In Good Hands

22 May

From the Heart

Louise Gibson

Louise Gibson

The phrase, “In Good Hands”
is meant to mean “competency, safety, or care”.
Since the 1300s, seven centuries later,
we hear the words everywhere.

Even in a popular song,
“He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands”,
and in an insurance company’s slogan,
“With “us” You’re in good hands”.

As good as the hands of highly skilled people are,
can they compare with the hands of God
in terms of comfort, skill, or safety?
(God doesn’t have hands, of course,
but “the hand of God” is mentioned
fifteen times in scripture, usually
as a reference to His power and authority.)

Isn’t that what we hope for
when we are in a difficult circumstance?
Don’t we want someone with power and authority
to step in and meet our need?

That is likely what Peter had in mind
when he wrote that “we should cast all our cares
upon God since God cares for us. (1 Peter 5:7).

I am going to put my hand in the hand
of the Man who stilled the waters,
and I’m going to look to Him who calmed the sea.
I’m going to trust the One who took my sins upon Himself
And laid down His life for you and me.

Lost and Found

20 May

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

Bill Small Red Plane

This morning I was getting ready for a busy day making a list of things to do. I was heading to Merritt Island for my monthly Chiropractor appointment and had several things to do along the way. DiVoran wanted me to pick up some special cat treats at the animal pharmacy that the Vet had recommended. Then there was a small paper bag of empty supplement bottles she wanted me to drop off at another doctor’s office, and the Chiropractor appointment at 9:30. After my chiropractor appointment, I was going to stop at Penney’s to by some new undies for myself. All of this needed to take place before I made my way to Viera to meet my daughter Charlene for lunch at 12:00.

I have my daily prescription pills and vitamin supplements divided up into three groups. I take one group at each meal so they are not overwhelming all at once. When I go out for a meal I place that group’s pills in a small plastic bag that I can slip into my pocket, so I’ll have them to take after that meal. I also had a map I had marked up showing the route I planned to take on my next trip to show to my daughter at lunch.


 With all that done, I started taking things out to the car in preparation for my short little trip of the day. I got everything stowed in the car, but was missing the small bag of pills. I must have left them on the dining room table when I put them in the bag. But, they weren’t there. So, I started in the bedroom, and looked in every room in the house. They were nowhere to be found. I went to the car and looked through everything I was taking for the day. Not there either. I searched my pockets again. Nothing. Any of this sound familiar?

Well, about that time DiVoran came in and asked me what was wrong? I told her, and she casually said, “Have you asked your Friend where they are?” Duh. Why does it seem that this is the last thing I do, instead of the first thing? So, a little sheepishly, I thanked the Lord that I had misplaced the bag of pills, ask Him to forgive me for not putting Him first, and ask Him to please show me where I had left it.

I had been standing looking out of my bedroom window as I prayed. I turned around and walked across the room to my dresser. I opened the drawer where I keep the small empty plastic pill bags, and there was the bag with my lunch pills lying on top. What in the world would have prompted me to put that bag of pills back in the drawer? I just couldn’t figure out why I would have done that. Then it came to me. “I need to trust the Lord in all things, not just the big things, but the little things too.” I know He cares for us, and is always there to hear when we call out to Him to help us, but I tend to forget about that and try to do things myself. It’s not that I don’t trust Him. I guess it’s just that sometimes it’s such a small thing, and I’m sure I can handle it, that I don’t even think to ask Him first for the help I need.

But, each time something like this happens, it brings me a little closer to remembering to go to the Lord first, instead of muddling around in frustration on my own.


I Thessalonians 5:16-18(NIV)

The Bank Robbery~Part 3

19 May

Guest Blogger

Norma Garcia Rowe

Norma head shot


Suddenly the sounds of gunfire stopped, and the phone started ringing. Outside, a police officer spoke through a bullhorn, “In the bank, in the bank, answer the phone.” Next, we began to hear sounds of things breaking. We couldn’t tell exactly what it was because we were in the vault, but we thought maybe the gunman was trying to get at us. Those moments of wondering what he would do next were very frightening. Certainly, if he got to us he would be in the mood to start shooting hostages!

Later, we found out that the LAPD SWAT- team was creating a diversion by breaking two of the bank windows in the back while an officer crawled, inside a bomb shield, through the front door. The ordeal took about two hours. Finally, the SWAT team got inside the bank and realizing the hostages were shut-up in the vault and being concerned that the gunman or an accomplice might be in there with us, the officer in charge commanded, in a very loud (and frightening) voice, “I want all of you to come out one-by-one and close the door behind you.”

The girl who had been throwing up was so scared that the O. O. asked if he could come out with her. The officer in charge said, “No, Negative!” By then my legs were working again, so when my turn came I stepped out the door and, boy, what I saw scared me more than what I had gone through before. It was a bunch of heavily armed SWAT-team men some down on one knee with the rest standing behind them. All of them were aiming at ME! It was like being in front of a firing squad.


Such a frightening moment needs a little humor


As we came out, our manager, who had been called from his meeting, identified us through a window. When we had all emerged, he hugged me and said, “I knew you were strong enough to handle this.” I was the only one of the girls that wasn’t crying.

They rounded us up in the back of the bank and the officer in charge said, “We are going to send you out now, but you will have to walk past a dead body.” They didn’t know who it was, but we did. I told a SWAT- team member close to me that the bank robber was not in the vault.


Serendipities, Synchronicities, and Miracles

18 May

My Take

DiVoran LItes

Author, Poet and ArtistSerendipity means an unexpectedly happy experience, and to me synchronicity means a happy coincidence. My own definition of miracle contains both, but I always attribute a large or a small miracle to a loving Heavenly Father.

Last Thursday evening, I went to a local elementary school to see my young friend, Janicia, dance in a playlet about bullying. As I walked into the rapidly filling cafeteria, I searched every row of tables for Janicia’s family and for my art friend, Lanie Tan and her daughter Misa. I looked at every face, but saw no one I knew.

I found a seat down front with enough room for me and one or two others. As I started to sit down, I looked out the big window and there was Lanie looking in, waving, and throwing kisses. I pointed to the empty seat and she nodded with enthusiasm. Almost immediately, she was there beside me. I didn’t know where the other family was going to sit, but I relaxed humming, “God will find a way, when there seems to be no way.”

Misa was somewhere else in the building with friends and Lanie and I had a good chat. Lanie was wearing a mask because she had a cold and didn’t want to spread germs. We got into our talk and then she had to leave because a coughing fit came on.

In a couple of minutes, Janicia’s mother came in carrying their eight-months-old baby, Dee-Dee, and a big diaper bag. She plopped the baby on my lap and there she sat perfectly satisfied, looking around with big brown eyes, good as gold.

On stage, Janicia wore a t-shirt that said, “Girl Power.” The play was about bullying. The man who arranged it does that at schools to increase awareness.

After the performance, the children had hot-dogs and we waited for the drawing for a new computer. By this time, Janicia, her mom, her dad, and her four-year-old brother, Bobby had gathered. Lanie, and Misa, plus Misa’s three friends and the elderly gentleman who is guardian to one of them sat facing each other. We managed to include everyone in a pleasant conversation.

Suddenly, it was time for the drawing. Misa sat next to me with her tickets and I asked if she was going to win something. She nodded yes. I happened to be looking at the ticket closest to me and saw that Misa’s first number matched the called one, then the second, the third, the fourth — all matched.

Lanie told Misa that if they won the computer they would give it away. The reader read the last number, it matched, too. “I won!” Misa said. Her mother shook her head not believing it. I nodded mine, yes.

All evening God was casting serendipities, synchronicities, and miracles around like falling stars. The lady who won the computer on the second go-around indicated that she really needed it. People who knew each other got together, others, once strangers happened to gather and feel at home with each other. It was like a party.

Sometimes, I can hardly wait to see what God will do next. I do know that he loves to do jobs and activities with us and He enjoys seeing His children enjoying each other’s company, the biggest miracle of all.

I John 4:7-8



17 May


Judy Wills


Perfect Timing…

1Every once in a while, everything just seems to fall into place, such as: you’ve had the house on the market for months and months….and then all-of-a-sudden, the right buyer appears, the house is sold, and you move out. Just like that. Click…click…click, just like clockwork, the timing is perfect.

Or, when you are writing a blog to post, nothing seems to be forth-coming.


Then, all-of-a-sudden, an idea pops into your head, and you can’t get the words out fast enough. Click…click…click, just like clockwork, the timing is perfect.

Coincidence? Hardly. That’s God’s hand at work. And it’s amazing – and I’m sure frustrating – that we don’t recognize it for what it is.

My brother, Bill, wrote about that:


So when we do take advantage of that opportunity, and recognize it for God’s perfect timing, then we can express our thanks to Him and know that He has blessed us, indeed.

There is absolutely NOTHING in this life that feels so right as being in the perfect timing of God’s Will. ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!

Through the Lens of Experience

15 May

From the Heart

Louise Gibson

Louise Gibson

Trials come to everyone.
That is God’s teaching tool.
And He has His own time table,
so relax and accept His rule.

When we are young and full of hope
our enthusiasm has no limit.
We set our sight on things up high
(but be sure your vision has Christ in it).

While writing this post on “Trials”.
God has put me to the test!
For some reason unknown to me,
He has put my television to rest!

No picture, no sound.
“Lord, you have my full attention.
What are You trying to teach me here?
I know it is worthy of mention.”

Speak to my heart, Lord
(and Please make it quick).

“A cheerful heart doeth good like medicine,
but a broken spirit makes one sick”.
Proverbs 17:22

Angel Violin Heart

South of the Border~Part 5

13 May

A Slice of Life

 Bill Lites

Bill Lites


Once all the dedication ceremonies were over, it was time for the teams to relax and celebrate. OSM had made arrangements for a cookout at the John 3:16 Church and we were all ready to do our part to help eat everything in sight. This was another opportunity for the entire group to praise God for His continued love, protection and provision toward us during this entire project


After we finished eating, several of us headed over to the Carpenter’s Shop to help assemble and setup some new equipment that had been recently donated. The young boys were especially excited about the new tools, and were wanting to know what each tool did and when they were going to get to work in the shop.


Early Saturday morning, after breakfast at the hotel, we packed up the vans and started the long trip back toward San Antonio. Our caravan took a short break just before we got to the border to visit the market in Piedras Negras, where I bought DiVoran a 4-foot long Rain Stick. It makes the most wonderful sound (like falling rain), and she still uses it every Sunday, when she sings with the Praise Team, during our morning church service here in Titusville.



Our border crossing was uneventful this time, and we arrived at the Kennedy ranch in time to enjoy a real American dinner (our first in a week) and boy was that a great meal. Some of us took time to wash some really dirty clothes, and enjoy the quiet surroundings of the ranch, until it was time to head back to the Retreat Center for a good night’s rest.


 Sunday, after breakfast, we drove a short distance over to attend a church service at a Cowboy Church (I can’t remember exactly where), which was quite an eye opener for me. It had to be one of the most informal and unusual church services I’ve ever attended. They really know how to praise the Lord in that church, and without any pretensions.


 Then we started working our way toward the airport by spending a short time at the beautiful River Walk, where we had a great lunch at one of the many nice restaurants located there along the San Antonio River. By the time we finished lunch, it was time to head for the airport, say our final good-bye’s, and get checked in for our flight back to Orlando.



I can say, I feel like that was one of the most rewarding weeks I have ever spent in my life. There is nothing like seeing the appreciative look on people’s faces when you hand them the keys to a house that they would never have been able to afford, or that they ever had expected someone would give them. If you can, you should try it sometime. I guarantee you will love the experience, and it will absolutely change your life forever. Our God is good, all the time.

—–The End—–


If you, your church or civic group would like to help the OSM with their ministry to the needy people of Mexico and Haiti, you can visit them for details on their website at or call them at 830-228-4809.




The Bank Robbery~Part 2

12 May

Guest Post

Norma Rowe

Norma head shot


After I heard the voice telling me to leave the vault and go into the bank lobby with the robber, I went. He had demanded that two girls go, but I was the only one who did. He didn’t ask for another one. He, instead, came with me to the teller window and told me to put money in bags. Even though he kept telling me to hurry up, I carefully included the “bait” money (marked bills). At one point I saw a small red light flashing, which indicated that the alarm had been activated. I remembered what he had said about blowing someone’s head off, so I tried to conceal the light. I failed, but fortunately he didn’t see me or the light. I then came to the vault-teller’s box, a large one, which required two different keys. I couldn’t open that one, and by then he was making me very nervous so I called to the Operations Officer to come out from the vault and open it for me. He grudgingly came and got it open but now he had to join us in filling the bags. I was toward the front of the building when I glanced up to see a police officer looking in the window. He was wearing a motorcycle helmet. Oh, good, I thought. The police are here so now we are safe.

I looked back at the thief and at that very instant he was firing at the officer. Up until that moment I had thought that maybe the gun wasn’t loaded but when I saw a flare come from the weapon, the hope of an unloaded gun vanished! My first instinct was to run toward the police officer, so I could be out of danger, but I discarded that idea thinking the guy could easily shoot me in the back. I couldn’t stay where I was, in the middle of gunfire, but if I ran toward the back of the building to join the others I had to pass him and he could easily grab me to use as a hostage. Again, something inside of me was assuring me that I could run by him and he wouldn’t grab me. I did.

As I ran back, the O.O. who had ducked behind a desk, kept yelling, “Get down, get down!” I finally ducked behind another desk but he said, “not there, here.” He wanted me where he was because it was closer to the vault, but once I hit the floor I couldn’t stand on my own two feet again. It was like that “shield,” that “armor” I had felt before, had lifted, so he stretched out his arm and I stretched out mine and he grabbed my hand and pulled me across the floor and we got on our feet to run into the vault to barricade ourselves but my legs wouldn’t support me. I was nicknamed “rubber legs” after that. One of our customers, a retired bank manager, saw what was happening and came out and helped the O. O. lift me off the floor and drag me into the vault with them. We closed the door, and barricaded it with a metal cabinet nearby.




Bold and Demure

11 May

My Take

DiVoran Lites


Painted buntings come for lunch

Four pair, an intrepid bunch

Flitting in and out all day

Purple, orange, red, blue, hurray.

Female bunting quiet green

Among the leaves, cannot be seen.


Minute Mediatations~4

10 May


Judy Wills


OBEDIENCE… What a hard word that one is. We have to obey our parents when we are young. We have to obey our teachers in school. We have to obey our boss. We have to obey the rules of the road – that one can be really dangerous if we don’t obey them!!

1There are rules in the military.


There are even rules in the games we play!


We keep thinking, “I’m the master of my own self! Why do I have to obey anyone?” But it just doesn’t work that way, does it? No man is an island… isn’t that what the bard said? Well, it’s true.

So many people criticize Christianity as being a “crutch” for life. I hate to disappoint them, but they have some sort of crutch as well. Their crutch can be a job, a spouse, a significant other, money – or love of it, booze, drugs, etc. And if depending upon God and His love requires my obedience to survive in this world is my “crutch” – then I’m all in. Fortunately, God’s “yoke” is very easy and light. He gives us so much leeway in what we do, and all He asks is that we let Him take our heart’s desire and turn it His way. Have you noticed that, when you become God’s child, that your desires change? You no longer want to do those things you did before. They frequently become distasteful to you, so you stop doing them. You want to please God with your actions.

My brother, Bill wrote about obedience. Here are his thoughts:


Obey His commands. What does that mean? Jesus was asked that very question in Matthew 22:37-39. Jesus answered the Pharisees: Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.

In other words, if we keep our eyes on God, then everything else falls into place. Obedience to God becomes easy. Not that everything we do on this earth will be easy, but with God’s help, obedience to Him becomes our life’s goal.


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