Tune In

20 Mar

My Take

DiVoran Lites

God TALKS With Text

Author, Poet and Artist

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.”

Kindness- See Something, Share Something.

19 Mar

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

We have a food distribution group, Hummingbird Pantry, in our town that I have heard of but knew nothing of it. I am not sure where the group gets the food, but it is donated. Distribution is impromptu and one has to monitor Facebook for the announcement. Since we had to be out yesterday I suggested we use the GPS and find out where it is located. To our surprise, there was a line. I quickly searched Facebook and learned distribution was going on.

The line was long. Real long. It snaked around a school building. But since we didn’t have any plans we decided to join the line. The line moved almost continuously which was encouraging until we came to the queue. Can you imagine vehicles of all sizes weaving through a queue? It kind of felt like barrel racing. The turns were tight for a full size pickup truck. As cars began to get confused on which way to go, a volunteer went into the field to unsnarl us. My husband took this video.


When we made it to the distribution site, we had no idea what to do. A volunteer bright a paper for us to sign, then another volunteer brought a daisy flower bouquet to the car. The food was stacked in boxes, each item was a station and volunteers loaded our portion into the car. They gave us three cabbages, a bag of plum tomatoes, a case of organic Romaine lettuce, two bunches of organic bananas, one watermelon, a box of cinnamon crumb donuts, and a bottle of blue cheese salad dressing.

This was way too much for us to use up. I was able to share the bananas with two friends. We kept a cabbage, some tomatoes , lettuce, and the Daisys. A friend’s daughter was able to take the rest minus three donuts we couldn’t resist! I forgot that DiVoran didn’t need lettuce and sent some to her. Fortunately she knew a neighbor with children that could use it.

This ministry is a blessing to our community. In the past week I have seen an increasing number of posts of people being kind to strangers, local organization stepping up to help. Our North Carolina town has a project called The Little Free Pantry. They have collected snack foods for the students as their schools are closed. States have repurposed school buses to deliver free breakfast and lunches to homes.

The news on TV and online is discouraging, yet so much good is happening.

Let’s change this! If you see kindness, say something.

Leave a comment here or share the good on your social media.

Daily Life During Covid-19

18 Mar

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

Wow! What a week it has been since my last post. Last week my daughter and I were contemplating a plan to assist our church members with food and supplies delivery. I had sent an email to the church suggesting it and together we have worked out a plan. Gateway Care is now active but at this time, we have received no calls. We are updating the Facebook page with information about restaurants going strictly to take out as well as more food delivery services.

We met last week for service and it was an encouraging time. A lot of smiles and waves but we kept our distance. Our county as of yesterday only had one case of CV-19 confirmed. I hope we are able to meet this week but if not we can take advantage of many online services.

I am tempted to sink into fearful moments but I find encouragement in God’s word.

A pastor friend who leads a small church confided to me that a good Sunday sees attendance around 75. Since his members are largely in the danger ages for CV-19 he decided to go to a streaming service. He had over 400 views. I am giving thanks for this technology that enables people to find comfort in the safety of their homes. Your local churches may be streaming from their webpage, Facebook page or on an app. Check them out!

Yesterday I went to Sam”s Club to pick up my online order. While there, I noticed people with toilet paper in their carts so I walked over to the paper products section to check it out. There was a non-moving line but I decided to wait and see if it moved. It did. The workers were in the process of bringing out more pallets. Once the line moved, it was orderly. No panic. Thankful for those working in stores to provide for us. Pray for their protection.

Our family is doing well. We have food and enough toilet paper to calm my husband’s TP anxiety. Find humor and share it. I am noticing people practicing kindness. Good will come from this. Let’s be strong and courageous together.

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.

Green Sea Turtles

17 Mar

A Time to Live

Melody Hendrix

As a nature photographer, I am also an opportunist. Meaning instead of focusing on one particular subject like landscapes or portraits or flowers to photograph, I open all my senses to see what is interesting, beautiful, something that tells a story, or more so, something that reveals God’s world and His creatures.

Most people want to present the gospel speaking what is in their hearts through the Holy Spirit, hoping their words will be living and enlighten the soul of those we are sent to witness to. I have always been disappointed in myself when I try to speak what is in my heart. It is a struggle for me to put thoughts into words. So sometimes I feel God has given me the ability to share the gospel through visual words from nature with my camera. So we will never forget for a moment, the home we were given as a gift of love to nurture us and sustain us and all creatures forever. I am so sad that man has treated it so badly.

My drive and pleasure in photography is to stimulate an awareness and connection to our natural world. To understand and connect with the vastness of love and purpose a single flower or a great creatures of the sea can reveal.

 One morning I went to our lovely beach in Titusville, Playalinda beach before sunrise. I was hoping for a nice sunrise picture, but I also kept my eye on possible sea turtle activity. I was disappointed I had not seen any turtles laying eggs on the beach. As I walked along checking turtle markers, I saw something in the surf. I thought it was debris being tossed by the waves. I got closer and to my delight, it was two green sea turtles mating. They were so focused they didn’t notice me for some time. They didn’t realize they were so close to shore.  I just clicked away, my heart pounding and I could hardly contain my excitement. They usually mate underwater, but I was so blessed to experience them right before me, something so rare. I wish them well for the rest of their season and hope there are lots of little ones to populate our ocean. 

Thank you God for all our heavenly and earthy gifts.

MelodyWelcome! I’m so glad you stopped in to visit. 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.
What a beautiful world we live in. We all have that in common. Natural beauty is everywhere, but sometimes we are not connected until we see a picture, taken just right, that makes it really come into focus and be admired. My passion is to make a connection between the lens and your soul. Photography is my passion.
My photography passion began when my Father handed me his old Ricohflex box camera when I was 12.  It was love at first sight. I still have it. My hand was never empty of a camera since.
I am a native Floridian. I am so lucky to call it home. I was born in Orlando BF (before Disney). My family moved to the Winter Park area when I was very young. Central Florida was so simple and quaint at that time. I wandered the streets barefoot with my friends, never worrying that something bad could ever happen. My Mom used to pick the sand-spurs out of my feet. I still go barefoot. It grounds me to earth and connects me to nature.
I have extensively explored Florida and its diverse beauty. So much to see and so little time. I would love for you to join me in my travels through the images I have taken. I wish you could hear the sounds, smell the fragrance and feel the breath of it. But for now we must be content with exploring with our eyes and only imagine the rest.
Thank you for your interest.

Psalm 91

16 Mar

My Take

DiVoran Lites

Psalm 91-God’s take on the Coronavirus

Paraphrase by DiVoran with thanks to Sid Roth

Description: Dwarf Rabbit, Color Dwarf, Pet, Rabbit
Photo credit Pixabay

Beloved,

I am your only God. 

Put all your confidence in me.

I am the hope that helps you and the Stronghold that shelters you.

 I rescue you from every hidden trap of the enemy. 

I protect you from false accusation and every deadly curse an enemy

Would like to put on you. 

My arms wrap around you and protect you.

Run in under my covering and hide.

 My arms of faithfulness shield you and keep you from harm. 

Whether by day or night, you need not have a fear of the spirit of darkness. 

Even in a time of disaster, with thousands and thousands being killed

 you remain unscathed and unharmed. 

You will be only a spectator as the wicked perish in judgement. 

Living within my shadow, you will always be shielded from harm.

 Evil cannot prevail against you and disease cannot affect you. 

I send special angels with orders to protect you wherever you go.

They defend you from all harm. 

If you walk into a trap your angels are there to keep you from stumbling 

And get you out of it. 

When you walk unharmed among the fiercest powers of darkness

 you trample all evil beneath your feet.

Because you are my great love and lover,

 I protect you and set you high up in a safe and secure place.

 Every time you pray, I answer.

 In time of pressure and trouble you will feel my presence.

 I am your glorious hero.

 I give you the feast of a full life and see to it that you enjoy the fullness of my salvation. 

I am the Lord your God, and you are my beloved. 

My banner over you is love. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9nKx_kU_yxw How to stop the Coronavirus in its tracks, by Sid Roth

Garfield

15 Mar

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

As I mentioned previously, when we were taking the daily newspaper, my favorite part was the “funny papers” or the comics.  I guess that shows just what a simple mind I have.  But that would get my day off to a funny start.

Consequently, when something hit me especially funny – or nostalgic – I would cut out that particular piece and save it for future enjoyment.

Garfield was one of my favorites.  There have been books and books printed with and about Garfield.  He is one funny cat!

And that’s probably why I enjoyed this particular cartoon so much.  I grew up with cats in my life, and they can really be funny animals.

Another reason this particular cartoon caught my attention was his activity.  I was an aerobic instructor at one time in my life, so this one really appealed to me.

I hope you get a good chuckle out of it – as did I.

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.

When you possess this, miracles are in the making.

14 Mar

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles

Reblogged March 14, 2020

March 13, 2020

My ten-year-old grandson got up from the dinner table, walked over to me and tapped my shoulder. “Nana, thank you. I love the noodles you made. But next time can you put a little less salt. I’ll still eat them, but I’m just telling you for next time, okay?”

I gave him a tight hug. So sorry,” I said, “it’s not what you expected.”

His heart of gratitude touched me. He could’ve complained and refuse to eat it, but he chose to thank me anyway and eat salty noodles.

That night I put my head on the pillow of shame. Unlike my grandson, if I didn’t receive from God what I expected, or not in my own timing, disappointment set in. And a sense of discouragement took the place of contentment.

Sadly, that discontentment is popular today. We have expectations and wait for God to serve the answer in the way we anticipate. And when that doesn’t happen, we wonder why. We question our faith. And our once complete trust in God isn’t complete anymore.

But God sees the full picture, including our sense of disappointment. What He’s looking for our gratitude for even little things. He’s expecting praises in everything. And He’s more direct in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-17 when He says, “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

Give thanks in all circumstances? Even when we’re still in the same sorry situation, with no change for the better or with no solution either? God says Yes. Consider if these prominent folks in the Bible displayed discontentment.

What if…

What if Abraham became disappointed when God asked him to sacrifice his son. He would have missed his calling to be the father of many nations.

What if Moses allowed his weakness to diminish his trust in God? He would have missed his role to be the instrument to set the Israelites free.

What if David focused only on the punishment for his sin and failed to praise God for His forgiveness and redemptive love? He would have remained a poor-me-sinner relegated to obscurity.

And what if Noah would have succumbed to the ridicule of the people and stopped the building of the ark? He and his family would have also drowned.

What if fear and disappointment would have filled Paul during the episodes where he was beaten, tossed out and imprisoned? He would not have seen the world around him turn to Jesus.

You and I are no different. God sometimes gives direction for our journey but doesn’t reveal the reason for each stop. At times, God provides only small amounts of success to test our character. And sometimes, God brings about an answer contrary to what we asked to test our trust in Him.

No matter how many plates of salty noodles the world serves you, the test is on. Will you praise Him for what God has done? Will you thank Him for what He’s doing? And will you be bold enough to praise Him for what you know He will do?

If the answer is yes, then you’ll find how miracles come wrapped in gratitude.

Let’s Pray

Father, I thank you for your patience when I fail to trust in You completely. I praise You for forgiving me when I fail to thank You through all the stages of my journey. In Jesus’ name.

What miracles will your gratitude bring?

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 share: Feel 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

Prudent or Panic?

12 Mar

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

Everyone it seems has an opinion on Coronavirus. Even defining panic is controversial. Is making sure you have adequate supplies to minimize spreading the germ prudent or panic?

When a snow storm is expected in the South milk and bread disappears from the grocery shelves. When a hurricane threatens, batteries, water, ice, bread, lunch meat, snack food, and for some, alcohol become must have commodities. I would call this preparation, not panic. Prudent preparation for hurricanes should begin weeks before the season begins!

So how does one prepare for a virus that may require a 14 day quarantine? Ideally I would plan to order online and pay for delivery, but what if services like InstaCart are overwhelmed? Then I began thinking about how our church could reach out to it’s members and community.

I sent an email to our church about setting up a delivery plan for online orders at grocery stores, Walmart, Target and even restaurants. (I haven’t heard back LOL). Today I made bone broth for the freezer to have on hand should one of us become ill. As I poured it into pint containers I wondered if I should make more to share should a neighbor fall ill.

Let’s think about ways to look out for each other. To borrow a phrase, “if you see something, do something.” I would appreciate ideas on how as individuals, organizations and churches we can help each other make it through this scary time.

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.

Exploring Night Photography

10 Mar

Melody Hendrix

A Time to Live

Successful and rewarding photography is a lifetime of  learning as with any hobbies or career. With every new morsel of enlightenment comes excitement in taking that knowledge and being creative with it. Once you learn a new technique, you can’t wait to put it in motion.

One weekend my dear friend Pat and I stayed a few days in near St Augustine right on the beach. It was a quiet beach with a pier in the distance not too far away. As photographers, Pat and I are used to getting up hours before sunrise. We love to capture beautiful Florida sunrises. On our first morning, we woke up about 4 am. Pat tells me she has been taking classes on low light and night photography.  She encouraged me to walk down to the beach to practice what she has learned. I thought it was a little eerie, but agreed. When we walk out the back door of the hotel, it was pitch black. There were no lights at all on the beach and we needed a flash light to find our way down to the water. At this point I thought my dear friend had lost her mind. She thinks we are going to take pictures in the dark, where there is no light at all. 

There was a little light coming from the pier in the distance and twilight was about an hour away. In-spite of my hesitation, she was excited about this venture and encouraged me to follow her lead. So I did.

We walked to the waters edge, and put our cameras on our tripods. She explained the camera settings to me and I complied. We must set up our cameras to take a very long exposure. This means that unlike our eyes that see light, the camera collects light. So once the shutter button is pressed, the camera keeps collecting the ambient light until there is enough to make an image. 

So I pointed my camera towards the pier, made sure my tripod was firmly pressed in the sand and I pushed the shutter button. I heard it open the shutter, then I waited……. and waited….. and waited. I thought something was wrong, nothing was happening. Then at last, I heard the click of the shutter closing. Then I waited and waited for the image to come up on the lcd screen. 

Finally the image appeared and I couldn’t believe my eyes. This is the picture I saw. Not only did the scene appear, the color of the twilight was beyond my expectations. The cobalt blue of twilight is the most beautiful color. You can slightly see it with your eyes, but when the camera collects it, it is deep and intense. This is one of my favorite pictures, and one of my favorite photography experiences.   

MelodyWelcome! I’m so glad you stopped in to visit. 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.
What a beautiful world we live in. We all have that in common. Natural beauty is everywhere, but sometimes we are not connected until we see a picture, taken just right, that makes it really come into focus and be admired. My passion is to make a connection between the lens and your soul. Photography is my passion.
 
My photography passion began when my Father handed me his old Ricohflex box camera when I was 12.  It was love at first sight. I still have it. My hand was never empty of a camera since.
 
 
I am a native Floridian. I am so lucky to call it home. I was born in Orlando BF (before Disney). My family moved to the Winter Park area when I was very young. Central Florida was so simple and quaint at that time. I wandered the streets barefoot with my friends, never worrying that something bad could ever happen. My Mom used to pick the sand-spurs out of my feet. I still go barefoot. It grounds me to earth and connects me to nature.
 
I have extensively explored Florida and its diverse beauty. So much to see and so little time. I would love for you to join me in my travels through the images I have taken. I wish you could hear the sounds, smell the fragrance and feel the breath of it. But for now we must be content with exploring with our eyes and only imagine the rest.
 
Thank you for your interest.

My Child

9 Mar

My Take

DiVoran Lites

Description: Family, Hike, Walk, Forest, Forest Path

Wise and gentle correction from earthly fathers help children grow up straight and good. I am your heavenly father. I correct you too. Even when it seems that I have been harsh, my actions are always more helpful and fair that those of the best earthly father. You can trust that I am working everything out for the best. When you obtain the tools to help you understand the peaceful way to live, you find true wisdom and a fountain of blessing. 

When I do correct you, you must never take it lightly and never be upset about it. If you are upset, you may tell me and we’ll work it out together. When you are afraid or disappointed or angry about something, you will do well to thank me for it. In that way revelation will come to you, soothe your bruises and set you free from worry and mental pain. Don’t fight me or question me but yield to me and you will find the gates of Heaven opening to pour understanding into your spirit.  

Hold on to loyal love and don’t let go. Be faithful to all you’ve read in the Bible and been taught.  Let your life be shaped by integrity with truth written upon your heart. That’s how you find favor and understanding.

Wisdom gives the ability to take raw facts and draw right conclusions and meaning from them. My discipline comes from my passionate love for you.

No One Ever Cared for Me like Jesus

Author, Poet and Artist

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.”

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