Sunday, September 12, 2021

Sunday Musings | Have You Been With Jesus?

As we were heading home at the end of vacation a few years ago, Robbie said to me, “Your southern accent really came out these last few days.”

I hadn’t realized it, but it was easy to slip back into that distinctive Delta drawl when I was around my extended family in Mississippi (despite having grown up and lived in Texas for over 40 years now!). Just spending time with Aunt Betty and Uncle Adrian and my cousins brought out a dialect I rarely use. The words I spoke and the way I spoke them made it obvious who I’d been hanging out with; and, the more time I spent there, the more I sounded like them.

Similarly, when Peter and John were arrested and brought before the leaders to explain by what power they preached and healed, it was obvious who they’d been hanging out with. Peter spoke boldly proclaiming that Jesus Christ of Nazareth was the one that healed and offered salvation … and the leaders knew they had been with Jesus.


Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled. And they realized that they had been with Jesus. ~Acts 4:13

Before Peter and John were arrested in Acts 4, they had spent three years with Jesus and then had an encounter with the Holy Spirit. It was obvious to those listening that they had spent time with Jesus!


Wow, wouldn’t it be wonderful if every time we spoke, others were able to tell that we had spent time with Jesus!

We don’t necessarily have to be boldly preaching or quoting scripture defending our faith. Maybe we display a sweet spirit and offer encouraging words to a friend in need or have a calm demeanor and comforting thoughts to share during a crisis. Maybe we show love in all our words and deeds and give the Lord credit for our many blessings.

But just like my Mississippi drawl is only evident when I’ve spent time with my family, the fact that we’ve been with Jesus will only be evident when we spend time with Him and His Word.

As you go about your week, take note of the time you spend with Jesus and ask Him to let His light shine boldly in your life so that others will know you’ve been with Him.

Thursday, September 9, 2021

God Hasn't Changed (Virtual Bible Journaling Class)

The theme of the 1994 Nederland (Texas) Heritage Festival parade was “Flash Back to the 50s.” The Twin City Church of God entered a flatbed float with a young “preacher” wearing rolled up jeans & a cardigan sweater at the podium in front of his teenage “congregation” balancing on wobbly wooden pews and wearing poodle skirts, saddle shoes, jeans and white t-shirts. Old-time hymns blasted from speakers, and the hand painted banner read, “Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever.” It was an overcast day with a few glimpses of sunshine … and it’s a favorite memory of mine from the time I served as volunteer youth director in the church where I’d grown up.

I remember discussing the scripture in Hebrews 13:8 with the teens as we painted the words on that long banner. We talked about how clothing styles had changed and which music we should play/sing to go with the 1950s theme. I don’t think any of us could have imagined the many changes we’d see in the following decades – from clothing to hair styles to technology to globalization to the increase in megachurches and the advent of social media to living through a worldwide pandemic.

Yet, one thing remains the same … our Lord has not changed. He truly is still the same yesterday, today, and forever.


While I was on my blog break, I announced my next VIRTUAL Bible Journaling Class and there's still time for you to sign up! This class will be presented live via Zoom, so you can join in from anywhere as we dive into the Word and use our creativity to draw closer to the Lord. (Times listed are CDT.)

God Hasn’t Changed
Virtual Bible Journaling Class presented via Zoom
September 17 or 18, 2021 (Friday or Saturday)
10am – 12:30pm
$25

Join me for a virtual Bible journaling class in September as we take a look at the importance of understanding and acknowledging His never-changingness in a world that is ever-changing. Your class fee includes Biblical teaching, illustrated Bible journaling technique demonstrations and ideas, a printable notes handout and a traceable image.

Please note:
* This class will be presented live via Zoom. Due to the interactive nature of these classes, replays are not available.
* Your spot is reserved once payment is received. The link to the Zoom classroom and the notes handout will be sent separately as we get closer to the class date.
* There is not a supply kit for this event. However, I will be sending a list of items you may want to have on hand during the class. You’ll definitely want to have your Bible and a pen on hand. Otherwise, I encourage you to use what you have available as you illustrate what the Lord is showing you through His Word.

Click the appropriate link below to reserve your spot today!



BTW - If you or someone you know could benefit from attending a class but the cost would be a hardship at this time, please contact me!!

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Goodbye Summer!

Labor Day weekend always feels like the end of summer to me, despite the fact that it doesn't officially end until September 22. So, as I wave goodbye to summer and end my blogging break today, here's the story of our summer 2021.

As vaccines continued to roll out, most businesses returned to normal operating hours, coronavirus case numbers declined and travel restrictions eased, we were cautiously optimistic as summer began. The month of June was similar to many past years as we enjoyed summer visits from our 11-year-old great-niece Mariah, 16-year-old niece Paige, and 11-year-old great-nephew Andrew. During those visits, we ventured out a bit, still practicing social distancing and wearing masks (not counting the couple of times I took one of the kids ice skating). It was a FUN month (except for those two days without air conditioning as we waited for the repair part to arrive).



Truly hot weather arrived in July, and we were able to escape for a weekend get-away to our favorite bed & breakfast to celebrate my birthday. Our suite was lovely and we enjoyed the Country Gourmet Breakfasts, Artesian Grazing Board, Chocolate Covered Strawberries, and Picnic Basket Lunch prepared by our friend Carol, the best innkeeper ever! Robbie had also called ahead and had a dozen roses and specialty birthday cake waiting when we arrived. We were the only guests at the B&B, so we were able to relax in the common areas and at the swimming pool as well. It was a much-needed and enjoyed get-away.


As July came to a close, the number of Delta variant cases began to increase throughout Texas and across the US. August brought news that my step-grandmother passed away from Covid, a flare-up of Robbie's back pain that resulted in several doctor visits, and the decision to cancel our planned trip to Ohio over Labor Day weekend. Honestly, I had a couple of weeks of the doldrums, feeling discouraged that we're still dealing with this pandemic and disappointed that we're not comfortable planning any travel for the foreseeable future. The news of fires and hurricanes and controversy over masks in schools and the rising number of children in ICUs obviously did not help my disposition.

So, we retreated to our habit of staying home except for weekly forays to pick up (curbside) groceries and the occasional library book. The heat (temperatures close to 100 degrees) kept us mostly indoors, but we were able to complete a few projects (cleaning out, decluttering and reorganizing a couple of closets and updating the layouts and display on our Memories shelf) and try some new recipes and watch several great movies. Plus we had a nice lunch and visit with Mama & Daddy this past weekend.



Don't worry - there was also lots of scrapbooking and crafting, the scheduling of Bible journaling classes (all virtual so you're welcome to join in from anywhere), and other bits & pieces that I'll be sharing about in future posts.

Throughout the summer, I've been scrolling blogs & commenting occasionally, but if I've missed anything you think I'll especially enjoy, please share in the comments & I'll pop around.

Monday, May 31, 2021

Hello Summer!

Memorial Day weekend always feels like the beginning of summer to me, despite the fact that it officially begins on June 20, so I'll be taking a break here for a bit as I get out and enjoy the longer days and beautiful sunshine (in between all the rains and storms we're having)!

Happy Summertime Y'all!

May Every Day | Remembrance Sunday (UK) ~Guest Post by Ruth

May Every Day is a series of (almost) daily blog posts for May 2021 sharing days and weeks that we celebrate or observe. Some of these days are well-known holidays while others are more obscure observances, some are celebrated internationally while others are more nationally focused, some are significant while others are just plain FUN!

As we celebrate Memorial Day and remember those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our country here in the United States today, please join me in welcoming my friend & today's guest blogger Ruth from London, England, as she shares about a similar day celebrated in the United Kingdom.

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In the UK, Remembrance Sunday is commemorated on the nearest Sunday to the 11th November (that date being the day the Armistice was signed in 1918 signalling the end of the Great War). It’s an important date in our nation’s calendar.

The country’s main focus for commemoration is at the Cenotaph in Whitehall, London. Her Majesty the Queen is present (although she no longer physically lays a wreath) and is joined by senior members of the royal family, all ranks of the military and politicians.

At the same time, across the country in cities, towns and villages, communities come together at their own war memorial. When the clock strikes 11am, there is a two-minute silence followed by the sounding of the Last Post.


We attend our local war memorial in West London and The Boy usually wears my old RAF beret. I place a memorial cross in remembrance of Flying Officer Roy Stewart Wilson – you can read why here.


Remembrance Sunday is how we unite across faiths, cultures and backgrounds to remember the service and sacrifice of the Armed Forces community from Britain and the Commonwealth.

At the going down of the sun and in the morning, we will remember them.

Thanks to Melissa for inviting me to write a guest post; I hope you enjoyed it. You can find me blogging at: thiswestlondonlife.com and on Instagram as: @thiswestlondonlife.

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Thanks for this wonderfully informative post Ruth! I hope we'll be able to meet up in person again one day - in your country or mine.

And thanks to each of you who have popped in and left comments as we've celebrated and observed a variety of days & weeks throughout this month!

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

May Every Day | National Photography Month

May Every Day is a series of (almost) daily blog posts for May 2021 sharing days and weeks that we celebrate or observe. Some of these days are well-known holidays while others are more obscure observances, some are celebrated internationally while others are more nationally focused, some are significant while others are just plain FUN!

What better time to focus on your picture taking skills than National Photography Month? This celebration of all things photography was first organized in 1987 by the American Photographers Association. Photography plays a huge role in modern society and it has become easier for everyone to enjoy this hobby with the advent of digital images and smart phone cameras.

Photography allows us to preserve memories, capture the beauty around us, tell stories, share things with others, see changes over time, etc.



With our cameras or smartphones, we can capture the big picture or focus on the details.


We can snap photos quickly to capture a moment or activity, while other times we can carefully compose a shot (and take numerous snaps to get just the right one). If you haven't already done so, be sure to slow down and capture, enjoy and share some photos this month!

Monday, May 24, 2021

May Every Day | Victoria Day (Canada) ~Guest Post by Mary-Lou

May Every Day is a series of (almost) daily blog posts for May 2021 sharing days and weeks that we celebrate or observe. Some of these days are well-known holidays while others are more obscure observances, some are celebrated internationally while others are more nationally focused, some are significant while others are just plain FUN!

Please join me in welcoming my friend
& today's guest blogger
Mary-Lou from Ontario, Canada.

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Wikipedia says this about May 24th – Victoria Day:

Victoria Day Victoria Day is a federal statutory holiday, as well as a holiday in six of Canada's ten provinces and all three of its territories. Initially set to honour Queen Victoria's birthday. It is informally considered to be the beginning of the summer season in Canada.

The holiday has been observed in Canada since at least 1845, originally falling on Victoria's actual birthday (May 24). The holiday has always been a distinctly Canadian observance and continues to be celebrated across the country. It falls on the Monday between the 18th and the 24th and so is always the penultimate Monday of May (May 24 in 2021 and May 23 in 2022).


As time changes connections, Canada is no longer an annex of the British Empire, but a willing member of the Commonwealth, the Victoria Day weekend informally took on other names. It’s now either the May Long Weekend or fondly referred to as the May Two Four weekend. Two Four, 2 4 refers to the size of beer container many/most people purchase at the start of the weekend, a case of 24 beer bottles or cans.

In Ontario, May long weekend is also the date we use as calendar marks for things like when to plant our tender annual plants and vegetables, as it is unlikely that after this date, we will get snow and/or heavy killing frost.


It is also the weekend that for many signals the wearing of white shoes, you stop after Labour Day in September by the way. There are lots that don’t follow this “rule” & wear white shoes any time they feel like.

For many, May 2 4 weekend signals the time to open the cottage after a long winter season, hence the need for beer substance. It is also the weekend that begins the camping season, which is also when the black flies appear on mass and torment all. These tiny little flies have a big bite, which can cause great swelling and pain at the bite site. If you have never been tormented by these little nasties, consider yourself truly fortunate.

Fireworks, for the May weekend is a hotly debated/argued pro/con issue. It is the first of the three big holiday weekends that fireworks could be called for. The other two long weekends would be for Canada Day in July and Labour Day in September. It is written, in most community by-laws, that Monday is technically the only day of these holiday weekends you can use fireworks, but it seems that many ignore that … I’ll say no more.

Besides the fireworks debate over the weekend, the other hotly contended debate, even within civilized families, is who makes the best potato salad. If you Google potato salad you get back hundreds of recipes, all with little subtle differences. I can settle this argument right now, my Mother’s recipe makes the best, ever!

Now you’ll have to excuse me, I have a pair of white sandals to find and a potato salad to make.
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Thank you for this delightful and informative read Mary-Lou! I hope you are having a wonderful Victoria Day/May 2 4 Long Weekend!

Did you know today is also National Scavenger Hunt Day? Each summer, Mary-Lou hosts a Summer Photography Scavenger Hunt on her blog. It's always FUN, so be sure to pop over and check out this year's list - the hunt begins June 1.

Sunday, May 23, 2021

May Every Day | National Taffy Day

May Every Day is a series of (almost) daily blog posts for May 2021 sharing days and weeks that we celebrate or observe. Some of these days are well-known holidays while others are more obscure observances, some are celebrated internationally while others are more nationally focused, some are significant while others are just plain FUN!

Today is the day to celebrate taffy, that sticky sweet chewy candy that comes in many colors and flavors. It is made by boiling sugar, molasses or corn syrup with butter (and other ingredients), which is then pulled until it's porous and glossy.

My favorite place to get taffy is at La King's Confectionary on the Strand in Galveston, Texas. This wonderful candy store and ice cream parlor is always on my list of places to visit when I make it to Galveston Island. Along one side of this deep store is a soda fountain with a wide variety of ice cream flavors to choose from. The other side houses long cases of chocolates and candies of all colors and varieties. A taffy-pulling machine is set up near the back of the store. If you're lucky when you arrive, there's might be a taffy pulling demonstration going on - stand back and watch for a bit and the candy maker just might toss you a taffy!


Then it's time to browse all the baskets of taffy and choose which flavors to take home. A few of my favorites are vanilla, cotton candy, and watermelon.

Do you like taffy? What's your favorite flavor?