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HL Jinx Wilkinson

When my wife’s father, Dr. Paul Goodwin, was a teenager in the hills of north Arkansas, a neighbor, Widow Jones, had a watermelon patch filled with ripe melons. Even though Paul knew it was wrong, he persuaded a friend it would be great fun to “swipe” some of the more abundant produce of widow Jones’ patch. So, the boys quietly moved through a strip of woods, climbed the fence, & each picked a ripe melon. Then they retreated into the woods & they feasted on the juicy, red melons.

Afterward, however, they were confronted with what to do with the incriminating evidence of the raid. After some deliberation the boys decided to place the leftover fragments of the melons under the culvert of a nearby dirt road. The ditch under the culvert was deep, dark, & covered with vines & thick weeds—a perfect place to hide the rinds. Who would look there?

The two boys thought they had committed a perfect crime! But, the one thing they didn’t plan on was the wandering cow of Widow Jones. Evidently, the cow smelled the leftovers of the feast hidden in the pipe & in trying to get at them had somehow lodged her head in a wooden structure surrounding the culvert. And widow Jones’ son found the entangled animal and more importantly he discovered something else.

And with this piece of evidence “Detective Jones” nailed the gang! You see, Paul Goodwin’s big toe was unusual in that it was somewhat shorter than the longer toe next to it. And Jones told his mother, “Mama, I’d know Paul Goodwin’s footprint anywhere!”

There was no open confrontation. Only a widow woman speaking to her neighbor, the mother of a thief. And this lesson, sooner or later all sin will be found out. This is why the Son of God went to the Cross & was raised again. So all who will turn from their sins in repentance & turn to Jesus Christ in faith as their Only Hope for eternal life will be saved, go to Heaven when they die. Have you done this, my friend?

[Adapted from “Reflections from Driftwood” by Paul Goodwin.]

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Feed him in milk,
Dress him in silk,
And call him a beautiful name;
But I’ll tell you, Bud,
He’ll root in the mud,
And act the hog just the same.

Don’t think it amiss,
Because he does this,
And call him a horrid bad creature;
For he is no dog,
He’s only a hog,
And follows the bent of his nature.

If he had a sheep’s heart,
He’d do a sheep’s part,
And down in the mud wouldn’t wallow;
But as he is no lamb,
He can’t act like them,
For nature’s the thing that we follow.

So, the nature of sin
Forever has been,
To root in the mud with the Devil;
From sin to depart,
It takes a new heart,
To lift to a higher clean level.

Man may do his part,
But can’t change his heart,
This power to him is not given;
He may look and pray
For a clean heart today,
And God can answer from heaven.
—J. L. Brown [a Missionary Baptist preacher in north Arkansas, who for a time served in the state legislature.

HL Jinx Wilkinson

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