This being just past the Easter weekend, I felt like I should do something at least kind of religious.
Probably the most religious person I’ve ever been real close to in my life was a man named Bill Robbins. Bill turned out to be a great friend because when I got saved, it was obviously a stronger relationship than I’d ever had before. But, before I got saved, Bill travelled with me to support Howard Payne athletics. We went everywhere together – Commerce, Kingsville, Nacogdoches – you name it, and it was usually just he and I and that gave us several hours to talk. He gave me a lot of information that later on became very precious to me.
Bill was a neat guy. He was raised in an orphanage in Dallas, Texas. I remember him telling me about one very, very cold winter night when the orphanage caught on fire. All the little children were standing outside in the cold, watching the only home they knew burn away, and they were singing “God Will Take Care of You”. God always did and still does today. To this day, I cannot sing that song without thinking of Bill and tearing up.
In life, he worked really hard and became a success, not only a college professor, but a college president. He and his wife, Ruth, were like a second family to me. The discussions that we had – fights almost – about the Lord and how I needed to be with the Lord–were some classics. I wish I’d been smart enough to turn on a tape recorder. Bill was like a second dad to me, a very, very special man.
I remember not too long after I got saved, my wife and I were invited by Bill and Ruth to come and have a nice meal and play 42 one night. I figured it would be the social thing to do. I had played a couple of games and but had no idea what I was doing. My wife had absolutely NO experience. We show up and I don’t remember exactly how many, but I would say at least fifteen or so other people or were there.
There was a real good meal. Ruth was a fantastic cook. Then they set up tables all over their living room. There was a husband and wife here, a husband and wife there, and all of these couples turned out to be excellent 42 players – except my wife and me. Anyway, it was what I later termed, “full contact 42”. The object was to get to the “head table”. You talk about taking it seriously – they were serious!
Bill Robbins at home basketball games was a treat! I couldn’t hardly watch the games for watching him and his wife. They would almost get on the court. Fact is, I think that’s why they had seats on a stage, so they couldn’t get on the court. Bill would bend over and he would double up his fist and he’d be yelling at the officials. Then Ruth would take her knitting to the ballgames. She’d be sitting beside him and look as calm as could be, just knitting away, then every once in a while she would yell her opinion. Bill Robbins, one of the more Godly people I’ve known in my life, but the true Bill came out during basketball games. He could yell with the best of them and he loved basketball – loved it!
Bill was truly one of the best friends I’ve ever had in my life. He actually married my wife and I….to each other. I worked hard, in the old days, to find “religious” things to argue about. His only response would be, “Dallas, what’s that got to do with salvation?” And really, that’s all that matters. What’s it got to do with salvation? I’ve used that many, many, times. I’ll thank God through all Eternity for Bill and Ruth Robbins and what they meant to me, and so many others.
Until next time, so long everybody.
‘Out of the Box’ with Dallas Huston is published each Monday morning at BrownwoodNews.com. Dallas was the radio voice of the Brownwood Lions and Howard Payne Yellow Jackets for more than 55 years. He currently is Pastor of Center City Baptist Church and hosts a Men’s Bible Study in Brownwood on Monday evenings. Your comments are welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org.