Wednesday, February 18, 2009

For Her Son and Jesus ...

(The Huffmans used to minister in Kermit before they moved to Lubbock and opened an excellent bookstore. I hope all three of my readers will shop there. The Lubbock Avalanche-Journal published this touching story about them in their Sunday February 15th edition. I am excerpting it without permission as always.)
Melody Huffman, 51, keeps memories alive.

She dresses up as Aunt Lydia (as in Lydia from Thyatira, from the book of Acts) in a modest purple robe (like the kind Lydia might have sold) inside her Christian book store, The Bible Barn. She tells stories about giants and whales and fiery furnaces. On Feb. 7, five little kids - some she knew, some she didn't - marched around the store and blew kazoos and sucked on Dum Dums and the walls of Jericho came down.

"What do you think the name of this city is?" she asks her audience. "Do you think it's called Lubbock?"


"Do you think it's called Dallas?"


"No, not Dallas. It's ... called ... Jerrrrrichooo. Can you say that? One, two, three: Jerrrricchooo."
Monty, Huffman's husband, watches and smiles.

"She's been a Bible class teacher all her life," says Monty, 52, a minister at Central Lubbock Church of Christ, where the two attend. "She's probably been teaching Bible class since she was a pre-teenager. She's had 40 years of experience. It's something on her heart, and a way to use her gifts for something good."

The couple opened The Bible Barn in September 2007. Aunt Lydia was born two months later.

"I just love kids and just wanted to have something where they could come," Melody says of her alter ego and the weekly story time she calls Matthew's Korner, named in honor of her son. "I thought it would be something to help bring people in, something different. It's little. It's been slow. Sometimes kids are here; sometimes they're not, you know. But I'm always ready."

Ready or not

On Aug. 9, 1991, she wasn't ready. Parents never are, even when they know God holds the future and they'll all meet again one day. But little Matthew, 7 years, 1 month, and 1 day old when he died, was as ready as anyone's ever been.

The whole family was in Brazil. Melody and Monty were missionaries. The boys, Matthew and Micah, chased lizards and climbed trees. On Saturday night, Aug. 3, Matthew got sick. He was vomiting. He had headaches. The doctors said it was the Brazilian mumps. It wasn't.

"I was in the backseat as we were driving 30 miles to the hospital," Melody says with tears in her eyes. "And Matthew kept reaching out. He had spinal meningitis. He'd already gone blind and lost his ability to walk, and he just kept reaching his hand.

"I'd hold it and he'd tell me, 'No, I don't want it.' And, just in desperation I said, 'Well whatever you want, I'll get it. Just tell me.' And he just said, 'I'm trying to reach Jesus' hand,' and his hand closed in the air and ... that was it."

Telling stories

Christian author Max Lucado, a former missionary to Brazil himself and pastor of Oak Hills Church of Christ in San Antonio where relatives of the Huffmans attended, wrote about their ordeal in his 1993 book "And the Angels Were Silent."

"Max wrote about that and what his last words were," Melody said. " 'I'm reaching for Jesus.' "

It's still hard to talk about. Some days she can't. But each Saturday she'll sit down in front of photos of Matthew, framed and hung on the wall in his "Korner," and tell other people's children all the stories she used to tell him.

Five-year-old Andy Woods even kind of looks like him.

"What's that?" he asks, sucker in his mouth, pointing to a book just before things get going on Saturday.

"That is a book about The Story Keepers," Melody says. "They keep the story of Jesus alive."
(OTHER VOICES: Matthew Morine has a great post about the future of the largest churches of Christ. Check it out.)

Monday, February 16, 2009

Artoo-Detoo - Imperial, Texas

48 miles south of Kermit,
on the campus of the Buena Vista Independent School District.
Metal shop project?

Sunday, February 15, 2009

A New Kermit ... and Two Old Ones

This one really is new. It appeared about June 2008 on the front window of a local bar called Spanky's. It depicts Kermit the Frog as a Dallas Cowboys player.
We do love the Cowboys around here.
These two Kermits date back to the 2005 celebration. The building housed a bicycle shop at that time. It since closed, and a tortilleria recently went in. They preserved the window art though!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Christmas at Kermit's Medallion Home by Liz Kirk

(The Medallion Home is the oldest existing structure in Winkler County. Liz wrote this article for the current issue of the Jacket Jabber, a publication of the Kermit Independent School District. I was present on the field trip but was afraid to take pictures inside the house, so I stole pictures from the Winkler Post. The pictures of the Christmas tree and phone were stolen from other places.)

On December 16, 2008, East Primary’s first and second grade classes boarded the busses to go for a tour of Kermit’s Medallion Home. There they were met by Medallion Hostesses Janet Marler, Donna Hayes, and Nita Pigmon, who walked each class through each room of the house and described what it was like to live in the house in the early days of Kermit, TX. Students were amazed that there was no electricity, indoor plumbing, or running water. In spite of all this, the students could see the home was beautifully decorated for the holidays. The Christmas tree held ornaments similar to those typical for the time period. The students learned that Christmas trees were not decorated with lights, but with candles.

In fact, the Christmas tree itself might have been a mesquite tree or cedar tree like those found in the area.

The students also had the opportunity to examine period clothing, shoes, etc. that had belonged to the original owners of the home. They got to look at the owner’s wedding gown, and examined pictures, dishes, and other artifacts that are on display
in the home. They were especially intrigued by the old telephone and the idea of having one phone line (the party line) for all of Kermit.

The tour concluded with each student receiving a candy cane from the hostesses, and a hearty “Merry Christmas” greeting as well. The tour was most enjoyable for all!

Liz Kirk, 2nd Grade Teacher

(Liz may get to be a hostess at the Medallion Home this summer! How cool is that?)

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Cat Cam: This is Fascinating!

I found this on an excellent blog called El Fin del Internet:

A couple in Seattle have a lightweight digital camera that they hook to their cat’s collar once a week and let him out. The camera snaps a picture every two minutes.

There is a blog and a Flickr photo page. The cat takes pretty good pictures. Check it out!
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