Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Lessons From Flash

I finished the book I had been reading last month, "Flash: The Homeless Donkey Who Taught Me About Life, Faith and Second Chances", by Rachel Anne Ridge, and I knew I wanted to share with you the lessons that we can learn from Flash.
                    (bear with me this is a long post)
I had heard of this book when reading the Illustrated Faith blog where the author of the blog, Shanna Noel, had recommended the book. I took one look at that cute donkey on the cover and knew I wanted to read all about Flash.



Rachel, the author, breaks down each chapter with lessons that she learned from this unexpected guest who showed up in their driveway late one night. 

Lesson 1 - Remember your name: Know whose you are.
Lesson 2 - Know where to find refuge: True sanctuary is found in God alone.
Lesson 3 - Run with horses: The pursuit of excellence conquers fear.
I think I enjoyed this chapter the best because I know that I sometimes tend to focus on what I don't have instead of what God has given me.
Lesson 4 - Find your passion: Passion leads to purpose.
Lesson 5 - Be a trailblazer: Persistence makes pathways for grace to follow.
Lesson 6 - Wear your donkey heart on your sleeve: A well-lived life is an authentic life.
Lesson 7 - Stand where fruit is falling: The secret of abundance is in choosing gratitude.
Lesson 8 - Be a service animal: You are made to serve in love.
Lesson 9 - Embrace change: Don't let fear of the unknown keep you from moving forward.
Lesson 10 - Make things right with others: Don't miss your chance to forgive, accept, and love.
Lesson 11 - Your journey isn't about fixing donkey problems: It's about transformation.

I think we can learn the life lessons that God may be trying to teach us through taking the time to observe a dog, a cat, or even a donkey. I think one of the lessons that Rachel learned was that if they had just drove on past the donkey in their lane, they would have missed so much of the love that Flash brought to their family.

Sometimes you need to be open to things that may seem to be obstacles at the time, but in reality they have been put there by God so that He can bless you in ways you would never imagine.

I highly recommend the book. It is available through Amazon and Kindle. If you do choose to read it, please let me know what life lessons you learned from Flash.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Frozen

Here I sit at my computer on a cold, windy December night. It's the first day of December and it's 29 degrees out with frozen ice and snow on the ground and the roads. But today isn't the first day that I've felt a chill. Let me explain, if I can...

I have not written anything on my blog since September 11. Even then it was tough to sit down to write but it was such an important day in our lives that I knew I just had to. But it has been so hard for me to get anything down on the computer. I sit and stare at this screen and I get nothing! Nothing! I'm frozen!
I started reading (again) the book "Bird by Bird" by Anne Lamott, hoping that she would have some insight for me. Something that would help this 'writer's block'.

But is it really just writer's block? Inside I know that I have not been right. I think it all started back in July, when we were working practically every day to clean and fix up our house in order to put it on the market. We sold our house at the end of July and closed on a new house at the end of August. The entire month of September was full of moving, unpacking, painting, and on and on. Then a family member moved here which I was not expecting. And then during all of this craziness, our Soldier son calls and tells us he wants to get married while on his next leave, and would his Preacher dad do the wedding. Yes! of course his Preacher dad will do the wedding, but wait a minute, my baby is getting married! I've got all of this planning to do! Aghhhhh! 

Through all of this I have felt my creativity being sucked out of me. In the new house I have a ready made little office that I turned into my craft room. Everything is unpacked and put away and there it stays, put away. I want to do a daily December album but can't seem to get myself to go in there and pull out the December/Christmas stash. I thought I would get it done before Thanksgiving but here I sit and nothing is done. I do have to say I did do one thing. I made tags for my 2016 calendar in my Filofax.

But as you can see here, they sit on my desk and that's as far as I've got. I can't even get myself to glue them in.

Wow, don't I sound like a whiny baby! I know! But it's so hard when you have so much stuff running through your head, stuff you want to do, to write, to create and yet that is where it stays, in your head.

The one thing that bothers me the most is that I haven't been able to get back into my Journaling Bible. It too sits on my desk gathering dust. 

So I guess the reason why I'm writing this post tonight is to ask for prayers. Prayers of spiritual healing. Prayers of forgiveness. Prayers of being someone who is kind and loving. Prayers of creativity. Prayers of being able to crack open that Bible.

So there you have it. This Preacher's wife is dry. I thank you for any and all prayers that you may lift up for me tonight.

Friday, September 11, 2015

14 Years Ago

What happened on this day 14 years ago, I believe, influenced our son and made him what he is today.

Everyone, on this date, remembers where they were when the towers fell. We were at the "happiest place on earth", Disney World. Although on that day there was nothing happy about it.

14 years ago, the Preacher, our son, who was 6 years old, and I spent the week at Disney World. On our last day we decided to take the boat from our campground, Fort Wilderness Resort, to Wilderness Lodge Resort to eat breakfast at one of the restaurants there. We were watching the news before we left and we just happened to see the first plane hit the first tower. Not thinking to much about it, we went on to the boat ramp. There we were greeted by a few other people making their way to the resorts and they were asking us if we had seen the news. When we arrived in the hotel we then were greeted by a woman who was so distraught that she had to be carried by two other people. The big screen TV was on in the bar and there were several people watching the towers burning. Breakfast was eaten in complete silence. Upon returning to the boat ramp, we were told by the boat captain that we would not be allowed into the parks because they were closing. We knew things were bad, because Disney doesn't close for anything!

On our way back to our home in south Florida, we listened to talk radio. Of course nothing was on except what was happening in New York, at the Pentagon and in a remote field in Pennsylvania. I also received a call from my mother explaining that my brother was in Texas and could not get home due to the closure of all airports. She was very worried about him. The Florida toll road was completely open, there was no one in the toll booths to take your money because in emergencies the turnpike is open. It was a very eerie feeling driving throught the toll gates. During that 3 hour ride home we knew that America and the lives of so many would never be the same.

Upon listening to all of the news during that day and then the reports of the war that followed, our son soaked it all in. You try to shield your children, but the reality of it all still gets by you and they know that something isn't right.

I believe that during all of that, our son decided that he would, someday, be one of the many who would stand up and fight for his country. He would be there to take down terrorism, to save his mom, his dad, his friends, his home, his church, his community and his country.

13 years later our son raised his right hand and took the oath to defend the office of the Presidency, and the United States of America. 14 years later he is stationed on a base here in the United States being trained for what may lie ahead, and in another year may be deployed to go and fight and defend this great nation.

I ask that you pray for our son, pray for all of the sons that have fought for you, for the sons who are fighting today, and for the sons that will be fighting in the future to keep this land of ours free.

Thank you and Love from the Preacher and I

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

The Church Dog

Today I thought I'd introduce you to our puppy, Sergeant!

He is our Soldier-son's dog, but the Preacher and I have custody of this little guy while our son is away.

A year ago while we were at our little town's small festival called Old Thresher Days, our son visited the small petting zoo (I'm using this term very loosely), and there he saw some puppies and kittens that were either for sale or for free. He had been wanting a new puppy since his other dog, Max (you can read about Max here), had passed away just 3 months before. While there, he saw three little border collie puppies and he fell head over heels for this little dog.

He just had to have this cutie.
Then, just 2 months later, our son raised his right hand and took the oath to protect his country and off to basic training he went. Now the Preacher and I have custody.

Let me explain how he has become the Church Dog. From the very beginning, before our Soldier-son left for the military, he would bring little Sargy to church with him on Sunday mornings. They would sit on the back row and you would never know our son had a dog with him because Sargy would just lay either in his arms or on the floor under the seat, never making a sound.

After our son left, the Preacher and I began bringing him into work with us here at the church and we would bring him with us on Sunday mornings. He stayed in our office during the service and after service I would put him on his leash and let him play outside. The kids would come and say hi and play with him until their parents were ready to go home.
















I never considered Sargy to be the church dog until I read an article that one of our Elder's had written for our church's monthly newsletter, In the article he talks about the joy of seeing the children having fun at church. He asked the parents to think about seeing their children "running up and down the stairs or the kids who play with the Smith's dog after church." 

And then one day our Worship Leader was taking pictures after church of the kids playing out in the front yard and he took a picture of Sargy, posted it on Facebook, and called Sargy the Church Dog. And there you have it, our dog is now the official Church Dog!

Does your church have an official church dog or cat?

Sergeant ;) The Church Dog

Love from the Preacher, Sargy and I


Saturday, July 25, 2015

A Season of Doubt


Have you ever had those days, seasons, where you have a really hard time understanding what the Lord has in store for you? That is where the Preacher and I have been for about a month.

Several years ago our home began to feel a bit to big for our family after the Preacher's mother passed away. Then last year our son, the Soldier, joined the military and our home felt like a cavern. It felt so big and so empty! 

This year the Preacher and I decided to officially put our house on the market to sell....and it sold. At first we were very excited because it sold faster than we had anticipated. But that excitement soon turned into stress. 

When we first began to pack we had no idea where we were going to live. We were looking at a few houses here in our town but nothing really seemed to be what we wanted. We looked at a 2 story, 94 year old house that the previous owners had remodeled, but it still needed some work. I liked it and I think I started to obsess over it mainly because I was afraid there was nothing else out there. But the Preacher didn't like it. So we were back to house hunting again.

Each day we prayed, Lord help us to find the home that You want us to have, but each day, I have to admit, there was lip biting, headaches, and a little bit of crying. Each night there were dreams that never seemed to end where we were looking and looking at houses, and then waking up at 4:00 am and trying desperately to get back to sleep only to dream again of house hunting.

This was one of those seasons where we could not get a clear understanding of God's will for us and where he wanted us to be.

Our son was talking to me one day and he asked how the house hunt was going. He asked if there was a house available in a certain neighborhood. I told him no, there just wasn't anything. The very next day I went to see a friend and she told me that there was a house coming up on the market soon and it was in the neighborhood that our son was asking about. We got very excited but was trying not to get to excited. After all we didn't want to get excited only to have our excitement turn to sorrow.

Well, after a week or so of waiting and hoping and praying, we saw the house and put an offer in! They accepted it almost immediately!

I think this has been one of the most stressful months of our married lives. Because of how things have worked out, we truly believe that this house is from God. We believe this is where he wants us to be.

Why do we have to doubt? Why is trusting in the Lord so hard sometimes? 


Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.
Proverbs 3:5-6

Love from the Preacher and I 



Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Don't Do It For You...Do It For God

A few weeks ago I had a conversation with someone who was discouraged by a person who was the head of a certain ministry. They had noticed that the character of the ministry leader was not what they expected.

After we talked, I began to think a lot about this subject, and it's funny how God works in my life when He knows I'm contemplating something. I received this advertisement in my email. When I saw it, the caption caught my eye — "Don't go to Seminary for yourself. Go for THEM." I immediately remembered the conversation I had with this person.

https://www.indwes.edu
Then just a few days later I saw this post on a Facebook group that I follow. I think the Lord was trying to tell me something.
"On humility in sharing your work...I just really want to encourage you to really check your heart on this one. If you are truly at a place in your heart where sharing your work would cause you to become prideful, then by all means, be obedient to the Lord in holding off in sharing until you have completely surrendered that pride to the Lord, but if you are not at risk for becoming prideful in sharing your work...both art and words, PLEASE do not let satan trick you into thinking humility means not sharing the things that the Lord has helped you to create or learn!! Jesus set the example of humility and He showed extraordinary grace in giving and sharing so that others could come to the knowledge of the Good News!!!" —Breken Berning, Journaling Bible Community
I think when you are leading or in charge of a ministry, whether that be a small ministry through your church or a large ministry that you yourself are trying to build, you sometimes can walk a fine line between pride - serving yourself, and humility - serving others.

I have been around a few people who work in different ministries, and to tell you the truth, there are some who I really didn't like being around. 
For example, the Preacher used to work as a Youth Pastor and served on a few committees that put together large youth conventions. One year we had the budget to bring in a big name band for our convention. During the concert, several of our youth and I worked the band's merchandise table. I was very excited because they happened to be my favorite band at that time. We were to help sell t-shirts and their cassette tapes (showing my age). During the band's break they came back to the table to sign autographs and meet the kids. I wish they never had come back because in that 15 minutes I saw who they really were. They were very rude to us who were helping them and afterward you could tell that they thought the meet and greet time with the kids was just a huge inconvenience. From that time on I was not a fan. I could tell that their pride had taken over and ministering to their fans was not what they were all about.

I have seen individuals who had led lives that the Lord had saved them from and then became ministry leaders who talked with people to help them from going down the same path. But as their ministry grew so did their ego. Whenever you talked with them about their ministry they didn't talk about how many lives were being saved but how many 'gigs' they had coming up and how many books had been sold.

I too have to watch myself. When I post something to the Journaling Bible Community on Facebook it is exciting to see how many people like my post. I am glad people like what I have done in my Journaling Bible but I have to remember I share because I hope it helps someone not because I'm some great artist (which I'm not by any means) but because it causes them to see some truth in the Word.

So to conclude my ramblings, remember the words that Breken Berning said in her post, "check your heart". If you feel you're becoming a little prideful it may be good to step back and re-look at what you're trying to accomplish.   
"If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever." — I Peter 4:11
Love from the Preacher and I 
 

Friday, June 19, 2015

A Son's First Hero and A Daughter's First Love


"My father didn't tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it"
—Clarence Budington Kelland









"A Father is a son's first Hero and a daughter's first Love" ♥


Happy Father's Day from the Preacher and I

Friday, June 12, 2015

Escape, But Don't Forgot Who You Are

In the Preacher's sermon last Sunday he spoke of a paralyzing fear. The kind that makes you not think correctly. The kind of fear that makes your body do things you know are not good — racing heartbeat, shortness of breath, queasy stomach. His sermon was not just directed to those seated in our church that day, it was directed to the Preacher and I as well.

That is the kind of week we had leading up to Sunday. A week of stress. A week of paralyzing fear. A week of wondering, over and over, "What do we do, what if the choices we make are wrong?" 

It never seems to fail that whatever the Lord leads the Preacher to teach, He leads us through it so that the lesson becomes even more clear.

When these trials come there is one thing that we enjoy doing -- escape! Of course we pray through our trials but after the storm settles we go and find something fun to do. Something to take our mind off of the hard decisions that we may be facing.

So this past weekend (our weekend consist of Sunday afternoon through Monday) we headed up to Estes Park. One of our favorite places in Colorado. We stayed at a local campground. We enjoyed eating at the restaurants. We enjoyed the beauty of the mountains. 
We sat on the porch swing and tried to relax and for a while we felt the tension leave our bodies.

But even when you try to escape the devil tends to find you. The devil came through a phone call and we tried really hard to continue to see the beauty all around us.

We since have come home and have gone back to work and that fear just seems to stay with us, the questions are still there. There are questions regarding personal issues and ministry issues.

Everyday we have been praying, asking the Lord to help show us how to work through these questions, and today, I believe, He sent me a song, "Remind Me Who I Am" by Jason Gray. 


When I lose my way, and I forget my name, remind me who I am
In the mirror all I see is who I don't wanna be
Remind me who I am
In the loneliest places when I cant remember what grace is
Tell me, once again
Who I am to You, who I am to You
Tell me, lest I forget
Who I am to You, that I belong to You
To You

This song helps to remind me that I am a child of God and He will not forsake us in our times of trouble. Yes it's good to escape to a quiet place in the mountains but don't forget that the Lord, who created those mountains, will be there too!

Love from the Preacher and I



Friday, June 5, 2015

Pinterest Success


I found this ecard on Pinterest and immediately pinned it to one of my boards! I feel like this is me. It just seems like I find things on Pinterest and then some one will start a conversation about that exact thing!

This past week I had a Pinterest success. You know that sometimes you try out one of the homemade cleaning solutions or some other homemade thing and it just doesn't work. Well this time it was a success. 

I had found this Pin from Buzzfeed. I actually had not pinned it to any of my boards at the time but it was still in the back of my mind, just waiting for the right moment to come back to the front.

One day the Preacher and I were doing some spring cleaning throughout the house and he had asked me if I knew where some cleaning solution was. Well my first thought was, "It's under the kitchen sink." So I opened the doors under the sink and I had to pull out just about everything until I found what he was needing.  I decided that I would clean out that space right then and there. Whatever I was doing would just have to wait because this was a mess.

This is when this pin came out of the back to the front of my mind. I knew I had an extra suspension curtain rod stored somewhere in the house. I hunted it down and I began to reorganize. 

It was a success! The only thing that I recommend, if you so choose to do this, is to place a block of wood under each end of the curtain rod. When placing this many bottles on it, no matter how tight I got it, it would fall. The Preacher helped me out with that project. Now it works perfect. 

 Here is a picture of the space below our sink. I now enjoy getting something out from under here because everything is organized!

Love from the Preacher and I

Monday, June 1, 2015

A Modern Day Good Samaritan

(flickr.com)
Yesterday the Preacher gave a sermon on the parable of The Good Samaritan. (Luke 10: 25-37)

During the sermon I couldn't help think that the Preacher is a modern day version of the Good Samaritan. He tries so hard to help people, even when there is no way to help, it doesn't stop him. He will try to find a way. 

Let me share a story of one of the many times he has been a Good Samaritan. This is one of our funny stories that I like to tell on him.

Many years ago the Preacher and I traveled from our home in south Florida to Cypress Gardens, which was located near Winter Haven, Florida. (It is now known as Legoland Florida Resort.) We were to meet my mother and a friend of hers at the Gardens and spend the day with them. We had decided to go to the Ski Show Bay to watch their famous water skiers. This was the last show of the day and we didn't want to miss it. We arrived early and were able to sit very close to the water. The Preacher had gone back up to get us some popcorn and drinks before the show was to start. 

While he was getting popcorn the "crew" was beginning to arrange row boats and other items on the beach near the boat dock, which was located right in front of our seats. 

The Preacher came back, sat down and while he was handing out the food, two crew members came out and began to pick up one of the row boats that was located upside down on the sandy beach. Each one picked up an end of the boat. One man picked up the bow of the boat but began to yell something like, "I can't lift it!" Then the boat began to come down on him, covering him up. As the people in the bleachers began to take notice of what was happening on the beach they laughed and pointed at what was taking place right in front of us. Did the Preacher laugh?

No, the Preacher threw his popcorn into my lap and began to run down to the sandy beach and upon reaching the crew member he reached under the boat and started to lift it up, trying so hard to save the man.  Just then the man who was trapped under the boat whispered to the Preacher, "Go away! This is all a part of the show!" Go away!"

The Preacher let go of the boat and slowly started back up to our seats.

I felt proud of my Preacher. Even though this was part of the show, unless you had seen the show before you would not have known this. All the people were just sitting there watching a man, who we thought, was getting crushed by a boat. There was only one person in all of the bleachers willing to help. That was the Preacher.

Sometimes we just have to go head first into a situation and help. Even if we don't know the why's or how's. We just have to help.

This week if you see someone, metaphorically or literally, laying on the side of the road, who is a true victim, don't hesitate to be a Good Samaritan.

Love from the Preacher and I

Friday, May 15, 2015

Bible Art Journaling

Today I thought I'd share with you some of the things 
I've been working on in my Bible. 

(If you would like to pin any of the images to Pinterest, just hover your mouse over the image and click on the pin it button.)


I have added washi tape to the edges of each book of the Bible


Here is what it looks like on the inside. I added it to one side and then folded it over so it would show on the opposite page. Are they perfect? No! Am I perfect? No! Were the people in the Bible perfect? No! Well, except Jesus, of course.
So I'm okay with the tape not being lined up perfectly.



I adhered washi tape to Psalm 139, my favorite chapter in the Bible.
I also adhered these arrow tags to John 14 and then I outlined them with a black pen. (Micron 05) (Tags - free download from Shanna Noel)


I actually tried my hand at freehand drawing. I don't think it turned out so bad.
(watercolor pencils - Crayola Twistables)


This page was done with watercolor crayons. (Caran D'Ache Watercolor Crayons)



On these two I added stickers that I found in my scrapbooking stash. I thought they would be cute for the passages talking about Noah bringing the animals into the ark. I don't think I'm done with these. I may add some color to the background. (Stickers - Me and My Big Idea)


This one was done with watercolor pencils. I had adhered the #1 sticker to the page before adding the water to the pencil. It kind of pulled the paper around the sticker. Lesson learned.


I used acrylic paints on this page. The 'Walk in Faith' tag I made in Word.


This is my favorite page so far. I had seen others using the acrylic paints so I decided to try it myself. This is my new favorite way of adding color. It does not bleed through, it stays on top of the page, and drys very quickly.

Well I hope you've enjoyed my little Bible Art Journaling Gallery today. 
Feel free to click on any of the links to find out where you can get some of these products.) And if you have any questions or thoughts please be sure to leave me a comment.

The Preacher and I pray you have a great weekend!

Love from the Preacher and I

Friday, May 8, 2015

The Little Old Lady In the Motor Home

For this Mother's Day weekend, I thought I'd introduce you to my mother, Lula Mae.

I love this picture of her. It says a lot about her. This was taken back in the late '80's or early '90's. This is her 30 foot motor home.

As a kid, our family went camping a lot during the summers. At one time my parents had a camper that they parked in a camp ground next to a lake in Indiana. We traveled out here to Colorado one summer with our camper. My mom and my dad loved to travel and they loved to camp. They belonged to a camping club through Eli Lilly, where my dad worked. They met so many people through camping, some of which remained friends for many years.

In 1981 my father passed away and we all thought that camping would be a thing of the past.

Then my mother called me up one day and said that she had bought this motor home. She missed camping. She missed traveling. My mother was back on the road again.

She would drive all by herself to the east coast of Florida to visit the Preacher and I. She would stay for a month or two and then drive over to the west coast of Florida to visit a friend and then drive back to Indiana. She loved it when the truckers would pass her by, and since she had a CB radio, she could hear them talking about the little old lady driving the motor home. I think she even talked back to them a time or two. She has even driven her camper out here. 

My mother has an independent spirit, to say the least. If you tell her that she can't do something, she will do it just to see if she can. I hope that when I grow up I will be this independent. Not afraid to want something and then to go after it. 

My mother turned 80 this year. She hasn't been able to go camping for about 3 years now due to some health issues. Just the other day she called and said that she's selling her camper. I was glad because I worry about her being out on the road by herself, but yet I was sad for her. I know how much she loves it. I am sad that this time in her life is ending.

She still is active. She plays cards with her friends. She has lunch with her church friends. She even gets together with some ladies that graduated high school with her. 

Like I said, I hope to be this independent at the age of 80!

Happy Mother's Day Mom!

Love from the Preacher and I

Friday, May 1, 2015

Sweet Fruit


Have you ever wondered if you had been in the Garden of Eden, would you have been stronger than Eve, stronger than Adam? Would you have chopped the snake's head off for even suggesting that you eat of the fruit? Do you really think you could have not been led into temptation at the moment when the snake said, "...your eyes will be opened and you will be like God". Genesis 3:5

Adam and Eve wanted to be 'like God', not 'A God'. Don't we fall into this temptation on a regular basis? Don't we want to be like someone else?

We see someone and we want to get to know them, we may be drawn to them because of the way they dress, because we assume they have money, or the way they talk and present themselves. We want to become like them. We feel if we can just be near them, maybe even become their friend, our eyes will be opened and we'll become just like them.

We feel that if we become them our lives will be less stressful, less chaotic. We will be happy, we will become financially healthy, our relationships will be better. Everything will be better!

Just like Adam and Eve we too have misguided desires. We still have the snake coiled around our necks. He is there whispering lies into our ears.

In Nicole Nordeman's book "Love Story", she writes, "It's hard to be exactly who you were made to be and not want more. It's hard not to confuse bettering yourself with betraying yourself." 

We need to remember that God created us. He made us uniquely different. Did He make a mistake by creating us that way? We have to remind ourselves, sometimes on a daily basis, that the answer to that question is NO! He made each of us just the way He wanted us to be. What we do with our lives is up to us. 

Do we succumb to our misguided desires or do we long to walk with Him and to hear Him tell us just how much He loves us. We then in turn tell Him just how much we love Him.

That conversation will be sweeter than any 'fruit' the snake could ever offer.



Love from the Preacher and I

Friday, April 24, 2015

A Pinterest Project

The Preacher and I have had a very emotionally rough month. April has certainly been a big roller coaster ride, and because of that it has been very hard to even think about sitting down at the computer and writing something profound or lofty, that means something. Maybe, at a later date, I will post more about some of the emotions that we have been going through.

So today I thought I would post something a little light-hearted, a Pinterest Project. 


Before
The Preacher and I have been working very hard at cleaning our house, deep cleaning the house. While cleaning the upstairs loft, I discovered that our cat has left scratch marks in some of the post on the railings. She enjoys getting as far up in the air as she can and on the railing post in the loft she can look down on us. She loves it up there.

Well, I knew I couldn't leave it like that, so I turned to Pinterest. I searched for a DIY product that would hide the scratches and here is the recipe that I found: 3/4 cup oil, 1/4 cup vinegar, mix well and apply with a rag. (To see the actual pinterest post just click on the recipe.)

The only oil I had was olive oil, and that worked just fine.






After

I rubbed it on all of the scratch marks and although it didn't magically remove them, it did soften the appearance of the marks. I am very pleased with the results. Here are the before and after pictures.

I hope you have enjoyed this little Pinterest tip. 
I did try one other Pinterest project while cleaning the house, maybe I'll post that on another day.

Well I hope you have a blessed weekend!

Love from the Preacher and I




Saturday, April 4, 2015

A Mother's Love

Several years ago the Preacher and I went to the movie theater, along with several people from our congregation, to see the movie, The Passion of Christ.
It was a great movie but was really hard to watch, especially when the Roman Soldiers began beating Jesus and then nailed him to the cross.

As hard as those scenes were to watch, there was another scene that was just as hard, if not harder, for me to watch. 

In this scene you can feel her heart aching for her son. The scene that I am referring to is when Jesus falls from carrying the cross and Mary, Jesus' mother, sees him fall and she is transported back to a time when Jesus was young and he had fallen down stairs. She rushed to him then and told him "I'm here." Her mother instinct takes over and she rushes to him again and tells him the same thing, "I'm here." 

Jesus is the Savior of the world, but during his 33 years here on this earth, he was her child. How hard was that for her? To see her son being beaten and killed upon that cross. Did she know he would resurrect from the dead in just 3 days? Even if she did that didn't stop the pain that she as his mother would have seeing her son being hurt so badly. I'm thinking that maybe she felt in her heart that she would have taken his place just to stop his pain.

While sitting in the theater and watching this I too felt her pain, her overwhelming need to stop this.

Do you remember when your son fell and scrapped his knee? I do. I remember him coming to me crying, showing me his 'ouchy'. I would give him a hug and then kiss his scrapped knee and almost instantly the crying would stop.

Do you think Jesus felt just a tiny bit better knowing his mother was there? Did she kiss the wounds on his face?

We'll never know that intricate part of the walk to the cross, but what I do know is that a mother's love is the same today as it was when Mary loved Jesus.

Love from the Preacher and I


You can watch this powerful scene here.



Wednesday, April 1, 2015

R.I.P. Roger / Getting Old

I learned this week that a high school friend, Roger Slifer, passed away. He had been living in California. He had worked for Marvel Comics and for DC Comics. In 2012 he was seriously injured by a hit-and-run driver. He was recuperating in a nursing home, but on March 30 he was having trouble breathing and passed away while the ambulance was en-route to the hospital.

I had not been in touch with him since high school, but my mother kept me informed of how he was doing because his sister attends the same church as my mother.  

On the day that I read of his passing on a friend's Facebook page, I was going to a diagnostic center to have a few test ran. Nothing serious, just wellness checks. My doctor wanted me to have one of these test done "due to my age". Don't you just love it when they say that?!

The Preacher was asking me questions about my high school friend since he had never met him. I began reminiscing about high school and the friends that I had. Then I began getting a little teary eyed because life all of a sudden felt very short. I was crying for Roger and I was crying for all of the lost friendships, and I was crying because I began to feel very old.

That last reason might seem silly to some, but it just it me hard how short our lives are. No matter how hard you try to live right, eat right, exercise, old age will catch up to you. This last month the Preacher and I have been seeing different doctors, having blood drawn, having test ran, due to our new insurance. It just catches up to you, this old age. 

I remember in grade school, our teacher asked us to calculate how old we would be in the year 2000. When I subtracted my birth year from the year 2000 I couldn't believe that I would be that old and I remember thinking to myself that I would probably not be around when the year 2000 came. I just knew that I could not possibly live that long because to me I would be soooo old!

And yet here I am, still alive, thank God. I pray that the Lord will let me stay around for a long time. I've got a son whom I would like to see get married and have children. The Preacher and I have so many places that we would like to go and see. 

Rest in peace Roger. I send my prayers and sympathies to his family. I also hope that everyone who is reading this post will remember to love deeply, to be kind, to teach your children well, and to love the Lord with all of your heart and soul. Life is short, we never know when our last day will be, we don't know if we'll go to be with our Lord by a natural death or an accident, but what we do know is that one day will be our last day and we will meet our Lord in heaven.

Love from the Preacher and I

Friday, March 20, 2015

Will You Give This To My Daddy and R.E.D. Fridays

My aunt sent this story to me in an email. I did some searching to try to find the original story and I found where another blogger had posted it onto his blog. (To read Jason's blog click here.) I'm not sure if you can actually verify the original story but as you read in my last post, I know that people do want to honor our soldiers so I really am not doubting that these events didn't take place.

I have to warn you that you should grab a tissue, or two, before reading because you will need it by the time you are finished.
________________________________
                       
 "Will You Give This To My Daddy?" 
                 by John Parker

Last week I was in Atlanta, Georgia attending a conference. While I was in the airport, returning home, I heard several people behind me beginning to clap and cheer. I immediately turned around and witnessed one of the greatest acts of patriotism I have ever seen. 
                        
Moving through the terminal was a group of soldiers in their camos. As they began heading to their gate, everyone (well almost everyone) was abruptly to their feet with their hands waving and cheering. 
                         
 When I saw the soldiers, probably 30-40 of them, being applauded and cheered for, it hit me. I'm not alone. I'm not the only red-blooded American who still loves this country and supports our troops and their families. 
                        
Of course I immediately stopped and began clapping for these young unsung heroes who are putting their lives on the line everyday for us so we can go to school, work and home without fear or reprisal. 
                         
Just when I thought I could not be more proud of my country or of our service men and women, a young girl, not more than 6 or 7 years old, ran up to one of the male soldiers. He knelled down and said 'hi.' 

The little girl then asked him if he would give something to her daddy for her. 

The young soldier, who didn't look any older than maybe 22 himself, said he would try and what did she want to give to her Daddy. Then suddenly the little girl grabbed the neck of this soldier, gave him the biggest hug she could muster and then kissed him on the cheek. 
                        
The mother of the little girl, who said her daughter's name was Courtney, told the young soldier that her husband was a Marine and had been in Iraq for 11 months now. As the mom was explaining how much her daughter Courtney missed her father, the young soldier began to tear up. 
                        
When this temporarily single mom was done explaining her situation, all of the soldiers huddled together for a brief second. Then one of the other servicemen pulled out a military-looking walkie-talkie. They started playing with the device and talking back and forth on it.. 
                        
After about 10-15 seconds of this, the young soldier walked back over to Courtney, bent down and said this to her, 'I spoke to your daddy and he told me to give this to you.' He then hugged this little girl that he had just met and gave her a kiss on the cheek. He finished by saying 'your daddy told me to tell you that he loves you more than anything and he is coming home very soon.'
                        
The mom at this point was crying almost uncontrollably and as the young soldier stood to his feet, he saluted Courtney and her mom. I was standing no more than 6 feet away from this entire event. 
                        
As the soldiers began to leave, heading towards their gate, people resumed their applause. As I stood there applauding and looked around, there were very few dry eyes, including my own. That young soldier in one last act of selflessness, turned around and blew a kiss to Courtney with a tear rolling down his cheek. 
                        
We need to remember everyday all of our soldiers and their families and thank God for them and their sacrifices. At the end of the day, it's good to be an American.

photo found on U.S. Army Future Soldier Center Facebook Page

          




There is one way that you can help to remember our soldiers -- Friday's are R.E.D. Friday's (Remember Everyone Deployed). If you are interested in showing your support for our guys who are putting their lives on the line for us, I ask you to remember to wear red each and every Friday. 





Love from the Preacher and I