Thursday, June 11, 2015

The Last Kiss

I was driving back to Houston from my reunion in Arkansas on Sunday when I passed through Lufkin, Texas, several hours away from Houston. Spontaneously, I began singing Last Kiss out loud. It wasn't due to some romantic inclination or thought in my mind. It was simply because Lufkin, Texas was the hometown of J. Frank Wilson who made Last Kiss one of the nation's biggest Billboard smashes in the summer of 1964. Don't ask me how I know about J. Frank Wilson being from Lufkin: I inexplicably just do. I also know Last Kiss is one of the most gruesome popular songs ever in American culture with the topic of the girlfriend being killed in a car accident. The song was actually based on a real life incident in which three teens died in a car crash in Barnesville, Georgia on December 22, 1962. And Last Kiss made J. Frank Wilson famous, and by association, Lufkin as well, at least in my mind.

I know there are plenty of other good things about Lufkin, Texas of which I am ignorant. I also know I'm not the first person to overlook the positive qualities of someone's hometown. In John 1:46, Nathanael, when he was told about Jesus of Nazareth, famously remarked, "Can anything good come out of Nazareth?" Of course, history would prove Nathanael wrong and he had a change of heart that same day when he met the Savior. I've mentioned before that in my travels, I've come to realize the value I received in high school when I read The Ugly American in Mr. Joe Berry's Independent Reading class. When I was in rural China last summer, I encountered many folks who apparently had never seen an American before; puts a little pressure on a US citizen! When I travel in Vietnam in the coming weeks, I may interact with people who have had no contact with Americans or more importantly, with Christians. The Apostle Paul twice uses the term ambassador to describe the role we have as believers in the world. I don't think I'll have diplomatic privileges as I go though customs on my arrival but you never know. I like the idea of being an ambassador. Maybe people will think kindly of the US when they remember me. Maybe they will also think of Jesus. I also wish I could sing like J. Frank Wilson but being an ambassador is pretty cool, too.

In case you scan't see the youtube link above, copy/paste or click here to hear Last Kiss:

Applicable quote of the day:
"You know, in my hometown of Hope, Arkansas, the three sacred heroes were Jesus, Elvis, and FDR, not necessarily in that order."
Mike Huckabee

God bless,
Luke 18:1
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