Circle the wagons

Playl's Ponderings


Vernon and Carol Randle are friends of ours in Williamsburg, Virginia. We met at lunch one Sunday, a few years ago, when Dan Kennedy at the Old Chickahominy House offered to seat us together  rather than wait a half hour for an empty table. Dan has a knack for helping us pick our friends. He and Carla are also our dear friends.

A tall handsome football player, Vernon met his future bride, a charming and refined Southern lady, when they were in college. The Texans have been in love ever since. They moved to Williamsburg years ago, and now he is her primary caregiver following some major health problems and a couple of falls.

Vernon is a staunch patriot. He used to work for the government. He was at the Pentagon on 9/11 when the terrorists attacked our country. He’s older than I am, but I would still want him on my side in a fight.

 Longtime and loyal members of historic Bruton Parish Church, both have been ushers, and he helps serve communion. They are very conservative. They are also strong in their commitment to their church. On several occasions, we have worshipped and attended concerts at Bruton. George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Patrick Henry did, too, but not when we were there. At least they worshipped there. Not sure when the candlelight concerts started.

A while back, Sammie and I were sitting in the sitting room of the Randles’ home talking about religion and of our personal relationship with Christ. All of us shared about our own faith, and then Vernon told us about his dad.

Jack Randle had become a Baptist preacher after Vernon was already an adult. Of course, being a Baptist or an Episcopalian is not what makes one a Christian, but the denominational affiliation was quite interesting just the same.

Vernon went on to tell how, although he never joined his father’s church, he did ask his father to baptize him - by immersion - as a profession of his faith in Christ. Maybe that makes him an “Episco-baptist” or a “Bapt-opalian”, but...

Apparently Jack Randle was a powerful preacher. His son shared with us, that day, how his dad had preached to large congregations in revival services in Texas. He seemed to be quite proud of his daddy’s vocation in his later life.

The most impressive part of the story about Preacher Jack Randle, though, was a particular habit he had of walking around his house, in the yard, praying. Vernon told us that he when he visited his father’s house, he noticed a path that circled the abode. The grass was completely beaten down, leaving a dusty trail.   

When questioned about the circular walkway, his dad bowed his head humbly and confessed to his habit of walking around in a circle, conversing with his Heavenly Father. What a  testimony!

With our country as divided as it is today, is that not what is needed more than anything? Prayer. Prayer that becomes a habit of God’s people. Prayer that consumes us and commits our worries to Him instead of to social media or other outlets. Prayers of faith. Time spent on our knees, or walking around the yard, or through the neighborhood, or downtown calling out to God to save our country.

Remember: “The effectual, fervent prayer of a righteous person avails much.”

“Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD.”

“Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach...”

“Pray without ceasing.”

“Love your neighbor as yourself”

Our only hope is in Him. Prayer and obedience to God’s Word is the only hope for America. Circle the wagons...PRAY and OBEY!

Steve Playl:  


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