Thursday, January 25, 2024

Faithful Steward


Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God's grace in its various forms. ~1 Peter 4:10

The source for this blog comes from a Lifestyle article I found on Fox News at the beginning of January.  In reading it, my heart was so touched, I just have to share the story with y'all.

If you live in Pensacola, Florida, and frequent the Scenic 90 Cafe for your morning cup of joe, chances are you've seen Mr. Lee, a retired Navy veteran, sitting at his usual seat at the counter.  The restaurant staff look forward to him coming through the door like clockwork every morning.

Mr. Lee's preferred breakfast?  "A house special that includes an over-easy egg, chees grits, a biscuit, and a sausage patty."  Sounds good and hearty to me!

While he dines, Mr. Lee regales the staff with stories from his 30-year service in the Navy and shares tales about his wife, who is now deceased, and his children as they were growing up.  Server, Kelli Gomez, has been waiting on Mr. Lee for at least a year now.

"He loves watching us separate filters for the coffee machine (and) watching us grind the coffee - and one day, he just started helping with this," she said.

Lee's daughter, Tracy Rutland, says he does so "because that's just how he was raised."  She has fond memories of her dad being the first to offer a helping hand to anyone in need in his community.

Owner and head chef of the Scenic 90 Cafe, Gus Silivos, says, "The people that come in and sit there primarily are either single people or widowers who come and really socialize with our staff."  And it's a great opportunity for veterans living in the community to connect with young people.

In March, Mr. Lee will be celebrating his 90th birthday.  According to the article, the restaurant staff had already planned decorating his customary chair with balloons, but then got the idea to expand their scope.  Since they'd already shared a bit of news about Mr. Lee on their Facebook page, and had received such positive feedback, they decided to go all out, asking people to send Mr. Lee a birthday card.  Can you just imagine how many cards this delightful man will get, especially as the address was published in the Fox News article?  Danny and I have already sent ours, and it's not too late for you to join in.  Here's the address:

Mr. Lee c/o Scenic 90 Cafe; 701 Scenic Highway, Pensacola, FL 32503.

I don't know about you, but I wish there would be more inspiring and uplifting stories like this one in the news.  There are simply so many folks out there who are using, joyfully, the gifts God has given them to serve others.

And we should celebrate them every chance we get!


Here is the link to the original article.

Thursday, January 18, 2024

Salt of the Earth


"You are the salt of the earth.  But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again?  It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot." ~Matthew 5:13

Pictured above is our indoor/outdoor thermostat on Wednesday morning.  13!!!  For where we live in Georgia, this is considered a low temperature in any winter.  I know, I know - my blogging friends living in the Midwest or in New England must be laughing themselves silly.  But folks, you have to remember that unless we are seasonal ski buffs, we simply don't have warm enough clothing to suit up appropriately for this extreme cold when we have to venture out.

I am truly amazed at the hardiness of the Iowans who turned out for this week's caucuses.  It takes more than a blizzard and subzero temperatures to hold them back from anything they are determined to do.  For this Southern gal, that's a miraculous feat in and of itself.

And it should be an source of inspiration for all of us.

There are so many people still in this country who consider the right to vote a privilege, and will move heaven and earth to exercise it.  They believe strongly in the principles upon which this nation was founded.  No matter what nonsense is hurled at them, their devotion to the land of the free and the home of the brave is rooted deeply in every fiber of their being.

These are the type of people our country needs more of.

Patriotic and God-fearing Americans, unafraid to stand up against the evils threatening our independence, our sovereignty, our way of life.

And I can confidently declare, without reservation, that these people are truly the salt of the earth.  We would not have a country without them.  May they never lose their saltiness!


Thursday, January 11, 2024

Farewell, Henry


The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. ~Psalm 34:18

This has been a trying and sorrowful week for daughter, Sarah, and her husband, John, along with their daughters who are mourning the unexpected passing of their beloved cat, Henry.  A week ago, dear Henry curled himself under their Christmas tree and breathed his last.  No fanfare. No tell-tale signs of distress.  Just a quiet passing in peace.

Isn't that what we all hope for when our time comes?

Yet the loss and trauma are painfully real for everyone in the family, but especially, for Virginia as illustrated by these photos from 2020.

Henry was not just a family pet to her, but a best friend.  As he snuggled with her every night, she could share her thoughts and heart with him, knowing that he would love her without fail.  She has, on multiple occasions, referred to Henry as her closest confidant and beloved companion in life.

The home they live in now is a rental, so there was no option to bury him on that property.  Thankfully, John's parents, Paul and Karen, own a lovely acreage in North Carolina, about two hours away.  They readily agree to allow the family to come there to lay Henry to rest.  Not only that, but Paul takes the time to design and make a beautiful casket in his work shop.

Inside the coffin, Virginia, Savannah and Alexandra place photos and letters to Henry.  His remains now rest in a former garden plot, where the girls can revisit his gravesite whenever they visit their grandparents on a weekend in the future.

It will take lots of time to heal from this loss, and though it will grow less painful, they will always carry the grief with them.  In their hearts, minds and souls.

Will you all be so kind to keep them in your prayers?  Thank you!

Thursday, January 4, 2024

I Surrender All


This, then, is how you should pray:  Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. ~Matthew 6:9-10

Happy New Year, my friends!  Now that the holiday celebrations are behind us, I pray for all goodness, mercy and blessings to greet you in 2024.  It will, no doubt, be a roller coaster of a ride for many of us as we look toward the impending presidential election and its outcome.  Rest assured, this self-proclaimed news junkie will be glued to every nuance and turn of events as the year unfolds.

Yes, there will be predictions and pontifications galore by pundits and reporters, but I'm choosing to take these with a grain of salt.  As the old saying goes: "It ain't over 'til the fat lady sings."  And smart as any of us think we are, we cannot predict the future with absolute certainty.


Because the future is in God's wheelhouse, not ours.

So, what is it about our human nature that tries to trick us into thinking we're the ones in control?  Wouldn't it make more sense to live each day confident that God is large and in charge?  How free of worry and anxiety would we be if each morning, when we rise, we completely surrender to God's will, assured that He will see us through?

In the title and this preceding paragraph is my Word for the Year.  Can you see it?  You're right!  It's SURRENDER!

God did not create us to be constant fretters and worriers, but instead, to lay all our cares and troubles at the feet of Jesus.  Life is too short to allow the "what-ifs" and "if onlys" to clutter our hearts and minds.  That just robs us of the precious communion we are invited to enjoy in our daily walk with the Lord.

So, with complete trust and hope in the One who keeps His promises, I vow to surrender, to submit, to God's ways, and will do so every day of this year and beyond.  A surrendered life is an abundant life!

I'm all in!

What about you?


Our Grand Grands

  Children's children are a crown to the aged, and parents are the pride of their children. ~Proverbs 17:6 Every year that our family vi...