Sacred water……Precious gift

22 May

A Time to Live

Melody Hendrix

 

 

For thousands of years water has been among the main religious symbols.Water is a symbol of life as well as a means of cleansing or purification

 

Jesus answered and said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again; but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.”  John 4:13-14

Water, then, is a most beautiful element and rich in usefulness, and purifies from all filth, and not only from the filth of the body but from that of the soul. We can see from this the belief common in the Old Testament, that water is a mystically powerful element, which, being connected with God in some way, can cleanse sins, inner and outer defilement, and regenerate the human body.

The flow of a river from its source to the sea may also signify the flow of life from birth to death. A winding stream is a symbol of the tortuous course of human life. To descend a river can also be understood as symbolic of life’s journey down the “River of Life”.

 

One of the many special properties of water, listed among the Facts about Water, is that it is one of the best-known solvents. On a daily basis, many people, and animals, use water to help remove dirt and grime from their bodies.

Since ancient times, washing has signified literally and metaphorically a process of cleansing, of purification, of transformation, even metamorphosis.

Water is an essential part of all life on the globe. Plant and animal could not live without water. Water ensures food security, livestock security, maintains organic life, industrial production and to conserve the biodiversity and environment. Hence, there could no life without water.  So far we know, earth is the only planet that God gifted with water and this makes it fit for human living and other living organisms to exist on it.

Directly or indirectly, water affects all facets of life.

Without it, there would be no vegetation on land, no oxygen for animals to breathe and the planet would look entirely different. Water is necessary to keep people’s bodies and the environment healthy and should be valued and protected as the precious resource it is. The water you drink today has likely been around in one form or another since dinosaurs roamed the Earth. Some of Earth’s groundwater is fossil water, created when Earth’s climate was far different.

There is the same amount of freshwater on earth as there always has been, but the population has exploded, leaving the world’s water resources in crisis.Freshwater makes up a very small fraction of all water on the planet. While nearly 70 percent of the world is covered by water, only 2.5 percent of it is fresh. The rest is saline and ocean-based. Even then, just 1 percent of our freshwater is easily accessible, with much of it trapped in glaciers and snow fields. In essence, only 0.007 percent of the planet’s water is available to fuel and feed its 6.8 billion people.

 

 

Humanity’s growing thirst also poses a major problem for aquatic ecosystems. “When we take water from rivers, floodplains, and watersheds, those ecosystems bear the brunt of water scarcity and begin to be degraded or disappear.

 

 

Half of the world’s 500 most important rivers – water sources for hundreds of millions of people – are being seriously depleted or polluted.  A large percentage of the rivers in the U.S. are too polluted for fishing and swimming.Water shortages will likely be a fact of life for most people on the planet within the next ten years. We are facing dirtier, unsafe water and more risk of water shortages and scarcity. This crisis is real, it’s happening now and it’s getting worse fast.

 

 

Sacred water… precious gift.   Water is the cradle and source of life on earth. It is a sacred gift.

 

 

 

 

I am retired and enjoying life. My hobbies are my 5 grandchildren, son and daughter, and my loving husband. I am a photographer and extreme nature lover. I love spending time in my garden or in the wilderness connected to God my Creator.
Melody

Dancing

21 May

My Take

DiVoran Lites

 


Our daughter comes to visit every week on her way to Line Dancing. It’s her favorite sport and exercise. She has always loved to dance from the time we danced around the kitchen banging on pot lids with wooden spoons when she and her brother were kids.

Bill and I liked to dance too. We were round-dancers, and square dancers and Bill’s sister even taught a dance exercise class in Germany when the Air Force stationed them there. Dancing must have been in all our genes

Here’s how I got my start.

In 1943, when I was five years old and Daddy was on the front lines, Mother, my brother, and I lived in an upstairs apartment in Grandmother and Granddad’s Victorian house.

 

 

Our small town had an apple-blossom festival and I loved the parade with the majorettes swinging their batons. Mother knew it and signed me up for lessons.

But I have one eensy-weensy fault when it comes to learning things. It’s just that I don’t believe in practicing. Or maybe I believe in it, but there are so many other exciting things to do, like read a book.

So after a few lessons when I still couldn’t begin to twirl, the teacher told Mother she was wasting her money. Grandmother stepped in to pay for ballet and tap dance lessons.

For that class, I walked the three blocks to Main Street and climbed the stairs to the dance studio above one of the stores. One day I walked past my friend Kay Lowry’s house, hoping she’d come out so we could play together in her backyard.

It was a wonderful backyard with a huge cherry tree that we could climb, and beautiful flower beds we just knew angels lived in.

 

 

 

So this one day, Kay did come out. We were in the backyard playing when we heard the doorbell ring and in a minute both mothers came out the back door. Mine had my ballet slippers in her hand and I thought, oh, oh. I forgot my slippers.

Mother said it was time to go home now. When we got out on the sidewalk she seemed calm, but she did have a few questions for me.

“Did you go to dancing class?”

“Yes, Mother.”

Whack! The slippers collided with my back-side.

“Who else came to class?”

“Uh,” I thought fast. “Betty, Jane, Anette…”

Whack again.

For each answer, the ballet slippers told me that skipping class and lying about it wasn’t a very good idea. Mother had walked to town and up the stairs thinking it would be pleasant to walk home with me.

Fortunately, I didn’t have to quit dancing. That meant that when it came time to perform for the soldiers at Camp Carson, I could go. Mother made my blue-checked, gingham pinafore, shined my black patent-leather tap shoes, and signed up to drive a car full of little dancers to the one-year-old military base outside Colorado Springs. She dabbed freckles across my nose with an eyebrow pencil. My hair was in two braids with bows on the ends. We sang and danced, just like Shirley Temple. I was the one on the end that watched the other girls but still couldn’t get the steps right.

We danced to “Whistle While You Work,” from Snow White with small brooms resting on our shoulders.

 

 

The soldiers gave us a standing ovation. I’m sure we all thought about our daddies who were, “Over There.”

People Do The Funniest Things Part~2

20 May

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

 

 

 

I’ve been thinking about some of the funny/weird things that people do – including myself. Sometimes I wonder about myself when I find myself doing something really strange.

For instance – when I am walking along a street/sidewalk/road, if I see a grate over a drain – I make sure that I don’t step on that grate.

 

The type of drain grate within the circle

 

I’m absolutely convinced that, if I step on it – it will fall through and down I will go! It hasn’t happened yet, but I’m convinced…. And I see others walking over them all the time, but if I were to….

My Aunt Jessie was a special case in point:

 

Aunt Jessie

She had several superstitions that were unreasonable to me. For instance – she would never go to Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico, because she was convinced that, the day she visited the caverns, they would collapse in on her!

 

Credit Google Search and New Mexico Geological Attractions and Destinations

I know that I visited the caverns at least once, and here I am to tell that they did NOT collapse! Such are irrational fears – that are quite real, unfortunately. She had another superstition that I laughed about a lot. I’m sure that many have a fear of crossing the path of a black cat – or is that just an American superstition? Don’t know.

 

Credit Google Search and Wikipedia

 

However, I DO know that, as I was riding in her car with her one time, a black cat ran across the road in front of us. We were only a block or two from her house, but she stopped the car, turned around, and went another way home! Funny to think of that now, but she was quite serious about it.

And one more about my Aunt Jessie: She had quite a collection of jewelry, including a lovely ring, set with an opal.

 

Credit Google Search

 

 

Unfortunately, Jessie had a superstition about opals – they had a “curse” on them, so only someone born in October could wear an opal without the curse affecting them. Fortunately, we had a family member who was born in October, and she received the ring. That is our own DiVoran.

And then there’s Fred’s mother.

 

 

While she was a dedicated wife and mother of her four children, she also had some down time. She did love to read, and she read a lot. But one of her favorite things to do was to play Solitaire….with cards, not on the computer. I actually attempted once to show her how to play it on the computer, but she just didn’t get it. I went really, really slow with the moves…and her comment was, “can you go slow so I can see how it works?” That was the last time I attempted that effort. But what was funny about watching her play, is that….she cheated! She would lift a card or a stack of cards and “peek” at the cards to see what was where, to know how to play, so she could win! It was hilarious to watch!

 

~~~~~More later – when I think of more zany things my family has done~~~~~

How to pray so God will answer.

19 May

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Perea Eckles

 

 

His Way

 

 

 

 

How to pray so God will answer.

Reblogged May 19, 2018

 

What’s that smell?

Not long ago, an unidentified odor filled the front of our house. We tried and tried to find the source but failed. We cleaned, washed and sprayed air freshener. Nothing worked.

To make it worse, since I’m blind, my sense of smell is heightened. Ugh! There was only one thing to do—cover my mouth and nose.

So, I went to work, frantically searching for a cloth mask to cover my mouth and nose. I was sure I had put one away in a drawer somewhere.

I pulled out items; I ran my fingers all around. No mask. “Lord,” I prayed, “I know this is silly, but will you help me find that mask. You know where it is, will you help me?”

He didn’t.

Facing my defeat, I sat at my computer and worked for a few hours. Then I got up, walked around the house and, to my relief, the smell was gone, totally gone.

What came instead was a big lesson.

How often we ask for something specific, yet God is up to something bigger. We beg for a solution, but God has a mightier answer. And when we plead and plead for a specific outcome, He comes up with a different one, and one that solves a bigger problem.

That is what His promise is—to solve them His way. That’s why we can be reassured that although He listens to our prayers, He sees our heart. He often doesn’t give us what we want but grants us what we need.

And He gives the reason why in Isaiah 55:8-9: “’For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways’” declares the LORD. ‘As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.’”

Trusting in that promise…

  • I pray not just to see a better tomorrow, but to delight in the best of today.
  • I pray not just for a leap to triumph, but to take each step on firm ground.
  • I pray not just for triumph, but to know how to defeat fear.
  • I pray not to do great things without first knowing the greatness of God.
  • I pray not for a life of roses, but to remove the thorns of doubt.
  • I pray not for knowledge in a lifetime, but for enough wisdom in each defining moment.
  • I pray not for the abundance of my bank account, but to take into account my riches in the abundance of God.
  • I pray not for my own answer to every prayer, but for His every answer to fuel my faith.
  • I pray not for God to take away every trouble, but for me to take the trouble to see His way out.
  • I pray not just for a cure to my illness, but for the healing of my soul.
  • I pray not to trust in my success, but to succeed in trusting God.
  • I pray not to heal my loneliness, but to heed the truth that God alone is enough.

Let’s Pray

Father, thank you for your answers, your solutions and your victories. Grant me wisdom to wait and to trust that your thoughts and ways are above my own. In Jesus’ name, amen.

  • What have you been asking God lately?
  • Does your prayer align with His Word?

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.

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Beauty and Pleasure

15 May

A Time to Live

Melody Hendrix

 

 

God created the flowers to bring beauty to the earth and pleasure to us.

 

 

Each flower is unique and some are very beautiful as a single bloom but many times it is more beautiful to see them put together as a bouquet or arrangement. That can be a lovely parallel to how we each come together and complement the strengths, weaknesses, gifting and needs of each other.

 

Together we are more powerful, more complete, although individually we are also beautiful in our own way.

 

 

Do you ever feel insignificant, like God wouldn’t pick you from His garden? He doesn’t see one gifting or personality or appearance as better than another. None of us is less important to Him. We are all supposed to be different. And we are pleasing to Him if we fulfill the specific call and purpose He created us to be. We are only to be ourselves, not like someone else.

 

 

Whatever type God created you to be, it is not just for us to keep to ourselves but our beauty, our aroma, our gifting are to be used for the benefit of those around us. Just as in the bouquet, each of us is important to the whole. Even those who feel small or insignificant have a role to play.

 

 

I saw these little flowers, I had never seen before,
They were so small and delicate, a hundred-maybe more,
I had to smile when seeing them, and wipe away my tears,
You always give me flowers, Lord. At least, you have for years.
Anne Peterson

 

 

 

Consider the wonderful works of God.  Job 37:14

 

 

 

 

 

I am retired and enjoying life. My hobbies are my 5 grandchildren, son and daughter, and my loving husband. I am a photographer and extreme nature lover. I love spending time in my garden or in the wilderness connected to God my Creator.
Melody

Marie Bowers

14 May

My Take

DiVoran Lites

 

Photo by Melody Hendrix

 

 

In her last photo, standing by a big fountain

Grandmother was tiny.

She never seemed tiny before.

She was the matriarch of the family

And we all tried to please her.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

She was right to think she knew a few things.

Born in Illinois in 1897, she was the first of 13

Marie helped with everything.

Kid care was just a part of life and…

She especially enjoyed looking after chickens.

 

She was one of the fortunate who got all the

The way through eighth grade.

For a while, she was the teacher

Since teachers were hard to find in rural spots.

I’ll bet she kept the big boys in line,

Maybe with some help from her brothers.

When her mother died of female problems

Marie was already married and had two boys

Marie took in the two smallest sisters.

One trick she had was to get the four

Ready for church then rest the legs of the bed

On each dress-tail so the children wouldn’t get dirty.

Yes, very little boys wore dresses in those days.

 

Marie, Ivan (my dad eventually), Ira, Lowell in front.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So much I could tell you about Grandmother Marie.

She loved us all and went back to visit her dad and siblings.

While Granddad was a guard at the Colorado State Penitentiary

Grandmother ran her beauty shop,

They also had an apartment house

Victorian with a beautiful yard and

Chickens in a pen out by the garage.

She went to the hospital and to the morgue to “do hair”

For those who couldn’t help themselves.

 

In extreme old age, she got a job in a nursing home

Where Granddad had to live by then

She was loved in that town

And they gave her a little room

With a phone

It was her paid job to answer if it rang during the night.

Some people say, “All I Know I Owe to my Darling Mother,”

But I say all I know I owe to my darling mother and my

Stalwart Grandmother.

I’m looking forward to seeing both in Heaven.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Marie and her sweet, adorable little granddaughter: me

I think I’m trying to get away. I don’t think she wanted this picture taken.

 

 

 

Mother’s Day 2018

13 May

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

 

 

It’s another Mother’s Day in the United States. The day when we and our country recognizes our mothers and the way they have impacted our lives.

When I think of my own mother, I am torn – between deep gratitude to God for giving her to me as my mother, and deep sorrow that she isn’t in this life anymore to talk with and hug and get good advice from – even in my advanced years.

I am grateful that she was a God-loving and God-fearing woman, who taught me about God and Jesus Christ, and helped me be the woman I am today. I loved hearing her tell stories about her growing-up years. There weren’t too many stories that I remember, but the ones I do remember are precious memories to me.

 

Notice the bows in their hair in all these pictures!

I remember her telling me that, as she cared for her sister in her sister’s last days, they spent so many hours “remembering” this event or that event. Mom said she wished she’d had a tape recorder to record their conversations and memories. But they are now lost. I have speculation that they are renewing their memories in heaven. And perhaps I shall share in those when it’s my turn to join them.

 

1945 – Albuquerque, New Mexico
Agnes (Mother) on the left, Aunt Jessie on the right

 

My mother loved deeply and freely. I’ve written about her previously (please see my posts of May 12, 2013, December 8, 2013, June 1, 2014, February 8, 2015, November 8 and 22, 2015). She was a loved and remembered part of our church in Albuquerque. My husband, brother and sister-in-law and I made a trip to Albuquerque back in 2000. We went to our old church that Sunday morning.

 

First Baptist Church, Albuquerque, New Mexico

 

As I walked down one of the aisles, an older gentleman stared at me and said, “Is that Agnes Lites?” (my mother’s name). I replied, “No, but it’s Judy.” We had many fond reminisces with the people in the church that day. Mother was remembered and missed.

 

But I have another mother – my mother-in-law, Fred’s mother.

 

 

She was such a sweet, elegant lady, and she treated me like another daughter. Of course, I don’t have many of her “growing-up” stories, but I know I loved her dearly.

 

 

To know my husband as I do, I can see her hand in his up-bringing. She was a gentle soul, but must have had a firm hand in child-rearing. All of her children have become wonderful adults, and all of them are believers in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. That speaks of her love of her Lord, herself. She also, has left us. She suffered from Alzheimer’s disease for about 12 years, so we actually “lost” her all those years before. But she was a great influence in my life in all the years I knew her. (Please see my previous posts about her: October 12, 2012)

Mothers…..my mothers are precious to me – and the memories of them touch my heart even today, as I think about them.

She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.

She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.

Proverbs 31:26-27

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