Thanks to all my friends who have been praying with me for our decision for the praise band opportunity. Just to let you know, we haven't made one. It seems like the opposition is really getting in the way. This church is in the middle of a battle between people wanting to keep it traditional and people wanting to go contemporary. It concerns us that we're stepping right in the middle. But, then again, is this what God wants? Please continue with us to lift this opportunity up in prayer and stay in God's will.
In the meantime, when I need a place to go for peace, I go out on the back porch and look at all of God's work. He's really blessed me with a simple, peaceful backyard that I thought I'd share with all ya'll. We've planted tomatoes, squash, cukes, peppers, basil, oregano, lavender, hummingbird vine....all kinds of things. It's not much, but it's everything to me....all the stuff I love. Most of it was free. Stuff from the dump (we call it the "Mall") or stuff that people we know were gonna throw away. And stuff from the barn we don't use anymore since the horses left. The old pots came from my dear Aunt Evelyn's house in Greenville (now in assistant living). Those have been there ever since I can remember. The garden angel came from my sister-in-law's house in Charlotte...she was gonna throw it away. And, oh yeah, yes, that's a "redneck hot tub". We took an old watering trough from the barn that we didn't need anymore and turned it into a "spa". Believe it or not, it really brings relief on those 100 degree plus days. Gives a new meaning to that word we use so often......SIMPLiFY :)
Ya'll come see us!!
Love all ya'll,
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Got a call yesterday from a friend who asked if Jackie and I were interested in heading up a praise team at her church. This is the third request for this in the past few months, so I'm beginning to think this is really what God wants us to do. The first time, the guy never really followed up on it after we were asked. The second time, it was a new church opening in Columbia (about 50 miles away) and the preacher asked us with only a few days to get the thing together and we just really didn't have time. You know, it's so fascinating to sit back and see how the Lord works. This church has been trying to launch a praise team with their own church members, and right now, their drummer was injured and their keyboard player can no longer play due to some physical problems. Find this very interesting, being Jackie plays drums and I play keyboard.
Now Jackie has continued to play professionally in a local band, but I haven't played out since The Sonlight Festival last July 28. Almost a year to the day. I remember the scripture, 2 Peter 3:8 But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. So, I've been in almost constant prayer about this opportunity.
Without going into a lot of detail, we have been so devastated from the last time we did this. We started a youth praise band a few years ago at our church, with a few of the teens, and God used us to build this to do a "Jammin for Jesus" concert that absolutely packed the house. For some reason, right after this, the preacher shut it down. The kids were a whole lot more disappointed than we were. The only reason we could think of was that service drew more people and won more souls to Christ than his services did. What a shame. Does it really matter who does it if the end result is the same?
At any rate, since that time, we haven't really had a church "home". God seemed to use the music to send the people to us that He wanted us to reach. But now I'm reminded of the scripture Ecclesiastes 3:1 There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven. Maybe this is our new season. It seems like every reason why we turned down the other opportunities has been resolved. This guy is calling and really showing his interest. We're not under any specific deadline to make this happen. It's here in town, maybe 5 miles away (which is a big plus with the gas situation). And it's a paying position. Not that money really matters, but it does help with me being retired and to cover the expenses that sometimes comes with this. It seems as though God has worked everything out...all we have to do is accept.
So, remember us in ya'll's prayers. We're supposed to meet tonight.
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Old Age, I decided, is a gift
I am now, probably for the first time in my life, the person I have always wanted to be. Oh, not my body! I sometimes despair over my body, the wrinkles, the baggy eyes, and the sagging butt. And often I am taken aback by that old person that lives in my mirror (who looks like my mother!), but I don't agonize over those things for long.
I would never trade my amazing friends, my wonderful life, my loving family for less gray hair or a flatter belly. As I've aged, I've become more kind to myself, and less critical of myself. I've become my own friend.
I don't chide myself for eating that extra cookie, or for not making my bed, or for buying that silly cement gecko that I didn't need, but looks so avante garde on my patio. I am entitled to a treat, to be messy, to be extravagant.
I have seen too many dear friends leave this world too soon; before they understood the great freedom that comes with aging.
Whose business is it if I choose to read or play on the computer until 4 AM and sleep until noon?
I will dance with myself to those wonderful tunes of the 60 & 70's, and if I, at the same time, wish to weep over a lost love .. I will.
I will walk the beach in a swim suit that is stretched over a bulging body, and will dive into the waves with abandon if I choose to, despite the pitying glances from the jet set. They, too, will get old.
I know I am sometimes forgetful. But there again, some of life is just as well forgotten. And I eventually remember the important things.
Sure, over the years my heart has been broken. How can your heart not break when you lose a loved one, or when a child suffers, or even when somebody's beloved pet gets hit by a car? But broken hearts are what give us strength and understanding and compassion. A heart never broken is pristine and sterile and will never know the joy of being imperfect.
I am so blessed to have lived long enough to have my hair turning gray, and to have my youthful laughs be forever etched into deep grooves on my face. So many have never laughed, and so many have died before their hair could turn silver.
As you get older, it is easier to be positive. You care less about what other people think. I don't question myself anymore. I've even earned the right to be wrong.
So, to answer your question, I like being old. It has set me free. I like the person I have become. I am not going to live forever, but while I am still here, I will not waste time lamenting what could have been, or worrying about what will be. And I shall eat dessert every single day. (If I feel like it)
MAY OUR FRIENDSHIP NEVER COME APART ESPECIALLY WHEN IT'S STRAIGHT FROM THE HEART!
MAY YOU ALWAYS HAVE A RAINBOW OF SMILES ON YOUR FACE AND IN YOUR HEART FOREVER AND EVER!
Friday, June 13, 2008
From a distance, each horse looks like any other horse. But if you stop your car, or are walking by, you will notice something quite amazing. Looking into the eyes of one horse will disclose that he is blind. His owner has chosen not to have him put down, but has made a good home for him.
This alone is amazing.
If you stand nearby and listen, you will hear the sound of a bell. Looking around for the source of the sound, you will see that it comes from the smaller horse in the field.
Attached to the horse's halter is a small bell. It lets the blind friend know where the other horse is, so he can follow.
As you stand and watch these two horses, you'll see that the horse with the bell is always checking on the blind horse, and that the blind horse will listen for the bell and then slowly walk to where the other horse is, trusting that he will not be led astray.
When the horse with the bell returns to the shelter of the barn each evening, it stops occasionally and looks back, making sure that the blind friend isn't too far behind to hear the bell.
Like the owners of these two horses, God does not throw us away just because we are not perfect or because we have problems or challenges.
He watches over us and even brings others into our lives to help us when we are in need.
Sometimes we are the blind horse being guided by the little ringing bell of those who God places in our lives.
Other times we are the guide horse, helping others to find their way....
Good friends are like that... you may not always see them, but you know they are always there.
Please listen for my bell and I'll listen for yours.
And remember...be kinder than necessary- everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.
Love all ya'll
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Monday: Wash Day
Lord, help me wash away all my selfishness and vanity, so I may serve you with perfect humility through the week ahead.
Tuesday: Ironing Day
Dear Lord, help me iron out all the wrinkles of prejudice I have collected through the years so that I may see the beauty in others.
Wednesday: Mending Day
O God, help me mend my ways so I will not set a bad example for others.
Thursday: Cleaning Day
Lord Jesus, help me to dust out all the many faults I have been hiding in the secret corners of my heart.
Friday: Shopping Day
O God, give me the grace to shop wisely so I may purchase eternal happiness for myself and all others in need of love.
Saturday: Cooking Day
Help me, my Savior, to brew a big kettle of brotherly love and serve it with clean, sweet bread of human kindness.
Sunday: The Lord's Day
O God, I have prepared my house for you. Please come into my heart so I may spend the day and the rest of my life in your presence.
'Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.'
Thursday, June 5, 2008
My mother taught me TO APPRECIATE A JOB WELL DONE.
'If you're going to kill each other, do it outside. I just finished cleaning.'
My mother taught me RELIGION.
'You better pray that will come out of the carpet.'
My mother taught me about TIME TRAVEL.
'If you don't straighten up, I'm going to knock you into the middle of next week!'
M y mother taught me LOGIC.
'Because I said so, that's why.'
My mother taught me MORE LOGIC.
'If you fall out of that swing and break your neck, you're not going to the store with me.'
My mother taught me FORESIGHT. 'Make sure you wear clean underwear, in case you' re in an accident.'
My mother taught me IRONY.
'Keep crying, and I'll give you something to cry about.'
My mother taught me about the science of OSMOSIS.
'Shut your mouth and eat your supper.'
My mother taught me about CONTORTIONISM.
'Will you look at that dirt on the back of your neck!'
My mother taught me about STAMINA .
'You 'll sit there until all that spinach is gone.'
My mother taught me about WEATHER.
'This room of yours looks as if a tornado went through it.'
My mother taught me about HYPOCRISY.
'If I told you once, I've told you a million times. Don't exaggerate!'
My mother taught me the CIRCLE OF LIFE.
'I brought you into this world, and I can take you out.'
My mother taught me about BEHAVIOR MODIFICATION.
'Stop acting like your father !'
My mother taught me about ENVY.
'There are millions of less fortunate children in this world who don't have wonderful parents like you do.'
M y mother taught me about ANTICIPATION.
'Just wait until we get home.'
My mother taught me about RECEIVING.
'You are going to get it when you get home!'
My mother taught me MEDICAL SCIENCE.
'If you don't stop crossing your eyes, they are going to get stuck that way.'
My mother taught me ESP.
'Put your sweater on; don't you think I know when you are cold?'
My mother taught me HUMOR.
'When that lawn mower cuts off your toes, don't come running to me.'
My mother taught me HOW TO BECOME AN ADULT.
'If you don't eat your vegetables, you'll never grow up.'
My mother taught me GENETICS
'You're just like your father.'
My mother taught me about my ROOTS.
'Shut that door behind you. Do you think you were born in a barn?'
My mother taught me WISDOM.
'When you get to be my age, you'll understand.'
And my favorite:
My mother taught me about JUSTICE.
'One day you'll have kids, and I hope they turn out just like you.'
Thanks Janie.....and Thanks Momma....and Thanks Aunt Evelyn, you were my 2nd Mom.
Sunday, June 1, 2008
Hey ya'll. I just added a free plug board for all you talented ladies (and men). Just scroll down to the bottom of my page and add your URL. It can be your blog or store or whatever...it just has to be 88 x 31.
I thought this would be a great way for me to share all ya'll's wonderful sites.
Love all ya'll,
I thought this would be a great way for me to share all ya'll's wonderful sites.
Love all ya'll,