The Bank Robbery~Part 1

5 May

Guest Blogger

Norma Garcia Rowe

Norma head shot

Norma is our newest guest blogger. She has an amazing story to share and I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did. Be sure to take a look at her bio in the menu above~Onisha

My name is Norma Garcia Rowe. I was born and raised in Cuba and immigrated to the United States in 1964.

On May 17, 1972, the bank where I worked was held up. It was mid-morning, right after we opened. I was on the telephone with a client when I noticed the Assistant Manager, waving at me trying to tell me to get off the phone. He was standing near a clean-cut man who wore a sport coat and a narrow brimmed hat. At first I didn’t know what he 1wanted, but then I saw that the man was holding a gun against his chest so that none of the others tellers or the customers could see it. I learned later it was a 45-caliber handgun. I immediately dropped the phone into the cradle and got up to join the others.

Apparently, he had been waiting for me to get off the phone so that I couldn’t alert anyone because the minute I hung up he led us all, employees, and customers, to the back of the building where the vault was located. He was walking on the lobby side, and we were walking on the inside of the counter. I remember pressing the silent alarm when the man wasn’t looking in my direction. It was then that he yelled out, “If anyone presses the alarm I’ll blow your head off.” Well, too late – everybody had done it by then. The alarm went directly to the police department and to the bank’s Loss and Investigations Department, which worked in conjunction with LAPD. He got all sixteen of us huddled up in the vault. Back then, there were no computers. Records were kept in files and those files were put in boxes so, this vault was nothing but a storage room and it couldn’t have been much bigger than 12’x12’. There were shelves, wide enough to store those boxes, from floor to ceiling against three walls and back-to-back in the middle of the room, serving as a partition, leaving one aisle on each side. We kept most of the money in a metal cabinet by the door.

Of course, the man didn’t know that, so he kept saying, “Two of the girls that work here go out and collect all the money and put it in bags.” No one moved. We were all afraid for our lives. I hid behind a tall young man that worked as a part-time teller hoping he would shield me if the guy decided to start shooting.

I was one of the girls throw up in a wastebasket. I also remember that one of them was in such state of fear that she climbed up on a shelf and lay there, shaking all over, her eyes open almost to the point of bulging. I was scared too but felt so bad for her that I remember whispering, “Don’t worry, everything is going to be all right.”

The robber kept repeating, “Two girls go get the money” The least of my intentions at that time was to be one of those girls but then something unexpected happened.

Suddenly, I heard an audible voice. I didn’t hear it with my ears, but somewhere in my forehead. It was a commanding voice, saying, “You go, nothing is going to happen to you.”

At that moment, I felt strong and fearless. Taking a step forward I said, “I’ll go.” It was as if suddenly I had been vested with armor or a shield and I knew that truly, nothing was going to happen to me.

Heaven

4 May

My Take

DiVoran Lites

Author, Poet and Artist

For most of my life, I’ve been wondering what Heaven is like, or will be like for me personally. One of the first blogs I Stairway to Heaven with MLKwrote was about the time, when I was five-years-old, that I saw the neighbor on her way to Heaven. I may have dreamed it — doesn’t matter if I did or not.

Anyhow, I saw her walk down to the end of our street and up a staircase and I knew where she was going. Later that day Mother told me the neighbor had died and gone to Heaven. Sorry, I don’t know the doctrine in this story. I do know that seeing people go up a staircase is not uncommon. I Googled it.

In college, I wrote an essay wondering what Heaven was like and the class discussed it until the teacher brought us back to earth.

I read a reliable “doctrinal” book called, Heaven, by Randy Alcorn that I enjoyed, but I still wanted to know more.

Finally, a tiny flame started to flicker in my imagination and I came up with an answer that satisfies me. I take no responsibility for whether this is true or not and when you get there, don’t blame me if it’s nothing like I’ve thought up. Ask God for your own vision of Heaven.

I don’t know who will greet me or what that will be like, but it will be a warm welcome, I know that much.

In the song, “Amazing Grace,” it says, “When we’ve been there ten-thousand years, bright shining as the sun, we’ve no less days to sing God’s praise than when we first begun.” So, theology (and practicality) aside, what’s going to keep us entertained for ten thousand years and more?

Here’s my take on it. I will never be alone unless I want to be alone. I’ll be with God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit as well as the people I have loved, love now, and will love when I meet them. Much of our time will be spent in celebration and praising God.

That leads me to the next phase of my fantasy. I will have challenges (and success). I will learn every song I ever wanted to know, play every instrument I ever wanted to play, and see every sight I ever wanted to see. I will learn, do, and share everything I’ve ever wanted to know, experience, or contribute. Life will be full of awe.

Bill and I aren’t in any hurry to go to Heaven. God is so good to us now. We do everything we can to stay healthy and happy. We try to listen to Him and we ask Him to empower us to do the work He sets out for us. We have accepted Christ’s death on the cross for our sins. That means that when our spirits split out of their cocoons, we will go to Heaven. We will fly free of all pain, confusion, and sorrow. Rejoice now. Rejoice later.

“When we all Get to Heaven.”

Heaven, by Randy Alcorn

Minute Meditations~3

3 May

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

JUDY

                                                    

TRUST…..

What does that word mean to you? The New World dictionary defines trust as: firm belief or confidence in the honesty, integrity, reliability, justice, etc. of another person or thing. A secondary definition is: confident expectation. How does that fit your definition?

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Have you ever trusted someone with a “secret” only to have that secret spread around and get out of control? How did that make you feel? Did you feel like you could “trust” that person with anything personal again? Most likely not.

My brother, Bill, wrote his thoughts on this:

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How to find God’s will for your life.

2 May

Originally posted on Janet Perez Eckles & Friends:

en.wikipedia.org en.wikipedia.org

Living out of God’s will will bring pain. Being in God’s will will bring peace.

“I made a big mistake,” my friend said. She offered to drive a friend’s car to the hospital one afternoon. As she left to come home it was dark and the parking lot was full. She hit the alarm, and followed the beep.

“I got in the car,” she said. “I adjusted the seat, the mirrors, but the ignition key wouldn’t turn. I tried and tried.”

Moments later, she opened the door quickly and slipped out in seconds. She realized she was in the wrong car.

I almost laughed, until I realized that in the vehicle of life, we all make that mistake at one time or another. God said we’re in this world, but we’re not of this world. But do we listen? No. We try to fit where we don’t belong. We…

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Mindfulness

1 May

From My Heart

Louise Gibson

Louise Gibson

 

 

Mindfulness is being aware of the moment.

Listen to your heart.

Your life matters-

Live it fully from the start.

 

Water the seed of optimism.

Have a love affair with life.

Think positive thoughts

and you will drive away the strife.

 

Cultivate awareness.

You’ll find you learn a lot.

If you are in the kitchen stirring the pot-

Be aware of stirring the pot!

 

How will being mindful

help you deal with your pain?

Being aware of God’s presence

will bring peace to your heart again.

 

by DiVoran Lites

by DiVoran Lites

SMH Prayers

30 Apr

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis
I'm a winner

Have you noticed that garage sales have moved online? It seems many towns now have a Facebook page, moderated by an individual, dedicated to buying and selling.  I joined one in the hope of finding a used refrigerator and quickly posted what I was looking for. After that I scrolled through the timeline and noticed no one was looking for anything. It was all for sale or iso. Now for sale was easy, but what the heck was iso? The post would read something like this:

iso kids clothes, good condition size 6.

I had no clue what that meant so finally, I asked. The Facebook page was for our town in North Carolina and I figured I didn’t know enough people there to be embarrassed. The answer came quickly….iso means in search of. I guess looking for is just too much to type. Which leads to my next puzzle.

Working as a publicist for Rebekah Lyn Books, I spend a lot of time on Twitter and Facebook. I noticed SMH attached to tweets and Facebook comments and again I had no clue. Did it mean social media hottie, so many hormones, shake my husband? This time I discretely questioned a friend who explained. SMH means shaking my head. This one I could relate to because I find myself shaking my head-a lot. In fact, I SMH so much I have decided to  connect the head shake with a prayer. I’m trusting that praying as my head shakes will turn my thoughts on His solutions rather than my human frustration.

Head banging computer GIF

Yes, I know this poor lady isn’t shaking her head but it was so funny it had me ROFL

ps I am still iso a fridge for my garage in good working order at a reasonable price.

South of the Border~Part 3

29 Apr

A Slice of Life

 Bill Lites

Bill Stars Plane

 

Tuesday morning after breakfast, we drove to the building site, where our visiting group was split up into two teams, with two Kennedy Team Leaders in each team to keep us on the right track, and we got started. Each team was assigned to build a house on their pre-finished slab, and the race was on to see who could finish first.

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It was amazing how organized the Team Leaders were, as they assigned the various tasks to our team members. There were materials coordinators, wood cutters (my main job), wood shapers, painters and builders all working smoothly together at one time. A lot of the wood materials had been ordered cut to length, so the assembly process was fast and fairly easy.

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The 2”x 4”walls were assembled on the slab, and then each was raised and braced in place, while being attached to the slab floor with pre-installed j-bolts, nuts and washers.

Next the joists were built (I had a hard time keeping up with all the angle cuts for our house on the chop saw) and the corrugated galvanized tin roofing was nailed in place. Once that was done, a plywood loft was built over the rear half of the house, where smaller family members could sleep. As you can see in the photo below, the tail-end of the joists were pre-painted (on the ground by the painters) to save time and reduce the use of troublesome ladders after assembly. As I mentioned earlier, this was also done with the soffit and fascia boards as well as the window and door trim.

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Then heavy insulation was fastened in place between the joists, under the tin roof, and covered with plywood to help keep the loft area from getting so hot. A sturdy and child-safe ladder was built to give access to the loft area.

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While the roof and loft work was going on topside, another team was drilling holes and running electrical wiring in the wall studs. Once that was done, the exterior plywood sheeting was nailed to the walls and gables, the window and door holes were cut, and the windows were installed.

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While all the time these activities were going on, the shaper team was busy at work cutting scalloped trim boards, and the painting team was busy painting window and door trim boards and the completed (ventilated) soffit and scalloped trim boards. The small (3’x 3’square) shower enclosure was plumbed (cold water only) to provide the much-needed hygiene that most of the colonia (unregulated settlement) dwellers did not have access to. I understand that a latrine system was used by the colonia families, but I don’t remember seeing it or being told about it at the time. The only toilet I ever saw or used was located next to the John 3:16 Church, and it was very small. A kitchen area was not designated in these houses, as the colonia families were accustomed to doing most of their cooking outside their “homes” and would most likely continue to do their cooking outdoors when the weather permitted doing so.

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—–To Be Continued—–

 

Bridget’s Mustang

27 Apr

My Take

DiVoran Lites

Mustang Signed

Horse trader come down the draw
in a boil of red-powder dust.
I saw he had three stallions,
and own that one, I must.

“I’ll take the paint;” I say,
it looks like he’s got soul.
The mare’s in the corral.
Next year we’ll have a foal.

“You keep an eye on him.” the trader says.
“He’s mustang through and through,
a wild one from the range.
Foal next year? Maybe two.

You need to jaw around these parts.
It’s all that makes life fun.
“You’ve got fine boys and pups,” he said.
The trader wasn’t done.

“My little `un,” says I, “he’s four.”
My boys are twins—them two
I can’t keep clean clothes on them,
Nor even one will wear a shoe.

Minute Meditations~2

26 Apr

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

                     

What is happiness? Or better yet…..what is your IDEA of what happiness is? Is it just a state of mind? Is our happiness determined by our circumstances?

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A pastor said once, that when we are God’s child, happiness is what resides in our hearts and minds always, and that joy or sorrow can’t really touch it; that the circumstances where we find ourselves do NOT determine whether we are happy or not….we have God’s abiding happiness within us.

 

Filling our hearts with God’s love gives us permanent happiness, that allows us to be happy, or content, in whatever situations we find ourselves.

My brother, Bill, wrote about this very thing. These are his thoughts:

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Can we see just how God wants us to look to Him for our happiness? No matter what happens, with God in our hearts, we can depend upon Him to give us the answers we seek to ALL our earthly problems. He is true and faithful to His word.

What is the secret to finding confidence?

25 Apr

Originally posted on Janet Perez Eckles & Friends:

www.flickr.com http://www.flickr.com

We all want to have confidence, but where do we find it?

A few years ago I was in California attending a writer’s conference. A friend jokingly asked, “Do you want to drive?”

“Yes,” I said with a grin.

“Are you sure?” she said.

“No, The question is are YOU sure you want me to drive your car?” I said.

“Why not.”

I felt my way around to the driver’s door. “Okay, here we go.” I slipped behind the wheel, started the engine, and changed gears as she gave me verbal instructions.

Not having any sight at all, driving a car had been but a dream for me.

I gripped the steering wheel, feeling a bit in control. I listened to my friend. “Keep it straight now, a little to the left, now to the right just a bit, not much.”

Oh what fun! Actually, a bit crazy! But…

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