Wednesday, November 28, 2007

My Little Sis

Two years ago I met a young woman online.  Lisa was in her early twenties, living at home.  She was relatively new to Christ, but she managed on her own to go to church regularly. 
 
Lisa was timid, yet kind and friendly.  We started IM'ing back and forth fairly often.  Little by little I learned more of the hard road she had traveled in her young life.  And little by little I realized how strong she was to stand for Christ more or less alone in her world.  I admired her resolve.  I loved her heart.  I have never lay eyes upon her or heard her voice, but Christ gave me a little sister in Lisa....my little sis in Christ. 
 
She has recently joined us here in J-land.  And in a big sister fashion, I emailed a few of you to go by and make her feel welcomed.  What I didn't realize is that those I were sending to minister to her, were being the ones ministered to!  I knew she has some talent for writing.  I did not know the depth of the gift God had given her for sharing her journey in such a fresh, new way and with so much of her within it.
 
      
 
I had snagged this beautiful graphic by Donna, many moons ago.  The dove spoke to me of the Holy Spirit.  The first definition of peace spoke to me of the peace that passes understanding;  God's imparted peace.  Somehow, it just fits to finally use it here, on this entry. 
 
Treat yourself to a blessing.  Go visit my Lil' Sis:   My Innermost Being
 
 

Saturday, November 24, 2007

I Need to Share this with you, friends.

It's a cold grey day here, my friends.

 

I feel stuck in side. 

 

Can't get motivated to do something useful.

 

I'm bored.

 

Need to feel young.

 

 

Need to have fun!

 

Need a smile and a laugh.

 

So.................

 

 

I'm starting a J-Land snowball fight!!!!

 

If you want to play; snag, post and link.  ;o)

 

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Thankful

     
The old expression is the Third time is a charm.  Let's hope so.  This is the third time I have started today's entry.  Too many of the folks that made the holiday's what they were are gone on to the Master's Table.  All Pete has dwelt on for years is being at deer camp this week.  So, while I'll say it is nothing I look forward to expectantly or get excited about anymore, in my heart I am still thankful. 
 
                
 
Thankful that I know my Lord and Savior and for his Mercy, Grace and Love.
 
Thankful for my grumpy old man.  ;o)  Who wouldn't be grumpy after the year he has had with his health? 
 
Thankful for a smart, handsome son who is kicking and struggling to become his own man.  In many ways he is doing this well.  In others not so well.  But I am proud of him!  So many today don't even seem to try to become their own man, but just coast through these all important years on the coattails of others. 
 
Thankful for a smart, beautiful little girl.  Who is warm and caring.  Artistic and creative.  She takes pride in doing well. 
 
Thankful for our home.  It's not fancy.  It's plain.  It's simple.  It's cluttered and a little dirty.  But it's comfortable.  And it's warm.  It's removed enough from the world to be quiet and peaceful where we are.  Perhaps that is why I have all but lost all interest in the deer camp.  Here I don't need to get away from passing cars and systems blaring.
 
Thankful for my job.  I know some may think I am crazy staying with my part-time job with Pete not working any to speak of this past year.  But I know my job.  I do it fairly well.  The part-time part gives me the flexibility I often need.  And I am able to make enough hours to almost meet our needs money wise.   And for the most part, the people around me there are friendly and kind.  
 
Thankful for caring, kind people along the way.   Because frankly, if it weren't for them sometimes we just wouldn't make it.  Wouldn't have what we had to when we had to.  May God bless them for their kindness! 
 
Thankful for wonderful programs that help, even when people are trying to help themselves.  Chip and Medicaid that have covered my children and kept them healthy.  The Christian Care center in town, who helps so many in so many ways; food, clothes, utilities, getting prescriptions filled.  Thankful for the meals programs in the schools that make sure the kids always have a breakfast or lunch without any thought or worry.  Thankful for AT&T's lifeline program, that provides basic phone service at drastically reduced rates, that no one be without what has become a necessity.  Thankful for a clinic that takes patients on a sliding scale based on income.  Yes, it has it's snags and problems, but getting the cash together to go other places would be a bigger problem.   Thankful for Wal*Mart's $4.00 drug program.  
 
Thankful for extended family and friends.  Sometimes they bring drama into our lives, but life would be rather uneventful without them.
 
Thankful that somehow God always gives me the strength I need for the day.  I never get everything done, but by his grace I get what has to be done and sometimes a little more.  
 
Thankful for Christian friends, sisters in the Lord.  In my church, here online.  You fill me of a sense of a place to fall, so to speak.  A knowledge that there is always someone to turn to, someone to talk to, someone to pray with me.  
 
Many other small things to be thankful for!  A good rain last night.  The touch of a kitten.  Fresh eggs in the yard.  A good sleep.  A warm shower.  Too many to mention.  
 
I work Monday - Wednesday.  Will have a meal at work.  Will go to the camp on Thursday to celebrate Thanksgiving.  Weather forecast shows it might be a mess, but it'll be our mess and we'll be together.  And there is always home to come back to and get out of the mess. 
 
   
I pray for each of you my friends in J-land, a warm and happy Thanksgiving.  I pray God will open your eyes to the many blessings that surround you.  No matter your circumstance, they are there!  Don't dwell on what you don't have.  What if the pilgrims had done that?  I'm sure there was a long list of things they missed.  Things they had wished were different.  But they gathered together and gave thanks for what they did have!  And as they did so, I'm sure it fueled their hearts with hope for the future.  May yours be fueled as well! 
 
And thanks to Sugar at SugarShackKeepsakes for the beautiful graphics!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

That None Should Forget

 
The skeptics and the cynics were questioning the sacrifice made in the war.  They asked the veteran and hero, "What did it get you?"  and "What was there in it for you?".  To which he replied of that kind, "The thing they forget is that liberty and freedom and democracy are so very precious that you do not fight to win them once and stop. Liberty and freedom and democracy are prizes awarded only to those peoples who fight to win them and then keep fighting eternally to hold them.
 
This could be today.  Could've been after the Gulf War.  Could've been after Vietnam or Korea.  But this was after the Great War; WWI.  This was veteran was Sergeant York, the most highly decorated veteran of WWI.  If you don't know his story, there is a wonderful old movie you can rent or catch on satellite that tells his tale. 
 
In his address on Armistice Day, 1941 President Franklin D. Roosevelt recounts this story and adds his own response, "If our armies of 1917 and 1918 had lost there would not have been a man or woman in America who would have wondered why the war was fought. The reasons would have faced us everywhere. We would have known why liberty is worth defending as those alone whose liberty is lost can know it. We would have known why tyranny is worth defeating as only those whom tyrants rule can know.
 
Daddy Jess (mother's father) fought in the Great War.  Him and Mama Ruth always called it Armistice Day.  Mother too, half the time, rather than Veteran's DayJesse Oah Allbritton went on to be father to four girls, through the great depression and beyond.  He was about the first auto mechanic around the little towns of S.E. Texas.  Had to drive himself to San Antonio, then the closest V. A. hospital, when his appendix was on the verge of bursting.  He loved dominoes and played them well.  When he shaved, he'd try to swipe any passing grandkids with his foamy shaving brush.  Was known to get a thrill out of holding onto a car battery and shock those who passed close by. 
 
I grew up hearing Mama sing to me.  Often she'd sing one was reminiscent of those by gone days, "He was just a long tall country gent, from a way out west where the hop toads wink.  Stood six feet two in his stocking feet and he kept a getting thinner the more he ate.  But he was brave as he was thin when the war broke out he joined right in, unhitched his plow, put the mule away and the old folks heard him say  'Goodbye maw!  Goodbye paw!' Goodbye mule with the old hee-haw, may not know what the war's about, but I bet by gosh I'll soon find out.  And oh, my sweetheart, don't you fear!  I'll bring you a king for a souvenir.   I'll get you a Turk and a kaiser too, and that's about all one fellow can do.'"  It's one I sing to my kids.
 
Right after Halloween, seems everyone jumped straight to Thanksgiving or Christmas in their thoughts.  Their talk is of thanksgiving plans and menus.  Their screen savers and such are of that same theme.  Of course, the local schools will have a program to honor veterans.  And many churches will offer something patriotic tomorrow. I mean, where is the personal reflection and gratitude for what we have, how we live?  Well, this is my salute to the many who have and do defend me and my home.  Protects my liberties. 
 
  • My own father, Clayon Stutts, who served in WWII as an infantry man. He served in the nitty gritty of the European theatre. 
  • His brother, Hightower Stutts who I believe was a Navy cook. 
  • Uncle Lenox Hawthorne, married to mother's sister, who served, obviously in the pacific as he saw the crater where the bomb was dropped. 
  • Uncle Rene Lemons, married to another of my mama's sisters, who also served and came back home with a love and appreciation of India and her peoples.
  • My brother-in-law, Edward Puntes, who served in the army and fortunately did not have to see combat.
  • My cousin, Buzzy Lemons, who did see combat in Vietnam. 
  • My second cousin, Jason Hawthorne, who served as a Navy Seal.
  • My stepfather, Polk Hawthorne, who returned from WWII vowing to never eat spam again.
  • The many men I have been privilege to work with, worship with, have as neighbors and know as friends who served.
  • All those currently serving or recently serving that I have the pleasure to know of through J-land, or personally.
  •       Veterans deserve our respect not just for the wars they fought and the price they paid defending us.  They deserve our respect for the way they come back and live!  For the excellent citizens they make.  One quarter of them have bachelor's degrees, and 90% have completed high school.   Only 5.9% of them live in poverty, as apposed to non veterans which is 12.3%.  There are over 11 million of them in the labor force.  In the last presidential election 3/4's of veterans voted!    ............... If you do nothing else to reflect and remember, please read President Roosevelt's Address at Arlington in 1941. My thanks to Dover Publishing and Emma for the graphics.  To the Census Bureau for the statistics.
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