It is late and I am so sleepy. I had to take a Benadryl because the farm next door cut their hay this week and stirred it up today so hay is in the air and my throat is closing (I am singing tomorrow), I am sneezing, my eyes are itching, and there is junk in my head I don't want. Today, we ate breakfast at the Farm House with Beth and Ron. If you are ever in the Roanoke area and want a good country breakfast...served in little aluminum pie pans then you need to eat here. It is right on Hwy 22, so it is easy to find. After breakfast we headed to the big event of the day. The Animal Rescue League was having their gigundous book sale. They have one twice a year and it is a monumental event....trust me on this one. If you like to read....this is the place to be. $17.00 later, Frank and I headed back to the house to get the key we had forgotten and then we headed on to my parents house to see what needed to be done now that Eric has moved in. The ride to Kellyton was glorious! Eric has done amazing things at my moms....you can actually see the kitchen cabinets...and it is CLEAN! I was in shock and actually walked out of the room and came back in...because I did not believe my eyes the first time. I have not seen the cabinet tops in over 3 years. AMAZING! We grabbed a bite for lunch at Arby's in Alex City and then came home via Dadeville to see the damage. It was horrific...and can you believe Dadeville and Elmore Counties were not qualified for FIMA!!!!! Come on! I called Beth to see if we were going to practice....she was in Anniston....so we decided to go to the house and wait....That is what we thought! We let the dog out....and had just sat down when there was a toot in the driveway....it was Marcie and Lyndi and they wanted us to go to LaGrange with them to the Sock Shoppe. We had tried last Sunday....but the mall was closed for Easter.....Imagine that. I grabbed my purse and we headed out the door, only to return four hours later. I got several new pairs of capri's, some really cool socks, a pair of royal blue sequined Yellow Boxes....AND....some of the cutest red flip flops...made out of.....get this....YOGA MATS! I finished up my graduation shopping at Serendipity....well all but Taylor's present...he is a boy...and Serendipity is definitely a girls place. We met up with a friend that Marcie works with...and I have adopted....and had a coke will Lyndi finished up her shopping. She has a job now. We came home, went to Walmart and got the food I am going to prepare for our churches Homecoming, came BACK home, I cooked some hotdogs for supper, deviled some eggs....and cleaned up the kitchen. This is my last big event for today....blog....then bed. Night Night all and I hope you had as fun a day as I did!
I know you just knew today my post would be about the Royal Wedding....but I am sorry....I did not get up and watch it this morning...because the night before I was up most of the night worried about the tornadic activity taking place around me. Sleep deprivation won out of Royal Wedding. I knew I would be able to see the dress and the hat sometime today on the internet...and to be honest with all that has been going on...that is more than enough. In the grand scheme of things...Royal Wedding of people I have never met...and never will....is trumped by friends who lost loved ones and homes. BUT....that is not what my post is about today either....I cannot let this injustice go unnoticed. Back in October my mom was sent to a Geriatric Psych Ward in Sylacauga....she was carried by ambulance from Adams to Sylacauga (27 miles one way)...and then once she was released...she was carried from Sylacauga back to Adams....do you have any guess what the ambulance bill was??????? The part that my mom is supposed to pay?????? OVER 700.00!!!!!....and this was for only one way! I mean....COME ON!!! It is 27 miles for goodness sake. The whole round trip...might take 1.5 hours. With two men in the ambulance...do the math...that is 350.00+ each...for 1.5 hours. I am school teacher with a Masters Degree and 20+ years of experience....and I don't make that much in 3 days! I have discovered what is wrong with our medical and insurance systems....those who can....PAY for everyone else! This is an injustice. Deep breath...ok...I am feeling a bit better....my other beef is with the legal system...but I will save that one for another day. I hope your weekend is a good one. I am going to a book sale in Roanoke to help the Animal Rescue Society. I can't wait...last one they had I loaded up on great reads for low prices.
What a day and night we have had. I know many of you who live in states West of Alabama have been experiencing this all during the week....but yesterday....yesterday it affected me and people I know and love. When I went to bed on Tuesday night I knew that Tallapoosa and Coosa county schools were going to dismiss at 1 due to a good chance of severe weather...I wondered why we had not called school yet. At 8:00 on Wednesday morning....the Central Office called school for 1:00 and the kids would be sent home then....but not faculty and staff we found out later...we would have to stay until 2:30....and if we had children at daycares, schools, etc...we would have to go and get them and bring them back to the school with us. I was a bit distressed over this...I felt like...what we value the lives of our students...but not the lives of our staffs and their children. The pictures of the tornado and damage done in the Cullman area began streaming, I was glued to the weather channels, and worrying more and more the closer they seemed to come. The thought of making that hour drive in the wind and rain was not pleasing to me. Finally at 2:30 I walked out of the office, got in my car, and headed to the house. My little HHR was tossed around a good bit on the way home and I was very nervous by the time I arrived. From 3:30 until midnight last night I was glued to the weather...as I watched the storms fury unfurl....Tuscaloosa, AL...where I have family, many of my former students and friends children attend...looked like a war zone. I attended the University myself and recognized some of the unrecognizable....especially with DCMC was a key point. I was very distressed and hoped all the people I knew were ok. I heard this morning that one of my former students and her housemates were in their basement...when the storm had passed they came up...and found their house was gone. God is good. Houses are replaceable....former students are not!
These pictures are all scenes from Tuscaloosa. It must have been a nightmare to have been there and going through it. I can't even imagine. I checked my facebook once....my blogger friend Leigh's son lives in T town.....I had to know if he was ok....as I sat in watched in stunned silence....I have to admit... it made me sick to see it taking place....and knowing there was nothing I could do. But...again....God is amazing....the campus itself...was not touched. As the death toll begin to rise...more and more places were hit...Oakman (hey! that is where my friend Trina's mom, Ms. Marty lives)....Elmore Co...which is near where I teach....had several deaths....Children's Harbor suffered a lot of damage, my friend Rhonda's parents house....gone...her parents were ok. Dadeville was in the line of fire....I have friends there...so the texting began....it was a frightening day/night for the entire state. I am sitting here at my desk this morning...and I could sleep for days....even when I did go to sleep....I dreamed of tornados. This morning....128+ confirmed dead....and I am sure daylight will bring more. Please pray for those affected by this horrendous storm....not just here...but everywhere in it's path.
Today is Wednesday and that means Joyce has come up with some perfectly wonderrful questions. I love to do these and then go back and read everyone else's replies. It is amazing how some are so very much like me....and other's.....not so much. 1. What is something that bothers you if its not done perfectly? Right now....I can't think of a single thing. My concept if it is done...and someone else does it....then I don't have to. A year ago it would have been the Arbor chair set up......but one day I came to the realization....that those who set them up....were volunteers....and if anyone did not like how they did them....they should come do it themselves. 2. What is one of your best childhood memories? Ouch! Just one? I have so many wonderful memories that choosing one would be so unfair.....so I will do three short ones. 1. One Saturday a month my dad would take me fishing...either just off the turnpike, to Lake Okeechobee, or shoreline fishing at the beach. It really wasn't the fishing that was so wonderful...it was spending time with my father. 2. My family also went for "rides" one day during the weekend. My dad would never use a map and we just went riding down roads....while we were riding....we would be singing. If we saw something interesting we would stop and check it out. I have seen a lot of Florida this way. 3. We also took mini vacays at Sanibel Island and Captiva. I would go out in the water during low tide with my dad and we would collect shells and sand dollars. 3. Do you plan to watch the Royal Wedding and when was the last time you wore a hat? I will catch snatches of it on the news after the fact. I am not giving up sleep for it....not a chance. I wore a hat the weekend Spring Break kicked off. I was taking it on the vacation that wasn't and was trying it on. I own several because I like them. I have worn them for Still Magnolia shows from hats with big bows and lace to cowboy hats. When I am working outside I will wear a ball cap.
4. Where do you fall in the birth order in your family? Do you think this has influenced your personality? I was the oldest until I was 8 and then I became the only. The combination of all of that....did influence my personality....along with a ton of other things. I have never been a true first child personality. I was a Type B personality child who had a mother who was a Mega A. I was the peacemaker. I hated waves or conflict being made. 5. Where do you think you spend most of your money? This one is easy.....Walmart! 6. When you need to confront someone would you rather communicate in person, by phone, by email or by letter? Why? I have at any given time used them all....depending on the severity of the situation and where they are located at the time of said confrontation. I know I should confront them in person....but it really throws me in a tail spin to confront someone. I try and look at things and decide if it is going to matter in a a year before I jump on something. I really HATE confrontations. 7. Dodgeball, freeze tag, kickball or jump rope?You have to pick one. I loved kickball. I could kick high and run fast. 8. Joyce asked us to insert our own random thought here and since it is the end of April I was wondering what your favorite April moment would be? Mine is easy....even though it was during a very sad time, my favorite moment was getting to spend some quality time with my special family and some very special friends. Those moments don't happen often and when they do....it is priceless! Have a Happy Wednesday!
Yesterday I had several sad moments at school. I knew they would come.....I was glad they had not reared their ugly heads yet....but it seemed like every where I looked I found a reminder of my mom or dad and then the reality that they are not here with me hit me like a ton of bricks. I struggled all day. When I got home I told Frank I had to go and get my picture for Project 365 and I knew just were I wanted to go.....Mrs. Betty Jean's house. Her yard is just lovely with flowers of all kinds. We ate supper and went to capture the flowers. Of course when we got there....taking a picture was not all we did....Mrs. Betty jean has been sick and we visited with her and Mr. Larry for a bit before going out into her garden. It turned out....she was a bit down too....this very active woman is struggling with regaining her strength after a terrible illness. The visit did us both good. I felt much better after sitting beside her and I think she did too. Out in her yard I spent another 30+ minutes snappig roses, clematis, et al. Each pot was begging me to take their picture and I did not want to leave any one out. I felt so good after the photo shoot/visit. When I got home I checked my emails and found this one. My cousin Donna sent it to me and it could not come at a more perfect time. You see....yesterday, I needed someone to give me a little time....and the Houzes did just that. "A young man learns what's most important in life from the guy next door. It had been some time since Jack had seen the old man. College, girls, career, and life itself got in the way. In fact, Jack moved clear across the country in pursuit of his dreams. There, in the rush of his busy life, Jack had little time to think about the past and often no time to spend with his wife and son. He was working on his future, and nothing could stop him. Over the phone, his mother told him, "Mr. Belser died last night The funeral is Wednesday." Memories flashed through his mind like an old newsreel as he sat quietly remembering his childhood days. "Jack, did you hear me?" "Oh, sorry, Mom. Yes, I heard you. It's been so long since I thought of him. I'm sorry, but I honestly thought he died years ago," Jack said. "Well, he didn't forget you. Every time I saw him he'd ask how you were doing. He'd reminisce about the many days you spent over 'his side of the fence' as he put it," Mom told him. "I loved that old house he lived in," Jack said. "You know, Jack, after your father died, Mr. Belser stepped in to make sure you had a man's influence in your life," she said "He's the one who taught me carpentry," he said. "I wouldn't be in this business if it weren't for him. He spent a lot of time teaching me things he thought were important...Mom, I'll be there for the funeral," Jack said. As busy as he was, he kept his word. Jack caught the next flight to his hometown. Mr. Belser's funeral was small and uneventful He had no children of his own, and most of his relatives had passed away. The night before he had to return home, Jack and his Mom stopped by to see the old house next door one more time. Standing in the doorway, Jack paused for a moment. It was like crossing over into another dimension, a leap through space and time The house was exactly as he remembered. Every step held memories.. Every picture, every piece of furniture....Jack stopped suddenly. "What's wrong, Jack?" his Mom asked.. "The box is gone," he said "What box?" Mom asked. "There was a small gold box that he kept locked on top of his desk I must have asked him a thousand times what was inside. All he'd ever tell me was 'the thing I value most,'" Jack said. It was gone. Everything about the house was exactly how Jack remembered it, except for the box.. He figured someone from the Belser family had taken it. "Now I'll never know what was so valuable to him," Jack said. "I better get some sleep. I have an early flight home, Mom." It had been about two weeks since Mr. Belser died Returning home from work one day Jack discovered a note in his mailbox. "Signature required on a package. No one at home. Please stop by the main post office within the next three days," the note read. Early the next day Jack retrieved the package. The small box was old and looked like it had been mailed a hundred years ago. The handwriting was difficult to read, but the return address caught his attention. "Mr. Harold Belser" it read. Jack took the box out to his car and ripped open the package. There inside was the gold box and an envelope. Jack's hands shook as he read the note inside."Upon my death, please forward this box and its contents to Jack Bennett . It's the thing I valued most in my life." A small key was taped to the letter. His heart racing, as tears filling his eyes, Jack carefully unlocked the box. There inside he found a beautiful gold pocket watch. Running his fingers slowly over the finely etched casing, he unlatched the cover. Inside he found these words engraved: "Jack, Thanks for your time! -Harold Belser." "The thing he valued most was...my time" Jack held the watch for a few minutes, then called his office and cleared his appointments for the next two days. "Why?" Janet, his assistant asked. "I need some time to spend with my son," he said. "Oh, by the way, Janet, thanks for your time!" There are a lot of people out there in the world who need a little time.....they might even be your next door neighbor. I think I am going to let some of my busyness go.....and have a cup of coffee with a few. How about you? Look at some of the beauty I got from the time I invested in someone. Beautiful aren't they?
I have discovered over the past eighteen months that life is like a piñata. I teach Spanish and my classes are always wanting to make and bust a piñata. Every year....for the past 21 years it has been the same thing. My children also wanted one at their birthday parties. I have to admit....they would be great stress busters. If I could make my own personal piñata I would fill it with strips of paper with words or names of people who get under my skin....and then swing at the thing as hard as I can until I bust it and send the slips of paper floating off into the air. Sigh...just talking about it has made me feel better. I read a cute devotional today by Julia Bettencourt about piñatas and it prompted me to write my own post about them. For her scripture lesson she chose Proverbs 4:23, "Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life." I thought I would use the same text since it seemed to fit my topic so well. Thanks Julia for giving me a springboard to write. If you really think about it....piñata busting can be quite frightening....you blindfold a person, give them a bat (or it's equivalent) and let them swing at something that is moving. You have to admit....this is crazy! I did discover that there are making pinatas now with a pull string so all the kids have to do is pull the string and the contents inside is released. I like that idea much better. Piñatas are cute, beautiful and why would anyone want to destroy something so pretty. The answer is simple....the inside is filled with sweet things and that is the ultimate goal....get the sweets! Piñatas are like people....you can paste beautiful things on the outside.....embellish ourselves however we want....but it is not what is on the outside that counts...it is the inside. Our heart is where the sweet stuff is...and that shows the world just what we are. The world today is not full of sweet stuff....it is full of wickedness and cruelty. We are bombarded by it everyday. The bad in the world fades our paper....tugs at pieces of us....smashes us....and sometimes breaks us. Our life's piñata may get cracked with the amazing force or life. BUT....it is at that point that we need to show just what our piñata's are made of. It is at times like these that we must retain beautiful thoughts, compassion, and love in our hearts so that in turn beautiful deeds and beautiful words will come out of us. Luke 6:45 tells us, "A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh." So...in order for us to be full of sweet things....we must keep our hearts in tune with Christ and when the cold dark object of the world comes whacking on us, out will spill beautiful and sweet things that reflect the Lord. So, let me ask you today....the Monday after Easter Sunday.....just what is spilling out of you?
It has been a wonderful Holy Week and the weather has been to die for. I went back to school this week after break and had a truly great week.....although I am counting down...5 weeks to go. Sara, at ....make music from your heart, is once again hosting Project 365 and if you would love to see some truly remarkable pictures head on over there using the link I have provided for you and check them out. You won't be sorry.
Sunday, April 17th
One of my bowling buddies sent a pale lavendar hydrangea when my mom died and then Susan and Chuck gave me a Runaway rose for my birthday. Susan, bless her heart, planted them all in my backyard before they left on Friday. She has such a green thumb....and works for a landscaping company. I love it when she comes and spruces up my yard...she makes it my therapy...and it always works.
Monday, April 18th
A Holy Week reminder - a cross in the yard of Comer United Methodist Church in Avondale mill village. This is the church my grandparents attended for many years and my godmother still attends.
55 Iris Avenue holds many precious memories for me. This used to be my Granparents house and inside this small dwelling a whole lot of loving took place.
Tuesday, April 19th
A really cool barn on CR 16 just past Renee's house. I have eyeballed it several time but today with the sun setting behind it I could not pass up the opportunity to take a picture.
Wednesday, April 20th
I had to go to the Probate Judges office in Dadeville on my way home today, so I decided to take a short cut to the house and ended up on CR 79 on the other side of the Horseshoe Bend Military Park. It was so very hazy on my way home and I was beginning to think I wish I had gone the long way when this chimney appeared.
Thursday, April 21st
Thursday between the end of the school day and bowling we went to the military tribute park in the Charles E. Bailey Sportsplex. There are a lot of military things there and on the WWII monument my Uncle Cecil, dad, and Uncle Drew are all noted. I have to admist it was really cool to go and walk through it.
Friday, April 22nd
This weekend is a busy one. This is not even everything that is going on. We had to be at the church at 4:30 to cook the breakfast for after Sunrise service and then we had regular church at 11. Friday night though Beth and I practiced the special for Sunday and then the four of us went to the Valley and ate at Del Rio's. They have wonderful food and amazing service. If you are ever in the Valley (Lanett)...you need to stop in. They are located on Hwy 49.
Saturday, April 23rd
We hid 188 eggs on Saturday. While the big people hid the eggs several of us kept them occupied in the Fellowship Hall with a story and games.
Today is Holy Saturday and the Easter vigil begins. Today will be a day filled with family coming in and egg hunts and putting the finishing touches on the outfits that will be worn tomorrow. It is a time when we can put away the black, dark, drab shoes of winter and pull out the white shoes of summer. But what exactly is Holy Saturday you ask? Well on Holy Saturday "the women saw how His body was laid; and they prepared spices and ointments; and rested the sabbath day according to the commandment" we are told in Luke 23:55,56. Holy Saturday (in Latin, Sabbatum Sanctum), the 'day of the entombed Christ', is the Lord's day of rest, for on that day Christ's body lay in His tomb. We recall the Apostle's Creed, which says "He descended unto the dead." It is a day of suspense between two worlds, that of darkness, sin and death, and that of the Resurrection and the restoration of the Light of the World. For this reason no divine services are held until the Easter Vigil begins that night. This day between Good Friday and Easter Day makes present to us the end of one world and the complete newness of the era of salvation inaugurated by the Resurrection of Christ. Ideally, Holy Saturday should be the quietest day of the year (although this is not as easy in a busy household with children as it might be in a convent or monastery.) Nightfall on Holy Saturday is time for joy and greatest expectation because of the beautiful liturgy of the Easter Vigil, often referred to as the Mother of all Holy Vigils, or the Great Service of Light. The Easter Vigil was restored to the liturgy in 1955, during the liturgical reform that preceded the Second Vatican Council. During the day, the preparations at home that must be made for Easter Day are appropriate, however, because they keep our attention fixed on the holiness and importance of the most central feast of the Church. Working with our children to prepare for Easter can offer us many 'teaching moments', as well. Most American families observe Easter customs and traditions, but the religious significance of many of these may be lost. For example, new Easter clothes. It was part of the baptismal ceremony (and a token still remains) that the candidates for baptism (catechumens) were given a new white garment to wear — both its newness and its whiteness signifying purity. It may seem that Easter is just another excuse for merchandizing (so does Christmas). But we Christians need not regard wearing new or special Easter clothes simply as commercialism or vanity. Christians should try to keep in mind, when wearing something new for this holiday, our New Life in Christ. And we should do our best to make our appearance match the joyousness of the greatest feast of the Church. The Christian symbolism of Easter bunnies might seem pretty obscure, and it's easy to suppose that the rabbits are simply a pagan symbol taken over by Christianity. Even if so, bear in mind that the ancestors of pre-Christian (even pre-historic) pagans at some time knew about the true God — Adam and Eve and Noah, for example. Pagan beliefs about God's action in the world and about man's true destiny were far from the truth, of course, but many things can be understood through basic human intelligence — and that intelligence comes from God. The coming of spring is a cause for rejoicing for everybody, whether Christians or non-Christians. The Easter bunny is actually a pretty good symbol of God's plan for His creatures (including humans) to "be fruitful and multiply", and of the renewed exuberance of all creatures in cooperating with God in creating new life. (The Easter bunny might seem to be more a metaphor for God's plan for His creation in Genesis than in the Gospels.) Maybe we should think of the fecundity of rabbits as a symbol of evangelizing, and the many new believers God desires. Just think about it....the eggs the Easter rabbit carries in a basket could be representing Christians carrying the message of Christ into the world. The Easter egg is a symbol of the Resurrection. The shell represents the tomb that could not contain the Resurrected Lord. The chick that bursts forth from its lifeless shell is a metaphor for the mystery of Christ's Resurrection. Filling baskets with colored Easter eggs is a nearly universal custom in Christian countries, and there are nearly as many traditional ways to dye and decorate eggs as there are ethnic groups. From the very elaborate and expensive Easter eggs made by the jeweler Fabergé for the Russian czar in the nineteenth century, to the intricately etched pysanky eggs of the Ukraine and similarly distinctive egg-decorating customs of eastern Europe, to the simple (if messy) kitchen-table food-coloring dyed eggs most Americans know, the Easter egg is revered as a symbol of the Resurrection. While your family probably has its own traditions about the best way to do Easter eggs, there are web pages and articles and library books on the subject, that might give you some new ideas. One idea is to paint one of the eggs gold and write Alleluia on it. The child who discovers the Alleluia egg might be given a special honor. So, today as you celebrate this glorious weekend with an egg hunt, or a family reunion....remember...that soon....tomorrow, Sunday is coming....and Christ will Rise! Halleluiah! Have a blessed day!
I should already be leaving for work....but for some reason I just can't...I have to finish this post before I leave....I have to say this....I have to tell you all this story....you see...today is Good Friday and as a child I never understood why they called this day Good Friday. I did not see anything good about it. As I matured as a Christian I began to understand the terminology much better and realized just what an Easter person I am. This morning while I was sitting here I was thinking that if we were to look at this as a play we could see that scene one of Christ’s passion drama in unfolding in the Garden of Gethsemane about 1:00 in the morning on Friday. On this night it was common for families to sleep four hours or less so that the joy of Passover could be fully savored. Jesus is not far outside the city walls in a deep green grove of olive trees surrounding a garden known as Gethsemane. In this breaking of a new day we see the figure of a man lying prostrate on the rocks, sweating great drops of blood. This man as Jesus Christ. It is here at this very moment that His final great passion begins-- all alone. This is His time of greatest need as he tells His friends: "My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here and watch with me". Yet His friends failed Him. He has invited His Closest disciples (Peter, James & John) to pray with Him, yet they slept. Every time I think about this I cry. How sad is it that his own friends could not even stay awake with him. But that is part of the play yet to unfold….He is very aware of the weakness of His disciples. Truly "the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak". He tells them. "Take your rest". He turns to walk away and, through the foliage, He can see the many torches and lanterns of the band that was come to hasten Him to His death….and He looks the traitorous Judas Iscariot in the eye and receives his kiss. He looks at His betrayer with eyes of compassion and asks him: "Judas, betrayest thou the Son of man with a kiss?" Peter comes to life and tries to fight the men and help Jesus escape…but as Peter draws back for the kill, Jesus instructs him to re-sheath his sword. "Put up your sword, Peter. They that live by the sword, shall surely die by the sword. If I wanted I could ask the Father and He would send me more than 12,000 angels to fight in my behalf….and He could have….but Jesus realized that His time for deliverance had not yet come. For you see, this is only Friday ---but Sunday is Coming!! The rest of the story unfolds so quickly…Scripture records that "... the band and the captain and officers of the Jews took Jesus, and bound him ... and led him away to Caiaphas the high priest, where the scribes and the elders were assembled". He was taken there for questioning regarding His claims to be the very Son of God. This tribunal, however was not interested in getting at the truth. They had murder in their heart!! Scripture tells us that "..the chief priests, and elders, and all the council, sought false witness against Jesus, to put Him to death". They were enraged by His claims; jealous of His popularity; and fearful of His power. He is judged by morally-bankrupt spiritual leaders of His day, more concerned with their own welfare than that of the innocent man which stood before them. But to that I know…."That’s all right Sanhedrin -- you may think you’re in control now, but you need to know that today is only Friday, but Sunday’s Coming!!"The drama begins to move at a rapid pace….. and our next act takes place in Pilate’s hall. Being convinced that they had an "air-tight" cases against Jesus, the chief priests and elders had Him delivered to Pontius Pilate, Roman governor of the region. It was with Pilate that the authority to put to death lay. Pilate…he was so pompous and the procurator of the region. Where did he get the idea he had the right to sit in judgment of the Perfect Personage of Heaven! Lies flowed from the hearts of so-called "holy men". Christ had never been guilty of the crimes He was accused of, but remember -- they had murder in their heart. I can hear Pilate falsetto voice saying nastily….."Are you the king of the Jews". And then I can hear Jesus’ sweet voice…softly and tenderly saying…."My kingdom is not of this world.” I can only imagine how angry Pilate was when he posed the question again: "Are you indeed a king?" I can just see the look of amazement on his face with Jesus replied "You are right in saying that I am a king". Pilate’s wife was aware that there was something special about this man who stood for judgment. "Have nothing to do with this just man", she tells her husband, "for I have suffered many things this day in a dream because of him". But Pilate was in a predicament! If he let Jesus go, the Jewish leadership would accuse him of being an enemy of Caesar. Yet by his own admission, Pilate had found no fault in Jesus! So….there he was…..in a quandary….and in an effort to appease the crowd, Pilate brought Jesus and the insurrectionist Barabbas before them. It was the custom of the day to release one prisoner during Passover. "Surely", he thought, "the crowd will have released to them Jesus of Nazareth rather than this vicious criminal Barabbas." Yet this crowd was thirsty for innocent blood. Their response was "Release unto us Barabbas!" "But what shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ?" asked Pilate. "Crucify him", cried the blood-thirsty crowd. The Gospel of Mark presents the record of the proceedings: "Then Pilate said unto them, Why, what evil hath he done? And they cried out the more exceedingly, Crucify Him! And so Pilate, willing to content the people released Barabbas unto them and delivered Jesus, when he had scourged him to be crucified". Matthew’s Gospel records that this weak-willed Roman ruler "took water, and washed his hands before the multitude saying ’I am innocent of the blood of this just person’." But, Pilate, it will take more than water to wash the responsibility of this innocent blood from your hands. You were willing to sacrifice an innocent man on the altar of your own popularity. I can see Pilate as Christ is being led off to the scourgers. Undoubtedly he looked again at his hands and sees what appears to be blood-stains there. And as he looks at these stains they seem to take the shape of letters and the letters begin to form words; and the words form one sentence: "It’s Friday, Pilate -- But Sunday’s Coming"! He is scourged....and then He is sent to Golgotha to be crucified.....This is the part of the drama where I want to hide my face in shame. Even the angels in heaven looked on in stunned disbelief. Here was the Creator; the Lion of Judah; the Son of the Living God being crucified at the hands of His creation! And then, after hours of torment Jesus lifted His weight momentarily from the cross, allowing Him to fill His lungs in order that He might make one final proclamation: "It is finished! Father into your hands I commit my spirit" With this statement pandemonium broke loose. Nature went into meltdown. The sun refused to shine its fair rays down upon a creation which would treat the Creator so. The birds refused to sing their lovely songs to those who had shed innocent blood. Earth convulsed, Hell rejoiced; and Heaven stood amazed. God the Father looked down from His throne and with a glint in His eye said: "It’s all right -- Satan HAS NOT won. It’s Friday --- But Sunday’s coming!"(....to be continued)
I have been to Women of Faith and Extraordinary Women conferences many times in my life. I truly believe if I could I would make a living traveling around the country attending them. Two times in that duration of time I have had a very unusual event happen to me. Once in Charlotte with the Bee lady and once in Atlanta with Sandi Patti. In the bible we are told: "When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, 'I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.'" John 8:12 (NIV)
In Charlotte I felt this strong urge to touch the Bee Lady. I don't know why...but I needed to just touch her hand. I am sure it is how many felt when Jesus was near....they just wanted to touch Him.....and so very deliberately. intentionally I made my way to where her book table was. She was autographing books for whoever bought one....I could hardly wait my turn....and when it was I wanted to hold her attention for as long as I could so, I commented on her bee pin. I told her my bee story and the next thing I knew she was removing the pin and pressing it in my hand. I had tears in my eyes as I walked away. She told me that when someone approaches you and tells you a story like that you must give them the item. I have given away many (including the bee) pins since that day. I love pins and bling.....but when someone loves something or has a story....I don't think twice as I pull off whatever piece I am wearing and place it in their hands....just like the Bee Lady did that day for me. Her eyes were fixed on me... on what state I must have been in....at that very moment —I saw her as a woman who might understand what was happening in my heart. Later, amid the huge crowd of women...from my aisle seat up the stairs I saw her walk across the stage. She stood there....right in the middle of the stage and for a moment....I fingered the bee pin....and felt as if I was standing right beside her. This woman of great faith....knew me....and she did not even know my name. In that brief meeting in the foyer of the stadium she recognized that I was a soul who was needing more than words. I, personally, thought that if I stood close enough to her....or perhaps touched her I might be able to feel Him. I'd never had this happen before, but it has happened one other time since. But for a brief shining moment....there I was and there she was. I was desperate for Jesus and I simply needed to touch someone I felt was close to Him. Her touch was the catalyst and I discovered much....one thing was that there is a big difference between being close to people who love Jesus and being close to Jesus Himself. He is the One who must be pursued. I have to listen to the whispers from my heart, "Show me, Jesus. Show me how to follow You, be close to You, let me press into You, help me be more like You...show me. Show me today. Show me in this minute. Show me, please Jesus, show me."And over 20 times in the Gospels we are told His patient answer...."Follow me." And I so wanted to be one of those who whispered back, "yes!" and then begin to walk in His ways, to find the One I am longing for. "Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart." (Jeremiah 29:12-13, NIV)...and on that day in Charlotte....at a Women's Conference....there I was.....and there she was....and after shaking her hand....and being given the precious bee pin....heard myself whisper..."yes!" It was a choice I have always remembered.
Joyce over at From This Side of the Pond is once again hosting Hodgepodge. This is week number 23 and she has some really good questions this week. Read mine and then jump on over to her blog and check out everyone elses.
1. What are your plans for Easter day/weekend?
Wednesday, Frank is preaching at Roanoke First at 12 and I won't get to hear him because I am at school. We have youth tonight at church and then I am going home to crash. Thursday is Maundy Thursday service, and Friday is Good Friday service. Saturday we are having an Easter egg hunt for the Rock Mills children. Sunday morning at 6 is Sunrise service, followed by breakfast, and regular services at 11. I cannot wait!
2. Besides Jesus, what one person from the Bible would you most like to meet and why?
Jonah and Peter because both of them navigated a life interrupted at some point in their life and I have so many questions for them.
3. What is one modern day convenience you didn't have as a child that was easy to live without?
Mine would definitely be cell phone. I tend to ignore mine anyways. I like having it when I am on the road....and that is about it.
4. Are you more right brained or left brained? If you're not sure what that means there is an interesting little quiz here.
I went over and took the test even though I already knew the answer. I do have several left brain tendencies 40%but I am a right brained person 60%.
The quiz said "You are more right-brained than left-brained. The right side of your brain controls the left side of your body. In addition to being known as right-brained, you are also known as a creative thinker who uses feeling and intuition to gather information. You retain this information through the use of images and patterns. You are able to visualize the "whole" picture first, and then work backwards to put the pieces together to create the "whole" picture. Your thought process can appear quite illogical and meandering. The problem-solving techniques that you use involve free association, which is often very innovative and creative. The routes taken to arrive at your conclusions are completely opposite to what a left-brained person would be accustomed. You probably find it easy to express yourself using art, dance, or music. Some occupations usually held by a right-brained person are forest ranger, athlete, beautician, actor/actress, craftsman, and artist." Poor Frank!
5. What is one thing you intended to do today but didn't?
Stay at home? I really wanted to. ...but alas...I had to go to work. Maybe I will shoot for tomorrow.
6. Cadbury Creme Eggs or Reeses Peanut Butter?
Duh....both! I refuse to chose here.
7. Who was your favorite cartoon character when you were a child?
Speedy Gonzales, Mighty Mouse, and Yogi Bear/Boo Boo
8. Insert your own random thought here. What is your most special Easter memory? Mine was the year I first got a real chocolate bunny. I suffered from food allergies as a child and could not have chocolate....or I would have an asthma attack. I was actually 13 when I got my first brown chocolate bunny....and it was delicious. I can also tell you about my favorite dress that same year....it came from Worth Avenue (sale rack)...and it was the palest of pinks. I loved it. Have a great Wednesday!
My daughter Kat and her husband "B" have some good friends, Emily and Ken. On Saturday Kat sent me something Ken had written about a young man named Ryan and it touched me very deeply. As I have sat here and thought about it I thought I would attempt to do something like it about my mom while my thoughts and feelings are fresh. So like Ken I asked myself what I would say about Wilma. Wilma Prophitt Sasser (and she always said she was no false prophet) diedon Monday, April 11th at the age of 81. I have to be honest that even though she had been in poor health it still came as a shock. When I saw my mom last, it was Saturday, April 9th and she was very alert. I told her Frank and I were going out of town and she seemed excited about our trip. I told her I would see her on Thursday when we got home. She said she would be waiting for me. On Monday she went home to be with Jesus....and I have no doubt about that. My mom was a Christian. If I had to guess what her Spiritual gifts were I would say compassion, evangelism, and teaching....she was awesome at all three. I met with the funeral home on Tuesday to make arrangements. Her choice of pastors was Bro. Wayne or Bro. Autrey. Wayne was my first call since he was her first choice....and he said he was honored. The current pastor of her church was going to speak in the beginning. I felt sorry for him to be honest....he never really knew my mom, or dad like the other two pastors did. He only met them after dementia and cancer began to tear away at what was once thriving Christian examples. I wondered what he would say..... So what could he possibly say? What can anyone say at a time like this, much less someone like him who barely knew this great lady? The service was simple. The congregation sang, "How Great Thou Art" (one of my mom's favorite songs), Bro Steve spoke, Amanda and I sang "What A Friend We Have in Jesus", Bro Wayne then delivered one of the best eulogies I have ever heard about a Christian. I was so very proud of my mom. After he finished, Kat spoke. Her message was so loving and I was so proud of my daughter as she stood there and spoke. I knew her heart was breaking. When Kat finished I wanted to stand up and applaud. Her final remark introduced the last part of the service. At Christmas my cousin Missi gave me a CD of my Aunt Shirley, my mom, my cousin Amanda and I singing, "He Looked Beyond My Fault and Saw My Need" at Kellyton Baptist Church in 1994. My mom always said she was going to sing at her own funeral and sing she did. Marlene played "It Is Well With My Soul" as the family left the little church that was packed with people who loved my mom. We went to the Cemetary and after the pastor's both spoke the whole group gave my mom her final send off by singing, "You Are My Sunshine." The sun was shining, it was a glorious day....my mom would have been delighted. I would be lying to you if I said I am not sad. I am....both my parents are gone....I am an orphan. I am now the oldest generation. It feels weird I must say. On the contrary I have to say that I know my mom is with my dad....with my aunt....with my brother. My parents were the ultimate love story....and we buried my mom on my dad's birthday. I felt like I was giving my father a gift. Kind of strange what we think about when we are in that state of survivorship. Palm Sunday was Sunday and I had to admit....being an Easter person....it touched my heart. My mom is dead....I don't care how you pussyfoot around it....and what you call it...."gone. with Jesus, deceased, passed...." they all add up to dead. Her earthly life is no more. I will never be able to see her again...except in pictures and dreams. I would be lying to you if I said I did not want my mom back....but do I really? My mom's dementia took her from me when my dad died.....if I could have her back whole....yep...I would love to have her. But I am promised this.... "The dead in Christ shall rise." They shall have bodies! Perfected bodies(without dementia or cancer), yes, glorified bodies, yes, but bodies. How do I know this? "I know because it already happened to one man. One historic, actual, flesh and blood man was stone cold dead, and he came back. And you could touch him, and you could eat grilled fish for breakfast with him. And people saw him, and they told people, and they told other people, and they've kept telling each other right down to today."(Ken R.) At Rock Mills United Methodist Church....every Sunday we say The "Apostle's Creed! "I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Maker of Heaven and Earth, and in Jesus Christ his only Son, our Lord; who was conceived of the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended to the dead. ON THE THIRD DAY HE ROSE FROM THE DEAD. He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of God the Father Almighty. From thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, THE RESURRECTION OF THE BODY and the life everlasting. Amen" I truly believe these words....and know that the cross is God's triumph over sin. The resurrection is his victory over the grave. "Where, O death, is thy sting? Where, O grave, is thy victory?" This means death has no sting because it cannot hold Wilma. The iron grip let slip one man 2,000 years ago, and like a breach in a dam, it is now only a matter of time before they all break loose." Thank you Ken R. for this profound prompt on a post and for making me think about what comes after the earthly end.
It is 7:00 in the morning and the halls are so quiet. Today is the first day for the last leg of school. Yep, there are thirty days left until graduation. Teachers have thirty-one because we have to come back on Tuesday after Memorial Day to make up a snow day we missed. For the next six weeks I will be attempting to cram as much information in the minds of students who have already shut down for the year. This is my least favorite part of the year. I stopped for a minute to go have coffee and check up on what everyone did during Spring Break.....Don's story was the best. An escapee from Montgomery broke into his house while he was not at home and did not give up. The 23 year old ended up killing himself in Don's hall. This would gross me out and I probably would never sleep in the house again.....Don teaches a class on CSI and he has photos of the crime scene for his class.....GROSS! On the serious side....one of my sweet little 10th grade students was barrel racing on Saturday and she was thrown from her horse, the horse fell n her, and then stepped on her head. She is in a Trauma Hospital in Columbus and they had to put a shunt in her head to ease the swelling. They have had her in a medically induced sleep since the accident to keep her calm and allow the brain to heal. Please pray for her and her family. Please pray for the students that they can stay focused for a few more weeks. It always makes me nervous when we get down to the wire and a senior misses the mark. Pray for the teachers that we will have the sanity to finish out this year. It has been a tough one for me. I personally will be glad when it is over. Have a happy Monday and I will see you tomorrow!
Today was a great day for me musically and spiritually. I got up at 5:30 and left home at 7:30 so Rhonda, Rita and I could practice at the Arbor before the 9:00 service. I sang there and left when the band went down for the sermon. At that point I got into my little HHR and headed up the road for Rock Mills. Rhonda and Rita were coming behind me later. There was a trade off for me singing at the Arbor....they had to come back with me and sing with me at Rock Mills. What a special day to sing with my Arbor family and then sing for my Rock Mills family. Rhonda and I did Via Dolorosa. She sings the English part and I sing the Spanish....but Blue surprised me with three more of my favorites. I got to sing Shackles (Mary Mary style), Beautiful One, AND Grace Like Rain. What an adrenaline rush I have had for the Lord today! God Bless You All. I love Holy Week. I am definitely an Easter person. I love the fact that Christ died for me so that I can have eternal life....it was His choice. He could have said, "No way Jose"...but he didn't. He went to teh cross. On a less enthusiastic note my Spring Break officially ends tonight at midnight and it is back to work for six more weeks. I really feel like I did not have a Spring Break...and didn't....because of the death and funeral of my mom....and my birthday on Friday was not the greatest day either....but to quote the Still Magnolias song Amanda wrote..."Life Goes and Life Goes On." My mom is in a far better place and we buried her on my dad's birthday. What a great birthday present for my dad. My parents loved each other unconditionally....and he was her best friend....and now they are together again. Bless you all for the food, encouraging words, hugs, flowers, and prayers. I have some great friends and family! Today, I feel truly blessed!
This is my offering from April 10th - April 17th. It is not what I had planned to shoot but it is what I ended up shooting. This was my Spring Break week and Frank and I were going to Knoxville and then on to Nashville to see friends and family. Monday, our first official day away we were called back to Alex City because my mom had passed away. Sara is so gracious to host this each week and if you want to see some great pictures hop over to her blog and check out all the links. You won't be sorry.
Sunday, April 10th
On Hwy 53 between Rome and Calhoun, GA there are two beautiful gates and I had to get Frank to stop so I could get a picture of one of them. The other gate, which is a tree, was opened so we could not get it this trip. I am sure though that there will be other trips to Tennessee in the future and I will catch it then.
This little pup(dripping with sarcasm) is Susan's next door neighbor. It is as tall as the fence....a small horse. There are two of them in the yard and frighten me because of their size.
Monday, April 11th
Pink and Red Dogwoods from Susan's front yard in Knoxville
Wild azalea's from the woods behind Charlie and Jane's house on Deadrick Road in Knoxville.
Pine cones blossoming. I have never noticed them before.
My new toy. It is a Ruger Mark II. We went out to Charlie and Jane's to target practice.
Frank's new toy. It is a Bersa 380. We had a great time. Frank had to buy Chuck and I a drink because we both got closer to the bull's eye than he did.
Trillium that I found out at the target area. It is so pretty. I would love to have transplanted it in Alabama.
Tuesday, April 12th
This is the prayer shawl that Robin sent to me. She is a Project 365'er. I thought my mom would love one. It arrived the day she died. Kathryn is taking it to another alzheimer patient. Robin sent the sweetest note to my mom and I will cherish her precious words forever. This is what blogging is all about....showing compassion and love for people you have never physically met. Thanks Robin for this gesture.
Wednesday, April 13th
A rose from my side yard. It is called a Confederate rose and they are really pretty when they bloom. Melissa, my cousin from Nashville is getting ready for the viewing.
Thursday, April 14th
Four of my best guys. Randy, Brian, Frank and Chuck.
Amanda, Susan, and Kat at the cemetary.
Friday, April 15th
Girls gone wild on Randy's trike!
I was going to tell you that this is what Frank gave me for my birthday.....but....I remembered that I am a preacher's wife and should not tell a lie.
Chuck holding his man-bag (actually it is my purse) while the guys watched us do the Trike photo shoot.
Saturday, April 16th
Today we had Ron's surprise 70th birthday party.....and boy was he surprised. He thought it was a surprise party for me. Frank had asked him to pick me up because the story I had been told was that Beth (his wife) and I were going to practice music and then when Frank got close he would call and the four of us were going out to dinner. The surprise was...I knew all this...and my job was to hold him at my house until everyone got there. Ron's girls from Florida were all here and all of Beth's kids were there too. He was so excited about the surprise I was going to have....and was stunned when he realized...it was HIS surprise party. What a great way to end a really hard week. I loved it.
I am a woman who wears many hats and loves them all. I am a singer - I sing with the group Still Magnolias. I was part of the original First United Methodist Church Arbor Praise Team until we moved. After 24+ years of teaching English 11 and Spanish I - II at Benjamin Russell High School I decided to take a job closer to home. I now teach Spanish I & 2 at Randolph Co. High School and Wadley. I thought I was getting close to retirement and looking forward to it, but decided to move my cheese and try something different. I am a preacher's wife and a preacher myself. My husband Frank is the pastor at Rock Mills United Methodist Church and I am the pastor at Midway (Wedowee). It has made our conversations interesting, to say the least.