Believe: A Quest For Peace

2 Mar

The Storyteller Almanac

Reblogged

Greetings All! The latest episode in my podcast series, “The Storyteller Almanac” is out now and is called, “Believe: A Quest For Peace.” This one is a bit different. It tells the story about an epic piece of music I wrote and recorded a few years back. The tune is likewise called, “Believe: A Quest For Peace” and delivers a powerful message about seeking peace in our world. Check it out by clicking  www.storytelleralmanac.com . The song is also played out towards the end of the podcast so make sure you stick around to give it a listen!

And as always, please subscribe if you feel so inclined to Storyteller Almabac via any of the major podcast platforms such as Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts and more. 

Thanks for droppin’ by, neighbor! “Mike The Storyteller. 

NOTE: I am behind on sharing the podcasts. I apologize. If Believe does not appear in the first position-Onisha

“Frank” Storyteller Almanac

“Frank” is presented in the mystery style or “…Rest Of The Story…” (Paul Harvey) format. Believe me, you’ll know who Frank is by the end of the episode. but you gotta listen until the end!
  1. “Frank”
  2. Believe: A Quest For Peace
  3. Never Give Up
  4. The Coastal Chronicles
  5. BONUS EPISODE: “Vivacity” – A Conversation With Heather Thorn

I’ve been ‘clickin’ the shutter since I was about 16. I morphed into video production when I went to work for The Walt Disney Company many years ago. Currently, I still work for Disney. But my real passion and path is utilizing my photography and multimedia skill sets for the greater good. Translated, anything or anybody that deserves recognition, appreciation or documenting for future history, I’m all over it. Too many important things just slip away in a fast moving, fast paced world / society. ‘If ya’ wanna know where you’re going, ya’ gotta know where ya’ come from’ (Sir Lawrence Olivier – The Jazz Singer 1980). 

If you feel so inclined, I’d sure appreciate you subscribing to Storyteller Almanac on any of the major podcast platforms like Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts and more. Really helps me grow the po

To contact me for any reason, please click or copy & paste: 

MikeThomasImagery@gmail.com

Outside

1 Mar

My Take

DiVoran Lites

A Paraphrase

Photo credit Pixabay

Beloved,

I created the forests, the waters, the mountains, and the stars for you. They are as beautiful as the humans and animals that I created for My earth. You are welcome to use them wisely.

Photo credit Pixabay

Walking is good exercise for your body and brain, but it’s not for exercise alone. When you walk you may meditate on My kingdom with the blessing and aid of the Holy Spirit. You may sing, or listen to my word or audio books, or your favorite music. 

Photo credit Pixabay

Walking is like poetry that brings fresh words and rhythms you wouldn’t have found anywhere else. Bundle up for winter walks, use hiking sticks, whenever you like. They are good for your body and keep you from falling. Look around, swing your arms, move your body to the rhythm of your heartbeat. 

Photo credit Pixabay

Walk humbly with Me, listen, and feel my presence. 

Photo credit Pixabay

Amos 4:13


For behold, He who forms the mountains and creates the wind
And declares to man what are His thoughts,
He who makes the dawn into darkness
And treads on the heights of the earth—
The Lord God of hosts is His name.

Amos 4:13 Amplified bible

DiVoran has been writing for most of her life. Her first attempt at a story was when she was seven years old and her mother got a new typewriter. DiVoran got to use it and when her dad saw her writing he asked what she was writing about. DiVoran answered that she was writing the story of her life. Her dad’s only comment was, “Well, it’s going to be a very short story.” After most of a lifetime of writing and helping other writers, DiVoran finally launched her own dream which was to write a novel of her own. She now has her Florida Springs trilogy and her novel, a Christian Western Romance, Go West available on Amazon. When speaking about her road to publication, she gives thanks to the Lord for all the people who helped her grow and learn.  She says, “I could never have done it by myself, but when I got going everything fell beautifully into place, and I was glad I had started on my dream.”

Fear

28 Feb

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

For about one year now, I have felt a level of fear, not only in this country, but throughout the entire world.  Fear of a virus – a manufactured virus at that.  Fear of that virus as taken the world to its knees.

I have seen people so afraid of that virus that they have stopped living.  They are afraid to go outside their houses.  They are afraid to go to church to worship.  They are afraid to go to the store to shop.  They are afraid of running out of toilet paper!!

I heard someone say once that, some people are so afraid of dying that they are afraid of living!  And I believe it!  And some of those people are friends who I know are deeply believers in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  You know, the One who told us “fear not” over and over in scriptures.  In John 14:27, Jesus told us:  Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid(Emphasis is mine)

I’ve mentioned in previous posts, that I am a TV follower of Dr. David Jeremiah.  He is pastor of Shadow Mountain Community Church in San Diego, California. (www.DavidJeremiah.org)   He has a TV program called Turning Point.  I’ve not listened to his radio program, but I suspect it’s called Turning Point, as well.  He preaches God’s word, and we are blest every time we watch his TV program.  His organization publishes a monthly magazine and devotional guide called Turning Points.  The March 2021 issue of that magazine is titled Putting Fear in Its Place.  I was most interested in seeing what he had to say about fear.

In his introduction to the issue, he made the statement that…”Too often we gain a fresh biblical perspective, but we never succeed in staying the course because we are derailed by fear.”  BOY! is THAT the truth!! 

In one article by Dr. Jeremiah he called Huff and Puff, and within that article, he made the statement that …”we never know when fear is going to come knocking – or pounding! – on our door.”  And with the illustration of the Three Little Pigs – only the third pig was prepared…we need to prepare ourselves for any and all tsunamis that Satan can hurl our way.

The second article by Dr. Jeremiah, is called Putting Fear In Its Place.  Please notice the calm, folded hands are on the Bible!

He stated that “To keep fear in its place, we need to know what it is, and what its place should be.”  He said we need to Define Fear…we need to Describe fear…we need to designate fear.  And the answer to all that is:   FEAR IS NOT FROM GOD!! (Emphasis is mine)

He stated that “we need to know how to address fear from God’s perspective.”  And within that article, Dr. Jeremiah stated that “There is no need to fear something that God has already worked out.”  And that’s the truth.

And again, he states that “Faith is God’s antidote for fear.”  And once again, “When fear grips us, we can’t delay the deliberate exercise of faith.”  (Emphasis is mine)

The media has set out to increase fear in our country.  We are afraid to be with and meet those we’ve had in our lives for years.  What will happen when the masks finally come off?  Will we STILL be afraid to be closer than the 6′ apart we are instructed to stay now?  Will we STILL be afraid to take off the mask for fear of germs?  We have lived through many, many infectious diseases in this country and we have NEVER gone to a lock down before.  Someone is trying to make us afraid of our shadows!!  And that “someone” is NOT God!

And so, just remember that FEAR IS NOT FROM GOD!!

Judy is living in Central Florida with her retired U.S. Air Force husband of 50+ years. Born in Dallas, Texas, she grew up in the Southwestern United States.She met her husband at their church, where he was attending the university in her town. After college and seminary, he entered the Air Force, and their adventures began.They lived in eight of our United States, and spent six years in Europe, where their oldest daughter was born. She was a stay-at-home mom for many years .

  Judy has always been involved with music, both playing the piano and singing. Always interested in exercise, she was an aerobic dancing instructor, as well as a piano teacher for many years, and continues to faithfully exercise at home.

After moving to Central Florida, she served as a church secretary for nearly nine years.Her main hobby at this point in time is scanning pictures and 35mm slides into the computer. She also enjoys scrapbooking.She and her husband have two married daughters and four grandchildren, including grandtwins as well as a great-grandson. She and her husband enjoy the Disney parks as often as possible.

5 steps to turn painful changes to a fresh, new beginning

27 Feb

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles

Reblogged February 27, 2021

February 26, 2021

Moving to a strange city kept me awake at night. Hubby and I had no choice. In preparation, I ran the palm of my hand across the kitchen cabinets to make sure all was packed away. With the last of the everyday dishes in a large box, I taped the lid closed and pushed it aside. But I couldn’t push away the tears of self-pity that attacked me. “Lord, I should be grateful my husband got a job. But why couldn’t it be here where all is familiar?”

The move was inevitable. Though the transition from sighted to blind years prior had been painful, eventually adjustment came.

But leaving our familiar home in St. Louis and moving to Orlando made me tense. Thoughts of a new territory, a new house, a new neighborhood, a new world kept me tossing and turning in bed.

During those sleepless nights, more questions swirled inside. Unable to see my physical surroundings, how would I navigate through the new house? Would I find friends who would accept me in spite of my blindness? Could I handle my emotions and still be a good Mom to my three young sons?

That same uncertainty might have visited your world, too. Maybe it’s not a sudden move or change from being sighted to blind. But instead, you’re facing an unfair life change, courtesy of the pandemic; one that’s painfully out of your control. The transitions could be from marriage to divorce, from health to debilitating illness, from financial comfort to unemployment, or from independence to limitations that choke your life.

But the transitions don’t have to choke your life. They can instead, usher a new, fresh beginning. They can bring to light the horizon where God has painted new, pleasant surprises.

That’s what happened to Ruth when she left the familiar. She fell into God’s perfect plan. That’s what happened to Joseph. Painful change revealed God’s hand at work. And sudden change caused Joshua to discover the source of his strength.

We can all join them in a wondrous outcome of life’s changes. Isaiah 43:18-19 highlights five steps to follow.

Step 1: “Forget the former things…”

Forget them, Lord? I argued. The former things were doable, pleasant and comfortable. But now the pending changes became the dark cloud that covered my security. The same thing happened in Ruth’s life. With no warning, she became a young widow. But rather than join the poor me club, she wiped away her last tear and headed into a new chapter. And even when Naomi tried to discourage her from making that daring transition, Ruth insisted. She clung to Naomi’s sleeve, and replied: “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go, I will go, and where you stay, I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God” (Ruth 1:16).

Don’t you just love Ruth’s boldness? She stepped into a huge change with gusto. The unknown she faced didn’t intimidate her, worry or made her doubt.

And because she did, she saw God’s plan unfold. She became no other than one of the ancestors of Christ, the Savior of the world.

Ruth faced change hoping for something better. God formed her life into something greater.

Step 2: “…do not dwell on the past.”

Is there a danger in dwelling on what once was, what we had, what we knew? Yes. Lamenting what once was is a lame way to face what’s ahead.

Joseph knew. Once his brothers threw him in the ditch and left him for dead, he could have sat at the bottom, sulking in a puddle of tears. And while lamenting his misfortune, he might have asked God over and over again why He allowed the change from what was comfortable to what now was painful. He should’ve cursed his brothers. And, he could have become miserable longing for what once was.

But he didn’t. Instead, he pulled out his weapon called faith. Rather than doubt, he believed. He carried his faith as God ushered him through more changes—from free to a prisoner. From respect to ridicule. From serenity to sorrow.

If Joseph had access to Instagram, he might have posted about his anger, resentment or bitterness for losing what he once had. Instead, he faced each stage of the ugly changes with faith in God’s faithfulness.

And that’s when God showed up with a victorious ending and a triumphant result.

Joseph relished in that victory. And with humility, he declared: “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good” (Genesis 50:20).

Changes may seem threatening, difficult and uncomfortable, but faith is the vehicle that takes us to the destination God already prepared.

Step 3: “See, I am doing a new thing!” 

A new thing? Though I couldn’t see it, my physical blindness couldn’t be an excuse. It was my spiritual blindness that prevented me from seeing God’s hand at work, preparing, moving and crafting good things.

“Show me, Lord,” was my frequent prayer. I wanted Him to guide me to the next step—from labeling items, to walking through piles of packed boxes, to remembering the layout of the new house in Orlando.

Once the movers packed the boxes, furniture and clothing, the family flew to Florida.

And when He said in Psalm 119:105 that His Word would be a lamp to my feet and a light for my path, His promise came alive.

He showed me how to memorize the path from room to room. To record in my mind the location of the walls, the furniture and the open spaces for me to walk through.

He did the same as I navigated through my fear, walking carefully through moments of worry. And He showed me to stay clear of stress and doubt. The path was wide, easy to navigate and the new house became a home.

Step 4: “Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?”

Joshua could only perceive his weaknesses. When he faced the change from being a Moses follower to being the leader of God’s people, he lay at night on the pillow of his insecurities and perhaps during the day, he was taunted by the misconception that he was alone in the journey.

We do the same when an unexpected change rattles our peace. We ask: Do I have what it takes? Am I prepared? Will I succeed?

Those same questions might have stressed Joshua, too. That’s why God had to make it clear and with emphasis in His voice, He spoke to him: “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9).

God’s order was clear then. And it’s clear now—not to be discouraged, not to fear or worry. And then comes the promise: God would be with us. In that unknown, God will be there. In the uncertainty, He will be there. With the change unfolding, God will be with us. When stepping into strange territory, God will be there, too.

And with God already present, that new chapter has to contain pages of fresh success and victory. It did for Joshua and it will for us too.

Step 5: “I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.”

Ruth, Joseph or Joshua didn’t make a way. God did. And in the midst of the unknown, none of them made things happen. God did. None clung desperately to what they had. God helped them to let go.

He did the same with me. A couple decades have gone by since that time I packed up my kitchen and moved to a strange city. And with gratitude overflowing, I relish in each step through which He guided me. The new friends that adorn my life, and the way my sons flourished in the new place.

God did it all. And, in turn, I blossomed. What a fool I had been to resist the change when God was opening the door to beautiful surprises.

And that beauty shines through God’s promise for you and me in Isaiah 43:18-19. Dreaded changes turn to divine exchanges. God ushers new ways, new opportunities. Each lifts us higher, draws us closer and makes us better.

Let’s pray.

Father, I resolve that all changes wrapped in Your love will take me to places that will help me see you better and to know you more intimately. In Jesus’ name.

What change has rattled your life lately?

Janet

______________________________________

Did you know I wrote a book filled with words of encouragement, uplifting thoughts and illustrations of real-life triumph to empower you? Its title, Trials of Today, Treasures for Tomorrow: Overcoming Adversities in Life. You can get it HERE.

CLICK HERE for a one-minute inspirational video.

Looking for a speaker for your upcoming event? A great speaker makes the difference between a so-so event and one that shines with impact. I invite you to view one of my two-minute videos HERE.

Please shareFeel free to share Janet’s posts with your friends.

Janet Eckles Perez

Some say she should be the last person to be dancing. Her life is summarized in this 3-minute video: http://bit.ly/1a8wGJR

Janet Perez Eckles’ story of triumph is marked by her work as an international speaker, #1 best-selling author, radio host, personal success coach and master interpreter. Although blind since 31, her passion is to help you see the best of life.

www.janetperezeckles.com

Pondering Cancel Culture

26 Feb

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

Last week I read a novel by Kristin Hannah titled, The NightingaIe. It normally takes me several weeks to read a standard novel. I read this 608 page book in a week. I couldn’t put it down and lost a lot of sleep.

https://amzn.to/2ZV9Qss

The book is set in 1939 France and covers the entirety of WWII. For some time I have been disturbed about the power of the Cancel culture and reading this book gave me chills. Nazism was and is evil. Now, let’s set aside the whole Nazi narrative and talk about the underlying problem. Power. The power that leads to evil.

We all know someone who has control issues. I think most of us do, in some niche of our life. Think of the person you know or have had an interaction with who had serious control/power issues. It amazes me how much a little power can go to a person’s head. I only offer one example because I don’t want to cast aspersions on any type of worker. My example is a fellow co-worker with whom I job shared. We did the same job with the same power level, which was minuscule. Anytime she had the opportunity to tell a customer no, she reveled in it. I suspect that if she was given the opportunity to turn someone in, to cancel them, she would have.

I have been pondering and clarifying my thoughts on Cancel culture. I don’t want to write rashly so I am thinking and praying about my words.

Meanwhile, what are your thoughts?

I'm a winner

After my retirement, I decided to re-learn the canning and preserving skills I learned from my mother but hadn’t practiced for twenty years. I titled the blog Old Things R New to chronicle my experience.  Since then I have been blessed to have six other bloggers join me, DiVoran Lites, Bill Lites,  Judy Wills, Louise Gibson, Janet Perez Eckles and Melody Hendrix

In addition to blogging, I work as the publicist/marketer/ amateur editor and general  “mom Friday” for my author daughter, Rebekah Lyn. I also manage her website, Rebekah Lyn Books  where we frequently host the best in up and coming authors.

My 2020 goal is to use my love of photographs and words to be an encourager on social media. You can visit Real Life Books and Media You Tube Channel if you would like to view some of the mini-videos I have created for our church, Gateway Community in Titusville, Fl.

Fishing With Ivan Part 2

24 Feb

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

Northrop Institute of Technology (NIT) in Inglewood, California, was a small college when I first started my education with them. My mother and dad had saved money for me to go to college, and it was enough for me to get what was called a technology degree (which was the equivalent to an AA at most colleges). On the day of registration, the registrar urged me to change my study course from Aircraft Airframe & Engine Mechanic (18 months) to Aviation Mechanical Engineering Technology (36 months).  He said he could see that I had the makings of an engineer, and that the Los Angeles area was in an aviation boom.  As an engineer I would be able to “write my own ticket” as far as a job was concerned. 

I fell for that line and signed up for the engineering course.  The first two years were hard on both of us.  Divoran was working full-time as a hair stylist for the Magic Mirror Beauty Salon, there in Inglewood, to help pay for my schooling and get her Putting Hubby Thru (PHT) Degree.  I was going to school full-time and working at a part-time job.  By sometime in my third year I was offered a full-time engineering job with North American Aviation in Downey, CA.  We really needed the money, and besides that, my beloved DiVoran was getting a little broody, so I took the job.  I switched to night classes and we decided DiVoran would quit her full-time job and we would start our family.

Things settled down for us for a while.  Our daughter, Renie, came along first and two years later our son, Billy, was born.  During those years, we continued to visit Ivan and Dora in Livermore as often as we could.  I remember on one trip, while Dora and DiVoran were having fun with our young children, Ivan took me fishing, at his favorite spot, on the San Francisco Bay.  We fished the “riptide“ where the saltwater came in, and the freshwater met, and caught over 100 Striped Bass before we went home with only one “keeper.”   The legal length for Striped Bass, at that time of the season, was 16” and every one of those 100+ fish we caught was between 14” and 15” long. I didn’t care that we only took one fish home from that trip.  It had been non-stop “Catch & Release” as fast as we could reel one fish in and take it off the hook, throw it back, and re-bait the hook.  This went on for the whole time we were on the water, and it was the most fun I have ever had fishing. 

DiVoran says she remembers that she got to go fishing with her dad too, although she wasn’t sure at the time if she really wanted to.  She told me, “He took me out under the Golden Gate Bridge, and I was feeling sick from the motion of the boat.  I had to lie down on the bench seat in the boat to keep from throwing up. When he got the herring-shiner bait on my fishing hook, I got up and tossed the line over the side into the roiling water. I immediately felt a tug on the line and the pole bent over. Dad took over and hauled up a large gray silky looking fish, which turned out to be a small shark. I held onto the pole and stared at one emerald green eye.  While I was looking at that exquisite sight, Ivan took care of the shark.  Before I realized what was happening, Ivan had whipped out his knife, cut the shark’s throat, and dropped it back in the water.  I was so shocked by the speed at which everything had happened that I just stood there with my mouth open, gulping like a fish out of water.  That fishing trip didn’t last very long, and soon we set off for the marina.  We ended up getting home just in time for supper.”  

—–To Be Continued—–

Bill is a retired Mechanical engineer living with his wonderful artist/writer wife, DiVoran, of 63 years in Titusville, Florida. He was born and raised in the Southwest, did a tour of duty with the U.S. Navy, attended Northrop University in Southern California and ended up working on America’s Manned Space Program for 35 years. He currently is retired and spends most of his time building and flying R/C model airplanes, traveling, writing blogs about his travels for Word Press and supporting his wife’s hobbies with framing, editing and marketing.  He also volunteers with a local church Car Care Ministry and as a tour guide at the Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum there in Titusville.  Bill has two wonderful children, two outstanding grandchildren, and a loving sister and her husband, all of whom also live in Central Florida, so he and DiVoran are rewarded by having family close to spend lots of quality time with.

One of Bill’s favorite Scriptures is:  John 10:10

Never Give Up

23 Feb

The Storyteller Almanac

Greetings Everyone!

This weeks episode in my podcast series, “The Storyteller Almanac,” is presented in the ‘mystery’ style format. In other words, you have to listen to the end to find who or what the main subject is. This one is one of my shorter episodes – about 5 minutes in length. You can listen on any of the major podcast platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify and more. You can also find all episodes at www.StorytellerAlmanac.com

“Frank” Storyteller Almanac

“Frank” is presented in the mystery style or “…Rest Of The Story…” (Paul Harvey) format. Believe me, you’ll know who Frank is by the end of the episode. but you gotta listen until the end!
  1. “Frank”
  2. Believe: A Quest For Peace
  3. Never Give Up
  4. The Coastal Chronicles
  5. BONUS EPISODE: “Vivacity” – A Conversation With Heather Thorn

Last but not least, let’s just say this weeks podcast is “timely”  And please … if you feel so inclined, subscribe to the podcast on any of the podcast platforms so you don’t miss any of the weekly episodes. No cost. No obligation. No salesman will call . 

Thanks for droppin’ by, neighbor. “Mike – The Storyteller” 

I’ve been ‘clickin’ the shutter since I was about 16. I morphed into video production when I went to work for The Walt Disney Company many years ago. Currently, I still work for Disney. But my real passion and path is utilizing my photography and multimedia skill sets for the greater good. Translated, anything or anybody that deserves recognition, appreciation or documenting for future history, I’m all over it. Too many important things just slip away in a fast moving, fast paced world / society. ‘If ya’ wanna know where you’re going, ya’ gotta know where ya’ come from’ (Sir Lawrence Olivier – The Jazz Singer 1980). 

If you feel so inclined, I’d sure appreciate you subscribing to Storyteller Almanac on any of the major podcast platforms like Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts and more. Really helps me grow the po

To contact me for any reason, please click or copy & paste: 

MikeThomasImagery@gmail.com

Power of Positive Thinking

22 Feb

My Take

DiVoran Lites

Photocredit Pixabay

“Be happy in your faith and rejoice. Be glad-hearted continuously-always be unceasing in prayer.” I Thessalonians

When we moved to Titusville, we had a dear neighbor whose husband worked at the Space Center, or the Cape as it was called in those days. Her name was Shirley, and she was a decade older than me. She and her husband had three children, two were older, and one was closer in age to our children. Shirley and I used to stand on the sidewalk in front of her house or mine and talk. She introduced me to Guideposts and the book, The Power of Positive Thinking by Dr. Norman Vincent Peale. She knew Dr. Peale because he was pastor of Marble Collegiate Church she attended in Manhattan.

Next to the news that Jesus loves me and wants me to be his child, learning to be grateful and positive is the most important idea I ever received. That is truly the way to be happy. It’s good to keep negative thoughts away because mostly they come from the accuser and are tremendously harmful.  I’ve recently taken a course online by Christian brain specialist Dr. Caroline Leaf that teaches positive thinking. She demonstrates, in a graphic how negative thinking actually shrivels the brain. 

Photocredit Pixabay

Shirley encouraged her children, her neighbors, her friends, and lonely people in the neighborhood to cut out negative thoughts and think about the best things that could happen in any situation. Because of Shirley’s interest in me, I went back to college and got my AA and, I decided to keep my living-room a place for adults with plenty of other places for the kids to play inside and outside. I read all the Guideposts magazines, and my life was completely changed by the opportunity to think positively instead of mimicking the negativity all around us. After the kids got bigger, we all sat in the living room while we all had Cool-Aid and talked.  Shirley’s son, who is just a bit older than the rest, learned his mother’s ways and became wise. When he went to a new school where our kids would soon be going, he counseled us on everything we would need to know. He did the same when it came time for our young folks to go to college. He lives in the Atlanta area now and has a beautiful wife and a son and daughter. His calls always lift my spirits. 

I was delighted when I read that Dr. Peale was also Trump’s minister when he was growing up. No wonder our former president is so confident and forward thinking.    

DiVoran has been writing for most of her life. Her first attempt at a story was when she was seven years old and her mother got a new typewriter. DiVoran got to use it and when her dad saw her writing he asked what she was writing about. DiVoran answered that she was writing the story of her life. Her dad’s only comment was, “Well, it’s going to be a very short story.” After most of a lifetime of writing and helping other writers, DiVoran finally launched her own dream which was to write a novel of her own. She now has her Florida Springs trilogy and her novel, a Christian Western Romance, Go West available on Amazon. When speaking about her road to publication, she gives thanks to the Lord for all the people who helped her grow and learn.  She says, “I could never have done it by myself, but when I got going everything fell beautifully into place, and I was glad I had started on my dream.”

Random Memories of Germany

21 Feb

Wiesbaden-Part 5

Italy

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

I don’t remember the exact route of our trip…I just remember places where we were along the way.  Remember from last week, I mentioned that the other Americans in our B&B in Oberammergau was the pastor from a Baptist church in Kaiserslautern?

First Baptist Church-Kaiserlautern, Germany

Well, believe it or not, we ran into that same group when we were in Pisa, Italy!!  Small world, indeed.

I was fascinated by Pisa and the Leaning Tower.  I was amazed that it was still standing, especially at the angle it is leaning.  And to think that it is STILL standing in 2021!! 

Judy in front of the Leaning Tower – 1970

I realize a lot has been done to shore it up and keep it upright, but still…..  We made another trip to Italy with our girls in 1982, and our Janet climbed up to the top of the tower!  But she always was the more adventurous of all of us.

1982 – Janet in the pink jacket at the top of the Leaning Tower

I was nearly as amazed by the Baptistry near the cathedral, as I was the Leaning Tower. 

1982 – The Baptistry next to the church – Janet in the foreground

It is an amazing building.  And according to this picture we took, the Baptistry seems to be “leaning” a bit, as well!  I guess the ground in that area is not very stable!

We had been told about a shop in Pisa that had marble pieces, and we found it.  We purchased two marble lamp stands that we still have with us today. 

1982 – The Baptistry next to the church – Janet in the foreground

I found some marble “fruit” that I liked and have today as well – along with an alabaster “egg.” 

Marble fruit – quite realistic looking, I think

 And I found some “tumbling angels (or should I say cherubs)” that are made out of some kind of composition material.

The tumbling angels (cherubs) – from right to left

I have enjoyed having all of these things.  And so our trip to Pisa was a grand success!

Again, I don’t exactly remember where we traveled in Italy.  I just remember that we hit Venice,

St. Mark’s Square
The Bridge of Sighs

and Florence (my favorite!!), and Trieste.  

Michelangelo’s David

Fred and his family lived in Trieste following World War 2, and we were able to find the building where his family lived.  They lived in the “mezzanine” of this building – just under the arches of the arcade.  Here is a picture taken by Fred’s dad in 1950,

and now one we took on our trip

As a “footnote” to this story, our Karen and her husband Brian, on one of their trips to Europe, found the same building in Trieste, and Karen was able to point it out to Brian and tell her Dad’s story.  Amazing how that works, hmmm?

I remember we drove along the Appian Way – all those trees along the way.  

We also stopped see Lake Como. Beautiful.

~~~~~~~~~~To Be Continued~~~~~~~~~~

Judy is living in Central Florida with her retired U.S. Air Force husband of 50+ years. Born in Dallas, Texas, she grew up in the Southwestern United States.She met her husband at their church, where he was attending the university in her town. After college and seminary, he entered the Air Force, and their adventures began.They lived in eight of our United States, and spent six years in Europe, where their oldest daughter was born. She was a stay-at-home mom for many years .

  Judy has always been involved with music, both playing the piano and singing. Always interested in exercise, she was an aerobic dancing instructor, as well as a piano teacher for many years, and continues to faithfully exercise at home.

After moving to Central Florida, she served as a church secretary for nearly nine years.Her main hobby at this point in time is scanning pictures and 35mm slides into the computer. She also enjoys scrapbooking.She and her husband have two married daughters and four grandchildren, including grandtwins as well as a great-grandson. She and her husband enjoy the Disney parks as often as possible.

Tangled

19 Feb

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

I grew up in a fishing family and I can’t remember when I didn’t have a fishing pole in my hand. Living in Florida, we were salt water fishermen. We often spent all night fishing from river piers. I was so small I could stick my upper body between the rails to drop my line. Now, I can’t imagine how my parents didn’t have heart failure.

My favorite fishing spot was Mather’s Bridge in Eau Gallie, Florida. Years later, we graduated to boat fishing and this spot remained a favorite. One of our boats was an old aluminum cabin cruiser. I loved lying in the cabin, listening to the large fish grunting under the boat.

Photo Credit By Mike735150 – I took this photo with my phone while waiting for the bridge to close., CC BY-SA 3.0, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=50161843

If Florida history is of interest to you, here is a link to an excellent write up.

When the weather and winds were right we also surf fished. My parents only used Penn reels, their favorite was a Penn #9. I’m not sure they make that model any longer. I didn’t have my own reel and rod but my parents had a smallish one they let me use. I wasn’t the most coordinated child and I frequently ended up with a snarled mess after casting. Sometimes I could unsnarl the mess myself but other times I had to ask for help. For some reason adults found that to be annoying.

I remember one day my Aunt Della and Uncle Connie from North Carolina were fishing with us on the beach and I had my usual snarl. No one wanted to help. ( The whole you made the mess, you fix it thinking.) My precious Aunt Della sat on a blanket and patiently removed every knot. I loved her and miss her to this day.

I read a poem Thursday morning from Streams in the Desert, that made me think of her.

With thoughtless and

Impatient hands

We tangle up

The plans

The Lord hath wrought.

And when we cry

In pain, He saith

Be quiet, dear,

While I untie the knot

Streams in the desert

 

I'm a winner

After my retirement, I decided to re-learn the canning and preserving skills I learned from my mother but hadn’t practiced for twenty years. I titled the blog Old Things R New to chronicle my experience.  Since then I have been blessed to have six other bloggers join me, DiVoran Lites, Bill Lites,  Judy Wills, Louise Gibson, Janet Perez Eckles and Melody Hendrix

In addition to blogging, I work as the publicist/marketer/ amateur editor and general  “mom Friday” for my author daughter, Rebekah Lyn. I also manage her website, Rebekah Lyn Books  where we frequently host the best in up and coming authors.

My 2020 goal is to use my love of photographs and words to be an encourager on social media. You can visit Real Life Books and Media You Tube Channel if you would like to view some of the mini-videos I have created for our church, Gateway Community in Titusville, Fl.

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