Saturday, March 29, 2008

Group's promise to pray brings healing to the hurt

By TOMIE LUNSFORD
Telegram Staff Writer

The yellow cat wasn't well. His collar rubbed against two patches of raw skin, and his fur hung like drapes from a small set of bones.
But he was nursing his wounds with his tongue, and he was eating. His food bowl, licked clean not too long ago, sat under a tree close to where he lay.
The cat was healing, as are the people who care for him - the residents of Rose Garden.
A half-way home for the mentally ill, addicts and parolees, the Rose Garden consists of 11 houses along Avenue A in Temple that shelter up to 60 people working to regain control of their lives.
The people who meet under the canopy at 817 E. Ave. A every Saturday morning say they owe their budding salvation to a Christian worship group led by Lee Roy Tyler.
All members of the First Assembly of God in Belton, Tyler and his five friends visit the Rose Garden residents at least once a week, except in cases of inclement weather.
'We don't preach denomination, just the gospel of Jesus Christ,' Tyler said. 'We feed them, and we give clothing when we have it.'

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Aspiring writers bind support, critique in club

By TOMIE LUNSFORD
Telegram Staff Writer

When writers want to fine-tune their work, they often turn to readers who can apply a critical eye - or simply said, they turn to other writers.
'Review, advice and input from other writers makes your work stronger,' said Suanne Stroup of Killeen, author of 'Living and Dying Across the I-35 Corridor.'
That's why she's so excited about the recent formation of the Temple Writers Meetup Group.

Local writers share sources of inspiration

By TOMIE LUNSFORD
Telegram Staff Writer

A thought and a pen - or a keyboard - is all it takes to start writing.
But what does it take to get the thought?
The ancient Greeks credited inspiration to the Muses, a band of sisters who planted seeds of song, story, music and dance within the minds of artists. Those who received such visits were grateful, the myths say, because there was no reason or pattern to the will of any Muse.
Science says it's something chemical, and contemporary religion claims all creation is for and to the glory of God. Others think it's luck.
But these explanations are second-hand.
Talk to a few writers - or artists or musicians - and you'll find that the source of the thought - the inspiration - isn't so difficult to understand.
'It's life,' said Diana Tierney, the founder of Temple's new writing club.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Does Jesus want us 'Looking good'?

By TOMIE LUNSFORD
Telegram Staff Writer

Sex sells. Sure.
But Jesus?
The idea of commercializing Christ makes some cringe. But it happens; Jesus sells like anything else.
His image sports a price tag on all sorts of things, from bumper stickers to glass figurines. And it's not just at Christmas and Easter. Jesus sits on store shelves all year long, always ready to celebrate a wedding, mourn a funeral or offer an encouraging word to a suffering friend.
Selling Christ in these ways is OK. Nobody seems to object.
But it wasn't OK last month when a store in Singapore tried to sell some $5.99 tubes of 'Looking Good for Jesus' lip balm. A report from the BBC said a riot started after store managers received complaints from angry Roman Catholics.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

City Federation group honors longtime community servant

By TOMIE LUNSFORD
Telegram Staff Writer

She had the opportunity to go to college, but she never quit trying to learn.
'Reading's been the way to continue my education,' said Dorothy Boutwell of Temple. 'I've always been fond of learning new things.'
That passion inspired her to join Temple's City Federation of Women's Clubs 61 years ago.
'It didn't matter what you were interested in, the Federation had a group for it,' she said. 'It still does. The old ones died out, and new groups replaced them.'
In her many years of service, Mrs. Boutwell has served on countless committees and held several offices, including the office of president from 1936 to 1964.
'I enjoyed it,' Mrs. Boutwell said. 'I'm quite proud of the Texas Women's Library for the Texas Federation of Women's Clubs.'

A place to heal: Camp offers children a path through grief

By TOMIE LUNSFORD
Telegram Staff Writer

He's 11 years old, and he's got an idea for the perfect funeral.
'I want to be locked in a jukebox,' said Nick Fortenberry of Troy. 'I think it would be great, me looking out and grinning at everybody.'
His mother, Cynthia, shook her head and laughed, but older brother Alex said Nick was serious.
'He really does want to be propped up,' Alex said, rolling his eyes in exaggerated exasperation. 'You're just encouraging him by laughing.'
He was addressing Jan Upchurch and Judy Hoelscher, directors of the Rays of Hope Bereavement Camp, an annual event sponsored by the Child Life Department of Scott & White Hospital in Temple.
The group was talking about the value grieving with peers at a meeting on March 7 at the Scott & White cafeteria. This year will mark the Fortenberry boys' fifth time at camp. Their father died in Iraq four years ago.

Beer on the wall: Family finds fun in collecting more than 700 cans of beer

By TOMIE LUNSFORD
Telegram Staff Writer

Nothing's conspicuous about the garage itself.
It's what's inside that catches the attention of passersby.
'Apparently you can see it from the street,' said owner Sue Judd. 'People will be walking or jogging, and they'll come up to see what it's all about.'
She giggled as she pointed at the massive display of aluminum behind her. More than 700 beer cans sat in the wooden display case her husband, John, had made for them.
'The most frequent question we get is, 'Did you drink all that?' Even if we did, it wouldn't have been all at once,' Mrs. Judd joked. 'This is about collecting.'

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Wives teach each other in ministry

By TOMIE LUNSFORD
Telegram Staff Writer

The words are there in the Bible, 'Wives, be submissive to your husbands.'
The idea is discussed at length at several points in Ephesians, 1 Peter, Corinthians and a couple of psalms.
Just like anything else, some people like it and some people don't.
'Not everybody understands the idea,' said Debbie Browder of Temple.
Paula Meyer agreed.
'Too many people get caught up in what they think the word means,' Ms. Meyer said. 'And they lose the meaning of what God's trying to teach.'
Mrs. Browder and Mrs. Meyer are mentors to younger wives at Temple Bible Church via a program called 'Apples of Gold.'
'We want them to get the benefit of the lessons we learned the hard way,' said Mary Jezek, another of the mentors.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Mail call: Seniors stamp loads of letters to troops

By TOMIE LUNSFORD
Telegram Staff Writer

It's bad enough when a bill is the only thing sitting in your mailbox.
But you're here in Bell County, reading the paper in your own time and place. The TV's probably on, and you're probably not too worried about being shot.
What if you were a soldier in Iraq or Afghanistan? What if you carried a rifle instead of a cell phone? And what if your name was never said at mail call?
'Think about that. You're over there serving your country, but you don't have anyone at home who misses you. You don't have anybody to send you a card or write you a letter. The thought breaks my heart.'
Connie Swinden's words came fast and earnest as she spoke.
'I want no soldier to think they're unappreciated,' Ms. Swinden said. 'That's why I started writing the cards.'
She writes - and asks others to write - messages of hope, encouragement and thanks to people serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom. The effort is a perpetual project called 'Encouragement Cards for Our Service Men and Women' at the Belton Senior Center, where she works as activities coordinator.

Stones bring healing, love and wonder

By TOMIE LUNSFORD
Telegram Staff Writer

Like the pearl of an oyster, a gemstone brings beauty from nothing.
“It doesn’t matter what you’re looking for, it all starts out ugly,” said Bryan Fritch of Salado, a member of the Temple Gem & Mineral Society.
He’s holding a potato-like rock the size of a softball.
“You think you have nothing,” Fritch said. “But then clear away the dirt, you sand down the edges and then shine a light on it. Only then do you see the pretty stuff.”
For Fritch, finding gemstones is a detective game — one he began digging into 30 years ago. He has more than 70 types of stone from across the United States and from as far away as Hong Kong.
“It’s like treasure hunting,” Fritch said. “It’s something that was formed millions and millions of years ago, and you’re the first person to touch it, to find the beauty.”

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Man's dogs help teach Bible lessons

By TOMIE LUNSFORD
Telegram Staff Writer

Two dogs played fetch in front of a crucifix.
Nobody got upset. The puppies running the halls of Salado United Methodist Church last Sunday were doing as they were told.
With every bone they chewed, Prophet and Monk were helping their owner teach lessons of the Bible.
The speaker was Hank Hough. He's the founder of Kingdom Dog Ministries.
'I'm a duck hunter, a duckaholic even,' Hough said. 'I wanted to serve the Lord, but I didn't know how. I couldn't talk, sing or dance. But then God gave me a dog.'
And as that hunting dog became a champion in his eyes, Hough said he learned how he could become a champion in the Lord's eyes.