Roger Alford

While traveling through southern Mississippi here while back, I enjoyed seeing some of the places made famous by the late great storyteller Jerry Clower. I expect most of you have a favorite tale or two from his vast supply.

One of my favorites was about his Uncle Versie’s beloved mule, Della, that fell into a deep hole.

With no way to get her out, Uncle Versie decided to just bury Della there. He began shoveling dirt into that hole, but every time a shovelful hit that mule’s back, she shook it off and stepped up.

Uncle Versie kept shoveling it on, and Della kept shaking it off and stepping up. Before long, Della had shaken off enough to step right out of that hole.

At some time or other, we have all felt like we’ve been stuck in a hole with the weight of this world raining down on us. At times like that, we can stand there and let our troubles bury us. Or we can shake them off and step up.

The Bible tells us there’s a great blessing for those who faithfully endure in such situations. In fact, Scripture says we should actually count it a joy to face trials, because those trials result in a crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love Him (James 1:12).

A great friend in Kentucky, Doyle Spry, has faced a few trials in his 93 years. He’s quick to remind us that life has its ups and downs. He, like the rest of us, prefers the ups, and he celebrated one of those back on July 18.

That’s the day he preached to a standing-room-only crowd at Bethel Christian Church in the small community of Fox, Ky. You great folks drove in from all directions to support this fine gentleman.

He wasn’t strong enough to stand on his own that day, but he sure could preach. And it was amazing to see the pews filled and people lining the walls.

Brother Doyle is one who has always been willing to step up, over and over again, when he had opportunities to serve the Lord. And he wanted me to share a word of appreciation to you for making his birthday extra special this year.

Let me encourage you to be like Brother Doyle, to never give up, no matter the difficulties life throws your way. You have a Savior who loves you and who reminds you that “what is impossible with man is possible with God. (Luke 18:27).”

A story similar to the mule tale involves two frogs that were hopping around on a farm when they fell into a churn filled with milk.

Both frogs started swimming around and around inside that churn. But one soon lost hope of ever getting out, sunk beneath the surface and drowned.

The other didn’t lose hope but kept on swimming and swimming and swimming until his repeated strokes churned that milk into butter. The frog climbed up on top of that butter and hopped out of the churn.

We need to keep in mind that, with Jesus, there is always hope, no matter the circumstances we face.


Reach Roger Alford at or by calling

(502) 514-6857.

“They that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not be faint” (Isaiah 40:31).

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