Friday, December 31, 2010

THIS LAST DAY OF 2010….


Can you believe it! We are on the last day of 2010. Seems like just yesterday I feared Y2K, “the change over from 1999 to 2000.” Funny, I was wondering what would happen at the mid-night stoke, to my “precious computer” that thing that can become my “drug of choice”. Wait a minute, I am telling you too much, just kidding! Hope you don’t mind listening to me and my honesty you will get to see inside of me but I suspect you are identifying with me or you wouldn’t come back….

So let’s talk about this year. What did you do that made a difference? Making a difference in something outside of you that helps another. I like to think it is leaving your footprint behind when you have left this earth. You may never know that one thing you have done that helped another or you may get to know. When it is not about you, you want care to know, you just move on to the next thing of “giving out”.

What did you do for self-improvement this year? I don’t mind telling this one thing about me that makes me feel I accomplished something. I lost 12 pounds! YAY! It was not so hard I practiced putting food in the right perspective. I ate when I was hungry and stopped when I was full. I found out that “diet thinking” makes me get into what we call the “Law of Probation”. You say what is that? Glad you ask, it is when you put a restraint or restriction on something and it will turn around and make you want it. Example, what do you do when you see a “Wet Paint” sign? I know, you just have to touch it. Well this is the way it works in the world of food consumption, you discover what foods good for you, eat them in moderation and you will become the weight for your unique frame. Yes you can even have cake or your favorite Latte but not all the time go for more veggies and fruit, that’s where I got in trouble over the years. So much for that……

This year I enjoyed reading through the One Year Bible again for the third year! It just does something for me, reminding me the world is not going to fall apart that God is the creator and He will hold me in His hand, that He knows what is going on and is not asleep. I see how big He is and as I go through my day I want to help others to know these things. Just yesterday, I was able to help someone who is hurting to know He was caring for them as I shared. I heard Him say in my spirit tell her I love her and give her 20 dollars. As I walked away I saw tears as she said a big Thank You!

So yeah, like yours my year has had some pain, rainy days even real Black Days! I felt like I would not make it sometimes, but I am here to tell you, I did. One thing I have discovered was, it was those days that have the strong potential to build character. Its like when you work out with weights you build muscles. Those heavy things will build the strength to face life’s most difficult challenges as you walk the path of life. One thing for sure we are not alone, our Heavenly Father is with us all the way! I love my life verse He gave me several years ago, it is Psalms 16:11 “You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” Hope you can look back over your year and see accomplishments and maybe look at those defeats with different eyes, don’t let them take you down, let them take you up…..

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

WORD AROUND HERE IS…..SNOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


(This picture will have a special meaning for some of you that have passed through Safe Place House, wanted you to see what a beautiful sight it is right now. Its standing proud of its beauty with the snow all around.)


Sorry I haven’t been here lately. It’s not because I haven’t wanted to. Our trip was great we returned to a few days of regrouping and setting up for a gigantic Christmas with the kids and what do you know? Last Thursday night I started feeling funny and an hour later I was “bonding” with our sofa that became a part of me for the next four days. The next morning Phil began feeling funny and he became as ill as I was with the same stomach bug that we named the “Belly Demon”. So for 4 days we didn’t know if we would live, then we began to think we would and it got worst. Thank goodness for good neighbors that honored our request of Ginger Ale and Soda Crackers. Funny now, you should have seen him place the bags on our porch and running away. After a 6 lb lost for the each of us, we had to think of patching ourselves together and having Christmas, deleting my baking trends for the year! Well we survived that experience as you can see we got up and brushed it off and got on our way operating on half cylinders then back to full throttle as we do!

Then there was the White Christmas of 2010 as it was named around here in these mountains. It started in the afternoon my neighbor said and didn’t quit. Some folk on the highest ridges got 12 inches. We got 5 to 8 in our area total on the ground. We missed the snowball fights and sledding. The tracks and carefully built snowmen showed us, the fun they had while we were gone, when we returned,.

Wonder what is so exciting about a good snowfall? In our areas, the South, it is rare and makes you go rather crazy. We have to go to the store and get milk and bread. The shelves are empty before long. When you walk out of the store usually you can see the TV truck setting up for interviews of what we are buying in case we get stuck in our houses during the “frightful” storm. One year back in 1993 it was truly a bad one, I think they said as much as three feet fell and it was days until people were able to move so I think memories motivate shoppers to store up for the “next” one. Question? Why are bread and milk so important? That makes me wonder. I go for the bag of Snickers and Oreos and HAVE to HAVE Chip and dip. The makings for Chili are a must! You just have to buy that for a “snow in”…..of course!!!

We made it home safely and took lots of pictures. The temps are rising now and melting is on it’s way until another time. Looking out at God’s beauty it hard to believe people don’t know Him and acknowledge Him as our Creator. Now tell me!!! Who could have made these mountains and the beauty of show flakes, making each one unique in it’s own? Sorry folks out there that thing this all happened one day hate to interrupt your party but IT'S HIM! He one day spoke and was created and thank goodness He holds it all together…..

Psalms 8:1 “O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens.”

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

WELL WE’RE HOME…


What a great trip we had seeing our wonderful country along the way. Traveling by car you can stop when you want and see things, meeting people in the area. We left Nov. 29th early with our car packed so tight we hardly had room for ourselves. Our Durango did a good job on a long trip like this one. We put 3000+ miles on the ‘ole sista” this time. It was our house the whole way during the day and by night sat waiting for our return to take us where we needed to go.

We finally arrived at Word of Life, Schroon Lake, NY three days after we left the barn. This trip was a real test to see how well Phil would do after the discovery last year of the WG, as we call it. The old stuff lurks around but can’t bring us down. Phil did great the whole way we didn’t see any signs of the disease and haven’t since we have returned home. It was a test to see how well he is doing, because he certainly pushed it hard driving the whole trip, even though I offered to share it. And then being with 52 Missionary couples at their Staff Conference at WOL, which was awesome!!!

We met so many new friends and saw so many sights. For years we made the same trip up and back but something was different this time. You know when life becomes “fragile” and you think you want be able to make it, then your life is renewed and you do it takes on new meaning. The air you breathe takes on a new value, your eyes seems to see clearer, the sense of smell of fresh air is crisp and your feelings become much more positive not allowing negativity to take up any space of what had been so sanitized! No more will I give in to those things that have the tendency to be “anti” to what I believe and have learned the hard way. Life is so unique and who are we to abuse it after our Creator made the choice to place us here on this earth to have LIFE!

So back to the thought, “this earth” One place I just love is my favorite Lighthouse. While traveling in Maine, you can follow Route 9, as it hugs the Coast, all the way down from Portland to Kittery. At one point driving through this “absolutely gorgeous” area, you can see the beautiful Mansions owned by the wealthiest. Then you come upon the famous Nubble Light House. I remember the first time I saw it, I had only seen it on my checks in my checkbook of a selection of famous places in the USA. I was thrilled to stand in front of it and have my picture made. Felt and looked like a “country bumpkin”, I just know it!

I feel like as a gift from my Heavenly Father He takes me back often cause He knows I like it. I can’t count the times we have returned to that spot. I have pictures of it in the snow, decorated for Christmas and even one time we happened up on an Irish Wedding taking place right in front of it’s beauty so we got right in the wedding party as though we knew the people because we all liked this same place and felt a part of the family.

The picture here was taken Dec. 11, 2010. It was our 49th Wedding Anniversary and was my wish to return there. It was so cold, but we got out of our car and as always looked for someone to take our picture. This time it was a young couple that lived near by. I wanted to ask if they lived on one those big houses on the coast but I didn’t. The kind man took our picture as his wife told us how he likes to drive over each day to check on it. Oh! How nice it would be to just get in the car and drive over, hope they don’t take their life for “granite” like we tend to do. That’s the same thing I was taking about earlier, think about it!.....

Saturday, December 11, 2010

THE MARRIAGE THAT WOULDN’T QUIT….


On this day December 11, 1961 at about 8:15 pm 49 years ago, Phil and Mary eloped to Conyers, GA. The exciting journey began! It has been an adventure we had no idea would turn out so awesome! Little did we know we would have this life, it just shows how God can take something so messed up and make something beautiful.

We are celebrating today in Maine all day, it will begin in Portland and all the way down to Kittery. We want to visit and sit on a bench we have claimed at Wells Beach looking out over the rocky coast, I will have a Lobster somewhere for lunch (Phil doesn’t care for them) we will drive through the neat little villages, and end with shopping at Kittery Outlet Mall. This area is our favorite place in this wonderful country. I think the Lord knows that and He has made it possible. I feel him smiling down on us and rather pleased I can say!

I have no idea what will be waiting for our 50th year. This one has been a miracle year so how can it be topped? You might want to hang around and watch with us. It will be interesting to see. We are so in love, each day builds on the one to follow. Now believe me, it hasn’t always been that way. One day, we decided to find out how to have a Biblical marriage and put it into action. It certainly has been a marriage that should not have worked, but with God all things are possible. Funny... now we are helping others do the same.

We have no pictures of a wedding. Some of you might know our story, Phil was only 16 when we got married and I was 18, he was still in High School. We attended his High School Jr Sr Dance at the Biltmore Hotel in Atlanta, GA five months after our marriage. So we do have one picture! What a night, we were all decked out, even borrowed our brother in law’s new Corvette…WOW! I wonder if Emmett really realized Phil was just 16 and did he even have a driver’s license yet? That’s scary!!!! So, this is the picture we have claimed for our official wedding picture. You can see how young and innocent we were. It was the beginning of a journey that is still evolving. I know one thing!!! I’m a happy wife, married to a wonderful man!!!

Got to go we have lots to do this day wish you were with us but maybe you will hear about it later…….

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

WHAT A GREAT TIME…

We are in our 9th day here at Schroon Lake, New York with Word of Life Ministries Staff Conference. Spending time with 52 couples who have committed their lives to going out into churches offering a Club Program to help build the lives of young people and WOW…. can our world use it!!!

Been enjoying their meetings and getting to know each couple and becoming familiar with the region they serve. How impressed we are to see their passion and determination giving to this cause.

As I walk around the premises here it is lovely we are staying in what is called The Inn with an indoor swimming pool the size of a lake. You can’t help but feel Jack Wyrtzen throughout this whole location. What a dream come true, years ago he came in this town and built a place to capture the hearts and lives of young people. He is in Heaven now but I some how feel he is well aware of what is going on. Hard to believe just one man’s vision could evolve into such a dynamic worldwide accomplishment.

The guys and gals serve all year out on the field once a year they all stop and gather, like coming home and have their meetings and loads of fun. Each day you never know what they are going to do in a game or skit. Yesterday I made a video of what took place. They used large pipes for each side to be pulled out into the audience and then threw balls into the crowd that were picked up and put into the pipes to see who could win by getting the most down that homemade shoot. It was wild and I never found out who won but I know it was lots of fun and laughter.

Never put a video here and this is the first so hope it opens for ya!… Here goes!!!
video video

Thursday, December 2, 2010

THE PHONE CALL I NEEDED THAT DAY……


Been reading the One Year Bible again this year. Every time I get to this place of reading, I am reminded of the day the phone rang and on the other end was my very good friend, Ann Pyle. Ann went home to Heaven much too early I thought, but Father had His plan and not mine for her. You see, this beautiful lady was very special to all; she was a natural encourager so we enjoyed her presence as she walked out her life here on this earth. Ann was a Pastor’s wife who would tell you like it is, you never had to guess what she was thinking she would just tell you and most of the time she would be right on with what was going on in your life.

The day I got the call was a day I was at my lowest. My husband, Phil had resigned as Pastor of a church that I loved very much. We had spent 8 years building it and developing friendships but he was just totally “burned out” and could not go another day. Little did I know, “it” had become “my life”. It had become my Identity, where I got all my needs met, you could say. Looking back it had become “my god”. God could have become jealous of that, because He wanted to meet all my needs and I was living as if He wasn’t enough. That place made me feel good about myself, they loved me and the more I did for them the more they loved me. The day after Phil resigned I felt like my life support system had been unplugged and I had no direction for “MY LIFE”, and honestly I didn’t. At the time, it was devastating, but now 24 years later it was the best thing that could have happened to get my attention, developing the plan for my future. Certainly one of those Rom 8:28 kinds of things!

Back to the divine phone call, sitting there that day in a deep state of depression, it was truly a God Thing! Ann said, “I don’t want you to say anything, just listen Father wants this Word in you.” I did listen and until this day it is there and I can not tell you how many times I have called someone and said the same thing then reading this Scripture, doing just what Ann was moved to do for me that day.

In fact, I feel Ann would want us to be reminded of this awesome promise here today. To sooth our hearts, to come into a state of rest, trusting Him for whatever is in our path ……

Hush! Don’t say anything just listen, imagine with me hearing Ann’s voice reading……

Psalm 121

1 I look up to the mountains—
does my help come from there?
2 My help comes from the Lord,
who made heaven and earth!

3 He will not let you stumble;
the one who watches over you will not slumber.
4 Indeed, he who watches over Israel
never slumbers or sleeps.

5 The Lord himself watches over you!
The Lord stands beside you as your protective shade.
6 The sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon at night.

7 The Lord keeps you from all harm
and watches over your life.
8 The Lord keeps watch over you as you come and go,
both now and forever.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

I REMEMBER THE DAY WHEN IT WAS TIME…


We planned all week to go Friday. The kids could hardly wait for the end of the school week. It was finally here we picked the boys up and headed to McDonald’s on Stewart Avenue, it was the first one of its kind in Atlanta, that’s hard to believe. It was cold outside which made it even better. Sitting at a table, we watched for Dad to come back with the tray full of the famous hamburgers and fries, hot from the grill. We filled our bellies but still had room for a hot apple pie and then we were off….

As we arrived at our destination, you could see lights surrounding the lot. They sure helped to see as we walked around searching for the perfect one. The smell was all around us as we walked up one aisle and down another. We each would see one and say “this is the one” with a holler back so we all could hear. This was the big night to select the Christmas tree for the year!

I can smell the pine aroma as the trees stood tall after being freshly cut. You could almost hear them saying, “pick me”, “pick me”, but we had our eye on just one. Then we all agreed on the one that was the right one. It stood about 6 or 7 feet tall and as we worked the price out with the man who owned them all, it wasn’t long till we had it ready to transport to our home. The chill of the night made us look forward to the hot cocoa waiting for us at home, how we looked forward to the project we had ahead.

Getting all the boxes down we packed neatly last year, we began our assigned task singing along with the Christmas music, playing in the background. How fun it was building memories for the future! The strings of lights were a tackle as we all strung them just right, arranging from the inside out. Then it was time; we counted one, two, three… dah, dah!!! But it was now time to put on all the ornaments, the boys were patience, as I would bring out each one telling them where it came from or who gave it to us. My favorite was the one I protected each year, I had gotten it as a child, it hung on many a tree. We filled the tree full of beauties of all creations, some from far away travels. Finally it was time to place the Angel on top to find her place. As we stood back gazing at our finished work, we had a warm feeling, as we looked forward to the days ahead. It was beautiful as it lit up the room it was now time to bring in another Christmas to enjoy.

One last box was sitting over to the side as we started to clean up. In it was the best thing of all. It was the manger scene that had been pass down through the family. Assembling it we had a sense of worship, thinking about what this time of year was really about. Placing the porcelain figurines carefully under the tree, we talked about what it must have been like the night in the stable when Jesus came into the world. How did Mary and Joseph feel realizing this Baby was the Living God that had come to this earth to save mankind? We stood back looking again at our creation and this time there was nothing missing for the manger scene had made it perfect, bringing to our attention the Real Reason for the Season!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

STAY ENCOURAGED….


I know that there will be days you think, “Oh Yeah?” I’ll be honest with you I have those. When I read about what we have in Christ, if we are believers, that’s the way we can live. He died for all our days to be successful. I have the benefit of being a Counselor/Life Coach observing people who are living in every type of situation you can think of. I listen and sit there thinking, how in the world are you making it through this to get to our office? Yet I know in my heart you can in Him!

Looking back on my history as a Christian and before the day, I have seen some hard times. I know of days if I described them to you here on this page it would scare you. I remember a day I sat in the darkness of my closet saying, “Lord I am not going back out there and I am quitting on this life thing”. He was so patient with me as He had to hear His child spout out such things in deep-seated anger and…some of them were to and about Him. Well you guessed it, I did come out and I did make it and He still loves me!

All around people are saying the same thing I did. They are facing challenges that seem like mountains they just don’t have the energy to climb. They don’t have to do it alone, there is a friend that sticks closer than a brother, and His name is Jesus. He was there all the time in my life. Just in the last few years, I have gotten to really know Him and it seems to have come after I had that talk with Him clearing the air between us.

Phil is keeping a verse before us in our Life Group, it is Matthew 11: 28-30 "Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.". He says PaPa is keeping it before him in his life challenges. I love it when the teacher I sit under is teaching from what they are experiencing, we get the overflow of what’s going on in their life lessons. As a learner, the things I receive seem to have longer “shelf life” for me to use in my life, somewhat “richer” when taught what’s tried and proven.

So to end this today…. you see you can STAY ENCOURAGED AND HAVE HOPE with whatever you are facing! We are not out here living this life all alone. We have victory over every situation that is coming our way, or has just left us! Like the children of Israel were told by God, “before the water will part you have to put your foot in the water” It’s all about Faith taking that first step….

Let’s go out this week and try this, wish I could hear all about the stories you could tell I just know there will be many good ones! My prayer is that you will experience LIFE TO THE FULLEST!!!!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

HOME JUST AROUND THE BEND


I love our town of Blairsville! When we go out of town and come back, I get so excited, especially when I see the peeks appear as we top a hill or go around the bend as in this scene. The day I took this picture it was a clear fall evening. It was about 6:00 PM as we were coming in from Atlanta, with our goods we had gathered. The weather was a cool November chill. The mountains looked like they had been washed as they made such a pure definition of each mountain. And look closely; you can see Brasstown Tower standing tall on one of those mountains, like it’s waving us in. Everybody has seen it, as they round the corner it means we’re almost home!

Speaking of home, everyone likes a place to call home. It’s where you can come in throw off your coat, kick off your shoes and relax from the sometime wariness of the fast pace world outside. Our home is a safe place. We can trust each other as we share our deepest thoughts and dreams. The meals are shared to our unique liking. Everything in the house is open for each to share. And in the cabinet, we can keep our special cup or plate right in its place, for each time we reach to use it.

The morning is so nice and cozy in our house. On those cold mornings the one whose up first will turn the heater up, to start the day with the warmth of the fire. The coffee aroma fills the house as it begins to perk. On special mornings, maybe a Saturday when things run slower, you can smell the sausage or bacon cooking. Its getting ready to blend with the eggs, grits, gravy and biscuits placed on our plates.

When all the family return home, we gather around the morning table filled with all those servings. The Lazy Susan is spun around so we can select the fresh jam or jelly, of our choice. And… we don’t forget to first get a big dip of real butter ready to go on the hot biscuits, taken right from the oven. Lots of talk and laughter can be heard as we each tell all that has gone on in our lives. Oh My! What stories can be heard, since the last time we were in our circle, at our place around the table.

HOME.... there is nothing like it! I hope you make yours open to everyone. And to each one that passes through, hope they can say they come there because it is their place they call HOME!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

AN INTERVIEW WITH A CELEBRITY….


Just got this idea. Jenny O’Kelly our friend, has this pig named Gravy, she takes him places and it has become quite an attraction. She has been a third grade teacher for several years until recently she resigned to go to the mission field. She will serve in Romania under ABWE. Please remember to pray for her as she goes out to this mission.

Just for fun I thought it would be interesting to interview her pet, whose name is Gravy, so here goes.....

Today I am interviewing a real celebrity who has been around lots of places to say the least. This is Gravy O’Kelly who has traveled to places maybe some of you have not been able to go and we would like to hear about them along with other questions to get to know him or her. BTW for a starter that will answer our first question…..

Are you male or female?
I know it's hard to tell because I am pink, but I'm a boy pig.

When were you born?
Well, I'm not exactly sure when I was born per se, but I was adopted in 2007.

Where were you born?
Who knows probably China.

What is your whole name?
My whole name is Gravy Boat O'Kelley, but it was shortened to Gravy B. and then to just Gravy.

Are you married?
No, but I have a girlfriend. Her name is Biscuit.

Gravy how many countries have you traveled?
Well, let's see... 6 countries so far, but that'll grow more as time goes on I'm sure. I've been to Canada, China, Italy, Romania, Bulgaria, and Greece.

How many States have you been in?
Oh man tons of States! Let's see...15, I think. Georgia (of course), Florida, Alabama, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, West Virginia, Washington DC, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Indiana, got lost in New Jersey recently!(11/19/10 update going to Portugal as we speak)

Who are some of the people you have been pictured with?
I love to meet famous people! Some of the ones I've met are Beth Moore, Louie Giglio, Charlie Hall, Kirk Franklin, Oscar the Grouch, Kermit the Frog, Cinderella, Belle, Sleeping Beauty, Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Mary Poppins, and Donald Duck.

What is your most memorable experience?
I've had so many, so I can't pick just one. I'll have to give you my top five.
#1 Standing on the Great Wall of China
#2 Getting blessed my the Pope (I was stowed away in a kid's backpack so he didn't know he blessed a pig too!)
#3 Touching the Liberty Bell (You're not allowed to touch it you know, but the lady let me because I was so special.)
#4 Seeing the metal round of ski jump at the Vancouver Olympic games
#5 Getting to meet amazing people around the world

Who do you contribute your success in your lifetime?
I owe most of my success to my owner Jenny and her friend Amarius. If it were not for them, I'd still be in the clearance basket at Barnes and Noble.

Speaking of your lifetime just how old are you?
In pig years, 6. In people years, 3.

What type of bed do you sleep in?
Well, I'm sort of an abused pig at times. I just sleep where ever she throws me, which is usually on the floor or the back seat of the car. She does try to remember to get me out of the car when it's really cold or really hot. I can't complain though I mean I used to be shoved in a clearance basket.

What is you favorite food?
I'm not going to lie, I love a good hot dog with mustard!

How do you keep your figure staying slim being you are a pig?
Moderation and activity are the key. I'm always on the go and I try not to eat more than 15 meals a day. It also helps that my throat is sewn shut. Keeps the calories out.

What are some of the things you would put on your “Bucket List”?
I've always wanted to stand on the Great Pyramids in Egypt. I also want to visit Australia and get my picture taken with a kola in the wild. I want to go to Africa, it doesn't matter where. I also want my picture taken with John Piper, David Crowder, Chris Tomlin, Oprah, Dr. Phil, and a President (any one I'm not picky).

Are you going to the Mission Field with your owner or you going to stay in the States?
Of course I'm going to the mission field! I could never miss that great adventure. Plus, I'm being trained to be the first missionary pig. I'll be ministering to the pigs and livestock of the world. You know we're an unreached people group, and I'm going to do my part to change that!

Thank you Gravy for this interview, keep on traveling and may God Bless you real good!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

THE GOOSE STORY……


It’s that time of year when the birds head south I suspect you have seen them as I have. We live near Lake Notla in GA and seems the birds fly over that path with water on the way. I am fascinated with these birds and their formation. I like to read this story each Fall. You might have seen it, but in case you haven’t read it and see how it could apply to you.

This fall when you see Geese heading south for the winter flying alone in a “V” formation, you might be interested in knowing what science has discovered about why they fly that way. It has been learned that as each bird flaps its wing, it creates uplift for the bird immediately following. By flying in a “V” formation the whole flock add at least 71% greater flying range than if each bird flew on its own. People who share a common direction and sense of community can get where they are going quicker and easier because they are traveling on the thrust of one another.

Whenever a Goose falls out of formation, it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of trying to go it alone, and quickly gets into formation to take advantage of the lifting power of the bird immediately in front. If we have as much sense as a Goose, we will stay in formation with those who are headed in the same way we are going. When the lead Goose gets tired, he rotates back in the wing and another Goose flies point. It pays to take turns doing hard jobs with people or with Geese flying south. The Geese honk from behind to encourage those up front to keep up their speed. What do we say when we honk from behind to encourage another to stay focused in life’s journey?


Finally, when a Goose gets sick or is wounded by gun shots and falls out, two Geese fall out of formation then follows him down to help and protect him. They stay with him until he is either able to fly or until he is dead, and then they launch out on their own or with another formation to catch up with the group. If we have the sense of a Goose, we will stand by each other just like this …..

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

PEOPLE WITH THIS TALENT AMAZE ME…


Had the privilege to be with the ladies of New Hope Baptist Church in Mt Juliet, TN over the weekend. We had an awesome time. As I ended the first night’s session I gave homework, as I always love to do. It was about Journaling were you surprised? You know how I like my Journal and want everyone to begin their life journey through writing, being able to capture the accounts of their lives. It’s so valuable to look at later.

My assignment went just like this…..TELL ME YOUR STORY - write in your notebooks a paragraph or two about your Life (Be Truthful). Answer these questions WHO AM I? WHAT AM I ABOUT?/ WHERE AM I GOING?.

The next day I found out about a gal who had not written her poems for over a year, something like ''writer's block'' I guess. She shared with me how she went to her room and sat down and it just started coming to her and after so many months her mind went racing and her hand went to writing. I am Amazed at this talent, being able to form a poem and make it flow. I ask her if I could put it here I think it is of great value and you will benefit from it. Maybe you haven't written in a long time and need to start again or maybe this subject might jog your thoughts into the discovery of you. She gave it to me as a gift framed, it is here shared with you. I will cherish it as a remembrance of one of Father's precious girls in her discovery. Take a look at the words she put down about IDENTITY!

IDENTITY

Do I know who I am
What should I use to measure,
A nickname, name or title
Or maybe personal treasure?

Is what others think of me
Noted as a fact?
Does each one see me differently
In my diffusing act?

Does where I'm from say who I am
Or is it where I'm going?
God, can You, help me see
For You are the All knowing.

On earth my identity
Is clouded and misplaced,
I've used the voice of others
And flesh distorts the taste.

You say that I'm Your child
Your daughter, and Your bride,
To You I'm someone special
That's why You came…..and died.

You've known me forever.
Yet I have just begun.
The war of life is raging
But I know the battle's won!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

IN HARD TIMES…..


PS 37:19 “They will not be disgraced in hard times; even in famine they will have more than enough.”

That verse is so true! You say how do you know? Because in my 67 years I have been around and seen them, there have been times when I thought we were not going to make it and some how something happened through God my Heavenly Father using someone to meet that need. And you know, I look past that person’s hand and I see God. Aren’t you thinking, “but what if that person wasn’t sensitive to what God wanted to do for you?” Glad you ask, that’s what I want to talk about today. Just how we fit in…

It’s coming up on the time of year when people begin to think about Thanksgiving and Christmas. I read this verse and it reminded me of all those beginning to worry about how they will make it through this season. I know from our past experience as a pastor’s wife we would have to sit the kids down and explain how we wouldn’t be able to have much for Christmas and when it was all said and done, we had so much it was amazing how it all worked out.

I wish you could be around our house when the kids all come home and we’re finishing a meal, sitting there laughing and talking about those times. Robbie will be the one to say, “I remember when Dad would say sons I have to tell you something. This year we don’t have much and Christmas is going to be slim.” I would laugh until I was out of control at him imitating what his Dad would say and we thought they had not heard it before. We worried for nothing when you think about it. Till this day Rob has the biggest Christmas he can and with him it is all about making it good for others. Lessons learned as a child live on forever! I know one thing! They sure got to see how God did provide in a miraculous way. Even one year we were able to get the set of weights they wanted but little did we know they found where we hid them and was already using them before we wrapped them and got them under the tree Christmas morning. Oh what fun times we had and have to this day, telling the stories that make up this fun family.

But now lets just stop and think about those who are working through HARD TIMES! Be
sure to look around and find some family your can help or just the ordinary people you come in contact on the street each day. Just look at the faces of the people in this picture they all have needs, they are everywhere, and Father wants to help them, but you know what? He has to use us to get them fed and taken care of. We are His hands, His feet; He uses our mouth to tell them He loves them. We’re coming up on that time so lets get together and do the work we are called to do like Isaiah talks about in Isaiah 58: 7 “Share your food with the hungry, and give shelter to the homeless. Give clothes to those who need them, and do not hide from relatives who need your help.”
As the old country preacher would say, “now ain’t that good”.

In doing the above there is a promise we need to see in the next verse. Now mind you, we are not to do those things for others to get stuff or “points with God”. Don’t hear me saying that, I am just quoting what Isaiah is saying about the Truth! Really we are not to make a lot of noise about what we do if we do, it will become “all about us”. But, just look what we can expect from helping those in need. In verse 8 & 9 of the same chapter 58, Isaiah says, “Then your salvation will come like the dawn, and your wounds will quickly heal. Your godliness will lead you forward, and the glory of the Lord will protect you from behind. Then when you call, the Lord will answer. ‘Yes, I am here,’ he will quickly reply. How much better does that get!!! Going to go for now going to start looking around……

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

THE MIND …….WHAT ARE YOU THINKING?...


Today I was thinking…HA! That’s funny that is what I want to write about. I was wondering if you have ever thought about what you think? Do you have the same thoughts often that are maybe, Negative? Our Dominant Thought will eventually affect our behavior. That is just how our mind works. Healthy habits begin by having positive thoughts. When you get up in the morning, this is a good place to start. When you start your day why not say, “This is the Day the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it”, or “Wow! I have another day with a clean slate I will make wise choices as it unfolds facing challenges or just have a day of calmness”. It always helps to look outside ourselves and say, “Who needs a smile today or a good word of encouragement”?

Pictured above is my husband Phil Mason, he lives this way everyday. He is forever studying something getting equipped for his life and to share with others. For the last few years, from time to time, he has studied how the Mind works and how what we think affects it. He lives a life of positive thinking. In this last year, he has been faced with a health challenge and his study has come in handy, for sure. Here is what he says, “ Yeah, the doctor says I have Wegener's granulomatosis, (WG for short) but it is not “my” disease, if I say, “it is my disease it will own me.” He lives with a positive attitude each day. I know, I live with him. I watched him at first when we discovered it was present and attacking his body. The doctor’s were baffled at what it was, until lots of blood work and biopsies revealed the problem and it was discovered. Thankfully, with medical research, a series of drugs were discovered by Dr Wegener that would work to put it into remission. He believes in the power of focus. What you focus on you will have. His focus is on living an active life each day practicing good health by eating well, taking the proper supplements and exercise. And guess what? It is working!!!

I am grateful to have a husband who lives what he “preaches”. In fact, he is consistently giving it away, by sharing with young men by way of mentoring them in following the path he sees that works, which brings a life successful in Body/Soul and Spirit.

Just the other day he emailed me this quote to file away for my “life study” and now I share it with you…..


A Good Dominant Thought:

"Whatever we plant in our subconscious mind and
nourish with repetition and emotion will
one day become a reality."
— Earl Nightingale

Saturday, October 23, 2010

THE STREET… CLAIRE DRIVE…


Lots happened on that street when I was growing up, I was brought home from Crawford Long Hospital to that street and my life began. It was where my “home place” was for many years. It was a street with sidewalks people would walk up and down them going to and fro mainly to catch the “trolley”, that was what the transit system was back then. Lakewood Heights was a place that held the stores we shopped in. Combies Drugs Store, Miss Georgia Ice Cream Parlor, The Movie Show, Cecil’s Hamburger Joint, the Hardware Store. Just a nice community with the Baptist Church and the Methodist Church in its circle of course, hate to say it, the people identified themselves by the two, you were one or the other.

The street in the summer time had big oak trees that made a canapĂ© as they grew. Their limbs and leaves joined one side to the other. The old cars drove swiftly under them and that was before the automatic transmissions were invented. Inside you would see the occupants all dressed up, the men in suits with their felt hats the ladies in their dresses with maybe a hat and certainly white gloves. They had their cars, they didn’t have to ride the streetcars. Shopping was the thing in downtown Atlanta and that would be their destination either to Davidson’s or Rich’s and for lunch at Woolworth’s for a good hotdog then go by Planter’s peanuts for a bag of hot peanuts to select from behind the glass case.

Saturdays was my time to enjoy The Street. Mother wouldn’t let us go outside to play until the house was clean and the sidewalk was swept. When my list was done I would put my skates on, back then you used a metal key to tighten them on our shoes, then I was on my way to meet my friend, Sandra. We would go up and down skating away watching the heaves on our path to keep from being thrown a sunder! After awhile I could hear mother calling me in for our usual lunch. Mother could cook up some of the best pork and beans you could smell the sautĂ©ed onions cooking to go in them a mile away. I would put a big spoon of them on my plate, stick my hand in a new Marietta bag for a slice of loaf bread, had to get a middle one, that's where the bigger ones were. Oh yum! I would spread some of mother newly made soft butter and OH! Heavens!! A glass of her sweet tea, boy was that a good meal!

The night time on The Street was when all the neighbors would gather on the porches you could hear the voices sound in the night as they discussed the latest news or got into the politics it got rather loud then. The windows were open, as the night came to an end we went in to our beds and heard the crickets in the silence of the night. In it’s quietness The Street was waiting for another day until we were out and about again….

(Got the following from my niece after she read the above post. I could not let it go without sharing it here its more valuable memories from the past to be documented)
Stacey wrote:
The picture of Claire Dr. brought back memories for me. One was when my mother picked me up from kindergarten and said we would go visit grandmother and granddaddy. I was so excited. She was sweeping the stairs when we drove up. She had on a sleeveless green sweater. (I think I remember that.) She told us to come in she just made a caramel cake. Yum!!!!!!!!!! Grandaddy was in his shop. He stopped to say hi. I can remember before bed Grandaddy would say come on Stacey it is time for cookies and milk. We would sit at their kitchen table and Grandmother would get the tupperware of cookies out. They would sit in their chairs and I would sit on a stool. We would talk and then go to bed. I have endless memories of those two. And after Grandmother passed away I have memories of visiting just Granddaddy. At the time I don't think my parents knew how those times with them were shaping me as a person. In my eyes I saw true love between them.

Friday, October 22, 2010

BULLYING – LOTS SAID ABOUT THIS LATELY…


My thoughts about this subject, is we really need to be careful with our words. Things we say cannot be brought back in. I heard a little story one time about a young girl who had said some bad things about her friend; the friend was hurt and suffering from the words that had come her way. This girl’s mother took her to their attic and opened the window. She placed a feather pillow in the young girls hands and ask her to shake it out the window. Little did she know that the pillow had a slit in it and feathers flew everywhere as the wind whipped among them. The mother looked at the little girl and said, “Now go pick them all up”. There’s a strong lesson we can learn here. It is impossible to gather up all those things we say about someone with the intent to harm. That is called Slander or in today’s society Bullying.

This is done much to often in our School System even more than when I was in my early days of education. In my minds eye I do remember walking down the halls afraid someone would say one of those hurtful things. I had practiced my “comebacks”. It was either, “sticks and stones will break my bones but words will never hurt me” or “ Oh! Go jump in a lake, swallow a snake and come up with a belly ache”. Those things no doubt were made up by someone in their own defense and it is still probably making it’s circuit trying to help someone fight off the hurtful words that come their way. Looking back I am smiling right now just thinking what a weak defense I had and didn’t even know it. But I went out with those phrases in mind to hold back the mean kids wanting to demean someone and I feared it was going to be me. It’s a harsh world out there and if we don’t know who we are, what we are about and walk with confidence we become a target. Today, I hold my head up high knowing, Who I am and Who I belong to, I ‘m a daughter of the King. He is on my side my Father is The Almighty God, my Brother is Jesus Christ my Lord and Savior and I am equip inside with Holy Spirit Who guides my every step!!!

I can only speak for myself, but I want my words when I speak to someone, to be encouraging, spoken with thought and not to cut down. The latter would mean I don’t think very much of myself and I want to pull them down with me or below me. And as far as speaking words about someone in their absence, it is not worth it you pay a price and you could be in bondage to it for years! Think about it…. it sure is good not to have to go back and cover your tracks. Talk healthy words to someone today…..

May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer. Psalms 19:14

Thursday, October 21, 2010

THIS IS THE DAY THE LORD HAS MADE….


So here we are with another day, what’s in it for you? Well we never know. To some I know you are dreading it because of some news you are waiting on, will it be good or bad? Then there is “just another day”, you say with boredom. But I know of people who wake up and jump out of bed, stretch and say, “look out world here I come” looking for what they can take in with great expectancy. Don’t you want the attitude of the latter?....

I just finished listening to a song called “He’s Alive” my mind went back to when Jesus hung on the Cross that day dying, taking our sin away and finally calling out, “It Is Finished”. How about how the woman felt when she went to the sealed tomb and found it open with Jesus gone? Wow! Can’t get my mind around that one! That had to be an excitement you cannot describe! Not only did she realize He had done the work on the Cross, she had to realize she had a life she could live facing all challenges because the work was done.

Today we can face all the “stuff” that comes our way, knowing He did go before us and paved the way. One day I came to the reality that I could not live my life anymore I was a failure at it, it was not working. I needed Someone to take over and live it for me and I gave up the reigns handing my life over to the One Who Could and it has been different ever since. I can get up each day and face whatever comes my way saying, “THIS THE DAY THE LORD HAS MADE”……

Monday, October 18, 2010

BE KIND TO SOMEONE TODAY…


Just got through reading about a woman in the Bible. She was kind to someone; it was the widow who shared her last morsel with the prophet Elijah, he had a need. God supplied it through her. No doubt she was being kind to someone that day. And she was sensitive to the needs of others and allowing Father to use her vessel to give to the needs of others.

You know one interesting fact, Elijah lived with this woman and her boy for a long time and he got to know her well, but he has left us with no clue as to her identity or the son. It didn’t matter “who” she was, it mattered only in “what” she did for someone else. And another thing, I don’t think it mattered to her “who” she was. Don’t know about you but that convicts me. I think we want our name made known way too much, forgetting about giving something to someone and not expecting something in return.

I am going to think about this gal today. I want to put myself in her place and look for someone Father wants to give to through me. It could come in the form of, a “cool drink of water” by way of a smile, or a kind word or supplying a need to someone who is without. Look around and find them they are out there with an “Elijah Need”……

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

WHAT ARE YOU FACING TODAY?


Just want to share my heart today. Sitting here early this morning setting my mind for the day, praying for my friend who will be laying her Mom to rest this afternoon at 2:00. She had lived a good life but these last few years she had suffered so much pain. What a blessing to be home with those who have gone before her. She is going to be greatly missed.

I know there are others facing challenges today. Life can be hard sometimes but we have a God who loves us and surrounds us with His awesome care. If only we would stop an acknowledge that fact, living our lives out of His resources, but we tend to live it our way then wonder why He allows “stuff” to happen.

Looking into the Scriptures we read, “Come unto me all who are weary and burdened, I shall give you rest (Matt: 11:28). “Rest” did you hear that? Wow! That’s right we can have rest. I was overwhelmed with our tight schedule in the last few days. We had clients waiting to come to Safe Place, some who had been here calling with issues that still were lingering asking, “what can we do about this?” Then there were those little “time robbers” like the typical car breaking down, spilled something down the front of my blouse just as I was walking out the door, traffic, waiting in line for a price check for the person in front of me. I could fill my “stress level” rising and at that point, I thought “just BREATH Mary, BREATH!!

Just answer me how do you REST with all that going on? Well the above scripture says we can. I am in a place today that could rob me of my peace and I cannot afford that. I realize I cannot do it. That is so right, I CANNOT do it, but He CAN as I rest in Him. You know, when you live this way you don’t get tired because it is Him doing it and not you. He guides me and it all gets done. I then have a fragrance that is Him that draws others to Him. That is Peace and Contentment in action.

Hope whatever you are facing today you call on Him to face it for you. I just prayed that for you my friend!

Resting in His Lap with you……
Mary

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

FALL …DON’T YOU LOVE IT?....







It’s afternoon, I just finished a great cup of coffee. Been trying to do the LowCarb thing….again! So I made a fresh pot of coffee, trying to stay out of the sweets, thought it would help. I used low carb hazelnut syrup and a bit of Almond Milk. I’m sitting here in my living room listening to some good Baroque Classical Music playing in the background. Out my window the trees are blowing pretty strong it’s in the mid 60’s prefect blue sky, makes for a good day!

As I look out my window, my mind tends to wonder at how God made the seasons so perfect. I’m so glad I live in the North Georgia Mountains. We get a good flavor of the four seasons. When each season rolls around I always say, "this one is my favorite" but then the next one gets my attention the same way. This time of year people begin to express how glad they are to see cooler weather arrive after having survived the summer heat.

This is the time of year you can ride through the smaller towns and see the Fall Festivals happening. Locals put out their talented crafts for sale. I love to stop and buy one or two, then get a bag of Kettle Corn or a Funnel cake. Don’t you just hate it when you get so sticky with the white powdered sugar, but you keep picking at
it and putting it in your mouth? Oh! And what about the smell of the Barbecue cooking on a homemade grill, made from and old black oil drum ? You just have to buy a BQ Plate to support the local Jaycees or some church, for goodness sake….Yeah, Right!

I’m getting excited; our town Blairsville, always has the Sorghum Festival two weekends in Oct. It brings people from all around. Rather sad talking to a local fellow the other day, he said the making of Sorghum Syrup is going out as he said, “these young people just not a eatin it like those old folk who are a dyin off”. I did notice the cane syrup wasn’t growing in the open fields in the last few months and the Old Dyer Family Mill wasn’t cleared off from the Kudzu growing all around. Use to when you would drive down Hwy 129 around late Sept, you would see the good ole boys out there with their tractors and bush hogs getting it ready for the all night cooking of the stuff that brings so many adults and children in to see the happenings and getting in on the Biscuit Sopping Contest.

The Fall is popping out all over. So start watching as the leaves get golden, then maybe an orange, then a bright red, as if they are saying “Dah- Dah” with pride….I can’t wait!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

MEDITATION….WHAT ARE YOU THINKING?


Meditation is a time to stop and go inside and see ….What are you thinking right now? Have you ever thought about what goes on in your mind? You might not even be aware of what you are telling yourself. Heard it called “mind chatter” one time and that made so much sense to me. It’s those words that go on and on like a tape, some good and some bad. I would hope that most of yours would be affirming, but let me guess, you are saying, “not that often, am I tell myself good things”.

A good practice is to take time out to check what you are telling yourself and start
re-newing your mind. Our friend Paul wrote in Philippians 4:8 a verse I call “my think list”. I like to use it in my time of Meditation. It goes like this, “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.".... That will get you back on course right quick!

Take time out to stop, take your journal, your Bible and pen, find a place of peace and quite and do an inventory of the things you are allowing to go through your thoughts are they TRUE? Are they HONEST? Are they JUST? Are they PURE? What about LOVELY, of a GOOD REPORT, VIRTURE, and PRAISE then start replacing your thoughts with these things and believe me it works!!!

I took this picture about this time last year; it’s at a campground near by. It was in the Fall the leaves were displaying their color. You can find me there soon with my book bag going to work on the “here and now” to see what I have been putting in my mind. Find your place of serenity and Think About It …..

Friday, September 24, 2010

APPLE PIE…. FINALLY BAKED MY FIRST ONE…..


Don’t you just love Fall! This happened yesterday the first day of FalL. For some reason, I just never liked to bake. Now do understand, I like to eat someone else’s baked creations. When I was a child, I would arrive home from school to the smell of something baking in the oven but for some reason I didn’t care to tackle such things. I baked my very first Apple Pie, can you believe that!

Well yesterday my friend Kay from Vermont had mailed us our annual shipment of their State’s wonderful Honey Crisp Apples. It amazes me to know on Monday of this week they were picked, packed and shipped to arrive at my door in Georgia on Thursday. They are the best Apple you can put in your mouth, honestly they are better than candy.

In talking with Kay, she discovered the truth about me. I had never made a fresh baked Apple Pie in the 48 years of marriage. She encouraged me to get in my kitchen and “rattle those pots and pans”. I was to surprise my husband with one of his favorite pies. I took her advice and within no time I was taking from the oven this beautiful, great tasting “just like my mother’s” Apple pies! I felt so good about myself I danced around the kitchen. How proud I was to announce to Phil I had a surprise for him. It felt so good as I served him a warm slice and then watched him eat it, bragging about me. It was no trouble to stop and learn how to do such a simple thing….so Paula Deen step aside here I come…..

I’ll put Kay's recipe right here just as she emailed it to me and you can see what I mean. I have to “fest-up” I used a piecrust mix and it worked just fine. Now get started and make one for your family its magic try it! Watch your family’s reaction as you put one in front of them you will enjoy their eyes light up and then giving their praise to you for this gift of love!

KAY’S 9 inch two crust Apple Pie

¾ cup sugar
¼ cup flour
½ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon cinnamon
Dash of salt
6 cups thinly sliced pared tart apples (about 6 medium)
2 tablespoons butter

I always mix my apples with the flour, sugar, and spices and then I prepare my crust....gives the apple a chance to juice with the spices and sugar...mmmm boy that Phil is going to enjoy this....especially because it's going to be filled with love. I'll look for the chart on apples that I have about which apples are cooking apples and which ones are not....but the Honey crisp are considered an eating apple....not that macs aren't but macs are the best cooking apple. They will give you the best pie possible. Hope you enjoy...oh by the way....fluking a pie....????? Maybe someone's idea of a nice name for pinching the crust shut!!!! The edge cover works well to keep that pinch crust part from burning....it's a wonderful thing!!!
Happy baking....love you my friend....have a blessed week.
Kay

Saturday, September 18, 2010

I WISH YOU COULD HAVE BEEN WITH ME…


Got a call from my friend around 8:00am this week telling me the news. Six years ago I told her when they called I wanted to be there for the whole thing. Well, the call came and I did go. It was a call from Piedmont Hospital in Atlanta GA to my friend, ironically while she was in the Dialysis Center, in her town, sitting in her chair she had sat in three time a week for four hours each time. She told me her cell phone rang, she answered and on the other end a lady said, “is this Mrs. Reaves?” and she said “yes”. The lady proceeded to tell her they had a Kidney waiting for her and to get there within four hours.

Hours later Phil and I meet them as they drove in from Alabama we joined them for the wait. Lots had to be done to make the transplant for her New Life! We watched and listened to all the details that would take place by the doctor as he spoke so seriously giving her his plan. As I listened carefully I looked at that young doctor and the thought went through my mind how one day he decided to go off to college and get educated to save lives. He was so helpful in telling my friend how he was going to do the operation and how hopeful he was at her future because this organ was from a young person and her life expectancy was promising. How awesome to think his skillful hands were able to place an organ inside someone that someone decided to donate to another to give them their life.

As I stood there listening to the happiness generating in that hospital room that afternoon I couldn’t help but think somewhere in this town there was a family of a young person planning a funeral. Words were spoken in prayer for this family as my husband stood in the midst of our friends in gratefulness. He ask for peace and comfort for this family in grief as they give their farewell to their loved one.

So I wish you could have been with me ……
So my friend will start her New Beginning as she leaves the hospital next Monday to go back home to Alabama. You know we do take things for granite as we live out each day, talking with her the other afternoon before surgery she said one of the things she wanted to be able to do was to just drink a whole glass of ice water. Well she can now……

Thursday, September 9, 2010

FRIENDSHIPS HAVE NO BARRIERS…


Visited with a new friend the other day, a new neighbor from another country, in fact. She was so kind to me along with being so glad to make a new friend, she gave me gifts of jewelry from her country. I have them for you to see right here, couldn’t wait to show them to you. When someone gives you a gift for nothing just because they want to share with you, I like that!!!

My new friend is so interesting. I don’t have any friends that barely speak English. This is a new experience for me. You should have seen me talking with her. Tell me…why do you want to speak louder and use hand jesters when you are trying to converse with someone who doesn’t speak your language? I realized it when she was looking at me strange, and I began to talk lower and made good eye contact. Even with this two-way hindrance, I could still feel the growth of friendship and of kindness taking place.

This has made me want to reach out and help her by getting her acquainted with our town finding her way around, medical assistance, where to shop; getting the children into our culture so they can adjust to their school, and be available as a friend should be.

This is a new adventure for me and I am enjoying it already. I learned today during our visit a little bit of their lifestyle while I shared ours. When friendship develops I am seeing there are no barriers. I am looking forward to seeing her get to know our country and see how she can become accepted as we welcome her into our lives and great country.

Monday, September 6, 2010

HOW NICE IS THAT…


Just sayin’ today what’s on my mind! I have a friend who is excited about her Life in Christ. She was already a live wire, full of joy, likeable, never meets a stranger type and a beautiful girl inside and out, but had hit a wall in her life. Recently, she did some work on her issues from the past that were a hindrance to her moving forward. You see, when we unload those things, “those weights that so easily beset us” as spoken of in the Scriptures in Hebrews 12:1 ”Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us”, we are then able to become all we were created to be. We can now live in dependence on God. Free to live the Exchanged Life giving up the life we were “trying to live” and exchanging it for His life that does work. Christ can then live in and through us as a stream of living waters flowing through out with out a “Log jam” of our “stuff” from the past. She did just that and OH! How proud I am of her!

Now, free as a bird, my friend and her husband flew out in their plane yesterday evening. It was to test out her new camera she said, but turned into a collection of a spectacular display of Father’s work. He just “out did Himself” I thought as I viewed her pictures and I said, “How Nice is That!”, looking over the pictures captured. She was able to go up and visit God, so to speak, were my thoughts and He show off for her! That sunset was His best!!! It was like He was sending her a telegram saying, “Baby Girl I am so proud of you this one’s for you!”

I am excited for her, praying for both she and her husband as they leave for Africa in the next few days. They will be giving their time and efforts to carry medical supplies to an orphanage. This is what she does caring for others in her way.

Hum…as I think of my friend, maybe I and you that stop by today, should take inventory of our lives. Let’s look and see what are we doing to step outside of our world to help others. Who do we know today that could use a smile, a helping hand or just a cool cup of water of encouragement? Think about it....

Thursday, September 2, 2010

LEARN FROM THE PEARL…


Over the years I have said this, “Learn From the Pearl” sharing with people who have persons in their lives that are an irritation. Those people can be a pain some times, making you want to run from them.

Have you ever studied the forming of a Pearl, how it is formed in the Oyster? It starts with a grain of sand inside an Oyster, it becomes an irritant. It rubs and may even become painful.  It stays there until one day a fine Pearl comes forth. This is a jewel that will be adorn by someone, causing the eyes to look upon a beautiful creation made from something that was difficult to work through.  Oh! but how valuable it is in the end! The results is a pearl that is something so pleasing for the eye to behold.

I read this recently; it caught my attention and has the same connotation. “A Pearl is a beautiful thing that is produced by an injured life. It is the tear that results from the injury of the Oyster. The treasure of our being in this world is also produced by an injured life. If we had not been wounded, if we had not been injured, then we will not produce the pearl.”

Now lets put this in our every day lives. Do you have someone you are getting impatience with that just will not go away? Is this person “in your face”? Could even be an IRRITATION PERSONIFIED? These people could be a Husband or a Wife, one of your Kids (OH my goodness! AND….when that kid becomes a teenager or young adult!!!...Sorry excuse me while I have a sudden emotional out burst here.... HELP!), moving right along……. or a Neighbor, a Boss, Father-in-Law, Mother-in-Law or Daughter-in-Law or yes a Son-in-Law? I could keep naming them on and on but you can fill in the blank with your person/ or pearl here_____________. These people I call my “Sandpaper People”! The Pearl that one-day proves that perfection in you and me.

I hear you; your question is “so what do I do?” First, stop and realize there is a reason for this one in your path of life. Oh yeah! They might be a "REAL PAIN", but we can learn so much from this kind of person. It might be something you can contribute to them.  In more times than not, you're getting more benefits learning life’s lessons in your life.  These encounters can build strong character that "money can’t buy".  

In my One Year Bible reading just this morning I saw so many important statements from Solomon, a wise man.  Read the first three chapters of Ecclesiastes he says so much about Wisdom and Understanding and just about life in general.

Do you see the picture here? When you encounter this situation and you can't escape.  You are getting so irritable, expressing your FLESH.... remember this person is making something VALUABLE in you.  Stop and say, “there is a Pearl in the making here and I am going to see it to the end.”  Many lessons can be learned from that "Grain of Sand" in your path. One day you will see it come forth, Bright with Strong Value….and…I bet if someone ask, “what do you want for that Jewel?” you would say, “It’s NOT for sale!”

Friday, August 27, 2010

YUCK! I HAD TO COME HOME…


Birthday Celebration and Vacation all in one week and HAD TO COME HOME, just unpacked the last of the last stuff from our home on wheels. I used a forth of what I took, why do I do that? I sit here sweating and my tired is tired! All that stuff is stuffed back in its place and now what? I am dreaming of the next time we can go. I look at my calendar and it makes me tired just thinking about what’s ahead on my crowded schedule for the next three weeks. I HEAR YOU! I hear you saying BLAH, BLAH, BLAH, BLAH, BLAH, BLAH, BLAH! I know I hate whining too!

OK! Enough of that, I must move on and glean on the past days of blest, visiting with our friends as we sat around watching time go by, experiencing the moment. Now let me think…what is wrong with “getting” to come home to a nice place with a “killer” view of beautiful mountain ranges? You know what comes to my mind right now? Holy Spirit is working on me and I feel like I must listen. We are told in the Scriptures by Paul to be “content” and you know what? He wrote it from a prison cell in total confinement. He had to be so uncomfortable and cold and miserable but he still said this, in Philippians 4:11 teachings to “be content” no matter what our circumstances are. Listen, it goes like this, "I have learned in whatsoever state I am in therewith to be content". The Amplified Bible describes being content as "satisfied to the point where you are not disturbed or disquieted". Now don’t you want to get to that place?... I do!

With a change of mind right here and now, I claim that I am content to be home and start another time of planning, studying, learning, cleaning, caring for the needs of those around me, taking some time out for me, spending quality time with Father, taking one day at a time, allowing Holy Spirit to use my gifts, studying the Word so I will be aware of the scriptures that apply like the one today that came just in time to arrest my downward spiral of despair. Oh how close I came to having a pity party!!! I think it will be a good idea if you and I make a checklist of those things we gripe about so easily and start practicing “being content” in what ever is in our path. I think I will use my mental image of Paul in that cold cell when he wrote this verse and just think it lives on today and is being used today. It was for me and you I hope…Thanks Paul!!!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

VACATION IS TIME OUT…


….from this “rat-race” we have been in! But…. last Sunday after church we had our RV packed and ready to head out to Maggie Valley, NC for a campground that is nestled in the mountains where quite resides and lazy is permitted. We are on Lot#65 in this place and that is all I have to remember when I walk away to hear the sounds of nature or drive into the neatest little town of Waynesville. When I am finished all I have to do is go to my numbered place, sit in my chair and feel the wind in my hair and the sounds of the birds in the trees. The ducks are swimming pass me, quacking like that are saying something to me as they look over. Maybe they are saying, “hope you are enjoying this as much as we are”. You know what? WE ARE and how timely is this!

I don’t like to post too much for you to read as you pass by but this morning this came to my attention making me feel like it was a message from God saying we are needing to slow down and let the “main thing be the main thing”. I just had to share this with you as I read it. It made me see the importance of slowing down and what a good place to “hear” and “get” the message sitting right here by the creek. The picture placed here today is just what I am looking at right now. Look at it, take a deep breath and relax with me, why don’t you?....

And at your convenience read this and how it applies to where you are living today. I would file it away somewhere to look at it often so you want forget to take “TIME OUT” when you get back in that fast lane…..

A Needed Pit Stop
by Charles R. Swindoll
Hebrews 12:1-2
Is time passing faster, or am I just getting older? Can this really be the last hurrah of the summer? School can't actually be starting already, can it? I feel like swapping my calendar for a stopwatch.
Today I have decided to slow down long enough to stop the blur and look. Not just to look, but to see. As Yogi Berra once said, "You can observe a lot just by watching."
Sometimes it helps to open life's door slowly and secretively take a long gaze inside. On other occasions, it's better to jerk it open unannounced, slam on the light, and get a quick read. I've been doing the latter today, and I don't like what I see. My sudden glance has flushed out all sorts of critters.
Too many involvements 
Intensity level much too high 
Time to pray, to think, to plan, to play is still too rushed 
Midget worries turning into imaginary monsters 
Living life too predictable . . . not enough creativity 
Days off interrupted by needless, low-priority stuff 
Skating across relationships---need to dig deeper 
Extracurricular reading not sufficiently stimulating
I know of no better strategy for stopping such an ugly, rat-infested existence than deliberately pulling off the racetrack and taking periodic pit stops to refuel, renew, refresh, and recover. Let me level with you. Your pace is your problem and my pace is mine. We got ourselves into this maddening race, and each one of us is personally responsible for the speed at which we're driving ourselves.
If you can say, "I've sinned. The pace I'm keeping is not healthy---spiritually, mentally, or physically. It's not what I want, but it's my own doing," then I urge you to do so---and then do something about changing it.
I can't promise instant and total transformation, but I can assure you of this: It will be the most unusual pit stop you'll ever make. You'll not only get your tank filled, you'll also get your rats killed!
Do you think you should take that needed pit stop to refuel, renew, refresh, and recover so you can reenter the race and run with diligence?

Thursday, August 19, 2010

EVERYBODY HAS A STORY........


What is a story? You have a story; it is what has happened through out your life that has made you. It could have been what was “done” to you or what was not “done” for you meeting the needs to build character allowing you to have the best life or it could have been “cruddy” either way you still have a story and it is what you do with it that counts. You can give back to others so this world can be a better place as you give yours away. You can make a mark while you are here on your journey passing through.

So what’s yours? I like to motivate people to Journal. Writing about what is going on in the here and now, it is so beneficial. Events and feelings are documented and it’s good for later research or to see what was going happening on a certain day or year. You can take a look at your life as it unfolds. Some people feel it is so horrible they don’t want to put such on paper…go ahead it’s healing and you can change the names to protect the innocent or put the names down to tell the truth.

When I journal, feelings come out that I wasn’t aware of. Just the other day, I was looking through one of my 10 journals. In one of my first, so it was 19 years ago I had written something that spoke back to me like stroke of lighten. A side note here, I like to use a 5-subject spiral notebook. It works well for a good while. You should see mine, I’ve taped all kind of things on the front and inside…and love it! I could not get over how I had matured as I read what happened back in Oct of 1991. An event that was life changing had happened, it had the potential to cause a major detour for Phil and me. During that time, I noticed we had used good judgment while we were in a “holding pattern” waiting always has been hard for me. But we were “hanging tough” as the winds blew strong across our being and we were not destroyed by it, we came out for
the better, as I looked back. Prayer was the key element while we tried to stay on course walking in the Spirit and not after the Flesh. I was able to read the details of those very dark days that went on and on. I thought we would never get to the other side, as we said later, it was like walking though a “mine field” on the battleground of life!!! I know how I was feeling in those moments back then, not wanting to put those things on paper, but I did. I’m so glad, now they are used as a reminder to see how God’s hand was faithful and how Holy Spirit guided us when we couldn’t see the light of day.

I am a fanatic about Journaling; in fact, you might want to look back at my post on May 6th of this year. I share more thoughts on the subject with a different slant. Don’t forget to notice my sweet friend Lisa Inlow’s comment at the bottom about her experience, you can see I am not the only one enjoying this valuable life activity.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

BACK TO SCHOOL.....


“Get up it’s time to start to school” that’s the words said around the country this week and the weeks following. Where did the summer go? The suntan oil, the beach balls, the fishing polls, shopping Malls just hanging out, and on and on the summer fun is for now, put on hold till next year.

It’s time for a new teacher, meeting new friends… some good, some well OK…to put up with until one day you have to tell it like it is. Hate it when that happens!

For the teachers, what do you think they are going through? Questions like how many students will I have this year? Will they all get along and learn what I have put so many hours into to prepare them for the rest of their lives? What a big responsibility!

I read this today in one of my emails about Those Special Ones who stand in front of the classroom for hours, week after week, about 175 days a year. Who stand before those lives molding them to become all they can be. It just makes me appreciate how one day they answered the call, being educated to educate and to take on such a challenge.

The writer said this…..“I've never had a strong desire to be a teacher. Don't get me wrong. I admire tremendously those who teach. It was a teacher in junior high who taught me to love science. It was a teacher in high school who got me hooked on history. Another teacher helped me overcome stuttering and learn how to speak in public . . . how to think on my feet . . . how to pace the delivery of words . . . how to use humor. And it was yet another teacher who passed along the practical techniques I still use in digging pearls out of scriptural oysters.” So, let me firmly establish this fact: I am deeply indebted to several teachers. If you teach, be encouraged! You probably have no idea how great a contribution you are making.

Now when you see a teacher, stop and say “Thanks”, they just might need to hear it, to be reminded that they are so valuable. Think about it…they are a part of the world system taking it to a bigger and better place as their work goes into a mind and then that person takes it on to discover anything from an Atom to a Skyscraper, to a Space Ship to go in Space. So Mom or Dad, in the morning when you go into that room and turn on the light and say, "Come on it's time to get up" know it is bigger than you realize....Education what a gift!

Monday, August 16, 2010

I GIVE UP!


Been quite for days stopped in my tracks. I hadn’t wanted to write because I was disturbed about something but didn’t know what it was, ever been there? I heard your YES! I discovered what mine was and it was BIG. I had tried to carry it all by myself; it was a concern that had been stuck somewhere. I don’t know where, somewhere in my being, maybe in my Soul where my Mind/Emotion/Will resides. Anyway, it was controlling me bringing me slowly down. It was like a weight controlling me, until yesterday I said “Lord I can not carry this any longer and released it to Him”. I said, “I GIVE UP” I instantly could feel the take over as He took it. I am reminded here of a verse we have read many times, but today I feel like I am “owning” it or that I wear it! I know this is for someone out there facing the same thing. You read it so you can see for yourself…..

Hebrews 12:1-3 (King James Version) 1Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, 2Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds. WILL YOU SAY WITH ME? I DON’T’ WANT TO FAINT…I WILL NOT FAINT!

Today I checked my email and got this. I love reading Devotionals seems to be timely today. I have to share this one with you.

Releasing Impossibilities by Charles R. Swindoll....Matthew 6:25-34
When you face an impossibility, leave it in the hands of the Specialist! Refuse to calculate. Refuse to doubt. Refuse to work it out by yourself. Refuse to worry or encourage others to worry. Stand against that.
Instead, say, "Lord, I'm carrying around something I cannot handle. Because You are not only able but also willing, take this off my hands. It's impossible to me, but is as nothing with You." Persevering through the pressures of impossibilities calls for that kind of confidence.
Now, our problem is that we hold on to our problems. If your Swiss watch stops working, you don't sit down at home with a screwdriver and start working on it yourself. You take it to a specialist.
The problem is that the Lord gets all the leftovers after we try to fix things ourselves. We make all the mistakes and get things tied into granny knots, then dump it in His lap and say, "Here, Lord."
No! Right at first, say, "It's impossible; I can't handle it, Lord. Before I foul it up, it's Yours." He is able to handle it. But we don't usually give God those chances to "fix" it. We are so totally (and sinfully) confident in ourselves that we don't give God the chance to do what He is a real Specialist at doing.
If something is humanly impossible, then what in the world are we doing trying to pull it off?

Hope you glean from my sharing today. Ok……so I will leave you alone with Him now and you can give Him that thing you have been carrying. That load that has been so heavy! He wants to talk to you….