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Sunday, April 22, 2018

Hand of Protection and God's Goodness

On Saturday Ilene and I went to some yard sales.  All we found were some gospel CDs and a pair of shoes.  We went to a late lunch at Subway before going to Food Lion and then home.  We sat out on the deck with some tea to relax and enjoy the beautiful day.  I took some pictures of the flowers.  Then I decided to pick up some limbs and move them from the yard.  Before we knew it, we were working in the flower beds.  We got the flower beds cleaned out, pruned and plucked.  After that we went inside and got our baths.  Then I did some laundry because I wanted to wear a dress on Sunday that I had found at the thrift.

After the baths were done, we began working on the puzzle we have going.  We began hearing a beep that sounded like something had a battery about to die.  We thought it was the phone, so Ilene brought it to the puzzle table after the second beep.  Lo and behold the third beep sounded but it wasn't coming from the phone.  It was the alarm system stating there was a power failure which caused the alarm not to work.  Ilene called them and after checking a few things was told there must be an electrical problem.  So we told them we would call her back after we did some checking around.  Besides the alarm not working, the ceiling lights in all of the bedrooms were not working and some of the outlets in the formal living room were not working.

The only thing we could think to do was contact Ilene's granddaughter so she could contact her fiancee and ask him to come if he could and figure out what the electrical problem might be.  He is an electrician apprentice.  He brought his tools and began the process of elimination.  To make a long story short, he found that some wires had gotten too hot in one of the bedroom ceiling light's wires and had burned.  I was the main junction and caused the other problems in the other rooms.  As soon as he cleaned that up he got the electricity working again!  YAY!!  Thanks so much, Joey!  We told him we would take him to dinner sometime!

The thing that was so scary (after all is said and done) is the burned wires.  The house could have been burned down if God had not had His hand of protection over us!  Thank You, LORD, for your hand of protection!

A spirea bush, or you may know it as a bridal veil bush

Here's a close up of the beautiful flower clusters

And here's an even closer view of the bee working the flowers.

Front flower bed

More flower bed

Beautiful azalea bush


A mocking bird was singing a wonderful song that I captured on video, but the video turned out to be too large to upload.

Beautiful irises in 3 colors........white...........

burgundy

purple





Pinks, or sweet williams (I believe)

more pinks, my favorite color!

The burned out light receptacle


This morning as we were getting ready for church, 4 deer came cautiously out of the trees lining the property.  The one leading the pack got away before I could get my camera ready.  These 3 stayed pretty close to one another!


Right after church this morning, we headed to East Bend for the viewing of Ilene's daughter's father-in-law.  We had lunch at her house before going to the viewing.  We left there in time to go straight to church for the evening service.  It was a very long day!  The funeral is at 11 a.m. tomorrow, so we will leave here around 9:30 to be there in plenty of time.

Even though it was a long day, it was a good day in God's house, beginning with the Sunday school hour.  Calvin finished up his teaching through the book of Philippians.  Here are some of the treasures brought to my attention from chapter 4 today:
Verse 11 says, "Not that I speak in respect of want:  for I have learned, in whatsoever state (situation) I am, therewith to be content."  Calvin told us that the word "content" meant to be joyfully and thankfully patient.  Forgive me, LORD, for being discontent so often!
Verse 13 tells me how I can be content in all things, "I can do all things (in the will of God) through Christ which strengtheneth me."
When Calvin read verse 14, "Notwithstanding ye have well done, that ye did communicate with my affliction." it caused me to remember how the church treated Tim during his 5-year battle with cancer.  They were very supportive!  They "allowed" him those times of sickness, which were very few until the last several months.  And when he was bad enough that he needed brain surgery, they allowed him to take the time to recoup.  But he ended up passing away 3 months to the day of the brain surgery.  And then the church paid for his burial.  They didn't have to do that, but they did and I will be eternally grateful!

During the morning worship hour, Bobby preached from Hosea 3, comparing the love Hosea had for his wife, Gomer, and the love God had for the children of Israel.  Even after Gomer became a prostitute, Hosea was willing to buy her back, just as God was willing to redeem Israel.  Just as He was willing to send His Son to die on the cross in my place.  I don't know why, but He did!  We just need to embrace God's grace!

Come, Ye Sinners!

Come, ye sinners, poor and needy
Weak and wounded, sick and sore
Jesus ready, stands to save you
Full of pity, love and power

CHORUS:
I will arise and go to Jesus
He will embrace me in His arms
In the arms of my dear Savior
Oh, there are ten thousand charms

Come, ye thirsty, come and welcome
God's free bounty glorify
True belief and true repentance
Every grace that brings you nigh

Come, ye weary, heavy-laden
Lost and ruined by the fall
If you tarry 'til you're better
You will never come at all


On Sunday evenings, Bobby is going through the book of Revelation.  Tonight we were in chapter 3.  The one thing Bobby pointed out that I had never given any thought about was how verse 20 is talking about the church, not your heart.  "Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me."  You've seen the picture of Jesus standing at a door and knocking and you are the one who has to open the door to let Him into your heart.  But the book of Revelation is written to churches (3:6; 3:13; 3:22).  This verse is not trying to get someone to be trust Jesus for salvation.  God wants His churches to heed His warnings.

Yes, it was a great day!  Here's hoping you have a marvelous week!

Friday, April 20, 2018

The Circle of Life

We live, we die.  Someone we love very much, who has lived for a long time, dies.  Someone we have been waiting for for a very long time, and we love very much already, is finally here!  Ilene's family has experienced death and life this week.

Two days ago, Ilene's son-in-law's father passed away.  Today, new life was brought forth from the loins of this same man, a great grandson.  Given his great grandfather's name.  So beautiful!

We went to COSTCO today to get some food to take to the family for the funeral.  Afterwards we went to Olive Garden for a late lunch.  We only ate half at the time, but we enjoyed the other half later this evening for our supper.


Chicken Giardino

Stuffed noodles chicken alfredo

While eating our lunch, we decided to take the 45 minute trip to Elkin to see the new addition to the family.
Ilene and her brand new great grandson, Roman.

Roman, born today a little after 11 a.m.  What a beautiful baby boy!

".....the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD."  Job 1:21



Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Meet in the Middle

My friend, Lori, who used to live next door to us when we lived in the parsonage, called me yesterday to tell me that, for some reason, every time she hears this song, she thinks of Tim and me.  I'm not a country music fan, so I had never heard the song.  But, when I read the lyrics, it did remind me of the days before Tim and I had our driver's license and we would walk the road between his house and mine in our early years as high school sweethearts.  And it brought tears to my eyes.  Thank you, Lori, for bringing back those precious memories!



It was seven hundred fenceposts from your place to ours
Neither one of us was old enough to drive a car
Sometimes it was raining, sometimes it would shine
We wore out that gravel road between your house and mine

I'd start walking your way
You'd start walking mine
We'd meet in the middle
'Neath that old Georgia pine
We'd gain a lot of ground
'Cause we'd both give a little
And their ain't no road to long
When you meet in the middle

It's been seven years tomorrow since we said our vows
Under that old pine tree, you ought to see it now
Standing in the back yard reminding me and you
That if we don't see eye to eye there's something we can do

I'd start walking your way
You'd start walking mine
We'd meet in the middle
'Neath that old Georgia pine
We'd gain a lot of ground
'Cause we'd both give a little
And their ain't no road to long
When you meet in the middle

Babe I love the way we work it out
That's what love's about

Sweetheart Days
Tim's family moved into a house on his great uncle Bill's property about a quarter of a mile down the road from our house.  That would be River Road, Route 8, along the Ohio River on the Kentucky side.  Our mailing addresses were Hebron even though we lived next to Taylorsport.

I'll never forget the first day Tim sat by me as we road the bus home from school.  I always gravitated to the back of the bus because that's where the boy I liked usually sat.  I liked him, but he didn't know I existed, LOL!  Anyway, I didn't want Tim to sit by me because I was hoping beyond hope that my "boyfriend" would sit there.  So, when Tim stood by my seat that day, and in his gentlemanly way asked if the seat next to me was taken and if not could he sit there, I answered with all the smart-aleckness I could muster, "It doesn't look like anyone is sitting there, so I guess you can sit there."  I don't remember any of the conversation we might have had on the way home, but I imagine that it was pretty cold!  After Tim was dropped off my stop was next, and as I got off the bus, the driver (Mrs. Roark) said to me, "New boyfriend?"  I answered, in a loud enough voice that my "real boyfriend" could hear, "NO!  He stinks!"  Imagine that!  I'm surprised Tim EVER looked at me twice after that day!  And it would have served me right!  Thank You, LORD, that You had other plans for us!

The ages of Tim's siblings were about the same as my siblings, so it turned out that they would come to our house to play.  We lived next door to a kid (Mark Kenyon) who had a nice backyard where we played softball and football.  Other times we played in our yard.  We lived across the road from some fields that we would play in, too, especially when we played hide-and-seek.  And we loved playing in the other neighbor's barn in the hay loft and there was an old piano that we loved to bang on.  We had lots of fun having more kids to play with!

The more time Tim and I were together, the more I realized that Tim was someone I could really like.  Eventually, we stopped playing so much with the siblings and started going off on our own together.  We took a lot of walks up and down the road with a shortwave radio playing music (oldies) between us.

One day Tim's brother, Jeff, told me that he either heard Tim talking on his CB radio or read something Tim had written that he wanted to kiss me.  And I'll never forget that day as long as I live.  It was March 13, 1971.  We were sitting on the steps in the front of our house listening to the shortwave radio.  I could feel the electricity between us!  Our faces got closer and closer together until he landed the sweetest kiss upon my lips!  From that point on, we were a couple!  It was the second best day of my whole life, the first being the day I was saved!

Tim was already quite the gentleman.  He was already allowing me to go first through doors that he opened for me.  He did that until the days of his death.  He always made me feel like a lady, even when I wasn't acting like one!  Thank You, LORD, for sending this special man into my life, even when I didn't deserve him!

And, thank you, Jeanne and Chuck, for the wonderful man you raised to be a wonderful husband and father!


Friends
It is good to be back home and good to be back with special friends.  Carolyn came over yesterday for a ramp breakfast that Ilene fixed.  Scrambled eggs mixed with ramps and Mexican cornbread.  I did not eat the eggs.  When we lived in West Virginia, the folks at Buffalo Baptist Church tried to break us in on ramps.  We just never developed a taste for them!  If you want to know what they are, click here.

It is cool again this week!  I don't think we are ever going to enjoy a real Spring!  Everything is blooming, but it is just not warm enough to enjoy being out doors WITHOUT a jacket!  I want to shed these long sleeves and long pants!

Special friends doing what we love.......jigsaw puzzles.

Springtime blooms

Blooms in clusters.

The Wisteria is beautiful hanging in clusters from the trees in the back yard.

A daily visit from Mr. Pheasant.

This is the puzzle we began and finished yesterday.

Here's the picture from the box.  I found this brand new puzzle at the thrift shop for $0.99!

Sickness
Ilene's daughter, Rita, came down with the flu after she had been with us last weekend.  Ilene called her doctor and began taking tamiflu.  She and I already had some sort of crud we were dealing with.  But when Ilene's sounded like it might be settling in her lungs, she went to the doctor.  She tested positive for the flu, so he added another prescription to the tamiflu.  She was down for the count while I was at Elisabeth's this past weekend.  She just laid around and slept.  She ran a fever, but thankfully she didn't have it as long as Rita.  She is feeling pretty good today.  She has been hungry since yesterday.  That is a good thing!  I told her it was good to see her hungry, like it was always good for me to see Tim hungry, because it meant he was feeling good!  Thank You, Lord, for bringing Ilene through the flu with a relatively light case!

Our interim pastor, Bobby Smith, was sick over the weekend, too.  He could not attend the Sunday services.  Calvin took care of the morning services and Pastor Fred Wood preached in the evening service.  Praying Bobby is feeling better by Wednesday's prayer meeting!

Our dear sister, Dorothy, who just lost her husband at church, ended up in the hospital.  She is doing better.  Praying she is released and can go home soon!

A dear brother in the Lord, Mark Wallace, is dealing with issues with his feet and legs.  He has had surgery on both feet and will be off of them for several months.  Please pray that the operations will take care of the infection and that he will begin to heal.

Lord Father, the Great Physician, please heal these feeble bodies in accordance with Your will, and for Your glory!  I pray in the name of Your Son!


Until the next time.............may the Lord bless and keep you!

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Youth

Ah!  To be young again!  No, thank you!  While I would love to have the strength and stamina of youth again, I would NOT want to be young and growing up in this wicked and sinful generation!  A generation of people who don't know if they are male or female!  Forgive me, but am I missing something here?  My parents didn't talk about the birds and the bees but at least I did know and understand that much!  I have always known I am female!  And I've always enjoyed my role as a female!  Quite honestly, I don't understand why some women want to be treated as "equal" to their male counterpart!  No, thank you!  And that is just one tiny aspect of why I would NOT want to be young and growing up in this day and age!  However, I do believe parents play a major role in the "gender identity crisis!"  But, don't get me started on that!  Just GROW UP, mom and dad!

Now that I've gotten that off of my chest, let me get back to the oohs and aahs of being young..... especially young and Christian!  Young, Christian, and "in the prime of life" ..... at least from my perspective!

I was in my daughter's church today.  The teens took the roles the adults normally have in the morning worship hour.  Today was recognized as "Youth Sunday."  The teens made up the choir.  The teens lead the congregational singing.  The teens did the ushering to collect the tithes and offerings.  The teens lead in prayer.  The teens sang the specials.  And the youth leader preached the morning sermon.  And they ALL did a wonderful job!  I know their parents were proud!  I know their grandparents were proud!  And they (we) should be!  And the teens should be very thankful for the Lord placing them where they are, and for the great opportunities He gives them to "practice" moving from a passive role in church to beginning an active role in the church.  Some of my kids were afforded this opportunity many years ago in a church that we attended.  As a result of that, I believe they feel comfortable having moved into leadership roles in their own churches now.  Thank You, Lord!  Thank You for great youth leaders in the church!

Speaking of my daughter, on Friday I went to the Christian school where she works as an aide and her kids attend, for a program the elementary students performed for their grandparents.  After the program, the grandparents were invited to eat lunch with their grandchildren in the school cafeteria, or sign the kids out and take them out of school for the rest of the day, which is what I did.  We went to Chick-fil-A for lunch.  Afterwards, we went to the house, changed clothes and went to a nearby park and hiked the walking trail.

After everyone else was home later in the day, Liz and I went grocery shopping for Abby's birthday party that was going to be held at the Rockwell Park on Saturday.  Ryan had soccer practice, so Brad took all of the kids with him.

On Saturday, Abby had soccer practice before her party.  Liz had reserved the shelter from 12-4 with the party lasting from 1-3.  So we went early to decorate and get the party ready.  It was beautiful, but very windy!  The kids had a blast being able to run around and play at the park!  I really think they enjoyed that more than if Liz had planned organized games!

After the party was cleaned up, Liz and I went shopping and Brad took the kids home to get some work done.  I found a couple of dresses at the thrift store and some other items at some of the other places.  We were only out a couple of hours.  On the way back to the house we stopped at Aldi to get some hamburger and corn on the cob for supper.

I treated everyone to Zaxby's for lunch today after church.  Then I packed up and left to, hopefully beat the rain that was looming.  I made it, and it did begin raining not long after I got home.

I took almost 700 pictures/videos this weekend, but I will spare you and only share some of them!  You're welcome!  😃

Friday, April 13th
Grandparents' Day at Rockwell Christian

Abby's 1st grade class getting ready to perform.

Ryan's 5th grade class getting ready to perform.  No smiling allowed!


Granite Quarry Park


Walking around the duck pond to begin the hiking trail.

I've never seen a duck with brown on it like this one.

We saw nothing to fear!

Periwinkle

They planned ahead and brought flip flops for the water.

This was the only nest we saw way up in the trees and I didn't see anything in it.

Fish in the little stream

Abby resting on a seat made from a tree trunk.





Balancing act.

This might be a "high bush cranberry" blossom???



Abby trying to pet the ducks



A dirt nest at water's edge.


Saturday, April 14th
Birthday Party at Rockwell Park
The wind blew pretty strong the whole time we were at the park.  Played havoc with the decorations!



The center cake was yellow.  The cupcakes were chocolate.

Play time








Cake time!

Blowing out the candle

Time to eat!





Reading one of the birthday cards.


One of Abby's birthday gifts.  A black and white puzzle that can be colored

More playing


I'm not sure they were supposed to be sliding off of this roof, but they all did!








Back at home and Ryan doing flips on the trampoline.


Sunday, April 15th
Before leaving for home I wanted to get pictures.  I wish I had thought to get pictures like this at Jessica's house on April 1st!





What Abby gave to me from school on Grandparent's Day:
This poem reads:

A Grandchild's Hand

The promise for tomorrow
And the hopes of dreams come true...
A reminder of the childhood
That's still a part of you...

The wonder of a miracle
From which this love began...
There is so much found in the touch
Of a grandchild's hand.

Happy Grandparents Day!


Abby also colored me a picture and added her own poem and note on the back.
The note reads:

I love you Grama.
I'm sorry that Grampa died.
I love you.
You mean a lot to me!
happy gamparens day gama.

The "poem" on the right reads:
This is a poem for you.
You are good.
You are nice.
You love me.
You are so good!

And the figures at the bottom are from left to right:
Gama, Abby, Hannah, Gampa, Ryan


How sweet is that?! 

Have a great week!