Fifth Sunday 

 If you’ve been in Protestant circles, you know that a fifth Sunday is a good excuse for an eatin’ or a singin’ or both.  Such was the case last Sunday at 

The Church in the Valley in Wears Valley, Tennessee.  And we were there.  In fact, it was the reason we came back to Tennessee when we did.  You see,

Tim, down at Smoky Mountain Grocery knew we would be back in a couple of months, and asked if we could come the last weekend in January.  We could…we did…and


we sat on the row with him and his family.

We knew before we came that there would be dinner on the grounds…but what we didn’t know was that they had invited a bluegrass gospel group to sing.  The group was Ray Ball and Family, which consisted of Ray, his sister Annette, her husband Dennis and David.

I’ve always heard that everybody has a twin somewhere.  I found mine in 1993 on the Bay Area Rapid Transit in San Fransisco.  Ray probably has one too.  But if you need to make a positive identification, ask to see the left hand, because in December of 1958, Ray blew off three fingers with a dynamite cap.


Anyway…back to the group.
In true Appalachian style, they shared their music in soulful three AND four part harmony.  They were a blessing!


Then, after a short sermon, we went in the back for lunch.
Members of the congregation furnished the sides, and Dakota Jack furnished the meat. 

I regret that WordPress doesn’t come with a scratch and sniff feature, because words cannot adequitely describe the heavenly aroma of Jack’s bar-b-que.

After lunch, as everyone was going their separate ways, Joel asked Annette if the group had any cd’s.  She thought that there might be one in her car, so we followed her into the parking lot.  Sure enough, she emerged from the back seat with one in her hand. 


On the way to our car, we stopped to talk to Ray.  We held up the cd, and said, “She found one”.  He replied, “Oh good!  You know… they made them for us down at the funeral home.”