Isaiah 6:8

8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

Monday, May 30, 2016

A Daughter's Dream

About The Book:  A Daughter's Dream (Avon Inspire, May 2016)  A young teacher and farmer discover they have much in common, especially when it comes to healing old wounds from the past . . . and finding love in one another.  Rebecca Kinsinger has always dreamed of being a teacher. But when she's given the opportunity she's been waiting for at Charm Amish School, she's dismayed to discover that teaching is hard work---work she's afraid she's not very good at.  That is, until Lilly Yoder joins the class. A thirteen-year old who's just lost her parents, Lilly is in need of someone like Rebecca. For the first time since starting her new job, Rebecca feels a sense of purpose. But when she meets Lilly's uncle, Jacob, his good looks and sweet, easy-going temperament are hard to ignore. How can she even entertain romantic thoughts of Jacob when his niece is her student?  Suddenly becoming Lily's sole caregiver, Jacob Yoder never thought he'd be a single parent---or a farmer. Having been living in Florida as a carpenter, Jacob feels more at home wielding a hammer than a backhoe. The only bright spot in his life is Rebecca Kinsinger. As Lily and Rebecca develop a bond, Jacob's fondness for the pretty teacher grows, too.  But when a fateful accident brings them together, Rebecca and Jacob must choose between duty and desire. Will they follow the path before them? Or set out to find true happiness . . . and true love?  Purchase a copy:
About The Author:  Shelley Shepard Gray is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, a finalist for the American Christian Fiction Writers prestigious Carol Award, and a two-time HOLT Medallion winner. She lives in southern Ohio, where she writes full-time, bakes too much, and can often be found walking her dachshunds on her town's bike trail.
My Thoughts On The Book:  I have loved everything I have read by Shelley Shepard Gray and now I've added another one of her books to my library. This book is not just as great as I hoped it would be, it is even better! The story is about Rebecca, who works in the family business, but always has wanted to be a teacher.  Rebecca is fortunate and gets her shot at the world of teaching and finds....I am not going to blow the it and find out.
This was a wonderful sequel to A Son's Vow.   If you love amish fiction then you must read will love it!  I know I did.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Litfuse Publishing and Avon Inspired Publishing Company as part of their Blogging Review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Lest We Never Forget

My scripture today comes from Exodus 28:29:  “Whenever Aaron enters the Holy Place, he will bear the names of the sons of Israel over his heart on the breast piece of decision as a continuing memorial before the Lord.

The most meaningful military memorial to me is one I first saw at North Georgia College in Dahlonega. It reads: “All gave some, some gave all.” Memorial day is to honor the sacrifice of those soldiers who gave all for the cause of freedom.  It is easy to forget that when we enjoy our worship every Sunday, vote freely at every election, drive from state to state in this country without passports or checkpoints, watch television programs that fully engage the free speech clause, and enjoy hot dogs and hamburgers on Memorial Day. It’s so easy to forget.  Maybe that’s why our forefathers erected monuments to remind the citizens of a sacrifice that was made. Most small towns have monuments that are obvious to those who pass by.  In Gainesville they have “Old Joe” on the downtown square, a memorial to those who fought in the Civil War. In Washington D.C there is a memorial to the Vietnam veterans called the Wall.  It is a haunting place.  If you ever go there…and touch it….you will never be the same.  The Statler Brothers have a song about The Wall….but today it could be about any veteran who gave their lives so we could be here…in this building today.  New York City has constructed the Freedom Tower to remind us our pursuit of freedom despite the terrorist attack of 9/11 on the World Trade Center and all the innocent victims of that tragedy. The sad thing….is it’s so easy to forget. That’s why we need Memorial Days – opportunities to remind us of the price that was paid for our freedom.   God knows how forgetful we are.
God cautioned the people of Moses’ day: “If you ever forget the Lord your God and follow other gods and worship and bow down to them, I testify against you today that you will surely be destroyed.” (Deuteronomy 8:19)  Unfortunately they did forget the blessings of God and constructed a golden calf to worship rather than honor the miracle working God who delivered them from Egypt. They suffered the consequences.

1 Samuel 12:9 - says in recalling this time: “But they forgot the Lord their God…”  Since God knows how forgetful his people are, he wanted to remind the high priest, and the people, of His covenant with his people Israel… so he commanded that the priest wear a special breastplate of linen cloth and gold rings and precious jewels one for each of the sons of Israel – 12 in all.
And yet, a few hundred years later, an entire generation of God’s people forgot the Lord. Judges 2:10-13 says: “…another generation grew up, who knew neither the Lord nor what he had done for Israel.”  God knows how easy it is to forget…yet there is always a price when we forget.  We repeat the same mistakes.  We turn to the wrong places for answers.  We seek solutions in places and programs and people rather than God.  We become comfortable and selfish.  We become greedy and demanding. We become hateful and not loving.

Why did God give those precious stones to the high priest to wear – one for each of the 12 tribes of Israel? Simply as a memorial to remind his chosen people that each person, though different in every way, is still precious to Him and HE will NEVER forget us. He will never forget us!  Isaiah 44:21 - says: “I have made you, you are my servant; O Israel, I will not forget you.”  Hebrews 6:10 – “God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them.”  God knows how forgetful we are, but he will never forget us.  Those precious jewels that the Old Testament priest wore were to cover his heart, reminding him and the people that God always has his people on his heart. That he loved them and deeply cared for them. As Isaiah 43:4  says: “…you are precious and honored in my sight.”

We no longer have the breast piece today. It has been replaced by the Lord’s Supper. Jesus began this memorial when he said: “Do this in remembrance of me.” (1 Cor. 11:24) The loaf and the cup remind us of the sacrifice that was paid for our spiritual freedom. We were bound and imprisoned by sin, but the blood of Jesus has set us free! Because God knows how easy it is for us to forget, he gave us the Lord’s Supper as a tangible memorial to remind us that Jesus gave – not some – but all – to purchase our freedom – to redeem us – and set us free.
God has never forgotten his children. He reminds us how precious we are to Him every week through the Lord’s Supper. It is a continual memorial, just like Aaron’s breastplate of the Old Testament. But instead of precious stones, we have the precious blood of Jesus as our reminder. As we receive the elements of the Lord’s Supper each week we remind ourselves of the sacrifice that was made for our sins.

Here in the South, there are memorials in most towns to the bloodiest war fought on our soil – the Civil War. Over 600,000 died in that conflict. What is often not known is that both the North and the South allowed “substitute soldiers.” A man drafted for military service could literally buy another man to go to war in his place. This lasted until 1863 in the South, when there were no more available men, and began about that same time in the North where immigrants were often paid to fight in someone’s place. The term “rich man’s war, poor man’s fight” became popular in the South.
Imagine paying someone to fight in your place – most to die in your place. How humbling that must have been. Yet, today, all of us gather for worship on this memorial day weekend… humbled… knowing that not only did soldiers die for our freedom as a nation, but that we have a substitute that died in our place, for our eternal freedom.   This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. – 1 John 4:10  He died for me. May we never forget and may we always live for Him!


Saturday, May 28, 2016

Memorial Day and the Children

Scripture: You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of men. 1 Corinthians 7:23 (NIV) So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. John 8:36 (NIV)
Do you know why I brought this flag with me this morning?  It is to remind me that this week we celebrate a very special holiday.  How many of you know what holiday we celebrate this week? It is called Memorial Day. Memorial Day is a day on which we stop to remember and to honor the men and women who died in military service while fighting to defend the cause of freedom.
We enjoy a lot of freedom in our country. We are free to attend church and worship, we are free to choose what we want to be when we grow up, we are free to choose where we want to live, we are free to choose most of the things that affect our daily lives. Yes, we enjoy our freedom, but that freedom wasn't free. Many courageous men and women gave their lives to pay the price for the freedom that you and I enjoy.  These are the ones that we honor this week as we celebrate Memorial Day.

Yes, we enjoy a lot of freedom, but the greatest freedom that we have is the freedom that we have in Christ Jesus. The Bible teaches that the penalty for sin is death, but you and I have been set free from this penalty. We have been set free because Jesus paid the penalty. The Bible tells us that Jesus died to set us free from the penalty of sin. Instead of death, we have been given eternal life. This freedom wasn't free, Jesus paid the price.
This week as we celebrate Memorial Day, let us remember to stop and thank God for those who have paid the price for our freedom. Let us also remember to thank God for Jesus, who has set us free from the penalty for sin, because he was willing to pay the price.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Did You Know: The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

I found the following on Facebook and was surprised at how little I knew about The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.  So I thought I would share it with my readers and see how much you know.

On Jeopardy the other night, the final question was
"How many steps does the guard take during his
walk across the tomb of the Unknowns?" ...
All three contestants missed it!

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
1. How many steps does the guard take during his
walk across the tomb of the Unknowns
and why?
21 steps:
It alludes to the twenty-one gun salute which
is the highest honor given any military or foreign
2. How long does he hesitate after his about face
to begin his return walk and why?
21 seconds for the same reason as answer number 1
3. Why are his gloves wet?
His gloves are moistened to prevent his losing his grip on the rifle.
4. Does he carry his rifle on the same shoulder all the time and, if
not, why not?
He carries the rifle on the shoulder away from the tomb. After his march across the path, he executes an about face and moves the rifle to the outside shoulder.
5. How often are the guards changed?
Guards are changed every thirty minutes, twenty-four hours a day, 365 days a year.
6. What are the physical traits of the guard limited to?
For a person to apply for guard duty at the tomb, he must be between 5' 10' and 6' 2' tall and his waist size cannot exceed 30.
They must commit 2 years of life to guard the tomb, live in a barracks under the tomb, and cannot drink any alcohol on or off duty for the rest of their lives. They cannot swear in public for the
rest of their lives and cannot disgrace the
uniform or the tomb in any way.
After two years, the guard is given a wreath pin that is worn on their lapel signifying they served as guard of the tomb. There are only 400 presently worn. The guard must obey these rules for the rest of their lives or give up the wreath pin.
The shoes are specially made with very thick soles to keep the heat and cold from their feet. There are metal heel plates that extend to the top of the shoe in order to make the loud click as
they come to a halt.
There are no wrinkles, folds or lint on the uniform. Guards dress for duty in front of a full-length mirror.
The first six months of duty a guard cannot talk to anyone nor
watch TV. All off duty time is spent studying the 175 notable people laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery .A guard must memorize who they are and where they are interred. Among the notables are:
President Taft,
Joe Lewis {the boxer}
Medal of Honor winner Audie L. Murphy, the most decorated soldier of WWII and of Hollywood fame.
Every guard spends five hours a day getting his uniforms ready for guard duty..
In 2003 as Hurricane Isabelle was approaching Washington , DC , our US Senate/House took 2 days off with anticipation of the storm. On the ABC evening news, it was reported that because of
the dangers from the hurricane, the military members assigned the duty of guarding the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier were given permission to suspend the assignment. They respectfully declined the offer, "No way, Sir!" Soaked to the skin, marching in the pelting rain of a tropical storm, they said that guarding the Tomb was not just an assignment, it was the highest honor that can be afforded
to a service person. The tomb has been patrolled continuously, 24/7, since 1930.
God Bless and keep them. We can be very proud of our men and women in the service no matter where they serve.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Wednesday Hodge Podge

Some weeks you get a clever title and some weeks you get just a title. On this last Wednesday in May our fearless leader went with option B for the win. If you've answered today's questions be sure to add your link at the end of Joyce's post by clicking here before you run say hi to your neighbor. Here we go-

1.  How should success be measured? Using that as your standard, who is the most successful person you know? (or one of the most successful?) For me, success is defined as that moment in time when I feel like I wouldn't switch my life with anyone else's in this world.  My daughter Kat, a missionary in Moldova, is who I think of when I think of successful.2. Have you ever been to a hot air balloon launch/fest/party? Ever taken a ride in a hot air balloon? Is that on your bucket list? No and it is not on my bucket list of to do things.  Which one on the list would you most like to experience?  Spending a month living in the UK and exploring Alaska would be on my bucket list.
3. May 25th is National Brown-Bag It Day. Did you/will you pack a lunch today? When did you last pack a lunch for someone and what are your go-to ingredients for a brown bag lunch?   I did not pack a lunch today because school is out for the summer.  I wish Pinterest had been around when my kids were little. 
4. What's one of your favorite dance scenes from a movie or television show?  The tango scene with Antonio Banderas in Let's Dance. It is very sultry and seductive.
5. John F. Kennedy made famous the line, "...Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country." So what can you do for your country?  I am going to borrow from Joyce here because her answers would be my answers.  Respect the flag. Support the men and women who make up the armed forces. Vote. Lend a helping hand to lift up my community or state in some way. Treat people with kindness.  Get out and see this place I call home, appreciate the beauty that is everywhere. 
6. Weekends are made for________________________.  Fun, church, and everything else I didn't get done during the week.....this is especially true during the school year.   
7. On this last Wednesday of the month bid farewell to the month of May in seven words or less. 
The end.  I never saw you coming.
8. Insert your own random thought here.  I am headed to the Panama City Beach on Sunday after church.  This is the view from our room at the Driftwood Lodge.
This is just one of my many planned trips for the summer.  What do your summer plans hold?


Friday, May 20, 2016

Thoughts On Graduation

I have my fourth of four graduations tonight.  I honestly will be glad for them to be over.  I am tired of the speeches, the little productions, et al.  Yet, I will be there....again.  I will sit in my faculty seat....again....and I will cry when I hear the senior's names called....again.  I love these guys.  I know that this is the end for me.....and an ending for them.  I have graduated once from high school and twice from college.  Each time was a special event for me and for my family.  At my high school graduation we wore white caps and gowns, for both college graduations we wore black ones.  The first college graduation the robe was just like the high school one.  The second graduation, with my Masters degree, my robe was black but had odd sleeves and the stole did not hang hung to the back with my major in velvet and the school colors in satin in the back.  I felt very professional.  My only regret is that I always had to wear a mortar board and did not get to wear the cool tam topper.  It isn't going to happen....I am now on the countdown for retirement.....but, since this is the beginning of the Graduation Ceremonies I thought I would share some things with you about graduation.  Did you know?  The graduation ceremony is a cultural tradition that is considered a rite of passage. The ceremony marks a transition from one stage in a student's life to another. Arnold van Gennep coined the phrase "Rite of passage" in 1909 and he believed the rite of passage included the following three steps: Separation from Society, Transformation, and Return to Society in the new status.   The graduation commencement ceremonies usually begin with "Pomp and Circumstance as the graduates enter, speeches from faculty or special speakers, which may include the actual students and music. Diplomas are awarded, and Pomp and Circumstance "Pomp and Circumstance" is  played as the students recess.  The Baccalaureate Ceremony is considered the beginning of "Rite of passage."  "Pomp and Circumstance", was composed by Sir Edward Elgar, was first performed on October 19, 1901 in Liverpool, England. As the students commence and recess to and from the auditorium it plays for them.  The Baccalaureate Ceremony origin is said to go back to 1432. The first Baccalaureate Ceremony commenced at Oxford University. At that time each student was required to deliver a sermon in Latin as part of his academic applications.  What we call today a "cap," which is worn by students and faculty in some cases, used to be called a "hood." The "hood" is believed to be dated back to the Celtic Groups. At that time in history only the Druid priests wore capes with hoods, symbolizing their superiority and higher intelligence. Today, the "hood" or "cap" is used to identify the student's academic institution and degree. The tassel that is attached (and sometimes the color of the cap and gown or scarf) is used to signify the student's academic achievement within the academic structure.  Prior to the 1950's the color of the graduation gown was gray. This was practiced only in the U.S. Colors in European countries were used as far back as the 1800s to signify the area of study. Sometime during the 1950's students began to ask for cap and gowns that represented their school colors. Their wish was granted and the emergence of varying colors used for gowns caught on.  During the 12th and 13th centuries the academic dress for graduation was born. At that time the standard dress for faculty or students was clerical dress. It wasn't until 1321 that the University of Coimbra decided that all Doctors, Bachelors, and Licentiates would be required to wear gowns.  It is so very sad when the graduates choose to forgo  their graduation when it's a moment that can't be repeated and you want to have that one moment to shine. It is a very special moment when you walk across the stage and show you did something extraordinary. Graduation is  mom and dad's time to brag about your success since they want to show the world what you accomplished. It's an exciting time that nobody should miss and should always do every moment they get because you only get that one chance to do it and it only comes once in a lifetime.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Watermelon Rind Pickles

One of the things I love about summer is watermelon.  I love the stuff.  My first mother-in-law used to take the rinds after we had feasted on watermelon and make the most wonder pickles.  They were awesome with ham, peas, anything.  They were so simple(even I can make them) so today while I was cleaning out some of my recipes and filing them in my recipe box I came across this and thought I would share with you all.
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon coarse salt
  • 2 cups peeled watermelon rind ( I do mine both as chunks and as spears)....(leave a thin layer of pink), cut into 1 x 1/2 x 2 inch pieces
  • 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 each of all spice berries
  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • 4 peppercorns
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon pickling spice
  • 1 long slice of fresh gingeroot
  • 1/4 teaspoon celery seeds                        
Instructions:  In large pot, bring water and salt to boil over medium high heat. Add rind pieces and boil until tender, about 5 minutes. Strain. Transfer rinds to a large metal bowl.  In saucepan, combine sugar, cider vinegar, peppercorns, cloves, pickling spice and gingerroot. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Simmer for 15 minutes, until slightly reduced. Pour over watermelon rinds in bowl. Place plate over top to keep rinds submerged in liquid. Cover and refrigerate for one day. Transfer to a glass jar and keep sealed in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.  It makes about 4 cups of pickles. 

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Graduation Week Hodge Podge

Welcome to Wednesday and  Hodgepodge smack dab in the middle of May. Answer the questions on your own blog, then add your link at the end of Joyce's post. Be sure to leave a comment for the blogger linking before you, because we're all about being neighborly here.

1.  Tell us about a time you found yourself 'in the middle of nowhere'. Was this deliberate? 
The family drove to California....nonstop.  I was was the middle of the night.....we were in the middle of the dessert....I could SEE the lights of Winslow Arizona.....but the longer I drove the farther away they got.....there was absolutely nothing on the highway.  All the family was sound asleep in the it was just me....and the road. It was kind of scary and I guess it was deliberate.  I was never so glad to see the lights of a city in my life.  We ended up spending the night there.

2. What's something you're in the middle of today or this week?   Final exams and graduations. I have four graduations to attend this week.  Tonight will be my third one.  I have to admit that I am graduation WEAK!
3. At what age do you think 'middle age' begins? What does it mean to be 'middle aged'? 
When I was a child I would have said 30.  Then I hit 30 and thought it was 40.  I think 50 is middle age even though most people don't live to be 100.  I like that number.  I can't read the fine print without assistance. I wake stiff and sound like Rice Krispies (I snap, crackle, and pop). I don't take good health for granted, and I spend a lot of time managing said health.  I find myself looking forward to retirement and slowing down.  I enjoy things more.

4. Ravioli, stuffed peppers, samosas, deviled eggs, steamed dumplings, peirogis, or a jelly donut...your favorite food (from this list!) with something yummy in the middle. Your favorite not on the list?   My least favorite on the list is stuffed peppers.  I truly despise them.  My mom used to make me eat them as a child and even the smell of them makes me gag even today.  I love jelly donuts, steamed dumplings and peirogis.  My favorite not on the list of stuffed goodies would be a cannoli...especially if I am in Italy.  I owuld pick a cannoli over any of the ones on the list.

5. Albert Einstein is quoted as saying,"In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity." Would you agree? Have you found this to be true in your own life? Feel free to elaborate. 
Oh yes I agree.  I have to agree with Joyce and her daughter... in order to know you can do hard things you have to do hard things.  Sometimes I go ahead and wallow....but other times I succeed in finding the blessing in the difficulty.  
6. What's a song you remember loving from your middle school years? Do you love it still? 
Traces by Dennis Yost and The Classics IV, Aquarius/Let The Sunshine In by the 5th Dimension, This Girl Is A Woman Now, by Gary Puckett and The Union Gap, Heard It Through The Grapevine by Marvin Gaye, Galveston by Glen Campbell, Barry Sandler's Ballad of the Green Beret (always made me cry....still does), California Dreamin' by the Mama's and the Papa's, ...and my list goes on.  I still love every single one of these songs.  Several years ago my dear friend, Carol, made me a whole collection of CD's from the 60's and 70's.  This is one of my prized collections.

7. May 18th is National Visit Your Relatives Day. Will you celebrate? Which relative would you visit if time, distance, and expense were not considered?  I wish I could.  I guess Frank will be the relative I will visit with today.  I would visit my daughter in Moldova if I could....but is not going to happen. 
8. Insert your own random thought here. 
Who out there in blogger land is an NCIS fan?  Did you watch the season finale last night.  What a surprise it was.  If you didn't see it....I won't spoil it for you....but if you love NCIS you need to watch it.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Graduation Weak

I am overwhelmed with graduations this week.  Last night kicked it off with the Rock Mills Kindergarten graduation at 6.  Tonight is the Rock Mills 8th grade graduation at 6.  Wednesday is the Wadley High School graduation at 7:00, and Friday is RCHS's graduation at 7.  I could actually go to one on Thursday night if I attended Woodland's graduation...but I am not.  With Baccalaureate on Sunday at RCHS Pomp and Circumstance is stuck permanently in my head.  I live for this time of the year.  I cry as my seniors walk across the stage and begin their next chapter in their lives.  I remember my own graduation.  When my daughter Kathryn graduated in 1998 her Valedictorian read this:

Wear Sunscreen

By Mary Schmich of the Chicago Tribune
                                          Ladies and gentlemen of the class of '98: Wear sunscreen.
If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience. I will dispense this advice now.

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth. Oh, never mind. You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they've faded. But trust me, in 20 years, you'll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can't grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked. You are not as fat as you imagine.

Don't worry about the future. Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that blind side you at 4 PM on some idle Tuesday.

Do one thing every day that scares you.


Don't be reckless with other people's hearts. Don't put up with people who are reckless with yours.


Don't waste your time on jealousy. Sometimes you're ahead, sometimes you're behind. The race is long and, in the end, it's only with yourself.

Remember compliments you receive. Forget the insults. If you succeed in doing this, tell me how.

Keep your old love letters. Throw away your old bank statements.


Don't feel guilty if you don't know what you want to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn't know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives. Some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don't.

Get plenty of calcium.

Be kind to your knees. You'll miss them when they're gone.

Maybe you'll marry, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll have children, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll divorce at 40, maybe you'll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary. Whatever you do, don't congratulate yourself too much, or berate yourself either. Your choices are half chance. So are everybody else's.

Enjoy your body. Use it every way you can. Don't be afraid of it or of what other people think of it. It's the greatest instrument you'll ever own.

Dance, even if you have nowhere to do it but your living room.

Read the directions, even if you don't follow them.

Do not read beauty magazines. They will only make you feel ugly.

Get to know your parents. You never know when they'll be gone for good.

Be nice to your siblings. They're your best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.

Understand that friends come and go, but with a precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle, because the older you get, the more you need the people who knew you when you were young.

Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard.

Live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft.


Accept certain inalienable truths: Prices will rise. Politicians will philander. You, too, will get old. And when you do, you'll fantasize that when you were young, prices were reasonable, politicians were noble, and children respected their elders.

Respect your elders.

Don't expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund. Maybe you'll have a wealthy spouse. But you never know when either one might run out.

Don't mess too much with your hair or by the time you're 40 it will look 85.

Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it's worth.

But trust me on the sunscreen. 

It applies to every graduate....don't you think?  So, to all the graduates out there....whether it be from Kindergarten or College....remember and wear sunscreen!  God Bless You All!

Monday, May 16, 2016

Strawberry Cheesecake Salad

I had the most awesome of salads/desserts yesterday and I just had to share it with you..  It was almost sinful....and so easy to make.  It is a Strawberry Cheesecake Salad and it goes great with anything.   I have always been a sucker for the fluffly salads and this one definitely appealed to me.  It takes 15 minutes to whip up.  If you are like me and time is valuable then this is the dish you will want to take to your next potluck.  It serves 8-10.  I doubled the recipe.
Served Up With Love: Strawberry Cheesecake Salad

1 box (3.4 oz) cheesecake or white chocolate pudding mix (1 used the cheesecake one)
12 oz whipped topping
3 (6oz) containers of strawberry yogurt
1 lb of fresh strawberries sliced
3 bananas, sliced (add just before you serve or they will be brown)
3 cups of miniature marshmallows (optional)

Place the whipped topping, pudding mix, and yogurt into a large bowl.  Whisk together.  Cover and refrigerate until just beofe servicing (about an hour)
Slice the strawberries and bananas
Remove whipped mix from the refrigerator and gently fold in the strawberries, bananas, and marshmallows.
Serve immediately.

I am telling you ....this is a homerun.  It is great as a is delicious on top of pound cake. 
Bon Appetit!

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Am I Sure?


My scripture today comes from Romans 8:14-17

I want to ask you a most profound question as we begin…. What are you sure of?

1. How do you know you are the child of your parents?  This one is hard for me….my parents were both dark haired, dark skinned, with deep brown eyes….just like my brother.  I was a strawberry blonde with blue-grey eyes……

a. How old you are?  Well my birth certificate says I was born on April 15th, 1954….but birth certificates have been known to be wrong….or even altered.

b. How tall you are?  Dr. Peterson’s office measured me in April and I was a whopping 5 feet 5 inches.

c. How much you weigh?...well they did that too…and we will just say….enough.

2. In each case I had a definable witnesses that assure me of the answer to these questions.

DT 19:15 says:  One witness is not enough to convict a man accused of any crime or offense he may have committed. A matter must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.

Mt. 18:16 says:  But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that `every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’

So….What about salvation?

1. Is there any way of outwardly knowing you are saved?

The New Testament answers with a resounding YES!

After John Wesley had been preaching for some time, someone said to him, "Are you sure, Mr. Wesley, of your salvation?" "Well," he answered, "Jesus Christ died for the whole world." "Yes, we all believe that; but are you sure that you are saved?" Wesley replied that he was sure that provision had been made for his salvation.

"But are you sure, Wesley, that you are saved?" It went like an arrow to his heart, and he had no rest or power until that question was settled. Many men and many women go on month after month, and year after year, without power, because they do not know their standing in Christ; they are not sure of their own footing for eternity. Latimer wrote Ridley once that when he was settled and steadfast about his own salvation he was as bold as a lion, but if that hope became eclipsed he was fearful and afraid and was disqualified for service. Many are disqualified for service because they are continually doubting their own salvation.)

Well today you can definitely know that you are saved.

Our scripture shows us two witnesses that assure us we are saved.

The inward evidence of acceptance with God revealed by the Holy Spirit to our understanding and confirmed by our own conscience resulting in a confident knowledge that we are indeed children of God.

We have The Direct Witness of the Holy Spirit – Let me tell you this is the highest form of witness.  There is no greater witness than God, and the Holy Spirit is God.  Gal. 4:6 Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, "Abba, Father." 7 So you are no longer a slave, but a son; and since you are a son, God has made you also an heir. Just as God is truth, there is no falsehood in the Spirit.

1John 5:6 tells us:   This is the one who came by water and blood--Jesus Christ. He did not come by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth.  It precedes any other witness, including our own spirit.  We must live a holy life for our spirit to witness we are saved.  To live a holy life, we must have the Holy spirit to produce holiness in our life.

AND…. It is evidenced by His influence in our lives.  We have a renewed heart.  Titus 3:4 says  But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, 5 he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.

And there is a Production of "fruit" evidenced:  GAL 5:22 tells us:  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

Our second witness is the Indirect Witness of Our Own Spirit.  It confirms the witness of the Holy Spirit.  Someone asked Melvin Trotter, who was a hopeless alcoholic before his conversion, "How do you know you are a Christian?" Trotter replied, "I was there when it happened!").  It is not subjective, or based on feelings.  Religions of the world are often based on feelings. You know…you have to do certain things to feel you are doing what is required.)  That is not what it is like to be a Christian.  Our faith….Must be based on the objective standard of the Word of God.  There is an Immediate knowledge that our lives are changed.

II Cor. 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!

We will also have a Testimony of a clear conscience.  I Cor. 7:10 says that Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death. 11 See what this godly sorrow has produced in you: what earnestness, what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what alarm, what longing, what concern, what readiness to see justice done. At every point you have proved yourselves to be innocent in this matter. 12 So even though I wrote to you, it was not on account of the one who did the wrong or of the injured party, but rather that before God you could see for yourselves how devoted to us you are. 13 By all this we are encouraged.  Heb. 10:22 let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.  Another powerful tool is the Conviction of sin that we experience.  As Christians we want to express the fruit of the Spirit….and show the outward fruit of doing good to all men.  James. 2: 17-18:   In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.  18 But someone will say, " You have faith; I have deeds." Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do.

1John 3:16 This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. 17 If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? 18 Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. 19 This then is how we know that we belong to the truth, and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence 20 whenever our hearts condemn us. For God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything.

So, let me ask you…..right now…..are you sure, today, that you are saved?  I am a people watcher and one of my favorite things to do in an airport, is to observe the difference between passengers who hold confirmed tickets and those who are on standby. The ones with confirmed tickets read newspapers, chat with their friends or sleep. The ones on standby hang around the ticket counter, pace and pace. The difference is caused by the confidence factor. If you knew that in fifteen minutes you would stand in judgment before the Holy God and learn your eternal destiny, what would your reaction be? Would you pace? Would you say to yourself, "I don’t know what God’s going to say--will it be ’Welcome home, child,’ or will it be ’Depart from me; I never knew you’?

Saturday, May 14, 2016

The Cardboard Boat Races

What a day....this is how I spent my day.  We hosted the Cardboard Boat Races...and read that right. . The boats were all made from cardboard and had to be paddled 80 to a buoy and back.  It was hilarious.  If you live on/near water...this would be an awesome fundraiser.

Step one - Boat inspection began at 9:00.  All boats had to be made entirely of cardboard.

Before the races there was sponge/bucket filled with water toss.  Our AD/Head football coach, Pat Prestridge and Assistant Principal, Mrs. Kelly took one for the team and raised a whopping 40.00.  The principals at both RCHS and Wedowee Elementary also took part in the fun.

Mr. Anglin and Mrs. Kelly were ready for the races to begin and put on their official head gear.  I work with some amazing people.
This is the group that worked or entered boats with their clubs names on them.  We were a pretty motley crew don't you think.
And they were off!
It was a great day to have a boat race and a lot of fun was had by all!