is what turns on the production of these mood altering chemicals in the brain and what turns them off? I have believed for a long time that our thoughts have a lot to do with it.

I was stressed out when the telephone rang. Jerry wanted to know if I'd like to go to the Delta training center and try my hand at flying the 727 jet simulator. I eagerly said yes. He promised to stop by and pick me up. Suddenly I didn't feel tired or stressed out. I felt eager and alive with anticipation as we drove the 25 miles to the Delta Center.

We walked into a huge room and I saw the simulator. It looked like a large room up in the air on huge pistons. When I walked up the steps and into the door I found myself in an exact replica of a 727 Aircraft. As I slid into the right seat of the cockpit I was really pumped up. Absolutely everything was working and responded just like a real airplane. Soon the engines were running and Sound, lights, motion and the view out of the window convinced me that I was flying a real airplane.

Jerry handled part of the work load giving me headings to fly that took us out and back to the runway but I did a pretty good job of flying this heavy airliner. As I started an ILS approach to the runway a voice started nagging me to "watch my altitude, correct my heading" and other messages if I was less than perfect. I sweated a little struggling to stay on the glide path and soon I flared out and made a decent landing. My bad mood had disappeared and I felt great as I applied the brakes and the aircraft came to a stop.

I ask Jerry why they had a woman's voice on the radio nagging at me when I was a little off the mark. He laughed and said: "There isn't a man in the world that can ignore a nagging woman."

Jerry explained the obvious to me. If we forgot about how crowded the Sky's are it would still be enormously expensive to use a real 727 to train a new pilot. The Captain has years of experience and the first officer never fly's the real aircraft until they leave the gate with a load of passengers. The amazing simulator can be programmed to cause any kind of equipment failure, bad weather, and any kind of emergency the pilots could ever encounter in the real plane. Even the Captains have to take regular check rides with the simulator.

After several hours we shut down and I walked out into the bright lights of Atlanta's huge airport. I couldn't remember ever having a more interesting experience. All of my stress and bad mood had been erased. I slept like a baby after I got home.

The human brain is the most amazing computer in the world. Unfortunately we forget that it can be programmed by almost anyone. In a days time we are literally assaulted
with thousands of "sensory inputs." Some good, some bad, but all are registered by our mind. Wouldn't it be fantastic if we could close our eyes and go into a "life simulator" where we got positive, uplifting, and inspiring thoughts placed in our minds. It's possible! The Apostle Paul describes the process.

(Phil 4:8-9 NIV) "Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things. {9} Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me--put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you."

Thanks Jerry, for giving me such a powerful push toward emotional balance.

Did you know? You can send me an e-mail and I'll read it and send you a reply!

Thursday, January 15, 2009


Anarchy is derived from a Greek root word meaning “without a rule.” When laws are not obeyed and authorities are despised and without force - when crime goes unpunished, property is attacked, the safety of the individual is violated, the morality of the people is corrupted, the disregard for the constitution, our government, and there is a complete absence of justice - these are the features of anarchy.

Maybe someone could tell me what these words mean: “illegal aliens.” I think I know what illegal means. It means an unlawful, criminal act. Aliens could be any foreigner who tries to sneak into our country without permission or a passport. For most of my life the legal and honorable way to enter our country was to get a visa, learn English, and apply for citizenship.

It's bad enough for Europe and many other countries to be filling up with Muslims and "terrorist". If they are good Muslims who believe and follow the Quran, then they will eventually attempt to kill, murder, and destroy all Christians and Jews. Why? Because it's clearly taught in the Quran. I'm shocked to see Americans protesting the self defence of Israel. I wonder what our country would do if Cuba was shooting Missiles into South Florida, killing innocent people and children?

Muslim leaders state that their goal is to convert the whole world to Sharia Law and force every nation on earth to bow to Muslim law. Our world is clearly in a state of Anarchy when the extremely wealthy people and corporations who want cheap labor demand that the politicians ignore the laws and allow “illegal immigrants” to flood into any country.

Pretending that it's some kind of "morality, compassion or kindness" to allow people to violate the laws of our nation is nothing more than lunatic liberalism. It trashes the very foundations and concepts of the founders of our country. The death of America is not very far away when the majority of Americans have never read or studied American History. I spent my time in a University carefully studying American History.

This U-tube video is an excellent presentation of the true concepts of our founding fathers for a free, safe and prosperous America. It may shock many people who believe that the founding fathers "wanted to create a Democracy". Recognizing the inherit danger of "Majority rule" they wisely chose to create a Republic.

Here's a test of whether or not you would like to live under a true democracy. Picture yourself on a deserted island with 90 pot smoking dope addicts who believe in the most vile perverted lifestyle imaginable. You are shocked and dismayed to learn that your one vote is meaningless because 90 of these people will always outvote you every time. That's a democracy.

No matter how reasonable and just our laws may be - there will always be a screaming, angry marching mob of people who will never give up until their perverted and immoral lifestyle can rule the day.