mcj-2021-01-06-oped-jim-rutledge

Bro. Jim Rutledge

Clyde Wilson was editor and publisher of the Tombigbee Country Magazine for 10 years prior to his death in July 2009. Tombigbee Country Magazine is a nostalgia-related monthly magazine of old-time tales, history and humor of the upper Tombigbee River area of Mississippi and Alabama.

I met Clyde Wilson in 2003. In our first encounter, he encouraged me to become a contributor to the monthly magazine. He gave me some suggestions, and I agreed on an article, thus I gave him a joke to put in the next issue. Seems it was a hit and for the last 17 years, I’ve written articles on religion and humor. Being a Baptist preacher for more than 50 years, I’ve shared a lot of personal experiences for dealing with Baptist folks.

The year 2020 has been an unusual year for all of us. Lifestyle has ceased to be normal, and many of us have had to alter our daily routines. This year has also affected the Tombigbee Country Magazine. After 20 years of bringing history, old-time tales and humor with laughter to a multitude of readers, we must close down. COVID-19 has caused life to cease for this popular country magazine.

I conducted the funeral for Clyde Wilson in August 2009. The Tombigbee Country Magazine was sold to Destry “Bo” Webster of Guin, Alabama and was published for the last 10 years with the same format. However, COVID-19 has invaded our ranks and destroyed our Tombigbee Country Magazine.

I have a sack full of memories to draw from, along with phone calls, cards and letters from readers of the magazine. I’m grateful for the people I’ve come in contact with through Humor from the Parson’s Pen. Thank you for being loyal readers, and I pray that our paths will continue to cross in additional ways.

“To everything there is a season and a time for every purpose under the heaven.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1)

And “….whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.” (Galatians 6:7). What you plant is what you get and if you plan to live on this planet with any sort of ease, there are rules you must follow.

God set up an order with certain laws for the world. “While the Earth remains, seed time and harvest; cold and heat; winter and summer; and day and night shall not cease.” (Genesis 8:22) Sounds fairly simple, doesn’t it? The most obvious is to realize that life is just like the seasons. If you understand the principles behind nature’s seasons, you can apply the principles of the seasons to your life.

Difficult times, or winter, come on a regular basis. There is winter in your marriage, job, health, economics, relationships and just about every other aspect of life. If you haven’t yet lived through a tough winter, get ready because you will.

The best way to endure the winter is to be prepared but most importantly remember that spring is coming. Good times will follow bad times and for having endured the bitter cold, you can enjoy the newness of life in the spring.

Spring is full of choices that effect the harvest in your life. In spring, you plant what you will harvest in the fall. It is hard work to reap a plentiful harvest, and it begins with carefully planting and planning the seeds of your life. Do not waste spring.

There are four words to remember for the summer – effort, enemies, evaluation and endurance. Like spring, summer has a lot of effort. It is necessary to be disciplined in your chores and responsibilities so that the crop you planted in the spring will survive the summer heat. Realize there are just a few spiritual disciplines in your life. Apply them regularly and you will be able to stand the heat.

If you have a garden or farm, you will be invaded. There are weeds, bugs and diseases out there. You have to love good and hate evil. If you don’t hate the enemies, they will destroy your marriage, family, relationships and everything good that God has intended for your life. Recognize your enemies and be prepared to guard what is growing.

The summer is time for evaluation. It is crucial to understand where you have been and where you are going. This allows you to plan for the future. You must make the necessary changes now before winter comes and it is too late.

“….Whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.” (Galatians 6:7). Fall is a time for judgment. God made this world so you could look at nature and see what is fair and just. You get what you plant and much more. The miraculous and supernatural yields whirlwinds out of the wind, bushels out of one seed, trees out of a tiny seedling, fields of flowers from one rain fall and a celebration of life if you planted carefully. The scriptures give “down to Earth advice.”

The Rev. James Rutledge is from Amory.

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