parents trusted him enough that they left us with him. All of my classmates related to Ramblin’ Rod as our one-hour of total freedom from worries. He had a silent impact on all of us.
I grew up on a farm, so our only free time was listening to Ramblin’ Rod during the week (he was very missed on Saturday and Sunday!). The rest of the time, my grandmother had us doing chores. This was a family farm with an outhouse and no electricity and housed two aunts, two uncles, my parents, my sister and me, my grandmother, and three cousins. So, you can see that we really appreciated freedom from chores during Ramblin’ Rod’s TV program. Although it was only one hour, it was one hour to look forward to.
I think people today take for granted all that they have. We had this one-hour show, a roof over our heads, and food on the table—that was considered my allowance. My family instilled that value into my brain; so my wife, Amber, and I raise our children with those values. We still hang our clothes out back on the clothesline; we make homemade ice cream together; we don’t have cable TV or internet; but we do have lots of outdoor activities to enjoy together. And, we talk to each other: we do the old-school speaking with each other and not texting. My five kids always try to convince me to update, but they’ve learned to adapt. My two older kids don’t have internet or TV in their own homes, either, and live a humble life like they were raised.
What Ramblin’ Rod taught us as kids was that life was as simple as a laugh with an old cartoon to make the family sit together and enjoy at least one hour a day together. In addition to that birthday button back in 1979, Ramblin’ Rod gave me a Bible. It was the first time I’d ever read the Bible. At 7 years old, I started with Revelation. It sure scared the heck out of me! But, it was Rod who started me reading the Bible.
My family calls me Bible Thumper, as I was the only one in my family who read—and keeps reading—the Bible. They still ask me questions about the Bible. I think they’re also making progress, as they at least now refer to him as God instead of the “Wizard in the Sky.” So, it must have done something for them over the years. My cousin recently told me he was sitting on the Oregon coast the other day crying, and suddenly thought about God. He said ever since I got that Bible from Ramblin’ Rod, I never shut up about God. It’s a start with a new relationship with God and His child. Here it is nineteen years after Ramblin’ Rod passed away, and he still has such a lasting impact on my life.
You never know what seeds you plant in others. In Matthew 13:31-32, Jesus put another parable before them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed that a man took and sowed in his field. It is the smallest of all seeds, but when it has grown it is larger than all the garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches.”
Our staff is voluntold each week and with grace they share their thoughts.