Saturday, January 21, 2012


A young lady in our church has challenged me by example to think organic. I figure if she can do it with two active little ones underfoot 24-7 so can I. Not only is she attempting to go all natural for the health of her family, it is more economical for this young family’s tight budget. She even makes her own laundry detergent. I am so totally impressed, aren’t you?

Granted, there is a learning curve. I have to remind myself to reach past the bleach and pine scented cleaners for the baking soda and vinegar. I don’t know when I got the idea to clean means your house should smell like chemicals. Good marketing I suppose. I have noticed certain cleaning products give me an instant migraine. Duh! You say? That within itself is good reason to rethink organic cleaning.

Yesterday I was at the pharmacy late in the day. I am a grazer. I tend to snack throughout the day. Often it is late afternoon when I realize I haven’t eaten a real meal and hungry. I found myself in that situation yesterday. Not a good thing when food is all around and everything looks delicious.

We seldom eat pork. Ranking high on the list of Southern favorites, next to catfish is barbeque. I spotted Corky’s barbeque dinners in the freezer section. I reasoned that the portions would be small enough not to cause too much damage. Within minutes of arriving home, the house was filled with the awesome smell of Southern style barbecue sauce. Doesn’t it just make your mouth water thinking about it? Yee Haw!

I will admit the meal was neither healthy nor organic. Obviously it was laden with salt. On the way to our weekly visit to the mission, I realized I was terribly thirsty. The mission has natural well water. I was getting almost excited about getting my hands on some of that water as I had been about the barbeque.

Their water is so good. It does so much more than quench your thirst. It seems to soothe your very soul. It is so cool and refreshing I seldom can stop with one large glass. Back in the old days, as I am told, well water was the one and only source of water. I have heard folks speak of missing that well water. Then it hit me. Well water was perhaps the first organic drink.

Hmm--organic water. Were we you organic before organic was cool?

13 Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” John 4:13-14  NIV

Monday, January 16, 2012

Illustrated Messages

Dan is famous for his illustrated messages. Wednesday nights at Grace Mission he really gets geared up. Recently he spoke on “Growth Spurt.” In true form we outfitted him in absurdly large clothing from head to toe. The shoes I found for him were large enough for him to comfortably fit his foot inside of with his tennis shoes on.

His point was growing in our faith. In the New Year we should look forward to a growth spurt in our relationships with others and Christ. We tend to be visual creatures. When we see and hear, we retain more. That, other than his being part ham is the method for his madness.

He has dragged items from stones to power tools into many classrooms filled with curious faces. The only time I have seen any apprehension is the time he hauled in a giant cross and nails. Perhaps there was a small sigh of relief as he explained the exercise was nailing our sins and sorrows to that cross. It was powerful and heart warming to see that six and a half foot cross covered with petitions.

Each week the residents look forward to what he has come up with.  Last week when he told them he was prop free, they were skeptical. When he doesn’t have time to create his special props, I often take their place. Stories like, "If Linda just sits in her comfortable chair sipping coffee, eating chocolate and just watching exercise videos, nothing is going to happen."  I think it was a reference to commitment. I couldn’t quite make it all out over the giggles.

We have been talking about getting a new type of exercise equipment. You know the same old same old gets boring. Sunday he couldn't resist commenting when he caught me wiggling into my leggings. “Now that’s a good work out! You do that a couple times a day and that will keep you in shape! Who needs an elliptical?” I don’t know what this week’s message is, but I do have a very good idea about his illustration! Sigh.

“Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness. But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.”
2 Peter 3:17-18

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Walking on Sunshine!

It’s official! Our family has grown. Abigail and Ryan De Roos are now happily married. It was a joyous occasion. We are so excited for them and for all our new Canadian friends and family God has blessed us with. Each and every one of them are dear folks. You know the kind when you meet it feels like you have always known them?

Mr. and Mrs. Ryan De Roos

In spite of the typically cold January weather expected, it was a beautiful day for the wedding. Tons of lovely wedding photos were taken outside by Christine Byrd. The De Ross family and friends caravan were excited to be in the, comparatively speaking, sunny south.

The De Roos Family
"AKA The Canadian Duggers"

Henry and Kara (parents of the groom) posted they accidentally turned south instead of north on their return trip to Ontario. They didn’t recognize the error until they ended up at the gulf coast. Sure! Right! Dan wants to know where Henry bought his GPS. He wants one too. Seriously, we are pleased they were able to spend some family time together in the southern sunshine.

Dan and I "purpled" up!

We would agree with a friend’s comment, “It was the most God honoring, worshipful wedding ever.” The young couple mission minded as they are, said they would rather spend money sharing Jesus than on the wedding. Friends and family served them well. They pooled their gifts and resources for a simple but absolutely beautiful wedding.

Dawn and Alan Jackson, Parents of the Bride

Appropriately Abigail chose “I’m Walking on Sunshine” as her recessional. She has always been a ray of sunshine. Ryan and Abigail are literally, a match made in heaven. When Minister Hooper pronounced them husband and wife she flashed that gorgeous smile and shouted, Woohoo! Our sentiments exactly!


Psalm 97:11-12 - "Light is shed upon the righteous and joy on the upright in heart. Rejoice in the LORD, you who are righteous, and praise his holy name. NIV

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Coming Home

It is brutally cold today. Chicken Tortilla Soup is warming in the Crockpot. As I shared with a friend, I love for my husband to come home to the aroma of food in the air. She reminisced how she felt such happiness as a child coming home to the smell of a warm meal. That is my goal.

Dan works so very hard. When he walks through the door, I want him to feel nothing but love, peace and comfort with his homecoming. He certainly goes out of his way to take care of me. New Year’s Eve I began to feel a bit under the weather. By morning I couldn’t budge myself out of bed. I felt poorly for a week. I don’t know if I had a virus or if my body was shutting down in self defense from all of the holiday travel and rich food.

                                                                 Dan and I Christmas 2011

One night I awoke from my spot by the fire to find Dan making his own dinner. He didn’t want to disturb me. How sweet is that? His version of dinner was a grilled cheese sandwich, but he was totally proud of himself. We will, however, be purchasing a new Crockpot to replace the broken one. I assured him I had done far worse damage in the kitchen many times.

Sister in law, Ruthie, sent a chunk of her homemade fruit cake.home with us  Dan likes everything in fruitcake except the red and green thingies. Well, that is the bulk of the cake. I ate the whole thing. I am a firm believer in waste not want not. Sadly I ended up with more waist than want. I pried myself into my jeans but the waist ballooned over the top like an open umbrella. It is far more sad than the run of the mill muffin top. The fruit cake did not make the trip alone. There was a variety of other specialty dishes from sisters Gere, Patsy and Cheryl. Well, we can’t hurt anyone’s feelings by not eating their dish right?


                                                    Patsy, Cheryl and Gere. Let's eat!

I try to get my worst dreaded errands done first and behind me for the day. I headed to Wally World to pick up a prescription for Dan. My “honey do” list was tucked safely in my coat pocket-- nothing to be forgotten today! When I hit the cold, I decided to change to warmer hat and gloves. You guessed it….the list did not make the transfer.

Well, it is the New Year but some things remain the same. I am trying to get back into a regular exercise routine. I am doing fair with the treadmill, but still struggle not to fall asleep when I lie down for my floor exercise. Dan had the idea we should snuggle up on the sofa by the fire like we use to. That was back when we obviously had an older, larger sofa. Now, Houston we have a problem. We have spillage and various body cramps and spasms.

Dan just called to say he was on his way home. As always, I am happy to hear those words. I will greet him with a gentle hug and a light kiss as not to injure either of us. We will gave thanks for our soup, petition for our loved ones, and thank God for our gift of enduring love in this New Year!

Give thanks to the Lord of lords: His love endures forever. Psalm 136:3