Yellow-Eyed Cat

3 Aug

My Take

DiVoran Lites

Scribe DiVoran 

Hello, my friends. 

You’ll recall that I am strictly an inside cat. That is because I am a terrific and skillful hunter, and my parents are afraid that I would catch all the birds, squirrels, and rabbits in the back yard and beyond. But one of the things in my DNA is to hunt, so I have to find ways to cope. 

The other reason I’m not allowed outside is that somebody experimented to see whether indoor cats or outdoor cats live longer. Most of the indoor cats lived longer than the outside ones, so I’m not unhappy about that rule. 

We have a garage studio with gaps under the door. Small bugs come in, and I catch them. I can sit for hours in front of a place where I have once caught something. My family approves of my keeping the house clear of such creatures. A couple of days ago, I was trying to get to something I knew was under a throw rug. Mama distracted me and lifted the rug for a second.  Then she knew what was under there, but I didn’t. Mama picked me up, and though I struggled to get back to the rug, I ended up on the screened porch.

Later, I heard her telling Papa that what she’d seen was a black snake the size of a short shoelace with a red ring around its neck. Mama picked him up with her grabber and set him down outside. When she looked later, the baby snake was gone.” Hopefully,” she said, “it wiggled away on its own.” She looked it up on that big machine where she sits and stares at so much of the time, but I can’t remember what the name was. If I keep a close watch on that rug and ruffle it up a lot, I might get to find another one. 

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 German-Pianos and Such

2 Aug

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

I believe I’ve mentioned in previous musings, that I had piano training from the day I started first grade until I graduated from high school.  Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean I was a prodigy.  I believe God gave me a talent for music – and the piano in particular – but I was not given the “gift” of music.  I can play, but I always must have a piece of music in front of me – I am unable to play “by ear” as so many can and do.  I am grateful for what I have, and rejoice with those who have the gift of music, and I enjoy their talents.

But that’s not what this post is about.  There has almost always been a piano in my life.  I grew up with a piano in my house.  I remember always having an old upright piano at home.

1950 – Judy at the old upright piano

Then in 1952, when I was just 11 years old, my parents purchased a new piano.  That’s the one I still have.

1952 – the new piano

1952 – Judy at the new piano

When I went away for college, there wasn’t one.  And when Fred and I married, there was no room in our little apartment for a piano, even if we could have afforded to buy one.

But following the death of my father, my mother re-married after some years, and they moved into an apartment, with no room for the piano.  So I inherited that piano – and it still sits in my living room now.  But it wasn’t until the early 1970’s that I acquired it.

2020 – at home in Orlando, Florida

When Fred and I went to Germany (Wiesbaden) in 1967, we joined a small English-speaking church there.  Soon I was asked to be the church pianist.  And so, after we moved from the economy housing to government quarters, we rented a piano from a company in town.  We were amazed to find that those who brought the piano up three flights of stairs….were two older gentlemen!  They had some sort of straps around their backs, and the end of the straps – in front of them – had a large “hook” at the bottom that fitted under each end of the piano.  We couldn’t believe our eyes when those two men – one on each end of the piano – bent, then lifted – and the piano came up!  They carried that piano those three flights of stairs like it was a walk in the park!!  And two years later, when we left Wiesbaden, they carried it down those same three flights of stairs, like they were carrying something as light as a feather!  No grunts or groans from them!  Amazing!

Ten years later, when we moved to Heidelberg, Germany,

it was during a time when the government was allowing more than 2,000 pounds of household goods to be shipped, so we, essentially, brought our entire household with us.  Well, most of it, anyway.  We knew there would be washers and driers available to us, so we left ours in storage.  However, my piano came with us!  I honestly don’t remember the trip up – once again it was three flights of stairs.

Christmas 1982 – Karen in front of the piano in our quarters

But the trip down, three years later, was something else.  No strong older gentlemen this time, but it took five hefty men with many straps around and under the piano to get it down the stairs.  If you will look at the picture below, you will see large windows at each landing.

Well, on the way down, a couple of the men simply just gave up their jobs and let the piano go to the other three.  It happened on the stairway, not the landing, and I had visions of my piano flying down the rest of the stairs and straight out that landing window – and onto the sidewalk below – smashing into a million pieces! Fortunately, the other three men were strong enough to hold the piano in place until the other two could gather their strength again, and carry the thing the rest of the way down.  Whew!

And one last tidbit about that piano.  It was made by Everett, and instead of a wooden pegboard, it had a metal pegboard.  That made the instrument VERY heavy!  As it was being off-loaded at our new house in Virginia – again with FIVE men carrying it – they

got if off the truck and had to stop and catch their breath!  Then they got it to the bottom of the stairs going into our house.  Again they had to stop.  One of the gentlemen asked: “who plays this thing?”  I replied that both my girls and I did.  He then said, “that’s a good thing, because if this was just a piece of furniture, we would leave it right here!”  Fortunately, they didn’t, and it made it into our living room.

1992 – Seaford, Virginia – Judy and Mom in front of the piano

~~~~~~~~~~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.

Life During Covid-19 Part 18

30 Jul

He leads me beside still waters.

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

We finally made it to our home in Western North Carolina last Wednesday. It was a struggle to escape the clutch of doctors who feel entitled to dictate our life with endless rechecks.

The struggle is totally worth it. Saturday morning I settled into my comfy teak lounger on my porch, contentment oozing from my soul. I wrote this:

I declared today a day of reading and refreshment.  74 degrees on the porch. Birds chirping and cheeping and a good romance, mystery book by Colleen Coble on my tablet.  Mike tinkering in the garage. Thunder sounding beyond the mountains, possibly heralding an afternoon shower. A gentle breeze creates joyful melodies on the wind chimes Mike made.

After two days of unpacking and restocking the kitchen, we decided a day trip was in order. I packed a light picnic lunch of meat and cheese and we headed for the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. With all the Covid closures, I wasn’t sure if the visitor center (restrooms) would be open and that can be a problem. I was relieved to see the car park was a hive of activity.

The park was busy but not at the usual summer level and we took advantage of empty parking spots to stop and enjoy old favorites. When our children were young they enjoyed playing in this stream. One day an “older”(like maybe she was 40) woman was walking across some rocks and she fell into the water. The stream and bridge has evermore been named, Woman Falling In Water.

US Highway 441, a winding, two land road runs through the park without a lot of opportunities to pass. We were driving behind an SUV that was struggling to pull a sizable RV trailer. Their speed varied from 25-35 miles per hour. The RV had a Florida license plate and we were reminded of our first time hauling our pop-up camper along the same road. Young and inexperienced at mountain driving, I’m sure we crept along too. As we patiently followed the RV up the mountain, we reminisced and laughed at our youthful confidence.

If we followed US 441 all the way through the park, we would have ended up in Gatlinburg, Tennessee but we had decided to only go as far as Newfound Gap.

North Carolina is a mandatory mask state, Tennessee is not. This park straddles the state lines and the restrooms are on the Tennessee side! Mast freedom! I wore a mask anyway. It’s nice to have the choice.

Our family made many memories here. Lingering snow thrilled our Florida hearts and frost laden trees, a winter wonderland left us awe struck. It’s a place where children could run off some energy, exploring the woods behind a monument or as the Appalachian Trail runs through there, you might encounter a Through Hiker.

The elevation of 5,040 feet offers an ever changing vista of the the surrounding mountains.

The National park has a webcam here and I treat myself to a visit as part of my morning quiet time. It snaps a photo every 15 minutes. I thought it would be fun to be “captured” in a photo, an “I was there” kind of moment. I told my daughter in Florida of our plan and she monitored the webcam. I was thrilled when she texted the picture to me. Silly, yes but fun.

We are in the far right circle

We decided to take the short drive to Clingman’s Dome.

At 6,643 feet, Clingmans Dome is the highest point in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It is the highest point in Tennessee, and the third highest mountain east of the Mississippi.

We were surprised at the amount of cars trying to get into the parking lot and decided to not take up a parking space as we could come back anytime. Families were everywhere, even picnicking in their parking space. I am thinking that caused the slow down, but I am also happy to see families enjoying being together in nature.

My husband suggested I hop out of the car to get some pictures while he drove the circle of the parking area. Clouds were moving in so not much of a view, but it was only 69 degrees. Lovely.

By now, we were hungry! We headed back down the mountain to a large picnic area. Normally in the summer this popular picnic area is crowded but this was not the case. I speculated that the crowd at Clingman’s Dome, may have been first time visitors, not familiar with all the park had to offer. We finished our lunch just as a light rain began.

Several years ago, the Great Smoky Mountain National Park began to reintroduce Elk to the park and they can often be seen in late afternoon near the visitor center. This day they were out early, maybe because of the rain and many were next to the road. We pulled over to snap some pictures.

We made it back home around 3:30 pm. In time for my husband to get in a nap. Covid is taking a sub conscience toll on us. We aren’t afraid but we are weary, especially me. Nature soothes me and brings to mind Psalm 23:2-3

He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams. He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name.

I'm a winnerAfter 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 2019 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.

God is Good

29 Jul

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

The other day I was working on a blog for the website we support (www.oldthingsrnew.com).  I had some relaxing instrumental guitar music, from YouTube, playing softly in the background.  As I was typing along, suddenly the music went off.  I didn’t pay any attention to it at the time, as there are sometimes small breaks between songs.  But then when my attention was drawn away from my blog by the silence, I clicked on the music icon to get it started again, but nothing happened.  Then a message appeared in the middle of the screen that said i had no internet connection.  Well shucks!  There went my music.  That happens now and then when AT&T is doing something that interrupts the internet signal.  So I just went on with my blog work and forgot about it for a while.

After a while, I remembered a phone call I needed to make and got up to make the call.  But no!  There was no dial tone.  I walked over and turned on the TV.  Yep, no signal there either.  Well, this had lasted a while, so I guessed AT&T was taking longer than usual today.  I would give them a couple of hours before I called in a trouble report.  I hated the thought of having to go thru the hassle of talking to their computerized answer machine that thought it was smarter than I was, and wouldn’t let me talk to a real person.  I went back to my blog and forgot about the loss of my music for another hour or so.  The next thing I knew it was time for lunch, and then a quick power nap.  After my nap DiVoran said we needed to run to the store for something important (I can’t remember what it was).  So we got ready, got in the car, and headed to the store.  As we headed down our street, we passed an AT&T service truck parked a few houses down the block.  I stopped and backed up to ask the technician if he knew what AT&T might be doing to the internet and how long it would take.

I quickly told him my internet interruption story and asked him what he thought might be going on.  He asked me where our house was, and I indicated that it was, just down the block.  He said he had just finished an installation at the house next to ours, and he would come take a look at our situation.  We were thrilled that he was going to take the time to check out the problem, and didn’t just tell us to call in a trouble report.  I showed him the power-pole that we shared with our neighbor.  He said “Yep, that is the house I just finished working on.  He went up the power-pole and inspected the work he had done there.  When he knocked on the door, he asked me to try the internet music.  It worked.  Then I checked the TV and the phone, and they all were working perfectly.  

Then he told me that he had found the problem at one of the power-pole connections.  He was very happy to have found the problem before we had called in a trouble report, as I’m sure it would have been discovered that it was his mistake, and there might have been repercussions for him.  I was thankful that I had not had to go thru the nightmare of having to wait (sometimes days) for a technician to have time to come (from where ever they come) to fix the problem.

Now my question for you is, who had that AT&T service truck in that location at that particular time?  I don’t believe in coincidences.  I believe my loving God had that truck in that very location, at that very time, so that He could help the AT&T technician avoid any repercussions, and He could make us happy at the same time.  Now if that isn’t a case of God being good to His children, I don’t know what is.  Thank you Lord.

—–The End—–

Bill is a retired Mechanical engineer living with his wonderful artist/writer wife, DiVoran, of 61 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.

Bill

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

Three Abalone Shells

27 Jul

My Take

DiVoran Lites

This morning, I was on the back porch doing a gentle exercise when our handy-man George*came to mulch some flower beds in the back yard. He walked up to the porch screen and stood looking at the shelf that goes around the inside of the porch.

 “While I’m thinking about it, would you consider giving me one of them abalone shells?” he said, “I see you’d have two more left.” 

While it sounded like a reasonable request, my heart sank. Suddenly I knew I couldn’t give up even one of my beautiful abalone shells. Some time ago, I gave George a few unusual rocks my rockhound parents had found. I believe in giving things to most people who ask, but the force of sadness that hit me shocked me. Another factor in my feeling of guilt was that George works under several handicaps to make our yard look trimmed and beautiful.  He can’t read or write, and he has no nose because smoking and cancer took it. He’s getting a new one someday, or so the doctors say. He has an ex-wife, and two grown daughters and he does his best to help look after them

George voiced understanding about my sentimentality; still, I felt selfish. But then, I thought about all the hard work Dad put into climbing down into the cold water of the Pacific Ocean to pry abalone off the rocks with a crowbar. Then I thought about my brother’s son, who one day went out for abalones with some good buddies, got caught in a riptide and drowned. These three shells are beautiful, and they remind me of my father and my nephew in a subtle way, and for some reason, they give me peace. 

  But when I told Bill my dilemma, he informed me that all George told him he wanted to saw up the shell and possibly make jewelry from it.   Well, I’ll tell you that was one time when I was glad about saying no.  It was a blessed time when the enemy had to flee from me. Here’s how you tell the difference between a thought from God or an idea planted by the devil. If it comes from fear and condemnation, it’s the devil. If it’s God talking, we feel convicted, healed, and cleansed. 

We’re helping a bit to pass out free food from ranches and farms. As bad as I had momentarily felt about refusing George the abalone shell, I now knew that we had a big box of mixed fruits and vegetables to give him from the farms that donate them. Food is better than empty shells or jewelry any day. But that’s another story altogether. 

*Name changed

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-The Bakery

26 Jul

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

The symbol for a bakery in Germany – the pretzel – 1982

I’ve mentioned in previous musings about the Bakery that was just around the corner from the housing area where we lived.  I made many trips just to visit that bakery (Bäckerei in German).  I have many fond memories of going into that store and “speaking” with the lady who owned it.  I spoke a little German…she spoke a little English, and so we were able to communicate fairly well with each other.  She was a delightful lady.

One thing I enjoyed the most about her was the way she treated her customers.  For instance, the first year we were in Heidelberg, Fred’s parents came to visit (which they did each year we were there).  Wanting to show them all the wonderful things about Heidelberg, we took them to the bakery.  I introduced them to the owner.  I told her that they really loved to eat raisin bread (Rosinenbrot), and she produced a loaf.  We ate off that loaf for a few days.  But the really fun thing is that every following year, when Fred’s parents visited, and we went to that bakery, she remembered them – greeting them with smiles and handshakes – and presenting a loaf of raisin bread.  She remembered not only the couple, but what they enjoyed eating!  Great lady!

I remember going in there one day in the Spring, and she had set out samples of an onion tart she had made.  Onions grew abundantly in the area, and she made the best of it.  It was a delicious taste – but I can’t remember whether or not I purchased an entire “pie” to take home.  I probably did, because I knew Fred would enjoy it.

Another memory of the bakery – as mentioned in other posts, I had started teaching aerobic dancing while in Heidelberg.  My partner and I had set up a contest among our students, to make a design that depicted our logo.  We had several entries, and chose one top winner,

The winner of our logo

 and one runner-up.  As it happened, I went from one of my classes, still wearing my aerobic outfit, to the bakery before heading home.  The owner of the bakery asked about the shirt (Heidelberg Aerobic Dancing) and I tried to tell her it was an exercise class, but made use of “dance” instead of just exercises.  And so I told her it was “tance…aber….gymnastic” (dance…but…gymnastics).  She seemed to get the idea.  I just hoped I had said it right!

 One of the best memories of the bakery, was what I did for Fred’s birthday, the last one before we left Germany.  I had frequently purchased just slices of her famous cream pie (like a cream cheese pie, lemony flavor and mildly sweet), and other goodies.  One day I was in there, when someone ordered a Black Forest Cake for a birthday.  That gave me the idea for Fred’s birthday.  I was able to order and purchase a small Black Forest Cake (about 8″ diameter), and asked her to write “Fred” on it.  She didn’t understand “Fred” so I said “Frederic.”  She then said “Fritz?” which is the German nickname for Frederick.  I said “nein” and said “Fred.”  A little disgusted with me, she handed me the paper and pen and said “here!”  So I wrote “Fred” out for her, and we were both happy.  Fred was more than surprised, and pleased.  It was a delicious cake!!

When my BFF, Sue, came for a two-week visit, we squired her all around Heidelberg and Germany.  She and I went on a bus tour to Holland – that is a memory for another post.  But one of the things I did with her, was to take her to my favorite bakery!  I spoke to the owner in my halting German, asking for whatever it was I wanted.  After I had finished, Sue said, “Wow, Judy, I never heard anything like that.”  In reply, I said, “believe me… that’s like NOTHING She’s ever heard before either!”  And the lady just laughed.  So she probably knew more English than she let on.  But that’s okay, we got along famously with what we each knew.

One of the things I miss most about Germany, and Heidelberg in particular, is that bakery.  

~~~~~~~~~~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.

Testing

25 Jul

My Take

Onisha Ellis

Good Lord willing and the creek don’t rise, our Fall road trip is a go. Testing out using the Mobil WP app. Great verse from my morning reading.

Catbird

20 Jul

My Take

DiVoran Lites

Pixabay

I’m glad I never set out to learn bird calls. It would take a long time to learn them all. But, I do recognize most of the trillers that come to our yard. One time I heard a sound like a kitten mewing. I looked around and saw a catbird on a branch, and on that day, I made two discoveries.

1. A catbird was named catbird because it mews like a kitten.

2. The catbird wears a handsome pair of russet-colored feather shorts beneath his tail. 

Speaking of the calls of birds, have you ever read The Girl of the Limberlost by Gene Stratton-Porter published in 1909? One of the things I love in the book is that the heroine, Elnora, could play the sounds of the swamp on her violin. Wouldn’t that be something beautiful to hear? 

A catbird can sing the songs of many other kinds of birds, as can mockingbirds and others. Catbirds practice each new sound and then blend it into a concert of all the sounds he knows. I have only heard mockingbirds do that, but that’s enough to know it is a precious gift from God. 

As I study birds and writers, I become aware that many living creatures have gifts from God to share with the world.  The Holy Bible tells us that God’s people are blessed with gifts as well.  Our personal gifts can be wisdom, faith, healing, miracles, prophesy, discernment, languages, interpretations, and many other things. The same breath of God produces all the gifts, just as it creates the sounds of birds. There is one gift, however that outshines all the rest and that is the gift of Love. 1 Corinthians 13.  What a joy that is!

Here are some of the sounds

And

Here’s the love

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-Part 7

19 Jul

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

While we did most of our shopping – whether clothing or groceries – at the military facilities while in Germany,

Credit Google Search and Military One Source

 there were times when we enjoyed shopping on the German economy.  I thoroughly enjoyed the fact that the Germans were adamant about closing early on Saturdays (usually 5:00 p.m.) and either not opening on Sundays, or having shortened hours.  I appreciated that.  

I remember that I had learned to make the German Springerle Christmas cookies from Fred’s mother.  She also gave me a Military Wives Cookbook that had a great recipe for those cookies in it.  But I really didn’t have any of the “forms” until we went to Heidelberg.  I must have had some type of forms – perhaps Fred’s mother gave me hers, I just don’t remember – because I did make those cookies each Christmas.  

When I went into a German store to see if they had the forms, I had a rather difficult time telling the sales ladies just what I wanted.  I thought I had the proper pronunciation for the forms, but I think one lady finally realized what I was asking for – in my halting German!  She brought out a few forms, and they were exactly what I wanted!  Just what I was looking for!

In another situation, down the road from our housing area was a type of “mall” that we frequented.  It was called Famila.  Some called it Familia, but it was the same place.  It had everything from grocery stores to yarn shops, movie theaters to shoe stores.  You get the picture – just like one of our shopping malls in the U.S.  It was all indoor, like most of the malls in this country, so it was a nice place to walk and window-shop, no matter what the weather.

There was one event that really surprised us while we were there.  The girls and I were outside our building one day, when we saw a HUGE number of bicycles coming furiously down Römerstrasse – the main street outside our housing area.  There were probably a couple of hundred cyclists in the group.  It could have even been the Tour de France, but in Germany.  We were amazed – all those bicycles at once!  But what took us by surprise was that ALL the cars – from both directions – just……STOPPED!  No one told them to stop, they just stopped on their own, and pulled over to the curb.  It was the race going by, which was fascinating by itself.  And, after the last bicycle had cleared the area, the traffic started up again.  Amazing!

Credit Google Search and Velo News

~~~~~~~~~~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.

How to see God’s way out of our troubles.

18 Jul

REBLOGGED July 18, 2020

July 10, 2020

“So, I was with some friends preaching in South Africa,” a preacher said, “when a blind woman who sat at the front came up for prayer.

The preacher told her Jesus loved her and wanted to heal her blindness. He then placed his hands on her head and prayed. In that instant, her eyesight was restored.

Who could doubt God still performs miracles? Blind see again, lame walk again, cancer ends, emotions become healthy.

But what happens to those, like me—whom God didn’t heal? What could be the reason?

Whether physically or spiritually blind, we all have asked that same question. How often, in our desperate, aching heart we ask: why, when, and how?

Why, why, why…

As we try to understand, we wonder: Why would He allow us to enter such dark times, endure so much hardship and face so many painful moments? 

We take those questions to bed. They rumble in our minds during sleepless nights. Nothing makes sense. What went wrong? We lead lives that, by most standards would be considered good. We attended church every Sunday. And drawing strength from nowhere, we come up with activities to keep our kids busy. We silently endure the lay-offs. And we fret because the bank account mirrors our nearly-empty pantry and fridge.

But we’re full of questions like these:

  1. Why is God so far, distant and seemingly uninterested in the unfortunate state of our country and the world?

He is not only interested, but He’s involved. He hears our longing; He knows our questions and He has the answer: “The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit” (Psalm 34:18).

We can endure because He’s close. We can move forward because He keeps us from crushing into despair. And we wait in anticipation because He understands our broken heart.

  1. What about our broken plans? How can we bring back what we had before?

God sees our plans shattered to pieces before us. That’s why He reminds us of His own plans Those plans are to prosper us, not to harm us. They are to give us hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11).

  1. What will happen tomorrow, or next week or next year?

In spite of the anxiety that blinds us from seeing a new horizon, His restoring power is at work to bring a new beginning:

“See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland” (Isaiah 43:19).

The streams of reassurance open the way to new horizons. In the desert of pain, He makes the way for healing and in the wasteland of grief He brings the warmth of His comfort.

  1. Where is He when we’re drowning in fear because of unexpected adversity? And where is He when we’re crossing through the fire of hopelessness?

He knows the precise place of our needs. He knows the spot where we hurt. And He is aware of the intensity of our suffering. And to it all, He whispers: “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze” (Isaiah 43:2).

There is hope.

Blindness, disease, heartache or financial hardship may invade our lives, but we’ll never drown in despair. And when the fire of fear draws near, it will never burn because He’s in the midst of our weakness. He’s at the moment we stumble, when anxiety visits, and even when danger lurks, He’s present with His protection.

He was present in that church in South Africa where Jesus chose to heal the blind woman. God didn’t heal my blindness, but He gave me 20/20 vision to see His hand at work. The same hand that is holding you, your situation, your silent loneliness, your pain and your heartache.

All He asks is for you to fix the eyes of your heart on Him. That’s when hope is born. Faith grows. And courage stands. The kind of courage that defeats all evil. The size of courage to simply believe. Believe that God will see you out of your troubles.

Let’s Pray

Father. Thank You for healing my unbelieving heart. Thank You for giving me eyes to see who You are, what You promise and how You guide.

What blinds you from seeing His hand at work?

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.

July 10, 2020

“So, I was with some friends preaching in South Africa,” a preacher said, “when a blind woman who sat at the front came up for prayer.

The preacher told her Jesus loved her and wanted to heal her blindness. He then placed his hands on her head and prayed. In that instant, her eyesight was restored.

Who could doubt God still performs miracles? Blind see again, lame walk again, cancer ends, emotions become healthy.

But what happens to those, like me—whom God didn’t heal? What could be the reason?

Whether physically or spiritually blind, we all have asked that same question. How often, in our desperate, aching heart we ask: why, when, and how?

Why, why, why…

As we try to understand, we wonder: Why would He allow us to enter such dark times, endure so much hardship and face so many painful moments? 

We take those questions to bed. They rumble in our minds during sleepless nights. Nothing makes sense. What went wrong? We lead lives that, by most standards would be considered good. We attended church every Sunday. And drawing strength from nowhere, we come up with activities to keep our kids busy. We silently endure the lay-offs. And we fret because the bank account mirrors our nearly-empty pantry and fridge.

But we’re full of questions like these:

  1. Why is God so far, distant and seemingly uninterested in the unfortunate state of our country and the world?

He is not only interested, but He’s involved. He hears our longing; He knows our questions and He has the answer: “The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit” (Psalm 34:18).

We can endure because He’s close. We can move forward because He keeps us from crushing into despair. And we wait in anticipation because He understands our broken heart.

  1. What about our broken plans? How can we bring back what we had before?

God sees our plans shattered to pieces before us. That’s why He reminds us of His own plans Those plans are to prosper us, not to harm us. They are to give us hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11).

  1. What will happen tomorrow, or next week or next year?

In spite of the anxiety that blinds us from seeing a new horizon, His restoring power is at work to bring a new beginning:

“See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland” (Isaiah 43:19).

The streams of reassurance open the way to new horizons. In the desert of pain, He makes the way for healing and in the wasteland of grief He brings the warmth of His comfort.

  1. Where is He when we’re drowning in fear because of unexpected adversity? And where is He when we’re crossing through the fire of hopelessness?

He knows the precise place of our needs. He knows the spot where we hurt. And He is aware of the intensity of our suffering. And to it all, He whispers: “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze” (Isaiah 43:2).

There is hope.

Blindness, disease, heartache or financial hardship may invade our lives, but we’ll never drown in despair. And when the fire of fear draws near, it will never burn because He’s in the midst of our weakness. He’s at the moment we stumble, when anxiety visits, and even when danger lurks, He’s present with His protection.

He was present in that church in South Africa where Jesus chose to heal the blind woman. God didn’t heal my blindness, but He gave me 20/20 vision to see His hand at work. The same hand that is holding you, your situation, your silent loneliness, your pain and your heartache.

All He asks is for you to fix the eyes of your heart on Him. That’s when hope is born. Faith grows. And courage stands. The kind of courage that defeats all evil. The size of courage to simply believe. Believe that God will see you out of your troubles.

Let’s Pray

Father. Thank You for healing my unbelieving heart. Thank You for giving me eyes to see who You are, what You promise and how You guide.

What blinds you from seeing His hand at work?

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

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