Thursday, March 31, 2011
Wow, it was beautiful this morning. I grabbed my camera before doing anything else and ran out in my slippers to snap these pics. I knew my snowbird friends would love to see it...from afar. It had been sunny for several days, and some of us had gotten used to the thought of spring coming soon. But all of a sudden yesterday afternoon I glanced out the window and the most beautiful huge snowflakes were coming down. The sky was really letting go. In a matter of an hour, it seems, we had an inch, then quickly 2 inches and it just kept on snowing. During the night we got a couple more inches. By morning, the wet show had coated everything so beautifully...except for the driveway and the red brick patio. They had absorbed a lot of heat from the sun in the past week and were too warm to accommodate snow. It made for a colorful sight. Here's to you girls on the beach. Sorry you can't be here.:)
Good news for those who deal with an Autistic child. Glenn Beck had a 12 year old boy on his show tonight who had been diagnosed with autism years ago. He is a remarkable boy with a phenomenal mind.
Not only is he brilliant ( IQ 170) with a photographic memory, he has a great personality and a very good sense of humor. Oh, and he is a good looking kid as well. Seeing him would be great encouragement for those who know an autistic child. There seems to be a lot about him on the internet.
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Goofy Spring Break
Our grand daughter went to Florida for Spring break. One of the things she and her friend Aron enjoyed there was Disney World. In the drawing she and Aron are posing with Goofy. I just have to tease her a little about her 'Goofy Spring Break'. But I'm jealous. I love that place!
In the middle picture, she, Aron and his mother (who met them down there) pose with the castle in the background.
We are very proud of Lauren. Her grades are tops, 4points or close. I just emailed her iPhone to see what it is exactly, but can only wait so long before I publish this early enough to beat my midnight deadline.
Daily the Founder's Quote turns up in my inbox. It is sent from http://patriotpost.us/. Every day, I find it enlightening. Today's bit by John Adams needs to be heeded by our nation's parents. We have all been spoiled. We want to do what we want. We are used to taking, not giving. Work is no longer a priority in most of our eyes. Leisure time and entertainment rule.
Quoting John Adams: "It should be your care, therefore, and mine, to elevate the minds of our children and exalt their courage; to excite in them an habitual contempt of meanness, abhorrence of injustice and inhumanity, and an ambition to excel in every capacity, faculty and virtue. If we suffer their minds to grovel and creep in infancy, they will grovel all their lives." From John Adams dissertation on the Canon and Feudal Law, 1756
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Back to my youth...Does everyone go through an ugly stage, or was it just me? Anyway. Every picture taken of me in the sun got me with squinty eyes. I never really saw sunglasses as a child. Polarized glasses became available in 1936, when they were sold along beaches, far from Akron, Ohio. And even a dozen years later, I hadn't seen them.
This picture is one of my worst...with squinty eyes and glasses, freckles, a frown and bangs that were much too short. Of course the coveralls topped it all off. I wasn't a Shirley Temple!
If it hadn't been for people being full of love back then, I would have probably gotten a complex. Because they had God's love in their hearts, they were nice to one another. The old adage, "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all" was lived out in everyday life.
The coveralls made me think of a Bible verse that talked about covering sin. When I did a search of the NIV version, I found three and they are all very good.
Proverbs 10:12 Hatred stirs up conflict: but love covers over all wrongs.
Romans 4:7 Blessed are those whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered.
I Peter 4:8 Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.
It was great to grow up in a time and in a neighborhood when the people were truly godly and full of love.We need to go back to that. The only way that can happen is if it starts with us. Each one needs to make sure he or she watches his own steps and avoids those things which harm others bodies or emotions.
Remember it is up to you to make your little corner of the world a better place to live. How will you start?
Monday, March 28, 2011
Greed is Not Pretty
Chelle has done well to teach the triplets giving. In today's world it is refreshing to see children thinking about others and wishing to give instead of receiving all the time.
If you are reading and have children. Ask yourself if you might be raising a selfish child. It is very easy to do at this time. There are so many 'things' that they all want. We need to learn to say, 'No' and be able to tell them why. Show them by your example to give of themselves and their time to benefit others, especially those who are in need. Greed is not pretty.
Sunday, March 27, 2011
It's a Chicken Sheep
This is our demonstrative grandson, who happened upon a chicken nugget at McDonald's that looked like an animal running. I asked him what animal it was and he said a sheep. That makes it a 'chicken sheep'. Bet you've not realized you have seen those before.
But there are lots of them running to and fro around our country. They are like sheep being led to their destruction and are 'chicken' to stand up to those who are bent on destroying their freedom and bullying around their fellow citizens.
So far, it is still a free nation. Speak you mind, but be kind. No need to get ugly for someone may confuse you with an irate union member.
Saturday, March 26, 2011
Caleb's New Hat
Last night we were enjoying some special facetime with John, Beth and Caleb. Right in the middle of everything, that boy decided to put a strainer on his head. I guess he is now ready for Easter. What a cute boy.
I love the way the light spots through onto his head. I played that up a bit by adding the spotted paper. With some rickrack, a bow, some buttons, a clip, the number '1' and a label, this was all done and ready for the blog.
Ron took a trip to the other side of the state to see a tractor today. It wore him down and he went to bed real early.
I was here alone and sat at the computer most of the day. It has made me tired, too tired to even complain about the government. And that is TIRED!
Friday, March 25, 2011
This is a beautiful bird and he acts as if he knows it. He seemed interested in all of us. He would answer when we said 'Hello". Then most of us walked away and Robin got up close and personal. He looked as if he were enjoying her attention and really showed off for her a while. Then all of a sudden when she was right up to his face, he let out an horrendously loud AWK! The percussion of that noise drove Robin backwards and almost off her feet. It was disconcerting to say the least to all of us.
She didn't tell us what she did, but I suspect she asked him for his birth certificate. Boy was he indignant. I suspect he is not really an American at all. I'll bet he was hatched in Africa. Or perhaps neither of his parents were American citizens at the time.
He is still a handsome bird and can speak what he is told. But that word, AWK, is not English!
Thursday, March 24, 2011
Ashley Holds a Key
Ashley holds a key to my heart. And I could hardly wait to make a layout of one of her recent pictures taken on a trip to Gatlinburg. When I got this layout idea from the scrapgirls.com newsletter today, I pulled out these pictures and began It could have been lots of fun, but since I'd already been working for hours on our 50th high school class reunion book and had a headache, it was a little difficult. However, I'm happy with the results and years from now will have forgotten the pain in my head.
I must remember to stay alert, headache or not: I Peter 5:8, "Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour." ...good advice for everyone at all times. The minute you let your guard down, he is there ready to mess up your life and/or your whole country.
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
The River and The Boy
Am publishing this now, will be back later for the text.
Well I promised text. Our quite handsome Mason was really enjoying himself on the Gatlinburg trip. And why not. Can you think of many things he would have liked more than being there with his family in the natural surroundings of woods, mountains and streams...well maybe he would have found it even more fun to raft himself down the river rapids. That would have been exciting. But in the meantime, he was dutifully posing for pictures and just being a good looking model for Mom's camera.
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Jumbo Ficus Arch
This Jumbo Ficus was amazing to me. I wonder how long it had been surrounding this yard. I wonder how many men it took to trim it and how often it must be trimmed to stay so perfectly manicured. I wonder what God was thinking when he said, I'll make a huge plant that can grow into a a tremendous wall and I'll put it in Florida.
I wonder if He knew how very inquisitive I'd be. Whatever He knew then, He knows all about me now...every hair on my head and every thought inside it. When I start to worry about the coming times, I have to just pull back and think, God is control. He will always be in control. Even if we "fight the good fight", we won't win every battle, but He and thus we Christians will win in the end. That is His plan and I'm secure in that fact. Thank you God.
Monday, March 21, 2011
Aussie reminds me of Tom Sawyer. This is the way I've always pictured him in my mind. Now I just have to find Huck Finn.
Sunday, March 20, 2011
Walk With Natuare
In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks. John Muir
How true this is. I'm learning to appreciate more and more as I get older...not because I wasn't appreciative before, but now I have more time to spend with nature without children who need attention, etc.
Visiting with Robin is always such fun. She never fails to show and tell something I didn't know and want to remember. Here she is on her own turf on Sanibel Island, where nature goes pretty much unchecked.
In tough times, it is good to be able to get away for a while with God's creation and renew your heart with the joy of the Lord.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13
Saturday, March 19, 2011
I Am Short in Stature ...
In most of the pictures that were taken of me in Florida, I have no lower legs or feet. That makes photo-shopping me into group pictures quite difficult. I just took a short cut here and explained my situation...I've been truncated!
We've had a few sunny days and my thoughts go back to Florida. It is so good to be on vacation where I am not really responsible for much and don't have to worry about upkeep, etc. I can spend all my time enjoying nature's beauty...and of course eating.
I am quite happy to see the sun here, but when I'm home, I have to work. In spring it's yard work, lots of it. It seems that every April or May I hurt my back with all the bending, etc. But this year, it could be worse, because I don't have time to do it at all. Can't stand to look at it the way it is and really don't know a solution, Wish I could find someone who would do it for what I could pay. Should I just refrain from having guests or pretend 'natural' is beautiful and that others will think so as well? That sounds like a great idea until I realize they will be hindered from finding the front door by zillions of weeds that might grow tall enough to attack them.
This is not good. I've been too busy today to keep up with what is going on in the world. How can I form an honest opinion if I'm not in the know? I'm sure things will go on without my help. But I expect them to just get worse.
Friday, March 18, 2011
The Truth Shall Set You Free
Well, I finally have some new pictures of the triplets, so I'll be throwing in a few layouts on this blog.
We must be accountable and cut back spending...for our kids and grandchildren.
This is the second day in a row that I am quoting something that was published in the Patriot Post's, Founder's Quote Daily.
"It is natural to man to indulge in the illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth -- and listen to the song of that syren, till she transforms us into beasts. Is this the part of wise men, engaged in a great and arduous struggle for liberty? Are we disposed to be of the number of those, who having eyes, see not, and having ears, hear not, the things which so nearly concern their temporal salvation? For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it might cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst, and to provide for it." --Patrick Henry, speech in the Virginia Convention, 1775
If you care to get a 'timely' quote from history each day in your email, go to
Thursday, March 17, 2011
We Were Warned
Here we are, Phyllis, Jane, Robin and I, taking a photo break during a short shopping trip. Actually we had just walked down the way to eat breakfast at one of our favorite cozy places on Sanibel. In the same plaza there is a shop we like called The Sporty Seahorse...yes, that is right. Clever name, but I have no idea how they came up with it. It is loaded with an attractive assortment of gifts as well as clothing, shoes and jewelry. Wonderful place to browse a while. And of course, it is very hard to not buy anything once you've been in there very long.
This sunny courtyard behind it must have been opened recently, because none of us remember seeing it there before. One of the clerks noticed us taking pictures and came out to help us with a group shot. Saved me some time photoshopping. Guess that gave me more time for real shopping.
Most of us have felt the crunch lately and have had to tighten the grips on our wallets. And I was cautious not to go overboard.
We were warned by Thomas Jefferson that perpetual debt...well let me just quote him here: "I am not among those who fear the people. They and not the rich, are our dependence for continued freedom. And to preserve their independence, we must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt. We must make our election between economy and liberty, or profusion and servitude." Thomas Jefferson.
Our national debt is smothering us. We must choose economy over servitude.
Encourage your representatives to cut spending. It will take big cuts to reverse the rush towards total bankrupcy.
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
Although I didn't get to go to the Space Museum in Huntsville, Alabama with the triplets, the place is still vividly in my mind. It made a big impression on me when we took their Uncle John there in 1991. We had driven Chelle back to college in Nashville and then continued south to the museum. We visited a civil war cemetery on that same trip. That was quite a jump in history from that war until we sent astronauts to the moon.
Chelle got pictures of Aussie, Ashley and Mason with antigravity gear. I understand they really enjoyed all the experiences they had there. I can just feel the excitement! Just wish I could have been there...
This has been a great day. I've overcome my dizziness with Antivert, worked out at Curves, fiddled with photoshop in an attempt to start the book for my high school classes' 50th reunion this year, had a great salad on the way to church, saw lesson 9 from The Truth Series ( on the state) and then returned home to watch American Idol.
I have now narrowed my choices down to seven people...4 girls and 3 boys. Wow, they are good this year. It is really hard for me to believe that anyone would not care for the show. since it's especially good this year. It would be impossible for me to guess who will be the winner at this point. I'll hate to see those last 7 disqualified and think that all 7 could do well in the business.
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
If I remember correctly Lakeview School was built in 1929. The addition on this end was added before I went to school. When I started there as a war baby, the classes were extremely full. It was so crowded that we had first grade only 1/2 day. But we still learned to read.
I was hired directly out of college to teach first grade there. My classes had about 42 children in them. They all learned to read, except for one boy who really should have been sent to a special school, but whenever he took the IQ test, he had people there making sure he was on the right page, etc. Without that help, I'm sure he would not have guessed enough right, but with the assistance, he was able to stay right there.
My point though is this. The school was old. We didn't have any of the frills kids have today. Classes were overcrowded, we had no money for extras, yet they LEARNED TO READ IN FIRST GRADE. I can give you at least two reasons...children were expected to behave and we taught phonics.
Why did the children know how to act? They were taught at home and told to be good at school. If a child got in trouble at school, he would also be punished at home. We didn't worry about the fragile psyche.
Why did we teach phonics? Because it is the only sensible way to learn to read. One develops the skill to learn new words. Yes, there is a few words in the English language that must be learned by sight. A FEW. It is not possible to learn them all by sight. NO WAY. And that is the reason so many of our people do not read and the level of reading of the general population is poor. Check the statistics, you will be floored. Sad, sad, sad.
Monday, March 14, 2011
We were totally blessed to be in Sanibel for a few days of NO SNOW. Okay, I love snow, but enough is too much sometimes. The days we spent in the sun helped me keep my sanity.
I kept it, just to lose it tonight. Had a book deadline and for the first time, didn't make it...was so close...had narrowed the number of pages down to 100, but then was not able in the time allowed to pair them up in an attractive and/or sensical manner. That was mainly because I was featuring two different ORU trips and my files were so confused by the time they were put into the book that I couldn't differentiate between the two. And it did make a difference. We didn't have the same members on those trips. Oh well.
I need to remember that there is turmoil around the world and the Japanese are in severe trauma right now. We are home safe and sound. Thank you, God.
Sunday, March 13, 2011
Parking for Fuel Efficient Cars
I'm running out of meaningful things to say. I'm enjoying this anyway, so here goes...another layout from my childhood, age 4. The photo booth was a handy thing at that time.
In the present, cell phones are the thing to have with you when you want to capture a picture. Recently, my friend Teresa took a picture of a sign at Best Buy that said the parking space was reserved for fuel efficient cars. I can't find that picture right now, But just a few weeks ago, my husband parked in one on the PA turnpike (I believe it was on the turnpike... at least it was on a trip from here to Philadelphia.) He took this picture at the time. While he appreciated having that sign since he drives a Prius, Teresa is disturbed by them. They are discriminatory and she and I both wonder how they can enforce something like that.
I would offer that in the case of a store putting up such signs in their own parking lot, the best thing we could do would be to write them and explain how we feel. And if that doesn't work, we can quit going there.
However, the government continues to infringe upon our freedom and there isn't a lot we can do. But we can be very careful each time we vote, no matter how trivial the post may be. We need people who actually believe in the Constitution and individual rights.
Saturday, March 12, 2011
The Monster Cactus
Click on image to see complete layout.
Actually there are two different types of monster cacti between Robin's property and her next door neighbor. No one could have developed a fence that good. Of course, they had to grow at least 50 years to get that big, since they are slow growing plants.
You can't tell by the picture, but the one you can see here is over 4 stories high. I wish I had measured it, because it also covers a lot of ground.
My heart goes out to all the people in Japan. May God be with them through this. I pray they will reach out to Him.
Friday, March 11, 2011
Remember the Brownie camera? That was a forerunner of the cell phone. :) It took pictures and if I remember correctly, most people had one...at least the people I knew. Film is what came before digital. I'm trying to remember, should probably google to see, how many pictures were on a roll. It seems like it may have been 12 at that time. A few years after this, my mom developed her own film in her darkroom.
After I was married I remember having a roll of film in our camera for a couple of years. I depended on my mom to make most of the pictures for us.
The pictures on this layout were taken with a Brownie. While I am used to taking group pictures and then photoshopping myself into them, my dad just tied a string to the shutter and pulled to get this family photo. It may have been primitive, but it worked and I now have this picture, with Dad's hand written words on the back, telling how he took it.
Memories are flooding into my head as I do one page after another for my next book, one on my childhood. And yes, Ron, someone does want it when I'm gone. So please see that Chelle gets it.
Please pray for all those involved in any way with the horrendous tragedy in Japan and the consequent tsunami in Hawaii.
There is so much suffering in the world today. I often wonder if we are going into the last days that God promised would happen before He comes again.
Thursday, March 10, 2011
Just got in the door from seeing Shrek, the play. Was not really impressed with it. The amount of money and fame it has gotten worldwide shows that I am not in sync with most.
I prefer nature. Here are some of the beautiful natural sites I saw on Sanibel Island.
Wednesday, March 9, 2011
Antiques and Junque
Jane has a sign on her kitchen wall: ANTIQUES & JUNQUE. It humorously describes her style of decorating, which invites ones eyes to travel into every nook and cranny, as well as to every shelf etc.
It is very interesting and changes drastically from season to season... and sometimes week to week.
It just seemed to accurately describe this layout. Not that all our life group members are old. They are not, but our birthday boy, Ron (once a Marine always...) here in the dunce cap is really getting up there. He's at a stage where one would need 3 or 4 cakes to light enough candles.
His wife, not wanting to take the chance of a house fire, brought a special candle back with her from China for this occasion. The middle of the three smaller pictures shows the terrific flame on that wondrous candle, which began to play Happy Birthday over and over again until we had all had enough. Phyllis had warned us that one of her friends had to take hers out in the back yard and bury it to keep from hearing it's tinny version of the birthday song.
Of course none of us believed that tale...until after it had been thrown in a closed trash can on the far side of the kitchen and we could still hear it over our conversation. Then Jeff took it out to a can in the garage...and we still could hear it. Then Jeff stomped on it and threw it away. It revived itself. Jeff stomped it once more. It kept playing! After he stomped it the third time to no avail, he had the presence of mind to dismantle it piece by piece and disconnect the wires. Success!
Speaking of disconnecting the wires. We are counting on the Tea Party to do just that for us right now.
I suppose you can tell you are only seeing a portion of the layout. You must click on it to see the whole thing.
Tuesday, March 8, 2011
My mom managed to go to extremes when she took my picture in the snow without a coat and then another one that perhaps inspired the movie "A Christmas Story". After all, it did come out of Cleveland, which was not far away. If you've seen the movie, you'll know what I mean. If not, the little brother in the film had so many clothes on to keep him warm that he couldn't drop his arms to his side. I would have been sure they got the theme from me if I had just stuck my tongue to the barrel in the background.
You may or may not think that interesting, but I believe you would have paid close attention had you been with us this evening. We were blessed to be invited to meet an ex Muslim at a friend's home. He speaks 5 languages and was born of a Hindu mother and Muslim father. He converted to Christianity when he was 18. He convinced me of what I had suspected, there are no Moderate Muslims the way they are defined here in the states. The Koran reads that they should kill all infidels. He said that if we were to talk to one, they would tell us that we should read the Arabic, that the English version we were reading is wrong. But, since this man was Muslim and speaks and reads Arabic, he knows it reads the same way...Kill the infidel.
He believes that Muslims who do convert (there are many converting yearly all over the world) are attracted to the love of Christians and a loving God. So remember everyone, "Love one another as I (Christ) have loved you." John 13:34.
Monday, March 7, 2011
What's wrong with a person who has plenty of beautiful places and things to capture and ops to take a picture of her own reflection in her laptop? Is there a name for it?
I'm praying she recovers before tomorrow night.
Sunday, March 6, 2011
Zoey the Dog
I could easily spoil this dog, Zoey. She is a real sweetheart and she can really communicate her wishes.
I found out she likes ice water. Of course when she sniffed at my cup, I gave her a little...but she didn't want it in her bowl...OH NO. She wanted it from my cup, so naturally I let her drink from my cup. She was a happy little one. She drank and drank and drank. I'm hoping she doesn't pull this on her master now that she has had that cool taste. I wonder what will happen when it gets closer to summer down there in Florida. I think Robin will not understand why Zoey starts asking for me.
Saturday, March 5, 2011
While in Florida we were dealing with one car that had to be used by Robin's family as well as us girls. The evening we had decided to visit The Green Flash Restaurant on Captiva Island the car had to go to the airport as well. So we opted to be dropped off fairly early. When we arrived, we quickly realized it was much cooler there because of a very cool breeze. Naturally I, being the most sensitive to cold, did not bring my jacket. While Robin got our names in, for we knew there would be a long line, three of us walked up the street in search of a jacket . We were very lucky to go into the first shop we found. Although it did not really carry clothing (They sold parasailing trips,etc.) they had one style of sweatshirt...very big ones. It read YOLO. I was pretty desperate and it was nice and warm, so I bought it and put it on before I left the shop. When several people complimented me on my shirt right away, I started wondering why...was it because YOLO meant something I wouldn't want to be wearing??? I didn't find out until I got back to Ohio and googled it. Thank goodness, it only means "You only live once."
Perhaps they thought I had been wind surfing or something else daring.
One does just live once and that is why many now have their bucket lists of things they want to do before they die.
We in the states are relatively safe from losing our lives too early unless we run with the wrong crowd and participate in criminal activity, so some have long lists.
In some parts of the world, however, there is constant danger. Take Afghanistan, for example. But would you believe that a much, much worse place to be is right across our southern border in Juarez, Mexico? It's true!
Per capita, a person was 30 times more likely to be murdered in Juarez than in Afghanistan in 2010.
Knowing this makes one wonder why our government can continue refusing to secure our borders. Does it not trouble you?
Friday, March 4, 2011
We love Sanibel Island, especially this area that is so familiar to us all. The lighthouse is near Robin's condo that is for sale and her home where she now lives. It is near the Lighthouse Cafe where we like to have breakfast. It makes it easy to walk both the sheltered side of the island and the other side where the waves roll in over the sand. We can both dig our feet into the white sand on one side and gather a multitude of shells on the other.
This piece of driftwood is the most lovely I've seen. It makes a perfect prop for a group picture. Wish we had all our girlfriends here for this very special photo shoot.
Watched part of the Dr Phil show for the first time ever tonight. His 'guests' were Kelly Williams-Bolar, the lady in our state who put her children in the wrong school district to "keep them safe", Al Sharpton, who came to Ohio to take advantage of the woman's problem, a single mom who lived in the Copley-Fairlawn district who made much less money than does Ms. Bolar and managed to buy a house in the area so her kids could go to school there, and Bob Dyer, a newspaper reporter who took the side of the people against those who try to buck the system.
Ms. Bolar was one of numerous people who were caught 'stealing' money from other students by sending her two daughters to a school district in which they did not live and pay taxes.
She refused to pay the price and was sent to prison for falsifing records. Ohio law reads that is a crime punishable as a felony. She was not treated differently than anyone else would have been. However, she just served 9 days of her term and was then freed. I would think that 9 days would be an easy penalty to pay for lying and refusing to pay the thousands of dollars she owed the school.
As a people, we must learn to love one another and that includes not taking what belongs to another. That is one of the 10 commandments.
Thursday, March 3, 2011
Moving the Furniture
Caleb is in training. He is moving the furniture. What a guy. He could be very helpful some day, but right now, he is not always choosing the best location for his stool. One day his dad ran upstairs and when he came back a few minutes later, Caleb had piled lots of things against the front door.
Wish we had taken him for a haircut while we were there...just because I found these pictures of his dad,John, when he was 12 months old and one of them is of his first haircut.
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
Encouragement for the Day
This is my 4th birthday picture. The studio picture was in sepia tone. Years later, when my mother started 'coloring' photos, she made a copy and painted it. She was quite good and worked for what we considered the best studio in town. I have lots of her work and appreciate each one.
At 37, I started art lessons. Her talent had been my inspiration and she was my encouragement.
A friend of ours writes a letter of encouragement each day to his daughter. He first started sending it to my husband. After I read it a few times, I asked if he would send it to me as well and if I could forward it on to others. I did that and now he has given me permission to put it on this blog today. He is working on his own web-site and should have it online soon.
I really want to share this one with you. It is well done and timely.
Nehemiah 2:17 (2nd March 2011)“Then I said to them, ‘ You see the trouble we are in: Jerusalem lies in ruins, and its gates have been burned with fire. Come, let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem, and we will no longer be in disgrace.”On my way home from Florida, I read an article about thirty-two year-old Philip Cooley, an unusual businessman. Ten years ago he moved away from his hometown of Marysville, Michigan, a small town near Port Huron, Michigan, to pursue a modeling career. He lived in glamorous cities like Milan, Paris, Tokyo, and Barcelona. He worked for such labels as Louis Vuitton. The lifestyle had its perks, but there was a longing to do something bigger with his life.Away from Michigan, he read all the stories about the condition of the state. He believes the state and even the city of Detroit will someday make a comeback. He wants to be a part of that comeback. So, he moved back to Michigan – not back to his sleepy hometown, but to the city with the biggest challenge – Detroit.He opened Slows Bar BQ in the Corktown district of downtown Detroit. All around his business is evidence of decay, even the site where Tiger Stadium was demolished. In spite of the challenge there, he says, “Entrepreneurs who go into areas where other people aren’t don’t see what’s there. They see what it could be.” He built a business and got involved in rebuilding his part of the city. It’s working. New businesses are following his wildly successful restaurant. Abandoned buildings are being occupied. Trees are being planted. His dream is being shared and embraced. He is now working with the city officials on developing a master plan to rebuild the entire city. Corktown is seeing signs of life again.Nehemiah was a broken man about the conditions of his city in ruins, Jerusalem. Like Detroit, Jerusalem had seen much better days, but sin and neglect brought it down. Nehemiah asked Yahweh for a chance to go back and rebuild, and the Lord favored him with that opportunity. There was fierce opposition, but the leadership of one man led to the revival of a great city.The Roman Empire fell in love with Christians by the fourth century because believers were rebuilders. The empire was in collapse and believers everywhere saw it as an opportunity to bring honor to Jesus. They did so one life, one block, one city at a time. When babies were left in fields to die, Christians raised them. When prostitutes turned old and were rejected at the pagan temples, Christians made room for them in their homes. When the empire turned its back on the disadvantaged, it was Christians who stepped-up. When believers honor Christ with rebuilding what is broken, the culture will respond with respect. That respect will allow hearts to be receptive to the saving message of Jesus!America is definitely in a power-down cycle for now. We can use our energies blaming one another for the decline or we can ask God to use us to rebuild our culture one life, one block, one city at a time. Politicians are not the answer; we are answer! What can you ask God to help you do to be a part of the rebuilding project? Somebody's honor is at stake!Jim Chilton
Tuesday, March 1, 2011
One of the very special things about visiting Robin is that her love of nature is contagious. She whets my appetite for learning about plant life as well as animals. This gorgeous tree stands in front of her house to the left of the driveway. I'm sure we were told the species name and all about it. I am interested, but I was learning so much that I just couldn't retain it all.
While we were there, we learned about the wolf spider that builds large long tunnels, one of which ran under Robin's house. We learned that these spiders are loved by some because they kill many unpleasant pests, both insects and very small vertebrates like amphibians and reptiles. When they vacate those tunnels, other animals move into them. What struck me the most is the many varieties of snakes that might now live in that space beneath the house.
I am much less than comfortable talking about these creatures, but Robin assures us they are part of the natural system God designed and they should be respected. Well, I am not one to go out hunting them and I would be sure to exit quickly any area that one occupied. I can't say that I love or respect them, but since I will be as far away from them as possible, I won't do them any harm.
I wish I could remember what we were told about the animals that take up residence in the spider tunnels once they have been vacated by the eight legged creatures. I googled to see if I could find the info, but was not able to come up with it quickly. All I remember for sure was that a very large number of snakes are among the icky things that use those old tunnels for hiding places. I'm not sure which creep me out the most, spiders or snakes. No wait, I do. If I had to walk toward either a snake or a spider, it would definitely be the spider. Yikes what kind of a blog is this anyway. The subject matter is in the pits.
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