Friday, July 30, 2010

Traumatized Because of Flirting Eyes

Uncle Wilson was a happy and generous man who always took care of his family. He often looked the other way when his wife went out to the local bar at night with her friends. Aunt Minnie was a friendly person and she would joke and flirt with those at the neighborhood club.

One man took the flirtation too seriously and it became, for him, a fatal attraction.

Early one morning, a loud knock at the door was answered by Aunt Minnie’s young daughter. Red-faced and angry, the shouting man pushed past the girl into the house.

“If I can’t have you, then nobody will!” He bellowed! Gun shots were fired and he fled the scene. The police caught the man and he was jailed and prosecuted, but the motherless family would never be the same again.

Uncle Wilson took to drink to escape the grief and loneliness. The young daughter was traumatized and suffered for many years as she relived, the terror of that morning.

Given the circumstances of their broken lives, Uncle Wilson continued to care for his family the best way he knew how. The children reached adulthood where they married and left home, and Uncle Wilson continued to find solace in the bottle.

During the years, he often went to church to find peace, and he even confessed Jesus as Lord, but the drinking had a strong hold on him - - it was his “friend.”

Years passed and the continual drinking finally caught up with him and he ended up in the hospital in terrible condition.

As I prayed about visiting him, the Lord reminded me of those bound in the occult or witchcraft, when coming to Christ - - - they must first renounce their “former following of religion.”

It is always good to go prepared with a “Word from the Lord,” when you will be dealing with death, or the devil. I was prepared.

At the hospital, Uncle Wilson was awake and very happy to see me. I told him that I was here with a message from the Lord. I asked him if he was ready to live and not die. He emphatically answered. “Yes.” Then I asked him another question. “Are you ready to renounce alcohol in all its forms, and for the rest of your life, to never drink it again?” Uncle Wilson again answered, “Yes.”

I prayed a prayer of deliverance and told him that I loved him. The next day he was released and soon after went to live with his daughter.

Uncle Wilson lived a happy life with his daughter and her children. He worked in the garden and helped around the house. Best of all he was still around to enjoy her children and the grandkids too.

To my knowledge he never drank liquor again.

Today Uncle Wilson is drinking the New Wine in Heaven. Of course, that’s the best kind.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

No Death Certificate for Uncle Nathan

Bad News courtesy

I answered the high-pitched telephone ring only to hear a dreadful message.

“Tell Robert that his Uncle Nathan is in a coma, at the Livermore Hospital and is not expected to live;” blubbered the voice on the other end of the line.

I sent up a quick prayer. Instantaneously, the Lord told me what to do. A few minutes later, Robert walked in the door, home from work. As I delivered the message, he was already on the phone calling his step-dad about making a visit to the hospital. I knew he was in a hurry so I quickly shared with Robert what the Lord had told me to do; then he left.

That evening when he returned I asked him if he had done what I asked him to do. He replied, “No, because the Lord told you and not me, so I only prayed for him.”

Early the next morning, I telephoned my Mother-in-law, indicating that I would be over in a few minutes to pick her up to visit her brother in the hospital. She agreed and off we went.

Before we arrived, I knew I had to caution my mother-in-law, “We are not going to worry about how things look, but we are going to believe God.”

Nathan’s sunken eyes caught our attention as we entered the room. An eerie yellow cast had enveloped his skin. He didn’t stir. (The air was thick with hopelessness as death hovered.)

I stepped to the head of his bed and spoke,

“Nathan, this is Hazel, Bobbie’s wife. I am here to deliver a message to you.”

I heard myself, with a voice, firm and commanding. The words fairly rolled out with bold confidence,

“I believe Jesus loves you! Open your heart and invite Jesus to come in. Just say, YES and Jesus will hear you - - say YES now!”

I waited maybe 5 seconds, then I raised my voice and with authority I said,


His eyes began to flutter and slowly opened. A creepy yellow tinge also engulfed his eyes. He looked directly at me, so I asked him to say, “I love Jesus.” He repeated those words just as the nurse entered.

“What is going on here?” the nurse asked, demanding to know! She continued, “I am here to fill out his death certificate.”

“Maybe you should just take his pulse and give him something to eat,” was my immediate reply.

I nudged my mother-in-law and whispered that we should leave, because we were done here. As we took the elevator down to the main floor we saw her other son, waiting to go upstairs. I told him that he should go on up, and that everything was alright now.

Uncle Nathan was released, and spent the rest of his life serving the Lord in his quiet way. He was still a bit sickly and not able to attend church, but several people continued to minister to him prior to his death.  On one of our visits to Nathan, he told us of a black chaplain who came often to see him.  Nathan’s remark about this black man was, “He looks just like Jesus.”  We smiled.
At his funeral, it was obvious that the minister who performed the service did not really believe in heaven or hell. This left confusion among his family members.

One of his daughters asked me where her father was. With confidence, I was able to declare to her that he was in Heaven with Jesus. She breathed a sign of relief because, in her heart, she knew this was true.

Psalms 116:15 Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Cries in the Night !!

Protective? Protective! Our dogs are very protective of our property! Only those armed with doggie cookies or recognizable family members are allowed to enter. Strangers Beware! However - - - the meter-reader, and the UPS man are always prepared with treats.

Animals who decide to visit us are however, a different story. A recent possum entered through our culvert which connects to our neighbor’s property. He did not last long once our old Black Lab, Buck, took him in tow. Anything that moves is a target!

The only critters these dogs leave alone are the tiny frogs that hop around on our lawn. Even the lizards get a good chase. Buck is also an excellent gopher hunter and all three dogs help each other dig holes everywhere.

Recently while we watched TV, my husband heard our animals ferociously barking. He can always tell if it is something important, and this was!! I did not hear a thing, but my husbands ears are always tuned in to their cries!

When he came back into the house, he reported that he had just killed a foot-long rattle snake. It was curled up in a ball, out in the open, and the dogs were all unceasingly barking at it.

My husband grabbed a shovel and acted quickly! Our dogs were very excited and still happily engaged in their “hunting adventure.”

To be on the safe side, we brought them into the house for examination. While we could see no immediate evidence to indicate a snake bite, we decided to look at them again in one hour. Then another inspection before bed - - so far so good!

My husband speculated that this snake may have been a left-over egg from last winter, or that it entered from the front where there is no mesh protection on the fence.

We are thankful that our dogs are able to cry out in the night when it is necessary and that my husband heeds their call.

How much more can we be thankful that God hears us when we cry out to Him!

Psalms 27:7 Hear, O LORD, when I cry with my voice: have mercy also upon me, and answer me.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Songs in the Night

Earlier this year, to protect our animals, my husband did some varmint-proofing to our chain link fence. Across the back and extending along both sides, about half way to the front fence, he installed a roll of fine mesh screen about two feet high and sealed it at the bottom with some cement curbing.

My husband figured that most of the problems would come from the neighbors behind us, and along the old overgrown unused irrigation ditch that skirts one side of our property. In the winter, the ditch is used for drainage, while in summer months it becomes a watering hole for local animals that free-range.

A few nights ago, my husband was awakened by the fierce barking of our three dogs, so he got up out of bed to investigate! Such a ruckus!

Along the ditch side of the yard, a small skunk was spitting and with bared teeth, was violently attacking our fence as our dogs let him know he was not welcome. The skunk kept attempting to spray at our dogs, but he was almost out of ammunition. Only a small whiff hit our animals. Corralling our dogs, my husband put them in our small pen for the rest of the night, and the skunk went on his way. Ahhhh, for some sleep!

In the morning I knew we had to do something about the dogs! I had heard that tomato juice was a good remedy for animals that had been perfumed with skunk odor. After some internet research, I discovered a recipe that I thought might work better. It was a simple recipe, so armed with a plastic bucket, rubber gloves, an old wash cloth, a quart of hydrogen peroxide, 1/4 cup baking soda, 2 teaspoons of liquid dish soap and some warm water, I headed for the pen. The solution did fizz, as a chemical reaction was occurring! Having already set up a bathing station next to one of our outside faucets with a hose, we used it immediately.

Our dogs are good natured so we grabbed each dog by the collar and began by carefully wiping their faces with a clean cloth. Next, we poured some of the mix on their back and down their legs. They thought this was fun, so it did not take long! The final rinse with cool water from the hose finished the task.

I won’t say the dogs came out smelling like a rose, but they were definitely much better. (This is an excellent recipe and you may want to jot it down, just in case you ever need it.)

I will add to this story tomorrow, as something else happened a few days later, and our dogs were again singing Songs in the Night!

Job 35:10 God is my maker, who gives me songs in the night - - -

Friday, July 23, 2010

Aunt Hazel’s Mating Game Advice

Are you serious about desiring a mate? The first item on your list should be to pray and ask the Lord to send that special someone across your path.

Church is usually the perfect place to find a Christian mate, but don’t discount other places or ways for this to happen. After all, not every good prospect attends YOUR church!

For instance, there is an internet site that reviews Christian dating services:

Interestingly enough, they do not recommend some of the more popular dating services such as eHarmony.

Small-groups in your church are one good way to find eligible men or women! Do join one! Of course, do not fail to participate in the discussions at a Bible study. Men like a woman who speaks out, but watch out! The ones who want to argue or talk non-stop will cause them to lose interest quickly!

Men also do not like grouchy, complaining women, so put on a joyful face and watch your words. Public grumbling is so unbecoming!

Women want a man who will open up and talk to them, and at least tell them they look nice, and are pretty or beautiful. If he can cook, that helps too. LOL!

What about qualities? I had a friend who made a list of the traits she wanted in a husband. Each night she would pray as she went over her list, and she would tell the Lord that she believed He was bringing this type of person into her life. As I recall, most of the qualities were there when she did find a good husband.

I do not believe she settled for less. The simple fact is that no one is completely perfect and her expectations were very high. Of course, now she knows that there are always compromises in marriage - especially if one desires peace in the household. Treating each other with kindness and respect is vital to any relationship. Not always wanting the “last word,” can save a marriage!

Some friends of mine have found they are happy to remain single; and there are many reasons for this, too.

The Bible tells us above all, to learn to be content! Do not be afraid to enjoy life, in whatever station in which you find yourself.

Proverbs 18:22 Who ever finds a wife (or husband) finds a good thing, and obtains favor of the LORD.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Was My Face RED !!

My mother did not wear make up and I think I may have figured out one of the reasons why!

One Sunday morning, to keep me occupied while we were in church, Mother let me look through her purse. First, there was a small mirror that kept me busy for a few minutes. Wait, what was this? I discovered a pretty little box with something blushing red in it, and a tiny powder puff. Using the mirror, I began to apply the red stuff to my cheeks.

The congregation had been asked to stand, while they sang all the verses to one of the hymns. This gave me adequate time to complete my make-up job!

As if my cheeks were not enough, some of the pretty powdered rouge found its way to my chin. Almost effortlessly, it seemed to glide right up to my forehead until my entire countenance was a fabulous rosy-red.

When the song was finished and mother sat back down, she was unpleasantly surprised to find that I had started an extreme make-over in church.

The back row giggled!

Mother quietly excused herself. She firmly escorted me to the bathroom where some soap-and-water was applied, along with some vigorous scrubbing! Soon, I was back to my old, pale self.

How many of us have ever done something in innocence, only to later discover that we were an embarrassment to others - - - and possibly to ourselves?

Isn’t it a wonder how God forgives our silliness, and gives us Grace to wash away that foolishness? That Grace deals with shame and humiliation, and cleans us up (restores us) so we can present a happy face to our world.

God is so kind! He may even snicker at some of our childish escapades. For me, at least, there were not any far-reaching consequences; my mother knew what to do, and I allowed her to help me out of my situation, without fussing.

If we are willing to keep a flexible attitude, and are constantly ready to clean-up and start over, it makes the lessons easier. A teachable spirit is what God desires of us. The Bible also calls it repentance: stopping and turning, and going in the other direction.

So, if you find yourself with a “red face,” from time to time, be willing to be escorted to The Fountain! Without fail, the flow will wash you and make you presentable again.

Psalms 51:7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

“I Want You,” Says the Sign!

It was just like the sign with Uncle Sam pointing and saying, “I want you!” I stood in front of a group of teenagers who had visited our church the previous Sunday, and, with emphasis, I told them I wanted to see them in my Sunday school class next week.

I knew these kids were friends with my children. They were rough around the edges, but were eager to learn more about God. They were there the next Sunday!

The illustrations used during the class were practical and helpful. I can see their faces now! With a steady hand, I poured some nice fresh water into a mayonnaise jar that was not entirely empty. While shaking the jar, I asked the kids who would like a drink of this nice fresh water that I had just poured in the jar. What - - NO takers!!

The example illustrated that a fresh believer in Christ just cannot mix with the world and still come out clean. There are friends who would like to drink the living water that you offer, but if you have tainted your testimony, they will not accept your version of Jesus.

Each week, the Lord would give me visual aids, not from a book, but directly from Him, to share with the class. These simple illustrations made impressions, and could be easily remembered. My challenge to them was to receive Jesus, and to live for him always.

The kids knew we loved them and that our home was always open. Sometimes they would just show up at our house! One young fellow, who wanted to look nice for church the next day, dropped in, - - for a haircut! With my daughter’s help, we managed to give him a great cut along with a dose of encouragement.

Cake or cookies were always on hand at my home! Kids loved treats, and the bonding experience of sharing food made a lasting impression. Jesus enjoyed fellowshipping and eating with his friends! During these times, He taught and used many practical illustrations to demonstrate who God is, and how to live.

Today, during our quiet times of fellowship with Him, we feast on His Word. On a personal level, Jesus is still giving us earthly examples of who He is and how we should live and serve Him.

Daily, we can be drawn into that inner place of rest with Him. Hear Jesus saying, “Come unto me, ‘I Want YOU!”

Matthew 11:28 Come unto me, all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Apple Nut Bread Will Travel!

Exciting times! A very small church close to where I lived had called a new Pastor. The new Pastor had graduated from the same Bible Training Center that we had attended, and their plans were for the church to grow and multiply.

The Pastor’s wife asked me if I could bake a loaf of nut bread for the next Sunday, to be shared during the fellowship time with the members. My apple tree was producing! Checking my file of recipes, I found a perfect quick bread that called for apples.

The church grew and moved to a larger location downtown. Baking this bread became a ministry for me! New members were being added and the Pastor asked my husband to teach a morning class. We were happy to serve!

Later on, when the Holy Spirit indicated that it was time for us to move on, other doors began to open. About that time, I had applied for a job with the County’s accounting department, and was hired.

Since I was already in the habit of baking nut bread each week, I began to bring apple bread to work with me each Monday. (This was to encourage the employees to show up for work on Monday.)

For ten years, every Monday, the bread was expected and enjoyed. The staff even dubbed the bread, “Hazel Bread.” Not only was this an act of love, but it also was a ministry. Many times throughout the duration of my employment, I was also able to share about The Bread that is from Heaven. What joy!

There is nothing too small for God to use.

Whatever your hand finds to do – do it!

The Bible tells us that Jesus is the bread that will satisfy our Spiritual Hunger.

John 6:35 And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst. - - - I am that bread of life.

Matthew 5:6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

No More Jogging, But Non-Stop Blogging!

I recently wrote about Shoes for beautiful Feet and in that story, I mentioned that my knee was hurting, and I hoped that arch supports would help it.

Wouldn’t you know it, but I stepped down one step to my front porch, and twisted my knee slightly, resulting in pain so great that I could not put any weight on that leg.

My husband called our chiropractor and obtained an appointment for that afternoon. The chiropractor adjusted my lower back, but told me to make an appointment to see my HMO for X-rays and assessment. He told me he could not help me with my knee.

Thinking back to a time when I was about 12 years old, and I was sitting on a pew along the back wall of my church. We were asked to stand for prayer, and when I sat back down, I pulled my left leg under me and sat on it. Pop, crack something snapped in my knee, and I immediately put my leg down, as I experienced great pain and noticeable swelling in my knee.

After church, my mother helped me into the car, and later that afternoon she took me to our local chiropractor, who worked out of her home. Optimistically she did her painful treatment, and she was able to snap my knee back into place.

Years later, minor hurts here and there, and yes my knee has been hurting for a long time, but I walked on it anyway. This bad step must have been the straw that was too much. The twist was slight, but the pain is excruciating.

The pat answer from the Dr was arthritis, and he asked me to make an appointment to speak to the surgeon about knee replacement. He prescribed some Motrin to help with the pain and inflammation.

When you hurt so badly, you reach for most any help you can find.

My daughter suggested that, “Knee replacement usually means the cartilage is shot. You need some HA. (Hyaluronic Acid) More than 3% - - - That will help rebuild the cartilage.” She asked me to check it out. 

My daughter continued to suggest: “Depending on where the injury is located, there is a really nice knee strap that is minimal but provides great support, the brand name is Futuro.

Since I use VitaCost an online vitamin source, I went to their site, and they seemed to have the best price, so I ordered some of the HA. They also carry the Futuro knee support my daughter recommended so that went on the order also. I will pick up a bottle of HA at my local WalMart, to get me by until my order arrives.

For now, I am housebound, but my fingers still work, so I may not be jogging, but I am still blogging!!

Friday, July 16, 2010

STOP! Don’t Move!

While visiting friends who lived on a busy thoroughfare, we parked across the street and began to unload the baby from her child seat. Our 4-year old son, excited to see his friends, escaped from the car and made a mad dash, all by himself, across the busy street!

I was absolutely shocked once I fully grasped the seriousness of the situation, but was happy he was safe and sound. There he stood on the opposite side of the street, dancing on one foot and then the other, as if he was planning to make the run back again to us.

I could see a large truck driving extremely fast up the hill towards us, and I yelled loudly to my son,

“STOP! Do Not Move – Stay There!”

My heart pounded fiercely as the approaching truck whizzed by! Fortunately my son obeyed, and I breathed a huge sigh of relief, when I realized he was out of harm's way.

Quickly, I crossed the street, and praised my son, letting him know how happy I was that he had obeyed. I explained to him why he should always wait for us, so we could all cross the street safely together. Visions of what could have happened were fresh on all our minds.

As Christians, we have the Holy Spirit who will often alert us to “STOP! Wait, Don’t move!”

He may request that we watch our words and avoid conflict. At other times, the Holy Spirit will urge us to speak up, to keep going, to turn here, or to be an example by loving one another. It will be in our best interest to listen to that voice and heed whatever He is telling us.

Limits, rules, and laws, kept or broken bring results; there are consequences, both good and bad. Disobedience and rebellion is harsh on the offender. Guidelines, suggestions, tips and procedures are all out there for good reasons.

Paying attention and following Divine Direction will foster an improved, effortless existence to our lives. God is there to lead, to guide and to help us circumvent things ahead that only He can see. We may wonder why, but we must trust Him.

It is each individual’s choice, but may I humbly suggest that obeying your inner voice will be your best option.

My son listened to my voice and it saved him from getting smacked by a Mack truck and that would have been no fun. Are you listening?

1Samuel 15:22 Behold, to obey and listen is better than sacrifice - -

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Hamburger Our Helper!

Times were hard in the mid 1950’s and work was sporadic at best. Our children were growing kids, and when it was time to go grocery shopping, hamburger was always high on my list. A butcher shop near our home offered hamburger at five pounds for a dollar, and I could make that stretch for several days.

Our weekly menu included meatloaf one night, spaghetti the next, hamburger gravy over rice, meatballs-in-gravy with potatoes, and every Saturday we enjoyed tacos. On Sunday, fried chicken excited our taste buds, or a small, but juicy roast, graced the table. Any left-over beef made a pleasing stew! For variety, pickled pork made an appearance now and then, but mostly, we took pleasure in Hamburger as the dinner “helper” for our family.

I did not buy the packaged or boxed foods, because they were too expensive and not as good as homemade. The exception was Betty Crocker cake mix because it was a never-fail cake as long as you watched your oven. Homemade cookies were baked on the weekend and went into the school lunch boxes.

Over all, I would say we made out pretty well, and the day came when we could afford other than hamburger five times a week. I still call hamburger “My helper.” because it helped get us by through all those lean years.

As life goes, people worry and stress about many things. Some say, “God helps those who help themselves”, and they try to do everything on their own.

The Bible tells us that God is our HELPER. When Jesus was about to return to heaven, he told his friends, that he would not leave them comfortless, but that he would send another Helper, the Comforter, to be with them and IN them.

The Lord God wants to be your constant Helper.

Call upon Him.

He will guide you, lead you, and let you know the best way to accomplish what you need to do.

Psalms 54:4 Behold, God is my helper . . .

Hebrews 13:6 So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.

John 16:7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


Free Stuff! I am a big sucker for all stuff free! I should have known better - - - but when I noticed an offer on Face Book for a “Free Subway Sandwich,” I innocently took the bait!

Eagerly, I filled out all the information until I got to the part where I needed to make a purchase. These were just a couple of offers that seemed like they might be interesting.

Headlong, I plunged into the abyss!

Now I am fully away that the offers for $500 to spend at Target or some other store were a come-on! Yes, a SCAM! However, I had not suspected a small free sandwich.

Quickly, I tried to back out, to escape, to get out of there, to cancel, and to repair any damage done, but I was locked in! Too Late - - -

Looks like the Devil ate my lunch !!

NO free sandwich today for me!

That is not the end of the story!

The very next day my e-mail In-Box brimmed with forty e-mails, asking me to earn income, to take courses for job training! They wanted me to learn to be this or that! I received offers to buy engagement rings, apply for bankruptcy, meet singles, get a high school diploma etc., and the list went on and on.

At first, I opened each one and requested at the bottom to remove my name. I don’t believe that worked, as evidenced the next day in my overflowing In-Box.

This was out of control; eighty new spam messages filled my in box!

Horrible! I couldn’t believe it!

Using “Block mail” has never worked for me, because the senders simply change to a different name. What does work is using the method provided by my e-mail server where you can “bounce” unwanted mail. Using this tool causes the message to go back to the sender with a notice that says, “Undelivered mail, recipient unknown.” I can bounce groups, so I now gleefully bounce and bounce and bounce!

Each day for the past 10 days, I have been bouncing groups of forty to eighty e-mails. Hopefully the advertisers will get the message soon!

From heartache to pure havoc, people get themselves into all sorts of predicaments. How do we get into these types of messes?

“Without knowledge my people perish,” the Bible says!

Well, I have some knowledge now, and when this is finally over, I hope I will never need to repeat this again!

Now YOU also have knowledge, so please learn from my mistake, and proceed with caution if you are ever offered a FREE LUNCH!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Shoes for Beautiful Feet

When our youngest child was born, the doctor suggested that we purchase special shoes with a Thomas Heel for her. Examination had shown that her toes turned inward slightly, and these shoes were ideal to assist normal growth in her feet and legs. The Thomas Heel, higher on the inside of the foot, caused each foot to balance and supported the ankles and knees. These shoes were functional, sturdy high tops, but their overall appearance was not so beautiful.

As time went by and our daughter reached school age, it looked like the shoes had done the trick! She was excited to be able to purchase regular school shoes that mirrored what all the other girls were wearing.

It seems that the pain in my own knee right at this moment has triggered these little memories. I wonder if my daughter, and possibly my other children, inherited this foot problem from me….

While doing research through the Internet, I concluded that I should try some good arch supports to see if they might help. One thing I don’t want to do is load my body up with pain medicine, so I ordered arch supports and anticipate their arrival.

Our feet carry us everywhere and as such an important of our body, should be well looked after. People do many things to help their feet feel better and look nicer.

I am reminded, in the Bible, about “beautiful feet” that preach the Gospel.
You have beautiful feet if you are sharing Jesus with others. If your feet are shod with the preparation of the Gospel of Peace, you do not need to have a pulpit ministry. You can stand anywhere in those shoes and let your light shine for HIM.

Romans 10:15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? As it is written, how beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!
A Doctor writes an interesting article: Scroll down all the way to Knee Pain Fix (and do NOT click on any advertisements)

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Snot, Shoe Laces, Homework and a Bike

Today guest writer, Nancy Kehr relataes adventures with her granddaughter.

My 10-yr old granddaughter kept snuffing and sniffing, then coughed. The gurgling in her throat and the mucus rumbling with each breath began to eat at me while we were driving! I had just picked her up from school, and we had a bit of a drive before we were home.

Handing her a few tissues, I said a couple of things in a nice way to try to get her attention. Silence! She continued to gurgle, and then cough. My admonishment to cover her mouth went unheeded as she was distracted by the sights outside the vehicle!

Finally, a bit exasperated, I huffed out, “Hannah! Blow your nose instead of snuffing all that nasty stuff back up inside. You need to get it out!”

“Why?” she whined. “It will only come back!”

Her eyes rolled back in her head as I proceeded to explain. Okay, that didn’t work. I asked her if her stuffy nose didn’t make her uncomfortable. She didn’t think so. My eyebrows knit together, I asked her about the runny stuff creeping down her face. She informed me she just wiped it on her sleeve. Yuk!

I know her mother trained her better, why then all this lack of attention to what would be better behavior and a better outcome? Suddenly, a big ACHOO!

Oh No! A huge rope of thick, white and green slime strung from her nose to her hands, hanging all over her spread-out fingers like silly string!

“Help, help! “, she cried.

“I’m driving! Use the tissue!” I chided.

“I can’t,” she squalled!

Looking for a safe place to exit, I told her to hold still! I sure didn’t want that junk all over my seat! How did one little nose hold so much anyway?

Armed with a handful of baby wipes, I exited the car and came around to her side. I had her get out so I could inspect where she had been sitting. The dental field had transformed me into a bit of an infection control freak! The seat, the dashboard, her pants, all underwent a thorough wiping with antibacterial wipes.

Hannah seemed unphased and was skipping all over the front of an orchard while I worked. I noticed her shoes were untied.

“Hannah – tie your shoes, please”, I called.

“It doesn’t matter, they don’t stay tied anyway!” she sang out, occupied with more important things.

“Check out this bug”, was her further reply.

“Hannah, watch out! You could trip!” I said, and, as I started toward her, the inevitable happened.

“Owwwwwww”, she moaned, trying to pick herself up from the dirt.

When I asked her why she didn’t tie her shoes, I realized that she had never really mastered the task well. Besides, she informed me that it was just too much trouble to care when tucking them in would do. Besides, all the other kids tucked theirs in too – didn’t I know? It was no BIG deal! I tied them for her anyway.

No stitches, no cut lips or broken teeth on my watch! I’m sure my blood pressure rose a few points! Back into the car, ten minutes later we were on our way again.

Safe at home, I fixed Hannah a snack while she worked on homework. I set her plate down and noticed that her usually impeccable handwriting was exceptionally sloppy as she hurried through her lesson.

“What – is - this?” I slowly steamed.

“My homework”, was the salty reply

“I mean, it’s really kind of sloppy, you know. Why are you hurrying through it?” was my query.

“Teacher doesn’t care…” Hannah snipped.

“Well I DO! You can do better work than this!” I said and the fight was on!

It brought back memories of me sitting by the side of one of my children, when they were younger, coaching them along and asking, “How else can you say this?”

The hissy fits ensued! Although, my popularity in those days was in question, that child, in particular, thanks me now!

Snapping back to the present, and Hannah’s complaints, I heard,

“Why do I have to redo this? Teacher doesn’t care!” Hannah whimpered.

“You should care! Doing it correctly will pay off later. A good job will be your reward,” was my attempt at resolving the issue. How could I make her understand?

A pouty mouth was evidence that she didn’t agree but she obeyed and began making things right. At least she was still teachable and willing to obey.

Then, out of the blue, Hannah stopped cold! She sighed, a big one and her little face started to beam.

“Huh! Grandma……Papa and I were talking the other day. He said that if I didn’t take care of the small things, I wouldn’t be able to handle the big things later.”

Did she actually say that? Was that little brain, in fact, engaged? I about fell off my chair!

We talked about what Proverbs said about the slothful guy who said there was a lion in the street and used that as an excuse not to go to work. Then conversation led to her bike. She still didn’t know how to ride it, and tried to blame it on her mother. While, in part, she did need an adult’s assistance, Hannah had merely dismissed trying because she couldn’t do it right away without a fall – so she gave up! Lazy, lazy, lazy!

That flippant reasoning was certainly not limited to Hannah! Our culture has fostered a slothful laziness with the expectancy of entitlement to things without doing that which might be hard.

Practice does make perfect. Certainly it takes time and energy – even some sweat equity! My daughter who became a Dental Hygienist recently is the one who unceasingly thanks me for training her properly, and not letting her get away with anything.

I used to have a magnet on the fridge that read, “Responsibility: knowing and doing that which is expected of me without higher authority.”

Carrying that further, it is no wonder people don’t know how to hear from God, let alone how to be led by God! Being led by God is all learned behavior. He expects us to do our part without Him always chiding or coddling!

Flesh will always be flesh. It is not born again, so must be trained, and brought into submission. Our minds are not redeemed yet either. It is dangerous for us to allow our minds to just roam! That is why God has instructed us to RENEW our minds. Obviously, WE can’t keep them under control!

I hate hearing that God brought calamity in someone’s life in order to bring them closer to Him.

Personally, I’d rather practice now before the storm comes. Preparation of any type, is tedious, but at least I won’t moan and groan and give up easily! I’ll be prepared and ready to ride it out with an expected, victorious outcome!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

The Old Home Place – Demolished!

When my dad retired from the Railroad, and the three of us children had all married and left home, he decided it would be a good investment to build a fourplex on their large piece of property.

This required tearing down the old house that had been home to our family for so many growing-up years. In preparation, Mom and Dad rented a small apartment, and began to systematically strip down the old house, from its’ windows, doors, and serviceable lumber. This they would salvage and re-use in order to build a larger cabin in the mountains, for our expanding families.

Ultimately, the day came when the demolition crew arrived! Their huge equipment included a large iron wrecking ball. Striking the old house again and again, the ball worked furiously until the house finally collapsed! Ready and waiting, large trucks scooped up the remains, and hauled them away.

GONE! Every bit of my childhood home had vanished!! The fun, the mischief, all the sad and happy times were the only things which remained - to be locked in our memory forever! Everything else just faded into the past!

In life, have you ever felt like a wrecking ball has hit you so hard that you have been knocked for a loop? Has there been a time when you have been so flattened out that you felt there was no hope of getting up again? Those times can seem drastic, but there is hope!

The good news is that God is always there to pick you up and to put all the pieces back together again! Better than new, His construction plans will fashion you into an even better person than you were before.

Allow God to make you into a new creation. Your part is to say yes, and to cooperate with him as He makes you what He wants you to be.

Revelations 21:5 And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Presto Chango! – The New Ruth

As a young girl I can remember my mother, Ruth brushing her waist-long hair each evening until it shone! In the morning she would roll her hair into a bun and secure it to the back of her head with hair pins.

A few years later, she changed her hair style, by braiding and criss-crossing the braids on top of her head. My mother could easily be recognized by her tall braids.

One day she made a decision. It was hard for me to believe, but she decided to sell her beautiful hair and get a permanent! The change was dramatic. She was striking! Actually, the new cut and style was modern, and very becoming

The next Sunday at church I overheard someone say,

“Where is Ruth? Her children are here, but I don’t see Ruth anywhere!”

Of course, they were looking for the tall braids - the old Ruth. They did not realize that Ruth was there after all, but Ruth, as they knew her, was not. The old Ruth had been transformed into a “New Image.” She was now the “new Ruth!”

When we first accept Christ Jesus as our Lord, the reaction is often the same. Friends, at first, may not recognize the “new you.”

Quite often one’s speech and, even in a sense, one’s looks may change. You may smile more instead of frowning, and there may be an expression of peacefulness on your countenance.

Oh yes, be assured, you are still the same person on the outside, but the Bible tells us that you are now a new creation on the inside.

Our spirits are new, and the Bible instructs us that we have a part in all this. That part is to shun the worldly ways, to present our bodies to the Lord, and to renew our minds, by reading and studying God’s word.

2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold all things are become new.

Romans 12:1-2 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove, what is that good and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

You may enjoy this old rendition of David Ingles song by David Wyper

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Mother’s Itinerary

All the beds had been stripped, and Monday was wash day using the old wringer washer, with laundry tubs for rinsing. Mother then hung the clean clothes on the line until they were dry. From a window on the laundry porch she used a pulley clothes line, but the majority of the clothing was walked down to the street level, and hung on lines which my dad had fashioned for her.

Tuesday was ironing day and also bean day. A pot of beans would be simmering on the stove as she ironed most of the day. Corn bread baked from her own recipe and usually some chard from the garden would accompany the beans. During World War II we were asked to have a meatless Tuesday because meat was scarce; and this may have been a carry over from World War I when Hoover under President Wilson asked for voluntary compliance. What ever the reason, the beans differed each week from chili, to black eyed peas, to navy and to lima beans. Our family of 5 always enjoyed Mom’s good cooking and usually there was nothing left over.

Every day was get up early for personal prayer, cook oatmeal for the children’s breakfast, make school lunches, read the Bible to the children before school, tend the vegetable garden which included feeding the chickens and collecting the eggs. Mother also raised beautiful chrysanthemums in our front yard and would bring flowers to church for the front alter.

On the 2nd and 4th Thursdays was a Women’s Ministries meeting at the church where the ladies, sewed, wrapped bandages for the lepers, and made quilts.

Once each week, Mother taught a Released Time Bible Education class for the local grade school. She would meet the children at the school gate and escort them to our home where she had set up chairs and tables for the lessons. These Bible materials are still available today for Release Time classes and VBS from the Child Evangelism Fellowship.

On Sunday my mother was the Sunday School Superintendent for many years. Mother also taught a primary Sunday School class of girls, and at one time I was in her class.

I vividly remember the Easter Story as she told of the death burial and resurrection of Jesus. That night while in my bed, I tried to remember if I had ever asked Jesus to come into my heart. No recollection caused me to make a decision right then and there to ask Jesus to save me, and I told Him that I would serve him all the days of my life. A sweet peace came over me and I rested soundly in Him.

Becoming a Christian is simple. The Bible tells us in Romans 10:9

That if you shall confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and shall believe in your heart that God has raised him from the dead, you shall be saved.

If you cannot remember ever having done so - - - Today is a good time to decide to receive Jesus into your heart. It is easy to do, just believe, and receive Him.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Whoopee Day!

The Fourth of July usually meant a family reunion at our cabin in the Stanislaus Forest! My dad allowed us kids to invite our friends and, in later years, we also followed suit, allowing our children to bring their friends.

Old Aunt Emma came at the invitation of my mother’s sister. She was a child at heart and enjoyed the festivities right along side all the young people. The campfire, roasted hot dogs and marshmallows, singing and lighting sparklers for the holiday thrilled everyone!

Aunt Emma loved the excitement! As each sparkler was lit, she loudly exclaimed, “Whoopee Day!”

Her enthusiasm spilled over to our teenagers who echoed her gleeful cry as each sparkler was lifted in the air. Soon we all joined in with the phrase, “Whoopee Day!” It became our “happy” word for the next year. Aunt Emma’s youth was spent, but she enjoyed herself with child-like abandon!

Tom, one of our youth group teens, seemed to get a kick out of Aunt Emma! Perhaps she reminded him of his own grandmother. Tom demonstrated his own free-spirit and his attentions soon centered on one of my daughter’s friends. The next day, we spied her friend up a tree with Tom climbing after her, throwing leaves and pine cones. She yelled at him, “You are crazy,” and he returned the compliment with like words. His playfulness soon compelled her.

Youthful exuberance! Whoopee Day! That was the way they met! Their friendship continued with church as their base for building their relationship. That friendship led to marriage, and decades later they are proud grandparents, enjoying their retirement.

Now some might say that this was an extraordinary way to meet someone and find a mate! Perhaps it was!

If you are single and desire to find a loving, faithful and trustworthy companion with marriage in mind, do consider attending a good church that has other single persons who love God, and want to follow Jesus. If you are widowed or divorced, join a church singles group. Small groups are where you meet people.

If you don’t put limits on God, He can meet this need and help you enjoy life right where you are. Trust Him, enjoy life and in whatever state you find yourself, don’t be afraid to be happy and to exclaim, “Whoopee Day”!

Psalms 118:24 This is the day that the LORD has made; Let us rejoice and be glad in it.