Tag Archives: #Christian Blogger

On the Road Again

18 Mar

My Take

DiVoran Lites



DiVoran’s Vintage Photos


David and DiVoran

After we left Lovelock, we went back to Canon City for a few years until Ivan got the gas plant properly staffed. Jobs were scarce, but he applied for one at the tomato factory in Crowley, Colorado and got it. We drove to Crowley, where Dad was to repair and keep the machinery running. By this time I was five years old and my brother David was two and a half.

The house we lived in was called a shotgun house. It had four rooms. The name came from the idea that a person with a shotgun could shoot a bullet into the opened front end and it would come straight out the back end. Each room was twelve feet square with high ceilings for the sake of ventilation, and we had windows that opened and closed all the way down the sides of the house.

Mother was still cooking on a coal stove, but in Crowley,she had a job cooking a hearty noon meal for the factory workers – mostly men. Now that I know the dimensions of the house, I’m not sure where she actually put them all. Perhaps someone came with a farm truck to pick up the food and take it back to the factory, maybe it was Ivan. Maybe he paused for a good-bye kiss from the lips of his beloved wife as he went out the door.



When she wasn’t cooking, cleaning or hanging out clothes to dry, Dora liked to gather her gang and walk over a narrow berm to the factory. Her little group consisted of David, who got a piggy-back ride, little daughter who walked behind her on the high berm, the dog, the Nanny goat, and after her, Billy, her kid. The rooster, Chanticleer brought up the rear. Along the way,Mother watched in surprise as Billy Goat click-clacked across window panes covering the young plants without breaking a single pane.

When I was a baby I fainted and she took me to the doctor. The Doctor said I wasn’t getting enough nourishment from breast feedings o Mother put me on goat’s milk. In Crowley even when I was five she gave me a dented tin-cup full of warm milk and sat me on the wooden step out front. Later when I met a milkshake it reminded me of the goat’s milk. I still like it better than cow’s milk and I believe it is better for me too. I’m fascinated with the fact that it is naturally homogenized.

Each day of the season, Mother gave me a salt shaker and a red tomato right off the vine. The juice ran down my chin as I thoroughly enjoyed the salted tomato of the day. I’ve never tasted one as good since. After I finished she washed my face and put me in clean pajamas.



Every year, Dora made new pajamas for both children on the Singer electric sewing machine she inherited from her grandmother. Later, I made clothing for my children on it. It’s there in my living now and I never knew before how heavy it is to lift out of itscradle.

Mother was a great storyteller and once she had us cleaned up and in our new jammies she sat on the bed and told us made-up stories until we went to sleep. I’m so grateful that she was a story-teller and that she kept a record of her life on scraps of paper which I inherited from her.

I went to kindergarten at Crowley School. There, for the first time, I met a girl with skin darker than mine. She may have been Native American or Mexican, and she might be considered my first best friend, yet she never came to my house and I never went to hers.

Our sojourn in Crowley ended during World War II when Ivan was called up and assigned to the infantry. In his letters home, he tells about his rise to sharp-shooter and how happy that made him. I guess he got lots more practice in the Battle of the Bulge.

Our last supper in the shotgun house was chicken and noodles. That was usually my favorite supper, but when I found out we were eating Chanticleer the rooster, I gave up on chicken for a longtime. I don’t know what happened to the dog and the goats, but Daddy probably had to sell them or give them away. Grandmother’s apartment house and corner lot had room for family, but not for the family’s menagerie.


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.”


A Fair View

20 Oct


A Fair View…From a Volunteer

By Patricia Franklin



Our guest blogger, Patricia Franklin and her husband volunteered at the Colorado State Fair this year. These are her observations as seen in the Publication of Pikes Peak Citizens for Life newsletter:

I have been a volunteer at the  Pike’s Peak Citizens for Life booth for several years and would like to express what a positive impact it has had on visitors. This year, in fact, the display seemed to impress many people.



For more fetal baby models see:


Men, women, families, teens, and children were all interested in the display. The children loved the models and loved seeing how a baby grows. Boys as well as girls, asked to hold the 12 week models. Pregnant moms were excited to see how big their own babies were. I was particularly surprised and heartened by the number of men who commented, thanked, and encouraged us.

A man approached the booth, picked up a couple of 12 week models, and handed them to his two teenaged girls. I gave them a brochure, he pointedly said to them, “Read that!” as he handed me a donation.

One young man came up with several of his friends, saw the models and repeated excitedly, “My baby is 11 weeks old! My baby is 11 weeks old!” He hurried back to find his wife and brought her over to look at the baby models. His friends thoroughly enjoyed his outburst and enthusiasm.

Some men had tears in their eyes. One man with his wife and two teenage sons stopped, looked, and tearfully said, “I thank God every day for my sons.”

Several people asked, “How can anyone abort a baby,” or commented, “God bless you for your work.” Some from past years stopped by to give a donation.

The video stopped people in their tracks. Even mothers who already had children were excited and surprised that the baby in the film was opening its mouth, yawning, and sucking its thumb right in the womb.

A couple of men and a woman hurried up just as we were closing for the evening. They thanked us, took our hands, and prayed with us.

There’s really no other public venue where people have access to this type of information, and they are so pleased and grateful that it’s right out there for them to see and share with family and friends.

I just wanted you to know what an impact Pike’s Peak Citizens for Life have made on people’s lives. For me it is a blessing to be a small part of this experience.

List of Pro-Life Organizations.




Getting my Ducks in a Row~Part 2

13 Oct

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis


We remained inside most of the day after the winds of the hurricane began to die down. Traffic lights were not working and we didn’t want to deal with the hassle driving would be. So Saturday we decided to venture out. We visited a friend and helped take down her boards and later in the day we drove to the marina. There were four sailboats that had washed ashore, but I only took pictures of two as the others were further away.

On the way home from our friends home we drove through a neighborhood where we once lived. It is an older subdivision with a lot of oak trees. I was fascinated with the moss that covered yards and the road, The hurricane stripped the tress so that some yards appeared to have gray snow on them. I wasn’t able to get a good picture of the moss as husband felt a tad odd taking pictures while people were in the yard cleaning up.


On our way home from the marina, we drove down “river road.” It has a name, but it has always been called this by locals. There was far less damage than I expected as the news had been warning of a storm surge. Thankfully they were wrong. When we were almost at the end of the road, we saw it was blocked by a tree and back tracked.


On Monday, we went to the local Target to get away from the house.  The third day after the storm passed, freezer cases remained almost bare.

I was nervous before the storm about not being able to board up. We were fine, no wind damage alt all.  I do think it would be a good idea to order some of the plylox to have on hand in the future.

One of the heart warming and encouraging results of the storm is the way churches reached out to help people, especially widows, single moms and the elderly prepare for the storm . We are blessed to have young pastors who have a heart of love for the community. On Sunday, instead of holding a service, they are meeting to go out into the community and aid in clean-up activities.

Monday afternoon was a big day for many of our residents. Power crews were able to restore electricity to homes that had been out since Thursday night. I was visiting with a friend when her power returned and there was a lot of whooping and hollering going on. Power company linemen are heroes in our community and we are thankful for every single one who left their families and came to our aid.

One thing was missing in the midst of this disaster. No one asked who one was voting for in the Presidential election. Neighbors talked to each other. They shared information and acts of kindness were the norm. This is who we are. This election period has brought out the worst in our country, but Hurricane Matthew a force of destruction,  brought out the best in us.


Surprise!!~Part 2

9 Oct


 Judy  Wills


I recently wrote about a surprise that my family played on me – a delightful surprise, I might add (please see my post of September 18, 2016 – Surprise!!).




There are some in my family that LOVE to do that kind of surprise on other family members. Our son-in-law, Brian, is one of the best.

I remember once, when we were living in Virginia, and Karen and Brian were living in Harrisonburg, VA (and attending James Madison University) (before children), and they surprised us by showing up in our morning church service. As was my custom, after we (the choir) entered the choir loft, I would peruse the congregation, to see who all was there. I’m sure my jaw dropped to the floor, when I looked at that section of pews and there they sat! They both ducked their heads, grinning.

And then there was the time that Karen and Brian with their two children, were going on a cruise with Brian’s parents, leaving from Seattle, Washington. When I informed them that Fred and I would be up there at that time, visiting with Fred’s parents and sister, Brian asked if we would like to surprise Fred’s family with their visit. That one didn’t work out as we had hoped, unfortunately. They had hoped to just show up in the church service that morning. However, with the time frame they had to get to the cruise terminal, we just didn’t have the time for a surprise visit and unplanned lunch. They all did come to church, but we had planned with the restaurant for the meal, and it was ready for us to sit down and eat when we arrived. And then they were off. It would have been a lovely surprise, if it had worked out. Fred’s parents were delighted.




I think the best surprise that I ever managed to pull off, was Fred’s 70th birthday party. Several months before his birthday, I had asked both of our daughters if they and their families would be able to come – as a surprise for their dad. So the plans were made. As it turned out, our oldest grandson, and Tom, our Janet’s husband, were unable to make the trip. Everyone else made it. Our grandtwins were only three years old, and Janet managed with them on the airplane by herself. My brother and his family live just one hour away, and we had invited them all to come – with Fred’s knowledge.

The day arrived, and we all had arranged to meet at a shopping center, where I would pick up the food we were having. It was February, and the weather was beautiful. Brian and his family picked up the salad from Olive Garden, while I picked up the main dishes from Romano’s Macaroni Grill. When we all arrived home, I went in the front door and hollered for Fred to come and help. And then his girls and their families walked in! Again, it was a lovely surprise!

A good time was had by all. Janet had the twins make this “picture” for Fred, and we display it in our family room. The color has faded through the years – the left side was blue paper and right side was pink paper, representing Connor and Hannah. But it’s still a fun thing to look at, and remember.


I love Family

I love family!

Your security depends on what you choose from the menu.

8 Oct

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles

Menu of life

I sat at a large table among friends at a restaurant famous for its delicious Bar-B-Q. The smell would make anyone’s mouth water. We laughed, made comments and oohed and aahed at the menu items.

And since I don’t eat red meat, I tasted delicious moments with dear friends instead.

I looked in the direction of the waiter standing beside me. “I’ll order a side salad and cole slaw…and a baked potato with nothing on it.”

“Sure,” he said, “And your meat? Ribs, steak, chicken, pork?”

“No I’m fine with my salad,”

“You mean…” he said with disbelief in his tone, “You don’t want to order any meat?”

I shook my head and grinned as I always do when folks ask me that question in that you-must-be-crazy tone.

The same happens even in airplanes. A passenger seated beside me and I chatted for a long time. I told him a bit of my story and we discussed faiths.

“I don’t believe in religions,” he said. “I think we’re here on this earth to serve a purpose for the next life and that’s it.”

“Interesting,” I said.

“For example,” he said, “since you like to help people and you can’t see, you probably will come back as a guide dog in your next life.”


And when I stated that Christ Jesus, the one who died for my sins, is the Lord of my life, the ruler of my days and my guarantee for life eternal in heaven, he gave the are-you-crazy tone similar to the waiter

That’s okay because in John 14, the Bible makes it all clear. We don’t come back as dogs or other creatures, we remain in heaven for eternity because…

  • In heaven is where Jesus prepared a mansion for us.
  • He extends that invitation to all.
  • Jesus healed the sick to display His power.
  • He transformed souls to leave room for freedom.
  • He’s the only truth so we would see clearly.
  • Jesus died on the cross to kill our sin.
  • He rose from the dead, so we would, too.
  • He wrote Scripture to guide our path.
  • And finally He loves unconditionally, passionately, eternally so when the world lets us down, we can count on Him.

While you analyze the menu of religions, philosophies, beliefs and notions what do you choose to feed your soul?

Source: Your security depends on what you choose from the menu. | Janet Perez Eckles

Getting my Ducks in a Row

6 Oct

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

UPDATE 10/8/2016

Waiting for Hurricane Matthew to arrive was making the whole family edgy. We spent Thursday morning picking up a couple of items  like extra snacks and a tote in which to store photo albums. Aside from rain, the weather did not deteriorate until around 10 pm.  By then I was worn out and decided to try to sleep as the worst winds were expected after 3 am. Friday morning came and the storm was still growing strong but thankfully, we still had electricity and air-conditioning it. I will write more on this in my Thursday blog

I’m writing this on Wednesday night instead of my usual last minute on Thursday post. It seems preparing for a hurricane spurred me to be more organized and “get my ducks in a row.”


I have found the retirement life,with flexible plans and few deadlines, feeds my procrastination gene. However, this week I discovered a remedy and its name is Hurricane Matthew! We have been steadily watching the path of the large storm and feeling safe since it was predicted to move east and away from Florida. On Monday it became apparent that Matthew might not agree with the projected track and Rebekah and I decided to top off our hurricane supplies. To be honest, I was feeling a bit smug that we were being proactive and not waiting until the last minute. That night we discussed the pros and cons of boarding up windows as they are relatively protected by a porch and the side walls of other townhouses.

We decided to board two windows that might be vulnerable and headed out to the home improvement store early the next morning. When we arrived at the store it  was busy but  without the craziness one sees when a storm is imminent. We planned to look first for Plylox, clips to hold the plywood in place over the windows, then grab a piece of plywood and hopefully have it cut to make it easier to carry home.

Plylox clips

Plylox clip

On our way to locate the clips, we passed the area where a large saw is set up to custom cut wood. To our dismay, a sign stating the saw was out of order was taped to it. Oh well, we should be able to find a way to get the wood home on top of our car. We hung a right and went to the far end of the aisle where a large container for the Plylox clips stood…empty. To be honest, we were irritated that the home improvement store was so unprepared.

Do you see the humor in that? We were upset that they were unprepared. Our daughter has owned this home for eight years and this is the first time any of us gave thought to purchasing supplies to board up for a hurricane.  I guess the best plans can have a flaw. Our flaw could be a major one, but I have a peace about our safety even though Hurricane Matthew has tracked further west and may make landfall in our county early Friday morning.


Since the hurricane will be passing over us during daylight hours, I hope to get some photos and will post them here as an update when power is restored. Prayers for the safety of everyone in the path of this storm are appreciated.

Luke 8:22-25 The Message

22-24 One day he and his disciples got in a boat. “Let’s cross the lake,” he said. And off they went. It was smooth sailing, and he fell asleep. A terrific storm came up suddenly on the lake. Water poured in, and they were about to capsize. They woke Jesus: “Master, Master, we’re going to drown!”

Getting to his feet, he told the wind, “Silence!” and the waves, “Quiet down!” They did it. The lake became smooth as glass.

25 Then he said to his disciples, “Why can’t you trust me?”

They were in absolute awe, staggered and stammering, “Who is this, anyway? He calls out to the winds and sea, and they do what he tells them!”


The Lady and the Cross

24 Jul

Sunday Memories

Judy Wills



I know the July 4th, our country’s Independence Day, has come and gone, but it’s never out of style to be patriotic. Because of the service to our country that my Father, my Father-in-law, my husband, and his brother have done, I find myself fiercely patriotic. I weep when the National Anthem is sung or played. And I am not ashamed of my patriotism.

Many years ago, while in the church choir, we were given a song to sing that touched my heart so much, that I’ve never forgotten it. I would like to print the words below and hope you feel the same patriotism I’ve always felt.

The comparison between our Lady with the Lamp, and the Cross of Christ is absolutely breathtaking.




In New York harbor, stands a Lady

with a torch raised to the sky.

And all who see her

Know she stands for

Liberty for you and me.


I’m so proud to be called an American,

to be named with the brave and the free!

I will honor our flag and our trust in God,

And the Statue of Liberty.


On lonely Golgotha stood a cross

with my Lord raised to the sky;

And all who kneel there

Live forever

As all the saved can testify.


I’m so glad to be called a Christian,

to be named with the ransomed and whole!

As the statue liberates the citizen,

So the Cross liberates the soul.


Oh, the Cross is my Statue of Liberty.

It was there that my soul was set free.

Unashamed I’ll proclaim that a rugged cross

Is my Statue of Liberty.

My Liberty!

Credit to Lillenas Publishing Company

Composer and Lyricist Neil Enloe

Arranged by Tom Keene


Snakes, Doves and Renting Crowds.

10 Sep

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

I'm a winner

All week I have been strolling through my brain cells, in search of a topic to blog about and came up with zilch. This morning as I embarked on my walk around the world, reading blogs and searching twitter, I came across this post:

Rent a crowd

I had heard that some of the recent protest events had used paid protestors but even though I am always looking for an easy way to make money, I couldn’t see myself as a  paid protestor.  This post indicated some politicians had used paid cheering sections. I can cheer! After all, I once cheered for Disney World when they filmed their Christmas Parade. Then I read the part about scripted answers to questions from the press. I marked that one off too. I’m still looking for a way to make easy money so if anyone needs to hire a crowd to open a new Cold Stone, Brusters or Marble Slab ice cream store, I am available. Ditto for Krispy Kreme Doughnuts. If Dippin’ Dots is hiring, I will work in exchange for the dots as I love those cold BBs of ice cream and they are too expensive for me.

Dippin dots

Remember when people would say “a picture is worth a thousand words”? If you saw a picture of someone’s action, then you took it as truth. Now with Photoshop and video editing one is wise to consider carefully what we see, hear and read before accepting it as truth. Our Father knew about this and gave us wise counsel in Matthew 10:16

Matthew 10-16

Flying Legends Airshow ~Part 3

9 Sep

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

Flying Legends

3 – Friday July 3rd

My first English breakfast with hot tea the next morning was great! A fried egg, Canadian bacon, grilled sausage links, grilled tomato, mushrooms and navy beans, served with toast and jam.   It looked like a lumberjack’s breakfast to me, but I ate the whole thing.


As I was leaving, my host said, “You go on out to your car with those things, and I’ll catch you up with your suitcase.” I love how the English phrase things. I discovered the airplanes in the Cornwall Aviation Heritage Museum located in Newquay had been moved to a new location. This coupled with the fact that I could not find any indication that there were any real ships to see at the Mayflower Maritime Museum in Plymouth, helped me decide to by-pass those two museums. That reduced my travel by 125 miles for the day! What was I thinking?


I headed north to Yeovilton to visit the Fleet Air Arm Museum. DiVoran and I had visited this museum in 1991 during our trip to England, Scotland and Wales. At that time it was a small museum with most of its few airplanes on display outside. But I did remember that they had one of the Concord prototype aircraft in their collection, which we were allowed to walk thru. It was filled with the original test and recording equipment.


Since then they have expanded their museum with a huge new hanger, and with more restored RNAS airplanes. Of course, the Concord prototype is now their centerpiece and I was able to walk thru it again.


Now I headed for Bath to have afternoon tea at the famous Pump Room and Roman Baths. This was one of the most memorable stops DiVoran and I had made during our 1991 trip, and I wanted to experience that special sensation again. However, Greta was not cooperating that afternoon, and she took me on a wild goose chase for almost an hour, all over the area surrounding Bath. Finally, after taking a Stress Gummy and asking directions a couple of times, I found a carpark within walking distance of the Pump Room. I spent a delightful hour relaxing over pot of Earl Gray tea and their famous Bath Buns with Strawberry Jam. This fabulous experience was enhanced by a wonderful three-piece ensemble playing classical music.


I did not take the time to go through the Roman Baths, since DiVoran and I had explored them in great detail when we were last there. I did however, take a drink of the “Special Healing Water” available there in the Pump Room. It had noticeably less of a sulfur taste and smell than I remembered. I asked the attendant about that, and he said that it was thought the sulfur deposits that the water ran through were being eroded away, reducing the sulfur taste and smell. There you are, Bob’s your uncle!


Since I had wasted so much time running around the countryside, following Greta’s misguided directions, and with the extra time I had spent at the Pump Room, I decided to just head for Bristol and try to find the Well Cottage B&B before it got dark. The B&B was very nice and instructions on the door of my room informed me that the hostess retired at 9:00 pm. I couldn’t see how that could possibly affect me. Not, that is, until after I had taken a shower, and discovered I had somehow locked myself out of my room (yep, it was after 9:00). I was so glad I had put my pants and tee shirt on. I knocked a couple of times on the door I thought was the hostess’s door, and got no answer. I was really stuck! Then another guest came out, saw my plight, and told me she could have her husband call the hostess on the phone, and request that she come let me into my room. Boy was I ever embarrassed! But when the hostess came and unlocked my door, she told me it was OK, and not to worry about it. Whew, what a relief that was!


—–To be Continued—–

Our Fifty-Eighth Wedding Anniversary

7 Sep

My Take

DiVoran Lites

Author, Poet and Artist

Bill and I were married at the Congregational Church in La Mesa, a small town on the California coast. Friends of Bill’s Mother’s had come through Albuquerque where I lived with my parents, and had invited me to ride back to California where they now lived, so I could visit Bill. He was stationed on the U.S.S Hector at the naval base in San Diego.  It seems now that when we decided to get married, so I could stay there with him, all we had to do was say, “We’re getting married,” and everything was done for us that could be done at such short notice.” In case you’re wondering, it wasn’t a “shot-gun” wedding. Even though we’d been engaged for a year, our mothers were shocked when we called them.  Since Bill was only nineteen and a parent had to sign for a boy under twenty-one, Bill’s mother sent her permission. I, as a girl of eighteen, did not need signed permission from my parents, but I did need a blood test.

Our dads were unable to be there because they were both on business trips – William Lites, Senior, for the Southern Baptist Convention and Ivan Bowers for the Atomic Energy Commission.  They worked hard to support their families and were both gone many hours and days throughout our teenage years.

Our mothers worked for the government at desk jobs in Albuquerque.  They worked hard too, but they had more regular hours and were able to come to the wedding.  My Mother, Dora Bowers, drove out with my Aunt Jenny, and my cousin, Kathy.  Bill’s mother, Agnes, and Bill’s younger sister, Judy, flew out on a  TWA Constellation from Albuquerque.

I had planned to wear my pink linen dress from the previous Easter for the wedding. It had only a tiny stain on the skirt, but Joan, the lady I was staying with, insisted on borrowing a wedding dress from her friend.  We were married by the Reverend Curtis Claire.  He chucked obey from the wedding service because he thought it was too old fashioned.

1 wedding

We had the weekend before Labor Day to get ready for the wedding. Our mothers and hosts booked the church, bought the cake, made the punch, took us grocery shopping, and helped us find a place to live, none of which either of us had ever done before.

We drove Aunt Jenny’s car away from the church. When we left Joan’s house after the reception, however, we had to get into Bill’s chopped and channeled 1932 five-window Ford Coupe and drive the ten miles on the San Diego Freeway to our new home. It was a bedsit in an old house, next to Balboa Park in a suburb of San Diego.  We had the tiniest yard you ever saw, with a pomegranate tree in it. We left the white vinyl couch made into a bed because we were at work all day and it wasn’t worth bothering to fold it up every morning and put it down every night.

Chop Car

On Bill’s first day off, we went to the San Diego Zoo. I don’t’ think I’d ever been to a zoo before. It was wonderful and I loved it. I got a job at a diner and rode the bus to work. We had a lot of fun, we both loved the movies and went to one every weekend in downtown San Diego. On quiet nights at home, with no T V, Bill worked on model airplanes and I read library books. On a misty night in January, we packed everything we owned into the second-hand Mercury Bill had traded the hot rod for. We drove over California mountains and across Arizona desert to Albuquerque where I stayed for eight months attending Beauty School while Bill went cruising to Japan swabbing decks all the way.

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