He changes not

Brenda Cannon HenleyBy Brenda Cannon Henley
“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of light, with whom there is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” (James 1:17)

“Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, and today, and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8)

That word, “variableness” in the first chapter of the Book of James could be interchanged with the word “changeableness” and we Texans might understand it a bit better. Change in one form or another has affected us all if we have lived very long. We see changes in our own images when we honestly look into the mirror each morning getting ready for work, school, or our day’s activities. We for sure see changes in others, which brings me to a funny illustration.

Steven, my oldest grandson was about nine years ago and I had just returned home from a class reunion that I planned and conducted every two or three years for my high school group back home in Georgia. In those days, I was fortunate to be able to rent the entire lodge of one of Georgia’s best state parks, usually on the shores of a beautiful lake. My dear friends of a lifetime would come from many states and travel long distances, so we had increased our reunion from one big night to entire weekends and some stayed before and after. They are great fun and we love getting together, dancing the night away to a good band, telling tales of vim, vigor, valor and victories won. Good food was high on the agenda and we ate well. I noticed when we gathered that year that some were not doing a well as they were two years before. One or two had walkers or canes, and one dear lady was in a wheelchair suffering the damning effects of a fairly serious stroke.

Clarkston High School Class of 1960 class officers

To me, my friends looked much as they had in our youth and I was thrilled to see them (and the photographs of their grandchildren). A dear friend in my class was married to a man who owned a film studio and he graciously assumed the job of taping each of the main portions of our reunion and providing a CD for each of us to take home to see over and over. When I arrived back at the beach, I gathered all of my children and grandchildren around the big TV and we sat down to watch MaMa’s reunion. Different ones commented and some recognized close friends of mine. When the video ended, Steven, who has always been very intelligent, quietly eased up to my side and said, “But MaMa, why were you up there with all of those old people? Are they your friends?”

Clarkston High School Class of 1960 FHA – Future Homemakers of America

We all laughed and laughed and, of course, I checked the will to make sure his name was at the top. I looked at the video again and noticed some white hair, slower moving steps, the walkers and chair against the side of the wall, and changes to some of the faces I loved so much. Their sweet spirits and smiles were still there, but it took a bit longer for us to remember our stories. In fact, we laughed that it now takes three or four of us to tell the same timeworn antic. One remembers one part, another, and so on.

Clarkston High School Class of 1960 Annual and Newspaper Staff, DeKalb County, Clarkston, GA

One man from Philadelphia, who married one of my very best friends, loved our reunions as much as we did after many years of attending. He became a regular with us and we did not think of him as a “spouse,” but as a classmate. Joe came up to me as we were wrapping up one fun filled weekend at Lake Lanier, and said very seriously to me, “Do you know what true spousal abuse is, Brenda?” I listened carefully because Joe had given me some very good ideas for in depth articles in the past. I said, “Well, I have written about it and interviewed dozens of folks, but I would be interested in hearing what you have learned.” He put his Yankee arm around me and looked right into my eyes, (yep, both of them since he knew about my wandering eye), and said, “It is coming to these reunions over and over and having to hear those same stories every year.” The entire hallway erupted into belly laughs.

Folks, time changes us, and those we love, and there is nothing we can do about it except live each day and enjoy whatever it brings to the fullest. I read a quote the other day that said, “No more expensive anti-aging creams for me or makeup I seldom use. I’ve earned every single one of these wrinkles and scars and I am proud of them.” Another funny one said, “I’ve traveled many roads in my lifetime, and most of them were not paved.”

The verse in Hebrews that I have chosen to include is one of the most special verses in Scripture to me. While everything we know and love changes, including us, Jesus does not. Hebrews 13:8 assures us that He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. You can bet your best Texas boots on that.

Brenda Cannon Henley can be reached at (409) 781-8788, or


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3 Responses to “He changes not”

  1. Ginger Bragg Doster says:

    My special forever friend:
    This article brought back such memories of our classmates who have been our friends. Have cherished all the good times as well as the bad times. We hung together to enjoy each other and suffer through the bad times.

    These will remain throughout my life. Would not trade them for the world!

    Love Ginger Bragg Doster

  2. Rhonda Tanner says:

    I absolutely love your articles in this crystal beach news! Look forward every week to seeing them. Really enjoyed today’s . Do you do others in another place? Let me know so I can follow. Thanks a big fan , Rhonda Tanner

    • Brenda Cannon Henley says:

      Hello Rhonda – Yes, I also do a weekly column in The Examiner, published in Beaumont, and other work for them, 13 magazines, Cottage by the Sea site, and right now, there are two books on Amazon.com. They are Winds over Bolivar and Morning Glories.

      I appreciate your kindness in writing.


      Join the Cottage by the Sea site – Brand new.

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