ASK ANY CHRISTIAN, AND HE/SHE WILL TELL YOU, “JESUS IS THE REASON FOR THE SEASON.” We hear this at Christmas especially, so I wish to take a moment to discuss the life of a long-time friend, a pastor, who lives as if Jesus is the reason for any season. Al Perry, whom I have known since I was a daily coffee drinker at Whataburger, along with friends who ranged from just s few years older than I to my Best Friend, Jane, who was twenty something years my senior. Al worked at Monsanto, a chemical plant near Alvin, our home town and also pastored a church in nearby Rosharon, TX. Since his retirement, he has been a member of South Park Baptist, my church, even serving as interim pastor for over a year and a half. When he asked me to “look at” his “life story” as he then called it, I jumped at the chance to earn some editing experience. His autobiography, The View from the Top of the Chicken Coop, was a delightful reading experience, which needed only minor punctuation corrections.
Written in 2022, this memoir’s title comes from the following:
“”…One of the things I vaguely remember is our uncle and aunt from Texas coming…A letter would arrive saying they were coming. When it was near the time of the visit, one of the boys would get ON TOP OF THE CHICKEN COOP to look for their car… We would wait with anxiety for the cookies and goodies they would bring…”
The book is both humorous and inspiring, and as any preacher, Brother Al managed to end with a mini-sermon:
“I think about the letter we would receive from Texas and the scout who would jump on the chicken coop, and announce the dust stirring on the dirt road…[Today], I’m looking up because of a letter I’ve received about something coming down ‘the road of my life’.” (John 3:16) “While on this imaginary chicken coop, I am looking up with anticipation because of another portion of the letter (1st Thessalonians 4:16-17), ‘For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven’ … [I] look forward to the time when I will be with all of my loved ones…There is a longing in my heart to see my Savior…”
If you knew this author, personally as do I, you would soon determine he was the “real thing,” not just a professing Christian, but one who lives out his faith.
Thank you, Brother Al for allowing me to read and edit your life’s story.