Tag Archives: Christian bloggers

My Children in Church~Part 1

13 Jan

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

 

A memory came to my mind recently that caused me to giggle.  When I described it to Fred, my husband, he chuckled, as well.  Hope you think it’s funny, as well.

You see, in most Baptist churches (we are Baptists, as you might surmise), children have their own Sunday School classes, divided by ages.  That way, they can learn about church and God at their own age level.  We as parents try to do our part in that, teaching them by the way we live, speak, and act, that we are children of God.  In any case, by the time a child reaches the age of four, they are allowed to go to the regular worship service, rather than still being in a nursery/classroom setting during that time.

Because Fred and I have always been in the adult choir during worship services, we usually enlist the help of an older couple to “sit” with our children in the worship service itself.  If we are in a small enough congregation to allow the choir members to leave the choir loft and return to the regular congregation, we then will pick up our child/children and sit with them during the remainder of the service.  However, if we are in a large church, the choir usually remains in the loft during the service.  What I am about to tell happened in a large church.

 

I guess we had not told Karen (our oldest daughter)

 

Karen about the age of this incident

 

 

that when Janet (our youngest daughter) was “promoted” to the five-year-old class, she would be going into the worship service. Or if we did, she didn’t absorb that information.

So, what to my surprise, did I see Karen ANDJanet beaming at us from the second pew, as we entered the choir loft the first Sunday after Janet turned four-years-old! Karen had taken it upon herself to go and get Janet from her class that day!

All went fairly well for a while, but then Janet, being the tease that she was,

 

Janet at the age of this incident

 

decided she wanted to sit on the front pew!  So she eased herself around the end of the pew. I saw Karen trying to coax Janet back to the second pew, i.e. face set in an imploring expression (head tilted up, mouth in a hard, straight line, eyes closed), index finger stridently indicating that Janet should return to Karen’s side!  And, of course, Janet was ignoring her completely.

 

Well, Janet made it to the front pew, just as the preaching began.  As it turned out, the minister of music (who was a good friend of ours) had just left the stage area and sat down next to Janet on the front pew.  I watched them throughout the remainder of the service (I have no recollection what the Pastor preached on – I was too busy watching the drama enfold!).  Every time Janet wiggled, our friend just patted her hand, and she stopped wiggling. Whew!

We managed to get through the service, and thanked our friend for taking things into his own hands.

And we made sure that Karen understood that Janet was not to be taken into the service until she had been promoted to the next age class!

But, as I said, as I look back on it – it makes me giggle to remember.

 

Children are a heritage from the Lord….

Psalm 127:3

JUDYJudy 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.
She and her husband enjoy the Disney parks as often as possible.

What to say to a depressed loved one. 

1 Oct

Walking by Faith , Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles

Depression, anxiety and worry are the enemies trying to kill our peace and they are on the rise among men, women, and teens. Why? Few know the answer. But here, Dr. Michelle Bengtson has important guidelines so you can help someone begin the victory path.

09-23-16 Bengston

“Death and life are in the power of the tongue…” Proverbs 18:21

What we say to others can either build them up or tear them down. We must take care not to further injure someone in their suffering from something we say.

As a neuropsychologist, I’m witness to the well-intentioned but misdirected words of friends and family to depressed loved ones that only serve to pull them down further.

When people suffer from depression, they often also harbor low self-esteem, guilt, and shame. What they crave is to know they are loved, accepted, and not alone.

Let Scripture help you determine what to say to a depressed loved one: “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up” (1 Thessalonians 5:11).

Here are a few things to say to someone struggling with depression:

  • I love you. There is no better time to hear this than when they are struggling to love themselves and wonder if others truly love them too.
  • I’m here for you. This is one of the most comforting things you can say to someone feeling alone.
  • You are important to me. It’s vital to know they are still acceptable, accepted, and important.
  • I’m sorry that you are going through such a painful time. Expressing your sorrow for their pain communicates that you care, even if you don’t fully understand.
  • Is there something I can do for you? This communicates your willingness to help and just your offer will lend comfort and encouragement.
  • You may not believe this now, but you won’t always feel this way. The depressed individual often needs reminding that there is hope.
  • We will get through this together. This communicates your acceptance, and your love.
  • Nothing. Actions often do speaker louder than words. I remember when Job encountered great hardship. Job 2:13 says his friends came and sat with him for seven days and nights. During that time, they didn’t speak a word because they saw how great his pain was. Words could do nothing to help his misery, but their company spoke volumes.

Remember, when you are speaking to a depressed loved one, your goal is to encourage and uplift them. “But if it were me, I would encourage you. I would try to take away your grief” (Job 16:5 NLT).

How will you encourage a loved one today?

 

Source: What to say to a depressed loved one. | Janet Perez Eckles

Could it be that these 10 steps are keeping you from the abundance of life? | 

30 Jul

Walking by Faith, not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles

His Way

 

07-22-16 10 stepsShocking statistic. I just learned that we spend 10% of all our waking hours looking for something—from a parking spot, to our cell phone, for the latest post on Facebook, etc.

What would happen if that 10% of our time could be spent in looking for something worthwhile, something that will positively impact our lives, make it better, happier, and richer?

That something is wisdom. For it’s the lack of wisdom that lead us to make bad decisions which result in the mess of life, in the disappointment that brings on sadness, and in the regret that makes our heart ache.

Good news because God said, “Blessed is the man who finds wisdom, the man who gains understanding…”

And put on your celebration hat because if, in that 10% of our looking time, we find God’s wisdom, these ten rewards found in Prov. 3:13-18 are ours:

  1. For she [wisdom] is more profitable than silver.
  2. And yields better returns than gold.
  3. She is more precious than rubies.
  4. Nothing you desire can compare with her.
  5. Long life is in her right hand.
  6. In her left hand are riches and honor.
  7. Her ways are pleasant ways.
  8. And all her paths are peace.
  9. She is a tree of life to those who embrace her.
  10. Those that lay hold of her will be blessed.

I’m waving my hand in the air. I want all that! Don’t you? But in our hectic lives with traffic jams, to-do lists that keep getting longer, and pressures that squeeze us dry, how do we find that wisdom? God’s answer: “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt…” (James 1:5-6)

How will you embrace God’s wisdom to make your days brighter and better?

Source: Could it be that these 10 steps are keeping you from the abundance of life? | Janet Perez Eckles

Janet’s joyful spirit lifts my heart. If you would like to learn more about Janet and her ministry, visit her home page.

Janet Perez Eckles, Igniting Your Passion to Overcome

Dad:Worst Enemy, Best Friend~Part 4

27 Jun

My Take 

DiVoran Lites

Author, Poet and ArtistFunny how many times I could have lost my dad, but didn’t. He was always there for me, and I had the deep security of knowing he always would be. I took him so much for granted, though, that I didn’t realize until much later that his caring for me in the ways that he did were the foundation for my trusting God.

Dad and I went more rounds over the years. We moved to Los Alamos where he became a courier for the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC).

Then we moved to Albuquerque so he and Mom could continue to work for the government. Dad still traveled.

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I ran away to get married, but Dad called the florist in faraway CA, to order an orchid for my bridal bouquet. He wasn’t able to attend because of the job.

We moved to Florida for Bill’s job at Kennedy Space Center. Mom and Dad never failed to visit us once a year, and we also joined them on their fishing vacations at Salton Sea (now defunct).* After Salton Sea came Marrowstone Island in Puget sound, then Sapinero-Blue Mesa Reservoir in Colorado. The vacations were memorable, but I’m afraid I didn’t appreciate them as much then as I do in retrospect. The living was rough, fishing was all, but Mom the kids and I could always go to town (except at Salton Sea which was out in the desert by itself.) And once we did some old-fashioned clamming. That was great fun!

All those vacations were good for getting to know each other, especially the children. I’ll always be grateful that Mom and Dad went to that much effort to stay in touch.

When we first arrived in Florida, the woods that border our home seemed scary and exotic. I’d heard so much about snakes and insects I didn’t want to go out there.

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When Dad came, though, he wasn’t daunted. He started walking every day. Our dog and I soon joined him and we learned the way. We’ve been walking the trails in those woods ever since, first with our kids and dogs then with our grandkids. It is a chief enjoyment in life.

Mother always told me to have plenty of things for Dad to repair when they came so he wouldn’t get bored. The year we had no TV he threatened never to come back again, but we got one and he did. One job dad did was to put up a jar opener under a cupboard for us. He was having a lot of trouble with carpal-tunnel syndrome by then. I use that gripper now because I need it sometimes. I wonder, if he realized what a favor he had done for us by installing it.

With maturity, my grievances have melted away. I’ve realized that I deeply loved my Dad in spite of our lifelong battles. The first time I went to visit when he was in the nursing home unable to do anything for himself we both broke into tears. Dad was aware enough to ask, “Is this who I think it is?” Later, I sat alone with him and held his wrist in my hand so I could feel his pulse because I didn’t know how to talk to him as others seemed to do.

This year, on Memorial Day Sunday our pastor asked people to call out the names of their kin who had died in wars. At first there were only a few and then it became a chorus of jumbled names. I felt sad knowing how difficult it is to lose any member of your family. But I also had a halleluiah feeling that I did get to know my Dad for the rest of his life after he came home from WW2. He carried signs of what we now call PTSD. I believe that most families whose parents have been in the military during wartime do. Thanks Dad, for coming back and living a long life in which I got to know you and your true value.

DiVoran and Dad with coats

 

Read more about Salton Sea by clicking HERE

 

 

 

 

Perfect Love Casts Out Fear~Part 2

21 Mar

Beach

My Take

DiVoran Lites

Author, Poet and Artist

 

You unlocked the park’s bathroom door and stepped out into a cloudy day. You heard sea gull’s caa-caaing and the shushing of the surf. You climbed the stairs of the boardwalk. You then removed your sandals and rolled up your pants legs. When you started walking and felt the roughness of the old boards, you recalled the time when you ran a hand over a shuffleboard table and got attacked by a splinter. Now you watched where you walked because you didn’t want any more wood injuries.

It is hard for you to write these things because you’re afraid people will judge you for your fears. In my reality, though, rear is common to almost all men and women. Does not my word contain at least 365 references to that state of being?

When you stepped off the boardwalk and onto the cool sand, you saw large and small footprints. You saw ruts where folks’ toes dug in as they ran. Because the fisher- folk were to the right, you decided to walk in that direction. If it seemed appropriate you could ask the folks who had their poles stuck in the sand: “What’s biting, and what are they biting on?” All eyes, however, stared at the shivering lines as if mesmerized. All along you thought fishing was a serious enterprise and now you knew it truly was.

You continued toward the old launch pad, which had once held a giant gantry atop a multi-story, tracked, crawler- transporter that which had carried the 363 foot tall Apollo/Saturn V launch vehicle to launches. You recalled the time when Bill got you a pass to go all the way out to the space center with three other worker’s wives to watch a launch. You’ll never forget the giant countdown clock in front of the visitor’s gallery close to Vertical Assembly Building (VAB).

In your mind’s eye, as you walked, you envisioned a vehicle set to go. A column of smoke billowed from the flame-trench underneath. But the Saturn V did not move. Was something wrong? At T minus zero seconds, after full power on all five 1st stage rocket engines had been verified, the swing arms retracted and the vehicle began to rise. When the sound and vibration reached you it was like a continuous thunder clap echoing off the walls of the VAB. You felt the pulsations inside your body. You looked up and saw fire-tinted clouds boiling underneath the Saturn V as it began to leave the earth. It was such an awesome combination of sight and sound that you wanted to laugh, to shout, and to cry all at the same time.

Soon your mind-video ended and you were back on the quiet beach. Now you looked down at the foam scalloping the shore and lapping at your feet. The air felt humid, and the sand undulated like miniature hills. You leaned against a hearty wind and held on to your wide-brimmed hat as you continued down the beach.

After about fifteen minutes, you turned back toward the boardwalk. You asked yourself why you had come. The only reason thing you could think of was because you remembered being there with your children and grandchildren. All at once you remember being afraid for the children and the not wanting to take your eyes off them. The boardwalk was far away. You turned around and headed back. You climbed the stairs, put on your shoes, and rolled down your jeans.

 

My Beloved Child, hear me in this:

The world is afraid, it has always been afraid. The terrorists can’t take credit for it. You will see the phrase, terror of the night in my word along with a promise that you will not be overcome by it. You needed to come here today, so you could capture those fearful thoughts and memories and let me erase them for you, never to be remembered again. Fear, my dear, is the direct opposite of love. The world, the flesh, and the devil, are the unholy trinity, the enemy. You do not belong to these. You are mine I have called you by my name. You’re “designed for peak happiness, thinking, and health,” (Dr. Caroline Leaf.) I will never, never, ever leave you or forsake you, not for any reason. I have prepared a place for you and I’ll help you move into it now.

 

 Dr. Caroline Leaf 

 

 

 

 

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

heart.

“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

 

 

God Never Says “O-O-O-PS”

11 Dec

From my Heart

Louise Gibson

Louise Gibson

 

That’s a theological truth in disguise.

God is a Master of Perfection.

His truths stand to confuse the thinking of the wise.

 

Every moment we feel overwhelmed by problems,

God is busy dealing with them, dear friend.

Every time we despair over the lack of God’s presence,

Remember, He promised to abide to the end.

 

The Bible has been written for people

who are living in the land of the living-

It is so much more than “pie in the sky

in the sweet by and by”.

 

The Bible is written for the tough realities of life,

the nitty grittry of the here and now.

Its pages are filled with real life solutions

to relieve our strife and our sigh!

 

 

“There has to be a song-

to make our burdens bearable,

to make our hopes believable,

to transform our successes into praise.

to release the chains of past defeats.

Somewhere- down deep in a forgotten corner

of each man’s heart-

There has to be a song,”

Robert Benson

 

“At times when we feel forsaken,may we know

the presence of the Holy Spirit who brings comfort

to all human hearts when we re willing to surrender

ourselves.  May we be convinced that soon before

we reach up to Thee, Thou art reaching down to us.”

Peter Marshall

Originally published on Old Things R New January 2015

 

Worry

6 Dec

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

JUDY

 

Worry………..worry……………worry…………

Are you a worry-wart? That’s a good old-fashioned phrase that my Mother used to say.

And what better time of year to be a worry-wart than December? It always hits me in the face on December 1st that it is DECEMBER……and I don’t have a single THING purchased or made for ANYONE in the family! Worry……worry….worry………what will I get everyone, and when will I have to mail the packages…..

And how will I EVER get the house decorated in time for it to be worthwhile?

And how will I EVER get all the Christmas cards done and in the mail before Christmas Eve?

And then there are the Christmas cookies to make…..

And how will I EVER …………   Well, you get the picture.

I found this cartoon (credit Charles Schultz) on facebook recently, and it made me realize just how worthless all that worry is. See what you think.

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And then, there is the directive from the scriptures that really just says it all:

Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

Matthew 6:27

And here is the kicker:

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.

Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Matthew 6:34

Toy Truck

29 Nov

SUNDAY MEMORIES

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.

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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

Discipline

22 Nov

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

JUDY

 

As I’ve mentioned in previous musings, I’ve been going through stacks and stacks of papers and pictures that we have accumulated. I’ve found a number of cartoons that my Mother had cut out – probably the newspaper – and sent them to me. And I’ve used some of them in my Old Things R New postings.

Today, however, I would like to share something that we found in my Mother’s Bible following her death.

She was always a hard worker, whether it was at the job where she was paid (she was an accountant, and worked at Kirtland AFB in Albuquerque to supplement Daddy’s paycheck, to purchase things that we might not have been able to have otherwise), or when she purchased and opened the Merle Norman Cosmetic Studio, or when she was cleaning the house, cooking our meals, doing the laundry…. She was a hard worker.

I think the only time I ever saw her sit down and “rest” was after dinner and clean-up from that, to watch a little TV. One of her enjoyments – especially in her later years – was to sit down after breakfast, with a cup of her favorite coffee, and peruse the newspaper. She would read it from cover to cover.

But this little snippet of information is a real insight into her life. I think it was a testimony to the way she lived her life, and the way she saw life. It certainly makes one take notice about the wisdom of the words.

Discipline

What do you think?

Her favorite scripture was Psalm 118:24

This is the day the Lord has made;

We will rejoice and be glad in it.

 

 

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