Monday, December 03, 2018

Every Day Like Today

Christmas Season 2018 is in full swing. Christmas decorations and music began on Thanksgiving Day, however.

I'm already tired of hearing Blue Christmas, but I could still stand to hear Why Can't Every Day Be Like Christmas from the Elvis Christmas Album a few more times. I probably will.

If every day could be just like Christmas, what a wonderful world this would be.

I truly believe that this is the ultimate goal. When I was a little boy the season of Christmas did not really get under way until about two weeks before December 25. With Christmas decorations and Christmas themes coming out at Halloween these days, in ten or twenty years every day will be just like Christmas.

I'm not absolutely sure that the world will automatically become wonderful when that happens. We'll have to wait and see.


Today is Monday, December 3, 2018.

My Dad, John W. Bain, would be 85 years old today if he were still on this side of glory. Me and my wife, our two kids, my Son-in-Law, our two Granddaughters, my brother and his wife would take him out to eat and celebrate tonight if he were here.

We'd probably go to Red Lobster. It was one of his favorite places.

On his 74th Birthday in 2006, before he passed in April of 2007, we all went to Red Lobster. I will never forget it.

He had felt good all day. That was rare. His life had become a string of good days and bad days, and the bad days seemed to be catching up with him. We had no idea.

Friends and family had come to visit him or called him on the phone wishing him a happy day and he had looked forward to going out on the town with his family. I can still see us all there that night at the restaurant.

The waiters seated us all at a string of tables drawn together for our group. We ordered our drinks, began sipping and eating cheese rolls, and then we ordered our food.

As soon as we sent your orders to the kitchen, Daddy raised his tea glass and said, "I wish that every day could be like today!"

We all smiled, our eyes teared, and we raised our glasses in agreement.

We haven't had the opportunity on each of his birthdays since then to gather in his memory -- we won't be able to this year.

But often, when we do get a chance to all be together, for any occasion, I will lead us to toast Daddy.

I do wish that every day could be just like that day.

What a wonderful world this would be.

Happy Birthday, Daddy.

Friday, November 23, 2018

If you are related to the Bains

I have worked through some old photos and records this Thanksgiving week.

If you are related to me and the Bain family in some way -- here are a few snaps that I made back in 1984 while in the Memphis Public Library Archives. The 1880 National Census for the State of Tennessee, DeKalb County.

This is Archabald Bain - my Great GrandFather and Cornelius  (Neely) Bain my GrandFather.

Arch was 25 years older than his wife Rachel.

My GrandFather was 12.

Aunt Mary, Uncle Si, and Uncle George all eventually moved to Alabama and were known by my Dad, John Walton Bain, in Limestone County.

 These two entries beside Arch list states of origin and last residence as Virginia and North Carolina.


Friday, October 19, 2018

Five in a Photo

John Dennis and Terri Bain    Elizabeth and Danny Bain
Taken in the Spring of 1984
Preaching a Revival at the Church where Danny and Liz served while
they lived in Louisiana
Terri was carrying Charise at the time of this Photo

To me, it is not just a cliche to say that pregnant women glow.

I believe that they are the most amazing and beautiful things in the world.

I know that when Terri was carrying our babies she was the most beautiful creature in MY world. 

Inside their Mother is the most beautiful place for a baby to be.

It also should be the safest place for a baby to be.

Three in a Photo

Terri and Dennis Bain Photo
February 13, 1984
6 weeks into Pregnancy

As soon as Terri and I found out that she was going to have a baby -- we already HAD a baby!

When I learned on January 13, 1984 that I was going to be a FATHER -- I WAS A FATHER.

If anyone had asked me how many people were in my immediate family, I would have proudly declared THREE.

We would not know if it was a boy or a girl until August 17, 1984, but we knew that if he was a boy his name had always been Jonathan -- if she was a girl her name had always been Charise.

Jonathan Evan Bain and Terra Charise Bain.

We had a baby.

Now the long wait to hold him/her in my arms.

We already had a family.

We already had a photo:

Terri's abdomen became the center of our whole world.

She soon had to change her wardrobe to accommodate our new addition.

All of conversations, with everybody, were (annoyingly, I'm sure) punctuated with the words "The Baby . . ."

But we not only talked about "The Baby . . . " -- we talked TO the baby.

I talked to her, sang to her, and read to her.

As the baby grew and became active, we would lie in bed and watch her movements.

I had the pleasure (most men do not) of going personally with Terri for every one of her prenatal doctor visits. Every time I went we got to hear the baby's heartbeat. What a thrill.

We worked every spare moment on preparing the nursery for her arrival. She had a bed (crib), a bassinet, and a bathinet, and a changing table, and toys and clothes.

We NEVER had a viable tissue mass, or an embryo, or a fetus.

From the moment that she was conceived from our love -- she was a baby.

Our baby.

Terri became very sick, weak and dehydrated only five or six weeks into the pregnancy. But she did everything humanly possible to protect our baby. Her greatest concern with the life and health of our child. She was hospitalized for a brief time -- but her sacrificial care and Motherly Instinct transferred to the strength and growth of our bundle. That is what Mothers do.

Terri was a Mother, and I was a Father, long before Charise came out from hiding.

We had always loved children. Charise taught us to love the unborn.

And we do.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Three in a Photo, Too

The hand-notation on the back of the above photo records that it was taken on February 13, 1984.

Only one month earlier (January 13), on my 28th Birthday, Terri had joyfully given me one of the best birthday presents that I have ever received. She announced that she was expecting a baby. WE were expecting a baby!

We had been married since 1976, and for the first few years together we knew that we needed some time to grow up and settle down before we started having children. We took measures with the help and advice of Terri's OBGYN to prevent an unplanned pregnancy. Looking back on that time I remember always being a little anxious that whatever steps of protection that we took, we still might unintentionally become parents.

But we knew also that if that happened we would still be happy and would make the changes in our life together to happily include the addition. We had always loved children, we would one day have children, and we were never afraid of children OR of God's Will for us.

We didn't consult a chapter of Planned Parenthood or read any of the organization's literature as we thought about the future of our family. We had learned very easily that Planned Parenthood had never had anything at all to do with planning, or parenthood. It was all about providing services for people who were facing consequences from bad choices for which they had not planned, and offering bad choices to help avoid the responsibilities of parenthood.

We did not know at the beginning, however, that when we felt that we were ready to initiate our careful plan -- we would face a problem for which we were not prepared. 


We were not able to conceive.

Most human beings around the world are very fertile. Men and women couple, and nine months later a baby (or two, or three) arrives. As my Dad said to me on several occasions, "I don't know what the problem could be, Son. I never had any trouble."

In other words, it wasn't HIS fault! Ha!

But, that is what you begin to do when facing infertility. "Is it HER fault?" "Is it HIS fault?"

There is, without question, a problem. But that does not mean that someone is at fault. It does not mean that someone is to blame, or IS the PROBLEM. That kind of thinking is hard to avoid, and it is never helpful or productive.

And this is never a private problem.

Soon, all of our family members and friends knew that we were "trying to get pregnant" but were being unsuccessful.

As a matter of fact, since we are Christians, when we launched our plan to begin our family, we delicately told others that we had begun praying for a child.

When it appeared to us (and everyone else), that we were not being successful, one of my close seminary friends asked me discreetly (and seriously), "You're doing more than praying, aren't you?"

What is unsuccessful?

Six to twelve months of normal sexual activity after having abandoned any kind of birth control methods should produce a positive pregnancy result. If it has been longer than that, you might need to see a doctor. Your family doctor is a good place to begin. Your wife's Gynecologist will also be knowledgeable about your problem and how it can be addressed. If your regular physicians cannot help you they will know of specialists who can take you to another level.

In the 1970's and early 1980's nearly 10% of couples in the United States faced the inability to get pregnant.

But in recent years the Center for Disease Control has announced that the rates of infertility are declining (

That is good news, because believe me, wanting to have children and not being able is very stressful. Some marriages suffer divorce over the issue. Many tears are shed because of the plight.

Women often carry more of the stress or blame. In the Bible, a woman who cannot bear children is described as barren. You know, like a desert or Mother Hubbard's Cupboard.

In defense of the Bible (and we found encouragement there), a number of very special women of faith in the scriptures were at first described as being barren. God blessed particular infertile women with the grace of giving birth to children who played very important roles in His plan.