Tuesday, November 28, 2006

The Cross

My daughter went to the gift store to buy a small cross for my dad. I asked,"Why?". "To remind him of Jesus everytime he looks at it," she said. He held that cross in his hand as long as he could. It had special meaning that his tiny grandchild had the pure love in her heart to think of something so simple. But the love behind that gift could stop a mighty army. Cause you see like all man made things they come to an end. But that innocent love will last forever. That small act is recorded in heaven as one of the greatest feats. Cause with love there is no fear.
Lance Gargus
Key Search Words:Christianity, Bible, Jesus, Angels, Soul Searching, God, Holy Spirit, Doves, Love, Children, Heaven

Dear loved ones,

This letter was wrote when my Dad was trying to help his brother for a couple months with his car business. He was retired at the time. And had the chance to get close to his brother that couple of months. He still missed us alot though. Myrtle was my grandmother and Lee was my grandfather on my mom's side in the letter. Ron and Joe are my older brothers. John Gresham is my cousin. I found this letter not to long after Thanksgiving. There is some things in it that really spoke to our hearts. This time of year, when this post was written, is especially hard on us. But it the most difficult on my mother. Pray for her lonesome heart. Here is the letter:

Oct 24 1987
10:15 am

Dear loved ones,

guess what, I got three letters from home this week?! How about that? Guess I really rate, huh?

I was really happy to get them and that all of you were okay. Hope and pray Myrtle is still improving. I've been fine; a little tired, with working 6 days a week, and a whole lot home sick. Sure wish I could see all of you.

Jimmy I'm sorry about your not doing so good in your grades. Do the best you can, I know you will, I'm really depending upon you as the man of the house, but I still expect you to be a boy and have fun like a boy should. Don't worry too much about girlfriends now, they will come in due time. I didn't marry till I was 25. In fact I didn't have a girlfriend until I was 20. So just hang in there, your life is all ahead of you son and I love you and believe in you O.K.?

Lance, be careful, there's plenty of girls out there for you and Jimmy, don't be too anxious, you'll be okay. Your brother, Joe, got his heartbroken 10 times before he was 16 so be careful. I love you, take care of mother and Jim and yourself. Okay? Hope you boys are enjoying the bit of money I sent.

Hope Myrtle is home by now and doing well. How is Lee doing? I sure miss you all. Hope to see you on the 18th of Nov. and come back on the 22.

John Grisham called Ron and Edna said he was in Memphis looking for work.

Honey I sure miss you and enjoy your letters. They sure are welcome, especially when I am so lonesome for you.

I haven't paid much on Jimmy's car yet and have some more work to do on it, but it is nice and a good car, he will be proud of it. I'm trying to get his car in good running condition. Have to let him drive alot and get insurance. It is a big long car, a LTD 2 baby blue Ford 2 door pretty. Tell Lance to be good and I will try to locate him a car later.

Well honey I will go please write when you can and remember I love you and miss you. Will try to be home for Thanksgiving and come back following Sunday.

Tell all hello for me. Be careful of fire. Take care of yourself and my boys.

All my love Darling and boys,


Daddy Jim and Hubby Jim
Key Search Words:Christianity, Bible, Jesus, Angels, Soul Searching, God, Holy Spirit, Doves, Love, Children, Heaven

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Children In Heaven

My daughter had another vision or dream the other night while sleeping. This time she saw children playing in a fantastic place with lots of bright fantastic colors coming from the garden. The sun or Son in the sky was shaped like a diamond. It was golden and lavendar in color. But it was not hot. You could touch it and it didn't burn you. She said it felt Holy. I asked what did she mean by Holy. Holy felt like the wind being soft and tender with love and comfortable all around you. This is how my 7 year old described it.
My dad felt she was a special little girl blessed by God. She said she wanted to see him cause God told her heaven is good. She got to see this glimpse I believe in her dream.
In her dream all the children were playing children's games. They were in a wonderful meadow with flowers, plants and trees that never died. They always stayed lovely with a little bit of golden light around them. God didn't let the children get sick or hurt there. Her Papaw's spirit watched over her there next to the sun or Son. He was happy. She got to climb stairs to a beach with all this water to swim in. And when you swam in this crystal clear water you put off what looked like gold on your hands and feet. You could drink the water, too. People would get 220 gallons of it she said to share. They would dip their cups in it to drink. The cups were grey with gold and lavendar on it. They drank the water with every meal. That included breakfast, lunch and dinner. And it tasted very good she said. The best thing was a mommy there she said what sounds like was reunited with her baby.
The plants in the garden included some very unusual ones that stood out. They seemed to have some special meaning to her. Two bushes had apples on them. Four had white lillies. And last two had red roses on them. I am not sure of the meaning of these and their significance.
God told his disciples not to stop the little children from coming unto Him. For he said such is the Kingdom of Heaven. To have trusting faith like a little child. This is how God wants us to be. Trusting in the unseen. As long as we are filled with doubt , we will be losing out on God's plan for our lives. My daughter is a pure spirit and seems to be able hear God when he speaks. I, on the other hand, have become callused and hardened by this life for I don't hear like I should. Sometimes I guess if I would just let my guard down. And walk on faith I could hear Him talking to me. I asked her was it just a dream or real. She said, "Oh, Yes, it was very real." Maybe just maybe, we as adults could hear what our little ones already know to be true.
Lance Gargus
Key Search Words:Christianity, Bible, Jesus, Angels, Soul Searching, God, Holy Spirit, Doves, Love, Children, Heaven


We all have memories I'm sure of going to see our grandmothers on Thanksgiving or Christmas. The road trip to see her and the anticipation of all those wonderful, smelling treats and goodies. We can't wait to see that smile and the warm arms to hug us. The kiss on the cheek and the look of kindness and love. The warm house after the long cold trip there. Trying to help her cook or do some small task she always let us do to make us feel special. This is how I felt. Always welcome and like I was going to my own family's home. I wasn't in the way I was a part of the family. And that is how it was.

Grandmothers are like that. Though I have no memory of my great grandmother I can see her through my dad's eyes in how he described her. Here is how he remembered her in his own words:


I well remember my maternal grandmother,

Emeline Johnson Caldwell.

Why and how, do I remember her?

I recall she was a rather heavy set lady, with smiling eyes, wore long ankle length dresses,

long dark hair that hung in waves, let down it reached the floor.

Now those same eyes could show displeasure, if her grandson disobeyed.

She lived in a green bungalow house-

She wanted me to live with her

She showed me untiring kindness and affection

She baked me lots of pies, apple, peach, pumpkin and berry, and cherry pies.

She doctored my bruised feet or hands-

She walked me to church, with fresh starched shirt and pants, let me wear my grandpa's bow tie

She told me about Christ, so vividly, I almost could see him.

She let me whittle with grandpa's pearl handle knife.

She tucked me in bed so calm and assured, I never feared

I recall her passing, but these other things will pleasantly live with me forever.

This is somewhat the impression Christ heartily wished his children to remember- not dwell on death but life.

The love, kindness, thoughtfulness, the acts of various kinds that enrich our lives considering them

and trying to be the kind of person He displayed at all times

Everyone dies, not everyone lives the good life!


James Gargus
Key Search Words:Christianity, Bible, Jesus, Angels, Soul Searching, God, Holy Spirit, Doves, Love, Children, Heaven

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Not Enough Time

Dad had time to bless the grandchildren with their blessing from the elders of the church. But he didn't have time to renew my wife and mine's wedding vows. We didn't realize that until his death, and went through his stuff that he had written out everything for our ceremony.This is all he had written before his passing:

Friends, loved ones, visitors, Welcome- in the name of Jesus Christ, to this solemn assembly, yet joyous occasion-

We are gathered to afford love, and support

for Lance Gargus and Gina Gargus in their recommitment vows, repledging,

and reextending their vows for life, what a wonderful decision they are making;

We ask for your prayers and other efforts,

supporting this Holy Union-


All participation people in place.

Lance and Gina face each other.

Then I ask,"Who gives this woman in marriage?"

Then I, the minister, say,"Lance, do you take this woman, Gina, to be your lawfully wedded wife, to love, to cherish, to protect her, in sickness and in health, for better or worse, for richer or poorer as long as you live?"

Gina-"Do you, Gina, take this man, Lance, to be your lawfully wedded husband, to love and to cherish him in sickness and in health, to care and comfort him for better or for worse- richer or poorer as long as you shall live?"

by James Gargus

My brother, Jimmy, was to be the usher. He even had marked out the way he wanted everyone to stand under the archrose arbor at the church. He really wanted to be the one to renew our vows. And I wanted him to be, too.

If you have something you want to do with a love one, do it now. We are here only a little while and then gone like a wisp of smoke. Love them while they are here. Do what they want to do. It only takes a small moment to do a little something with a loved one. We're not guaranteed tomorrow. There is never enough time. I reflect upon this missed chance with my Dad with great sadness. Even in soul searching there is Not Enough Time. Key Search Words:Christianity, Bible, Jesus, Angels, Soul Searching, God, Holy Spirit, Doves, Love, Children, Heaven

Friday, November 17, 2006

What Temptations Are of God, Satan, or Man?

He never lets us go-
A synopsis of Satan's wiles of deceit
and God's dealing with love and truth

The first few years of my life were, generally I suppose, normal. One exception, was an episode of terror and turmoil, as my Father was involved in a terrible tragedy; the wasting of a man's life and the sorrow it brought my family; the prison time my dad spent away, the hardships as a consequence of this tragedy, with 8 children and a distraught mother. 2 years of poverty, in the years 1929-1930 the depression didn't help either.

With all the heartaches and other problems, my mother never lost hope; She stayed in touch with her Heavenly Father, we were in church regularly; Her favorite Hymn, was, until the Day of her death, Never "Be discouraged,"Trust the Father's Word". In the old Blue back Hymnals#236- 1933 Edition Reprint 1951. In the Grey Book 1966 Edition I believe, not included, in the New Edition 1995 Blue back Hymns of the Restoration#287.

Some how the temptations of the time in which she lived never fazed her; her life was even her faith in God, her church her family, and never turned away the beggars, and there were many hobos during the depression years.

She was a young mother, and death closed her life at the tender age of 39, a beautiful graceful Lady, but she was committed to the weightier matters of life.

Her values, her priorities, her dedication, love and compassion, unswerving loyalties impressed me so very much even as a young lad they were embedded in my very soul.

Yet, with all this wonderful testimony, not just vocal, but, reality in living, the ways of the world would have its say and way at times and degree. After her passing, life became lonely as the older ones married and left, with the very young having a heavy responsibility of keeping the home and family together Dad became less and less dependable. The difference in the two parents began to settle in and despair became some what the order of life, even as a youth, my enthusiasm and youthful zeal was dampened.

So, three years in the army 1942-1945 brought on a type of maturation process, some good, some bad.

I made my move toward my promise of being loyal to God and my church. This was a process of no means changes.

Sometimes, in serving mankind, such as in scouting work, work in P.T.A., even as chaplain of two schools, as well as chaplain of B.S.A., I kept such a busy schedule that I couldn't find the peace in Zion I was so desperately seeking; there was too much low level exposure; I mean by that I could only witness to a degree because of the political problems.

Then after this period of time in my life some 11-12 years there arose some tragic family circumstances that devastated the family and myself. The Lord really allowed me to put myself through a spiritual wringer. I was allowed to exercise my agency, prerogatives and my selfish, self pitying instincts.

1 I let Satan set up shop, disguised as a counselor, who was on my side, pointing out that I had been a good man, a good Father, and a good Husband, as well as a fine citizen and neighbor.

2 He also pointed out how bad the people involved in my problems were.

3 How justified I was in feeling injured, misused, abandoned.

4 He also pointed out I should get even, after all what had I done to deserve this?

5 He pointed out how the church members had deserted me and how hypocritical they were.

6 I'd show them, they would miss me terribly and I would start seeing my revenge.

7 I deserved to have a good time; hadn't worked all three years and no relaxation.

8 Ease the tension have a drink.

9 Date alot of Ladies, show them off.

10 Develop my dancing skills, it is fun.

11 Stop praying, what had it profited me?

12 Sleep late on Sunday morning, stay up late Sat. nite.

James Gargus
Dad's parents were polar opposites of each other. The man he ultimately became in the end was that of his mother's persuasion. But his father also had his influence, too. Though of a negative power. He dueled with these two sides of his personality at different chapters in his life. God still walked with him through it all. In the end light over came darkness in his life. He went on to touch many people with the Lord's work and his light hearted ways.
Key Search Words:Christianity, Bible, Jesus, Angels, Soul Searching, God, Holy Spirit, Doves, Love, Children, Heaven

Monday, November 06, 2006

My Times Are In Thy Hands

My times are in Thy hand;
My God, I wish them there;
My life, my friends, my soul I leave
Entirely to Thy care.

My times are in Thy hand;
Whatever they may be;
Pleasing or painful, dark or bright,
As best may seem to Thee.

My times are in Thy hand;
Why should I doubt or fear?
My Father's hand will never cause
His child a needless tear.

My times are in Thy hand,
Jesus, the crucified!
Those hands my cruel sins had pierced
Are now my guard and guide.

My times are in Thy hand,
I'll always trust in Thee;
And, after death, at Thy right hand
I shall forever be.
William F. Lloyd

This song was on my grandmother's lips as she was dying. The bleeding couldn't be stopped from the birth of her last child, Caldwell. He died not to soon after her. My father watched this as a little boy. Each child was brought in one at a time so she could tell them good bye and give words of comfort and encouragement. Dad was the last one to come in to see her. He was the most special one to her out of seven children, Hassle, Bertie, Lucille, Dad(James), Bob, Ruth, Georgie Ann, and Wanda. He was always worried about her and doing special things for her. He loved to hear her sing old hymns. She had a beautiful voice to match her long, flowing, lovely hair. She kept it put up but when she let it down it would roll to the floor, touching the ground. She would brush her hair late at night in front of her dresser mirror singing. Her voice gave him comfort. She protected him from an abusive, alcoholic father. Teaching him right from wrong versus the hell raising moonshiner ways of his dad.

This song I sung to my father a couple days before he passed away. I got him pink roses like his mother liked. I told him I felt like her spirit was there watching over him. He said he knew she was. He felt her presence there with him. I told him that she was there to be with her little boy in his time of need. I also felt her presence, too. She was there until the end. I just know it in my heart.

I felt the need as we consummated my dad to the ground to sing this song.The rain started to pour down. With my heart breaking and tears streaming down my eyes, I sang. It was hard to tell how much of the water on my face was tears and how much was raindrops. My wife said that she had always heard that if it rained during a funeral that the soul is ascending to heaven. If that is so may this song ascend with him until I see his face again.

This song I hope can be sung at my passing by me or by someone I love. As it is being sung may my grandmother and my father be there at my side as I make the journey one day. Soul searching is bringing out parts of you that are deeply rooted in who you are. Who I am is made up of the legacy I have been handed and must learn how to pass on.
Lance Gargus

Key Search Words:Christianity, Bible, Jesus, Angels, Soul Searching, God, Holy Spirit, Doves, Love, Children, Heaven

With All The Effort

With all the effort, the love avowed, demonstrated and declared,
You wonder aloud,"I just don't understand why my beloved children, don't care."
The sounds of heart break, the sound no one but you can hear,
Will they relent, will they sometime think of me, just a little, when they're not to pre-occupied,
I won't ask much just a fleeting thought now and then of how we use to love each other,
before things of the world interfered; a phone call, a note, card or letter,
just to say "Dad, I love you, or I miss you, or I need to talk to you or I need your loving advice. "
The wail of a lonely Siren, as you listen keenly alert, cause "the Boys" are still out, and you are apprehensive of all emergency sound,
Till you hear the wonderful welcome sound of the car in the drive and their feet on the porch your fear knows little bounds.
Some how we live our lives, with fear, relief, apprehension, dismay, concern, joy, anticipation, as these many sounds so effect our minds, hearts, and souls,
Many of our fears are completely groundless, unreal, imagined, yet, yet, those fears, those dreaded sounds, are just as real temporarily, as if they were actually happening. Leaving us in the grasp of blind fear so clammy and cold.
Perhaps our faith dwindles ever so slowly away, as each may sustain losses, even tragedies be our lot upon unfortunate occasions, few tho they maybe but devastating in their effect.
James Gargus
Thank you, Dad, for loving us even when we were foolish teenagers and young adults. Your prayers kept us safe.

Key Search Words:Christianity, Bible, Jesus, Angels, Soul Searching, God, Holy Spirit, Doves, Love, Children, Heaven

Sunday, November 05, 2006

To All Concerned

Feb. 19 -2006 Sat. 5:15 P.M.
At Home, 53 Cantrell Road
Corinth, Ms 38834

To All Concerned,
To- My 6 six children, my wife of 37 years Mary Louise Gargus:
These are my wishes, I pray you all will honor them-
I do not wish to be put on life support system, unless there is at least a 50-50 prognosis; anything less, do not use them.
I know, I will not be in great physical pain, and I know that my passing will be swift and I am not apprehensive concerning it.
My life has been full, and wonderful; so whatever is in store for me beyond this life will exceed this life's experience.
My posessions are meager at best, so all I can leave you is memories, I pray they will somehow have value to all of you. I leave you my love, and have made foolish mistakes I pray they will be supplanted by forgiveness.
Please, stay in and be true to the church and always give your service free and remember the Lord's benefits, please-
your Father, Husband, Paw-Paw, and In-Law,
James H. Gargus Sr.

This was his farewell letter to us only discovered after his death. It speaks for itself.
Key Search Words:Christianity, Bible, Jesus, Angels, Soul Searching, God, Holy Spirit, Doves, Love, Children, Heaven
"The most important of life's battles is the one we fight daily in the silent chambers of the soul."