Sunday, May 31, 2009

Guide Me

Guide me Lord so that I may walk in Your Will.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Silence My Heart

In the midst of movement and chaos, keep stillness inside. . .
Deepak Chopra

Friday, May 29, 2009

Birthday Blessings!

Happy Birthday Alisha!

My how the years have passed with so many wonderful memories of laughter and joy, mixed with a scattering of sharing a few tears. You are such a blessing - having stood tall through great adversity while holding onto your dreams and accomplishing your goals. Your love is evident in all you do, and your smile is infectious. You are one in a million!

I love you dearly.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Beware Lest We Forget (tar)Paper Houses

“And it shall be, when the Lord thy God shall have brought thee into the land which He sware unto they fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give thee great and goodly cities, which thou buildedst not,

And houses full of all good things, which thou filledst not, and wells digged, which thou diggedst not, vineyards and olive trees, which thou plantedst not; when thou shalt have eaten and be full;

Then beware lest thou forget the Lord, which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage.”
Deuteronomy 6:10-13

After reading these scriptures, I couldn't help but think: How many of us were involved in building the original church we attend? How many of us dug the wells of living water through our tears? How many of us took to the streets witnessing? Walked the aisles praying to supply an increase? Or spent sleepless nights carrying the burden originally set forth for our church? Probably very few of us but we sure are enjoying the increase and its rewards. We inherited blessings. But with the blessings, we've made changes to things that our predecessors sacrificed for. What things? How about removing our wooden altars at the church front (logic: need more room up front; tears of repentance can be shed anywhere)? The removing of songs about the Blood from our services (logic: way too gory, the Blood was for Jesus, not us)? Excluding sermons that preach on hell (logic: Heaven makes people happy, hell depresses them)? Or how about our moving away from intercessory prayer (logic: too laboring, and "sincere" prayer works just as well, as long as it's done in the prayer room, God forbid the sanctuary)? The list of Whys and their "logic" could go on and on.

Don't you at times wonder that in our zealousness and need to do more (and have more) than the old churches, or the brothers and sisters down the street, or churches in other organizations that we’ve forgotten what the Lord really intended?

I’ve heard many stories of sacrifice over the years but I will write about one that is close to home. It was in 1943 when a young minister named Elder William (Bill) Garrett came to Goshen, California where my husband’s mom, dad, aunts and uncles lived. They had already received the revelation of God’s Truth, and desperately wanted a church to worship in. Times were hard, and with no money to rent a building, the congregation needed a plan. Elder Garrett talked my father-in-law into using an old never used 20 by 50 foot chicken house at the back of his property. The saints felt so blessed that Roy Hopper would say yes to its use that the brothers quickly begin preparing it for a house of worship. I can't help but wonder, would God mean that much to us today? Would we eagerly get a hen house ready to worship in? Would we proudly tar-paper the outside and stick cut-out letters on the side proclaiming its church name? (Don’t answer that – it may seriously reveal too much of our character). Well, the Lord blessed the Mt. Zion church family from day one for their efforts - and only when my in-laws sold their property did the congregation need to move to another church location.

Don't you wonder what type of people would be willing to worship in a chicken house; what type of services they had; what level of compassion they carried; what was their prayer life like, etc. I think I can answer that in part because starting in the 1960s I witnessed first hand a group of people who stood strong in the face of every adversity and genuinely loved/cared for each other - and did they love God and never once charged Him foolishly. I remember in the early 60s (some 20 years after the original church started), seeing a group of ladies (my mother-in-law included) walk to the church to pray after the men went to work. They would go every morning, Monday-Friday, to pray for 2 to 3 hours each day. There is no doubt that it was those prayers that brought my husband and I to the Lord in 1969 because the home that I was raised in had a mother who justified going to church once a year on Easter Sunday, and a dad that was an atheist. I think the odds were stacked up against me, don’t you? Would I be safe to say if not for the sacrifice of those precious saints starting that small humble church in Goshen and being committed to prayer that I would be lost and without God?

Now, here’s my soapbox proclamation: I’m concerned folks, I truly am. Have we lost our way? Have we come to the place where finances, homes, big churches, large congregations, recognition saddled with appointed positions, special programs, etc., are dimming our view? I pray not. However, do we take the scripture seriously? Do we truly appreciate those who forged the road before us? It was them, not us that blazed the trails, fought the battles, shed the tears, labored physically and spiritually, and sacrificed beyond measure for the church to be in the position it is today. The greatness of our churches comes from the men who started churches from scratch (no matter in what town). They are the ones that built, planted, and watered that we might have a place of worship to proclaim His precious gospel. Their labor of love feeds us. May we never forget the men who built (tar)paper houses (or started churches in tents, their homes, humble buildings, storefronts) - for they are our heritage, and through their selfless acts we are reaping.
Mt. Zion's First Pastor: Elder Bill Garrett, his wife Ilene and daughter Barbara
Mt. Zion's Men of Vision: my father-in-law Roy Hopper, Pastor Bill Garrett, Jesse Gilstrap and Clarence Gilstrap. (not pictured, William Ashlock)
Mt. Zion's First Sunday School Group - 1943
Mt. Zion's First Fellowship Meeting - December 6, 1943

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Love Cures

Love cures people - both the ones who give it
and the ones who receive it.
Dr. Karl Menninger

Perhaps it even works with other creatures too - you think?

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Memorial Day 2009 - God Bless Our Brave

Let Us NEVER Forget. . .

Each man is a hero and an oracle to somebody.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Friday, May 22, 2009

Our Tenant (for now)

Our New Tenant.
She's a little camera shy and it's impossible to get close for a better picture. If you peek between the blinds, it shows her silhouette on top of the umbrella which does not have its cover on and is closed. Sorry that I missed getting her head. It's hard to get a picture because if you get too close to the windows she'll fly away. She's pretty much a loner.

About a month ago, a golden-colored bird took up residence in one of the eucalyptus trees bordering our property. At first we didn’t believe our eyes because that bird species would never end up in Nipomo. However, after much research and googling, it was identified – we were the proud landlords to one Golden Eagle. Yep, that’s true. "Goldie" as she is now known, is living on the Hopper property in all her majesty. Seeing her is pretty limited; however, once in a great while she hovers over one of our grassy areas, sits atop a patio umbrella, or meanders through the outer flowerbeds. She also has ventured out on the grass toward our patio - and taken a dip in one of the water fountains.

Speaking of "dips", I must tell the story I intended to when I started this post. My husband has been ill and mostly housebound (but in order not to go stark-raving mad), he went outside for a few minutes. His excuse? Check the watering system in a certain bed of roses. Said the days were warming up and he needed to make sure that our flowers got their daily drinks. Engrossed in his task, he didn’t anticipate what was about to happen and hadn't a clue that Goldie was near. She never comes around when we are out and about. However, this time it seems that she had taken a special interest in him. Well, we really think it was his silvery hair. His head down, surveying the drip system, he felt a tug on his head and a quick pain. It seems Goldie was trying to pull him up to take him to her nest to use as nesting material; or perhaps, he was too close to some prey she had in mind and she wanted him to leave pronto.

When the feathers...err, hair...settled, Goldie had made her point - and my hubby, in turn, ended up with slight hair loss and a 1-1/8 inch superficial cut to the top of his head. Her talon definitely left an impression on him.
The Cut

Moral to my story:
Always do a background check before you rent out space.

BTW: If we don't have to evict her for tearing up the place (or my husband), I'll try to snap a better picture in the near future when she makes one of her cameo appearances.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Let's Clean Up

How important it is that we keep our spiritual house in order.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Have An Awesome Day!

Happy Birthday Cameron!

What character you portray. On many an occasion, I've watched you handle life, and not let it handle you. I admire your fortitude, and for being strong in the face of uncertainty - but most importantly, in all, turning it over to the Lord. I love your honesty, your humility and your gentleness. I just plain love you - you are awesome!

With lasting love, Mom

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Give Me A Dozen or More

Faith is putting all your eggs in God's basket, then counting your blessings before they hatch.

Well, perhaps I should change a few of Ramona Carroll's words to fit my picture - and say "Faith is putting all your eggs in one pan, then counting your blessings before they cook."

Monday, May 18, 2009

Oh Happy Day

Happy Birthday Kellee!

As a daughter you are a bundle of firsts that always excite and delight. Your giggles are something else, coming from deep inside (and they always end up being contagious). You are wonderful and precious - and it can be said that your love knows no boundaries. Kel, you are amazing.

I love you dearly, Mom

Sunday, May 17, 2009

You're the Leader

Orchestrate Your Day

Rejoice in the Lord

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Bad Bird!

When A Sign Means Nothing

Friday, May 15, 2009

Look Ahead

Don't look back - something might be gaining on you.
Pitcher Satchel Paige

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Chiquita Time!

Some days I just feel like going bananas!
How about you?

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Magnificent Seven

Thanks to Helen Losse for my Kreativ Blogger Award:

Now, I must list seven things I love, which would be the following:

1. My family.

2. My friends.

3. the sound of gentle laughter.

4. elegant flowers, such as orchids and roses.

5. fast cars, preferably muscle cars.

6. the Ocean.

7. (It may be the last one listed but definitely the most important) My God and Saviour, and His Name is Jesus.

Now in following the tradition, I hereby award seven bloggers the Kreativ Blogger. Now it's in your "ballpark":


Special Mother's Day Present

Talked with my grandson Preston on Mother's Day - and what a great conversation we had (although I mostly listened). He talked about riding his bicycle, and his motorcycle and the Quad on the ranch. Also, he told me about playing baseball, shooting his BB gun, and the other things he, Justin and Regan had done. Normally he talks only a couple of minutes but this time it was closer to 15 minutes. What a special Mother's Day present he gave me.

His mom emailed some pictures too, and wanted to share them.
Playing ball
At the ranch
Regan, Justin and Preston
(can hardly wait to meet my new grandkids)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Safe and Secure?

In a precarious world, we each find our Safety,
. . . and call it "Home"!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Huff & Puff & Then What?

When the sly one starts to huff and puff,
could he blow our house down?

The Bible warns that ". . . grievous wolves enter among us, not sparing the flock. . ." It's time to check our building material.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

In honor of Mother’s Day, I thought it would be fun to read what second graders gave as answers to the following questions. So many of the replies sounded like something my four children and grandchildren would have said when they were young.

Why did God make mothers?
1. She's the only one who knows where the scotch tape is.
2. Mostly to clean the house.
3. To help us out of there when we were getting born.

How did God make mothers?
1. He used dirt, just like for the rest of us.
2. Magic plus super powers and a lot of stirring.
3. God made my Mom just the same like he made me. He just used bigger parts.

What ingredients are mothers made of?
1. God makes mothers out of clouds and angel hair and everything nice in the world and one dab of mean.
2. They had to get their start from men's bones. Then they mostly use string, I think.

Why did God give you your mother and not some other mom?
1. We're related.
2. God knew she likes me a lot more than other people's moms like me.

What kind of little girl was your mom?
1. My Mom has always been my mom and none of that other stuff.
2. I don't know because I wasn't there, but my guess would be pretty bossy.
3. They say she used to be nice.

What did Mom need to know about dad before she married him?
1 His last name.
2. She had to know his background. Like is he a crook? Does he get drunk on beer?
3. Does he make at least $800 a year? Did he say NO to drugs and YES to chores?

Why did your mom marry your dad?
1. My dad makes the best spaghetti in the world. And my Mom eats a lot.
2. She got too old to do anything else with him.
3. My grandma says that Mom didn't have her thinking cap on.

Who's the boss at your house?
1. Mom doesn't want to be boss, but she has to because dad's such a goof ball.
2. Mom. You can tell by room inspection. She sees the stuff under the bed.
3. I guess Mom is, but only because she has a lot more to do than dad.

What's the difference between moms & dads?
1. Moms work at work and work at home and dads just go to work at work.
2. Moms know how to talk to teachers without scaring them.
3. Dads are taller & stronger, but moms have all the real power 'cause that's who you got to ask if you want to sleep over at your friend's.
4. Moms have magic, they make you feel better without medicine.

What does your mom do in her spare time?
1. Mothers don't do spare time.
2. To hear her tell it, she pays bills all day long.

What would it take to make your mom perfect?
1. On the inside she's already perfect. Outside, I think some kind of plastic surgery.
2. Diet. You know, her hair. I'd diet, maybe blue.

If you could change one thing about your mom, what would it be?
1. She has this weird thing about me keeping my room clean. I'd get rid of that.
2. I'd make my mom smarter. Then she would know it was my sister who did it and not me.
3. I would like for her to get rid of those invisible eyes on the back of her head.

Oh, the delights of motherhood - and the special memories of words spoken, along with the expressions. Just thinking about my loved ones and the life we've had together makes my heart sing. Who could ask for anything more? Not I!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Hidden With Him

Sometimes our soul likes to hide
from life's cares. But in that hiding
place, make sure you take God along.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Some Things Can Never Be Straighten Out

"Consider the work of God:
for who can make that straight,
which He hath made crooked?"
Eccl. 7:13

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Hung Up on the Journey

What a dilemma! This could only happen in San Francisco - reminding me of the saying: "We are so often caught up in our destination that we forget to appreciate the journey. . ."

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

the City

Union Square - St Peter & Paul Cathedral

Museum of Art - Chinatown

Pyramid Building - Ghirardelli Square

Pier 39 - North Beach Cafe


Cupid's Arrow at Bay Bridge

Cable Car Powerhouse Museum

So much to see (even after seeing it dozens of times before). What's shown here is a small handful of San Francisco's inner personality. Wish I had room to show more sights that we enjoyed but have to stop somewhere. The sights, sounds and smells are welcome reliefs from the medical offices and hospitals. However, the best thing about our time in SF is that we get to see the kids.

BTW: A great place to visit, and not widely advertised is the Cable Car Powerhouse & Museum. Lots of history to be found in its four walls.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Feel Sorry for Us?

Guess what? Yep, medical testing again for my husband in San Francisco so last week we decided to take the scenic route up Highway One from Morro Bay to Monterey before crossing over to go on into SF. Here's a little of what we was available for our eyes to see, our noses to smell, and our ears to hear. Don't you feel sorry for us? (LOL) This Highway One trip took five hours due to all the road work. Many parts of the road were settling, and CalTrans was fixing those areas while stabilizing the rock slide areas with new netting. We had delays in five locations, and each stop was great as it gave us time to truly see everything in that area. You know, beauty lies in some of the most unexpected areas.

Well, after thinking about our adventure all I can say is, God made so much beauty for our enjoyment and it helps bring us closer to Him. What a wonderful creation the Lord has made - and all in seven days. Definitely He is the I AM.

Hmm...when we get ready to go home - should we go back the same way to take another look? Well, if we do, I want my Highway One journey to start at Half Moon Bay (through Santa Cruz) and then onto Monterey to suck in additional ocean air and see more coastal sights. Oh such a decision that we must make. Pitiful, huh?

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Quinching the Thirst

I thirst for you as parched land thirsts for rain.
Psa 143.6 NLT

Saturday, May 2, 2009

How To Stay on Top

"Ability may get you to the top, but it takes character
to keep you there"
John Wooden

Friday, May 1, 2009

Knowing the Reason

Until you know another's Pain,
You cannot know His Reasons.