Evergreen Outreach-nov. 10, 2011

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By Dr. Melanie Schaafsma
 On this wet and rainy Monday, Evergreen Outreach was in full swing – bringing sunshine to everyone!
Pam Childers played the piano, delighting us all with old-time hymns and gospel songs, followed by the old standbys: "Bill Bailey," "Bye Bye Blackbird," "Clementine"  and "Bicycle Built For Two."
Beulah Brown hollered, “Howdy,” with a high note on the end, just like Minnie Pearl. She then led the "Welcome Song" and the "Evergreen Outreach Song." Brown thanked  Retha Burnam for providing the cookies. She announced the November  birthdays: Heather Brown, the Rev. Roger Grimmett of First United Methodist Church, Jill Zimmer and Maurine Schooley.
Brown discussed Veteran’s Day, coming up on Nov. 11, and mentioned that the holiday made her think of our flag. She talked about how beautiful our flag is, and asked if anyone knew how many red stripes are on our flag. People yelled out “seven.” When asked how many white stripes are on the flag, they answered “six.” Brown asked if anyone knew why the flag has 13 stripes and one man answered, “Because of the original 13 colonies.” Brown discussed the devotion our forefathers had, and how they did so much for us, including the design of our nation’s flag.
 The Rev. Joe Lawson, our minister for the day, talked about the devotion of our service men and women, and their volunteerism to serve our country. Lawson quoted Luke 19:10, which says “The Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.” He told us that Jesus came to instruct people about how to have a personal relationship with God through confession and asking for forgiveness in faith.
He also mentioned Veteran’s Day, and remarked that, without our forefathers, we would have no freedom of religion in our country. He talked about volunteer politicians of the early days, and told a story about an old man by the road that needed a ride across a river. The man tried in vain to flag down two separate riders to help him across. Finally, a third rider stopped, and not only helped him across, but also took him all the way home, built a fire, cooked him a meal and later put him in a warm bed to rest. The rider was Thomas Jefferson, who is quoted as saying: “I should never forget the people I serve.” Lawson said that Christ told us to be servants to others. To do that, we must practice kindness toward others.
We were privileged to have Mrs. Pockets the clown (Patty Sprague) with us Monday for entertainment. She brought a puppet clown, and spoke of bringing her newest puppet arrival – Lamb Chop, of Sheri Lewis fame – next time she comes. Many could remember Lamb Chop from TV.  Mrs. Pockets had a bottle that was half blue and half clear.  She said there are two kinds of people in the world, the believers and the unbelievers.  She shook the bottle until the liquid was all blue saying that the two kinds of people are all mixed up together. She asked what would happen when Jesus comes back, and told the crowd to keep watching the bottle to get a clue to the answer. Later, it was noted that the contents of the bottle had separated into clear and blue again. Mrs. Pockets said that believers would be separated from the unbelievers.
Mrs. Pockets told us that it is Peanut Butter Lover’s Month, and regaled us with a history of peanuts and peanut butter.  Peanuts originated in South America in 950 B.C., were introduced to Africa and Spain by explorers, and were cultivated in North Carolina in 1818 and in Virginia in the 1840s.  George Washington Carver was an intelligent man who also liked to garden. He attended college in Alabama at a school for black people founded by Booker T. Washington.  There, Carver became a teacher. He studied cow peas, now known as soybeans, and also peanuts. When the soil was no longer fertile due to planting cotton every year, Carver told farmers to plant peanuts where the cotton had been grown to help the soil. But the farmers wanted to know what they would do with all of those peanuts. Mrs. Pockets said God showed Carver what could be done with peanuts (oil, soap, vinegar and peanut butter).
In 1923, 5 million peanuts were grown.  Carver didn’t patent any of his discoveries about uses for peanuts. He thought that people deserved to have the recipes free because peanuts are a free gift from God for everyone. Mrs. Pockets said that peanuts and peanut butter have protein and sugar to help us when we are getting tired and need something to give us energy. Mrs. Pockets passed out peanut butter and crackers for everyone and said, “Thank God for peanuts.”
Mrs. Pockets told a story about a lady who wanted to serve others, just as Lawson  had talked about doing acts of kindness.  This woman bought mini Snickers bars and stuffed them in her bag. Then she went around giving the Snickers to people she met around town. She loved doing this because it always made people smile. Mrs. Pockets said that providing joy to another is also a way to show kindness. Then Mrs. Pockets told a dozen or more “knock, knock” jokes.
Mrs. Pockets said that God always keeps his promises. Even when it rains, like Monday, there’s a rainbow somewhere. She encouraged the guests to read the Bible to find God’s promises, especially on dreary days. She got out ribbon streamers in many colors and invited people to come forward to dance the Rainbow Dance. Twelve people danced and twirled the streamers to the music of the "Rainbow Dance" and "The Colors of Winter." Mrs. Pockets went around to people in the audience, giving a huge toothbrush and pacifier to Phyllis Rames, and used a green feather duster to dust, very carefully, some of our shoes and one man’s bald head! Mrs. Pockets was a big hit!
In the pinochle corner, at table one, Mary Woolsey and Ruth Ann Scott won one game, and Joyce Mueller and Shirley Locke also won one game. At table two, Rosamund Hobler and Peggy Lippold won three games, while John W. Hunsley and Richard Kruenegel didn't win any. Richard was shaking his head and lamenting the losses. We discussed crying in their milkshakes (instead of beer)!