Marina awarded the "Blog of Distinction" award. I am humbled by her words that I bless her. I confess all I do is by God's grace and the Lord deserves all the glory!
I desire to pass this blessing on to others of you who bless me in so many ways. If you are on the blog roll, please consider yourself awarded--please accept it and bless others too.
Specifically I want to mention the following ladies who bless me by the posts that reveal themselves yet always point to Christ who lives in them.
Love to you all!
Blessings in Christ--
P.S. I hope to be back visiting blogs and posting personal devotions again soon. Life has been like a run away train for me with all the activities taking place in my family--high school graduation, out of town guests, anniversary, baseball and more baseball. Did I mention baseball? :)
Sunday, June 29, 2008
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
My husband & I spent our 20th anniversary in the Texas Hill country. We spent time alone away from kids, jobs, to-do lists, and baseball.
First we rented a cabin on the Guadalupe River. We went kayaking down the river. The water was slow and low. A few places we had to carry the kayak over the rocks, but most of the time it was great. We had a picnic on a rock under a cypress tree. I took a disposable camera on this trip as I didn’t want to risk damage to the digital camera. I’ll post a picture when I get it back.
We drove into the city of San Marcos. We went to a dry form cave that is on the only fault line in Texas. We went to see where the springs come out of the aquifer. We also went to the outlet stores. (I’ll touch on this later.) We enjoyed a great dinner on the San Marcos River.
ENCHANTED ROCK STATE PARK
We booked a rock climbing excursion. I recently completed a Bible Study by Angela Thomas called “Do You Think I’m Beautiful.” In this study we faced a segment on fear. “Perfect love cast out fear.” She asked, “What thing would you do if you had no fear?” I told my husband I wanted to have an adventure activity on this trip to overcome fear. So we went rock climbing. It was an adventure. I confess; I felt afraid. I did it anyway—afraid. I climbed the first climb. Then repelled from another rock. On the second climb, it was the most difficult. I almost had an anxiety attack as I could not cross over a large crag on the way down. I looked down from the where I hung from the rope and saw the depth. Flashes of scenes from “Cliffhanger” went through my mind. My sweet guide, Cheri, talked me through every step to get my feet to safety. I was shook up, but safe. Then after a break, I climbed another cliff and did great!! It feels so good to conquer fear!!
Well country folks who grew up with Country & Western music cant be in the Texas Hill Country without going to Luckenbach, Texas—the unofficial home of Willie Nelson and the late Waylon Jennings. They good folks at Luckenbach held a birthday bash for the late Waylon Jennings. We visited, listened to a few bands, bought a few souvenirs and “got back to the basics of love in Luckenbach.”
Okay—what is a vacation without shopping? Yes, my husband was kind enough to take me shopping at the outlet center in San Marcos. He also took me antique shopping where I bought some “antique” books. We also bought souvenir t-shirts. So here’s a picture of a few things I bought.
At the end of our trip we decided to go to Austin to go shopping for him. We didn’t find exactly what he wanted in Austin. So we stopped and looked on the internet (what a day we live in to stop places and have internet service). He saw what he wanted in downtown San Antonio. So we drive to San Antonio. And here is what he wanted to buy:
We brought this cousin of Bigfoot home. Do you see the irony here? What a woman shops for and what a man shops for? Hmmmm.
Thanks for your prayers! We had a great time.
All star baseball games start tonight for my youngest boy. I hope to return to blogging later this week.
Ya’ll be blessed now in Christ our Lord!!
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
My oldest son has graduated and has secured full-time employment.
My husband and I are off to celebrate our 20th anniversary. We rented a cabin on a river near a lake in the hill country of Texas. I told him I'll do an adventurous activity with him. On Saturday we plan (Lord willing) to go rock climbing. (Looks more like scaling walls than rock climbing.) I have NEVER climbed rocks before and I will overcome my fear of heights and falling.
Lord willing, I plan to be back to blogging and reading blogs after June 25th.
I love you all! I will miss you my extended family!!
Blessings in Christ--
Sunday, June 15, 2008
“Dad, what’s a first down?” I asked.
“It’s when the team moves the ball 10 yards down the field,” he replied, trying to listen to the announcer on the television.
“Dad, how many downs do they get? I asked another question as he stared intently at the screen.
“Four,” he snapped as a critical play unfolded on the screen before us. I realized that he was involved with the game and briefly kept quiet. Fortunately for me (and all the other children across America), the television stations required frequent paid advertising in order to broadcast the games. These were the times my father and I bonded the most. I never imagined as a child that I would live most of my life without a father. I thought he would always be there.
Though my dad was a man of few words, he loved to share with me his favorite things—football, cares and stories about walking to school. Every Sunday afternoon during the season, he would lay on the sofa and watch NFL games. He taught me about football as I sat next to him. We talked about the plays, the teams, and the divisions.
Other times, we talked about cars (his second favorite sport). I learned the basics of clutches, transmissions, RPM’s, tire sizes, treads, and miles per hour. Sometimes we talked about school and how far he walked when he was a child. We lived in the house behind the one where he was raised, and I walked the same paths he walked. It didn’t seem that far to me. I realize now that distances seem to stretch farther the older we become. I thought he would always be there to share his favorite things.
Dad protected me from unknown dangers. When I was a toddler living in the desert of Arizona, there seemed to be an abundance of rattlesnakes. Daddy didn’t like rattlesnakes and felt they should all be dead. Therefore, whenever he saw one as we drove on the dirt roads, he’d stop, retrieve the shovel from the back of the truck, walk right up to the coiled snake, and chop off its head. Then he’d chop off the rattle for his ever-increasing rattle collection.
As a teen in a small West Texas town, the cool thing to do was hang out late. However, Dad set firm boundaries and early curfews for me. Of course I didn’t seem to appreciate it then, but I realized in hindsight now his rules protected me. I thought he would always be there to protect me.
Dad comforted me when I felt sad and lonely. When I was 8 years old, my best friend came over to spend the night. In the middle of the night, she decided to go home. After she left, I was upset that she didn’t want to stay until the morning. My father came to my room to comfort and console me. I thought he would always be there to comfort me.
Dad rescued me from dangerous situations. After comforting me when my best friend went home, he unknowingly dropped a burning ash from his cigarette on the mattress. After he and Mom returned to their bed, the ash grew into flames that consumed the mattress. The smell of smoke alerted them to the danger. Dad pulled me out of the burning bed, doused the mattress with water, and removed it from the house before any harm came to our home or me. Exhausted from sobbing over my friend, I had fallen into a deep sleep, and I didn’t wake up until it was all over. I thought he would always be there to rescue me.
Dad consistently displayed encouraging support for me. He always pushed me a bit further and told me I could do just a little bit better. He was there at every basketball game I played and every band event in which I participated. He took vacation time from work to drive halfway across the state of Texas to be at out-of-town competitions. I thought he would always be there to support me.
Dad taught me about responsibility. After school, I cleaned the house and prepared dinner for my parents. Dad demonstrated responsibility as I watched him work long, hard hours and come home with the smell of diesel on his clothes and grease-stained hands. He expected me to work diligently on my schoolwork.
Dad taught me how to excel in math, which was my least favorite subject. After I received a driving permit at 15, he patiently taught me how to drive a car with a standardized transmission. Then, after I demonstrated responsibility, I was allowed to drive to and from my part-time job, along with running errands. I through he would always be there to teach me.
Through my father’s income was small, his love for me was huge. Many times as a young child I went to work with him. He worked hard as a farm equipment mechanic for John Deere®. I would climb on the tractors and pretend I was driving in the fields like I did in his lap as a toddler when he worked on the farm. He valued the time we spent together, and he made sacrifices to provide for his family. His love guided me through my selfish and rebellious teenage years. I thought he would always be there to love me.
Cancer snuffed out the life of my father. He was 48 years old. I took it for granted that he would always be there to share his favorite things with me, to protect me, to comfort me, to rescue me, to support me, to teach me, and to love me. This Father’s Day as I reflect on the years that have passed without my father, I realize I should live each day by caring and loving the people put in my life as if there is no tomorrow. Our lives are like a mist. They’re here and then they’re gone.
© 2004 Shonda Whitworth
The above article was published in June 2004 Encounter by Standard Publishing.
Blessings in Christ--
Saturday, June 7, 2008
There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under heaven:
My little boy is now a young man. Time passed so quickly.
Just a few words today--being a mother is a lifetime
job calling. However, it is the most rewarding yet the most difficult call I've ever had.
Blessings in Christ--
Tuesday, June 3, 2008
Last night a home on our street caught on fire. Precisely two houses down from our home. Fortunately the fire was contained to the detached garage and storage shed. No life was endangered. Not so fortunate though, this is the fourth time a fire has started on this property. Arson is suspected by the officials. Our neighborhood is on high alert.
Last night was the worst scenario experienced thus far. Flames could be seen. Thick smoked filled the street and neighborhood. Numerous fire trucks were present. These brave firefighters responded promptly, yet it took several hours to completely extinguish the fire due to the size. A structure built of wood burns quickly.
This is a photo I took with my cell phone from the alley.
Fires are frightening. I’ve personally experienced a fire in my own home eight years ago. I remember the feeling of fear I felt for months. The smell of the smoke permeated everything in the home. The smoke smell is difficult to remove. I took action to help alleviate those fears. I had more smoke detectors installed. I had several fire extinguishers mounted throughout the home.
When I stepped outside this morning to water my flowers, I smelled the charred smoke in the breeze. I remembered those days in my own home when I smelled smoke each day and felt fear.
Concern Fear is among the neighbors at this point. Is this going to happen again? When? Why is this happening? The fire chief told my neighbor that according to the profile of an arsonist, he/she will return to the scene until the desired result is achieved. This time the fire started while most people were awake. Other times, the fire occurred during the night while most people are sleeping. Already, this arsonist has committed felony as previously the house has caught fire with the resident in the home.
The crucible for silver and the furnace for gold,
but the LORD tests the heart.
Scripture tells us that we’ll be tested by fire. What is inside us? Will we burn up like a wood structure? Or will we be refined and shine like gold?
What kind of spiritual fires are we dealing with? How are we going to come through? At this time, our neighborhood is dealing with an antagonist who seemingly wants to cause damage or worse. God instructs us in HIS word to pray for our enemy and to bless them.
“Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.” Romans 12: 14 NIV
Last night I smelled like smoke after standing outside and helping where I could. But I know of three who were put in the fire and afterwards they did not smell like smoke-- Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. These three amigos refused to bow down to the gold image. They had faith that their God could deliver them and even if he didn’t, they would not bow down. The king threw them in a fiery furnace. God did deliver them. No harm to their bodies; not a single hair on their head singed; and there was no smell of smoke or fire on them!! (Daniel 3:16-27)
Tests will come. How will we walk through the furnace? Will we walk with the kind of faith that Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego had? Do we have that kind of faith?
God is able—
- to keep our neighborhood from harm & protect us
- to change the heart of the person committing this crime
Blessings in Christ--