Tag Archives: Family Life

Church-Part 12

8 Jan

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

I’m going to digress a bit from “church” here – and yet, it is all related.  As I’ve mentioned in previous musings, church was a very real part of my life…ALL my life.  I have vague memories of our church in Dallas, Texas (First Baptist Church),

Credit to Google Search and FBC Dallas website

but just snippets – smells (Pine-Sol), 

Credit Google Search

the checker-board floor tiles (black and white), 

Credit Pixabay

and Miss Bertha, the nursery lady who would take me on her lap and read a story.

Scanned from the front of her book

But since we moved to Albuquerque when I was not quite four years old, my main memories of “church” was our church in Albuquerque (First Baptist Church, on the corner on Broadway and Central Avenue, also known as U.S. Route 66).  I literally “grew up” in that church.  I have fond memories of the friends I made there – some I still am in contact with.

Photo credit First Baptist Church, Albuquerque Google search

But in this particular posting, I would like to tell about a camp that both my brother, Bill, and I attended each summer when we were old enough to attend.  If you remember, my father was the New Mexico Sunday School Secretary for the Southern Baptists – that’s why we were in Albuquerque.  All of the “heads” of different departments of Southern Baptist life in New Mexico were headquartered in an office building in Albuquerque.

The Baptist Building – 1954 – main entrance

The Ministry Heads – 1954 – Daddy is on the left, standing

One of those departments was the Women’s Missionary Union (WMU).  That lady was Miss Eva Inlow.  Miss Inlow’s father had started a camp in the mountains East of Albuquerque, for young people (teenagers) from all over the state, and it was called Inlow Youth Camp.  I remember looking forward to going to Inlow Youth Camp each and every summer when I was old enough.  I don’t remember that Bill and I ever attended at the same time.  I suspect the camps were geared to specific age groups at different weeks.

I googled Inlow Youth Camp and this is what came up:

Credit Google Search and Inlow Baptist Camp website

Inlow Baptist Camp, started in 1941, is nestled in the beautiful Manzano Mountains of central New Mexico. Inlow is a rustic retreat from the distractions of everyday life. The woodsy surroundings offer a beautiful place to worship, fellowship, relax and learn. Summer at Inlow is a pleasant atmosphere for youth camps and family camping. Fall, winter, and spring each have a different flavor for church retreats, youth camps, staff training, picnics and meetings. Inlow is a ministry of the Baptist Convention of New Mexico.

I’m glad to see that it is still in operation, and has expanded it’s ministry.

We slept in cabins, on bunks.  I’m sure they had showers, but I don’t remember them.  I do remember quite well the latrines – outhouses with four or five “holes”.  A funny memory for sure, and none too pleasant when we had to clean them!  There was a “store” where we could purchase snacks if we had the money for them – we had a “bank account” set up by our parents with whatever cash they wanted us to have.  There was a dining hall.  But my biggest memory was the chapel or church building.  We had church services there every day, and Bible study times there.  We had counselors to lead those times, as well as to be shoulders to cry on, and watch over us in the cabins.

There were all kinds of outdoor activities to be held there, as well.  I remember running a race around the campground – and probably coming in last…I wasn’t a very fast runner!

But it was a wonderful time in my life.  Here is a picture of a group of us sitting by our church, waiting for our ride to camp.  I’m not in this picture, but I loved all these kids.

And here are more pictures of our time at Inlow Youth Camp:

Two of my best friends

That’s me…and my best friend

Some of the boys – not all from our church

Some of the girls and counselors

~~~~~~~~~~To Be Continued~~~~~~~~~~

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 and a great-granddaughter. She and her husband enjoy the Disney parks as often as possible.

Church-Part 10

11 Dec

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

I’ve written before about the “serendipities” that have happened in our lives.  I really enjoy them.  And a lot of them are related to church.  With the Air Force, we’ve moved around quite a bit, and so have been members of many different churches.  As result, we occasionally come across either someone we knew before, or someone we have known in common.  I really love that kind of thing!

For instance, just recently, I saw on facebook that some friends of ours from our church in Heidelberg were in town,

Heidelberg Castle

The building where Grace Baptist Church met – photo by Fred Wills

doing the Disney 

Credit Pixabay

and Universal parks

Credit Pixabay

I made the comment to her, after some of her pictures, that we wished we had known they were in town…we would have made an effort to meet up with them.  She replied they hadn’t known we lived in Orlando, and that they were in town for a few more days and their schedule was quite flexible.  And so, several days later, we met up at our favorite BBQ place.

Photo credit Judy Wills

They and their oldest daughter met us there – and we discovered it has been 39 years since we had seen each other!  WOW!  God is so amazing to bless us with friends that we have kept.

And another serendipity happened while I was Church Secretary at South Orlando Baptist Church here in Orlando.

This couple (Ted and April) came into the office one day…new to our church and community…and said they had just moved here from Virginia.  They had a lawn service here, but also had some lawn equipment they didn’t need, and thought the church might could use it.  I told them we had a lawn company as well that did the church’s lawn care.  And then I told them that we had moved here from Virginia, as well, and what part of Virginia did they come from.  They mentioned the Hampton Roads area – which was near where we had lived.  I mentioned we had lived in a small town, Seaford, just eight miles south of Yorktown.  They replied they also had lived in Seaford.  I mentioned we had been members of the Seaford Baptist Church, and they replied that they had been, as well.

Seaford Baptist Church as it was when we lived there.

Copied from the cover of a pictorial directory

I said that we had really enjoyed the Sunday School class, mainly because of the teacher, Larry Edwards.  Ted nearly fell on the floor and said, “WHO?”  I said Larry Edwards…and Ted said…(wait for it)…that’s my brother-in-law!  

Such a small world!  Larry and Janice came down to Florida at one time, and we met them at our favorite seafood restaurant for a visit.  When Ted and April arrived, they looked at the four of us, and said “it’s really strange seeing you all together.”  Again, God is so very good to bring people into our lives where we can become friends…life-long friends…and have the assurance of seeing them when we all get to our heavenly home.

And I doubt we would have had any of these connections without being part of the church.  God is so good!

WE….ARE THE CHURCH!

~~~~~~~~~~To Be Continued~~~~~~~~~~

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 and a great-granddaughter. She and her husband enjoy the Disney parks as often as possible.

Church-Part 8

27 Nov

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

The Music

Still making that detour…. 

And that brings me to the church we are members of now.  We’ve been in that church since 1996, and love it.  As one pastor said, this church is what heaven is going to be like – a mixture of peoples and races.  We have about 40 different nations represented in our church – and we are all worshiping the same God!  It’s wonderful!

This congregation is not a mega-church, as so many are these days, but a nice-sized church of about 800 members.  Of course, not all attend at the same time, so we have between 300-350 attending each Sunday.  That changed when the pandemic hit, unfortunately, and we haven’t gotten back to full-strength yet.  However, between all those attending, and those watching through live-stream, we are close.  I am thankful for the live-stream, so I can still “attend church” when I am home on a Sunday for some reason or another.  But it’s just not the same as being with other believers and worshipers.

All that to say that our choir has been a fairly good-sized choir throughout all those years.  Not huge, but some good voices.

2017 – Sanctuary Choir, South Orlando Baptist Church

Unfortunately, I have pictures from only one musical we’ve performed…but it was a good one.

In 2004 we performed one called Journey to the Manger.  We had a narrator, manger scenes, 

modern scenes,

Old England scenes,

 Medieval scenes, 

Depression era scenes,

children’s choirs, etc.

It was wonderful. 

One of our choir members was a professional seamstress.  Her ministry was to make all of the period costumes in these pictures.  She is amazing!   But the story was so filled with the Gospel of the coming of Jesus Christ, that no one could miss the message!  

I mentioned last time that one of the musicals we did in Virginia, Christmas is Calling You Home, we also performed at this church.  I have some wonderful mental pictures of that performance but, unfortunately no actual pictures of it.

We also performed Easter cantatas, and had other “musical” type of services.

If you can get back into the Oldthingsrnew archives, my post of September 30, 2012 tells of a concert we performed – six of us on Clavinovas (digital/electronic pianos).  Our Minister of Music was always on the look-out for something musical to give inspiration to our church.  Also, if you will find the archives and find my post of October 7, 2012, I tell of a concert violinist who came and gave her testimony, and played her violin.  She is magnificent!

So those are some of the “musical” things that we have been part of in the churches where we were members.  We have always enjoyed being in the choir, wherever we were.  Music has always been a part of our lives, and we are grateful.

WE….ARE THE CHURCH!

~~~~~~~~~~To Be Continued~~~~~~~~~~

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 and a great-granddaughter. She and her husband enjoy the Disney parks as often as possible.

Church-Part 6B

23 Oct

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

Just a side note to finding a new pastor in our Baptist church in Germany.  There was one young man, from California, who expressed interest in becoming our pastor.  The Search Committee heard audio tapes from some of his sermons. 

Credit Pixabay

When he said he wanted to come in-person to interview – at his expense – we were agreeable.  Unfortunately, when he preached – while it was a good sermon – those of us on the Search Committee had already heard his sermon, on tape.  He wanted to come in-person, since he had relatives in other parts of Europe, and planned to visit them after visiting with us.

The Pastor Search Committee (Fred and I both were on this committee) met with him during the weekend he was with us.  When I realized we hadn’t talked about the “nitty-gritty” stuff, such as salary, etc., I offered to make lunch following the worship service on Sunday for the committee, and we could sit around our dining room table and discuss things in private. 

Credit Pixabay – French Onion Soup – which I fixed for lunch that Sunday

Everything seemed okay until he asked how we were going to get all his household goods to Germany, as well as his two cars.  We told him that he could bring 2,000 pounds of household goods and one car – the same as the military allowed the rest of us.  That put an end to the discussions, as he said he couldn’t live under those conditions.

Funny end of that story – the very Saturday night before the church was to vote on calling Greg to be our pastor, this gentleman called from California, and asked Fred to ask the committee to re-consider him for the position.

Credit Pixabay

He said his family had had a house fie, and had lost all his possessions,

Credit Pixabay

and one of his cars had been totaled in a wreck. 

Credit Pixabay

He stated that he felt God was trying to get his attention!  Fred informed him that the vote on another man was the next day, and Fred would tell him the result.  As it turned out – the church voted unanimously to call Greg as our new pastor.  

Our new pastor, Greg and his wife, Carol – 1981

Sorry about the clarity of this photo.

We enjoyed our three years with Grace Baptist Church, there in Heidelberg.  We became friends with Greg and his wife, Carol, and his three children.  As I mentioned last time, our Karen and their Brian fell in love, and later married.   Greg and Carol’s middle daughter, Michelle, was a delightful young lady.  She was one of the highlights of the young peoples group at the church.  Our Janet was the same age as their youngest daughter, Deanna, and they became fast friends, as well.

Last time, I mentioned that we had a family from Canada in our church membership.  The wife/mother of the family approached me at one time, about teaching her two boys piano lessons.  I had never thought to teach piano, even though I played, and was the pianist for our church there.  However, when she told me that Canada had a “conservatory” system of teaching and learning piano, I agreed.  Canada has a program where the child can be taught in any province of Canada, and if moved to another province, they can pick right back up where they left off.  It’s an interesting concept.  The boys had already had several years of learning, and it was a delight to work with them within this system.  That allowed them to keep up with the program, and not be far behind when they returned to Canada.

Credit ChurchArt

As with other churches we had been part of, that had a large military base, about one-third of the congregation left for the States every year.  Fortunately, they were replaced by incoming military members the following Fall.

Greg and his family stayed in Heidelberg for about five years, with Brian returning Stateside in our second year in Virginia, to study at the same University where Karen was.  They married in another year, and both completed their education.

WE….ARE THE CHURCH!

~~~~~~~~~~To Be Continued~~~~~~~~~~

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 and a great-granddaughter. She and her husband enjoy the Disney parks as often as possible.

Church-Part 6A

16 Oct

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

This English-speaking church (Grace Baptist Church, Heidelberg) had a tradition of going to one of the American resorts in Bavaria for a week’s recreation (i.e. skiing) between Christmas and New Years.  A bus was chartered, and those who wanted to go went with the group.  They went to a different resort each year.  They all stayed in the same hotel.  Some of the “after hours” was fun, as we got together for games, or just fellowship to get to know each other better.  Our family was able to go with the group to Garmisch one year,

The Patton Hotel, Garmisch, Bavaria, Germany – Photo by Fred Wills

 as well as Berchtesgaden another year.

Hotel Geiger, Berchtesgaden, Bavaria, Germany – Photo by Fred Wills

However, since none in our family were skiers, we decided to stay home the year the group went to Chiemsee.  That was about all there was to do there.

Chiemsee castle and fountains – Bavaria, Germany – Photo by Fred Wills

As it turned out, that was a good thing.  As I mentioned earlier, the pastor was ready to rotate Stateside within the first year we were there.  And so we began to look for a new pastor.  (Our Karen and her husband, Brian, seem to remember the pastor’s name was Charles, and his wife was Pauline.  That sounds familiar to us, as well.  Glad they have such good memories!)

Since our church was away from the U.S., the process of searching for a new pastor was different.  We contacted the Baptist Seminaries and asked for references.  When we got them, we contacted the ones we thought were most agreeable to being in Europe, and asked for tapes of some of their sermons.  This was NOT a popularity contest!  We always and foremost, looked for God’s man for our body of believers.  We took the person we thought fit us the best, and worked with him.  If that one didn’t work out, for one reason or another, then we went to the next name.

We contacted a man named Greg. We were most impressed with him, and he was willing to locate to Heidelberg.  We presented his name to the congregation, and the church voted to call him as our pastor.  Greg and his family arrived during the week the church group was at Chiemsee.  Because we had not gone with the group that year, we were there to welcome the family to Germany as well as to Heidelberg.

Our new pastor, Greg and his wife, Carol – 1981 Sorry about the clarity of this photo

The church had rented an apartment for Greg and his family, and the ladies of the church had furnished and decorated it as best we could.  They were unable to bring more than the military allowed us to bring over, so they were mostly ready to just move into the apartment when they arrived.

Our family had planned to have Greg’s family come to our apartment for supper before we left on a bus trip to Paris.

The Eiffel Tower – Judy, Karen & Janet – Photo by Fred Wills – 1981

As it turned out, Greg had injured his back when he helped a German man push his car out of a snow bank, and therefore, his family was unable to come to our apartment.  So I wrapped up my big pot of spaghetti and Angel Hair pasta, picked up some lovely German bread from our favorite German bakery, and took it up the hill to them!

Greg sat at the table long enough to eat, then went back to the couch to rest.  Our Karen and their son, Brian, did the dishes together after supper.  That’s how they met, and have now been happily married for over 35 years!

WE….ARE THE CHURCH!

~~~~~~~~~~To Be Continued~~~~~~~~~~

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 and a great-granddaughter. She and her husband enjoy the Disney parks as often as possible.

Church-Part 6

9 Oct

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

We left Leavenworth, Kansas, for a couple of weeks of vacation time, to visit our families before we headed to Germany.  Lovely time – family is best!

We arrived in Heidelberg, West Germany for Fred’s next assignment.  Again, there wasn’t any housing available just at that moment, so we stayed in the “Q” – officers temporary quarters.  It was mostly like a hotel room, but no kitchen or kitchenette, so all our meals were eaten out.

Guest quarters – Patrick Henry Village

Within a week – after we had gotten over our jet lag – we started looking for the Baptist church there in Heidelberg.  When we had been in Wiesbaden, our church there had dealings with other Baptist churches throughout Europe, and knew there was a church there in Heidelberg.  Neither Fred nor I can remember how we found out that the Sunday School part was not meeting at the church building, but were holding classes in a school nearby, then walking to worship service in the church building.  In any case, we went to the Sunday School one Sunday morning, then walked to the worship service in the church building.  

We did join that body of believers – Grace Baptist Church.  Neither Fred nor I can remember the name of the pastor who was there at that time.  But perhaps that’s because he and his family were getting ready to rotate back to the States.  His three-year tour was up.  More to come on how we called another pastor.

In Heidelberg, the German congregation of believers had built a building, where they met for services.

Grace Baptist Church, Heidelberg, West Germany

The pulpit and baptistry cross

Inside the church building for a service

Inside the church building for a service – this is where the adult choir sat for worship services

But as with the church in Wiesbaden, the German congregation shared the building with the American congregation.  I’m sure we paid a rental fee to the German group, but that was okay.  It was a lovely building, with a basement, where we held our choir practice, and special events.   

When we were in Wiesbaden, the American and German congregations did a lot of “joint” events together.  Not only did we share the building, but we had dinners and outings together.  It was a wonderful time together.  Unfortunately, we didn’t find the same cooperative feeling in the church in Heidelberg.  We did “cooperate” with them, but had little-to-no events together.  That was the only down side of that church.  

However, I do remember early one December, the German congregation had a sort-of “bazaar” of hand-crafted Christmas decorations, and had them set out for us to look at and purchase if we wanted.  I found several items that I wanted, and have kept them all these years.  Some are a little “worst for the wear” but I still use them.  Not only do I like them, but they remind me of Germany, and the time we spent there.  They were lovely people, and we did try to incorporate them into our worship time together.

While the American congregation wasn’t too large, we were a great group.  We found a family from Canada; there was a young lady from New Zealand

Stacy from New Zealand and Judy

who was touring Germany and found she loved Heidelberg, and so stayed and worked as a chamber maid in a hotel, who just wanted some time with English speaking people, and found our church.  There was a school teacher who is still a good friend of ours.

One thing I especially loved about this church was that, while most of the members were military people and their families – when they walked through the doors of the church – the “rank” came off – we were all the same in God’s eyes.  No one ever pulled rank or tried to be more than anyone else.  It was great.  Wish the American schools had the same policy.  

WE….ARE THE CHURCH!

~~~~~~~~~~To Be Continued~~~~~~~~~~

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 and a great-granddaughter. She and her husband enjoy the Disney parks as often as possible.

Church-Part 5

2 Oct

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

I told Fred, while at Tyndall AFB, Florida, that he really needed to be reassigned – we had been at Tyndall for over four years, and I was beginning to put down roots – in a government duplex!  So we were expecting something in the near future.

Photo credit WJHG.com  Credit Google search

And the future brought an assignment for Fred to attend the Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. 

Credit Google Search and Fort Leavenworth website

It was to be just a one-year study.  There were other Air Force personnel attending the school, and they also arrived in June, so they could “learn to speak Army,” as Fred told me, before they began their regular study.

We had never been to Kansas, and when I mentioned it to friends in Florida, most of them were going on about how flat and desert-like Kansas was.  So we were quite surprised to find that Fort Leavenworth was in a hilly, grassy area, and was separated from Missouri by the Missouri River.  It was a lovely area, and we enjoyed our year there.  We made several trips over the river to visit Kansas City, Missouri.  

We began looking for a church home shortly after moving into our quarters.  There were several Baptist churches there, but I only remember attending one – the one we joined.  It was Leavenworth Baptist Church.

Leavenworth Baptist Church, Leavenworth, Kansas

Credit Google Search and Leavenworth Baptist Church website

It was indeed a God-ordained decision on our part, as we became good friends with the pastor and his family.  They were close to our age, and our Janet became good friends with their daughter.  We have maintained that friendship with the pastor and his wife throughout all these years.  They have come to visit Orlando several times in the years we have lived here.

Again, Fred and I joined the choir, and the Sunday School.  Our girls seemed quite happy in their respective Sunday School classes.  It wasn’t a terribly large church, but one where we were comfortable.

The pastor, Jerry, told us that he never asked all the military in the congregation who were transferring out, to stand at the end of the Spring term.  He said he did that the first year he was pastor – and one-third of the congregation stood up!  He was so disheartened by that, that he never did it again.  He had seen God bring another one-third to the church the following Fall term, bur he just couldn’t stand to see one-third of his congregation leaving at one time!

While most of that year was a good one, there was one unhappy event as well.  Turns out that the treasurer of the church was a one-man team with the finances of the church.  Jerry, who had a wife and four children, was told often by this man, that the contributions from the congregation just weren’t enough to pay his full salary.  Eventually, it was found that this man had been embezzling from the church.  He purchased a Cadillac for himself, and other goodies.  When all this came to light, many of the purchases Jerry had made (i.e. lumber to build bookshelves for his church office) were dismissed by the merchants.  The church took the Cadillac as part re-payment and sold it for about half what he paid for it.

Consequently, after that experience, whenever Fred and I looked into joining a church, we made sure that the treasurer was a team of at least two if not three people.  I’m sure the church people we questioned, were puzzled by this question, but it satisfied us.

All that to say that the church got back on its feet, once this man left the area, with the promise to pay back all he had taken.  Jerry could feed his family again.

Better news next week……

WE….ARE THE CHURCH!

~~~~~~~~~~To Be Continued~~~~~~~~~~

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 and a great-granddaughter. She and her husband enjoy the Disney parks as often as possible.

Church-Part 3

18 Sep

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

As I mentioned last time, we were in northern Maine only one year – 13 months actually.  The day following our daughter’s birth, Fred looked at me and said, “you don’t really want to stay here another year, do you?”  I nearly jumped out of the hospital bed, with a resounding “YOU GOT ORDERS!!”  And he did.  We were to go to San Antonio, Texas, for Fred to teach at the Officer Training School at Lackland AFB.

Credit Google Search and JBSA website

And so we transitioned from Maine to Texas, with some stops along the way.  We visited Fred’s parents and family in D.C. and New Jersey;

Fred’s grandmother and family

With Fred’s mother in D.C. (Dad taking the picture)

We visited my brother’s family in Titusville, Florida (my mother had remarried five years after, daddy’s death, and they were on their honeymoon in Florida), a stop at St. Augustine, Florida,

St. Augustine, FL – Judy, Karen and baby Janet

before heading to Texas.  I had some family in San Antonio, on my mother’s side, and we were able to stay with Aunt Lillie, while we looked for a house.

Aunt Lillie with Karen and Janet

There was a family stationed at Lackland that we had known in Wiesbaden.  They invited us to visit their church, which we did.  It was a relatively small church, and the husband led the choir.  Since he knew I played the piano, he asked me to play for the Christmas program for his choir…which I did.  However, once again, we didn’t feel that church was exactly where God wanted us to be.  So we visited some others in the general area.

My mother had spent quite a bit of time growing up in different areas of Texas and Oklahoma, and had been a secretary at the First Baptist Church in downtown San Antonio for many years.  During that same time my dad was Associate Sunday School Secretary for the Southern Baptists in Texas, and he made many trips to San Antonio.  I believe he told me he was teased quite a bit from his fellow workers about all the trips he “needed” to make to San Antonio after he met mom.  In any case, they had quite a few friends from that church.

Daddy

And so, being a good daughter, I called one of mother’s best friends from that church.  She was glad to hear from me.  After chatting a while, she asked if we had found a church home yet.  At my “no,” she quite forcefully said, “don’t you join anywhere until you visit First Baptist Church!”  So we agreed that we would meet up with her that following Sunday at FBC.  

For the first time in my life, as I walked in that huge church, the feeling was….home.  I knew almost instantly that THIS church was where God wanted us to be for the next three years.  I don’t believe I’ve had that definite a feeling about any church since.  It was a wonderful and warm feeling, and I loved it.

We joined the church…we joined the choir… we joined the Sunday School that was in our age group.  It was just a wonderful time in our lives.  I was also involved with the Young Women’s Fellowship Group.  To find more about that, please refer back to my post of September 19, 2021 “Friendship.”  It tells about the church, as well as that group and what we did in the community.

First Baptist Church San Antonio, TX, Sanctuary – from a post card

We thoroughly enjoyed our time in that church.  We didn’t much care for the 30-minute drive to-and-back home from downtown, but we learned that we make time for what we want to do.  And attending that church was what we wanted to do.

I started this series with a question: “…do you love to GO to church?”  Well, this church had us in its hands, and we LOVED to GO to church.  It was a fantastic experience.

WE….ARE THE CHURCH!

~~~~~~~~~~To Be Continued~~~~~~~~~~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 and a great-granddaughter. She and her husband enjoy the Disney parks as often as possible.

My Mother’s Chair

8 Sep

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

My mom and dad had matching easy chairs. I inherited one of them. It’s not in the best of shape, but I can’t seem to part with it. A lot of good memories are tethered to the chair. But there is one not so good memory, or so it seemed at the time.

As my mom aged, I lent a hand with the housekeeping. One of the chores I found annoying was dusting their dual level end tables. I think when my parents passed to Glory, we donated them to a local charity. They are now called mid-century collectibles and I found this picture on Etsy. If you like mid-century, check out their store, this one is handmade! The picture below is a modern version.

Back to the annoying part…dusting was easy but moving all the stuff my mom kept scattered all over it was a pain. I frequently murmured internally, “geez mom, can’t you put stuff away?” Hand creams, foot creams, nail files, peanut butter crackers that she called “nabs”, lottery scratch off tickets, a magnifying glass..you get the picture. Some items I would return to their proper places but for the most part, I moved them, dusted and put them back.

I didn’t get then why she was so messy but having just attained septuagenarian status, I am beginning to get it. One, my septuagenarian self tires more easily than my forty-ish self. Why put something away that I am going to have to go back and get. Two and this is the big one for me, if something gets put away, there is a good chance I might not remember where I put it!

Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay

I was thinking this week that mom would have gotten a kick out of seeing my messy self now.

One of our friends made up this cool gift for my big 7-0. On each dollar bill she placed a Post-it note with a birthday message on it.

The length of the one dollar bills brought to mind Proverbs 3:1-2

My son, do not forget my teaching,
but let your heart keep my commandments,
for length of days and years of life
and peace they will add to you.

I'm a winner

After 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  

My 2022 goal is continue to use my love of photographs and words to be an encourager on social media.

Church

4 Sep

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

Do you love church?  I mean, do you love to GO to church?

When most people say “let’s go to church” they are usually referring to the church building they attend.

Far too often, we have forgotten that the church building is just that…a building where believers gather together to worship.

And far too often, we forget that it is the believers that gather within that church building who are the church.  The building is just a convenient place to gather.

I want to make a disclaimer here – I am about to show in pictures some of the church buildings where I have attended.  But I realize that they are just buildings.  It is the body of believers within those buildings that I have loved.  And so….

I have been involved with many churches throughout my life.  I was born in Dallas, Texas, and my family attended the First Baptist Church there.  Since we moved away just before I was four-years-old, I have only faint memories of that building or believers.  Fred and I have been back to visit and tour that campus, but it raises no memories to me. (firstdallas.or

FBC Dallas, Texas

FBC Dallas, Texas – photo by Judy Wills

The church we attended in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where we moved to from Texas, was the First Baptist Church. That body of believers established themselves as the First Baptist Church of Albuquerque in 1853.  It was been an active church ever since.  The congregation has now built a new building in which to worship.  It is quite modern and up-to-date, and from the pictures I looked at online, it is a growing body with many believers.  I am thrilled.  (fbcabq.com)

As I look at the picture below, I am almost in tears.  That building was my first experience with “church” and it holds many memories dear to my heart.  My family attended that building every Sunday that I can remember.  We had Sunday School there in the classrooms, a room where the choir met before going into the Sanctuary choir loft, and the Sanctuary itself.  I sang in the children’s choirs all the way up to the Adult Choir.  I was baptized there.  Fred and I met and were married in that building.  Dear to my heart, indeed.

Photo credit First Baptist Church, Albuquerque

First Baptist Church, Albuquerque, New Mexico Credit Goggle Search

After we married, we moved to Fort Worth, Texas, where we joined the Travis Avenue Baptist Church.  The body of believers in that congregation was quite large, so most of our friendships revolved around the Sunday School classes, and the choir.  It was a wonderful time in our lives, and I feel we both grew, spiritually during that time. (travis.org)

Travis Avenue Baptist Church

Credit Google Search

Fred was attending the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, at the time, in preparation for a life of full-time ministry.  God had other plans for us, but those years in the Seminary prepared us both for other ministries.

SWBTS

Credit Google Search

When Fred entered the U.S. Air Force, he (we) were sent to San Jose, California, for Fred to study Meteorology at San Jose State College (now University). 

San Jose State University

Credit Google Search and San Jose State University website

 We were to be there for only one year of study – from June to June.  We attended several different churches before finding the one we felt God wanted us to join.  One of the churches we visited was pastored by a man who was a friend of my father’s. (Baptist Temple)  Fred and I had just about decided to join another church, when this man and his wife came to visit us.  They were quite insistent that we belonged to their congregation – Fred with his Seminary training could assist with the Sunday School program.  With my music training, I could play either the piano or organ.  So we decided to join – to their relief.  However, we found out quite quickly that it was NOT where God wanted us to be.  While we made friends and worshiped there, we were unsettled the entire time we were in San Jose.  Fortunately, it was only for one year.  But we learned our lesson – we never again joined a church without absolutely knowing that was the church where God wanted us to serve.

WE ARE THE CHURCH!

~~~~~~~~~~To Be Continued~~~~~~~~~~

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 and a great-granddaughter. She and her husband enjoy the Disney parks as often as possible.

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