Thursday, September 9, 2021

The Floating Intruder

 


My daughter likes to send flowers and always has the florist attach a balloon.


The helium balloon pictured above has been floating at the ceiling in my entrance hall since my birthday last July. When I removed it from the flowers, it escaped to the ceiling. Out of the goodness of my heart, or perhaps a few of my lazy bones, I let it stay there. 

The thing waited two months and then made its way to our bedroom.  How did the intruder choose our bedroom and duck through the doorway? Spooky.

Hubby prepared for bed before I did. When the roaming balloon drifted by him on its way to my side of the bed, a surprised hubby jumped up and said, “What the heck?” It seemed to say to him, “Nanny, nanny, poo, poo. I'll just stay here with you.” He thought it might be fun to see my reaction when I encountered it, so he swatted it and the intruder sailed to my side of the bed. 

The fan blew back to him. Hubby whacked it back to my side and waited with concealed merriment to see it scare me.

When I arrived, the crazy balloon was bopping at my height— gazing at me smack-dab in the face! It seemed to have a huge grin. I think the thing wanted to sleep with me! 

Anyway, the invader met its demise. Hubby deflated the intruder.

Faith and Humor

 

 

Friday, September 3, 2021

 

Why I’m Proud of My Freedom

By Dee Breedlove James

Edited by Gay N. Lewis

 

Recently my pastor’s wife, Gay Lewis, reminded us at the end of Sunday School how lucky we are to have our freedom and to pray for those that don’t. 


Dee Breedlove James speaking at church

It took me back several years to when I worked in the middle east. I worked in Doha, Qatar, Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Basra, Iraq. For me, probably the worst was Doha because I lived in town and was free to go wherever I wanted.

 But being an American had its limitations, especially if you wanted to worship. There was no Baptist Church (it was mainly 7th day Adventists, Catholics, and Jehovah Witness). We got one day off a week, Friday, and that’s the only day you could attend a church. And the churches were about 45 minutes from my apartment in the worst section of town, the industrial portion. The churches were small, with no outside decorations. We were not allowed to have Bible study in a group or in our apartment, we would face jail time if caught practicing our faith. I couldn’t even bring my bible into country. If found in my suitcase at the airport (and they did x-ray all incoming bags) it would either be thrown away or I would be thrown in jail.  The same if they found anything alcohol in our bags. I shared a car, as did most of the expats working for Fluor. I was scared driving (we took turns) because if you were in a wreck with a local, it was always your fault, no matter what. If was bad and the local wanted to press charges, you would be thrown in jail. We weren’t allowed to hang a cross or have anything Christian in our cars, you would be arrested if seen.

 My first Christmas I got to come back home to Houston, and my best friend gave me a good bottle of Champagne. Not thinking, I put it in my suitcase. When my bag was x-rayed (I had forgotten the Champagne) they saw the bottle shape and stopped me. Fearful of going to jail I luckily had shampoo and conditioner bottles in my bag that I was able to convince them was the shape they saw (I had the champagne wrapped and hidden well) They wouldn’t dig far in our bags if we were female and had “undergarments” on top they could see—it was against their religion. So, I was let through but I never tried that again I was so frightened! I had learned my lesson.

Locals were not allowed to drink alcohol or they faced flogging or jail time. The only liquor allowed was in the hotel bars, there were no stand alone bars. Expats were allowed to visit the ONE liquor store but you were allotted only so much per month depending on your salary. The only time you could have liquor in your vehicle was transporting from the store to your house/apartment.

You could not show any affection towards the opposite sex (even if you were married). If a local saw you and it upset them you would answer to the police (maybe even arrested). You could not have the opposite sex in your apartment if you would were not married. If you checked into a hotel with the opposite sex, be prepared to show your marriage license.

During Ramadan (the holy month for Muslims) the police would be out in force. If you were not covered well enough (for a local, it meant your shoulders and knees) you either covered up with what you had with you, to their approval, or you faced jail time. You could not even chew gum out in public, again you faced jail time.

Needless to say, it was a strict environment and I towed the line as I had heard about the jails and there was no way I wanted to be thrown in there!

I worked in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, UAE but lived in a hotel and didn’t have much opportunity to be out. We weren’t even told where the churches were much less when we could worship. All the same rules apply.

I worked in Basra, Iraq for several years but lived in a Mancamp (the old Army DS6 camp) which was several miles (about 30-40) outside the main town of Basra. We were not allowed to leave the camp for any reason due to security issues. ISIS was in full force while I was there and due to threats for our safety, we had to evacuate several times. I was the only woman with about 400 men. Some were locals and most were very nice to me. There were a few who actually had conversations with me and wanted to tell me of their Muslim religion and asked me about God and Jesus. I appreciated their conversations; it was the only time I could speak about my religion.

I was usually the only expat woman at the local airport and stood out like a sore thumb! The other women (which were few) were locals and were fully covered. But they never said anything to me about showing my hair. I was usually dressed in jeans, work shirt and steel toe boots. Your suitcase was usually opened and gone through to make sure you had no contraband but being as there was no female security I was pushed through. No guard wanted to open my suitcase and chance seeing my “privates”  (lingerie) After a year they finally hired some women who would pat me down excessively! It was a strict environment but it wasn’t noticed much because we couldn’t go into town.

Note from Gay: An Expat is anyone non local.

Supposedly the area we were in was the location of the Garden of Eden. And the “tree of life” was on our location. The tree was cordoned off and had wire around it and you were not to touch.

After living in such a strict environment for so long you can understand why I wanted to kiss the ground when I came home. It really makes you appreciate the freedoms we have here. I for one took it for granted until those rights were taken away from me.

Sunday, August 22, 2021

Funny Tombstones

 Hello friends, 

I'm teaching from Ecclesiastes, the ninth chapter today.  In this passage, Solomon, the writer, tells us we all have one thing in common: DEATH!

No matter our skin color, age, if we are rich or poor, sad or happy, we all die. So says the wise king.

Oh wow! He's right, of course, but talk about a morbid subject! I decided I needed to bring a bit of light heartedness to my class, so I looked up people who died with a sense of humor. Here are a few epithets they left us to enjoy.














What will your obit say? Will you have something special engraved on your tombstone?

Hubby and I have ours in place. I have an angel on my side of the thing, and he has a church on his side. I write angel stories, and he's been a preacher all his life.  We've also included Scripturas. His is Romans 8:28 and mine is Philippians 4:13.

The date of demise isn't there, 
and I hope it isn't there for a long time to come.

As challenging as life is at times, 
it's still a good thing.


Saturday, August 7, 2021

 



I recently taught the Book of Job from the Old Testament. I didn’t want to teach it, but it was scheduled. I suggested to my class that we study another book, something simple, like Hebrews, but  unfortunately, they wanted old Job and his troubles.



Of Course, I jest. If you’ve studied Hebrews, you know it’s not simple. Good, but it’s complicated. Job is rather complicated, too.

I’m in a dark place in my own life. The last thing I needed  was to add sadness through my Bible studies, but I plunged into it. Wow! Talk about suffering. That poor guy got major whammies. Our situations may not be as dramatic as his, but they are as intense to US! Can you visualize the five-year-old who was abandoned at the Texas border? He doesn’t understand the language, why he’s there, and he wants his mother.  Is it possible to identify with the one vanishing with cancer? How about the family losing income and home? Or the sorrow of supporting the dying child?

 Job asked questions, but God didn’t answer them. Instead, He interrogated Job! When He finished with His suffering servant, God told Job’s friends, “I’m mad at you.”  Oops! Scary! When we give advice to friends, let us remember it might not meet God’s approval.

 Before the whammies, Job was the one of the richest men on earth. He lived the good life. After the whammies, the poor man tried to understand what he’d done to deserve the sorrow. Job came to realize He should love the Lord for who He is and not the blessings and gifts He gives.

 Thanks Job. I’m sorry you went through all that, but the lesson God taught you blessed me.

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Live Till You Die




Burials come with huge price tags. Can you believe this? A funeral home raised prices and blamed it on the cost of living. If the cost of living is expensive, why is it so popular?

Staying alive is pricey, but no one wants to voluntarily climb into the casket or cremation oven.

Speaking of caskets, my brother-in-law officiated at the graveside for a funeral. He walked backwards as he led the casket processional. He read Psalms to the bereaved family. He was unaware he'd reached the final destination. When he fell into the casket's hole, he stopped reading and yelled, "Get me out of here, let me out, right now, get me out!


This same preacher, at another funeral, didn't check the direction of the wind. The family had asked him to scatter the beloved's ashes. When he emptied the urn, the grandma's ashes flew all over him. He coughed, sputtered, and brushed his clothes as if the devil himself was on him. The family was not impressed.

Another preacher, and this one isn't a relative, went with the family to bury ashes. He tells how a family member dropped the urn carrying the remains. The urn rolled down the hillside. The whole family, kit-and-caboodle, ran ran after the urn, yelling, "Get Grandma."

Children don't always understand funerals and who should be buried. A neighbor saw little Johnny digging a big hole. He asked, "What are you doing?  Huge eyes looked up and little Johnny replied, "I'm burying my goldfish."  The neighbor said, "That's a big hole for a tiny fish." Little Johnny replied, "I know, but my fish is inside your cat."

Oops!

A verse penned by the Apostle Paul reminds us that we leave this life to live in a different place.

We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. (2 Cor. 5:8)

Although our eternal home is far better than this present life, I prefer to stay here a lot longer.

I write books featuring faith and humor. You can see a total list on Amazon.

One of my books, Family Secrets is on sale at Smashwords, but you must go there to buy. 




Gay N. Lewis on Amazon



    HAPPY READING!





Thursday, July 15, 2021

Cherish the Moments

On Friday, February 26, 2021, Hubby and I experienced a few sweet seconds to cherish for a lifetime.

In a moment of clarity, Shelley, our daughter with dementia, clasped her hands in prayer mode. She said, "I want to tell y'all something. I really appreciate y'all taking care of me, and I love you."

 I cried.

Her sensible sentences are rare these days. I think she understands more than she can express. She says, "I love you" over and over when we see her. And we see that as true in her eyes.

I sing to her, "You Are My Sunshine" and she joins me. Her words aren't always there, but she can carry a tune. Once, we could harmonize together, but not these days.

She has no idea how much time and emotional effort goes into taking care of her.  And that's okay. Once a mom and dad, always a mom and dad, at least it is so with us. I suppose some people are not as fortunate as Shelley. Not all parents, (or children) continue to love and support a loved one with a disease.

In her former facility, the director told me how a resident had died. She tried calling the son for three months to tell him his mother had passed away. He never answered. He finally called one day to check on her and heard the news.

Shelley has family and friends who no longer want to see her.  They think it's scary to visit with her. It isn't scary, it is sad, but life requires us to do what we sometimes don't want to do. Go where we don't want to go. Sacrifice. 

There are residents living in her present facility who seldom have visitors. Can you imagine how these homes might be if no visitors ever darkened the doors? I fear abuse would be rampant.  Neglect is abuse. Too many times, I see a few aides sitting and doing nothing. When a visitor arrives, they hop up to do their job. However, many are caring and loving to the residents. I thank and compliment them, and I'm sincere. Just like us, they need encouragement. 

I once visited nursing homes to play hymns for the folks.  I'd go in unannounced (before the pandemic) and play.  I don't play all that well, but they don't care. They love the attention. My dad lived in one after a stroke, and I enjoyed playing for him and them. Every time I visited, the folks would see me and beg me to play for them.

I never dreamed I'd have a daughter in one.

These dear ones with dementia may not remember a visit from a loved one, but they cherish the moments a visitor spends with them. It brings one joy to brighten the lives, even if it is temporary for them.

Drop in a facility and visit a friend or loved one. They need it, and so do you.

Both of you will cherish the moments.

Family is important.


                                           Family Secrets: on sale.

 

Sunday, July 4, 2021

Update on Gay's Days: Two Ambulances, Three Hospitals.

 A month has galloped by since the incident with our daughter. 

A bruise on her face remains, but she is healing. She doesn't remember the incident--or the male resident who attacked her. Forgetting, in this case, is a blessing.

I reported the incident to the State of Texas in several recorded phone calls and via email. Inspectors spent two days at the facility and gave them ten days to make changes. I have no idea what happens after ten days, but we will see.

One of the good things is that everyone keeps an eye on our daughter.  Even the residents!  I saw Shelley wandering off one day, and a resident brought her back before I did. 

That week was a crazy one. Shelley's incident occurred on a Saturday. The following Wednesday, I took my hubby to the hospital for a day procedure. Then, on Friday, he became ill, and we hurried to the ER. The physician diagnosed him with pneumonia. I once more rode in an ambulance.



I feel like Job in the Old Testament. One surprise after another. And none of them were good or happy. Who could guess I'd be in two ambulances and three hospitals in one week.

Hubby is recovering, so that's a good thing.

I haven't intended to neglect my blog or my writing, but I've been busy helping with more important issues. I've missed all of you.

We don't know why God allows storms in our lives, but we trust Him. For individual and nations, God allows good and bad to take place. Perhaps He does so to bring about knowledge. Knowledge about Him, as well as ourselves. Perhaps He gives people and nations circumstances to generate repentance. He only allows us so much sin before He intervenes. Perhaps He plans glory to Himself. If we suffer well during ugly circumstances, others can see God. 

Who knows?  Not me, that's certain.

However, I believe this. When I can't understand the reasons for my pain and sorrow, I can trust His heart

Faith and Humor



Sunday, June 6, 2021

Dementia is a Cruel Disease

 

Our daughter was attacked on Saturday, June 5, 2021 at a memory care institution.

 My husband and I arrived for a visit with her about 1:30 on Saturday, June 5. An aide said our girl was taking a nap. We went to her room, but her bed was empty.  The aide said, "I'll go find her."  When the aide didn't come back, I went to look for both of them. I found an aide sitting in the living room, but not the aide looking for our daughter. I went back to her room and waited. No one came. I told my husband I'd go find them. I walked around the hallway to the health center. I heard loud screaming and crying, lots of voices. I knocked. They opened the door, and when our daughter turned around, I almost fainted. Her little face was badly beaten. The aide who found her told me he saw a resident hitting our daughter with his fists. She stopped him and brought her into the center.  We took pictures and called EMS. I think the staff had already notified the director and the Director of Nursing.

 By an ambulance running hot, we took her to Memorial Hermann. The police were also called.  They took statements from the aide at the facility and came to the hospital to take pictures of our injured child. The officers said the resident is in jail waiting evaluation. I hope he isn't allowed in any facilities where he can hurt another person.  After imaging and no internal injuries, the hospital released our daughter.

 This resident had tried to hurt our daughter before. I was standing in the hallway with her when he came up and tried to choke her. I said, "Put your hand down."  He said, "I'm trying to kill myself."  In a moment of clarity, Shelley said, "NO! You're trying to kill me."  I asked the aide standing with him to report it.  I hope she did. I'll soon find out. I'll ask for paperwork.

 I heard aides huddled and talking. One said this resident had slapped her last Sunday. That would be May 30. No one called me to tell me about it. I'm guessing they wouldn't want me to know about it, if indeed, it did happen.  I also overheard someone say that they'd reported him for other abuses.  If this is true, why was he still there?  Why wasn't someone watching him or my daughter?  Where was the residential aide?  If they knew this person was aggressive, why didn't they do something?  If they knew.  I guess that's the question. But then, why didn't they know?

This shouldn't happen. We leave loved ones in facilities because their care is beyond our abilities. We expect them to be safe.

The attacker is in jail waiting for the psych ward. Can you imagine what his family is going through? They hurt too. 

Dementia is a cruel disease. 

I write this personal message in hopes that it strikes a chord with someone out there. A person who can help. It's not easy to share deeply personal situations. 

More research is needed NOW for Alzheimer's and Dementia. If research could find a vaccine for Covid-19, why not use Warp Speed for Dementia? For Cancer?  Is it true Big Pharma likes the monies from the horrific diseases?


Faith and Humor

 

Sunday, May 23, 2021

Choosing a Design Professional

 


We've had an abnormal spring with late freezes and flooding in various parts of the country. Down here in Houston, it's way odd to have a freeze, but one in late February? Here in my house, we sat for four days without heat or power. Then the pipes burst, and we had to carry water from the neighbors to flush toilets. A nightmare.

This traumatic event caused many of us to renovate, replenish, and fix up a mess. When driving the neighborhood, we saw old sheetrock and soaked, moldy carpet at many curbs.

Finding someone to help in a hurry was impossible. Those broken pipes made a major mess, and even months later, people are in line waiting for helpers.  New construction and design wannabes are jumping into the fray to help, but finding a professional who knows the industry can be a daunting experience.

 I decided to give a bit of advice from my days when I worked as a designer, and I hope it helps someone. I'm listing a few things to think about.

Consider: budget, style, experience, personality, and fees.

 BUDGET. Convey to your designer/decorator/contractor your budget. Setting a financial plan prevents heartaches and quarrels later. Some interior designers/contractors present furniture, accessories, and ideas that are too costly. This can be embarrassing to you and time consuming for the designer.

 EXPERIENCE. How long has the professional been in the design field? Does he or she have access to manufacturers, retailers, and contractors? Does a portfolio exist? Can he or she give references?

 PERSONALITY. Is the professional willing to work with your temperament? Does the designer understand the needs you pose? Is he or she critical of your existing surroundings? Does he or she make you feel inadequate? You should always feel comfortable with your designer.

 STYLE.  Is the designer up-to-date with a variety of styles?  If you prefer Art Nouveau, ask if the designer knows that motif.  If the professional doesn’t like that style, or doesn’t seem to know enough about it, ask him or her to recommend another designer. Most designers can do this. If they can’t, why can’t they? People in the business should know each other. If you don’t know your style, is the designer willing to help you find one?  

 FEES. Ask the designer how much the rate is. When and how is it to be paid? Some designers/contractors “double dip,” that is to say they charge a fee on top of commissions they receive from vendors. Others choose an hourly rate, while some markup acquisitions they buy for you. Make sure you understand the costs. Is there a retainer required for the professional’s services? Approve a contract, and include fees in the budgeting process.

 Working with a professional is a rewarding experience. It saves money, time, and relieves a client of distasteful choices. The designer can accommodate your style, bring harmony and beauty to your home while staying well within your budget.

Blessings to all who need their home and lives restored!  Now here's a bit about me.


Sarah: Laney's Angel, is a book I wrote shortly after I retired as a full time designer. 

Many of the experiences in the book came from my days as I worked with a builder and clients. In the first chapter, Laney is alone in a house when an unwanted vagrant enters. She is saved by an angel. 

I experienced a similar incident. I didn't see an angel, but I know one had to be there.  Since I'm hard to manage, the angel probably had several around to help with the situation!

Sarah: Laney's Angel, available in print, eBook or audio

 

Sunday, May 9, 2021

Mothers Not Birthing People

 


Women are females and they can be mothers.  I'm fortunate to be both...female and mother. I'm not gonna call myself a birthing person. 

What's a little guy like the one pictured supposed to call a "birthing person?"  They can't pronounce words well as they learn to speak. If the mom says to him, "I'm your birthing person," the child would probably call her "Birper."  That would make the woman sound like she had too much gas in the tummy and was constantly expelling it. As in Burp, burp, burp.

Mom is a great name.  "Mama." is usually a child's first words. Hearing it for the first time thrills a mom's heart.

A lot of women can't be birthing persons. Their body and health won't allow it. What are they to be called? "Nonbirthing Persons?" This day we set aside to honor mothers is difficult for those who can't give birth.

Most women are nurturers, and even if they don't have an offspring, they naturally respond to children. What would we do without the ladies who can't be a birthing person? The aunts, teachers, neighbors who long for a child, but their body said, "sorry, no."  I've seen many of these dear females give of themselves to someone else\'s child.

 Anna Jarvis began a “Mother’s Work Day.” way back in 1908. The day became "Mother's Day." The day turned into a commercial one, and Anna came to resent the day. It became a money maker, and she regretted making it famous.

Anna Jarvis loved her mother dearly, and there's no way on earth, heaven, or the other place that she'd say to her mom, "Hi birthing person. I love you."

Faith, Humor and Politics

Sunday, April 25, 2021

Thrown Away Women



Thrown Away Women

Have you read about the women in the Bible who were thrown away?  They were discarded. Treated worse than trash.

These women had little value to the men in their lives. They were used for sex, and the examples below are horrifying.

Remember Lot? The one whose wife turned to a pillar of salt? God got tired of the city of Sodom’s evil ways, so he sent to angels to destroy it. Lot invited the angels to stay overnight in his house. During the night, the entire male population of Sodom surrounded Lot’s home and demanded the two men be brought outside. The male citizens of Sodom wanted to have sex with the new men. Lot refused, but offered his two virgin daughters instead!  He told the mob, “You can do what you like with them, but don’t do anything to these men. They are under the protection of my roof.” Genesis 19.

And the daughters weren’t under his protection? Lot was willing to throw away his daughters! Lot was a faulty thinker and isn’t eligible to win any Father of the Year award.

How about the story of the Levite and his concubine?

This Levite was lonely up there in the Ephraim hill country and acquired a concubine. He must not have been a very good companion because the concubine was unfaithful. She finally ran away and went home to her father in Bethlehem. After four lonely months, the Levite went after her. The Concubine’s father persuaded the desperate-for-sex Levite to spend the night. After spending five days and nights there, the Levite wanted to take his concubine and head for the hills. The girl’s father pleaded for him to stay, but the man took his concubine and left. (I’m guessing the dad knew something of the Levites character. He may have been protecting his daughter.) When night came, the Levite stopped in the town of Gibeath and was in need of shelter. A local man invited him and the concubine to stay in his house. Sometime in the night, men of the city knocked on the door and demanded the host bring out the man. They wanted to have sex with him but instead, the host offered his virgin daughter. (Another nomination for Dad of the Year. NOT.) The wicked male horde preferred the Levite, so in-order-to protect himself, the Levite threw his concubine out the door.

The wicked men abused her all night and left her for dead on the doorstep. The Levite put her on his donkey, returned home, and then cut up her body into twelve pieces. He sent the pieces to each of the twelve tribes asking them to partake in revenge. A war ensues. Judges 19. The early Israelites “did what was right in their own eyes.” Judges 21:25.

These two ghoulish incidents, Lot, and the Levite, demonstrate how women were often thought of as nothing in the early days of civilization. Except for the concubine’s dad, the other fathers had little regard for their daughters. Can you imagine offering your virgin daughter to appease a horde of men?

Jesus elevated women when He came to live on Earth, but there are many today who continue to abuse women. Sometimes the abuser is a dad, a husband, a boss, or a human trafficker.

Women are thrown away in today’s world. Abuse of women is now considered a crime instead of sin. But indeed, they are both: Crime and sin. When humanity ignores civil and moral laws, Godless actions happen.

My heart hurts for the abused woman. I’m sad for the women who are abducted into sex slavery by a human trafficker.  Laws exist for a reason, but they get ignored. Officers of the law also exist for a reason, but anarchy occurs in many American places. Folks, people need to give accountability to God. We need to honor our national laws. We can’t and shouldn’t allow ungodly incidents to occur, and we shouldn't let women be abused or thrown away.


 Mattie's Choice in Print or eBook


Thursday, April 8, 2021

Free Will, God, and the Government

 


God gives us free will. 

In other words, He gives us liberty to make choices. Remember Adam and Eve? That's where free will began. 

 Because of God's gift of freedom, we decide how to live our lives. We can be Christian, or not, alcoholics, druggies, do-gooders, church goers, family people, single, LSBGTQ, Republicans, Democrats, anything we pick. Some of us pick all of the above.  God gives us an enormous amount of freedom. There are consequences, of course, but the choices are ours.

While on earth, we can obey civil and moral laws, break all laws, or go into politics and make laws for others to keep.  

It's really a gift to us. A big, generous, gift from God. We get to decide our life's path and how we live. But guess what? The United States Government seems to want to change that.


It appears they wish to make our choices and take away our options. They do this through mandates, laws, and taxes.

The government says, "No free will for you, Mr. John Q. Citizen. You can't be trusted. You aren't smart enough.  Others must make decisions for you.  We, the government, know best, and we will decide for you." 

Many of those mandates, laws and taxes bring about good things, but the fact remains, you have no say-so in the matter. You follow the dictates or go to jail, get cancelled, boycotted, get bullied, lose your business, or perhaps life itself. Most of all, you lose freedom.

 Does the American government have the right to take away your self will? Your freedom? Your right to make choices? 

Not according to the United States Constitution.

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

https://constitutioncenter.org/interactive-constitution/full-text

Notice the word liberty. The Blessings of Liberty.

God gives us the Blessings of Liberty. Our Free Will.

But it seems to me that we are allowing our government to steal our liberty and free will. We are handing it to them on the old proverbial silver platter.

Not so with God. He'll never take away our freedom to choose. He hopes we choose Him, His Salvation, and His goodness, but it is up to us. He will never make you accept Him. Choices are up to you.

Your government? Well, that may be another story. The powers in office may compel you to accept a lifestyle you don't want, force you to go places you don't want to go, or disallow you to go to places you do want to go.

God help us keep our free will.

Saturday, April 3, 2021

Easter Traditions



For Christians, Easter is the most important day of the year. We celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Savior of our souls.  He was crucified on a cruel cross on a Friday, he died and was buried, but on the third day, Sunday, He arose. Jesus returned from the dead and lives today. 

 Why do we call it Easter?

An author in the Sixth Century believed the English word, Easter, came from an Anglo-Saxon goddess who represented spring and reproduction.  I think we should change the name of the day to Resurrection Sunday.

How about those eggs?


Easter eggs are founded in non-Christian festivities.  Dying eggs, hiding eggs, rolling eggs is an activity many Christians as well as non-Christians participate in each year.  Eggs represent fertility. 

Don't forget the bunny.



The Easter Bunny “delivers” candy and chocolates to many children on Easter morning.  Most of the time, these goodies come in an Easter Basket.  Why a bunny? No one knows for certain, but many think German immigrants brought the idea to America. Bunnies are passionate procreators, another indicator of birth and renewal.

Foods



A lamb is often the main entre. A lamb was killed for Passover, and now, Jesus is the “Lamb of God.”  Ham is another traditional favorite. Before the Resurrection and ascension, Jewish people couldn’t eat ham or pork. After the Resurrection, God told Peter all foods were clean.

He is risen! Enjoy your traditions, but remember the reason for Resurrection Sunday! Jesus lives!

Faith and Humor

Thursday, March 18, 2021

Work in Progress

 I'm working on a new story. What's your impression? Should i continue this story or go back to my whimsical Sarah Series?  This story has no title yet. I call it a Work in Progress.  What should I title this novel of suspense?  If I choose your title, I'll include your name in the acknowledgments and give you a signed copy.



Loneliness like a fog gripped her. Should she get a dog? Perhaps a companion would help. Toby had wanted children, so had she, but none had come along, but it wasn’t for lack of trying.

She supposed the circumstances would be more difficult if she had a child. Her heart clinched at the thought of a baby. Would God ever forgive her? Would He give her a son or daughter someday? Probably not. She didn’t deserve to be a mother. And now, she was a widow, so giving birth to a child was impossible anyway. 

After the funeral, her parents had urged her to return to Denver and the mountains to  live with them.  Toby’s parents had offered their home, too, and that was caring of them, she reasoned, but it wasn’t possible. Retaliation required careful preparation, and she couldn’t scheme with family around. They’d badger her with their good intentions, but they’d be in her way. Arrangements for murder took time and careful thought.

Revenge burned like hell insider her. The desire to payback grew to an inferno. After she evened the score with those who’d hurt her, she’d start a new life. But not until she saw them pay for what they’d done.

Saturday, February 27, 2021

A Sweet Memory to Cherish

Our eldest daughter, Shelley, lives with the challenge of Dementia.

 She gifted me with a blessing at our last visit. It's not our days that we remember, it is moments.  


Shelley on her birthday, March, 2016

In a moment of clarity today, Shelley clasped her hands in prayer mode. She said, "I want to tell y'all something. I really appreciate y'all taking care of me, and I love you." 

 I cried.


Shelley was diagnosed with early onset dementia in 2014.


In assisted living, 2020.  Due to Covid, window visits only.
Isolation caused her to decline more rapidly.

Shelley has always been a "Daddy's Girl."  He does the financial part, and I oversee her medical attention and needs. I visit her three or four times a week, but he can't always go.


Her dad and I are now designated caregivers.  We can go into her room. Here I am, feeding her February 2021. 
When we had to move her from assisted living in July 2020, she weighed 121. Six months later, in memory care, she weighed 86 pounds. I bring malts and goodies to put weight on her. I don't remember what we found funny, but we laughed uproariously at something.

Her dad was with me yesterday and she was having a good day.  I fed her Nutella and a strawberry Boost. She ate an oatmeal cookie all by herself. 

February 26, 2021
Shelley and her dad. She escorted us to the front entrance.

She's always loving, affectionate, and tells me she loves me repeatedly when I'm there. But yesterday, when she told her dad and me how much she appreciated us, I was blown away.

Somewhere in her brain, she understands.

She gave me a memory to cherish, and I wanted to share it.

Sunday, February 21, 2021

Old Man Winter Gave It To Texas

 

Why, Mr. Winter?  Don't you like Texas? Are you ashamed of yourself for what you did?



Texans knew winter was going to blast the state, but residents couldn't imagine the severity. Most of us in South Texas have never experienced a big-time freeze.

I lived one year in a parsonage in northern Oklahoma, and that winter was awful. I also lived in a drafty parsonage in a country town close to Wichita Falls, TX.  I'd forgotten what it is like to not have water. Those old parsonages were cold. They had no central heat, but the pipes never broke. We never had our house flood from broken pipes.

The pipes froze, and I don't know why they didn't burst. God's goodness to us, I suppose. We were children with adult responsibilities.

I remember looking out the kitchen window one morning in northern Texas to see a sweet, older deacon burying the pipe that drained the kitchen sink. He dug a trench and concealed the rusty thing about twelve inches below the surface.  The pipe still froze, but not as often as before.

The water in that Texas parsonage was undrinkable, so, hubby would take a 5 gallon jug to the neighbor's well, fill it with water, and bring it home.  Sometimes, when we had no water in our house at all, we showered at their house. Our water situation in those days was an ongoing thing, so we grew used to it and dealt with it.

But I'm a big city girl now, and I'd forgotten how I managed in those days.

Water and heat are big deals. If you are accustomed to them, it becomes a challenge to survive without them.

There are seven Scripture verses that remind us that water gives us life. Without it we die. Of course, Scripture refers to the spiritual condition of man, and the living water is Christ Himself.


Thursday, February 11, 2021

Seeing Strange Things

 


While driving the streets of Houston, I can always find people dressed in silly attire. Yesterday I saw a cow.

A lady (or man) was walking down the street in full regalia. I assumed the cow was female because she had udders. Horns came straight out of her head and she skipped along with those pink udders bouncing. 

Most of the time, I see odd costumes while people advertise a business. This cow lady was bouncing along in a quiet neighborhood.

Was she on her way to entertain at a child's party? Did she dress that way to keep warm?  

As in the cartoon picture above, she held out her arms. Was she requesting a cow blessing?

I have no idea, but I turned the corner before she left a cow patty on the side walk.



Sunday, February 7, 2021

Spilled Milk and Regrets


Remember the phrase, "Don't cry over spilled milk?"

We do, though. Actions bring guilt and wishes for a do over. 

Do something wrong, and boom! Regrets descend like a Tsunami and might live with us forever.

What is the difference between guilt and regrets? Not much. They both relate to the past.

If we ask God to forgive us of sins and previous mistakes, He does. Do we forgive ourselves? Perhaps, but often, we don't. A personal pardon is a sticky situation. We are harsher on our person than God is.  

Depending on our nature and upbringing, the degree of regret varies. For one person, a glass of spilled milk brings a brief moment of remorse, but for others, the hand trembles each time they pick up a glass of milk.

God forgives, so we should also pardon ourselves. Are we greater than God? Are we going to punish ourselves when God doesn't?  That's an absurd thought, isn't it? 

We are human. We remember, regret and feel guilty over actions God chooses to forget.

We can learn from past behaviors, but the past isn't the future, and agonizing over ancient actions wastes time and energy.

Faith and Humor


Thursday, January 21, 2021

Fast Food Orders




Drive through fast food places don't fill orders correctly, and it's almost funny. 

Our daughter lives in a memory care facility and loves ice cream. She's lost a lot of weight. When she was admitted in July, 2020, she weighed 121 pounds. Six months later, she weighs 86. Isolation is hard on these folks.

I'm blessed now to be a designated caregiver. I can see her a bit more easily, so I'm trying to help her regain a few pounds. For me, it's easy, but it isn't for her.

I stopped at a Sonic near her facility a few days back and ordered a caramel milkshake. She loves caramel. The attendant brought me a hamburger. I noticed that mistake easily and had it corrected. A few days later, I stopped at a Sonic near me and asked for caramel.  When I got to the facility, it was strawberry. They top the shakes with whipped cream, so I couldn't see the flavor.

I stopped at McDonald's yesterday and asked for chocolate. They gave me vanilla. I think today I'll just drive to the window and say, "surprise me."  LOL. 

My daughter asked me the other day, "Are you trying to make me fat?" 

YES! I am.  She's always been tiny, but I'm sad to see her melt away.

Faith and Humor

Sarah at Christmas