Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Ring Up for Prayer

 


When my dad lived on Earth, he enjoyed telling family and friends about his grandfather Morton. That would be my great grandfather. I never met him, but I have a picture of the man with his immediate family. I can see the resemblance between my great grandfather and my brother Rick. These two guys were tall and lean. Well, my bro wasn’t so lean in the picture below, but his weight would come and go. Mine comes and stays. During his thinner times, Rick resembled our great grandfather to a greater extent.


           The Morton Family. 

Seated in the center, my great grandfather. 

My Grandfather is the boy who looks about 10 years old standing next to his mother.




   My brother, Rick Morton, and me.



Rick Morton

Younger and thinner days



I have no idea why people didn’t smile for photographs back in the “old days.”  My relatives look gloomy.  I’m guessing the antique picture was made about 1880, and times were likely depressing. Rick and I look happier than our ancient relatives.

My grandfather, the boy in the picture with sleeves too short, had white hair at an early age. So did my dad, and so do I.  The DNA from the Morton side.

My great grandfather, and I wish I knew his name, was a substitute preacher in the Methodist church. My dad loved and respected him, as did the people in the Texas town where the Mortons lived.

My dad wasn’t around when the ancient photo was taken. (Duh!  LOL.  You guessed that, right?)  But as a child in the 1920s, he visited his paternal family.

He said every night, the people in the township would come over to the Morton house for prayer. Those who couldn’t come in person would call up to the Morton house.

 

     

Phone types of the era. I don’t know which one the Morton family used.

Back in those days, phones were few, and folks who had them were on a party line. These call ins must have resembled early Zoom Calls. A lot of folks connected at the same time.

The phone receiver was brought as close as possible to my great grandfather. He then knelt and prayed in a loud voice so all could hear across the wires. He closed each evening in prayer for the community. People made requests for personal issues, and he mentioned them all to God.

In his later years, he grew sick with stomach problems. One evening his wife cooked cabbage, and my great grandfather said, “That smells so good.”  He prayed it would stay down, and it did. Citizens in the community begged him to ask the Lord again for food to stay down, but he refused.

Why? I don’t know. Perhaps he thought it selfish to pray for himself. I’ll meet him in heaven, and perhaps I'll ask. From stories I’ve heard, he must have been special.

I see announcements on TV for people to call a number with their need for help. A few churches maintain 24-hour prayer closets and record requests. Individuals on Facebook ask for prayer. Strangers pray for strangers.

People need the Lord. I’m happy my family prayed for others back in the day, and it is a blessing individuals continue to do this.

I doubt party lines exist today, but we can zoom call, Facebook call, or leave voice mail. I’ve even texted prayers.


I hear landlines will go away and only cell phones will exist in the near future.

A couple of people phone in for my Bible Study each Sunday morning. We don’t see each other, but they listen and make comments.  Sort of like the people during my great grandfather’s day with the audible calls.

The old is new and the new is old.

If you want to phone into my Bible study, let me know. I’d be happy to have you. Just like my great grandfather was pleased to have listeners.


Tuesday, March 26, 2024

Hot Money

I've mentioned my cooking disasters in past blogs. I'm just not good around stoves, and recipes never turn out correctly.

I burn food.

But I've never burned money. Not yet anyway.

I have a friend, and to protect the innocent, I'll call her Daisy. Daisy's husband owns a business. I'll call him Dylan. After closing the store for the night, Dylan brought home a bank sack full of cash.  Without thinking, he pitched the bag full of paper money into the oven.

Well, don't ya' know, the wife, Daisy, came along and turned on the oven to preheat to 500 degrees. She left the kitchen while the oven readied itself for the chicken.

Arriving in the bedroom, she greeted Dylan. He was changing into leisure clothes. Daisy changed into hers.

The couple discussed the day as moments went by. Soon, Dylan sniffed the air. "What's burning?"

Daisy replied, "Nothing yet, I'm preheating the oven."

"You turned the oven on?" Dylan's shout could be heard far and near.

Daisy nodded.

"Ye oh!" Dylan gave a yell and ran for the kitchen.

With mittens covering his hands, he pulled from the oven a smoking bag full of half-burned money.

With wide eyes, Daisy exclaimed, "How did that get there?"

Dylan trembled as he retrieved a few of the 100-dollar bills from the ashes. "I was in a hurry to get out of that suit, and I threw it in there."

"Is all the money ruined?"  

Dylan shook his head. "No, but I don't know about these bills that are mostly charred. I doubt the bank will accept them."

"How will we explain burned money to a bank?" Daisy picked up a black greenback.

Dylan snapped his fingers as an idea came along. "Let's dye your hair blonde, and tell them you are a dumb blonde who forgot she threw this bag into the oven and then turned it on. Maybe they will accept that explanation."

Daisy retorted. "Forget it Buster. You dye your hair blonde and tell them you did it."

Arguments got them nowhere. Dylan put the sack of hot money into the home vault, and there it remains to this day.

Wednesday, February 14, 2024

A Valentine Treat


Several years ago, I decided to make a red cake for my hubby for Valentine's Day. The cake was a disaster, and it literally fell apart. The thing collapsed from the pan in chunks.

Being the inventive person that I am, I created a parfait. I broke the cake into bite-sized pieces and layered them with whipped cream. I placed the entire mess into a fluted glass and garnished the top with Strawberries. 

I think the treat turned out better than a big cake. I dolled it up with a card and chocolates. Hubby loved it, and I didn't tell him how it came to be. So let's keep that our secret.

I made a cherry pie for our first Valentine's as a married couple. That didn't turn out well, either.  Hubby saw my tears and said, "Why didn't you buy a frozen one? That would have been fine with me."

He is a sweetheart and has managed to live through my cooking failures.

This year, I'm not baking.

However, I have a treat for everyone!


My new book is on sale today!  Yay! And the story is about Sarah, a dyslexic angel, who must find Tom a mate by Valentine's Day. Like my baking, she makes a mess.

I love the last few chapters. Tom takes Marcy, the lady of his dreams, to a fancy restaurant in Houston. The gifts he gives to his love are sweet and special.  Men should be as romantic as Tom in this book. I even cried while I wrote the chapter. I laughed a lot too. Sarah does that to you.

While it's on sale, grab a copy. Both eBook and print are on sale.


 

Monday, February 5, 2024

The First and Last

 



God created the first man. Then, He decided Adam needed a sidekick, so God fashioned the first woman. God administered the first anesthetic and performed the first surgery. And there she was.

Adam looked at his new wife and said, “Wow! You’re my bony.”  Of course, he meant she was a bone from his side.  On the other hand, women these days want to be bony, so if a hubby makes this statement to a wife, she might take it as a compliment.

However, if a man says, “Wifey, you are a bone in my flesh.” Oops! That’s a different intonation. And that would probably be the last thing he said to her.

But I digress.

Eve ate first, and it was the last innocent bite she took. She gave the forbidden food to her hubby, Adam. He chomped down, and together, they committed the first sin. God had forbidden that fruit. But it looked so good!



Adam and Eve discovered their naked condition, and they didn’t like it. They initiated their first mutual project by sewing foliage, but Fig Leaves didn’t do the trick. Therefore, God fashioned clothes for them. God sacrificed the first animals to make coverings for the couple.




Later, Adam and Eve had their first children: Cain and Abel. I guess they were happy about that. Until that is, Cain killed his brother, Abel. Uh oh! Cain committed the first murder.

Consequently, Abel was the first human to enter heaven.

God watched His first human race grow into a sinful civilization. Mankind multiplied, and sin did as well. God was displeased and decided to destroy most of His creation. But one guy, Noah, found grace in the eyes of the Lord. Noah was the first to find this grace.



God liked Noah so much, He said to him, “Get to work and build a boat. I’m going to send rain and destroy the Earth, but you and your family will be spared.”

Noah said, “What is rain?”



God said, “Until now, I’ve watered the Earth from the ground up, but this will be a first. Water will fall from the sky. I’m calling it rain. Get your family and two of a kind of each animal to board the Ark you are building, and don’t forget the creepy, crawlies. I want two of each of those also.”

So Old Noah was the first to be obedient, and he believed everything God said. That, my friends, is why he found grace in the eyes of the Lord.

Time passed, and Noah finished his task. God is a Keeper of His Word. As soon as God shut the gigantic door to the Ark, God’s new invention, rain, flooded the Earth with water. All animals and mankind who weren’t on the boat drowned in the deluge.




This was the first judgment of mankind.



After the flood was over, God promised the earthlings, “That is the last time I’ll destroy the Earth with water. I'll give you the first rainbow as my pledge.”

Now let’s review.

Adam and Eve…first humans.

Adam and Eve…first sinners.

Cain…first murderer.

Abel…first human to be a Heaven resident.

The Flood…first judgment of God on His creation.

The Flood…last time God will destroy by water.

Rainbow...first one ever.

Scripture tells us God will judge humanity the last time by fire.

If a person chooses to ignore God’s Son, Jesus, he will live in a lake of fire.

Yikes!

Those people mocking old Noah could have changed their minds, become believers, got on board the Ark, and missed drowning. The same is true today. Believe and escape the promised fire to come.

When will this last judgment take place? No one knows, but I suspect it will be shortly after the last believer on Earth enters Heaven. Jesus gave us the task of witnessing to all nations. After the last person hears, and the last someone decides to become a believer, Jesus will return.

God knows knows who the last believer will be. He gives us all the opportunity to respond, but judgment comes to those who do not accept His plan of the ages.

And God promised a last judgment.

In the scheme of events, will you be last?

God is the Alpha and Omega. He’s First and Last. What He says goes.

Friday, January 26, 2024

The First Nudist Camp

 

Have you visited a nudist camp? Lived in one?

No? Me either.

Yes? What did you think? Did you undress and become part of the society?

I would find it awkward and embarrassing to visit one. And no way would I take off my clothes.  I’d wear layers of garments, a large sombrero, and dark sunglasses. I’d also get out of there ASAP.

Adam and Eve lived in the first nudist camp. Well, actually it was a beautiful garden, but they were both naked and weren’t ashamed by this lack of covering.

They were happy with their condition.

Eve had no laundry to do. No ironing. No shopping for new apparel. No binding bras. No worries about if an outfit was the correct choice, and no fear the shoes would fit or not. She didn’t have a woman to criticize an outfit.

Adam had no neckties to strangle him. No corporate ladder to climb. No decision between boxers or tighty whities. All he did was let it all hang loose.

The first pair of humans lived unadorned and without concerns of any kind. No civil laws to say otherwise.

Can you imagine running through the bushes wild and unrestricted? There were no thorns or stickers on the ground to hurt bare feet.


These two were comfortable with each other. They also enjoyed the variety of animals. Here’s a thought. I suppose dogs didn’t sniff a backside back in those days. If they did, Adam might have wished for a pair of Hanes boxers.

Many people talk to their pets, and sometimes, the animal responds with a bark or a meow.  However, Eve conversed with a snake, and the reptile responded by speaking to her in the same language. Whatever that was. Anyway, they understood each other.

The snake, AKA as Satan, convinced Eve to eat a forbidden fruit, and the newlywed Eve persuaded her hubby to dine with her.

Uh-oh! The situation changed in the blink of an eye.

They looked at each other and simultaneously declared, “You’re naked.”

Freedom ended. Work began. “Quick, let’s make a covering.” They shouted to each other.

The duo gathered fig leaves and sewed them together to hide their bodies.  They lucked out by selecting fig leaves. What if they had chosen poison ivy? Mercy! What an itch that would have been.

Evidently, they didn’t think the fig leaves did a proper job of hiding their brand-new discovery of nakedness. When God came looking for them, they hid behind trees. They weren’t into showing off their new clothes.  But of course, one can’t hide from God.

God had told them not to eat that particular fruit, but they disobeyed, and they suffered consequences.

God provided the proper fashion. He slayed an animal or maybe two of His precious creatures to provide clothes for the pair.  Since the duo only ate fruit and veggies, they must not have been overweight, so perhaps one animal skin provided enough cover for the two of them.

Eve still went braless, so there is that.

God drove them from their perfect home, and they began to work.

This account of the Fall of Man is true and accurate, and I’m sorry all of humanity is born into sin, but I’m grateful we now wear clothes.

Unless you live in a nudist society.  But if you do, don’t send pictures. Thank you in advance.

Tuesday, January 9, 2024

A Healthy New Year

 



 During the pandemic, the average weight gain for Americans was fifteen pounds. Whoa Nellie! That’s a lot in a short period of time.

The Bible doesn’t talk much about one’s poundage, but Dr. Luke in the New Testament talks about a guy names Zacchaeus. Luke describes him as a short man who climbed a sycamore-fig tree so he could see Jesus. (Luke 19).

In Matthew, chapter 6, Jesus tells us not to worry about what we will eat, drink or wear. However, in this passage, Jesus isn’t giving a diet for food. He’s telling us not to worry.

People did a lot of walking back in Jesus' day. It was the main means of transportation. I doubt many in that era faced the amount of pounds we do today.

But back to fat, unhealthy obesity.  That’s a concern as we start a New Year.

If your goal this year is to become healthier, here are a few suggestions a few friends offered.

I asked a friend how she had lost weight. She responded, “One bite at a time.”  Another one said, “I leave food on my plate.” The third person said, “I never go back for seconds.”

Leave a bite of each food item on the plate, If you have three items, leave three bites and never go back for seconds. This plan simply calls for cutting back on foods you normally eat and enjoy.

This sounds like a good plan to me, and I am going to try it. I gained ten pounds in the last ten months. Why? Probably stress. I like food, and it matters not as to my mental outlook.  I eat when I'm mad, unhappy, glad, depressed, sick, worried...and so on.

Let's strive for health.

And remember: the most important health element is our spiritual health.


 


·         So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.  1 Corinthians 10:31

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Sarah at Christmas