There are many stories to tell.
And our children love to hear them.
Some tell of hope, survival and salvation,
Some of Love everlasting.
As I stood at grave of a man I deeply admired and loved, beyond belief, I paused to reflect upon the meaning of his life, and mine. He first appeared to me at the tender age of ten. His name, Werner Bendorf, and his life is forever engraved in my memory and alive in my heart. He still lives in my life, day by day, between every beat of my heart, he smiles, he laughs, he is vibrant in my memory and still shares his love. My heart continues to beat because of his deep and abiding love, because the depth of his compassion was far greater than anything I had ever known.
He became the Father I never knew. He was a Father to many young souls, and a Savior to me.
When we practice
Loving kindness and compassion
we are the first ones to profit.
I was visiting, at the invitation of my friend and neighbor, Roger Carter, Boy Scout Troop 17. We had earlier formed a club, the Fox Club, in our neighborhood for the purpose, unbelievably today, of “doing good” for others.
Our club of three, met on the banks of the infamous Gonzales creek to plan good things to do and lay the groundwork for combating evil. Seriously, we met for that purpose. We had great plans to right wrongs.
Television was a big influence. You may remember Superman and the Lone Ranger and Roy Rogers, among others. But the dynamic and good person that I found in Roger Carter, was far greater. He always thought of others and sought to help people in any way that he could. He became for me, and many others, a personal hero.
I was ten at the time, and Roger was older. As a Patrol Leader in the Troop, he wanted another member. And when I arrived to visit, at the tender age of ten, I discovered that he really did need another member, since he was the only member of the, you guessed it, Fox Patrol. I imagined that he elected himself the Leader garnering 100% of the vote. I knew I would have voted for him, and later I did.
“There are only two ways to live your life:
as though nothing is a miracle,
or as though everything is a miracle.”
– Albert Einstein
The one other Patrol in the Scout Troop had ALL of the other members in Troop 17 (about twenty five boys). Yes, I thought it was strange, until I thought more about it.
“You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem and smarter than you think.” – A. A. Milne
And the Senior Patrol Leader was none other than Lester Kuperman, who you may know today is Dr. Lester Kuperman, a highly respected Orthodontic Specialist serving the citizens of Fort Worth (including, by the way, our daughter, Annie, when she was younger). I paid him a visit a few years ago and truly enjoyed seeing him after all these years. Yes, I highly recommend him to you. He is a man of integrity.
I thought it strange that Roger was, by himself, the entire Fox Patrol. I just knew there would be other members. So I joined the Patrol of one and, together, we were the Fox Patrol, evolved from the Fox Club. It made sense though, because the Boy Scout slogan was, “Do a Good Turn Daily”, which reflected the purpose of the Fox Club. read more
“Your task is not to seek for love,
but merely to seek and find all the barriers
that you have built against it.”
Later, I would come to realize that Roger was a singular, unique and lone young man because he was not like the others. He was, and remained until his death, dedicated to being a good, kind and truly compassionate person. And since no one else held to this standard, he was truly alone and deeply admired by me. Time would see him evolve into a jet pilot and heroic fighter.
The others in this large Troop were rascals, dedicated to having a good time, even at your expense. Yes, Lester had his work cut out for him, corralling these rascals. And he exerted Herculean efforts to mold them into shape. Yes, he was very successful!
“When you Love
you should not say,
“God is in my heart,”
“I am in the Heart of God.”
Our Fox Patrol meetings were, essentially, time for planning “Good Deeds”, while the others were satisfied, as I recall, with pranks and games and some “put down” kinds of things. Let’s face it, they were just having a good time.
Now, into this mix arrived a truly remarkable man, a new Scoutmaster, Werner Bendorf. He was much more remarkable than I ever realized at the time, and was to me, a Gift from God and my personal Savior. And his story is both remarkable and unbelievable. And I would love to share it with you.
“I’ve learned that if you pursue happiness,
it will elude you.
But if you focus on your family,
the needs of others, your work,
meeting new people,
and doing the very best you can,
happiness will find you.”
– author unknown
In growing up, I thought life was difficult. But I had no idea what difficult meant. Werner shared with me stories from his life. Then I knew what the word meant. And I became truly grateful for the Blessings bestowed upon me by my precious Mother, Marie, and Werner and Donald and so very many others. In recognizing the seemingly impossible obstacles others have had to overcome to survive, we gain perspective and a depth of appreciation.
Later, when I dry my tears, I will share some of the unbelievable stories Werner told me about surviving the evil of the holocaust. He and his wife hid in the attic of a farm house for over three years. From the floor to the peak of the attic was about 3 & 1/2 feet. And the discomforts only began there. I could not believe they had a baby during this time. But more about their inspiring story of survival later.
Remembering Werner always brings my heart closer to God. The words of John Newton’s beloved song, “Amazing Grace” touch each of us with Truth in a Grace of its own. And I now know that “home” is a place found deeply embedded in my heart. It is a place where Werner and his family have resided for many years.
And in his heart, I found something difficult to believe. After all the suffering, the loss of precious lives and the horror found everywhere, Werner led me to the threshold of something far more powerful than guns and bombs and torture and the pure evil of murderous minds. He opened his wounded Heart to show me his forgiveness. And I have never been the same since that day filled with such Amazing Grace.
“Through many dangers, toils and snares…
we have already come.
T’was Grace that brought us safe thus far…
and Grace will lead us home.”
– John Newton
Troop 17 camped out every other weekend, rain or shine, hail or high winds. Nothing stopped us from our adventures, except the summer heat. From September to June, we explored every possible terrain.
There are so many stories to share and I simply do not know where to start. I am not sure how I survived my younger days, but God had to be beside me. Allow me to elucidate.
We were camping at the base of what was called Motorcycle Hill, just outside of Mineral Wells. In my mind, nothing was challenging enough, ever. That’s called being a “Rascal”. And brother, I was!
It was about 1961. And brave young men frequently attempted to ride their motorcycles all the way to the top of this very, very steep and high hill. Few made to the top. You can just imagine the trip back down with your motorcycle following you or on top, when you failed.
The pace of activities at camp was not up to my standard, so, alone, I climbed up motorcycle hill, from the backside. At the top, I decided to run down the steep incline where so many others, on their motorcycles, had failed to reach the top. Yes, I was young and in love with daring adventures and living on the edge!
I had absolutely no idea what I was doing, but gravity was about to become my teacher of the year. And it sure looked like fun! So off I went, running down the extremely steep and dangerous hill, by myself. And yes, I picked up so much speed that I really needed to STOP and very quickly. I could not keep my legs under me.
About half way down, I spotted a large flat rock off to the right side and decided to “land” on top and thereby prevent death. So I did. I landed on top and instantly, and I do mean instantly, a LARGE rattlesnake came from underneath the giant bolder and struck at my right leg. I did not stay long. We had nothing to share in a conversation. I leaped off the rock just as the rattle snake opened his large mouth, replete with splendid looking fangs, and moving very, very fast toward my uninvited foot.
Apparently, I disturbed his rest. And did I ever move fast. I bounced off that rock so fast and so high that I should have had a pilot’s license. I think that this is the moment when I fell in love with flying and (very quickly) began my search for God. I was headed in the right direction (up!).
It was then that I noticed I had another problem. I was very high in the air and about half way down the infamous motorcycle hill. Oh hell! I had to, and I mean had to, stay on my feet and run, what felt like eighty miles an hour, to the base of this impossibly steep hill.
In a way, the rattle snake really did save my life. I learned about something to avoid. Stopping, although briefly, on the rock did slow my decent. And I became highly motivated to end this misadventure. All I thought about at that moment was being at the base of this hill, unknown to anyone, battered and bruised from tumbling all the way down, perhaps unconscious and having highly deadly venom from a large rattlesnake coursing its way up my leg toward my rapidly beating heart. Assuming, of course, that I survived the fall! What doesn’t kill you makes you never try that again.
Well, I actually made it to the bottom, alive. The landing found me tumbling and dizzy. And I was so happy that no one was watching. And did I share this story with anyone? Heck no! No one wants to admit to this level of stupidity, uh, I mean adventure (gulp!).
Scouting taught me many, many things. And one was to bounce off things and run like the wind, perhaps, even taking flight. It’s a philosophical bent. I did tell the others that I went hunting for rattlesnakes and found one. Having grown up in West Texas, I failed to share that a rattlesnake actually went hunting for me. Which proved I was a fisherman at heart.
Hey, it wasn’t the dumbest thing I’ve ever done, but close. We’ll save those other stories for later. Remind me to tell you about my high flying dance with death when I took my one and only lesson to become a pilot. The instructor failed to tell me I was not a stunt pilot. A few cows failed to show up for milking. Hey, it looked like a landing strip to me! Moooooove over. And no, I did not see the barbed wire fence. In fact, I do not recall seeing the instructor get out of the plane or what was left of it. I think he was glued to his seat. He did scream a little. God watches over us, even when we are high in air or, as I call it, nearer my God to Thee.
Mom only had one child. And I never wondered why.
Philosophy Program For This Week:
This is for Carter who is unable to be with us this week.
I know you did not want to miss the program.
The perceptions we observe
may well be coming from an artificial source.
click here to view movie
The Holographic universe suggests
that the physical world we believe to be real
is in fact illusion.
Energy fields are decoded by our brains
into a 3D picture,
to give the illusion of a physical world.
“The Earth may not be
the center of the Universe,
But you are.”
– Wm. C. Anderson
Plans for FRIDAY:
For Friday Nov. 13, 2015
By Popular DEMAND!
We will meet at 9:30 a.m. at Half-Price Books, located at 475 Sherry Lane, north of Ridgmar Mall –Telephone: 817-732-4111.
We will then meet at Flight Deck (817) 246-2710 (email@example.com) located a half mile west of Ridgmar Mall, at the Cherry Lane exit off I-30, at 7751 Scott St. in Fort Worth, to enjoy jumping and acting, otherwise, a little abnormal.
PICK UP will be at FLIGHT DECK at 2:30 p.m.
“The two most important days in your life
are the day you are born
and the day you find out why.”
– Mark Twain
DESTINATIONS: FLIGHT DECK is where FUN and fitness take flight! It integrates rebounding (trampoline jumping) along with strength and flexibility training. Reconnect with your inner child. Flight Deck features a mix of aerobics, core strengthening, coordination & flexibility exercises. * YOU WILL NEED WRITTEN PERMISSION FROM YOUR PARENTS (contact Flight Deck (817) 246-2710 / or go ONLINE: firstname.lastname@example.org for the form and instructions. Print it, have it signed and bring it with you.
If you arrive late, we shall have departed with your child(ren) and will return to school. Please call if you will be late.
Students are NOT to leave the bookstore, restaurant or take flight
from the flight deck without the approval of Dr. A. He is well known for
melodramatic swoons and fainting spells if you are missing and it is a bit much for Mrs. A.
FINANCIAL: The cost for Flight Deck is approximately $12.00 for our one hour – please pay at the Flight Deck. And please provide funds for a good book and for lunch. Refreshments: Yes!
Uniform pants with a belt & red monogrammed school shirts are required. PARENTS / FRIENDS / NEIGHBORS, are always invited to participate on our trips.
Nov. 12 Shakespeare Scene and Monologue Competition
Nov. 20 Texas Civil War Museum (Avoid wearing blue!)
Nov. 23 – 27 (Monday – Friday) Thanksgiving / Fall Break
Dec. 3 – 4 Texas A.G.T. Conference (No school)
Dec. 18 Last Day of Fall Semester
Dec. 21 – Jan. 4 Winter Break Holidays
Jan. 22 Fort Worth Stock Show
March 18 DFW New Auto Show in Fort Worth
April 29 Scarborough Renaissance Festival
A. n . d . e . r . s . o . n
“Happiness is someone to love,
something to do
and something to hope for.”
– Chinese proverb