Saturday, December 31, 2011

The Race

Here we are again. Today is the last day of the year 2011. Another year has raced by us. Even though many days are long, the years are indeed short.

Christmas has passed. We enjoyed spending the weekend with family and friends. There was a lot of food and laughter. One good laugh was at the expense of my sister Jean. She was proudly modeling her new American Eagle jeans, turned wrong and threw her back out. She spent Christmas day on the sofa. You have to laugh not to cry. When you get older seems you can’t sneeze without hurting yourself!

Last night Dan and I settled in by the fire and watched The Help. It is extremely rare for him to sit still that long. We actually managed to watch the entire movie with eyes open. We will see how we fair tonight as we attempt to ring in the New Year with friends.

Life is full of success and failures, sadness and rejoicing. Some days it seems life is just a rat race. We run just as hard as we can but seem to go no where. Those times we wonder if we have the strength to endure.

I was sitting a friend’s memorial Christmas week asking God why to many questions. I was grieving the loss of a precious friend and many other things. I was comforted by a friend’s statement, “Just think what kind of Christmas she is having in heaven.” Her race was finished.

I had one of those crystal clear visions. Not like those dreams you remember but quickly dismiss. It was one of those “God” dreams. I saw myself running down an aisle just as hard and fast as I could. At the end of the aisle were my mother and father; smiling, waving, clapping their hands as they cheered me on toward them.

As you might imagine, I felt very comforted and loved. On those days I feel discouraged; I hope to revisit this image in my head. We are never alone or forgotten. We are forever surrounded by a cloud of witnesses cheering us on.

Blessings and love for the New Year!

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. Hebrews 12: 1


Monday, December 26, 2011

The Twelve Days of Christmas - The Meaning Behind The Song

The twelve days of Christmas are the twelve days between Christmas Day, Dec. 25th, the birth of Jesus, and the Epiphany, Jan. 6th, the day Christians celebrate the arrival of the Magi (Wise Men) and the revelation of Christ as the light of the world.

The Christmas song, "The Twelve Days of Christmas" may sound silly and contrived to many of us. But it actually had its origins in religious symbolism - and with a serious purpose.

It dates from a time of religious persecution. The song, "The Twelve Days of Christmas," was written as a kind of secret catechism that could sing in public without fear of arrest - a learning or memory aid to Christians in fact.

The song can be taken at two levels of interpretation - the surface meaning, or the hidden meaning known only to the Christians involved. Each element is a code word for a religious truth.

1. The partridge in a pear tree is Jesus.

2. The two turtledoves are the Old and New Testaments.

3. Three French hens stand for faith, hope and love.

4. The four calling birds are the four Gospels.

5. The five gold rings recall the Hebrew Torah (Law), or the Pentateuch, the first five books of the Old Testament.

6. The six geese a-laying stand for the six days of creation.

7. The seven swans a-swimming represent the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit.

8. The eight maids a-milking are the eight Beatitudes.

9. Nine ladies dancing are the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit.

10. The ten lords a-leaping are the Ten Commandments.

11. Eleven pipers piping represent the eleven faithful Apostles.

12. Twelve drummers drumming symbolize the twelve points of doctrine in the Apostles Creed.

If you think Jesus being symbolized as a partridge in a pear tree sounds blasphemous, remember:

"Jerusalem! Jerusalem! How often would I have sheltered thee under my wings, as a hen does her chicks, but thou wouldst not have it so." (Luke 13:34 and Matthew 23:34)

The "true love" in the song refers to God Himself.

The "me" receiving the gifts is every Christian.

So that "silly" song we sing at Christmas time has more meaning than we thought.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


       It is Dan’s fault. I had said my goodbyes and shared Christmas blessings with the Lunch Bunch, finished my errands, including my honey do list and was on my way home. I received a call from sweet Hubby asking for one last errand.

Gracie and me!

             Whenever I am in this particular neighborhood I was dispatched to, I pop into a little shop just to see what they may have of interest. I kept hearing puppy sounds but did not see the source. My curiously got the best of me. The next I know, I am buckling in a new friend for the trip home. Dan wasn’t sure when he saw Gracie, as I immediately named her, perched in the front passenger seat. Within a few minutes, she was sitting at the dining table panting and making both of us laugh. Angel dog does not yet share our excitement. When Gracie raises her ears, so does Angel dog, but the latter with disdain.

Who would NOT fall in love with this face!

          I am so happy Dan is falling in love with Gracie too. Good thing; as I quickly pointed out it was his fault for sending me into that area of town. Sometimes it is just mutual love at first sight. We cannot wait to take Gracie to visit family over Christmas! I know she will be the hit of the festivities!

 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. Romans 15:13

                               Dan, Linda, Angel Dog and Gracie!

Thursday, December 15, 2011


            For a few minutes I thought I had stumbled into the wrong gathering. Usually the group of friends I meet for lunch each week are upbeat and positive. This week they, as one described their mood, had their knickers in a knot over uncompromising demands upon family time, gifts and gatherings.

A new heating and cooling system - an unexpected "gift".

           Dan and I just recently had a conversation about how so many difficult situations seem to develop around the Christmas season. We personally have been hit with unforeseen expenses, friends with life threatening illness, deaths and other issues. Tragedy, stress and sadness seem to be head line news all around the globe.

           The reason is obvious. Circumstances can take our focus off of the real reason we celebrate Christmas. Personally, we have made a conscious effort to de-stress holidays as best as we can. Instead of the hustle and bustle of shopping for that perfect gift and racing from one house or event to another, we are making every effort to keep it simple. This year, we decided not to stress out trying to find anything that our children and grandchildren do not already have. We are giving more “practical” gifts and making donations to charities in their names. Of course, practical can have a broad definition in grandparent land. We are asking simply for gifts of time with family.

          We were thrilled that our daughter in law and son began Thanksgiving Day with a family 5K fund raiser for a local food bank. (Though we have yet to see the footage, it is rumored that Nana and five year old grandson Joshua finished dead last.) They understand the importance of teaching children the value of giving. Even more importantly, they understand the value of teaching them about the only perfect gift.

"Jesus, What Happened"

          At Bible study this week, after confessing her obsession of buying a gift for herself each time she purchased one for the person on her list, our leader began the lecture with the word perfect. Webster’s first definition: complete in all respects; flawless. Why do we even attempt to purchase perfect gifts? The perfect gift of course is Christ. His gift to us: complete in all respects, flawless!

For it is impossible that the blood of bulls and goats should take away sins.... Lo, I have come to do thy will... And every priest stands at his service, offering repeatedly the same sacrifice, which can never take away sins. But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God ... For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are sanctified.

Hebrews 10: 11-18:

Monday, December 5, 2011

The Twin Houses

Several years ago God sent a precious young friend into our lives. Nene worked for our optometrist. In the course of conversation we discovered one of the things we had in common was breast cancer. I remember a phone call from her that lasted into the wee hours of the morning. She was thankful she had received an encouraging oncology report. She spoke of how God was blessing her even during this most difficult time. God had brought a man into her life she believed was to be her life long partner. She knew he was a Godly man because he loved her with the love of God; even with her bald head and ravaged body.

Twin Houses: just like human twins they are mirror images of the other.

Nene lived in the cutest little cottage ever. She shared the story of twin sisters who had built these two cottages side beside. The twins wanted to be close but not under the same roof. They decided to build a connecting deck between the cottages. Each felt they could share this common ground.

We were both shocked and devastated when Nene passed away a few short weeks after our long conversation. It was difficult to understand why God allowed this precious Godly and pure young lady to leave this earth so soon. She shared concern for those she loved; particularly her father. Her mother had succumbed to cancer at the same age of 35.

Bad things happen to good people. Good things happen to bad people. God however is still in control. Nene, in her short life, left more light in this world than many of us do in a life time. We miss her, but know she is rejoicing with her Mom in heaven.

Like the twin sisters’ deck, the same things that connect us can also separate us. This can be especially true among family. Things that should bring us together in commonality; often divide. We all deal with hurt in our own way. Some of us cope in denial, and anger; others seek truth and healing. I am so thankful for God’s gifts of people like Nene. They encourage me to keep trusting God to turn hurts and disappointments into a deeper genuine love and understanding of others; particularly those closest to our hearts.

In the meanwhile, I am reminded of the words a friend penned to me from The Help; "You is good! You is smart! You is somebody!" I quote another friend, "God is crazy about His girls!" Nothing quite tops that now does it?

But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; that ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.  Matthew 5:44-45

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Hopeful Futures

With so much negative news in the world these days, the future sometimes looks bleak. We have many reasons to hope. The news of two upcoming weddings gives us much joy and hope.

A winter wedding is on tap for one of our precious nieces. God sent her all around the world to Papua New Guinea to connect them. The bride is American, the groom Canadian. We do not know the theme of the wedding. She is passionate about purple. No doubt it will play an important role. We do know it will be special because it is ordained by God.   Both are very sweet, simple, and conservative.

A spring wedding is in order for the daughter of old friends. The bride has many struggles but keeps getting up every time she is knocked down. She met her groom at a swim party in elementary school. He moved away in the sixth grade. As adults they both ended up at schools in Nashville. You guessed it, they reconnected. They are a fun loving couple who enjoy life. True to their personalities, their wedding will have a 1920’s theme. We cannot wait to see the ideas this creative couple comes up with. No doubt it too will be a unique and joyous occasion.

This is not just a love story of four people. It is a love story of their Heavenly Father. He knew before they were born who was to be their lifelong mates. They have faithfully trusted His guidance and will. God brought them together because He loves them. He also brought them together to enjoy and serve their God forever.

It is so encouraging to see the wondrous ways God works. He is always at work behind the scenes on our behalf. Often when we least expect it, He shows up and rewards those who diligently seek Him.

For those men and women in waiting, the holidays can be a mixed bag of emotions. Be encouraged. Hold on to the hope of your faith in God. He hasn’t forgotten. Be reminded, He is working in ways we cannot see!

Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: 1 Peter 5:6

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Angel’s Play Date

Angel and "Little" Lab puppy.

Recently two houses in our neighborhood went up for sale. As you would expect, we prayed for them to sell promptly and to good folks. Both houses sold within the month to two great young families.

Not only were we pleased, Angel dog has happily acquired new play mates. The neighbor next door has a black lab puppy. Add a German shepherd and white Husky to the mix equals hours of fun and frolic. Yesterday they had a great time tugging and chasing a sock. (We are hoping the owner of said sock enjoyed it too.)

In a few short years Angel has gone from being the youngster in the neighborhood to the elder. Even though she has a great time playing with the younger neighbors, she does more sitting than running. Having contact with other animals is great exercise for the body and her spirit.

After a hard day of play, she was ravenous. She loves vegetable lasagna as much as we do. When we placed the tray of leftovers on the deck, she attacked holding it down with her paws inside. It would be a shame to miss a single morsel.

The need for relationship with others is innate. We are blessed to have wonderful friends and church family in our community. Like Angel, we seem to have shifted to the older side in our friendships. We love sharing a meal and play with our “younger” friends. Also, like Angel, we find the need to take some time outs. We look forward to our coveted Sunday afternoon naps.

Sunday is a time of worship, fellowship, sharing the newspaper, and afternoon walks or bike riding. That is our version of sock tugging. Now for the cherry on top of our Sunday – nap time!

Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!"

Psalm 133:1 (KJV)


Sunday, October 23, 2011

Dial Up vs. High Speed

           A friend once made an observation about my memory. She said to me, “Mrs. Linda, some folks are on high speed connection, you still may be set on dial up.” We had a good laugh but as the years pass I find myself in good company.

           This weekend my husband gathered with his high school friends for their 45th reunion. Most of us there were on dial up mode. It was so wonderful to see folks still delighted to see each other; some for the first time since graduation. That is, once they figured out who each other were!

           Name tags were a great help the first night they gathered together. Under the cloak of darkness, they had excuses when incorrect names were called or completely forgotten; repeatedly. A mild panic arose Saturday when the name tag crutch was removed in the light of day. A sigh of relief filled the room when name tags were put back into action at the dinner meal.

           There may have been a pecking order back in the youth of high school. At this reunion of dear friends, all were on an equal playing field. Everyone, for the most part, was on dial up. The years have made them more appreciative of life and friendship. They took time to remember and honor their classmates who had passed.

          Memories may have faltered at names and faces but happy memories shared from youth, made them one. There were four friends in attendance who had been school mates of Dan's from first grade through twelfth. What a wonderful thing to cherish. Is there any wonder that the word “friend” is found ninety times in the Bible?

Friends since the 1st grade!

          There is something to be said about dial up. The slowing down of our hectic lives and taking a leisure weekend walking down memory lane with beloved friends is a priceless gift. I would say that trumps high speed any day of the week.

            Genuine friends must be cherished and not forsaken (Prov. 27: 10).

Saturday, October 15, 2011

It's My Birthday!

I woke up this morning to find these beautiful flowers from my husband.  What a lovely way to start my BIRTH DAY! 

I was walking down the hallway and I hear this hysterical laughter from him. Apparently a toilet tissue streamer had mysteriously attached itself to my shorts!  Oh well. Welcome to 60!

Now, on to an afternoon concert! Rock on!

"God bless you and keep you,  God smile on you and gift you. God look you full in the face and make you prosper"
(Numbers 6:24-26, MSG)


Friday, October 14, 2011

Salt and Light

        Wednesday night we came home to find an invasion on our back deck. It and the outside door were covered with snails. Apparently the rain and darkness had drawn them out of hiding. Of course, I totally freaked out. I mean really! Gross! Yuck, etc, etc.

        Dan assured me when the sun came out they would retreat. I was not about to attempt to sleep with those slugs lurking about outside my door. I remembered that contact with salt destroys them. I emptied an entire box of salt over the deck, back door and side of the house. It did do the trick. The salt destroyed the disgusting critters, however, there was a slimy mess left behind to be dealt with.

        Some of us struggle with our secret sins that hide away in the dark tormenting our souls. The Light is what drives them away and destroys them when we apply the salt of genuine faith. Still there may remain the consequences of our choices. There is often the slimy mess of regret and sorry.

        Millions of people like me have bought the lie that terminating/aborting a pregnancy is acceptable in certain circumstances. Regardless of the reason, abortion leaves a horrific scar on the soul. Yes, when we truly repent, God freely forgives. He desires to comfort and heal us. We, however, can never recover the loss. We will forever grieve for our children.

        I recently had the opportunity to share my restoration story with two women in different places in their lives. One was heart broken from her abortion seeking help through Post Abortion Ministry. The other too cried bitterly as she remained adamant she must abort the child she was carrying. She believed it was the only choice she could make.

        I confided in a friend that I sometimes felt like throwing myself at their feet and begging them not to do this horrible thing to themselves and their child. We cannot make or force that decision upon anyone. We can only inform of the inevitable, pray and be available to extend the same Mercy, Grace and Love God has given us regardless of choices made.

        It is my belief that until post abortive women stand together in bringing their secret pain of abortion out of the darkness into the Light, the true devastation of abortion will remain unrestrained. In the United Sates alone, more than 1.5 million abortions are performed each year, making abortion one of the most common surgical procedures performed on women today. + 

        Should you find yourself in the situation where you feel there is no other choice to be made, I beg you to reconsider. There is a way for you and your child. You will never go anywhere in your life that He has not gone before you to make a way! If you have already made this choice, please seek out a Post Abortion Restoration and Recovery group in your area. There are many resources available to you. Call me, your local Crisis Pregnancy Center or find a group at

They dress the wound of my people as though it is not serious. “Peace, peace,” they say, when there is not peace. Jeremiah 6:14 NIV

+ “Abortion Data from Reports of the Alan Guttmacher Institute”:, accessed 11/15/06

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Special Needs

A precious few from our church has formed what they call “The Barnabas Group.” Their mission is to minister to families with special needs adults. They are hosting a concert to benefit these families. They have given many complimentary tickets just to bless and encourage them. We have many friends and family that include these special gifts from God.

I felt compelled to ask my friends and family to make a donation toward this event in lieu of birthday cards. Since my 60th birthday falls on the day of the concert, I am sure I will receive one or two tacky cards. I would like to say they are underserved but will have to admit to sending one or two in my day. Well, maybe a few more.

I thanked God for being so blessed with healthy children. Immediately the words came back, “Families without healthy children are blessed too!” I began to realize the times the words I speak innocently but carelessly can offend or wound. I asked God to place a watch over my mouth so that I may speak only encouraging words.

In honor of our special occasions where presents are usually exchanged, we will be making donations as God directs us. I can think of no better gift to give or receive.

“Guard My Mouth, Keep Watch Over The Door My Lip
Psalm 141: 1-10

Monday, October 3, 2011

That’s Our Ruthie!

        I was ten years old when my brother Norman married Ruth. Next year they will celebrate their 50th anniversary! 

        Ruthie, as she is affectionately called, has been a part of our family for most of my life. I hardly remember a time when she wasn’t around.  I vividly recall the pink lacy dress she wore her wedding day. Although she was obviously nervous, she was still perfectly coiffured.


         Like many, she has experienced much loss and tragedy in her life. It has not made her bitter but a better person. She receives much teasing over her hyper vigilant personality. On our last visit we noted she had a dust pan in the dog kennel and hanging plant on her satellite dish. Things must be neat and tidy in Ruthie’s world.

        Ruthie invited us to drop by for a biscuit for breakfast before we returned home from our visit. To her it was just a biscuit; to us it was a banquet. She not only frets that we haven’t had enough to eat but sends home food for our freezer.

        Anytime there is a need within her family or community, she is generally first on the scene and the last to leave. She is not perfect. Hello! She married us! She is a very loving, nurturing, kind hearted and caring person.

        Not only is she approaching her Golden anniversary, she has a heart of gold. I don't know if her parents named her after the Biblical Ruth, but it certainly suits her. Yep! That’s our Ruthie!

And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God: Ruth 1:16

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Oh Foot!

Dan had complained about pain in his foot for a while. He was finally convinced to have it checked out. He came home from the Podiatrist’s office explaining his procedure in detail. He was given a series of painful injections. “The needle was really, really big,” he kept repeating.

I looked at him, smiled, pointed to myself and said, “Remember me, cancer patient?” (We know about needles.) Without missing a beat he responded pointing to himself, “Remember me, wimp?”

For sure his ordeal was painful and I do sympathize. However, his foot is now pain free. I would agree with his observation on aging. “If it doesn’t hurt, it doesn’t work!” Some days it does seem that way.

While we do have our aches and pains, we are blessed beyond measure. We still have the presence of mind to acknowledge them, have them properly treated and even complain. That within itself is a gift.

This week I found myself running late for an appointment complaining about every little thing. A question formed in my mind; “What really is important to you?” I felt ashamed of my pettiness and repented. I began to thank God for the many things He had provided me with just that morning. I even thanked him for humid weather and my frizzy hair day! Maybe there is still hope for us.

Ephesians 4:29 - Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Facing the Wind

Just Wed---September 5, 1998

Dan and I celebrated our 13th wedding anniversary this weekend. We didn’t do anything “big” to mark the occasion. That is planned for next year. We did spend the long holiday weekend doing our favorite but simple things.

Me on top of Julian Mountain (CA)

Dan enjoying the waves-LaJolla Cove (CA)

We made an overnight trip to visit with relatives. Of course, there was laughter and lots, and lots of food. As I have said before, it is the Southern way; if you can’t fix it feed it!

Our friends of Grace invited us to share with them in their Labor Day activities. There was softball, cookouts and worship in praise and baptism. The testaments proclaiming lives completely and miraculous changed was awesome.

Formerly the site of a church camp, Grace is located on 60 plus acres. We enjoyed hiking in the woods enjoying the beautiful weather in between activities. We hear some folks are a bit stiff and sore today, but I am sure that is just a rumor.

Safe or out????

Beautiful Labor Day Weather
Yesterday morning we loaded up the bikes and took them to the park. It was a beautiful September day with blue skies and cool but gusting winds. Still needing rain badly in this area, the wind produced clouds of dust in the distance.

As we began our ride, the wind was at our backs turning bikes into sails. It was when we faced the wind the struggle came. We could barely turn our pedals. The wind almost held us in place. We were not sure if we could make it. The harder the wind blew, the harder we peddled. At one point in the trail, a sudden gust of wind hit us sideways almost knocking us off the trail. We took turns falling behind the other in single file, the one in front taking the worst of the wind.

The bike ride is just like life and marriage. Even on the best and perfect days, life can suddenly turn difficult. It is at those times you press in together. You watch the others’ back, hold on to each other and trust God to help you stay on the path.

The things we have experienced in our marriage many couples don’t survive. We have been blessed. The difficult times have drawn us closer rather than separating us. We thoroughly enjoy the times in our lives when the wind is at our back. It braces us for the inevitably of facing the wind.

Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

Friday, September 2, 2011

Green Lights

Today I traveled with my husband Dan on business. Occasionally he asks me to go along to visit with his customers. As is the norm, he takes what he calls short cuts to avoid traffic lights. I call them detours as generally they are anything but short. Nevertheless, the man hates traffic lights and goes to great lengths to avoid them. We spoke of a new application being advertised. It claims to judge your speed and approach to hit all green lights. He is totally psyched about the possibilities.

Since we would pass through the city of a friend, we arranged a visit. I met Mrs. W through a call with the ACS Reach to Recovery program. She too is a breast cancer survivor. Small world that it is, we soon realized her son was a friend of ours. I have always heard that bad things come in threes. I don’t know if that is true but, this family certainly has had many trials and heart aches over the last few years.

It does certainly seem that life sometimes is just too overwhelming to bear. Often times in our sorrows we feel God has distanced Himself from us. We wonder if He still hears or cares.

As Dan navigated around his red lights a thought crossed my mind. Would it not be wonderful if life was green lights only? What if we had an application that could time our lives to avoid all of life’s red lights—pain, sorry, loss and disappointment?

It will never happen on this side of heaven. We were born into a fallen world. We are imperfect as our actions often prove. We do have a perfect life application available to us. We do have God's promise regardless of what comes our way; He will never leave or forsake us.

"Jesus Wept" by Erik Hollander

Help me each day oh Lord to have faith and take courage while waiting for Your green light.

Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart: wait, I say, on the LORD!
Psalm 27:14

Saturday, August 27, 2011

”La Troisieme Age”

Beautiful summer day in the Arkansas mountains

A little Arkansas humor. 
 While waiting for my physician’s appointment, I impatiently thumbed through stacks of magazines. I was delighted to find a new publication, “Life Goes On”. It is the brainchild of two sisters who have long thought that women want to read informative stories about older women who are doing interesting things.*

One of the articles was on positive aging. The writer makes reference to a French term describing the years after 50. They call it “La Troisieme Age,” meaning “the Third Age.” The writer further describes our life’s journey in three ages. The first age is childhood, the second age is the responsibility of adulthood’ working, raising families and such. La Troisieme Age is the time to concentrate on YOU! I love, love, love it!

Even though I love the sweet life I have, the transition from caretaker to taking care is not always easy. There are those moments when the house is too still. I miss the days my house was filled with noise and chaos of active children. I look out my window and see an empty playhouse and remember…...

But, my job is done. My children have left the nest to feather their own. Their houses are filled with the sounds of beautiful grandchildren. They are strong and self sufficient.

In this third age, we are blessed to be grandparents. Our greatest joy is the rush of grandchildren to greet us. We would love to see the kids and grandkids every day. Instead we will have to be content to make the best of our times together. There is a benefit to being the “fun grandparents” who visit and just play.

Antique in an antique?

There is also much freedom in this third age. On the spur of the moment, we took off to the mountains last weekend. That would not have been possible in the other ages. Other person’s schedules and wishes would need considering.

We thought this was funny...police officer; not so much!

As I have said before, the great thing about Arkansas is its natural beauty. We attended an antique car show on the way. It is one of Dan’s loves. Perhaps that should be filed under birds of a feather: antiques love antiques.

We can be silly. We can be serious. We can be spontaneous. We can pursue all the dreams we dreamt in the first ages. Maybe even more importantly, we can make this world a better place by helping others.

Whatever age we are in, we hope to make it the best one yet!

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: Ecclesiastes 3:1

                                                                                        *Editor Marcy Gouge
                                                                                         “Life Goes On”

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Mustard Seed

The earlier part of this week was filled with those little foxes that can spoil the vine. We weren’t feeling really well which always makes things more annoying. A home project scheduled was to take four hours to complete. Here it is a week later and still….. (Sigh). One of Dan’s customers refused an order, including a case of dish soap, which he compensated for.

As mid-week arrived, our focus began to change. We are privileged to participate in a local mission Wednesday night worship service. A few of the residents approached us after the service. One wanted Jesus in his life. He and his new bride are now saved and walking in the Grace of God.

We took the dish soap to the mission. I noticed one young man gingerly picking up each bottle, smelling each like he had never seen dish soap before. The mystery was soon solved. He shared with us he had been washing dishes at the mission with hand soap because that was all they had. He said, “I prayed for dish soap just this morning and you brought it tonight.”

A young man we know was in dire need of a liver transplant. He was not expected to live more than a few weeks without it. We drove to Memphis to visit with him, his wife and baby daughter. They ended up blessing us with their positive attitude and faith. Both shared they knew God would come through for them. However He chose to answer their prayers, they were in total peace. The liver transplant has been done and he is doing well.

I received news my sister was very ill in a Mississippi hospital. As soon as I could gather my things I headed out for the three hour trip. As my night vision is lacking, I do not usually drive at night – especially long distances. With much prayer along the way, I made it safely without incident. My sister is still very ill. There are some minute signs of improvement. I know God will come through for her as well.

Life’s little annoyances can distract us from the big picture. God cares about all that concerns us no matter how big or small. I was reminded of the words I often speak to others; “Remember, you can’t go anywhere that God has not gone before you to make a way.”

Did I mention we are having a great week?

The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field, which indeed is the least of all the seeds; but when it is grown it is greater than the herbs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and nest in its branches. (Matthew 13:31-32)

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Summer Shenanigans

It is Saturday night and Dan and I have been out bar-hopping again. Well, at least our version. We went to a local restaurant which has a separate bar—desert bar that is. We decided for our Saturday night dinner date to have hot fudge cake for our meal.

When we are kids we want to be adults. As adults, sometimes we want to be and do act like kids. As an adult we are allowed to make these choices on occasion. We recently made another perhaps not so mature decision.


Our church had a series called Summer Play. One of the events was a very successful ‘Summer Shindig.’ There was cat fish, standard for any Southern event, home made ice cream, skillet cooked Southern succotash (chicken, sausage, taters, corn and more). For those who survived the events of the day, the evening offered line dancing.

Of course there were the old fashioned sack races, three legged races and so on. It was all great fun watching everyone enjoying themselves. Then I found myself in line for riding the mechanical bull. I quickly became the spectacle not the spectator.

I blame it on the triple digit temperature. I don’t know what Dan’s excuse was. With some difficulty (Linda Grace’s foot slipped through the platform) and assistance I mounted the bull. There wasn’t much riding to it. We were on and we were off. Just for your information, these saddles are polished down with several coats of ArmorAll.

There was ample padding for the fall. Many of the younger kids got just as big a kick out of bouncing on it as sliding off the bull. Well okay – some folks actually did ride well enough to make any cowpoke proud. I on the other hand, my bruises and pride are healing nicely thank you.

In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.

Psalm 4:8