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Lesli's This and That

Life's Rapid Pace Brings to Mind 'Good Old Days'

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Lesli NolenBy Lesli Nolen
June 2010

I cannot believe we are already in June. I sat down to write this article and thought, “Wow- where has time gone?” It seems like the older I get the faster life gets.

In May my daughter celebrated her 9th birthday. Nine years old—it seems like yesterday she just a baby, so cute and sweet, but now she’s 9. She is half way to being out of the house. I don’t know whether to cry or celebrate. Maybe I’ll do a little of both. But it got me thinking how much life has changed— and how fast it’s changed— since I was her age.  

I look back and realize just how good life was when I was growing up. If it wasn’t good, I certainly didn’t know about it. I thought I was queen of the world. I had what I thought was a perfect childhood. I had a mom, dad, sister and a dog. What else could a person ask for?

I grew up in a small west Texas town on a couple of acres where you could sit on the front porch and watch the sun set all the way down on the horizon. Life was grand.

There was always something to do. I either picked up rocks in the horse arena, hoed weeds, brushed a horse, shot the BB gun or rode my bike. I was very seldom in the house. Outside was the place to be.

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Scripture in Everyday Speech

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Lesli NolenBy Lesli Nolen
May 2010

I have been writing this column for about a year now and in that time I have had many comments about my articles. But I have received the most comments about the October 2009 issue which featured “Common Sayings Have Biblical Origins,” so I thought I would post some more. I hope you enjoy and please keep your comments and suggestions coming. I love hearing from you.  Write me at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or P.O. Box 2678, San Angelo, TX 76902.

An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth
Meaning: The notion that for every wrong done there should be a compensating measure of justice.
Origin: From the Code of Hammurabi. Hammurabi was King of Babylon, 1792-1750BC. The code survives today in the Akkadian language. Used in the Bible, Matthew 5:38 (King James Version):
“Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.”

A man after my own heart
Meaning: A kindred spirit—someone I can agree with. One of identical character or belief.
Origin: The term originates from the Bible (King James Version):
Samuel 13:14:
“But now thy kingdom shall not continue: the LORD hath sought him a man after his own heart, and the LORD hath commanded him to be captain over his people, because thou hast not kept that which the LORD commanded thee.”
Acts 13:22:
“And when he had removed him, he raised up unto them David to be their king; to whom also he gave testimony, and said, I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfil all my will.” Add a comment

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What Faith Can Do

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Lesli NolenBy Lesli Nolen
March 2010

I am a person of faith and I have always believed in the power of prayer. But it wasn’t until recently that I got to watch God’s miracle of healing unfold right before my eyes.

This is a story about a little 9-year-old girl who had slowly over time become sick. She didn’t feel bad, but didn’t feel real good either. As the months passed her body grew weaker and sicker. It was right before Christmas, when a liver biopsy confirmed she had auto-immune hepatitis. It was treatable with  high doses of steroids. After a couple of weeks it seemed to be working. But at the same time the steroids were depleting her immune system.

Then it all started. She awoke feeling sick to her stomach. So she and her mom stayed home from school and as she predicted this little girl got sick. The discomfort continued for a couple of hours and, with her diagnosed condition, they didn’t want to take any chances so they went ahead and took her into the local emergency room. It was there they determined she had pneumonia, but something else was wrong too. Her blood pressure began to drop and she was definitely sick. They immediately rushed her by ambulance to Lubbock’s pediatrics intensive care unit.

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Rodeo Time Stirs Memories

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Lesli NolenBy Lesli Nolen
February 2010

If you haven’t noticed, it’s Stock Show and Rodeo time here in San Angelo, Texas. And this has to be one of my favorite events of the year.

Growing up in Ralls, America (a small town east of Lubbock), the annual rodeo was the social event of the year. Our rodeo was in August so it was the last big event before going back to school. It was a time to hang out, watch the cowboys and cowgirls and eat chili dogs, popcorn and cotton candy. But for me and my family the rodeo and its preparation began long before opening night.

My dad was a Lions Club member for 20-plus years. For 14 of those years he was rodeo boss and was rodeo chairman the six years before that. So we got to see all the ins and outs of what it actually took to make the event a successful one. Dad was in charge of  hiring the announcer, secretary, clowns, the stock, etc. He also had to make sure all the jobs necessary for putting on the rodeo were filled, including his job which was pulling the gates for the broncs and bulls. There were times I can remember when as soon as one rodeo was over he was already working on next year’s. And he also had the job of making sure his girls and our horses were ready for the rodeo, too.

My sister and I washed and combed our horses to a shine. Dad would shoe our horses and get them ready for the parade and rodeo. Mom would take care of the other important details, making sure we looked just as good as our horses. She starched our clothes to a crisp, curled our hair and made sure our hats were creased just right. Growing up in the country and being around horses all our lives wasn’t anything new to us, but the rodeo was always special to us for a number  of reasons.

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None So Blind as Those Who . . .

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Lesli NolenBy Lesli Nolen
January 2010

The “blind leading the blind” is defined as uninformed and incompetent people leading others who are similarly incapable. It’s origin is found in Matthew 15:14 (King James Version): “Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.” This was thought to be inherited from the Upanishads which states, “Abiding in the midst of ignorance, thinking themselves wise and learned, fools go aimlessly hither and thither, like blind led by the blind.”

I have heard this saying and have read it in the Bible, but never really thought about its true meaning and I for one never thought I was the blind leading the blind. Boy, was I wrong.

My journey to this self discovery began one day after church service and we were taking one of our church members home. When we got in the car she asked us to drop her off at a restaurant instead of taking her home. We obliged and then decided to join her for lunch. As we got out of the car and I was assisting her up the walkway, going into the restaurant she stopped and told me we were going in a different way that what she was accustomed to. She didn’t remember the water fountain being there. I told her, I was sorry, but I think this entrance will still get us to the dining hall.

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A woman walked up to a little old man rocking in a chair on his porch. “I couldn’t help noticing how happy you look,” she said. “What’s your secret for a long happy life?” “I smoke three packs of cigarettes a day,” he said. “I also drink a case of whiskey a week, eat fatty foods, and never exercise.” “Why, that’s amazing!” the woman exclaimed. “How old are you?’ “Twenty-six,” the man said.