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Sarah at Christmas

Sarah at Christmas

Friday, September 25, 2015

The Door

 
My Front Door
 
 
As I returned home from my morning walk,
I thought about my door.
 
The Lord God knocked on my heart's door long ago,
and I answered.


"Behold I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him and he with me." Revelation 3:20.

He didn't barge into my life but waited for my invitation. I was a child and ran to the door immediately to allow Him inside. Adults are sometimes more cautious. They look out peepholes, ask questions, and sometimes refuse to open.

I'm thrilled I did. He lets the good stuff enter my life such as joy, peace, love, patience, understanding. But other times, I allow the bad stuff to come in. Anger, unkindness, disgust, resentment. Oh my...the list can grow.

My life can become quickly cluttered with bad stuff. That's when I ask Him to help me clean house and throw the trash out the door.


I hope you will invite Him into your heart. He's a dynamic resident.


I have wonderful news. My publisher is featuring books on sale for this week only. Please go to this site and feast your eyes on the goodies. There are free gifts such as Amazon gift cards, jewelry, etc. The authors for Prism Book Group have donated items in time for Christmas.  But time is running out. Hurry!
 
 
Follow this link to see the beautiful items and books 

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Tribute to Don McGregor


We first met our son-in-law, Don McGregor in 1999.  Although older than Shelley, this handsome man looked Shelley’s age or maybe even younger.


1999
Shelley lived in Katy, Texas at the time, and Don lived in Austin.  As single parents, each had one daughter and one son. Wanting mates, they posted pictures on an Internet site. Don owned his business and his mother worked for him. As he and his mom gazed at the computer, Don downloaded Shelley's picture. When the image reached her eyes, he said to his mom, “I’m going to marry that girl.”
 
Don arranged to meet Shelley in LaGrange, Texas, a town half-way between Austin and Katy.  On the appointed night, Shelley pulled into the restaurant's parking lot. Before going inside, she lowered the visor mirror and began primping. Feeling eyes upon her, she turned her head to the left, and there sat Don in his car…grinning at her.

I think he told her that night she would be getting a ring. She didn’t believe him, but a short time later, perhaps a week, true to his word, he gave her one.
They married on December 31, 1999, the day before the new millennium.

They enjoyed happy years and a great deal of fun. They went camping, fishing, hiking…anything outdoors.
Then cancer came to reside with Don.

The disease didn't defeat him. With courage, he lived with it, even comforted his mom and family with this remark. "It's another adventure."

 He went to heaven on September 10, 2015.
Don loved new experiences and tackled everything with infectious optimism. In his teen years, he discovered mountain climbing. Along with his cousin/friend, John Hamilton, he spent hours climbing cliffs and elevations around Austin. Seeing Don's determination for dangerous deeds, his parents sent him to mountain climbing school. His passion led him across the world to climb.

John Hamilton
John Hamilton, cousin and friend spoke at Don's funeral

Don's greatest achievement became Mount McKinley in Alaska—over three miles of sheer terror that most of us would never consider.
Don counted such endeavors gratifying. Can you imagine? Not me.

At the service, John Hamilton spoke of Don's mountain undertaking. He told about the time a group of French men were with Don on a mountain. The only words in English the guys knew were, "time to climb."  These words became Don's life theme...even into his last adventure.
John also spoke about the term, "belay." He explained the belayer was crucial to a climber. This person held the rope and kept the climber from falling. 
"Don, who is your belayer?" While visiting Don in hospice one day, John asked the question.
"Jesus Christ." Don made no hesitation with his answer.
John brought bracelets with those words on them. Many of us have one and they are great reminders.
 
     
 
After John finished with his portion of the service, my hubby stood to deliver a message. Have you ever thought about how difficult it is for a pastor to preach a family member's funeral?  Both John and Paul spoke eloquently during this tough assignment.
Paul talked about an experience he and Don had shared. In 1972, both attended Explo 72 in Dallas, TX. Campus Crusade sponsored the event. These two men had no way of knowing they were both there or that someday Don would marry our daughter. Isn't it interesting the way God works?
On the mountains, Don had rescued men from falling off a precipice and one from a crevasse. In Explo 72, Don was trained to present the Gospel in an uncomplicated way. This simple message gave people the means to understand, and then respond to Jesus.
Don saved men from mountains, but Jesus saves souls. Humanity needs to hear the good news. That was what Explo 72 was all about.
Arriving back to Austin at one o'clock in the morning, Don woke up his parents. With tears streaming down his face, he asked them where they would spend eternity.
His mom still smiles with the memory. She and Don's dad were Christians and active in church, but Don wanted to make sure they would all end up in the same place in the after life.
At the funeral, Paul reiterated what he and Don had learned at Explo 72.
1. God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life. From Genesis to Revelation, Scripture tells us this powerfully and concisely in John 3:16.
2. We are sinners. God gave Ten Commandments as recorded in Exodus 20. Everyone of us have broken at least one of the ten. Romans 3:23 states, "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." This makes us lost to eternal life in heaven.
3. There is only one way to rectify our lost condition. Jesus Christ. "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." John 14:6.
4. We must be willing to accept Him into our life. Jesus is the epitome of a perfect gentleman. He never barges into a life but waits for an invitation. "Behold I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him and he with me." Revelation 3:20.
My hubby went on to explain that faith is not a feeling or merely an intellectual belief. The act of confessing sin and inviting Jesus into your life requires personal volition. In other words, it is a commitment...decision or choice. We choose to invite Jesus into our lives.
We celebrated Don's life. Do we miss him? Oh my yes. Will it be difficult to live down here without him? You bet it will. Would he want to return to earth? NEVER! Does he want us all to meet him up there? YES!!
I write this synopsis of the messages John Hamilton and Paul Lewis delivered to the listeners with the hope that we will all meet Don again in heaven. He's up there now and enjoys happiness, peace and health. No doubt he is eager for us all to be there too.
Folks, it's time to climb. 
 
As his mom said, "He's reached his final destination."
 


Shelley, Don's mother, and me.
 
 
Walking away was difficult, but she will see him again...up there.
 
For more information on Belay, check out this Youtube video.


 

 

Monday, September 7, 2015

Gay's Days. Bullying Verses Teasing


An excerpt from a new Sarah book coming to shelves soon.  Sarah and a Date for Mackenzie
Mackenzie, a high school senior is talking to her mom Jessica, a teacher in Mackenzie's school, and her grandmother, Bonnie.
 
"What’s the difference between bullying and teasing?” Mackenzie sliced into meatloaf.
 Sometimes joshing is for fun—maybe Ethan is trying to make you feel at ease. Or it could be his way of flirting with you.” Jessica closed one eye and seemed to search her mind for more definitions.
“Having said that, let me hasten to say this. Teasing from anyone, including Ethan, can turn nasty and become bullying. I’ve seen kids at school start out with a plan to intimidate another with a tease but it escalated to physical abuse.”
Bonnie crossed her arms and tapped her foot. “Does Ethan try to bodily hurt you?”
           “No, ma’am.”
“He’d better not. I’ll make him put his tail between his legs and whimper like a scolded puppy.” Bonnie’s glare could ignite a furnace.
Jessica and Mackenzie both giggled at the fierce look on the older woman’s face.
Jessica bit her lip as she continued to muse. “Teasing in a fun manner can be a friendly way of communicating. Tone, facial expression, and body language often convey a person’s intention. Does Ethan appear to say things to you in a good-natured or aggressive way?”
Mackenzie shrugged and wrinkled her nose. “Good-natured, I guess.”
Jessica nodded. “Yet you still view his demeanor as negative. It can be difficult to tell the difference between a teaser and a bully. I wouldn’t want you to put up with a tormenter, but I honestly don’t see Ethan in that light. Knowing the difference between a teaser and a bully is complicated. If Ethan acted like a bully toward others, I’d consider having a talk with him about his aggressive attitude. As a teacher, I’m required to write up a student who behaves unacceptably. As a mom, I wouldn’t allow it for you, either. No one should put up with abusive treatment or statements.” She cocked an eyebrow. “If you want, I’ll talk to him.”
“No! That’s one of the reasons I don’t tell you stuff.”
Jessica sighed as if her heart hurt. “I understand. Thing is, that’s one of the reasons a lot of kids endure offensive behavior. They’re afraid of being called a snitch if they tell someone like me. Teachers can help, but teens don’t let us, and that’s too bad. We give a bit of advice when someone asks, or we refer them to a school counselor. They’re experts and make suggestions to modify reactions to taunts. Then, if the bully fails to respond to the new conduct, we take other actions to stop the tough guy’s aggression.” Another huge sigh escaped her lips. “Kids should trust adults.”
 
 

Friday, September 4, 2015

Gay's Days September 4, 2015

Now that our Houston weather has cooled to 73F in the mornings, I've resumed walking in my neighborhood, and it is more enjoyable than the dreaded treadmill.
 
Have you noticed the variety of morning skies?  
Each one starts out with similarities, but each has a uniqueness too. 
 
I'm reminded of how we begin our day.
We have normal routines, but we never know what the hours will bring.
 
Our challenge is to meet each day with hope.
Trusting God to guide us through whatever comes our way.
 
 
Before sunrise, I began one morning this past week.
 I turned around to glance my home as I left.
Some days, even though light comes to Earth,
our personal lives have darkness and grief. We long for daybreak.
 

 
The next day, I started a little later and caught the morning moon over my house.
Sometimes the moon is visible during the morning, and again often it isn't.
Kind of like life.
At times we can see and understand a situation more clearly than at other times.
 

 
Yet another morning this week, I captured beautiful clouds. Scattered showers were approaching. They came and went during the day. Nothing major.
We have events like that in life too, don't we? 
Showers are far better than the hurricanes, floods, fires, and utter devastation.
Those trials come our way too.
 
 
Today a golden sunrise.
Always hopeful. Scripture promises a day when the Lord will return.
Won't it be awesome to see Him coming in the clouds at a golden daybreak?
 
These pictures were taken in my neighborhood this past week.
They share similarities, but each one is different.
 
Let's be thankful for each one.
Even the bad days.
 
 
 "Just as you trusted Christ to save you, trust Him too, for each day's problems;
live in vial union with Him."
 
 Colossians 2:6. Living Bible