Monday, June 27, 2011


Texas Ag Ed Reunion @ Grand Saline Today

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My first mentor performed a service that, technically, didn't exist at the time I was a student. Today, he would be called a "life coach." I called him "Mr. Pollard," and he was my FFA Advisor, but he was easily the best writer I knew.

As a state FFA officer, my speeches and correspondence reflected Mr. Pollard's willingness to share his talent and discipline, which contributed to my early understanding of the difference between writing that was really good and that which was just good enough. He was a gentle editor who didn't make pronouncements, but asked questions: Have you thought about saying it like this? What if you approached it this way?

Without quite realizing it, I began to see that Mr. Pollard had a distinctive way of expressing his thoughts, and I started to think, vaguely at first, about concepts that I would later call voice and style. Partly as a result, I was asked to launch a new column, "The President's Pen," for the state FFA magazine. Several years later, armed with a degree in agricultural journalism, I would spend two years as an associate editor at the National FFA Magazine before joining Farm Journal.

At Farm Journal, I latched onto Charlie Ball, who was my first professional writing mentor. Not only did Charlie willingly share with me the nuts and bolts of his award-winning writing and photography, but also he became one of my best-ever friends. Today, Bill Pollard and Charlie Ball are still active professionals, and each continues to influence both my writing and my life in extremely positive ways. A mentor may be forever...if you are lucky!

The lines above were written a few years ago, but today (June 27, 2011) in Grand Saline, Texas, at Jim Prewitt's magnificent Landmark Nursery facility, I had the honor of reuniting with many men who once held key positions in the FFA and Agricultural Education of Texas high school students. Some of them assisted Mr. Pollard in the daunting task of "developing" a young Joe Dan Boyd.

Seldom do many of us have such an opportunity to thank those who made it possible for us to develop in a positive manner, to become the kind of people we were meant to be, to become fully actualized human beings, productive citizens.

One of those men here today, Emmett Tiner, who was Supervisor of FFA Area 2 when I was State FFA President, actually shared a house with Mr. Pollard (see the first few paragraphs in this brief essay) when both of them lived as bachelors in Big Spring, Texas. Mr. Tiner and I, along with State FFA Vice-President Joe Stephens, spent a full month in late 1952 visiting and speaking to FFA Chapters in far West Texas, and we had the opportunity of re-living key moments from that trip today.

My brother Tommy Boyd accompanied me today. He was President of FFA Area 6 when I was State FFA President, and his life, too, was touched by many of those at today's Texas Ag Ed Reunion.

Mr. Ira Black, who was my own Area 6 Supervisor as an FFA student, was there as well, and I was able to recall, in his presence more than once when his wisdom and guidance helped me deal with challenging situations as a young man.

For me, FFA was the most transformative experience of my life, and the most positive: I will never live sufficiently long to adequately thank all the men who made it so productive for me.

Today was a day for giving credit where it is overdue, or perhaps long overdue.

Sunday, June 26, 2011


Teen Challenge Singers @ Tinney Chapel Communion Worship

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Adults Can Learn From Dr. Seuss
Sermon by Pastor Sue Gross
@ Tinney Chapel UMC

Matthew 10:40-42

New International Version (NIV)

40 “Anyone who welcomes you welcomes me, and anyone who welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. 41 Whoever welcomes a prophet as a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward, and whoever welcomes a righteous person as a righteous person will receive a righteous person’s reward. 42 And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones who is my disciple, truly I tell you, that person will certainly not lose their reward.”

Romans 6:12-23

New International Version (NIV)

12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. 13 Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness. 14 For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.

An Amazing Version of Amazing Grace by Teen Challenge Singers @ Tinney Chapel

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An Amazing Version of Amazing Grace (WMV VIDEO)
by the Teen Challenge Singers
at Tinney Chapel United Methodist Church
June 26, 2011

Kids Time @ Tinney Chapel UMC 06-26-11

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View the video of sermon for children
@ Tinney Chapel UMC, June 26, 2011
by Pastor Sue Gross

Sunday, June 19, 2011


A Fathers Day Tribute To My Dad

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A Fathers Day Tribute To My Dad, "Dangerous Dan" Boyd

His name was Dan Boyd, and he was my father, but I have only hazy memories of him in the flesh. After all, I was only three and a half years of age when he died, surviving his wife, Dolly Tinney Boyd, my mother, by about 18 months. Both died in the mid-1930s.

That opposites often attract might explain the unlikely meeting, romance and eventual marriage of Dolly and Dan, both natives of Wood County, Texas who spent most of their brief adult lives struggling with the stark strata of emotional and economic tumult that we now regard as a three-word footnote to history: The Great Depression.

But they would marry and have three children (Nelda, Joe Dan & Tommy) before both died young, in 1936 and 1937.

Dolly, born June 4, 1913, to Ambrose and Elizabeth Tinney, was destined to be the beauty and the baby of a large farming family with strong roots in the Old South where her Alabama ancestors had sided with both the Union and the Confederacy. Her parents believed in hard work, religion, education, sobriety and neighborliness. She would become the family princess, carefully shielded from opposing viewpoints, and her beauty would assure a choice of marriage partners from worthy men who shared both her sheltered social life and high aspirations.

By the time Dolly was 15 she had finished 8th grade at Vernon Country School in Wood County, had been baptized at Tinney Chapel Methodist Church, which had been founded by a land grant from her father, and was on track to become a 1932 graduate, first in her family to do so, from high school in Winnsboro, a three-mile walk to and from her farm home. There, before her graduation, she was a serious student, enjoying home economics and playing on the girls basketball team.

At the Old Tinney Home Place where Dolly was born, raised, played the organ and demonstrated her dancing skills, she sometimes organized Sunday evening "social" events, such as ice cream suppers, recalls Helen Tinney Miller, one of Dolly's nieces, who was also a childhood playmate of Dolly's. No formal invitations, says Helen: News was passed by word of mouth, and anyone in the community who heard about a "social" was welcome to attend.

That would have included "Dangerous Dan" Boyd, a rough and rowdy man's man, widely regarded as a bit reckless, willing to take a drink, having a short fuse, unafraid to defend honor in a fist fight and who was six and a half years older than Dolly. He was also ruggedly handsome, and a real charmer with an effusive sense of humor who very likely captured Dolly's heart the moment their eyes met.

He also became a husband and father who loved his wife and children, according to his sister, my Aunt Mary Boyd Poe, who told me a lot about him after I moved back to Wood County in 1997. From Aunt Mary and another Aunt, Stella Boyd Weems, I learned of the Native American (Cherokee) history on my dad's side of the family. To help make ends meet during the Depression, Dan also joined the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), a New Deal creation, from which he obtained permission to leave a Colorado CCC Camp during February, 1936, to be with Dolly in her final hours of life.

So, on this Fathers Day, 2011, I salute you, "Dangerous Dan" Boyd, the father I barely knew, but who nonetheless loved me and my brother Tommy. For this I will always be grateful.

Sunday, June 12, 2011


Pentecost Sunday @ Tinney Chapel

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Building A Spirit-Filled World preached on Pentecost Sunday

1 Corinthians 12:3b-13

New International Version (NIV)

3 one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit.

4 There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. 5 There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. 6 There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.

7 Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. 8 To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, 10 to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues,[a] and to still another the interpretation of tongues.[b] 11 All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.
Unity and Diversity in the Body
12 Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For we were all baptized by[c] one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.

1. 1 Corinthians 12:10 Or languages; also in verse 28
2. 1 Corinthians 12:10 Or languages; also in verse 28
3. 1 Corinthians 12:13 Or with; or in

Resource page link for above:

Kids Time On Pentecost Sunday

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Kids Time On Pentecost Sunday @ Tinney Chapel UMC
Georgia Goggans

Click on the arrow to view and hear Georgia's sermon which is based on 1 Corinthians 12:3b-13.

Sunday, June 05, 2011


"I'll Fly Away" Sung @ Tinney Chapel Today

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"Pray To The Holy Spirit" Preached Today
Based on Acts 1:1-11

Acts 1:1-11

New International Version (NIV)

Acts 1
Jesus Taken Up Into Heaven
1 In my former book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach 2 until the day he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles he had chosen. 3 After his suffering, he presented himself to them and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God. 4 On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. 5 For John baptized with[a] water, but in a few days you will be baptized with[b] the Holy Spirit.”

6 Then they gathered around him and asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?”

7 He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

9 After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight.

10 They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. 11 “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.”

1. Acts 1:5 Or in
2. Acts 1:5 Or in

Resource page for the above:

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