64 On Purpose Daily Log Book
(For more pictures of the walk, scroll down to the bottom.)
64 On Purpose 061005 We Are There
We crossed over the Ark-Ok border on the Arkansas River Bridge at about 10:00 a.m. today Friday, 10 June 2005! The miles, the steps, and inches are over; however, the journey continues. When I graduated from high school in 1973 our class motto was “Today is the first day of the rest of your life.” Little did I know then the magnitude of those words.
Today we finished the “leg work” of the 64 On Purpose journey, but the lessons will be translated and lived out the rest of our days here on earth. It will take the rest of my life to thank those of you who encouraged us through prayers, kind words, cups of cool water, and many other acts of kindness.
…So I will not try to finish it in a day. Reta and I are going to take a day of rest and reflection, and try to do some summary comments over the next week or so. Thank you for following our progress.
Until Monday…we are walking Highway 64 On Purpose (in our memories!)
64 On Purpose Completion
We will be completing the final leg of our journey across Arkansas Highway 64 On Purpose. We like about 5 miles, after walking some more this afternoon. We will be out early to finish all but the final mile across the river into Oklahoma.
At about 10 am we will be finishing the leg across the river. (some folks indicated they wanted to be able to see the finish line.) We look forward to the end of this physical portion of the journey, realizing that the ripples will last the rest of our lives.
Be in prayer for us as we finish this task, and spend the next several weeks trying to digest what God has shown us this past 4 weeks.
Bro. Bill and Reta
64 On Purpose 060905
Today is Thursday, June 9, 2005. We began this Journey one month ago today. We have figured that we have walked about 19 days, meaning we are 2 days shy of 3 full weeks of walking.
Even though the high was 91 degrees, God gave us good cloud cover most of the morning. Storms have moved in now so we are taking off a while to rest. It has cooled down to 76. We have walked a little bit less than 11 miles and are right at the Van Buren city limits. We walked through both Dyer and Alma this morning.
In Alma, we walked past the Morgan Nick headquarters. We were prompted in our spirits to pray for her family and for other children who are missing and/or abused in our state and nation. We stopped at a service station at the edge of Van Buren, and the lady attendant told us that one of those reality shows was at Morgan’s mother’s house doing an extreme makeover on the Nick house. She thought we should have gone back there and tried to get our story on TV. I assured her that our journey was not about publicity, even though some newspapers have asked to do our story. The nice lady there furnished us with some much needed Gatorade and cranberry juice.
Through our joys and triumphs on this walk, we are reminded that many folks are hurting and are less fortunate than we are. Our heats go out to those in our state who have lost loved ones, to those who are dealing with missing and abused children, and to those who are doing battle with debilitating illnesses.
The heat of the earth and our blisters remind us that our shoes are just about gone, again, and we will try to replace them for the last few miles–if we can find a pair that fits right. We each have worn out about three pairs of shoes. I have tried three different kinds of insoles and cannot tell much (if any) difference between the cheapest ones to the most expensive ones. We ordered one pair each of those “special” types as advertised on TV, but naturally, they will not come in until we are finished. I am sure that will be another story.
The hills have flattened out. One marvel, though–we walked up a couple today that would have caused us much concern at the beginning of our trip. A major result of this walk is that we’re learning that as long as we keep on keepin’ on, the climb up the next hill becomes easier.
Until tomorrow, we are still walking 64 On Purpose.
64 on Purpose 060805
After a couple of days without internet access, it is good to know I am back in communication. We had tried to send our updates, and could not get a connection, and sometimes there are some things that are more important than technology. Seriously we had wasted quite a bit of time trying to find a way to get around the problem, but out in the hills you find just how remote things are at times.
We do appreciate our support team (Donna Smith, Doug and Jeanie) for their diligence while we have been out of pocket. They have been good to take dictation or make pretty good guesses about what we are doing. â¦But if I give Doug too much freedom, or not enough info he can wax poetic on me. We do sincerely thank them for putting together the tidbits and string them into intelligible sentences.
A person can really get spoiled by good help. We put in two hard days of walking, and the last thing on my mind was that anyone might really be missing the updates. WE do thank each of you that expressed concern during this period of black-out. I do praise The Lord for the progress we were able to make during this time. We are inching toward our goal. We are past most of the physical challenges, however we have a couple of detail challenges left. It is much easier to walk in the solitude of the hills than it is to traverse the streets of a city.
We are entering a tri-city complex of Alma, Van Buren, and Ft. Smith. Alma isn’t bad, but Van Buren and Ft. Smith have some divided highway walking and a mix-master or two thrown in. With the size of the cities this may be some of the most interesting walking yet.
We are in the middle of a little quite suburb named Dyer. We look forward to the completion of this mission and covet your prayers as we continue to walk highway 64 On Purpose.
64 On Purpose 060705
What a terrific day for walking…and, Boy! were we glad. As we drive through the hills, sometimes the terrain seems as though the area is downhill, but when we get on the road by foot, the whole thing is a different picture. Surprisingly, sometimes we walk up something that does not seem that rough or that bad–until we drive back over it. For example, we drove out to one area and thought we would be going downhill; however, when we got there, the road seemed more uphill than downhill. When we finished and looked back again, it looked uphill. Those experiences remind me that sometimes, when we are climbing the hills and walking in the valleys–in the middle of life’s ups and downs–as we top the mountains and look back into the valleys, we realize that the trip is no big deal because God’s grace is sufficient. He carries us over the hills as well as sustains us through the valleys.
We are through Ozark and only into the middle of downtown Mulberry, which consists of a 4-way stop with signs, no light. A welcome thundershower has pre-empted our waking and allowed us a rest. We hope to get to Alma by about noon so we can knock off and head back to Conway to wash clothes and get to the mountain for our midweek services.
Until tomorrow, we are still walking 64 On Purpose.
64 On Purpose 060605
Boy! Time flies when you are having fun. It is hard to believe that we are starting our fifth week of this journey. We have reached the point again that it is more practical to stay away from home. As of today, we are so far from Becky and Jeremy that we cannot drive back to them and still accomplish our daily goals. We have enjoyed their hospitality and their encouragement for the past few days of walking.
This morning Becky came out and walked about 5 miles of our first leg, then went back home, got Emma and Isaac, came back and helped us finish a leg we were on. After a short break, we walked a full mile so our grandchildren (Emma and Isaac) can tell their grandchildren that they walked Highway 64 On Purpose with their grandparents.
We tried to visualize how they would describe it 50 years from now: “Why, in our day we walked Highway 64 On Purpose with our grandparents, and it was 100 degrees in the shade and was up-hill all the way.” I guess one of the benefits of growing up and older is being able to forget some things and to remember others differently. Matching memories or not, we are excited that some of our family has walked at least some of the way with us.
This afternoon a nice thunderstorm came through, and God gave us wisdom to shutdown for a time of rest. After the storm, we went back out to walk about 6 more miles to complete 20 for the day. A twenty-mile day had been an original goal, and Rebeca and Jeremy showed up around the eighteenth mile and walked with us until we finished that leg. Even though we were tired, Reta and I pushed on to reach the twentieth mile just to say we had done it. We would have pushed on about a half mile to get into Ozark, but the sun was setting too low to be safe.
We have a couple of major hills tomorrow and expect it to be a little less in miles, just more in push. You will be reading this late since I do not have access to the Internet here. I will try to get it out sometime Tuesday. We are just shy of Ozark and from there will be headed for Mulberry.
Until tomorrow, we are still walking 64 On Purpose
64 On Purpose 060705
We have not received any 64 On Purpose updates the past two days from Brother Bill and Reta, but I talked to him this evening at 9 PM. They are at Mulberry, and are currently planning to complete their journey Saturday at 10 AM. Everyone is invited to share in the completion of the 64 On Purpose at the finish line, and then there will be a debriefing ceremony where Brother Bill and Reta will strap on the old feed bag and take much-needed nourishment. Between bites they will wax eloquent on adventures of the journey. Please continue to pray for Bro. Bill and Reta on their journey.
64 On Purpose 060305
Today we started out on a four-mile stretch with two pretty good hills and a handful of little hills to conquer. I’ve learned a major lesson: a little blister can quickly make a mountain out of a molehill. Because of my “molehill,” I was only able to get four miles out of my original shoes this morning, but Reta got a couple of more hitches–up to about eight miles–before she had to change hers. Also, the sun has increased, allowing us to enjoy the variations in altitude. We are almost through Clarksville and, right now, are not sure it will cool off enough for us to get in any more miles tonight. Today, because of the heat and the hills, we have gone only about 10 miles.
We have noticed people’s reaction to our waving to them. Our wave is our sign that we are “praying for you.” Some folks give a timid wave that seems to say, “OK.” Some give a fairly good wave that indicates “Good” and “Thank you.” Others get into it with almost a full body wave, that to us says, “Thanks….I needed that!” We have seen a few who have gripped the steering wheel with a greater determination, seeming to convey, “I am self-sufficient and don’t need any help.”
These are the same responses we see as the gospel is shared every day. Some people fight off God’s Word and reject it, while others heartily embrace it with every fiber of their being. It is a blessing to see some people either recognize us or read the message on our T-Shirts. That recognition brings not only a little wave but also an excited wave, a smile, and sometimes even a honk. These reactions keep us on task.
I have found that the situation is the same in the ministry. Sometimes as a pastor, I’ve gone for long periods of time without seeing much to get excited about, and then I’ll get a card or call from someone, letting me know that I have made a difference in a life, and I step out with renewed vigor one more time.
That is why, on Monday, we again will be walking Highway 64 On Purpose. <>< —————————- 64 On Purpose 060205 Reta has nearly healed her blisters, but I found a new one as we changed terrain. Talk about changing terrain….WOW! Lift up your eyes and look unto the hills. The hills abound with special beauty and with special challenges. Praise the Lord! Every day and every turn brings something new to see or hear and experience. Today we praised God for the smells. A few of those odors were armadillos, black berries, cedar, diesels, emus, fish, goats, honey- suckle vines, ice cream, jalapenos, Krispy Kremes, lilacs, manure, nachos, onions, pine, Queen Anne’s lace, roses, skunks, tar, and water…in other words almost everything in the alphabet. We realized today that most of the smells were pleasant experiences. In fact, by the end of the day, we rejoiced that we are blessed with the sense of smell. As we walk through the Lord’s natural wonderland, we’ve realized, too, that we sometimes miss a lot of things because we are in too great a rush to go here and there. One blessing has been cool, refreshing breezes, bringing us a fragrance of the surrounding wildflowers. Sometimes, if it were not for the scents, we would miss seeing the flowers. Sometimes, though, the scent becomes a stench, giving us fair warning to turn our heads to avoid the carnage. All in all, God has put so much here for us to enjoy that it is a blessing to make this journey. We made it to Knoxville and hope to be through Clarksville tomorrow. The hills slowed us down some, but we still covered about 15 miles. As the hills grow, we praise God for the flats and valleys He let us go through in preparation for the climb. Once again, we’re reminded of how much our lives parallel the walk we are making…of how much God does for us through our life’s journey…of how He leads us through the valleys and little hills to prepare us for the mountains. Be in prayer for us, for we will have some pretty good hills early in the morning. Until tomorrow, we will be walking 64 On Purpose. —————————- 060105 64 on Purpose After an extra day off Monday, because of Mom being in the hospital, we made some good progress Tuesday. We had been debating whether or not to walk on Monday anyway, so it did not take much to talk us out of walking. Praise God! Mom is doing better and is now home. Since we were not sure what we might have to face in relation to mom’s illness or with the prediction of the weather, we waited until Tuesday then started early, taking up where we left off Saturday night. Tuesday turned out to be a terrific day for walking. One sad thing happened, though; we learned of one of our ladies having an accident, but we did get to check on that. Fortunately, she was not badly injured, just her pride and ride. That is one of the tough things I’ve found about being out of pocket; I never can find the right telephone book when I need it. We walked about 12 or so miles before taking off to rest a spell and do some errands. We came back out in the evening and walked a little over 5 more miles. We got into a couple of hills, but we handled them without much trouble. Now that we know we can “scale the heights,” we’re looking forward to some of the bigger hills in the distance. They are beautiful, and we accept the challenges as well as appreciate the beauty. We encountered a couple of live snakes, and we got to see that Reta’s reflexes are still in good shape– even at the end of about 12 miles of walking. I thought she was just about finished, and then we saw the second and larger snake. She showed me some high-stepping that would make a person half her age happy. It just goes to prove that no mater how tired we get we still can move–if the motivation is right. We reached the Pottsville City Limits last night, and at this time, we have walked a little over half-way across Russellville. Some kind citizens stopped, as well as did a couple of policemen, to see if we were okay. We hate to interrupt them, but it is good to have the opportunity to share a card and/or brochure. The cooler weather has helped, although Reta is still dealing with some blisters. Until tomorrow, we are still walking 64 On Purpose —————————- 64 On Purpose May 31, 2005 Bro. Bill and Reta just called and gave me an update on walk across 64 on Purpose. They asked me to give you an update the evening as they so not have access to a computer tonight. They made great progress today, making it all the way to Potsville. They took time out this afternoon to check on Llewellyn Gasaway, a member of Petit Jean Baptist Church and resident of the mountain, who has suffered an accident. Lew is resting at the home of her sister now with “bumps and bruises”. They will begin their journey anew, praying for our families, communities, and our country, tomorrow morning. Pray that God will bless their efforts and see them safely through their walk across 64 on Purpose. God Bless, Jeanie Scroggs —————————- 64 On Purpose May 27, 2005 Well, it doesn’t seem to take as long to get away from home as it did to get here. We walked a little over 15 miles on Friday to reach Morrilton to be on schedule to walk with our mountain folks Saturday night. We met some fine folks at a church in Menifee. We had seen that church as we scoped out the route, and we felt it would be a good place to leave the car and would be a good distance from another good place. When we got out there before 7:00 a.m., a young man was working on the flower bed. When we came back through about an hour later, he had several others helping. By the time we walked back, they had nearly completed the project. I invited them up the mountain for breakfast on Saturday. About 5 miles out of Plumerville, we saw a strange pair walking up the road to meet us. Because my mom had warned me about talking to strangers, we watched them closely as they approached. It was my sister Jan and her oldest son Daniel. They came bearing gifts of water. It was good to see them, and later her husband Gary and Daniel’s younger brother Timothy joined us. They walked with us for at least 3-4 miles, and Daniel would have walked longer, but they had to leave. Doug (my brother) came by with a pair of shoes for me to try, and also brought us some Gatorade. I did go by the doctor’s to check out my feet and get another 150 mile warranty. Reta, too, has some blisters that we are watching. The rest of this weekend is making a difference. We had a good turnout for our walk Saturday night as we walked through the main part of Morrilton, praying for the people and the town. Ten of us were from the mountain, plus Jeremy, Rebeca, Emma and Isaac Pitts (our daughter and her family) from Clarksville. We praised God for the cool weather, the shade, and the folks who walked with us. Until Monday…we are walking Highway 64 On Purpose. —————————- 64 On Purpose 052405 There is no place like home no matter how humble it may be. Today, one of our major victories or milestones was accomplished as we were walked into our own driveway. Though we still had some spring in our steps and smiles on our faces, because we still had a ways to go, the victory was short-lived. So after sending out a “Yippee” email, we hit the pavement once again to walk on toward the west. A friend of Reta’s stopped to see what the “hee-haw” we were doing. A couple of folks honked and gave us the “thumbs-up.” We are trying to wear very visible Christian t-shirts so folks can see our purpose at a glance. We are energized by your emails and comments on the guestbook of our website. God is so good to give us cooler weather and today, for the most part, we had a wide path. The road between Conway and Morrilton will have a few tighter spots; in fact, from Conway to the city limits was cut out of the side of a hill, and it does not look as though they wasted much expense trying to move the mountains. That is okay. Our God is a big God and will carry us over the mountains in the same way He has sustained us in the valleys and deltas. Because Map Quest is giving mileage from I-40, we are not exactly sure how many miles we have left to go. Also, some of our mileage measurements are city limits to city limits, and to cross each town can add several miles. Too, Highway 64 makes a few meanders that have been taken out by I-40. As we walk together, I am reminded that neither the miles nor the time involved in taking this journey is as important as is the day-to-day fellowship with God and the time spent with Reta. Until tomorrow, we are walking Highway 64 On Purpose. —————————- 64 on Purpose 052605 Praise The Lord! Reta and I reached our house in Conway this morning on our walk across Arkansas. This is a big mile stone, as now we will be walking toward Ft Smith (away from home) Thanks for your prayers, calls, cards and words of encouragement. We will be in Morrilton Saturday night at 6pm to walk with the friends from the Mountain. If you are in the area and can make it, come on. We are excited about being able to do this on Saturday night as we will be able to pray for the churches and people of Morrilton and Conway County. Keep us in your prayers as we continue to walk Highway 64 On Purpose.
64 On Purpose 052505
Wednesday, “hump-day,” mid-week service day, whatever it is to you, here it is again. By Wednesday we are ready for a break, and we knock off early so we can get to the mountain for our mid-week services. We covered over 10 miles today; we need the physical rest, and we also need the fellowship with our folks.
We have crossed into Faulkner County, and since it is the county where we live at this time, this area is very important in our prayer life. It is important as Reta finishes her education, and we seek where God wants her to work and in what capacity. We see the children at play, and I can see in Reta’s eyes that she misses not working with children during this year and looks forward to finishing next spring so she can get back to the classroom. This week we have seen some of the kids she taught in the past three or four years, and I can tell it is a “pick-me-up” for Reta as she sees what “her” kids are doing.
The weather was great for walking this morning, and that helped us make a few tracks even though it was some tough walking. We are in some slight hills with narrow shoulders. We walked in the grass on the side of the road for at least 1/2 mile today, and some of that was over knee-deep to Reta. So far, we have not found any ticks, but are expecting a case of chiggers. Hopefully, this is the worst area we will have.
We are on schedule to end up in Morrilton Friday night and hope to have a group to walk with us from the mountain on Saturday night. We have crossed the half-way point, and this is a big boost for us.
As we parked in the shade at a little church, we had an interesting incident today. When we got back to the car, a truck pulled in behind us, and we thought they were just getting their bearings. Apparently, we had used someone’s personal parking spot. At least that is the way it seemed. Reta said she wondered why they were glaring at us so hard, and then we figured out we had parked in the head deacon’s parking place. That incident reminded me that we must make sure we don’t give our visitors the wrong impression when they get our parking place, sit in our seat, or even have the audacity to ask a million questions when we are in a hurry to get on down the road.
May we always look for ways to reach out to others to make them feel as important as our heavenly Father sees them.
With smiles on our faces and songs in our hearts, we are still walking Highway 64 On Purpose.
Until next time….
64 On Purpose 052405
This week we are able to sleep in our own bed, and the drive to where we start is less than one hour away. We enjoy the fact that we are closer to home, closer to our goal, closer to each other, and we are enjoying a slower-paced closer walk with God.
On this journey, we have seen many ways in which God extends His hand of protection. On every occasion, our walks have been such that we realized we were where we needed to be at the right time even if the walk took longer than we had planned at first. The slower pace is teaching me once again: ” His ways are not my ways, and His ways are higher than my ways.” Every day as we creep across the area, we see something new and special that God has put there just for us.
Right now, we are entering Faulkner County and passing through an area I have driven across many times over the past 30 years. I first crossed Highway 64 from Beebe to Conway while I was in the Army headed to Fort Chaffee. Even then, we remarked how it was the longest 40 miles in Arkansas. In reality it is only about 30-35 miles, depending on where being “in” Conway and “leaving” Beebe is measured. Because of the large number of trucks cutting through here to stay out of Little Rock, this passage is probably one of the most dangerous areas through which we will walk. We are aware that many Christian truckers make this route, bringing fuel, food, and other necessities to our local stores. We are praying for these men and women as they are on the road long hours and quite often away from their homes. We are praying for their families as they are away, also. The longer our path grows, the more we realize even more that someone else may have a longer path than we do.
No matter how slow the journey goes nor how muscles and joints cry out for rest, we are reminded of the challenges Jesus had as He made His way to Golgotha. Even though our walk is not as monumental as was Jesus’s trip, our prayer is that we remain faithful to the task May we be faithful to the lessons God wants to show us as we walk with Him.
We are now just in the city limits of Vilonia and looking forward to walking Highway 64 On Purpose tomorrow.
Bro. Bill & Reta
64 On Purpose 052305
Praise The Lord! When my alarm jolted me awake at 5:00 a.m. today, I heard a thunderstorm going through. What a blessing! I hit the snooze and waited on the delayed alarm set for 6:00 a.m. At 6 o’clock we got up and headed for Searcy. If the weather were still stormy, we would hit Wal-Mart and take advantage of a couple of other opportunities.
As we walked our first two segments, light sprinkles fell all around, but no storms stalked us. Reta even got to try out the poncho since the rain seemed “cold” to her. I have worn a poncho before, and from that experience, I’d have to be drowning in a cats-and-dogs’ downpour before I’d put mine on again.
The temperature had been forecast to be very hot, so that rain was a real blessing. We were blessed It really didn’t get too hot until after 1:00 p.m.
Early this morning, I had trouble with my left foot. I had twisted my ankle on that foot a couple of times late last week and figured it must be a little swollen. We walked 14 miles before stopping, and when we looked at it, the ankle was not only swelling but also was infused with purply-black discoloration. We put some arthritis rub on it, and I elevated it for a couple of hours.
Before we rested on the last leg, we were blessed to see a couple of friends. DJ and Mary Ann Eades had trekked over to White County in search of some strawberries. Mary Ann, bless her heart, had come up with a new sugar-free peanut butter cookie recipe and brought us some of the results. Those super, melt-in-your-mouth cookies were terrific, and several did not make the trip back to the house (they were eaten). It is always good to see and hear from home folks (not just because they have cookies!).
We made it through Beebe, and after resting, we came back and walked a little over two more miles across the construction area. As far as we know, that will be all the construction we will have to cope with.
Be sure to continue to keep us in your prayers. Reta is still dealing with a few blisters, and today she has a rash from walking through some grass. Also, remember the foot I was telling you about? I am resting tonight and have massaged the ankle and foot with the arthritis cream again. If these “opportunities” don’t mess us up, we hope to be in Morrilton by the end of the week. If they do slow us down, we will still praise the Lord, because that just means He has other plans for us.
Until tomorrow we are still walking 64 On Purpose.
64 On Purpose Daily Log 052005
Our baby turned another year older this morning, and she has reached the age that it is no longer important to share with the world how old she is. But, her daughter is going to be 7 Sunday…so…whatever…. I know and her mother knows, and that is enough for now. The strange thing is that as happy and excited as I was on that day, I do not remember it being this hot twenty-something years ago.
We made it across Searcy and are now headed toward Beebe. We have had a few folks tell us how hot it is today. We appreciate the calls and the concern. Fortunately, we had some cool breezes to keep us going and refresh our spirits. We expect to be through Beebe by Monday and to hit the construction area by very early Tuesday morning. The site is only a couple of miles long, but if we can get through the zone by late Monday after they quit working, or early Tuesday before they start, it will be better for all concerned.
Griping about the construction would be easy, but praising the Lord is better, for praise is a reminder that He is still working on me and within me. As we walk through Arkansas on this journey, we realize more and more how He has brought us from where we were to where we are today. The beauty of that realization is that He has not finished! If He had, we would not still be here. By the end of the day, with muscles twitching, blisters burning, and perspiration dripping, we realize, too, that growing older and changing is inevitable.
Be sure to give thanks to God daily for the great things He has done.
Until later, we are still walking on Highway 64 On Purpose.
64 On Purpose 051905
As the first leg of our journey started out this morning, we noticed how muggy and sticky the air was. In fact, I noticed something in the air that had been missing for the past week–a hazy blanket over Bald Knob. Reta and I had been thankful for the clean clear air, and even in a couple of cases, while we were walking and watching tractors working in fields, they moved on down the road before we got near them so we were not covered with dust. We have been blessed by good, cool weather and clear air. We have even commented that it was great not to be bothered by changes in the allergens in the air. When we started out this morning, though, the humidity was high and a haze hovered over the area. If it had been fog, I would not have worried, but this dusty haze bothered me.
The very next leg, we seemed to enter into a whole new area. The air was cooler, and we could breathe with less difficulty. God blessed us with fresh air as we needed it, and because of that, we were able to keep walking until after noon.
The highlight of the day was picking up one set of our grandchildren and letting them walk with us for a little while. We got a kick out of taking a couple of pictures of Vernon, Edith, Elizabeth, and Courtney as they walked with us. We were thrilled they wanted to “help us out.” We knew they weren’t skipping school just to skip along the highway.
We are close to the 100-mile mark (if we have not passed it!). That marker means we have completed about one third of the journey. The “good Samaritans” along the way continue to be the ones who stop to ask if we need help. We have yet to have one “religious” person stop to inquire as to our welfare. Ironically, the bikers, the “Bubbas,” and the “down-and-outers” have been those who have reached out to us.
God, help me to see my bother in need in a different light.
Still on Highway 64 on Purpose
64 On Purpose 051805 What’s Witt You Man?
While we were walking the other day, a man stopped and asked if we were broke down. I assured him we were okay and told him we were walking Highway 64 On Purpose, praying for our state, communities, and families throughout the area. When I gave him a copy of our brochure, he came back with, “What’s witt you, man?”
I told him he was in our prayers also. I was barely able to give him a handshake before he took off on his way again. I told Reta I might need to learn his language so that I could communicate with him. That reminded me that I have met very few people to whom I have witnessed who are different than I. In considering that thought, I became convicted that many folks are not like me, but thank you, Lord, for making yourself available to all seekers. My prayer is that I will be able to reach others for Christ by giving of myself as Christ has given of Himself for me.
We have made it to Bald Knob in White County. We have family in this county and have lived here before ourselves. I pray that our walk will be close to God so that even family and friends will see Jesus in me.
We are still walking on Hwy 64 On Purpose.
64 On Purpose Praise The Lord 051705
We definitely have been blessed. The weather the past two days has been great for a stroll through the state. Highway 64 looms large ahead of us, and for a change is snaking behind us. We have now walked across two counties, and should be into White county by dark. We have been blessed with cool weather, and also a nice breeze to keep us going. We are in an area that if it were not for the breeze, we would probably have some trouble with insects. Mrs. Anneliese Allen sent us on this adventure equipped with sunscreen that repels bugs, and keeps you from getting sunburned. The sun screen works too, because I was burned on the first day, and by using it I did not get any worse through the week. As cool as it was yesterday, both Reta and I left off the sunscreen, and you can tell it today. We have crossed Augusta, and hope to cross the White River tonight, and into White County.
There is much evidence everywhere in every county so far that the oppression of alcohol is taking its toll on residents all across our state. This to me is just more reason for us to intensify our prayers for revival in our land.
Keep us in your prayers as we enter counties that we are familiar with that we might not be blind to our own needs in our area. We are moving on at a decent clip. My prayer is that I learn daily what God wants me to learn and that I not get too busy trying to ‘git er done’ to see Him at work around me.
We are on the road again walking 64 On Purpose.
Strawberries and Cool Whip sound goodâ¦.
64 On Purpose What a Deal 051605
We got up around the crack of dawn to head back to the northeast part of the state. We picked up our other car and went back to where we left off on Friday. Thank God from whom all blessings flow.
We had recovered (spell check does not like recuperated) quite well from most of our afflictions from last week. The weather was nice and cool and we made good progress. We covered about 13 miles before it got hot enough to slow us down.
We spent the night with Mrs. Vernon Miller (Big Chuck’s Mom) of Tilton, just outside of Fair Oaks. I had promised her several times that we would come see her, and when we were planning this trip, she came to my mind as one of the opportunities I would take advantage of. Even though we were not much company, she was a terrific hostess. She lives in the country, and put on a country spread for supper. We had baked chicken breast smothered in mushroom gravy, corn on the cob, salad (with no onions), green beans, and homemade biscuits. We opted to save the dessert (fresh strawberries with Cool Whip) until after our afternoon session of walking. When we got back form walking another 4 miles, we were through Patterson, a small community just west of McCrory. When we returned to Mrs. Miller’s house, the strawberries came out in celebration. I had a small, normal-sized portion, but Reta really outdid herself. I thought we were going to have to go back to the berry patch and get some more. (She did not want to hurt Mrs. Miller’s feelings.) Seriously, Mrs. Miller did her best to keep us from wasting away. I even forced myself to carry a couple of those homemade biscuits with me on the journey for Tuesday, May 17.
We left Cross County, and are in Woodruff County. The scenery is not much different, and we are seeing some very large farming operations. It is easy to tell that much of the area consists of accumulations of many small family farms. We have seen several businesses and factories that are closed. That reminds us of the need to pray for people in our own state who have lost their jobs because of plant closings. When a plant–no matter how small–closes in one of these small towns, that closure has a tremendous effect on the communities’ economy.
While we feast on the riches of God’s provisions, many others are starving physically as well as spiritually. Our prayer is that we are able to continue our walk with Him and liberally share the living water and bread of life.
We are on the road again walking 64 On Purpose.
May 16, 2005
Brother Bill asked that I send out a short update on his progress today, as he is cyberly impaired (he doesn’t have access to the internet). Brother Bill and Reta traversed 17 miles today (a new one-day record for the 64 On Purpose ministry)! For those of you following their progress on a state map, this puts them just past McCrory, near the Patterson community. Their goal for tomorrow is to make it past Augusta. Brother Bill will submit an “official” update as soon as he gains internet access. Please continue to pray for their health and protection.
64 On Purpose Looking Back 051305
Friday the thirteenth–our lucky day, for with this day comes the end of our first week! We have walked a little over 50 miles. To walk that 50 miles, we have traveled over 450 miles. That distance included a much- needed trip back to the mountain. Once again, we’ve realized that if it were not for the valleys, we might forget the beauty of the mountain.
We walked, yea limped, about 14 miles today. The trek across Crowley’s Ridge on Thursday night took its toll and left rubs I call “pre-blisters” on my feet. We have found that after 2-3 miles, we start fading fast, and by the 4th mile, we actually do more damage than good as we limp along, dragging our feet. Live a little–learn a lot, huh?
We have been able to meet some great folks. Thought I’d let you know that Wynne, Arkansas, has a motto: ‘Wynne: City with a Smile.” We found that motto to be pretty much true, though I have for years wanted to change it to “Wynne: City with a Grin!” I just found out this week that the motto was coined in 1956 by the newsman at KWYN radio.
We thank you for your prayers, emails, phone calls…and we thank Doug for his trips by at just the right time. How does he do that? But, thank you, thank you, thank you, bro.
We will be on the road again early Monday walking 64 On Purpose.
64 On Purpose Off and Running (?) 051205
It was good to be able to take a break yesterday to let a few blisters and other rubs heal. We only walked just over 4 miles and the temperature was in the high 80’s so we knocked off early to head back to the mountain for mid-week services. It was great to see our folks and hear the words of encouragement.
Last night I got to talk a little more to the night manager of the motel. He is from another country and has some language barrier understanding the language of the Bible in English. I am going to contact an evangelist that conducts crusades in his country to see if I can get some literature that he might better understand. He is attending Wynne Baptist Church because his nephew plays ball on their team. Never underestimate the good and far reaching impact done through some of these fringe ministries.
Today we were able to get in some good walking. We met an interesting lady working at the Parkin State Park. She is one of the few that it clicked immediately when she saw ’64 On Purpose,’ on our card. She had read the book “40 Days of Purpose,” and you could see that there was a light that went on. We met another worker there yesterday that you could tell that she just didn’t get it. It was good to see someone that you could tell it made sense.
It was good to look up at the end of just over 7 miles as we had completed our second leg, and see my brother, Doug’s smiling face, and an ice chest with a selection of cool drinks, and a sombrero. He certainly was a welcome sight. We knew he might come through, but we had already decided that he might have not had time.
We took a break to change shoes and socks and got a chance to talk to the lady that was cleaning our room. She admitted she was not able to go to church at this time since she did not have a car. She said her brother in law was a preacher and her sister and he always asked her to come to their church. She said she told them if they would come get her she would, but that she did not have a way. It made us more aware that we need to be available to take away excuses.
The break let us complete another couple of miles before lunch meaning we were at Levesque and had covered around 10 miles this morning. By then our peanut butter sandwich we had for breakfast was about gone so we came into town for lunch and a break as the temperature had again reached the high 80’s.
The last ‘couple’ of miles (we thought) turned out to be about 41/2 soâ¦ we made 15 today! We are in the middle of Wynne and on schedule if we can hold out to make it close to Fair Oaks tomorrow. Keep us in your prayers as we finish the week.
A note from Reta: Just a quick hi to everyone. The Lord is good, He has provided a wonderfully cool room (Bill loves that) and a clean place to rest for the afternoon. After sharing with the sweet lady who was cleaning our room we were able to give her one of the Bibles we had packed along for the trip. Pray that God will continue to speak to her through His word and that lives will be changed because God’s word was shared. We are truly grateful for the miles we were able to walk this morning and look forward to walking a little more this evening. As the heat of the day subsides the fire in our hearts still burns. We are praying that as we talk to people here God will speak to our hearts as well.
64 On Purpose Going with God 051105
The day started with us trying to second outguess ourselves about whether to spend another night in Marion, or to pack up and see where we wound up tonight. As we left Marion, we were glad we had gone as far as we had on Monday. About half the route we had traveled yesterday was under construction. They were repairing potholes where we had walked the day before. I know I need to lose some weight, but this is ridiculous! I just hope we can stay ahead of them (or at least be gone before they figure out what is causing it).
The folks over here must not be praying hard enough for rain. It was dry and warm all day. Even with the downpours we had yesterday, a great need for rain still exists. This is one of the prayers we have for this portion of our state. And we are discovering an even greater need for the showers of blessing. We went through a small town named Crawfordsville, a town that has been bypassed by the highway, and it looks largely written off by everyone around. We did not see a grocery store or cafÃ©; the only thriving business we saw was a liquor store. Needless to say, this became a target for our prayers for the surrounding area. The only bright spot we saw in this little community was that, even though the only bank had closed, a church has been started. The church is called “Solid Rock Church of God.” Our prayer is that this church has and stands on a firmer foundation than the bank it replaced.
We were stopped by an Arkansas State Highway Police near the end of our first 4-mile walk. Yes, those of you who are in the know, know that the Highway Police are known as the Weight Watchers. Go figure, huh? We were within a quarter of a mile of our car and were walking in that direction when he stopped to ask if we needed any help. We were able to share our pamphlet with him and tell him what we were doing.
The sun came out and it was predicted to reach 90 degrees. We didn’t have a thermometer, but had anyone had asked us, we’d have told them that we figured it did. Many cars passed us and the occupants never once looked our way. The vehicles were filled with folks in suits, folks in t-shirts, folks in overalls, folks in shorts. About 2 o’clock, we saw a car pulled over on the side of the road ahead of us. The couple was shuffling things in and out of their trunk, and we were afraid they were having car trouble. We commented as we walked toward them that it looked as though we might get to help someone. About that time, they jumped into their car and started driving off, but instead of going down the road, they headed toward us! When they got to us, they stopped and asked if they could give us a ride. They said they saw us so stopped and took their groceries out of the back seat to make room for us. We thanked them for the offer, expressed our appreciation, and taking advantage of the moment, gave them a pamphlet, and told them what we were doing.
As we neared the city limits of Earle–where our car was parked–we were approached by a city policeman and another young man asking if we needed help. Just to know that someone cares lifted our spirits and helped get us through the next mile or so where our car was parked. It seemed that the temperature went higher and higher the more people there were who showed their concern.
We made it through Crittenden County and will start through Cross County tomorrow. We have a couple of health issues: 1) Reta has a toe blister from a new pair of shoes, and 2) We both have a little extra sun (mostly me.) But nothing will stop our walking on Highway 64 On Purpose.
A note from Reta:
Hey folks, just a short postscript from me! I love the walk, toe blister and all. The people who stop, the people who pass us by and wave or honk–I love it all. Mostly, I love the prayer time we share for the hearts and minds of those we talk to or see. It helps put a face to the prayers we lift before God. As we went through the communities, I felt my heart break. I know the struggle that some of these children may face because of the liquor in their homes. Not every home will have this struggle, but far more will than some may think. It was truly a blessing to pray for everyone we talked to. Knowing that every soul counts makes me want to press on, praying that God’s hand will bring us those who need prayers lifted in their behalf. Like most places, the harvest is plentiful. Thank you all for the prayers we feel being lifted for us as we walk along Highway 64 On Purpose.
Love you all, Reta
May 10, 2005 – 10:36PM
I just talked to Brother Bill on the phone. He does not have Internet access this evening and asked that I update those concerned with their progress.
They ended the day leaving Crittenden County and entering Cross County, about two miles short of Parkin. They were blessed by visits from two policemen, and were offered a ride by some more folks.
Their plans tomorrow are to resume their journey at 7AM and try to make it to the edge of Crowley’s Ridge at Wynne. If they make that ten-mile leg in an expeditious fashion (before 10 AM), they may possibly attempt to make it about halfway through Wynne before winding up their day.
Please continue to pray for Brother Bill and Reta on their journey. The hike up Crowley’s ridge will be one of their toughest physical challenges to this point. He hopes to be able to update the website tomorrow with further details.
Doug “Other Brother” Scroggs
Sunday night we closed the service in our church with a powerful time of prayer. Reta and I answered questions concerning our 64 On Purpose trip, and it was time to “hit the road.” In spite of the eagerness to get on the road, we found the goodbyes were hard to say, especially to my brother Doug and his family, Jeanie, Derek and Kayla.
As we drove down the mountain and headed east, naturally we still had last minute things to pick up in Conway and at Wal-Mart (we visited two on the way east). We could not pass up the bargain gas at Conway ($1.87). It is terrible to grow used to thinking that was a bargain. But it would look good today as the cheapest we have seen is $1.94.
The hours grew late and the excitement began to subside as we continued past Searcy, Bald Knob, Augusta and Fair Oaks. We stopped about 12:45 a.m. at Wynne. The night clerk commented on my “Arkansas” map shirt with the red heart on top of Petit Jean, and I was able to share a little about our journey. Hopefully, I will get another chance to go into more detail with him.
We watched the weather channel a few minutes to confirm the news Reta had heard on the way over. The weather man was predicting 60%-80% chance of showers and thundershowers for Monday, May 9, in the Memphis area. The last forecast I had heard was for 20%, and that is usually a given that you will have clear skies.
Sleep came fast, if you can call it fast at 1:00-1:30 a.m., and when my alarm went off at 6:00 a.m., I was glad to hear it raining. We need that rain badly, and I figured it would be all gone by 8:00 our scheduled starting time.
We stopped at a local church just outside Marion and asked the pastor about leaving our car there for a while and shared about our journey with him. He was excited because he and his church have used much of Rick Warren’s (Purpose Driven Life author) material. We had prayer and continued our journey knowing the car would not be towed off before we could get back.
As we drove across the bridge into Tennessee, it seemed that the rain was going to let up. In fact, we were able to take a couple of pictures of the Pyramid without getting wet. We crossed back into Arkansas, but by the rain caught up with us, so we drove through some neighborhoods on the way to the Wal-Mart. A friend had shared in the past week or so about some concerns he had for the city. He has led groups of youth on mission projects into West Memphis for the past 8-10 years, and he said in the past year or so the city has been more unsafe than any of the other 6-8 sites he goes to each year, and that includes Chicago, East St. Louis, and Pine Bluff. We were led to pray for the projects that the youth will be doing, to pray for their safety, as well as to pray for the spiritual condition of the residents.
While we were in Wal-Mart, a major thunderstorm came through. We had left one of our umbrellas on the mountain, and would you believe it–we couldn’t find our ponchos. We grabbed a lunch of champions (chicken nuggets and a diet Coke Cola) and made our way back to Marion, fighting off the urge to stop for lunch at the world famous Pancho’s restaurant.
By 1:00 p.m., equipped with umbrellas and ponchos (not to be confused with the restaurant), we decided it had slacked up enough at least to give it a try. Between 1:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m., we walked almost 9 miles in two stretches. We thought about going for another 3-5 miles, but decided against it as clouds were accumulating in front of us again.
By taking advantage of this walk, I have an opportunity that I have not had in over 30 years when I was in the US Army and had completed 20-mile road marches; otherwise, we are doing okay. We’ve had at least two verifiable miracles so far: 1) Reta has not killed me, and 2) I did not have to carry her piggy-back for 3 miles after we came across a snake or two. To God be the glory, great thing He has done.
Until next time…. We are headed West on Highway 64 On Purpose
–Bro. Bill & Reta
Bro. Bill with one set of his grandkids
Reta Scroggs with one set of her grandkids
The Morrilton Walking Gang
Friends, family, and members of Petit Jean First Baptist Church join Bro. Bill and Reta in their walk across 64 on Purpose as they walk through Morrillton
Br. Bill and Reta leaving Petit Jean to begin their journey on hwy 64 on Purpose