Saturday night we would have our baths in a big tub in the kitchen, the water heated on the stove. The little ones washed first, followed by the older ones all in the same water. Then off to bed. Early Sunday morning we would get our chores done and then have breakfast, often a treat like French toast. Afterward, everyone rushed to get ready–the older ones helping dress the little ones. We all piled in the car and off we went. Bob always had to sit by a window, because he would get car sick every trip. The forty minute ride was spent singing Sunday School songs. We could go clear to town and not repeat one chorus.
When we first started to go to church it was held in the Club room of the City Auditorium. It was a fascinating room–stuffed African animal heads with shiny gold plaques hung on every wall. It was hard not to let your attention wander to those wild looking beasts with their curved and twisted horns. But the preacher–Shel Helsley–was able to make the love of God and my need for Him more important. On a summer day, when I was eight or nine, I accepted Jesus as my Savior.
My grandmother was a devout evangelic Christian immigrant. As a child, I remember her singing about Jesus in a beautiful soprano voice with her thick, old country accent. My Mom was saved at the ranch as a result of reading a Christian book grandma had given her. She began taking us kids to Sunday School. At first it was just a wonderful adventure. But soon we began to understand what God desired for us to do. After church on the ride home, we would talk about our various lessons, and then race from the car to see who could get to Daddy’s lap first, and show him our papers, and tell him the stories. In the same way my Daddy broke his horses, with gentleness and love, God broke my daddy. Soon he came to that place where he let God be his master and guide. We might not have had a lot of earthly things, but we were children of the King--heirs to riches unimaginable.