Wednesday, October 29, 2008


Since the death of Ruth Hildreth we have been going to Lenoir City as often as we reasonably could. So far, Frank and his sons are holding up -- although it has been visibly difficult for Frank to process his grief. I cannot imagine what this would be like after living with someone for 57 years. Do continue to pray for the family.

On Wednesday, October 22, 2008 I began a series of teachings for a local church in Madisonville, Tennessee on the subject of missions. Pastor Jim Tallent and his wife Sandra invited me to come and help them as they have about 14 persons who feel they may be called to be missionaries. There was good participation and excitement last Wednesday so now I am concerned that this week I need a little extra something to give them. Started out by asking questions: "What is missions?; Who is a missionary?; and When does the missionary go to the field?" Tonight I will take up these questions by asking, "Why should you be a missionary? Where do you go? And finally, How is missionary work done?"

Today at 12:00 I'm going to a luncheon for retired missionaries. Maybe I'll pick up a pointer or two there if I listen carefully???

Speaking of listening -- I took Mom to her hearing specialist last week and also set up an appointment with her Doctor to see if I can have my hearing aids adjusted. They have been safely tucked away in a drawer for over a year now because I could not hear with them. They are really quite a nuisance, so young folks, protect your ears. If you are wondering why I went to Mom's Doctor -- it's because my own hearing Doctor died just over a year ago. Dr. Don Polen had a good testimony of faith in Jesus Christ and I feel confident he is in the presence of God.

Hey! Everybody break out your sweaters and coats. I can hear the chilling winds o' winter a-blowing around my head!!! And don't forget ... time change this Saturday night!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Ruth Woody Hildreth

Yesterday, Monday, October 6, 2008, Ruth Woody Hildreth was laid to rest in the cemetery at Lenoir City. This has been an extremely stressful time for her husband (Frank) and two sons (Greg and Tim) and their families. Frances is exhausted - and I am sure that could be said of all the family members, especially Greg's wife, Maria, who went "all out" as she and Greg turned their home into the hospitality station where we all met to grieve together. Thanks to all of you who prayed, visited, called, sent cards and or flowers.

Please continue to pray for Frank to be able to adjust and go on with life. They had been married for 56 years.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Life Is Short; Life is Fragile

Hey Everyone! I'm back...thanks to our youngest daughter, Tabitha Jaycox who drove all the way from Talbott to Cleveland just to help her Mom and me get new phones and new internet connections. I had no idea what a great negotiator we had raised. THANK YOU TABI!.

The Assembly concluded and I returned home to find that Frances is not much better physically. She really needs your prayers because she is apprehensive about having the procedures done to find out what has caused her problem. Yesterday, for the second time since the meeting in San Antonio she has postphoned her procedure. The first time because of a mix-up in our insurance which got canceled without our knowledge. (It is re-instated.) This time she post-phoned because of the critical condition of her sister-in-law (Ruth Hildreth). Ruth tripped over a suitcase and hit her head on the tile floor in her bathroom as they were preparing to go to the quartet convention in Louisville, KY. She and Frank went to the convention but Ruth was embarrassed to go the third day because of the discoloration of her face and eyes. Then Frank decided to bring her home. When they went to the doctor he did immediate surgery to stop bleeding which was occurring on the brain. This was not successful, so more serious surgery was done. Ruth has been in a coma for almost two weeks now and was taken off the respirator yesterday. This is a critical time. Please pray for Frank and the two sons (Tim and Greg) and their families. Life is so fragile.

O.K. -- what am I doing since retirement? I really don't have anything to do, but at the end of each day I am not finished. I've been as busy as a one-armed paper hanger in a honey bucket. I've visited and preached and sung in churches in Tennessee and North Carolina...have plans to do a series of missions classes in an independent Pentecostal church in Madisonville beginning five weeks before in process of building a 5' by 12' bathroom onto the cabin...bought and installed a new gas fridge for the cabin...bought and installed new batteries for the solar powered electrical system...bought and delivered two new plastic barrells which will serve as my septic system...went fishing a couple of times...stopped and picked a gallon of wild grapes (musky-dines) on the bank of the Hiwassee more of "The Shack"...and, in general, staying pretty busy. I think I need another job so I can get some rest!

After some urging from my dear Mother I went to my first "Seniors Retreat" a few weeks ago. Lowell went with me. So there we were - Mom - and Lowell and me acting like her kids again! What fun we had as we worshipped, sung, played pool, fished in the camp pond, participated in a "Silent Aution", and met some friend, new and old.

Oh - Remember the fellow I told y'all about who was so hurt and critical of the church and some of it's leaders? I have since met one of the men he was criticizing and found out that the man had died. I'm so glad God allowed me to meet the man and to have that frank conversation and prayer with him before he died. Again, Life is short and so fragile. Like James says, "It is even a vapor that appeareth for a little while and soon vanisheth away."

Whoa! It is already 9:27 and past my bed-time.


About Me

My photo
Cleveland, TN, United States
I am Fred Alton Brannen, the son of Louis A. Brannen (deceased) and Bonnie Jones Brannen, Louis was an Ordained Bishop with the Church of God. Bonnie is an Ordained Licensed Minister and at 89 years of age is still actively engaged in speaking and singing engagements. I am married to the former Frances Hildreth. We celebrated 53 years of marriage this past June and we are the parents of 3, grand-parents of 10, and great-grandparents of 10. I pastored in Tennessee for 24 years and served the Church in some capacity in missions for over 23 years. I retired from full-time ministry in August of 2008 but remain active, speaking and singing and teaching whenever opportunity affords itself. In January of 2010 I received a letter of commendation for having been credentialed as a minister in the Church of God for 50 years! My family is very important to me. Our get togethers are always noisy affairs and most times will include family sing-alongs. The children love their Mom's cooking so we have the privilege of seeing them regularly! WE LOVE having them over.

TheCabin on Day One

TheCabin on Day One
Fred Alton