Tuesday, September 8, 2015

I Can Make it Better

I've heard that one should never redo a layout. It is time consuming and one should just go on to the next layout. However, that is just not me. I save my pages for my next book in a folder. Whenever I make a new layout, if goes directly in that folder.  Then each time I open the folder, I can see all the layouts I've done for the book. After I've glanced at one a few times and think, it is just not right, I must FIX it. So I do. I'm always happier when I think I've done my best.

Two of the layouts  I've posted in the last month have been augmented and I am reposting them now.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Dashing and Bold

One thing about Chinese meals...they have a fortune cookie each time. Here is Mason holding his...Dashing and Bold. Yes, it fits you, Mason.

I'm  pretty bold these days myself. I'm talking to anyone and everyone about the next election. I really want to know all I can about the candidates. I'm reading and reading. I'm watching their speeches and analyzing them.  Some candidates are surprising me. Some are disappointing.   I will be commenting here from time to time. Stay tuned.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Our Little Model

If this looks like a model, it is because he is. At least, he models for us all the time. He tries so hard that sometimes his smile looks a little fake. But not here. This is our grandson and he can model for us any time he wants. These pictures were taken at Hale Farm and Village in July.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Strawberry Patch

These pictures were taken yesterday as the boys, Caleb and Oliver, picked strawberries. Knowing their mother, I'm sure they will be very happy to eat all the wonderful things she makes with those juicy berries.

By the way, I failed to say that yesterday was Ron's and my anniversary. We've been married 48 years and we are so glad when we think of all our children and grandchildren. What blessings they are to us.

It was also National Dog Day. We didn't know it at the time, but we gave our Maggie a bath, not a way she would have chosen to celebrate the big day.

I hope all of you are paying close attention to the election preparations for the big change in 2016. If we don't get out the vote of all the people who have just given up because they can't see any difference in the parties, we will cease to be a free nation. We have some wonderful candidates who have the knowledge and skill to make the changes necessary to get this nation back on the right road and a great nation once again.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015


Aussie has been practicing his Rubik's Cubes and more for quite some time now. He competed in two or three competitions this summer. Here he is in Atlanta. He came home with two wins...a first place in the 6x6x6 sf 3rd place in the 7x7x7. We are very proud of his accomplishment.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

First Day of Kindergarten

This layout doesn't do these pictures justice, but I'm tired but still wanted to get something posted tonight about Caleb's first day of kindergarten.  It was a full day and he did well.

Love you, Caleb.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Family Values

Mommy, Daddy, Caleb and Oliver visited the Denver Zoo in April...Boy the time has gone fast. Here it is near the end of August. School classes are starting across the country. Caleb starts school for the first time tomorrow. I'm anxious for him to meet new friends. I am praying he will make good choices. I am praying his teacher is not only a believer, but active in her Christian faith. I am praying that their good family values will be upheld in the classroom.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

At the Neighborhood Beach

Well school has started in Tennessee and the triplets are back to classes. Algebra challenges and there isn't as much free time. But summer was great and the kids made  good use of the beach near-by.

Here they are with a couple of friends in July.

Saturday, August 22, 2015


First, I am posting this picture of our youngest grandson who visited here in July with his family. It was hard to choose a layout, since I have not been posting  to this blog for a long time. I'm hoping to get back to a regular routine. I would like to make a commitment, but am a little afraid to do so just yet.  I have lots and lots of layouts to share. I am happy that I just happened to think of the song, I Want to Make the World Turn Around  by Steve Miller. It is a wonderful song and goes well with these pictures of Oliver and our globe.

The word commitment can be used in more than one way. To tell the truth, I don't want to be committed...to a mental hospital. ;) The word commitment is generally one that lacks meaning to many people in today's world. It is one that we need to step back and  study  more deeply.

I received this newsletter several days ago from Rick Warren. I kept it because I wanted to know what it said., but I didn't have the time to commit to it that day. I just now read it and it is very meaningful to me. Ron and I may be celebrating our 48th anniversary this next week and I can relate. It has not always been perfect, but we have been committed. all along. Thank God.

I am copying  the whole letter here. Hopefully it will mean a lot to you and you will be able to relate in some way.

To Make a Connection, make a Commitment

By Rick Warren — Aug 18, 2015
Devotional image from Rick Warren
“A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” (Proverbs 18:24 ESV)
Good relationships don’t happen by accident. They take cultivation, work, and a lot of time. That requires commitment!
I cannot count the number of times that my wife Kay and I have felt like walking out of our marriage, particularly in the early years. There were so many times we thought, “This is not worth it. We’re so different. This marriage could never work.” 
But we didn’t walk out. Why? Because we’d made a commitment. We took a vow — “Till death do us part” — not just to each other but also to God. So we said, “We’re going to keep this commitment even if it kills us.” And it nearly did! There have been times in our marriage that the only thing that kept us together was that commitment — not love or interest but simply the commitment we made to God. I am so glad that we did not give up. Today, my wife is my best friend, and I cannot imagine my life without her. 
The Bible says in Proverbs 18:24, “A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother” (ESV).
Did you know that your socializing can keep you from having deep relationships? You can be so busy networking, contacting, socializing, and making acquaintances that you never give the time and energy and effort it takes to cultivate the deep, satisfying intimacy of a good friend or a good wife or a good husband. 
It’s not wrong to have a lot of acquaintances, but they can keep you so busy that you don’t develop any vital, close relationships. You don’t need a lot of friends to make it in this world, but you do need a few good ones. You need to focus on quality, not quantity. Your acquaintances — your hundreds of Facebook “friends” and Instagram followers — aren’t necessarily going to be there when you need them. But the friends you are truly connected and committed to will.
Every important, close connection begins with a commitment. If you want to get beyond shallow, superficial relationships, you’ve got to be willing to stick with it.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Do We Have to Be Serious?

I haven't had as much time to do my scrapbooking as I would like and then when I did get time, I got a creative block. Nothing was coming together to my satisfaction. But today after some rest, I sat down and just had some fun.

In the top picture, I found two photos that were taken at the same place as the big duck. However, I really don't know what the conversation was about or what was going through their minds. It was fun to 'put words in their mouths' though.   

Sometimes it is a challenge to get a group picture.  In the bottom picture, we didn't have a tripod handy, so we  tried to arrange us so that I could photoshop myself into the picture later. We took several pictures, but the one with me in it had our hands on our hips. If I had photoshopped me into the picture, my elbow would have presented a problem, so I ended up not being in the group picture. 

Like the sign says, life would be boring without us.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Friends Through Thick and Through Thin

Here is the whole clan. It is the Ohio contingency and Texas, minus one, who remained in Ohio after returning from Florida a few days before.  We missed her, but we have learned to carry on through hardships like that.  

We are girlfriends through thick and thin. Some of us, me being the worst example, have gained weight since last year, so I'm thicker  and of course one who has lost and is now thinner: Thick and  Thin.

We are girlfriends. We are happy, and that is all that matters. 

Well actually, there are many things  that matter to us...just ask us!

Saturday, May 23, 2015

White Sand

Well, so much for being in gear tonight.  Today was filled with manual labor, or more precisely, weeding. I way overdid it and drained my brain in the sun.

I have another layout from our recent trip to Florida ,where we got to visit the beach with the whitest of white sands.  This picture just doesn't show how very beautiful it was and is always.  But it does feature some of the 'girls' who were there.  Two were enjoying their umbrellas a little too much and missed this shot. 

In case you've missed it, ORU does NOT stand for Oral Roberts University here, but for Opinions R Us. With two divisions, the founding one in Ohio and the other in Texas, ORU chose Florida as a reunion convention site and a special celebration for Sali, our dear member and friend who this past year, lived bravely through chemo and radiation. We were extremely happy to celebrate  completion of treatment with her.

Although Sali was shading herself at the time this picture was taken, she was in the group picture that appeared on this blog yesterday.

I'm bowing out now before I collapse on my keyboard.  Good night and God bless you all.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Watercolor, Cerulean Park

It's been 10 days since I've posted.    It has been a very busy 10 days filled with  photo snapping opportunities. Eventually I'll post a few of them.  But tonight, I'm adding a group photo from the trip we 'girls' made to Watercolor, Florida earlier in May. 

I like to tie my layouts in with  comments about the times, but I'm brain dead tonight and will avoid writing something outlandish.   Maybe I'll be back in gear by tomorrow evening.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Dirt Magnet

I imagine you are expecting to see a picture of one of our young grandsons. But no. I'm here to tell you that my husband loves dirt as much as the next kid. And the problem with a sewer pipe gave him the chance to dig a hole. (I teased him about digging my grave since it looked about the right size.)

While he is digging and dragging dirt around everywhere, I am trying to clear it out of the house. As hard as I try, it seems it is never all gone. But then it isn't anywhere as bad as Washington D.C.  Wow. We might save our country if we were able to clear all the offices there of dirt.

Off the subject...it was the final show in the 14th season of American Idol tonight. I could hardly wait to see it, since we knew Clark Beckham. We've been watching and voting for him each week. It was a  bit disappointing to see him come in second.  But we do believe he will go on and do well.

Next season will be the last for the show. It has had a nice long run, but there are other similar shows now in the limelight. I will miss it, since it is practically all I watch, but I'm sure I'll like one of the other shows of its kind when this one is over.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

123 Look at Me

More often than not these days, I'm wearing out before I can accomplish all I want to get done and I just give it up and go to bed, granted it is still seldom before midnight. The thing is, I am not getting done in a days time all I want to do! I have to trim items from my list, or the list gets longer and longer day by day.

I was only able to do one page today and this is it. Oliver was at the park and climbed up on a turtle to ride. I love his pleasant look.  He seems pretty happy up there.

We already have a train wreck in Washington, DC; and now there has been one in Philadelphia. I pray for all those who are affected by this latest train wreck.  May God bless this country and may we try to serve Him in a way that produces good.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Bed Head

This is our little Ava, sweet as can be.  I've never seen anyone so cute with a bed head.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Easter Colors

This year, I acquired a new Easter kit with really pretty pastel colors. I was anxious to use it; but the pictures I got were all boys and they were boy colors as well.  I was disappointed that I couldn't use that collection, but so glad to get these pictures. I just sat down with love in mind. There is no continuity, but I am happy with each one, individually.

I doubt if anyone could describe my style, unless it would be with the word, RANDOM.  That is me. I choose what pictures  I want to use and just start to work without any plan at all, in most cases. I am as surprised as anyone else is with how it turns out. That is creativity for you.

Love these boys and enjoy seeing their little adventures.

I will be off line for a few days, but should be back to my random ways next week.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Just One Question

Ava just has one question for us, but it is a good one. Of course when you answer, remember to whom you are talking. She is our great granddaughter; so watch your step.

This has been a special week, and a very special day at our house. And on top of that, it has been a special day for our country. I truly believe that God has sent  us our Moses. He is just the man who can hold this country together, fix our economy and health system. He is a godly man who is a great achiever in many ways. His name is Ben Carson.  Dr. Ben Carson announced today that he is contending for the head of the Republican ticket...because it is the common sense party. If you can possibly get hold of his speech today, read it. He is an amazing man who is willing to step up to the bat, not as a politician, but as a problem solver, not for the glory...but to save our great country.

God bless America.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Mario/ Apple

I'm not in the know about this. I did try to read up on it, but got lost. It seems there was some type of disagreement between Mario, the app and Apple, the Computer.  Somehow, Apple was making it hard on the little guy. Did they not want him on their iMachines? I really don't know. Even after reading. I'm not sure if it has been resolved.  However, I do know that whenever Mason goes to the Apple store, he makes a statement about the whole thing, by wearing Marion  pants.

I'm looking forward to seeing the triplets and their mom and dad soon. It's been way too long since we've been together.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

First Hair Cut

Oliver got his hair cut for the first time. It was good to have Caleb get one as well. He was a good role model for how Oliver should act. They both did well. The hairdresser/barber praised Caleb for being so good in her chair. I am proud of them both. And look how good they look with those new haircuts.

Please pray for the Supreme Court and it's decision on gay marriage. Pray that God will lead the decision and keep  our churches free from governmental control.

Friday, May 1, 2015

What Do I Do with My Time?

I missed posting last night because I was too tired. I almost did the same tonight, but decided I'd just do it quickly.

I got a new collection from Digital Scrapper today. In order to get a few extra pieces, I had to make a layout using the kit and post it on their site. This is the page I did using Grandma's Sewing Room and stacking a few of the papers, as instructed by Syndee Nuckles of Scrapgirls.com, before framing the picture and adding a couple of elements. It was quickly done and I'm enjoying it.

Now, would someone explain to me why I couldn't just keep going once I finished  this layout. I was on the computer much of the day. I could have finished 8 layouts in the time I spent here at my desk.

Okay, I know where the time is going. I am repenting of that...wasting so very much time when I have lots and lots of pictures waiting  to be made into digital layouts.  I was reading FaceBook. I get carried away by everyone's posts. I hit Like Like Like over and over. I really do Like to do that! Then while I'm reading, I get notices that it is my turn to play a word on Words With Friends. So what is a woman to do?  Should I be social or antisocial and get my work done?  Well we both know what the mature person would do...

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Loving You 4 Ever

We  love and will love 4 ever all our grandkids, but it is Oliver's turn  to be on this blog. He is a happy little boy and has made a perfect model for photos lately. Here he is at the Science Museum in his home town. It is one of their favorite locations and is handy, so they go there fairly often.  The second layout, also from the Science Museum features Oliver and Caleb in the Sound Booths. I love how the pictures were taken in a way that they look like double exposures with the reflections in the glass that separated the boys in their booths.

This coming weekend will be a very busy one in this household, especially here at my computer.  It is National Digital Scrapbooking Day. There will be activities with lots of groups all over the web on that day. I wish I could participate in all the challenges, but I must think rationally. The more 'games' I play , the less I will accomplish, and I have many, many pictures of recent snapshoots that I want to put into layouts.  I also have many from the past that I really want to make into books. There just isn't enough time in my days.

May the Lord bless you and keep you.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Dance Class

I don't know how much these girls practice. I haven't seen them dance, but they sure are cute.
Our granddaughter, Ashley is with her friend, Hannah on the  right end as you see them there.

I  don't know how to tie this piece in with the picture, so I'll just have to jump to another subject. It is a broad jump, so hang on...

I was so impressed by Max Lucado's UpWords today, that I'm copying the whole thing for you. Of course, it isn't long. He says a lot in few words.  Here it is:

No Deception

A woman stands before judge and jury, one hand on the Bible, the other in the air, and makes a pledge: to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.  She's a witness. Her job is to tell the truth.

The Christian, too, is a witness.  We, too, make a pledge to tell the truth.  The bench may be absent, the judge seen, but the Bible in present, the watching world the jury, and we're the primary witnesses- subpoenaed by no less than Jesus himself in Acrs 1:8. "You will be my witnesses, in all of Judea, in Samaria, and in every part of the world."

The witness in court eventually steps down from the witness chair,  but the witness for Christ never does.  The claims of Christ are always on trial, and we remain under oath!

A shorter version: Always tell the truth.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Comfy @ the Farm

I thrills me to see this little grandson of ours enjoying the farm and all that goes on there so much.
He seems to be a natural for farm life. It is a life of hard work, but it is a wonderful place to be if it protects you from this world, as crazy as it has become...especially in the last 7 years.

But as hard as one might try to escape the ramifications of the present administration's actions, there is really no where to go. These liberals are managing to take away freedom like we could have ever imagined. Everything will soon be regulated by the government...everything.

I wish he had been born many years ago, when our country was a true republic and freedom was a right instead of all the things people want to say are their rights now.

I pray he will be able to keep that smile in the years to come. May God bless him and protect him. I pray that prayer for all our grandchildren.

Saturday, April 25, 2015


There is sooooo much that could be said about Shaquille O'neal. He certainly has name recognition.
Everybody knows Shaq.

Since sports is not one of my interests, I couldn't do him justice. I did google him though and am very impressed.

One thing bothers me a bit. He claims he is Muslim, Jewish, Buddhist, everything...because he is a people person.

I contend that a people person should be a Christian. The main things our God has asked us to do is to love God with all our hearts and love our fellow man as we love ourselves. That is the perfect definition of a people person.  I know he doesn't want to offend anyone. but there may come a time when he decides he doesn't want to offend God. I pray at that time he will call on our father in heaven and commit himself to a life of service to our king.

Oh, and I might say something about my layout as well.  Our son, Tim, sells cars in Florida. On the day these pictures were taken, he had sold Shaq a very special car...a very fast one...a Hellcat, for his son.

A people person he is, well both of them are. He entertained the whole troop at the car dealership and posed for pictures.

I never really knew how short Tim is until I saw him by Shaquille O'Neal. lol

Friday, April 24, 2015

You Have a Brain

The story of these layouts is written on the first one. It was a successful trip for Greg and Aussie to Kansas for the Lawrence Spring Rubik's Cube competition. Aussie did well and made many new friends. We are very proud of him for putting his brain to use.

Which leads me to tell you about the book I've been reading by Dr Ben Carson, called, You Have a Brain.  

I've been very impressed by Dr Carson, since I saw the movie, Gifted Hands.  I then read, One Nation. That led me to the  present book. I suppose when I finish this one, I'll read another one of his books. He is a fascinating man, who was raised in a poor household supported by his single mother.

I would recommend these books to all. They are very inspiring. In You Have a Brain Dr Carson contends that we all have very powerful, yet individual brains. I am hoping to give a copy of it to Aussie soon and would hope that all my grandchildren would some day read it.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

They are Watching

It seems that I have a new admirer. At least he likes to climb the pole to the dinner bell outside my window. He seems to be peering in at me. Actually, the window is one way. I can see him, but he sees only himself, so he isn't watching me at all.

And speaking of watching. Who is watching you? Are you being a good example? Or might you cause someone to stumble?  

I read my morning newsletter by Max Lucado today.  I'm paraphrasing the first part of what he had to say. If someone is seeking a better way of life, will they find it in you? Will they see your joy, or might they see boredom?  

The next part, I've copied for you here:

"As long as I’m getting personal—parents, what are your children learning from your worship? Do they see the same excitement as when you go to a baseball game? Do they see you hungry to see the face of your Father? Or do they see you content to leave the way you came? They’re watching. Believe me…they are watching! May I urge you to be just like Jesus…and prepare your heart for worship. "   Max Lucado

God bless you all.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Do You Want to Be Liked?

Do you want to be liked by other people? Here’s the big secret: Like them. That’s it. If you like people, guess what? They’re going to like you. If you don’t like people, they’re not going to like you. To be likeable you just have to like people. You have to genuinely enjoy them. You have to choose to be interested in others and think less about yourself. Rick Warren

See the smile on Brittanie's face? She is a good example of a likable  person.  And I can see it emerging in Ava as well.  

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

John and Caleb at Gateway Natural Area

Psalm 46:10 says, “Be still and know that I am God.” Imagine considering every moment as a potential time of communion with God. Try being silent with God.

I can't think of a better place to do that than here beside the still water.

Monday, April 20, 2015

I've Got the Music in Me

I'm getting more pictures of Oliver right now than anyone else.  I'm surely not complaining. It is fun to see what the little ones are doing.

I love this one song from years ago, one whose lyrics are wholesome. It's one I wouldn't mind him singing.

Today, in my inbox was a weekly email from Lifeway Christian Stores, called nourish weekly morsel.  I read so much dreadful news each day, that I welcome a happy story. Think you might like it as well, so I'm copying it here for you.

Watch & Learn
I walked into First Baptist College Station that night during my senior year of college with low expectations. I'd grown up in church and had been really involved in my church youth group once upon a time. I knew all the "right" Christian answers, but I'd fallen so far away from all that that I felt like I was too far gone. God couldn't possibly want me now.
We sat toward the back of the sanctuary, and I remember two things as vividly as if they happened yesterday. The first was that the minute the worship leader began to sing, I began to cry. Like ugly cry. The second thing was that a young guy named Gregg Matte walked onstage and began to talk about how we are called to be children of God and to shine like stars in the universe. (That happens to be in Philippians 2, by the way.) But more than that, he talked about grace and mercy and how God loves more than we could ever imagine. I don't know that it was the first time I'd really heard about God's grace and love, but it was without a doubt the first time I really grabbed hold of it and decided not to let go. It was the beginning of something real for me.
Pull quoteOver the next few months I became friends with a bunch of people who were actively involved with the church's college group. They were unlike any group of people I'd ever known. They talked openly about their faith and made decisions based on what they felt God was calling them to do. I loved spending time with them because, without even realizing it, they were challenging me to be the person God intended me to be and to quit settling for less. They showed me that being a Christian didn't mean I had to spend all my time in prayer meetings and playing miniature golf like I'd done in high school youth group, which was very important to me, because you want to die of boredom? Go play a round of miniature golf.
By watching these people live their lives, I learned what it means to seek God's will for your life. I'd heard people talk about it, but I'd never seen it in action. Especially not with people my age.
Pull quoteIt was also during this time that I picked up Max Lucado's book No Wonder They Call Him the Saviorand began to read it. His account of the Prodigal Son rocked everything I'd convinced myself to be true about how God felt about me. I had never before understood how much God loved me, how much he wanted me, and how his grace completely covered every mistake I had made. There's a line in that book that sticks with me even to this day about how God looks at us and says, "Whatever you have done, whatever you have become, it doesn't matter. Please come home."
So I came home.
And God, in return, lavished me with a scandalous amount of grace as he not only filled my life with wonderful new friends who encouraged me and loved me but also brought my best friend, Gulley, right along with me as she began to develop a real relationship with God too. We fumbled our way through this journey together as we encouraged each other, prayed for each other, and found ourselves standing on solid ground for the first time in a long a time. Maybe the first time ever.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Hiking with the 'Girls'

April 3 I posted a layout of Maggie and me titled, Take a Hike. The pictures were taken on March 16 of this year. I finally finished the two layouts that go with the first one.  At that rate, one would figure that I will never be able to finish another book...but I'm well on the way now.  86 of the 100 layouts needed have been completed. So, it shouldn't be long now.

I certainly do not expect victory when I'm trying to get my dog to do something she does not want to do.  Actually, most of the time I win, but not always. 

I do not mean to make a practice of this, but I really like this short piece on Victory by James Chilton.
I wish everyone could read it.

Victory Knows Three Words

By James Chilton on Apr 13, 2015 12:00 am
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“You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, 
because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is 
in the world” (I John 4:4, NIV).
Jesus won!  And He lives in us!  I Corinthians 15:47-58 clearly says 
we have been given the victory in Christ.
Victory knows three words:
Challenge.  We will be hit by the enemy.  The evil one challenges 
us because he wants us to forget that we have authority in Christ.  
In Christ we accept this challenge because we know the outcome.
Choice.  We will have to make a choice when challenged.  The 
devil will always try to convince us that we don’t have options.  A 
believer must make the choice of a victor.
Change.  When we make the choice of a victor, we will experience 
change.  We feel more confident because we are allowing Christ to 
be in control.
Embracing these three concepts will remind us that Someone is living 
inside us right now, and He’s greater than anything the evil one can 
throw in our path.

Thanks, Jim!

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Ashley and Hannah

Our granddaughter Ashley and her friend Hannah enjoy each others' company on opening night of one of their plays.

Brandy Murray of Scrapgirls.com gave out a freebie a couple of days ago. I just happened to have these pictures of the girls that I thought might go well with it. I didn't have any idea how well, until I opened them both in Photoshop Elements and noticed I could not have done better to match the colors or mood in the first picture at the top.

The freebie was 12x12, but I do 8x10 size, so I added another aqua print, which is also a Scrapgirls product from the collection called ChicInstinct by Angie Briggs.

I love both Angie and Brandy. After spending some time with them several years ago in Utah, when I went 2 different years to what I call the Scrapgirls Convention., I've tried to keep up with them on social media.  It is a pleasure to use their excellent products.

If you like this, check them out here

Friday, April 17, 2015

Oliver Has a Friend

These pictures are so cute. Of course here I am hundreds of miles away, but I just have to read into these expressions. The little girl can't be much older than Oliver, yet it seems her mothering instinct has kicked in as they interact.  Quite cute.

If we could all return to the innocence of  our childhoods, life would be easier.

I have posted James Chilton's encouragement letters before and today I find it so interesting that I'm doing that again.  

We Can't Envy What's Destroying Our Culture

By James Chilton on Apr 17, 2015 12:00 am
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“And do this, understanding the present times.  The hour has come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed” (Romans 13:11, NIV).
These are crazy times.  Americans are the envy of the world, and yet we are #1 in abortion, divorce, unwed mothers, murder, rape, and violent crimes!  America has the best of everything plus callousness, coarseness, and cynicism.  It takes wisdom to understand “the present times.”
And just when we need the church to step up to help some 3,500 – 4,000 churches close their doors every year in America.  Membership has been declining.  It is obvious the church in America is not understanding something about the times. 
The clan of Issachar (I Chronicles 12:23-32) would look at the terrain and say it’s time to get back to basic values.  Behavior is what we do, and values is why we do it.  David’s army was successful because the goal was to honor the Lord and others, not self.  Discipline was chosen over indulgence, commitment over choice, obligation over entitlement, and saving over spending. 
Paul is right on:  “The hour has come” for us to wake up from our slumber.  “Salvation” or deliverance is nearer than we can imagine.  Proper posturing begins by desiring what is wholesome and stop envying what is destroying our culture.  It's a great day to ask our Father for the divine appetite for goodness.     
I love You!