Sunday, March 31, 2013

LESSONS ON SOLITUDE

I attended Easter Sunday services alone here in Austin today.  My children and grands are involved in other areas during the service---so I sat alone.  It's Easter Sunday---the church was full-the overflow room upstairs was full and the tent adjacent to the worship center was full.  It was an awesome---wonderful Easter service.  It thrills my heart that they are exposed to inspired teaching and inspirational worship.  I love seeing grown men---in the attitude of praise.

I am learning a lesson though in "Aloneness".  This is my third service in a church full of people when I know NOT ONE SOUL.  It has taken a lot of courage to cross those thresholds alone and before today--I was often circling back to my feeling of being alone--even when shoulder to shoulder with a crowd.  Today--I finally "Got It"--what God has been trying to show me---It is NOT about community---though He encourages us to be in fellowship---it IS ALL ABOUT HIM!  When there is no one around you to distract you--when your thoughts and eyes are pointed toward worship---HE IS THERE!  I am never alone---HE IS ALWAYS WITH ME--even in the midst of the connected multitudes--I am NOT alone---HE IS BY MY SIDE!  

So why do you attend worship---is it about who you are with--who you will see---OR is it all about Him?  He is teaching me to truly be attuned to His presence and turn toward Him in Praise and Worship---for who He is--THE GREAT I AM!

HAPPY EASTER!
WE SERVE A RISEN SAVIOR!
HALLELUJAH!



Saturday, March 30, 2013

THE MORNING AFTER

I woke up very early this morning pondering what the disciples and other followers of Jesus must have been thinking the morning after the crucifixion, death and burial of Jesus.  I would imagine--something like the depressing thought that all was lost--it was over--there was no tomorrow---mixed with a huge dose of fear---fear for their safety--fear for their lives--fear for their futures.

WHAT A DIFFERENCE A DAY CAN MAKE!  Sunday dawned and "He was not there"---"He was risen"----OH HAPPY DAY!  A few short hours and with the slow realization that came with time---their entire demeanor changed----Despair to Glee----Depression to Joy---Disillusionment to Hope--- With His Resurrection---He redeemed tomorrow---from the depths of pain--to the heights of praise!  A new day dawned and with it the entire world was changed forever.  Eternity was gained and a new beginning was available.

That slowly twisted around in my head until I realized my own life was not unlike this day.  I have been in the depths of despair---the pit of anguish and the river of grief.  He will also redeem all of this--because He loved me---I am promised a tomorrow---and Joy will come with the morrow---be patient and wait upon the Lord---HE IS MY REDEEMER!

Friday, March 29, 2013

MY NEW STATE FLOWER

Momma moved to Louisiana from Texas when she married at 19 and lived there until the day she left us at almost 82.  She told everyone that entire time, she was from Texas.  Perhaps I am somewhat like her, since I was thinking today, that I don't know if I will ever consider Texas home---after 64 years---Louisiana will always be home.

My sweet friend sent this to me when I was lamenting over my move with her:

"Some would say you are entering Texas, the Promised Land,
I say you are running the next leg bound for the Promised Land."

SO even after disappointing news yesterday, I cling to truths such as this and know --especially today---He loves me steadfastly and beyond measure-

" Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these."




Thursday, March 28, 2013

GUT PUNCH

Sometimes from out of the blue--when you least expect it---life throws a gut punch at you---it leaves you surprised and gasping--bent double in pain and wondering "Where did  that come from?"  

There are two options at that point--you can stay down for the count---vow this is it---I've had it---hide in the closet---run out in the street screaming---put your head under the pillow and never come out---moan and groan and gaze at your navel--which I allow myself to do for short periods of time

OR--after those short periods--you can take a DEEP BREATHE----count to 10--analyze how this happened---wipe your tears and suck it up---and continue to move forward---asking God for the strength to make the next step-----ALL FORWARD MOTION COUNTS!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

I'M A MESS--AT BEST!

Momma J---is sick--so Aunt Nancy & I took the 2 big boys in tow today.  We already had a trip planned to the Fort Worth Botanical Gardens---so we drug them along.  I think we saw some plants in the conservatory-Rose Garden & Japanese Gardens --but it's all a blur or chasing a 2 & 3 year old around.  There were plants--there were signs identifying them---I have NO clue what any of those signs said.

We DID stop to feed the koi in the Japanese gardens--the highlight of the trip for the boys---HUGE HUGE Koi!  AND HUNGRY--  Had to keep a tight grip on the little one--Mr. H can swim-but Little One--can't and does not know to be afraid!  A tight grip on the coat of that Little Mister!

Here is what I DID learn---if I am going to be ready for a Hiking Trip in 3 months carrying 40 lbs on my back--I'm in DEEP TROUBLE!  We took the boys down to the pond in the rose garden which is at the bottom of a not that steep hill to see the turtles.  Henry decided at that point that "My legs have no power left."  I put him on my back and climbed that hill---I have a LONG way to go to get ready for this hiking trip--OR I will be bear bait at the base of the mountain!  SO add hiking with weighted pack on my back when I get back to LA to my weight training!  SUCH SUCH FUN!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

SMALL TOWN WITHIN THE BIG CITY---

Sister in law, Nancy--is Guest #2 at the Hacienda in the Sky.  Here I am thinking I am the Queen of Obtaining Social Histories"---she may have out done me today.  The house my apartment is in is being painted---HURRAH!  BUT the painters have LOTS of cars and vehicles--which has created parking problems.  The houses on each side of this one are vacant--not sure why--but maybe Nancy could explain now.  ANYWAY--I told Nancy--feel free to park in the drive next door-no one is there.

I am cooking supper for The Jennings & us and look out the kitchen window--there is someone next door where Nancy is parked.  She heads out to move her car after I tell her the neighbor seems to have appeared.  THIRTY minutes later---Nancy finally comes back upstairs---every time I look out--Nancy is nodding and the lady is talking---turns out she got ALL the POOP!

So it seems Neighbor Mrs M---owns the house where Nancy is parked--she left her cats there and comes back to feed them.  There seems to have been a fire in her house and she moved to her "other house" across from her son and granddaughter.  She said this is a great neighborhood and she loves it here-but she didn't explain why she is not here anymore.

She then tells Nancy that the house on the other side of this one--which is also vacant-is owned by Mrs. B---Mrs. B moved to a house which she shares with her granddaughter--she lives on the top floor and the granddaughter below her.  

Both houses are in serious need of repair--AND the houses in this area rent for top dollar--SO--WHY?  

Mrs. M and Mrs. B don't like my landlady--whom I really like --but for some reason they don't all get along.  My landlady told me that the other neighbors were waiting for TCU to swoop in and buy their property for a high price--but she was going to collect income on her property and not count on something that might never happen.

THIS SOUNDS LIKE Small town drama--here in the big city.  When Nancy came in and gave me her report---I laughed and laughed--turns out we are all just "Small Town Folks"!

SO you need a social history?---Call Nancy--she is the NEW QUEEN!

Monday, March 25, 2013

SO WHICH WOULD MOTIVATE YOU?

I went back to "Power Pump" this morning with Camille.  Before the class began, one of her friends came up to me and said, "Did Camille tell you that you will be sore for 2 weeks after the first class?"  I must admit--I MIGHT have been slightly smug when I told her--"Oh, I came Friday,  we missed you!"  OH TO BE 30--again!  ON SECOND THOUGHT--- LORD--NO--DO NOT WANT TO DO ALL THIS AGAIN!

ANYWAY---there is a different instructor today and she has an apprentice that she is training.  NO PROB---but let me just say---you look at the front of the class for direction and instruction--OR  YOU ARE LOOKING AT THE INSTRUCTOR--SO

The main instructor is probably late 40's-early 50's---she might have played tackle for one of the professional football teams---her upper torso and legs remind you of tree stumps--THICK tree stumps--she has her head tied back in a bandana--that looks like she may be about to mow the lawn--NOW--I liked her--but I am looking to be motivated--you know--HEY I WANT TO LOOK LIKE YOU!  She is so strong that the main thing she inspires from me is grumbling and mumbling.

The apprentice--WELL---he is probably mid to late 30's -----as my kids say-RIPPED!  Cute little --unassuming face--easy on the eyes and soft spoken to boot.  NOW--he did not say much the entire class--BUT I must admit I felt HIGHLY motivated following his lead!  HEY-I KNOW I am alone--but I like a good view just like the rest of you!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

HIS FAITHFUL REMINDERS

The day started with attending another church here in Fort Worth---determined to seek God's will in where He wants me and plans to use me---I purposefully declined one of Camille's friends invitations to attend her church with her family----no crutches---just looking for His leading.  I sat in the middle of a row---in the back middle of the center section.  The worship was good--the message about community--a little disappointing to me--but this is NOT about me and maybe some need to hear how important fellowship is for Believers.  So I left---not one person said a word to me---a smile from the greeter--that's it.  I left disappointed and wondering if I would ever find a church home.

THEN---I get home and a dear friend texts me that they need prayer---I go to the scripture and find the right scripture to pray for them.  Spend time in prayer---and asking God for grace for this Godly friend.

Then I receive an email asking for prayer from a long time--wonderful friend---that has borne much suffering, strife, heart-break--struggles.  Once again they are facing another crisis--they asked for prayer--I went back to the scripture--prayed for this sweet friend.

THEN---to make sure I understood He was using me for intercession---I had a feeling that I should check on another long term friend.  I have not heard from them in a while--thought things were fine--but God gave me a nudge.  Upon contacting them, I found out they are in the hospital with congestive heart failure, a broken hip and heart rhythm problems.  NOW--they did not contact me---I just knew--Every time I have been nudged to contact them---there has been a need for prayer.  When I asked why they had not contacted me--the response was "I did not want to bother you".  I gave them Romans 15:30---where even Paul asked for others to pray for him.  Reminded them it is a blessing to pray for others--and to not deny that blessing.

All this to say---God hears me--He knows I am lonesome--ALL in His perfect time--my prayers will be answered.  I John 5:14-15

Saturday, March 23, 2013

WHIPPER SNAPPER--PART DEUX

SO--before I start--let's just say I am not too sore today--it's a miracle  OR perhaps the 4 Alleve I took helped!

The house my apartment is in is being painted-outside--EVEN the brick.  I met the landlord when I moved in---92 --still drives--a Lexus--no less--THIS IS TEXAS!---and still in charge of things.  We talked about the house and the shape it was in--she told me that she was having the trim painted-but surprised me with the brick also---pleasantly surprised.  When I arrived back in FW--the windows were covered with plastic--understandable---BUT the wind was also blowing 25 MPH--SO the first night back--the plastic blew and rustled all night--MISERABLE night--I am a VERY light sleeper--that serves me well most of the time--but NOT that night!

SO---after spending the day with the 3 Amigos & Mother---I came home exhausted--FELL into bed--went into a coma---UNTIL about 2 AM---I remember hearing a door slam---Whipper Snapper's front door is right below my bedroom.  THEN---loud talking, laughing, carrying on RIGHT in front of my house.  Could I just say--I was NOT happy--they finally Hushed and I was out again.

SO--this morning--I waited until about 9 AM---WAIT--I didn't tell you that Whipper Snapper works nights and also plays nights when he is not working--don't have a problem with that--BUT I respect his sleeping during the days---he needs to respect my nights---OK--back on track---at 9 AM--I turned on the vacuum---then used the dust buster (SHRILLEST NOISE I HAVE) on the stairs---up and down on his bedroom side---and for a FINAL Good Bye before heading out the door---used the hair dryer.

SOMETHING tells me the war is not over--that's OK--God has been teaching me patience!

Friday, March 22, 2013

DUMMY THAT I AM--I TOOK THE CHALLENGE!

For some sadistic reason---our children LOVE to remind us that ---the point in life has come when THEY CAN out-do us!  Back in Fort Worth---the 3 amigos and their mother were here to see me yesterday before I even unpacked.  She tells me---"Come with me to the Y tomorrow and we will go to the Power Pump Class together".  WHY SURE--I would love to do that! 

 WHAT WAS I THINKING?????

The average age in the class was raised from 25 considerably when I walked through the door.  KNEW I was IN TROUBLE--when we got a bar and   8  weights to put on it, and a step with 3 risers!  The instructor walks in---with her "Built Like a Chevy (YOU KNOW THE ROCK) Body"--straps on her microphone--cranks up the music---AND for the next   ONE HOUR---we lift weights to music.  Each song is a different body part---so that's 3 minutes + per body part!  

When you walk out of the class--ALREADY hurting and trembling---BAD THINGS are coming!  Currently even my hair follicles hurt---I can raise on eyebrow with just a little pain---all else --well tomorrow will not be good!  I spent the day with the boys and their momma--cooking, cleaning, tending the little ones --but once Doctor Daddy came home--I was off---I had NO IDEA HOW I would get up the steep stairs to my apartment---EVEN if I would have stooped to ask---Whipper Snapper is not home---SO--it was SLOW GOING--until I thought--just bite the bullet and get it over with--sprinted the rest of the way. 

SO---YES---Camille you CAN finally out-do me in the weight room---BUT WATCH OUT--I'm on a mission now!  

Thursday, March 21, 2013

LIMBO LAND

I am back in Fort Worth and the countdown has begun to the final trip to my new home Fort Worth.  I will be here 10 days and then back in R for 3 weeks--back to FW for a week and then back in R until the end of the school year--less than a month.  THEN--I will be here to stay---ministry responsibilities over and time to begin a life here.  My sweet friend and counselor Barbara, told me this was a good way to transition.  Not so sure about that--but it is a good way to memorize the road and all points between the 2!

Have had such a great visit with LOTS of my buddies while in R---but that started the process of trying to wrap my mind around leaving them all.  God has RICHLY blessed me with a plethora of friends that I love dearly.  I can't even begin to imagine how I will ever have such wonderful friendships here.  Time--prayer--living life together--that has molded these friendships into precious pearls.  I can't imagine life without them --a stone's throw away.

Meanwhile I am here--a wonderful surprise--the house is being painted outside and is looking great--the bummer--when preparing the house for painting--they blew LOTS of dust into my apartment--May take a while to get that cleaned up.  The 3 Amigos have already come for a visit--I have been shot with the cap pistol, begged for chocolate & spit up on---LIFE IS GOOD!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

EFFORTLESS COOLNESS!

The REALLY COOL thing these days is any form of exercise---running, boot camp, weights, bikes---anything that looks like you are exerting an effort!  We all high 5--pat each other on the back---talk the talk--walk the walk of physical fitness.  It is just "The Cool" thing to do!

Today I discovered the "Ultimate Coolness"-----with NO EFFORT---I had everyone waving--wanting to talk over my workout regime---admiring my obvious effort.  The only thing is--I didn't even have to break a sweat---SCORE!!!  

All I had to do was put my bike rack on my car and strap on the bike---occasionally wipe off the non-existing sweat---put my helmet in the back window---and everyone was totally impressed with me and my coolness.  Why you can't even tell the tires are flat after not riding for a year when it is suspended in air behind the car!

One problem---those that hang around the back of your car AND just can't resist squeezing the tires----YES, I KNOW THEY NEED AIRING UP---you are just supposed to look and admire--NOT inquire!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

YOUR POWER

We ALL have a "Super Power"---a power that we hold over others---a tremendous power--that can cause others to tremble --to lash out in anger---to cry--to laugh--to glow with pride.  The power held by us all is that of our words.  I have been reminded several times over the course of the last few days of that great great--power.  The power that can last a minute--an hour--a day--weeks--or even a lifetime. 

While thinking over this power--I was even confronted with a living example.  Here is the bottom line of what I concluded---we may say something in total innocence---with not one negative thought or intention--BUT because of the life experiences of someone that we are speaking to---they are stricken---even paralyzed speechless because of what we have said.  This has left me pondering what have I said--quite innocently--that caused another pain?

We all desire to be blessed-----and our words are usually the only means we have to bless those that are dear to us.  So I will chose my words carefully --hopefully---and listen to what is said to me without the cloud of the past.

Monday, March 18, 2013

NEED A GOOD DOSE OF GUILT---CALL ME!

Having a difficult time getting those projects done?  Feeling over-whelmed by all that you have stacked around you to get done?  Call me---I seem to have the gift of giving guilt---

We ALL work best under different conditions---I make lists---LOTS OF LISTS----lists of the lists I am keeping.  THERE SHALL BE NO COMMENTS FROM MY JAMES RELATIVES!   I celebrate marking things off my lists!  I keep the same list until EVERYTHING is marked off the list---WeLL--let me back-track--occasionally I have to make a new list with a carry over item or two--LONG TERM projects!  I like to start a project and finish that same project before moving on.  For obvious reasons--sometimes we can't finish an item on our list---but that is OK--I can handle that frustration.

SO my Inn Keeper-here in R---Helen --is a very talented person with MANY talents.  She has projects scattered all over the room that are in various stages--some almost finished-some part way---some not even started.  I asked her today, "What is that green pile by your couch?"  She told me it was a CHRISTMAS QUILT that ONLY needed binding to finish.  She told me she would get to it and that the binding was already half way on.  I REALLY REALLY only said , "Oh".

Within 15 minutes she is clearing away the other projects around the sewing machine and when I asked what she was doing.  She told me that she was going to finish that quilt.  I PROMISE --I did not say another thing---WELL MAYBE I did say---We work very different--I normally finish a project before moving on.  ANYWAY---I may have ALL her projects finished before I leave in May..  SO you need an old fashioned dose of guilt-----CALL ME--I am available!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

TEACHING THE GOSPEL TO A 3 YEAR OLD

Fun & Games today with the 3 year olds--literally---it is NON-STOP action the entire 2 hours we are together.   TODAY ALL 17 OF THEM!  We are using a curriculum that teaches the Bible chronologically---and we use the same material for 3 year olds-6th grade.  It can be a challenge to use the same material and activities to a 3 year old that a 6th grader likes.  We Adapt!

Today we talked about Achan-who stole forbidden treasure---and then lost of all his property and  his life and his family's lives.  HOW do you teach a 3 year old this concept?

We talked a LOT about what he stole---and that stealing means taking something that is not yours.  We colored sheets and did an activity sheet where you find the treasure.  We had a parade marching around the room and then sat in a circle for the story to be taught--via video and re-enforcing what it was about.

The basic idea we tried to convey---GOD HATES SIN---what is sin?--disobedience---talked about what disobeying meant--they get that.  Talked about when we sin--or disobey--there are consequences or we have to be disciplined---I KNOW our 3 year old gets the concept of discipline and assume these children do too. 

We then hunted for hidden treasure that they could take home in their "Treasure Sacks".  They always like to take something home and hopefully this leads to discussion at home about what we have talked about.   We all looked at our treasure we had found--I made sure everyone found some treasure--and talked about it was not ours--but a gift given to us---just like Jesus!  I ended the day telling them---God gave us Jesus who gets our discipline when we do wrong--if we just say we are sorry.

SWEET SWEET 3 year olds---I just tell them every week--it's NEVER wrong to answer JESUS to any question!




Saturday, March 16, 2013

PAINTING & CO-ORDINATION!

A group of friends got together today to help one of our Small Group paint her duplex.  She is moving back into her duplex after a tough life event---we ALL love her and want to serve her.

The subject of this blog though---is how TALENTED I am----WHO else would come home with bruises all over their leg--and NOT have a clue how I got them?  The only thing I can figure out is going up and down that ladder all day---Miss Co-ordination here must have kept hitting my leg--since it is all on the same side.

SO--I came home to Ruston without my paint clothes--nor supplies.  Mrs. Helen had supplies for me---but alas no paint clothes---SO I solved that dilemma by turning my play clothes inside out---COLOR ME BRILLIANT---well actually you can color me the 3 different colors and 1 trim color of the 3 bedrooms we painted---only TRULY talented and inspired house painters can get it ALL over them by the end of the day!

The friend that does not paint--  COOKS---Caribbean Red Beans & Rice for dinner tonight---SCORE!


OH WAIT---Just turned up the lights and it's NOT bruises---IT'S PAINT!!!

Friday, March 15, 2013

ALL 872 OF YOU---

So I had a friend that does not do Facebook ask me today how many friends I had on Facebook---I asked how many do you think?---They replied 10-15.  I just laughed BUT then when I told them after a little coaxing I had over 800---THEY seemed to think that was over the top.  I TRIED to explain---old friends from High School, friends from my children's lives, current active duty friends---AND lots of acquaintances--more like a casual friend that we don't know the in-depth of each other's lives.  They thought this was OVER THE TOP!

WELL--I've never thought about it that way---I explained the only people I have ever de-friended were those that posted things I found offensive--including their language.  I don't check all of your pages-everyday--probably only occasionally--NOT a STALKER---but interested in a lot of people and care about all of you.

SO here's your out---don't want to be my friend, not interested in reading my blog--don't care to hear about what's going on--think Social Media is for the birds--but somehow ended up on Facebook --think I am a raving maniac--don't like the color of my hair--would rather eat poop that read another word I write---



DE-FRIEND ME---I will NOT be offended!  

Thursday, March 14, 2013

CLOSE SESAME!

I am slightly frustrated---I could think it will be better when in Fort Worth and near all the boys---BUT  the 2 big boys are 3 hours away and the SIL--well he is not Mr. Handy--and he readily admits it.  OK---so my garage door will not close with the remote NOR from the button on the wall.  I had NO problem when I drove up to check the mail & put out the trash opening the door.  BUT neither of the garage door remotes will work nor will the wall mount now to close it.  I have tried all the tricks I know---I have googled the problem---can't find anything that I have not tried--well except the part that is written in technical gobbly gook!

SO ---Scarlett---since I am going to hear some contemporary bluegrass tonight---I WILL THINK ABOUT THIS TOMORROW!  I need to go get my toe tapping shoes on!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

FORGIVE ME LORD, IT NEEDED DOING!

Before I post---back in R---have missed my hometown!  BUT---I have been awake since 4 AM after tossing and turning until 11 PM---bad sleeping habits seem to come with the territory---Don't get that!  Went to a wonderful Life Choices Banquet after arriving home---a story of redemption from pain---WONDERFUL evening!

SO--I have asked for God's forgiveness---but I decided before leaving that I needed to help raise "Whipper Snapper" right--even in his older age.  SO what might you ask did I do----I went dumpster diving--well more like garbage can diving.  THANKFULLY all the trash here has to be put in sacks---SO I decided I am ONLY going to put MY garbage cans out--until he gets the message----I looked in my regular trash can and his sack that he had put on top---I MOVED IT over to his can.  I then proceeded to put ONLY my 2 cans out for Wednesday pickup.  He and his Buddy had left early Monday to go hunting---or fishing---couldn't tell which and was slightly annoyed at all the noise they made AND the fact that he drove THROUGH the mud in the YARD and made a huge mess.  BUT when ever he gets home---He will find the little old lady upstairs did NOT put out his trash!  SHOCKER--MAYBE THE LITTLE OLD LADY IS NOT SO NICE!!! Forgive me, Lord---but HE needs a few lessons in manners! (Did I tell you he is NOT from the South?)


Monday, March 11, 2013

WHIPPER SNAPPER!

Being the wonderful and giving person that I am (AND MODEST!), I decided last week that I would roll out my downstairs neighbor's garbage while rolling mine out.  Thought--"OH he will see this as a sweet gesture and reciprocate by pulling all the cans back tomorrow.  We will be such good friends.  I'll cook him supper some night."  WELL--the cans stayed at the street until I rolled them back the next day.  I'm a little disappointed---but hey  GRACE!

I then meet the young man---he lives alone---and drives a BMW & BIG truck--my back yard is full of vehicles and his HUNTING toys.  I don't mind hunting--JUST PLEASE PUT YOUR TOYS AWAY!  He is cute---and he knows he is cute---COCKY would be a good description.

So I relay this garbage tale to Camille and she tells her friend that used to have my apartment---she laughs and said--we took the garbage out EVERY week AND rolled the cans back.  I think---NOT GOING TO HAPPEN!  SO I decide this week--I will roll only my cans out--I KNOW NOT VERY CHRISTIAN--but someone has to raise this guy right!  I look in the cans and guess what---He CLEVERLY has put HIS garbage in ALL the cans--mine/his---all of them---SO I'm giving this some thought----got to BREAK this foal.  Do they make locks for plastic garbage cans?

Sunday, March 10, 2013

LESSONS FROM CHURCH

I visited one of Fort Worth's fine churches this morning---Christ Chapel---an independent Bible church.  It is a VERY large church with 4000 members.  When they started talking about the 11 services they would have for Easter--due to the 600+ above capacity they had at each service last Easter--I was a little overwhelmed.  The music was a wonderful mixture of old favorite hymns and contemporary Christian---I left KNOWING I had worshiped.  The message taught by one of their "Life Stages" pastor---was based on Hebrews---a good over-view of the truth from scripture---and a practical application for today.  What more could you want!

As many other Sundays---Satan seems to show up to spoil the experience for me--even keep me from going.  I had it in my head that the service started 15 minutes later than it actually did--something told me (YOU KNOW WHAT THAT SOMETHING WAS) to go check the schedule--and I had to get in high gear--BUT I made it.  THEN I left thinking I would get there in plenty of time--only to miss the exit--have to turn around after 3 slow red lights and go back.  NOT TO WORRY--made it.  It is a well oiled machine and a slick operation with 8 of Fort Worth's finest directing traffic and a parking lot full of parking assistance.  Greeters stationed at every door--a well thought out and organized Sunday service.

It did make me very aware of how important it is to talk to those around us at church--be bold--strike up a conversation.  It took a LOT of courage to walk in that church by myself---how much easier it would have been had someone said anything beyond the greeter's "Good Morning".  I do not lay blame---I know we all are intimidated when out of our comfort zones--but I find it interesting that the only conversation I had was one that I struck up with the sweet family behind me.  A gentle reminder from God that we are "His face and mouth" here on this Earth---it is a HUGE responsibility---I will be more intentional of making that first comment from now on. 

SO I had a great worship experience, heard powerful truths and was reminded of a practical lesson for a Believer.  A wonderful Sabbath experience!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

DANCING WITH MY MAN

The day had grown long---he was weary---I put on a Martina McBride CD---we started with the Texas Two Step----and then slowly we began twirling---he began leaning into me and I pulled him closer---the song was melodious---sweet---soft---lyrics and a beat made for slow dancing together.  We slowly made circles around the room---moving with the rhythm and as many a slow song seems to lead---we ended up just swaying together until the last chord faded.  He then slept peacefully in my arms---his sweet baby breath slowing ---the lovely romance of dancing with your man!

Friday, March 8, 2013

THE COWBOY IN MY LIFE

In my perpetual quest to get-stay in shape---I went for my 5 miles this morning.  I have decided to explore new territory--and went West instead of East this morning.  The cowboy above is roughly 3 blocks from my apartment--going West.  I saw him as I headed North and admired his rough manly beauty---I headed through the University West neighborhood--went by a road crew after a few blocks---and kept on going---Strange--but there seemed to be another crew working a few blocks away---and these guys looked a lot like the first group---but you know --put an orange vest on and they all look alike.

Then I saw another cowboy statute which looked very similar to the one I had passed a mile plus ago ---WELL this is Texas---there are cowboys in Texas----I kept on trucking---made another neighborhood street or two and then got on the TCU exercise trail---next thing I know--there is another bronze cowboy---I always thought I knew where I was going---but it turns out the streets are not on a square here--I guess like many towns built on a river the streets follow the lay of the river. I have seen the same statue and the same work crew 3 times---

The cowboy---well he is my Cowboy Angel---the points me to the way home--not unlike the Angels God provides us on our journey this side of Paradise.

Sidenote---Runners---I actually ran a mile and then a couple more 1/2s during this morning's 5---I AM COMING BACK---ever so slowly!

I have over night guests again--Camille & Collin are spending the night--she was glad to share the Roasted Red Pepper/Alfredo-Pesto Chicken Pasta that I prepared.  LOVE having someone to cook for!

NOW--I need to go think about a name for my cowboy!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

BELLS, HYMNS & PRAYERS

Robert Carr Chapel
TCU Campus


Saint Stephen Presbyterian Church

I am fortunate enough to live a block behind the Robert Carr Chapel which is on the TCU campus.  TCU at one time was a Disciples of Christ owned university---I have heard--but must admit that I am not sure--that they are no longer connected---it is just a private university now---the chapel  is directly west of me.

Directly east of me - 2 or 3 blocks is Saint Stephen Presbyterian church which is a huge complex on the side of the hill that I live on over looking the Forest Park area of Fort Worth.

The beauty of where I am is that they BOTH have bells and hymns that they play.  The tower at TCU also chimes the hour.  I have loved hearing these bells.  While a student at LTU and living in the dorm---Keeny Hall also had bells that chimed---I don't remember it playing hymns though--just chimed the time.  I loved those chimes a LONG time ago!

It is a sweet sound and often a reminder to pray----such a great place to live--chimes and bells in stereo!


Wednesday, March 6, 2013

MONA, MONKEYS & ME!

Today I took Mona for a tour of the AT&T store and the Apple Store.  Her I Phone decided to have a conniption fit and loose ALL of her contacts just before she left for Fort Worth.  She is in the Big City--there is someone here to solve EVERY problem--all you have to do is figure out WHO that someone is and THEN find out WHERE they are.  NOT TO WORRY---I AM ON IT!

We then went to one of the cities wonderful deli/bakery shops-McKinley's Fine Bakery----Corn/Potato Chowder ( I must say NOT as good as mine--NO BRAG--JUST FACT!) and 1/2 a jalapeno/cheddar pimento sandwich.  It was great--but next trip---SKIP THE WHOLESOME FOOD---GO STRAIGHT TO THE BAKERY!  I saw a piece of carrot cake that--well WHAT WAS I THINKING--passing on dessert!

This afternoon we met #3/#4/#5 Grand and #1 daughter at the Fort Worth Zoo---it is a GREAT ZOO--the best part--well beyond the fact that Wednesday's are 1/2 price day---was seeing Mona enjoying the zoo.  I LOVE the excitement and wonder she shows over any new experience--from the time we toured Disney World after our marathon---until today's zoo experience. She makes me back up and remember the wonder of what we are seeing.  

AWESOME DAY!  Now for Lora's Mexican Cornbread & Brownies for dessert--

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

COME TO FORT WORTH & I WILL IMPRESS YOU!

Mona thinks I am AWESOME---know my way around Fort Worth---and can even never take the same road and STILL get us back home!  REALLY--It's AMAZING!---KEEP IN MIND--Mona lives in Goose Creek--with 2 major roads & 1 major intersection---WAIT---Perhaps Major may have been slight overstatement!

I took Mona for a 2-3 mile walking tour of the homes RIGHT by me---VERY PRICEY---older part of Fort Worth--AND VERY BEAUTIFUL!  The wind was cold--but she was a trooper and endured my walking tour.  It is very hilly and reminds me a great deal of old and scenic historical neighborhoods in Shreveport.  It all butts right up to one of the City Parks--We stopped several times for her to make pictures of houses--hopefully these Texans will not think we are casing their estates!

We visited with Camille and Baby Collin while the big boys were at MDO until noon--and then WE HIT THE TOWN!

We WENT TO "Uncle Julios" for lunch---YUMMY!!!  Mona thinks it was the best Mexican she has ever had---I actually have found a place--in walking distance of my apartment that I like just as well--maybe even better.  The boys and I tried it out Saturday night---I had a brisket, spinach & feta taco----OH WOW!  I need to try that at home--after I can get out and grill this Spring.

I then took Mona to Garden Ridge--if you have missed that experience--well I must say---think   WAREHOUSE---STACKS TO THE CEILING---ANYTHING YOU CAN THINK OF!  It's a retail Flea Market!  She bought 2 things--I bought a buggy full--there and at Target.  I am calling a Sabbath Rest for my Credit Card--it is suffering from fatigue.

ANYWAY--we went North---traveled West via I-30---went South several miles---went East traveling on the I-20 Service Road---headed North---back to the apartment.  MONA WAS SO IMPRESSED--I am not going to tell her that I just drove in a huge circle---SOMEONE needs to be impressed with my prowess!

COME ON OUT TO SEE ME---I AM JUST COCKY ENOUGH TO BE DANGEROUS!

Monday, March 4, 2013

SUCKING IN THE YOUTH!

I HAVE told you that I live half a block from TCU--YES?  The path to the grocery, restaurants, etc is directly through the campus of TCU.  The sidewalk in front of my house is the path from many of the apartments, parking lots, etc to the campus.  I have a direct view of the students going to and from class.  I also walk to the store etc. from here.  I am watching and observing and taking in what the current dress is and the habits of the young.  First thing I need is a pair of black tights--I think I have some--but need to dig them out--they are the dress to go to any time the weather is cool.  You wear them under anything or just by themselves!  I am SUCKING IN THE AROMA of the young!

I have my first LA guest---Mona is here for a few days.  I have taken her in the short walking tour today --longer tour coming in the morning---GLAD she has her walking shoes with her!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

HELP HELP AND MORE HELP!

I'M HERE!!!

I have safely arrived and am almost finished making my initial "Nest" preparations in the GREAT STATE OF TEXAS!

I first have to talk about ALL the help I have had making this move.  IT HAS BEEN AWESOME...

Help in Ruston with the Rhymes assembling a group of church men to load the truck.  Help in route--with the St Andre crew--driving---and unloading the truck (after helping load).

Help in Fort Worth with Adam and their friends Josh & Dana helping unload the truck.  Help from #1 & #2--Scott & Gabe---BIG HELP---couldn't start to tell you all they have done!

Help today from Josh again---who came to change the plug out on my dryer.

I COULD NOT HAVE DONE IT WITHOUT THEM!  It has been an arduous job--to say the least----BUT I'm here!  

NOW to begin living the "Big City Life"---side note---they have AWESOME grocery stores in large towns---from everyday stores all the way to designer groceries---I am GOING TO LOVE THAT!