Sunday, August 27, 2023

Grand Times With the Grands!



But Jesus called the children to him and said, "Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these." ~Luke 18:16

Because my daughter, her husband, and our granddaughters live in North Carolina, Danny and I have to make plans way in advance to travel in order to see them all.  Oh, how we wish they lived closer to us, but circumstances are what they are, so we make the best of it, even in the oppressive heat of August while their schools are still out.  I know I make it sound in my previous post that the whole gang will be coming here to stay, but pictured above is the Vrbo we rent for the week of our stay.  It's the first time the youngest girls, Savannah and Alexandra, will be spending consecutive nights with us.  They do better than we expect, and a grand time is had by all!

One of the main reasons we rent this particular home is because of the game room set up in the garage.  Yes, we all manage to spend some time there, but as this space is not air-conditioned, it makes it difficult to play there for any stretch of time.  Mom and Dad stop by several evenings after work to see the girls and us.  John, it seems, has a better tolerance for heat than Gammie and Papa, and the girls truly appreciate it!

Virginia is NOT a picky eater; anything put on the table is fair game for her.  Alexandra will try new things, too, but Savannah has to be coaxed to take a taste of anything new to her.  Her favorite meal, which we prepare for her multiple times, is mac and cheese.

Making a face when she first tries French toast, Savannah changes her mind.

Due to the steamy temperatures, we don't do any sight-seeing on this trip, but the girls are more than happy to spend time with us at the house.  What a joy!  There is nothing like being around children to inspire the soul and make us feel young at heart in spite of our advancing years.  

We are so blessed to have these three beautiful granddaughters, and we let God know just how grateful we are to Him for all the smiles, hugs and happiness they bring to our lives.

Yes, I am sad when the time comes to leave for home, but I know how much I will treasure these memories until our next visit.  Through these precious girls, we have tasted the kingdom of God indeed!


Wednesday, August 9, 2023

Giving Back to Caesar?


Then Jesus said to them, "Give back to Caesar what is Caesar's and to God what is God's."  And they were amazed at him. ~Mark 12:17

We all, undoubtedly, recognize an United States' quarter the moment we see one.  I can remember helping granddaughter, Virginia, learn about the various coins, their monetary values, and encouraging her to master basic mathematical equations using each coin's worth.  I believe she was in first grade.

But coins are also one way we can keep American history front and center.  Our Founding Father, and first president, George Washington's, face appears not only on the quarter, but also on the dollar bill - a double dip!  And one this great man most certainly deserves for all his many accomplishments that led to the creation of this great nation.

It seems very appropriate, too, that Washington's face is turned toward our nation's motto, "In God we trust."  He was a man of stalwart faith, never doubting that God had His mighty hand on this fledgling country as we defeated the British in the Revolutionary War.  This motto was nationalized under President Dwight Eisenhower in 1956, and has stood the test of time.

Until recently . . .

Study the quarter, minted in 2023, below.  Notice anything different?

That's right!  George Washington's face is looking away from the sacred script.  What kind of subversion is that?  What genius in this administration thought it was an appropriate move to make?  Don't we have a plethora of other problems, like inflation, the border crisis, and energy woes, that need to be addressed?

Does this reflect a country's willful abandonment of God, or is it done to spite those Americans who believe this nation is still under God?  Maybe, one of you reading this, has the definitive answer.

In the meantime, perhaps in defiance of this "new and improved" coin, the state of Louisiana has passed a bill requiring our country's motto be on prominent display in every classroom in every school in the state.  Good for them!  My hopes and prayers are that no one will think a law suit is in order to "correct" the will of the people.

Our so-called leaders so easily dismiss the statement in our Declaration of Independence:  We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

We are not endowed by our our government by these rights; they come directly from God.  Our nation owes everything, and then some, to Him and Him alone.

If we fail to put our trust in God, the cards will be stacked in Caesar's favor.  He already wields enough power, doesn't he?

I think so!


Due to entertaining grandchildren for awhile, I'm going to be taking a break from blogging here.  I'm not sure how long my hiatus will be at this point, but it will also involve my not frequenting your blogs either.  I know you all, my friends, will understand and know I'll keep you all in my prayers!

Thursday, August 3, 2023

For God Alone


I will be glad and rejoice in you; I will sing the praises of your name, O Most High. ~Psalm 9:2

One of the most gratifying experiences Danny and I share as a couple years ago is singing together in our praise band, Crossroads, at Kennesaw United Methodist Church.  When we are assigned a new pastor, the last thing we expect is to get asked to step down from our positions.  Well, not in so many words, but the writing on the wall is loud and clear.  Se don't know to this day why or how we rubbed the pastor the wrong way, but we decide to leave without casting blame or badmouthing her decision.

When I first arrive at Shiloh Methodist (pictured above), before Danny starts attending with me, it isn't long before I'm telling folks what church I used to attend, and how we were involved in the music ministry.  Shiloh is too small of a congregation to have a choir, so much of the music is led by our amazing lay leader, Sandy, at each service.  When I tell her about Danny, she doesn't hesitate to jump on the opportunity to ask him to participate in the music on a rotating basis.

This coming Sunday will be our debut!  Danny has selected the song, "How Great is our God," by Chris Tomlin.

It is one of my favorites, and I'm so blessed to be able to sing harmony with him on this number.  During our practices, all the joys of singing God's praises with him come flooding back to me.  I'm overcome by emotions I haven't felt in way too many years, and I'm so grateful to God for the gift of song to honor Him with the praise He deserves.

Oh, and why are we practicing in what we call our "middle room?"  Because it is sparsely furnished and uncarpeted, the room mimics the great acoustics found in our church sanctuary.  It allows Danny and I to develop a better feel for what the real experience will be like.

In the pre-electronic days when our little church was originally built, sound had to carry all on its own, allowing everyone to clearly hear the hymns of joy and worship, receiving the Word of God with unmistakable clarity.

When I look back on those years of wires, ear buds and microphones, I sense that our desire to draw closer to God and His people was hampered by the illusion of performance.  That's antithetical to the concept of worship, even when our outward signs would have us thinking otherwise.

I pray that we will know this coming Sunday that our presence in that holy place is for God alone and for His faithful people.


The Greatest Story Ever Told

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