Tag Archives: #amblogging

A teaser for next week’s blog

11 Feb

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

I'm a winner


I seem to be needing to use some extra brain power and Divine inspiration to put this weeks planned blog together. So here is a teaser.

Three Bible Truths That Struck Fear in my Young Heart


  • Don’t be a milk drinker

  • The gate to heaven is narrow

  • I never knew you.

I’m not sure about the title. Is truths the best word choice for those verses that bounce around in one’s head creating doubt and fear?

Sad dog under covers




My First Car~Part 1

10 Feb

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

Bill Small Red Plane


I believe I have mentioned before that I started working at an early age (see “I was a 12-Year Old Businessman” blog 01/23/2013) because I had big dreams of things I wanted to do. One of those dreams was to own a car that I could work on and call my own (As I was growing up, my mother always told me she thought I was mechanically inclined). If you can believe it, that didn’t seem so far in the future to me, as the law in New Mexico, at the time, allowed a person to get a driver’s license at age 14. I started my dream adventure at around age 10 by mowing lawns with a push mower (In case some of you younger readers don’t know what that is, the mower doesn’t have a motor on it and the power to cut the grass is provided by you).


By the time I was 12, I had saved enough money to buy a Sears self-propelled gas powered mower (Of course you know what those are, right). I spent a lot of time pushing those mowers around the neighborhood to my various jobs. As my lawn mowing business grew, my parents helped by driving me and my mower to jobs outside our neighborhood.


My lawn mowing reputation grew and in the winters I had a paper route to help supplement my income. So, by the time I was 14, I hadn’t saved enough money for a car, but I needed better transportation than a bicycle for the paper route and to get around town. Strange thing about this was that my parents didn’t want me to have a car, but they were OK with me having a motorcycle. Go figure! Most parents won’t even talk to their kids about having a motorcycle. So, after I got my driver’s license, I bought a used Harley Davidson 125cc motorcycle. Boy could I carry a lot of newspapers on that machine. And, I could go anywhere in town without breaking a sweat.


When I was 16 I got a part-time job as a bag boy with a super market that opened a new store in town. With this job and my paper route, I was making enough money to make payments on a larger motorcycle. My parents helped me buy a new Harley Davidson 165cc motorcycle and now I felt like the “King of the Road” on my bright red cycle. This was the mid-50s and “Fonzie” was a big hit in the “Happy Days” TV show. So of course I had to have the cool “Fad” threads to play the part (leather motorcycle jacket with lots of zippered pockets, Levis jeans with rolled up cuffs, motorcycle boots, and a “Duck Tail” haircut) and complete the scene.


Now I know it’s hard for some of you to imagine the Bill Lites you know today as ever having been one of those motorcycle bums all those many years ago. And I’m sure that, those of you who know me don’t believe I ever had enough hair for one of those hairdos. Well, just take a look at my sophomore year book photo.


Now I know, with the title of this blog, you were expecting to hear all about my first car, and it’s coming. I promise. It was a growing process, so hang in there, I’ll get to it (maybe in Part 2). At the super market I worked my way up to “Checker” (Cashier) that paid more and wasn’t near as hard work as carrying out armloads of heavy paper bags full of groceries to customer’s cars (in all kinds of weather), unloading truckloads of heavy boxes (at 4:00 am) and mopping/polishing floors. The lawn mowing jobs and the paper route went to others who would work for less.

—–To Be Continued—–






God’s Helping Hands

12 Jan

A Few Thoughts

Patricia Franklin

It’s a frigid December day, a week before Christmas. People are lined up outside and we’re getting ready to open the crisis center. Every time I come there are more people to serve, and the board has had to introduce strict, new rules. I see 12 large colorful grocery bags in the back of the room, filled with age-appropriate toys. Our leader explains, “These are for needy families who have no toys. They were given to us by a woman and her family who recently lost her father, and around the same time, a new baby.”

A worker unlocks the door and people file in. We begin the process of finding their files and sending them down the line so we can help fill their basic needs. I work quickly, but then an elderly man stops to chat, and I pause to listen.

Homeless man“See how they fixed me up at the hospital.” He lifts his dirty, ragged shirt and shows me a long, clean bandage across his chest. “I have these other scars, too.” And he shows them to me. “Those doctors and nurses saved my life,” he says. He walks away with a smile on his face. He was already experiencing a great Christmas and his gratitude was deep and real. Yes!

Another man stops and says, “I was here not too long ago, but now I need socks.”

“You can only come in once a month.” I say, as I look at my partner to confirm.

“I’m getting him some socks,” she answers quickly and quietly, Even though we do not work in the clothing area, she stops her routine and goes to there. When she comes back, she surreptitiously hands him a small bag. Later, a woman comes in with a donation: a large trash bag filled with….socks. Yes!

A woman asks me for size 12 shoes for her husband. “They didn’t have any last time I was here,” she said. The clothing worker tells me to go look on the shoe rack. I look for what seems like a long time. Suddenly I spot a large pair of good black shoes on the top rack. I stand on tiptoe to bring them down and sure enough, they are marked size 12. Yes!

My feet hurt, but I have no time to sit down. A young man comes up and with his head lowered so that I can hardly hear him, “I’ve never been here before.” I ask for ID and proof that he lives in our county. This doesn’t happen to be one of the centers for the homeless and these proofs are mandatory. He has ID, but no proof of address. I go to the computer lady. “He is not in the system, we cannot help him till he brings proof.”

“But Ma’am this is kind of an emergency,” he whispers to me. “My wife just left me with the kids and I don’t have anything for them.”

“Let me ask my supervisor,” I say.

“He needs to show proof,” she sighs, and I suppose she is tired too. I hesitate to go back and tell the man we can’t help him, so I wait a moment hoping she’ll come up with a solution. To give her time I go back to the counter, but I hear her say loudly, “You have to have proof.” I am disappointed, but she walks past me and whispers, “Go ahead and send him through.” Yes!

I can’t stop thinking about him, however. I’m afraid he’ll be rushed through without getting everything he needs. I sneak back to the interview station and see him with a new interviewer. I won’t interrupt, but before I walk away I hear her say: “And what about Christmas, do you have any toys for the kids?” Later, I see him walk by with a big grocery sack full of Christmas toys, headed for the clothing room. I know his next stop will be the food station and they’ll take good care of him there. Yes!

We are busy at the crisis center on this day, in the week before Christmas, but I love to be here because we see so many good people helping others and so many God-incidents to thrill and surprise us.


A Servant’s Heart

25 Dec

Louise Gibson posted this last year at Christmas. This year, she is having some health issues, so I am reposting this lovely poem for Christmas~Onisha

All of us here on Old Things R New wish you a very happy Christmas, spent with people you love, as we celebrate the birth of our Savior.

From my Heart

Louise GIbson

Louise Gibson


The true spirit of Christmas is one of giving.

To give of yourself is the greatest gift of all.

To follow in the footsteps of Jesus.

we learn to develop a servant’s heart

in answer to our Savior’s call.


Jesus welcomes, “Come, follow Me.

I will make you a fisher of men,”

“Oh, yes, dear Lord, I want to follow you.

Life on earth is not he end!



The three Marys who served


The three most prominent women in the gospels

were all named Mary. The first was Mary of Nazareth.

God chose her to raise Jesus because of her servant’s


“For He has regarded the lowly state of His maidservant;

for behold, “henceforth, all generations will call me blessed,”



The second was Mary of Bethany. She was His student.

Whenever she appeared in the gospels, she was at

the feet of Jesus.


The third was Mary of Magdala. Though successful in

business, she had deep spiritual needs in her life.

Jesus freed her from demons, saved her, and she

became His zealous supporter. She supported His

ministry from her own resources, according to Luke 8:1-3.


Mary and Joseph xmas 1001 (2)

Painting by DiVoran Lites



Anticipating heaven. | Janet Perez Eckles

12 Dec

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles

Janet Eckles Perez


Once in a lifetime you meet somebody that prompts you to say, “I want to be just like her.” Let me tell you about Karen. Like millions, she has faced cancer, but hers is a rare type;., the survival rate is alarmingly small. Yet, for years, she has defied all odds and survived its claim on her health. But Karen hasn’t just survived; she is living her days to the fullest. Though years of treatment have zapped her energy, she keeps going, again, defying all odds, baffling all doctors.

But Karen has another secret: she has no fear of death. She knows Christ. She knows heaven awaits her. And certain of her eternity, her courage can fill her hospice room. Karen displays the confidence few possess. She has even taken her husband shopping for the suit he will wear at her funeral.

Like many of us have chosen the centerpiece for the table at our wedding reception, Karen has chosen her tombstone which you see in this picture. (click link below to visit Janet’s blog) Could it be that Karen was put on this earth to fulfill God’s unique plan and also to teach the rest of us that death cannot bring about fear? Death of the physical body is the doorway to life eternal, the beginning of the perfect life, and the anticipation of glorious living.

As of this writing, Karen has been told it’s only a very short time before she faces Jesus. But she holds to her faith. She has all plans in place.

She has prepared her family. And in doing so, perhaps she prepares us to see her example, so that we, someday like Karen, will declare the words of Paul: “Where, O death is your victory? Where, O death is your sting?” “…

Thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Corinthians 16:55 and 57) Has Christ who lives in you also erased the sting of death?

Read more:  Anticipating heaven. | Janet Perez Eckles


I’m working on a new book. And this time, a hot topic will fill its pages:

• What does God say about immigration?

• Does His law contradict man’s law?

• Is deception justified when facing desperation?

The answers will be in the book…and as always, I’m in prayer for wisdom and God’s favor.

Teddy and Praise Dancer

7 Dec

My Take

DiVoran Lites

Author, Poet and Artist


My pal Onisha and I sometimes get into writing letters as they were written earlier in our lives. Now they seem old-fashioned because of the way we meandered when we wrote them, but since it’s almost Christmastime, we thought you might like another glimpse at the way things were.


Here are a couple of our old friends. Teddy is on your left and Praise Dancer on your right. I imagine you figured that out.

Teddy and Praise Dancer


Onisha: Adorable!!  Are these friends at your house?

DiVoran: Yes, they live in the scriptorium. Mother crocheted Teddy’s clothes. I’ve had him since I was five. That makes him sixty-two years old, and he’s an excellent listener.

Onisha: I wondered who crocheted Teddy’s outfit. How wonderful that you have been able to keep Teddy and his clothes all these years without loving him to pieces.

It’s wonderful to have him. Mother crocheted two outfits when she was here one year, so his clothes aren’t vintage. Mother could just look at something and crochet it, but she never figured out how to follow a pattern. Crocheting was the way my mom kept her sanity. We can all use a pastime that will do that for us. She made decorative pillow covers, granny patterned Afghans, and lap robes for the nursing home. When she was ninety, she crocheted butterflies and attached magnets so you could put them on your refrigerator. All friends and family had something she had made, but only Kewpie Doll has this little set.



Onisha: People like that have an inner eye that can see how things go together. It is a gift. What is the story behind Praise Dancer?

DiVoran: You are so kind to ask. Sure, Praise Dancer has a story.

When Julia Cameron wrote another book after “The Artist’s Way,” I rushed to buy it. One of her assignments in “The Vein of Gold,” was to, “make a creativity doll.” That’s how I got Praise Dancer. With a few items from the Craft Department she became something besides a cotton body, curly hair from a package, and a bit of tulle and paint. She and Teddy have been good friends for about twenty years. Poor Raggedy Ann used to be Teddy’s best friend but she now lives in the old doll cradle with the “Winnie the Pooh” gang. Alas, although Praise Dancer doesn’t have a heart she is still a sweet girl and she loves the Lord. I suspect she dances for Him when we are sleeping.


Onisha: Praise Dancer does not need a heart on the outside, it shines on her face

DiVoran: Here’s Teddy and Raggedy Ann, they were so glad to have a visit during the photo shoot.

Teddy and Rageddy Ann


DiVoran: Thank you for saying Praise Dancer was loving as well as beautiful.


Toy Truck

29 Nov


Judy Wills


I admit it – I love to look at the e-mails we are sent, and I enjoy most of the facebook stuff I look at. I also have to admit that on FB, I usually just look for the “pictures” and videos rather than all the verbiage presented there.

I’ve been really amused by some of the pictures on FB. This one really caught my eye and had a good laugh over it. When I showed it to Fred, he laughed, as well.


What do you think? Cute, huh?

But think how creative that truck driver was to put this together. It didn’t really take a lot of thought to do this, but gave a great deal of enjoyment to those who saw it.

The same could be said of the things we say and do in our lives, to those around us. Do we say and do things that bring joy to those we live with? Or to our neighbors? Or to our fellow church-goers? Or have we become so jaded that we don’t have any joy left in our lives?

Recently I had total knee replacement – not a fun thing, that’s for sure. It was done to help relieve the pain in my knee, since the “cushion” in my knee was gone, and the two bones in my knee were grating upon each other. Ouch!! But through the surgery and the following physical therapy, I’ve tried to keep an upbeat spirit. One of the best exercises was what they call “foot pumps.” I joked that I would probably wake up from the anesthesia saying “foot pumps….foot pumps.”

I’ve joked with the therapists and their assistants. When the therapist commented that I wasn’t “grunting and groaning” when he was severely pushing on my leg, I told him that my mind was saying “I can do all things through Christ who keeps pouring power into me….. I can do all things through Christ who keeps pouring power into me….. I can do all things through Christ who keeps pouring power into me…..(and by the way – that’s what the Greek actually says!)” And he laughed. I’ve gone back to see the nurse on the floor of the hospital where I was for four days. She was such an inspiration – she even pulsed pom-poms as encouragement for us to get up and walk! She always had a smile on her face. And she seems pleased when Fred and I go back just to see her. We get hugs.

My time in the physical therapy clinic is past now….anything else I “recover” will be by my own working out. Recently on FB, I saw a video clip of a little girl – she couldn’t have been more than 1½ years old, trying to walk to her encouraging Daddy. The thing that impressed me was that she was trying to learn to walk with a prosthetic leg! I saw that and said to myself…”Well, Judy, if she can do THAT, you can just suck it up and dig in and work to get this leg back into shape! No more belly-aching!!”

Everyone says that laughter – a good old-fashioned belly laugh – is some of the best medicine anyone can have in healing. And that’s why that toy truck struck my funny-bone. It gave me such a good laugh, that my spirits were lifted.

And here’s a directive from scripture:

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: REJOICE!

Philippians 4:4

The Tricycle Veteran

23 Nov

My Take

DiVoran Lites


Author, Poet and ArtistOne day I saw a seemingly elderly person riding an adult tricycle with a dog on a leash. What a good way to exercise your dog if you can’t walk well, I thought They traveled slowly so that the dog had time to eat grass, examine a fire hydrant, and stare at bigger, barking dogs behind fences.

Actually, I thought the person was a man who wore a tee-shirt, cargo shorts, athletic shoes and a baseball cap. Today when I met the pair on the trail, however I learned the rider is a female, and so is the terrier. I’ll call them Sue and Bess.

As we talked there on the trail, I read Sue’s hat brim. The words were, “Thank a Vet.” I wondered if she was a vet herself or if the hat belonged to her husband. It didn’t take long to find out, because Sue began to tell me what a fine service dog Bess is. Seeing my curiosity about her own condition, Sue told me she has a heart problem because of an industrial accident with a poisonous substance. She said, I’m the only one alive out of seventeen people who were in the space that day.


Sue and her dog went their own way then, and I went mine. In a moment, however, I turned around and there they were coming back. I like to walk at my own pace when I’m ready to go. It’s often at different parts of the day. I’ve made some friends on the trail and we always enjoy running into each other. Sometimes there will be two and sometimes three of us standing and talking for a short time.

On this day, the trike went downhill fast and the little dog trotted along on short legs. Going uphill the trike went slowly and laboriously. We eventually got into a rhythm and as we went along Sue talked about herself and Bess.

Bess’s story included being picked at the SPCA over a black lab pup, which, as Sue put it, would have been a lot easier to train. “It took eight years for Bess to start paying attention. She’s been a real asset, though, in the last four years when I’ve really needed her,” Sue said.

Sue also told me that in the service, she was a professional dog trainer. She trained Rottweilers and German Shepherds. I asked what the dogs’ jobs were and she said, “Bomb sniffing for the Rottweilers, and drug detection for the German Shepherds.” Sue was also an Intelligence Agent for a spell. She says there are an awful lot of lies in the news these days – she knows.

Besides the heart problem Sue has PTSD and epilepsy. When she’s about to have an epileptic attack, Bess insists on going home an hour and a half before the cataclysm arrives. If they are on the trail she turns around in the direction of home and barks continually until Sue consents to go along. Sue doesn’t understand how Bess knows she’s going to have an attack. Bess was never trained for that.

When we got back into our neighborhood, the two of them had to travel in the street. I said goodbye and thanked Sue for serving our country. She said, “Thank you so much for saying that. People hardly even talk to me. Maybe I’ll tell you a funny story next time.”

God be With You Till We Meet Again


27 Oct



A word from DiVoran

 Because I remember her brothers from our childhood, I particularly loved this email from my friend, Patricia. Sometimes I was invited for supper at the Franklins and it was a world of difference from eating in a restaurant-booth with my one younger brother, though I do love my brother. Patricia had five brothers– riches indeed! What I liked most about them was that they were so sweet and funny. Patricia and I were in our eleventh and twelfth years and her bothers ranged from about eight to sixteen. Patricia has always been petite, but she never had any trouble handling all those boys and even enjoying being with them.

Now I’ll let you get to Patricia’s story


I went to the funeral of a friend this week.  She was always relaxed, pleasant, and friendly no matter what, and had a wonderful sense of humor.  She was also a leader, planner, and song leader in our prayer group. She had suffered from cancer, and knew the end was near.  She planned the simple service, including the songs.  It was very simple and wonderful.  I also noticed she, in her witty little way, included some readings for her family. I smiled through the whole service and whenever I think of her, I have to smile.  I understood that her last words to the pastor were: “Well, father, see you in heaven.” The pastor smiled, I’m sure.

Today, we went to a breakfast in the social room at the church my friend had attended.  On the way in, we met a widower we know, and asked him to sit with us.  As I was looking around, I saw my friend’s brother by himself (the brother of the lady who died).  I motioned for him to join us. A smile lit up his face and he hurried over.  Another widower came in and we gestured for him to come over too.  The four of us enjoyed some great stories together.

When we go to the ranch country where my husband grew up, we go out to meals or coffee with several of his lifelong friends. A lot of times I’m the only woman. We have a lot to talk about. One time they were trying to recall something and the suggestion came: “We should ask the old-timersWe are the Old Timers.” Everybody smiled that time.

I’ve often felt left out because we didn’t live where either of us had grown up. That’s what gives me the tendency to look for others who might be alone too.  At breakfast that day, I turned around and saw another parishioner eating alone, so I invited him to come and sit with us. We were all enjoying getting better acquainted and sharing stories.   About that time, a woman dressed as a nurse came up and speaking directly to me said, “You and your five men come on over to the health fair across the parking lot. It is free.”  I was startled the way she said it, but then I had to smile.  Yes, I always seem to end up with a bunch of guys, I have since I was a kid, and didn’t think a thing about it.  I don’t know what she was thinking.   I was just thinking how people do not seem to smile much anymore, and had decided to make a special effort to make it happen. When it does, it’s heavenly, and none of us feel lonely anymore.




Practicing the Piano

25 Oct


Judy Wills


I’ve mentioned in previous musings about how I started taking piano lessons the day I started first grade – and they continued until I graduated from high school. I was not a very accomplished pianist at that time. Perhaps still not, but more than I was at that time.

1952-Our new piano

1952-Our new piano

I remember my brother, Bill, saying how much he hated practicing the violin – so much so that our parents gave up and let him quit. Well, I pretty much had the same feeling about the piano. Yeah, I wanted to play that instrument, but just didn’t want to devote the time to practice! But they wouldn’t let me quit.

In going through some old papers recently, I came upon this poem.


My mother, at some point in time, found it and cut it out and sent it to me. It depicted how I would “practice” so much of the time. I remember one particular time that I just sat there on the piano bench, not even touching a note. Mother was outside, hanging up the clothes on the clothesline, so I didn’t think she would hear me. When my “time” was up, I just skipped outside, ready to get to something else. Mother looked at me and said, “Did you have a nice nap? Now get in there and practice!!” Trudging back to the piano, my thought was, “how did she know???”

But, as with all things, practice…practice…practice is what it takes to get a command of any instrument. I learned that the hard way, whether the piano or the organ (still not my favorite instrument to play). As I said before, I have the talent, but I don’t have the gift of the instrument. I’ve never been able to just sit down and play something for my own enjoyment. I wish I did or could – it would have made my practice time so much more enjoyable.

I haven’t used my talent on the piano for several years now. I still have my books and I do sit down occasionally to keep my hand in, but not very often. I still love to play the old hymns – and some of the arrangements of some new songs. But I still must have that piece of music in front of me in order to play it. None of it comes naturally.

But if I am ever needed, I can, and do, pick it up and play. God has given me the ability to be able to play for Him and His Kingdom. I play for His Glory, and that fills me up like nothing else.

I am blest.

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