Fall 2000


The most important conversation of my day is the one I have with God. To begin my day with the Savior is to have Him show me how to structure my life, how to align myself to His way. On days when my schedule has hurried or crowded out my time with the Lord, I have been abruptly reminded of this lack by feelings of frustration and separation from God as things go wrong.

When I am tempted to pass by my time with Him in order to move on to other activities, I am reminded of Dr. Charles Stanley’s statement, "Jesus never hurried from one place to another. He did not carry a cell phone nor did He worry about picking up His e-mail. Yet He changed the world." This thought often slows me down.

To keep my focus in prayer, I have found making and following a prayer list is helpful—though I guard against making it a wish list. I also find help in seeking a place of serenity. My two favorite places are on the grounds of Clear Creek Church and on a hill in our pasture. I find speaking aloud helps combat distracting thoughts.

When I must be in the house during my prayer time, I pray the telephone will not ring. One morning this summer, the telephone did ring. I was very tempted not to answer, but I did. I heard a man with whom I had not had contact for several years weeping and talking. He was asking me to pray for his daughter who was critically ill. We had a long conversation, and I am convinced God knew he needed someone at that time to talk with about this crisis, to assure him of God’s love and compassion, and to offer prayers and support. God knew where I was, that I was in a state of prayer and would listen, and He brought the two of us together.

Just as we like to be told we are loved, God is pleased when His children speak of their love for Him. My thanks to Him go on and on. My first and foremost thanks are for His loving me, for His giving His Son that I can have eternity with Him, and for His presence through the Holy Spirit within me. With my love for Him and thanks to Him, I praise Him for His completeness and greatness.

Prayer strengthens me against temptations. In His model prayer, Jesus taught us to pray that we not be led into temptations. I may be tempted to be critical of others or engage in degrading conversations or have degrading thoughts. I ask forgiveness for these offenses, feel a burden lifted, and strive to avoid this behavior.

In order for me to move forward in my relationship with the Lord, prayer is vital. My talking, listening, and responding to Him are all essential. Perhaps of these, listening is the most difficult. I struggle to be quiet and listen. Given the opportunity, He will give me the much needed direction. In I Chronicles 16:11, we are told "Seek the Lord and His strength; seek His face continually." When we agree or volunteer to pray for someone, I believe God holds us to our commitment. He is disappointed when His children glibly make such a promise then fail to follow through. His children are blessed with varied talents; however, to pray for another is a gift we can all give.

This summer our critical need for rain was high on my prayer list. I had prayed fervently, believing God would answer. Crops were devastated, pastures were dry, fires were rampant, yet no rain came. One morning during the third week in August I told Don I was praying for a good overall season of rain. His comment took me aback. He replied that he was not sure that was what we needed just then and that we needed to accept what God knows is best. Don’s thought reminded me I had been telling God what we needed when He knew all the time what was best for us according to His plan. Later I strengthened my prayer by praying as Jesus taught us, "Thy will be done."

As summer was drawing to a close and the beginning of school was very near, granddaughter Mary Beth still did not have a teaching position for which we had all been praying. As time grew shorter and I knew positions were filled, I began to pray that someone’s plans would change, a position would open, and Mary Beth would be called. One morning I declared to a young friend that I believed with all my heart that God was going to answer our prayers. At that very time Mary Beth was receiving a call which led to a position. When I learned of this, I immediately called my friend to give God the glory. I do believe He wants us to humbly exhibit our faith in Him.

A ladies’ prayer group at our church in the mid 70’s was a great blessing to me. We always sat in a circle and held hands when we were not wiping tears. Within the group, some of us were very close personal friends and were together often. Others were friends but not as close. However, when we had our prayer time, we opened our hearts of our innermost needs. We never feared sharing personal confidences; whatever was said within the group stayed there. Dr. Norman Vincent Peale has said that "Prayer with power is focused and specific.’ Our prayers were atuned to our specific needs. I was moved by the trust and confidence we felt with each other and the great relief we felt in sharing our concerns and praying together.

Through the years, there have been those whose prayers in worship services have touched my life immeasurably. Perhaps my daddy’s prayers are some I remember best. Daddy’s prayers were humble and were often hardly audible. When offering the benediction, he often was in tears as he closed.

Prayers that are read or recited often carry a deep meaning and have a strong focus. Spontaneous prayers, using our own words and expressions, are our best connectors with God, but as a wonderful poem or a flower will speak to a loved one and enrich our relationship and our love, written prayers "can increase our awareness tune our senses, and open our hearts... Attitudes, thought patterns and images can all be enriched... We can use these prayers to enter into a stillness that is vibrant with the Presence and with all that comes to us.’ [This paragraph paraphrases and quotes from A Time to Pray, by David Adams.]

When we encounter difficulties in our lives, we are tempted to work through them in our own way or to seek the advice of others. Our greatest source of help is always the Lord. The tried and proven way of receiving help is through prayer. What a comfort it is that the Lord is waiting, ready to hear and answer needs to our good. Being with God in prayer brings peace, security, and direction. Someone has said when the boat of our life is rocking in the waves of despair, our call to Him is one of our most urgent prayers. It is the most important one.

We must, in faith, accept that God doesn’t always answer our prayers as we pray. He always answers, though at times His way is not our way. At those times we must draw on faith and trust. We must embed this deep faith and trust within our beings as we grow in our Christ-like life. Dr. Adrian Rogers said, "A faith that hasn’t been tested can’t be trusted." I am grateful we have a God who teaches us faith and trust through good times and bad.



O God, we thank you for this earth, our home; for the wide sky and the blessed sun, for the salt sea and the running water, for the everlasting hills and the never-resting winds, for trees and the common grass underfoot.

We thank you for our senses by which we hear the songs of birds, and see the splendor of the summer fields, and taste of the autumn fruits, and rejoice in the feel of the snow, and smell the breath of the spring.

Grant us a heart wide open to all this beauty; and save our souls from being so blind that we pass unseeing when even the common thornbush is aflame with your glory, 0 God our creator, who lives and reigns for ever and ever.

— Walter Rauschenbusch, 1861-1918

Father of eternal youth, as time’s plow furrows our physical frame, may we always be young at heart.

Our hair may gray or thin, our skin may wrinkle, our bones may become fragile, our faculties may dim, but our hearts need not age unless our remorse exchanges places with our dreams.

May we never lose interest in life. May our minds ever be open to the surprises of our universe. Help our curiosities to take a daily jog through intriguing fields of knowledge.

When we reflect, may we relive the joys of the past and not be resentful over the hurts and the heartaches.

May we remember that the heart never grows old if it is touched by the Spirit of eternal youth. Amen.

— Gerrit D. Schut

I got up early one morning
and rushed right into the day; I had so much to accomplish
that I didn’t have time to pray.
Problems just tumbled about me, and heavier came each task.
"Why doesn’t God help me?" I wondered.
He answered, "You didn’t ask."
I wanted to see joy and beauty,
but the day toiled on gray and black; I wondered why God didn’t show me,
He said, "But you didn’t seek."
I tried to come into God’s presence, I tried all my keys at the lock.
God gently and lovingly chided,
"My Child, you didn’t knock."
I woke up early this morning,
and paused before entering the day; I had so much to accomplish
that I had to take time to pray.

— Author Unknown


Thought you might enjoy this interesting prayer given in Kansas at the opening session of their senate. It seems prayer still upsets some people. When minister Joe Wright was asked to open the new session of the Kansas Senate, everyone was expecting the usual generalities, but this is what they heard:

"Heavenly Father, we come before you today to ask your forgiveness and to seek your direction and guidance. We know your word says, ‘Woe to those who call evil good’ but that is exactly what we have done. We have lost our spiritual equilibrium and reversed our values. We confess that. We have ridiculed the absolute truth of your word and called it pluralism; we have worshiped other gods and called it multiculturalism; we have endorsed perversion and called it alternative lifestyle; we have exploited the poor and called it the lottery; we have rewarded laziness and called it welfare; we have killed our unborn and called it choice; we have shot abortionists and called it justifiable; we have neglected to discipline our children and called it building self-esteem; we have abused power and called it politics; we have coveted our neighbor’s possessions and called it ambition; we have polluted the air with profanity and pornography and called it freedom of expression; we have ridiculed the time-honored values of our forefathers and called it enlightenment. Search us Oh, God, and know our hearts today; cleanse us from every sin and set us free. Guide and bless these men and women who have been sent to direct us to the center of your will. I ask this in the name of your son, the living Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen".

The response was immediate. A number of legislators walked out during the prayer in protest. In six short weeks, Central Christian Church, where Reverend Wright is pastor, logged more than 5,000 phone calls with only 47 of those calls responding negatively. The church is now receiving international requests for copies of this prayer from India, Africa, and Korea. Commentator Paul Harvey aired this prayer on "The Rest of the Story" on the radio and received a larger response to this program than any other he has ever aired. With the Lord’s help, may this prayer sweep over our nation and wholeheartedly become our desire so that we again can be called one nation under God.

— Source Unknown 


We like to think of our work here at the Funeral Home as a ministry as well as a service. The following letter from Dr. Jon Meek, Interim Pastor at North Oxford Baptist Church, was so gratifying to us that, with his permission, we share it with you.

Dear Bob and Beth:

The older I get the more I appreciate some things... one of which ‘is the service and care of Waller Funeral Home.
You and your people are the exception to today’s hurried and uncaring society. I love the "personal touch" that you and your people give with consistency and excellence to those who grieve. Never have I sensed that you offer just a service, but rather a ministry—I like that!

This week I participated in the service for [name withheld] and observed all of the above through Beth, Rocky and Bob.
And... what a thoughtful thing to provide bottles of iced water at the grave side... that’s outstanding!

Finally, I’ve observed your penchant for seeing that those who play the instruments, provide music, and perform the service are remembered with a gratuity or honorarium. In my 45 years of pastoral ministry that's a special gesture that I’ve never expected but always appreciate!


Many thanks for your kind words, Dr. Meek!

We dedicate this issue of Seasons to those who died and whose families we served from August 29, 2000, through November 8, 2000.

Mrs. Mary Elizabeth Cotton / August 29, 2000

Mrs. Mildred Flemons / August 30, 2000

Mr. Percy James ‘Buddy" Roberts / September 1, 2000

Mrs. Maggie Burns Loyed / September 3, 2000

Mr. Herman Ray "Buddy" Westmoreland / September 7, 2000 

Mrs. Woodson Parks Bailey / September 8, 2000

Mrs. Dexter Johnson Hickey / September 13, 2000

Mr. Donald Henry Babcock / September 14, 2000

Mrs. Gena Stephens Lamb / September 15, 2000

Mrs. Marguerite Austin McCain / September 15, 2000

Mrs. Sherry Cole Tatum / September 19, 2000

Mr. Robert W Pembroke / September 25, 2000

Mr. Michael Cole "Mike" Champion / October 3, 2000

Mr. Richard Floyd "Dick" Callaway, Jr / October 3, 2000

Miss Sarah Grace MeNeely / October 4, 2000

Mrs. Jimmie Lou James / October 6, 2000

Mrs. Eva Tolson Hamilton / October 8, 2000

Mr. Barnett Clifton Gilley / October 13, 2000

Mr. Melvin Mathis Cooper / October 13, 2000

Mr. Marvin Leslie "Les" Briscoe / October 14, 2000

Mr. Raymond Joseph Corcoran / October 17, 2000

Mrs. Georgie Mae Johnson Rikard / October 18, 2000

Mrs. Margie Overstreet McGregor / October 18, 2000

Joseph Michael Klepzig / October 21, 2000

Mr. Garner Lamar Hickman, Sr / October 23, 2000

Mr. Roy Vernon McCluskey / October 25, 2000

Mr. Garald Earnest Mize / October 26, 2000

Mr. Larry Paul Lewis / October 26, 2000

Mrs. Sathelle Bundren Brown / November 7, 2000

Mrs. Rhonda Oakes Carwile / November 8, 2000




As the holiday season approaches, we are mindful of those who are experiencing sorrow because of the death of a loved one. Grief helps related to coping with the holidays after the death of a loved one will be sent to members of families we have served since last Christmas. If you know of others you think might benefit from these, please let us know.

Inspirational and dashboard calendars are available at the funeral home for the asking.

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