Altar Call – Opelika-Auburn News

Walter Albritton

November 30, 2008


Apples and cheese and a yard full of autumn leaves


          My wife, Dean, loves to send annual messages of joy and good wishes to family and friends. She chooses to do this at Thanksgiving, Christmas, or New Year’s Day.  This year she chose to send out a limited edition just before Thanksgiving.

          Having expressed my Thanksgiving memories last Sunday, I decided to share Dean’s delightful message and a recent poem in this space. Her writing is creative and inspiring. Her thoughts are actually a window into her heart. I hope you enjoy what you see and feel as she shares her heart:  

          “The frost is on the pumpkin” and I just love “the fall and all.”

          This time of the year I start thinking about all the things that I am thankful for.  Maria, of the “Sound of Music,” would tell you about all of her favorite things.  “Girls in white dresses, whiskers on kittens, brown paper packages tied up with string, these are a few of my favorite things.”  Beth Moore says that she loves “Simple things like a brisk catch of breath in the first autumn breeze.”

           I love fall colors.  They remind me of happy memories. 

Orange leaves conjure up all kinds of memories.  Once a year my mother baked an orange cake with orange icing.  I don’t remember her ever baking it any time other than Thanksgiving.  It smelled so good and I can still see one of those cakes when I cut an orange.

There are some wonderful gold leaves on several trees in my yard.  I love a golden sunset.  The first piece of jewelry I ever received was a golden heart-shaped pin given to me by Walter’s grandmother, Neva Johnson. Thank God I am living in the golden years of life.

The red dogwood leaves have been especially beautiful this year. A blind poet wrote, “I cannot view the bloom upon the rose, but oh, the scent is very dear to me.”  I thank God that I can see red, because if I could not, I would not see the red roses blooming in my yard.

The beauty of fall and the aroma that comes from cooking good food brings me so much pleasure. Recently I composed this poem to express my joy:



Memories of autumn skies in days so far away,

The smell of apple pies and hoop cheese on a tray,

Red apples and yellow cheese and a yard full of falling leaves,

These are the scenes from days gone by and the taste of apple pie.


Jesus taught us in Matthew 6:19-21 how to find out hearts:

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal, but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

If we treasure God, family, friends and the beauty of this world, then in those precious things we will surely find our hearts.

Walter and I spent a few days on the beach recently. There I have often met God and there he helped me again to find my heart. On November 18 this prayer for “Healing at the Beach” flowed from my renewed heart:


I came to the beach at seventy six,

      with aching bones and rather sick.

My prayer as I look out at the sea,

“God, let my health return to me.”

So many needs upon my heart,

 I hardly know where to start.

The sea is calm today.

 O let it be so for me, I pray.

In the midst of family struggles I seek your face,

That is why I come again and again to this place.

The constancy of the moving tides guided by your mighty hand

And the steady flow of the waves upon the sand,

Remind me of your steadfast love in my minute plans,

And even now they are being worked out by your commands.

I put my children and their pain in your care,

Because I know that you will always be there.

There was a time by the sea

 I would gather my children close to me.

Today they are far and wide,

 Not here by my side.

My cry right now by the sea, “God, please keep them close to you.”

As I pray this prayer I am asking, “Lord, keep me close to you too.”

-- Dean Albritton