The Rev. Dr. Eldon L. Irving 

Minister          Author         Speaker

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T.O.C. / Sample Chapter

Table of Contents


 Foreword by The Rev. Dr. Richard L. Hamm          1

 Introduction          3

  l. The Ice-cream Man Cometh          5

 2. The Inspiration of Spunk          9

 3. An Invincible Spirit          13

 4. Getting the Word          17

 5. More than Cowboy Boots          21

 6. The Dirty Old Man          27

 7. The Man of Many Talents          31

 8. The Computer Angel          35

 9. A Shiny Red Suit and a Song          41

10. The Extended Pew          45

11. The Rumble-seat Pew          51

12. The Sweet Sister Gambit           57

13. The Main Event          61

14. Responses to Preaching          67

15. The Worshiping Pew          71

16. The Organ Pew          75

17. The First Women Elders          79

18. God Bless the Youth Sponsors          83

19. Baptized in the Water          89

20. The Welcome Table          93

21. The Hospital Pew          99

22. The Counseling Pew          103

23. For Better or For Worse          107

24. From the Pew to the Gravesite          113

25. Let the Little Children Come          117

26. The Family Pew          121

27. Each in Her Own Pew          125

28. More than Pew Sitters          129

29. That Special Ingredient          141

30. God’s Greatest Gift to Me          147

31. My Wife’s Best-Kept Secret          151

32. Epilogue: The Other Side of the Story          155

Index of Personalities          159

Index of Scriptures          163

Sample Chapter




 The Man of Many Talents



Some people spend a lifetime in one vocation. Jim Buckner had several. He had been a fighter pilot in World War II. He flew the airplanes that I made models of when I was a boy…P-40 Kitty Hawk, P-5l Mustang, and the twin tailed P-38 Lightning. I could sit all day and listen to stories he would tell. Not only did he fly fighter planes, later he was connected with the Organization of American States, where he was called on from time to time to fly in and defuse potential revolutions. Then he was in charge of future projects and the pilots connected with them, one of whom was a man by the name of  Neal Armstrong.

After World War II, Jim became a ski instructor, and he told me of a conversation he had with Jean-Claude Killy who later won three skiing gold metals in the 1968 Winter Olympics. Then Jim took up motorcycles. Some time after that he decided to enter a Chiropractic College. At the age of fifty-two Jim graduated with a Doctors Degree and began another vocation. He was practicing this vocation when he became a member of First Christian Church.

One Sunday soon after he and his wife, Annell, joined, I twisted my back on the way to the church. Jim went through the line at the end of the worship service and said, “You seem to be moving slowly. Did you hurt your back?” I told him what happened and he replied, “Follow me to my office, and I’ll fix you up.”

I had never been to a chiropractor before, and I had heard all kinds of stories of why to stay away from them. Jim must have sensed my hesitation, for he asked, “Have you ever been to a chiropractor?” When I shook my head, he grinned and said, “There is a lot of misinformation about chiropractors. We’re not really ‘quacks’ like some people think. I promise not to hurt you…and the first time I won’t even bring out the snakes.”

I figured someone with such a sense of humor couldn’t be all that bad, so I followed Jim to his office where he did indeed fix me up. The fact that he wouldn’t take anything for his services made it even better.

Jim is the kind of person who really wants to help people…and not only people. One day Jim heard about a church member’s dog that had been injured in an accident and was in pain. Jim said, “Let me see the dog”. He adjusted the dog’s back, and the dog stopped whimpering and began to lick his hand.

Jim cares not only for the physical concerns of people, he also spreads emotional joy. Jim is a hugger. He is always hugging people in the church. People are drawn to him as a warm caring person and as a leader. He has held several leadership positions, including chair of the official board and chair of the elders…the elders being the highest spiritual lay office in the church.

As I write this, Jim is in his eighties, but you wouldn’t know it to see him. Although a decade and a half older than I, he has twice as much energy and three times as much hair. When I ask him when he is going to slow down, he grins and says, “Not until I decide what I’m going to do when I grow up.”

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