Summary: Memorial Tribute to Pat Tillman

Text: John 15:13

How many of you are busily caught up with Spring cleaning and sprucing up? It has been a good year for that hasn’t it. Nature doesn’t seem to be able to make up her mind whether it’s Winter, Spring, or Summer does she? I kind of like it because the prolonged coming of Spring and Summer allows me more time to get things done around the house before flower beds, fence rows, and the lawn become too overgrown to get ahead of.

I notice on T.V. when they show a news scene from one of the Southern States, their trees and flowers are already beautifully in bloom.

I had an epiphany last week while I was working and planting a new pasture field. It started when I began to think about the fact that I was able to quickly disc and drag, fertilize and plant a six acre field of pasture grass in such timely fashion. I thought of our ancestors who could plow probably about an acre a day with their horses, depending upon the soil composition. Once the ground was “fitted” they would then walk the whole area with a seed sack on their arm or shoulder and “broadcast” or scatter the seed by hand. Whew! I got tired just thinking about it. Here I was in my meditative state, sitting upon a shiny green tractor with the equivalent of 65 or 70 of the horses our ancestors were forced to employ, completing in one day or less, what it would have taken them a week to accomplish.

While still engaged in my reflective state I happened to glance toward the house and saw the sun sparkling off my shiny red pickup. Once again I was carried away in my mind to a time when travel and the moving of goods was more of an ordeal than it was a pleasure or convenience. I smiled as I recalled my grandfather telling about going to Ludington on his honeymoon and with only three flat tires and getting stuck in the road three or four times, they made it all the way to Lake Odessa on the first day. (Yesterday, with no advanced preparation, Alicia and I went to a sale in Mount Pleasant).

Continuing my field work, and still pondering such things, my eyes and mental meanderings shifted from reflecting on teams of horses versus modern farm machinery and Tin Lizzie’s versus modern forms of conveyance to the rest of what we moderns enjoy - and maybe more to the point, what we expect.

Two large and modern barns, a very up to date house, sitting upon forty acres adorned with two ponds, eight brood mares, and one stallion of nationally recognized bloodlines, my wife’s car, a lawn mower that cost three times more than my first brand new car, my work shop filled with tools of every imaginable use filling an area the size of a two car garage, - where shall I stop? A house filled with all the modern conveniences, four guitars, a mandolin, and a fiddle, a large screen T.V. …………… Well…………….. You get the picture.

I thought about my wife’s job and my own involvement in the ministry. I considered the success of our children and the relative good health we all enjoy.

As a people and a nation I considered how far we have come in the last several decades.

Do you realize that just a short one hundred years ago the average life expectancy was only 47 years?

One hundred years ago only 8 percent of the homes in America had a telephone.

A three minute call from Denver to New York City cost eleven dollars.

There were only 8,000 cars in the U.S., and only 144 miles of paved roads.

The average wage in the U.S. was 22 cents an hour.

In 1904 more than 95 percent of all births in the U.S. took place at home.

Ninety percent of all U.S. physicians had no college education. Instead, they attended medical schools, many of which were condemned in the press and by the government as “substandard.”

One hundred years ago if you were poor and wanted to immigrate to Canada you could forget it. Canada passed a law prohibiting poor people from entering the country for any reason.

The five leading causes of death in the U.S. were:

1. Pneumonia and influenza

2. Tuberculosis

3. Diarrhea

4. Heart disease

5. Stroke

A century ago the population of Las Vegas, Nevada was 30.

And finally, for our consideration, two out of ten U.S. adults could not read or write, and only 6 percent of all Americans had graduated high school.


Who was it who said……….. “You’ve come a long way baby.”


We have! - Haven’t we?

Sure we suffer the normal economic vicissitudes and experience the normal aches and pains of life and growing older, but for the most part we are relatively financially sound and healthy.

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