Monday, May 31, 2010

Grill Time!

Memorial Day weekend is the perfect time to grill...and if you are tired of a normal-looking grill, here's a few alternative ones. Alas, grilling will never be the same with my plain Weber grill!

Emu Q
Sea Turtle Q
Flamingo Q
Rooster Q
Venus Trap Q
Amardillo Q

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Look for His Beauty

Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth
find reserves of strength that
will endure as long as life lasts


Saturday, May 29, 2010

Happy Big Four'O

Happy Birthday Alisha
You are such a joy
I love you dearly, Mom

Friday, May 28, 2010

Where's God?

This sign is missing something! Where are the words "Under God"? People, people, people - while the rest of the world leaves God out of their lives, let's make sure we keep Him in ours.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Beware Lest We Forget (tar)Paper Houses

**Exactly one year ago today, this was the thought I posted. And as I look about, it is still the beat of my heart.**

"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; well, most need a place to kneel that allows them time to repent and to shed tears)? 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 as the congregation grew, they purchased their own building.

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; and 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, never once charging 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 for 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'd be lost and without God? Yes!

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

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Be Grateful

Nothing is more honorable than
a crate full (oophs) GRATEFUL heart

Monday, May 24, 2010

Treat Me Like Royalty, Please

Don't you love being spoiled and pampered? Breakfast in bed. No alarm clock waking you up. A dark, quiet room. Snuggled up in the covers, all warm and cozy. No appointments or chores to be met.

Think that's a lot to ask? Well, for me I say: "don't treat me any differently than you would the Queen".

Pamper yourself today - you deserve it!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Mad Is Bad!

If a small thing has the power to make you mad,
does that not indicate something about you?

Remember, you cannot control what happens to you, but you can control your attitude toward what happens.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Belated Wishes

Belated Birthday Wishes to Regan
13 years old, May 14
You are a beautiful young lady
Am so glad you are a part of our family
Love you, Nana

Join the Happy Crowd

If you want to be happy - then BE!!
The choice is YOURS!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Happy B-Day

Happy Birthday, Cameron
You are the best son in the whole world
Dearly love you, Mom

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

I Have Hope

“Hope is the only bee that makes honey without flowers.”
Robert Green Ingersoll

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Oh Happy Day!

Happy Birthday, Kellee
What a wonderful blessing you are!
Love you dearly, Mom

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Cause Jesus Said So

I am so grateful that "Jesus Said So". The words of this song say my thoughts today - and have been echoing in my soul of how important our Lord and Savior's words really are. Just enable the video below with a click on play, and then follow the request, close your eyes, and may you be blessed.

My God Is Real

There are some things I may not know...
There are some places I will not go.
But I am sure of this one thing...
My God is real, for I can feel Him in my soul.

My God is real, He's real in my soul...
My God is real for He has cleansed and made me whole.
His love for me is like pure gold...
My God is real, for I can feel Him in my soul.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Ever Feel Like Singing This Song?

I’ve got a long way to be like the Lord.
I’ve got a long way to be like Him.
I’ve got to be merciful, dutiful...faithful and true,
Kind and all that I do.
I’ve got a long way to be like the Lord.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Shhh...I'm PONDERing!

When in doubt, mumble
When in trouble, delegate
When in charge, ponder

- James H. Boren

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Easy Over, Please!

Don’t let your victories go to your head,

or your failures go to your heart.

Or you might end up fried!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

God's Flowers

Flowers are the sweetest things God ever made,
and forgot to put a soul into.

-Henry Beecher

Monday, May 10, 2010

Today I'm Singing...

How great is our God,
(sing with me)
How great is our God,
How great, how great is Our God

Name above all names
Worthy of all praise
My heart will sing
How great is My God

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Bless the Mothers

Blessed is a mother, for she symbolizes
an instrument of undying love and grace.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Receive A Blessing

Help someone who can't return the favor. . .

and in so doing, you will be blessed yourself.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Life - A Bowl of Cherries

Life is just a bowl of cherries, don't take it serious,
it's mysterious. Life is just a bowl of cherries, so live and
laugh and laugh at love, love a laugh, laugh and love.
Bob Fosse

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Pedal On!

Life is like riding a bicycle. You don't fall off unless
you plan to stop peddling - C.Pepper

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Life Can Be A Grind

Life is a grindstone.
Whether it grinds us down
or polishes us up,
depends on us

Monday, May 3, 2010

Beauty Is Joy

A thing of beauty is a joy forever;
its loveliness increases;
it will never pass into nothingness.
John Keats

Sunday, May 2, 2010

The Right Way

Make sure you are traveling in the right direction.