January 2019   
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Whenever I think about July, my mind goes to my older brother, Johnny who was born on the 19th.  As boys, he was not only my brother, he was my best friend.  His friends were my friends, what he did I did, and until he started dating, where he went I went.   We were not only buddies; we were all too often comrades in mischief.  It seemed every time I got spanked, Johnny got it first, and after all, he was the oldest.  We got spanked for misbehaving in church, for fighting, for being sassy to Mom, etc.  My only solace was that I didn’t get spanked by myself… except one time!  What a terrible moment in my young life… I always knew I would come out alive if Johnny made it through the spanking but this one particular day… it was only me.  I don’t remember what mischief I got into but I did it ALONE.  When Dad sent me to the bathroom to wait for him, the crying began and I started looking around for Johnny.  To my horror, when Dad opened that bathroom door and told me to step in ALL BY MYSELF, I began to cry “Johnny first, Johnny first”.  My heart sank when Dad said “Johnny is not getting spanked, he didn’t do anything wrong, it is just you today.”  There are millions of people who have the thinking of a eight year old boy… they think when they stand before God at the time of judgment that there will be others there to be compared with; some who are older and had more chances afforded them, or someone who had done some horrible crime that they can point to and say “Look at him, I’m not that bad”.  The problem is when they say, “Johnny first” the Lord will say, “It is just you today”.