Waiting for Winter

Posted on January 30, 2012 by Dr. Jerry Rankin in Down Home in Mississippi

We are still waiting for winter in Mississippi. Old-timers assure us that severe cold spells will come, but it is almost February and we have had only two nights in which the temperature has dipped below freezing. Good grief, it was up to 78 last week! I have been waiting for a hard freeze to do some winter planting and prune my crepe myrtles.

The daffodils I set out for spring, expecting them to bloom in early March, are already at full flower. Why did we put a fireplace in our house down South? We’ve turned the air conditioning on just so we could enjoy the ambience of a fire a few evenings. Does anyone want to buy a nice overcoat that hasn’t been used for two years?

Nevertheless, while waiting for Jack Frost, we are finding plenty to do. I’m enjoying teaching on Tuesday and Thursday mornings at Mississippi College. Tomorrow I’ll be speaking at the Tuesday downtown businessmen’s luncheon at First Baptist Church in Jackson and next Sunday at Colonial Heights in Ridgeland. The rest of this week we will be in South Carolina for a CIU board meeting, consultation with Zwemer staff and attending a development retreat in Myrtle Beach.

We did go ahead with planting some shrubbery and moving our landscaping to the next phase, adding a couple of Bradford pear trees, interspersing some boxwoods among hollies on the side of the house and filling in with more azaleas, a requirement for any reputable yard in Mississippi.

One of our biggest winter projects last week was precipitated by the good news that we finally found drapery material for my office. The fact that Bobbye and I both agreed it is what we have been looking for confirmed the selection. The bad news was that it doesn’t match my walls, so we had to repaint the office to complement our selected fabric. The further bad news was that after painting the office we found the material had been discontinued. But the good news is that we found a similar pattern and color pallet that we like even better (pictures will follow once the draperies are made and hung). Now just one more room still lacks window treatment awaiting our discovery of the elusive fabric.

Plenty of other activities have filled our time including attending Mississippi College basketball games and the Clinton Chamber of Commerce annual banquet last week.

Recently, we joined Clinton and West Jackson pastors in a meeting with representatives of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association to discuss a possible crusade in 2013.

It was encouraging to join a group of bi-racial pastors and leaders of local mission agencies in meeting with Paul Cedar, president of Mission America and chairman of the U.S. Lausanne Committee, and Jarvis Ward. Jarvis (pictured on the left), from Jackson, is national director of City and Community Ministries of Mission America. We are anticipating further personal involvement in the future with a network of church leaders working to facilitate spiritual renewal and racial reconciliation under the banner of “Transform Jackson.”

We have been encouraged by response to our “Rankin Connecting” blog and “Devotional Reflections,” especially the current post on whether or not God helps Tim Tebow. Don’t miss the next post this week on “A Missed Field Goal”–how do you rebound from failure? The devotional on posted on Friday will be on what it means to have a spirit like Caleb’s.

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