It wasn’t quite as dramatic as opening night when the thunderstorm broke out just as Elisha, the narrarator, was telling us how dry it was during the 3-1/2 year drought in Israel. But we did get another pretty heavy thunderstorm last night that ended just as VBS was beginning. One of my favorite ad-libbed lines from last night’s presentation of “Elijah: On Fire for the Lord” came from one of the Ba’al prophets who prayed, “Please let it rain like it’s doing in Texas!” And of course, the best well-rehearsed line was delivered by our own Suzanne West, whose cameo and single line every year has become a much-anticipated event. “Excuse me, sir. Who is this God you speak of?” She nailed it.
VBS is really a spectacular production here at Legacy. Elaborately decorated classrooms featuring everything from sumo wrestlers to running brooks and Israelite houses and a giant candy Mount Carmel. And tons of kids and young families, naturally. But a whole mess of our older members jump right into the middle of this thing, too. That’s one of the really, really impressive things about the Legacy family. They really do act like a family. (They. I guess I need to start saying “we.”) I see such pride and joy on the faces of our older members listening to our kids sing and scream and jump up and down with Jerry Karels. They’re helping with refreshments and registration. They’re aiding our many, many visitors as soon as they walk in the door. It’s just a terrific, church-wide experience. And I’m truly grateful for that.
Why do we love so much seeing our kids having a great time? Why do we enjoy so much watching them learn about Elijah and God’s great love and power? Why do our hearts thrill listening to them sing? Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me.” He tells us we must become like little children if we’re to enter the Kingdom.” Is it any wonder? Our kids are so enthusiastic, their faith so simple and strong, their love and forgiveness of each other so quick and deep, their joy in their Lord and his creation so genuine, their trust so real.
Let’s pay close attention to our young children here for the next couple of nights. Watch them. Listen to them. Let’s notice in them the qualities that our Lord finds so appealing. And then let’s try to be just like them.
Jesse Villareal is getting his list together for the trip to Marble Falls next week. If you’d like to go with him and the Singles Group to help the Marble Falls Church clean out and clean up from last month’s floods, please get in touch with him soon or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. They’re leaving Thursday afternoon, August 2. They’ll work with the church down there in members’ homes and in other areas of the city—the lowest income areas of the town, probably—all day Friday and Saturday. And then they’ll come home Sunday afternoon after worshiping with the Marble Falls family that morning.
Although the Cowboys report to San Antonio this afternoon for training camp and their first practice is tomorrow, there are still 37 days until football season. 37 days until the games count. No more scrimmages. No more pre-season. No more practices. The games count in 37 days. Don’t be distracted. Don’t lose focus.
#37 in the countdown is probably the best football player ever in the history of the Southwest Conference. The great SMU running back, Doak Walker, is the only three-time All-America selection in the history of the SWC. He led the Mustangs to conference titles in 1947 and 1948 when SMU went a combined 18-1-3. And those were his teams. He did everything. And everybody wanted to see him play. He ran, passed, kicked, returned kicks, and played defense so well that SMU was forced to move out of its small on-campus Ownby Stadium to play its games in the massive Cotton Bowl at Fair Park. Thus, the Cotton Bowl became “The House That Doak Built.” And it still is.
Walker became the first junior to ever win the Heisman Trophy when he took it in 1948. And he’s still the only Mustang to ever win the award as the best player in college football.
He made the cover of 47 magazines during his playing days and really was a national phenomenon. He’s still in the top five of several all-time SMU categories including rushing, passing, scoring, interceptions, punting, punt return, and kick return. And the award for the best running back in college football every year has been named after him since 1990. Doak Walker went to Highland Park High School in Dallas with Bobby Layne. And he’s the best player to ever wear #37.