Tuesday, December 25, 2007

by Max Lucado

"It's Christmas night.

The midnight hour has chimed and I should be asleep, but I'm awake. I'm kept awake by one stunning thought. The world was different this week. It was temporarily transformed.

The magical dust of Christmas glittered on the cheeks of humanity ever so briefly, reminding us of what is worth having and what we were intended to be. We forgot our compulsion with winning, wooing, and warring. We put away our ladders and ledgers, we hung up our stopwatches and weapons. we stepped off our race tracks and roller coasters and looked outward toward the star of Bethlehem.

More than at any other time, we think of Him. More than in any other season, his name is on our lips.

And the result? for a few precious hours our heavenly yearnings intermesh and we become a chorus. A ragtag chorus of longshoremen, Boston lawyers, illegal immigrants, housewives, and a thousand other peculiar persons who are banking that Bethlehem's mystery is in reality, a reality.

For a few precious hours, he is beheld. Christ the Lord. Those who pass the year without seeing him, suddenly see him.

Emmanuel. He is with us. God came near.

Soon life will be normal again. But for the moment, I want to savor the spirit just a bit more. I want to pray that those who beheld him today will look for him when the gifts are history and the carols quiet. And I can't help but linger on one fanciful thought: If He can do so much with such timid prayers lamely offered in December, how much more could He do if we thought of Him every day?

For after all, the One who came that Christmas morning so long ago still comes. He comes every time a seeker turns his face heavenward and says, "Yes!" to the Savior. A Savior sent by a God who so loved the owrld that He game his one and only son." ~ Max Lucado

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Deer Meat and Chocolate Fudge Visits

Last week I went to Arkansas on a short trip to do some business and visit my folks. Since I've begun teaching a Ladies Class again on Sunday mornings, I restricted my travel to Monday and returned on Saturday. It was a great week to be moving about the highways as the air was crisp and I enjoyed a visit with my Aunt Margaret from KY who was also visiting my folks for several weeks.

I should mention also that I have now had the experience of processing deer meat. My Dad had the good fortune of successfully bringing home two nice deer from his hunt, a good thing since he's not had much luck for a couple years in that vein, so he was indeed thrilled with this accomplishment. He likes to trim out the meat himself and remove most of the fat where he says the deer stores the 'wild' in the taste of the meat. Mom did the meat wrapping and labeling. I took on the operation of the meat grinder, as you may know, Mom has had recent shoulder surgery and my Dad broke his back in July. Did I mention that this was a old fashioned hand meat grinder?

I really thought I might be in trouble after the first five minutes or so of grinding; which came after about ten minutes of instruction and demonstration by my Dad. He is a good teacher but rather particular, not necessarily a bad thing, but it does contribute to getting to do things all by yourself, in some situations. Enough said on that front. Anyway, I thought I might be in trouble with that hand grinder. I could feel the muscles in my right arm doing a bit of an about face on me, really wondering on what I'd gotten myself in to. After a couple pounds of meat had been ground, I found myself having to take it apart to clean up the blade and so it was put back together, tightened further, btw, this is important step, and the rest of the grinding went more smoothly. It tooks several hours to grind two deer, in case you're wondering. Don't bother to take your shower before starting this project, by the way.

I figured that I wouldn't be able to move the next day, did I tell you that I had to hold the one side of the grinder with the left hand to keep it steady on the table edge, and move the grinder handle with my right hand, all from a standing position, since I'm a bit short and couldn't get the leverage from a seated position. So much to my surprise, I felt no pain, the next day. Not the next day either. I cannot explain this. Either I am stronger than I thought, or more was going on in that family event than can be explained with rational reasoning. Anyway. It was a good productive day with the family. I should probably mention that I am the oldest daughter of four, to a man with no sons. Translation, I have been taught to be quite 'handy'. Shhh, don't tell anyone else.

I also spent an afternoon making chocolate fudge with my Mom and her 'best' fudge recipe. It is the best chocolate fudge and this batch met expectations and beyond. I brought home a small container of it and we distributed some to the sisters, because you can't keep that much fudge in one refrigerator. It'll ruin the diet every time. Apparently it is also my Dad's favorite candy, however, we have learned that chocolate gives him a headache. Not good. So it was part of the deal to get most of it 'out' of his house to remove the known 'temptation.'

Ah, the battles we face.


Thursday, December 13, 2007

Become as little children

A remarkable phone call from a 12-yr old boy to Houston radio station KSBJ FM 89.3. So profound, the station has it posted on their website. Click below to listen to it. It's short, just 2 minutes.


Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Mary & Martha - revisited

Luke 10:38-42 38.
As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him.
39 She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet listening to what he said.
40. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, "Lord, don't you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!"
41. "Martha, Martha," the Lord answered, "you are worried and upset about many things,
42. but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it willnot be taken away from her."

I think we are prone to identify with what I'll call 'layer one' of this account. We see ourselves as either the Mary at Jesus feet or the Perfectionist Martha, busy about the house. Perhaps it is because of our awareness of the 'Martha Stewart' factor in our 'today' world. I personally enjoy learning from Martha Stewart and consider her a genuine teacher so I don't want to 'dish' her; just use to illustrate.

Consider with me 'layer two'. Jesus makes a promise here that what Mary seeks, won't be taken away from her, by Him. Roll that thought around in your mind for a while and tell me where the Spirit leads you with it.

Consider with me 'layer three'. Identify your other 'Martha' opportunities. You may not have identified with the 'homemaking' Martha; but how about the 'work-a-holic' Martha? The 'volunteer-a-holic' Martha? Name your 'Martha'.

Wouldn't anything that keeps us from seeking GOD FIRST, be a 'Martha?' Just some things to consider, ponder, pray and chat about.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Is Your Refrigerator Running?

The good news is that my refrigerator is running, now. The bad news is that it stopped running last night and so we had a few casualties.

It is amazing how fast bread products start to soften in the freezer and how soft ice cream is similar to cool whip.

I kept hearing a click last night and went to check the stove to make certain that I'd turned all the burners off. Yep, they were off. Then another click. Went back in and checked the coffee pot and other plug in applicances on my counter. Hmm, no culprits. Another click and it really did seem to be coming from the refrigerator so I checked the ice maker and yep, there was ice and it seemed to be running. Another click. What could it be?

Then I went to scoop me a bowl of ice cream. Soft serve a la chocolate chip mint. It was soft and getting really close to cool whip soft. Well, that explained it. The refrigerator was going out or maybe already out, so I closed it all up, reset the switches, reset the plug and hoped for the best. But, the morning did not bring the best.

It's times like these when you're really glad to have good neighbors. You know they're good when they'll clear you off a shelf in their refrigerator for your 'stuff' and make room in the freezer for you. Jeanie and Marcus are great neighbors.

We didn't save everything and I did do some cooking and grilling this morning to take care of the things that had thawed, salvage I guess is what you'd call it. Bruce commented on having pizza for breakfast and couldn't remember the last time he had:)

The good thing about all this is that the refrigerator got cleaned out and all the expired labels were honored and sent to the designated trash can, and my refrigerator is now running again. The nice Sears repairman came and took care of that for me.

Be blessed and thankful for a running refrigerator.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

The Aroma of Home

It is a beautiful day in Alabama. My son, Will, is home from college for a few days of fall break and he has just celebrated his 21st birthday this week. I browned a roast this morning and have it cooking in the crock pot (slow cooker for our Canadian friends) with some onions and a bit of salt and pepper. Layered onto that oh so good smell is the smell of chocolate as I have just pulled two pans of german chocolate cake, prepared by Bruce, from the oven to rest on the counter. With a slathering of chocolate and then german chocolate pecan icing, it will be a 'good thing' later in this beautiful day and we will celebrate twenty one good years as well.

It occurred to me as I gathered the ingredients for this weekends meals that it isn't just the final result on the table that brings us to the point of feeling 'at home.' My goal of course was to make the time feel special, particularly as we have learned in this season of life that the moments are just that, moments, and indeed fleeting ones at that. The people encountered along the way in the gathering process itself add to the whole experience of preparation. I commented to the check out gals that my son is coming home and thus the way must be prepared. Special foods are being purchased and prepared for it is 'special' time.

And so, there is the aroma. The oh so sweet smell of care and thoughtful preparations under way. The time 'set aside' so that care will be taken and the feasts will be ready, but the process produces a wonderful aroma, when all goes well. The smell permeating my home is delicious, even at this mid point and I have slipped upstairs to pen a few words while they are fresh.

The windows are open, a cat is sprawled out lazily in the upstairs window, as I type. We hear birds and we smell the aroma coming from downstairs. I hear the murmur of voices from the driveway as Bruce & Will explore the door of the Camry to figure out why the window will not lower, a particular inconvenience to a man traveling home for his visit and being unable to work the window at the McDonalds drive thru for late night coffee. And so, they work together to fix it. I am enjoying the view and the sights and sounds of the aroma of home.

There are times when we light the candle of fragrance such as apple pie with cinnamon and one would enter and scout about to 'find' the feast waiting, only to be disappointed by the flicker of a candle in a glass. The scent is there but the pay off is a bit short. It is what it is though and brings about a remembrance of a time of feasting. It is a substitute but then sometimes that is all the time we have made preparation for.

It is now time to close my writing for today and be about the business of home. Green beans and sweet potatoes and maybe a few other treats to round out tonights meal. The smell is delicious. A sweet sweet aroma. Home.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

The Quandary

It is a quandary. I have some pink morning glory vines growing in the front flower bed next to the garage windows. They are volunteers from some deliberate sows from last year and they are back. They seem to have overtaken the Japanese privets already in the bed which is where I find myself in the quandary. Do I cut them back or just let them be for a while longer? Their pretty pink blooms bring a smile to my face every time I walk by. I guess that answers my question then, doesn't it? I don't suppose it's going to hurt the privets to have the piggyback plants growing over them for a bit longer and up the wall, I might add. It is very English cottage looking, and I do so love the English garden look. Ah, maybe I should go on out and take some pictures while I'm at it. Yep, the pink morning glory vines will grow for a while longer. Now, if every decision were that easy to make.

Friday, September 07, 2007

My friend George - we'll miss him

George F. Binderim (January 3, 1923 - September 6, 2007)

George F. Binderim, age 84, of Cabot lost his battle with cancer but won the war against Satan on Thursday, September 6, 2007. He was born January 3, 1923 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma to the late George and Miriam Matthews Binderim. George was a member of Cabot Church of Christ. His passion was helping the needy. In 1989, his dream was realized when he established “Friends House” at his church where five days week a hot meal is provided. Mr. Binderim was awarded the 2004 Citizen of the Year by the Cabot Chamber of Commerce and on January 30, 2005 the Mayor signed a proclamation making that day “Binderim Day”. In June 2005, KARK awarded him a Community Service award and a year later a Certificate of Recognition. In February 2007 he was recognized by Legislative Proclamation presented by Representative Susan Shulte and recognized for Random Acts of Kindness by Mayor Eddie Joe Williams. In April of this year Mr. Binderim was given a certificate of appreciation for all his work by the Cabot Church of Christ.

George is survived by his wife Marian Binderim; three children, Yvonne Hill and her husband James of Carlisle, Kay Jensen and her husband Al of Jacksonville, and Karl Binderim of Jacksonville; five grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

The funeral service will be 10:00 a.m. Monday, September 10, 2007 at the chapel of Cabot Funeral Home. Interment will follow at Arkansas State Veterans’ Cemetery in North Little Rock. Visitation will be 2:00-5:00 p.m., Sunday at the funeral home. The family would like to express their sincere appreciation to Dr. Neal Wyatt, Arkansas Hospice and the nurses and staff on 2 East at Rebsamen Medical Center. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Friends House at Cabot Church of Christ. Arrangements are by Moore’s Cabot Funeral Home (501)843-5816.

Check out Tiffany's blog


Friday, August 31, 2007

Check out my Slide Show!

The 25th Anniversary Homecoming concert 'delivered'. I hope you didn't miss it. Here are pictures....www.acappella.org


Wouldn't it be nice if whenever we messed up our life we could simply
press "CTR-ALT-DELETE" and start over??????

Monday, August 20, 2007


I have been struggling with how to tell you about my trip to New York City a couple weeks back. August 5 - 10, some of the hottest days NYC has experienced in a while and I was there for them. Brooklyn saw their first tornado in I don't know how many decades, and I was there the afternoon before. Heavy rain caused flooding that shut down the roads, subways, and trains. Stories were told that some from Brooklyn walked the ten miles into Manhattan to get to work and a lot of folks missed flights at JFK that day, and that's just the ones we heard about.

It is a busy place. Sorry to state the obvious, but it is. Everyone is in a hurry, a big hurry. There are a lot of people and they are mostly 'going' some place, in a hurry. You try to stay out of the way, cause you can get stepped on. People don't look you in the eye much, but I think that is because they are just trying to get to where they are going and looking at you might slow them down. I tried to make eye contact and smile at folks, and said thank you to workers on the tour busses, the Empire State tours and such, they just looked like they needed it.
My visit was a leisurely one so I tried to not get into too big a hurry, and kept my eyes open and paid attention. There were details everywhere and the architecture alone could take someone with a good camera decades to capture. I made it to Brooklyn Gardens and that was worth the trip itself, and of course Central Park, which I didn't get to do justice, on foot, on a very hot day. Sweating was a very real part of my visit to NYC. I spent two full days on foot walking in the heat so it was 'drippy' to say the least. Drink lots of water.

Everyone should probably try to go at some point in life and maybe more than once. It depends. It is worth it to buy a 2 or 3 day pass on the Grayline to get to see so much of the highlights and the tour guides are very knowledgeable. It helps give you an idea of the places you should revisit and spend more time nosing around. Go early for the Empire State Bldg tour and the trip out to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. The lines get long as the day progresses. We went to see the Lion King and it was fantastic. The costumes, sets and music just blow you away.

Special Thanks to my sister, Monda, who let me tag along on the trip. It was nice to share the city with her and since she was working, tell her about the high points of my site seeing adventures. Maybe I'll try this again in a month that isn't quite so hot as August:) I uploaded some pictures at my www.shoutlife.com/rhondacoleson site that hopefully tell you a bit more about the things I saw. It was an amazing trip.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Phrases Explained

The following list of phrases and their definitions might help you understand the mysterious language of science and medicine. These special phrases are also applicable to anyone reading a PhD dissertation or academic paper. Enjoy!

"IT HAS LONG BEEN KNOWN"... I didn't look up the original reference.

"A DEFINITE TREND IS EVIDENT"... These data are practically meaningless.

"WHILE IT HAS NOT BEEN POSSIBLE TO PROVIDE DEFINITE ANSWERS TO THE QUESTIONS"... An unsuccessful experiment but I still hope to get it published.

"THREE OF THE SAMPLES WERE CHOSEN FOR DETAILED STUDY"... The other results didn't make any sense.

"TYPICAL RESULTS ARE SHOWN"... This is the prettiest graph.

"THESE RESULTS WILL BE IN A SUBSEQUENT REPORT"... I might get around to this sometime, if pushed/funded.





"IT IS GENERALLY BELIEVED THAT"... A couple of others think so, too.




"A CAREFUL ANALYSIS OF OBTAINABLE DATA"... Three pages of notes were obliterated when I knocked over a glass iced tea.


"AFTER ADDITIONAL STUDY BY MY COLLEAGUES"... They don't understand it either.


"A HIGHLY SIGNIFICANT AREA FOR EXPLORATORY STUDY"... A totally useless topic selected by my committee.


Saturday, August 04, 2007


Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, "Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest."
-- Mark 6:31

Friday, August 03, 2007

Marriage Matters

Check out the Marriage Matters website of Jerry & Lynn Jones.
Why You Need Marriage Matters
One of our greatest challenges as a nation and culture is preserving the integrity and unity of the home. Many couples have good intentions but lack the skills and determination necessary to keep a family intact. Using God-centeredness as the foundation, the seminar presentations provide information for maintaining good marriages and explain in a very down-to-earth manner the origins of many marital problems and the solutions to counter them.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Acafest Pipecast & 25th Anniversary moments

Another Pitch Pipecast episode is now online for your listening enjoyment. It is a real treat with interviews conducted at Acafest last week, by Gary Moyers.

Episode 7 was recorded live at Acafest 2007 in Nashville. It features a roundtable discussion with several artists: Brian Wiersma of Vocal Union, Danice Sweet of Revival, Lanier Stevens of Sounds of Glory, Robin Brannon of Acappella and Melissa Lancaster of Durant. These five artists represent a wide scope of a capella music, both in style and age. This podcast recording took place before a small crowd late in the evening and covers a wide range of topics... from favorite songs and favorite moments, through the hope found in gospel music, and all the way to what to do when your slip falls off in concert. A fun episode!


This Letter is More Precious Than Gold
by KeithLancaster on Thu 12 Jul 2007 07:00 AM CDT

We are blessed. Very blessed. You cannot imagine all the encouraging stories we hear about how the Gospel in song has made an overwhelming difference in the lives of precious families. We are so thankful for your letters, e-mails and comments. I received a message after the Reunion Concert that epitomizes the ultimate encouragement for our "musicianaries."

I asked permission to share it with you. Here is that message:

I just wanted to email you and let you know that I was at your 25th Anniversary concert Sat. the 7th of July at Lipscomb University not because I wanted to be there, Because I was working. My partner and I were sent from Robertson County E.M.S to be your Medical Staff for the concert. We were both very tired, We had been on another Special assignment since 7am that morning outside in 95 degree weather and we were exhausted. But anyway we had no idea who Acappella was and at the moment we didn't even care. But I want you to know those boys hit the stage and we both were floored with the sound and the Word of the gospel flowing throughout the building. They have to be the best group I have ever heard, When they performed "All Men Will Know" I literally cried and I want you to know I do not show emotion most people would say I don't even smile, But that is a beautiful and touching song. When the show was all over my partner and I left with a copy of the the new CD and I have not stopped listening since. I want to thank you for our wonderful experience and a spiritual boost to the end of a long day.

Jason Stone EMT-IV

Thank you Jason, for sharing those kind words with us. This helps Acappella keep going in spite of all the obstacles. We appreciate it!Anyone who desires can share that song with friends through this link.

REST of the story:
I'm reminded of the Paul Harvey quote he's so famous for because there is more to the story that night. The 25th Anniversary concert came at the end of a very intense, schedule packed week for me. It was in full swing when Vocal Union sang Once Upon A Tree, which is a song that my husband co-wrote with Keith Lancaster, and he was unable to attend the event due to a very intense season of work at his own job as well. I guess I was nearer to the point of exhaustion than I realized, when these two EMT's took me aside to 'rest' for a bit. They thought I might be dehydrated and made me 'stop'. Interesting how God works that way you know. I actually watched the first half of the concert with them back in behind the stage, viewing the large screen on the back wall. They took such good care of me and were truly God's hands and feet in that moment. I slipped up to the sales booth during intermission and got them both a copy of Acappella's Radiance cd, and then carried on with my assignments for the night. God uses each of us, even in our weakest moments. Just thought it was fair you knew the 'rest' of the story.

Be blessed,

Saturday, June 30, 2007


The scent of jasmine to the nose is like the taste of butter to the tongue, delicious. My jasmine pots are blooming and the heady scent is a tantalizing aroma, yummy.

It will be another hot day here in Alabama but green is all around and my crepe myrtle are blooming a light dusty lavender hue after waiting patiently for 4 years of regrowth from the ground up. Maybe i'll take a picture.

God is soo good....quoting Kay Lancaster

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Check out www.pitchpipepro.com

Sat, 16 June 2007
Pitch Pipecast: Episode 5
Episode 5 is a sneak preview of the new Vocal Union album "Just Like the Old Days." Gary Miller, leader of the Vocal Union, joins the Pipecast and tells about the background of the songs on the album. Six different songs are included in this Pipecast, and you get to hear them two weeks before the album releases. Only on the Pipe! Based in Nashville, Tennessee, VU has been touring the country for the past eleven years performing for special church events, community concerts and fund raisers. Their fan base has spread worldwide with fans from Iceland, Nigeria, Brazil and other countries. Vocal Union's style ranges from high-energy traditional, to tight harmony jazz and soulful spirituals, to contemporary street corner a capella. Their website can be found at www.vocalunion.com.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Makes you think.

A friend sent this to me today. Makes you think...rc

GOD: Frank, you know all about gardens and nature. What in the world is going on down there on the planet? What happened to the dandelions, violets, thistle and stuff I started eons ago? I had a perfect no-maintenance garden plan. Those plants grow in any type of soil, withstand drought and multiply with abandon. The nectar from the long-lasting blossoms attracts butterflies, honeybees and flocks of songbirds. I expected to see a vast garden of colors by now. But, all I see are these green rectangles.

ST. FRANCIS: It's the tribes that settled there, Lord. The Suburbanites. They started calling your flowers "weeds" and went to great lengths to kill them and replace them with grass.

GOD: Grass? But, it's so boring. It's not colorful. It doesn't attract butterflies, birds and bees; only grubs and sod worms. It's sensitive to temperatures. Do these Suburbanites really want all that grass growing there?

ST. FRANCIS: Apparently so, Lord. They go to great pains to grow it and keep it green. They begin each spring by fertilizing grass and poisoning any other plant that crops up in the lawn.

GOD: The spring rains and warm weather probably make grass grow really fast. That must make the Suburbanites happy.

ST. FRANCIS: Apparently not, Lord. As soon as it grows a little, they cut it-sometimes twice a week.

GOD: They cut it? Do they then bail it like hay?

ST. FRANCIS: Not exactly, Lord. Most of them rake it up and put it in bags.

GOD: They bag it? Why? Is it a cash crop? Do they sell it?

ST. FRANCIS: No, Sir, just the opposite. They pay to throw it away

GOD: Now, let me get this straight. They fertilize grass so it will grow. And, when it does grow, they cut it off and pay to throw it away?

ST. FRANCIS: Yes, Sir.

GOD: These Suburbanites must be relieved in the summer when we cut back on the rain and turn up the heat That surely slows the growth and saves them a lot of work.

ST. FRANCIS: You aren't going to believe this, Lord. When the grass stops growing so fast, they drag out hoses and pay more money to water it so they can continue to mow it and pay to get rid of it.

GOD: What nonsense. At least they kept some of the trees. That was a sheer stroke of genius, if I do say so myself. The trees grow leaves in the spring to provide beauty and shade in the summer. In the autumn, they fall to the ground and form a natural blanket to keep moisture in the soil and protect the trees and bushes. It's a natural cycle of life.

ST, FRANCIS: You better sit down, Lord. The Suburbanites have drawn a new circle. As soon as the leaves fall, they rake them into great piles and pay to have them hauled away.

GOD: No. What do they do to protect the shrub and tree roots in the winter to keep the soil moist and loose?

ST. FRANCIS: After throwing away the leaves, they go out and buy something which they call mulch. They haul it home and spread it around in place of the leaves.

GOD: And where do they get this mulch?

ST FRANCIS: They cut down trees and grind them up to make the mulch.

GOD: Enough! I don't want to think about this anymore. St. Catherine, you're in charge of the arts. What movie have you scheduled for us tonight?

ST. CATHERINE: "Dumb and Dumber", Lord. It's a story about....

GOD: Never mind, I think I just heard the whole story from St Francis.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Victory - in honor of JoAn

Victory comes in all shapes and sizes and sometimes they just hit us up side of the head. That’s the way it is, isn’t it? I discovered this when my son finished high school (victory), chose a college & received a great scholarship (victory), drove him thirteen hours from home to the college (uh, victory, ouch). Yes, this is the way it is. For all the hard work of a parents’ lifetime, you hit victory and well, victory can hurt like the dickens. Victory took an unexpected turn toward an anguishing pain of loss. Yet, my son has his victory. I have my victory. We have much to celebrate, be proud and thankful for the payoff of dedicated hard work. But, with victory came pain. Paradoxical, wouldn’t you say?

We had another victory this past week. JoAn Dillinger closed her eyes to victory and left us for her home in heaven. The waiting arms of Jesus. Her work here in the physical completed. Victory. And yet, with this wonderful victory of her completed task, we find that we deal with the pain and anguish of loss. It surely hurts and we knew it would. We will remember her well for all her preparations for this victory; for she was surely ready to go. She paid her dues. She did her time here on earth. We will remember.

Faith is the Victory. Faith is the Victory. Oh glorious Victory that overcomes the world. This old song comes to mind this morning. Perhaps it will be the tune on my heart today. JoAn would want it that way. Cause, He said it’s al-right, it’s al-right, it’s al-right, it’s al-right. Don’t ya know that just a little talk with Jesus makes it right? Yeah, JoAn would want it this way.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

For The Oldtimers

(a friend sent this to me)

My Mom used to cut chicken, chop eggs and spread mayo on the same cutting board with the same knife and no bleach, but we didn't seem to get food poisoning.

My Mom used to defrost hamburger on the counter AND I used to eat it raw sometimes (I didn't do this), too.

Our school sandwiches were wrapped in wax paper in a brown paper bag, not in ice pack coolers, but I can't remember getting ecoli.

Almost all of us would have rather gone swimming in the lake instead of a pristine pool (talk about boring), no beach closures then.

The term cell phone would have conjured up a phone in a jail cell, and a pager was the school PA syste m.

We all took gym, not PE... and risked permanent injury with a pair of high top Ked's (only worn in gym) instead of having cross-training athletic shoes with air cushion soles and built in light reflectors. I can't recall any injuries but they must have happened because they tell us how much safer we are now..

Flunking gym was not an option...even for stupid kids! I guess PE must be much harder than gym.

Speaking of school , we all sang the national anthem, and staying in detention after school caught all sorts of negative attention.

We must have had horribly damaged psyches. What an archaic health system we had then. Remember school nurses? Ours wore a hat and everything.

I thought that I was supposed to accomplish something before I was allowed to be proud of myself.

I just can't recall how bored we were without computers, Play Station, Nintendo, X-box or 270 digital TV cable stations.

Oh yeah... and where was the Benadryl and sterilization kit when I got that bee sting? I could have been killed!

We played 'king of the hill' on piles of gravel left on vacant construction sites, and when we got hurt, Mom pulled out the 48-cent bottle of Mercurochrome (kids liked it better because it didn't sting like iodine did) and then we got our butt spanked.

Now it's a trip to the emergency room, followed by a 10-day dose of a $49 bottle of antibiotics, and then Mom calls the attorney to sue the contractor for leaving a horribly vicious pile of gravel where it was such a threat.

We didn't act up at the neighbor's house either because if we did, we got our butt spanked there and then we got butt spanked again when we got home.

I recall Donny Reynolds from next door coming over and doing his tricks on the front stoop, just before he fell off. Little did his Mom know that she could have owned our house. Instead, she picked him up and swatted him for being such a goof. It was a neighborhood run amuck.

To top it off, not a single person I knew had ever been told that they were from a dysfunctional family How could we possibly have known that?
We needed to get into group therapy and anger management classes? We were obviously so duped by so many societal ills, that we didn't even notice that the entire country wasn't taking Prozac! How did we ever survive?


Wednesday, May 02, 2007

This Explains Why we Forward Jokes.

A man and his dog were walking along a road.

The man was enjoying the scenery, when it suddenly occurred to him that he was dead.

He remembered dying, and that the dog walking beside him had been dead for years. He wondered where the road was leading them.

After a while, they came to a high, white stone wall along one side of the road. It looked like fine marble. At the top of a long hill, it was broken by a tall arch that glowed in the sunlight.When he was standing before it he saw a magnificent gate in the arch that looked like mother-of-pearl, and the street that led to the gate looked like pure gold. He and the dog walked toward the gate, and as he got closer, he saw a man at a desk to one side.

When he was close enough, he called out, "Excuse me, where are we?"

"This is Heaven, sir," the man answered.

"Wow! Would you happen to have some water?" the man asked.

"Of course, sir. Come right in, and I'll have some ice water brought right up."

The man gestured, and the gate began to open."Can my friend," gesturing toward his dog, "come in, too?" the traveler asked.

"I'm sorry, sir, but we don't accept pets. "The man thought a moment and then turned back toward the road and continued the way he had been going with his dog.

After another long walk, and at the top of another long hill, he came to a dirt road leading through a farm gate that looked as if it had never been closed. There was no fence. As he approached the gate, he saw a man inside, leaning against a tree and reading a book.

"Excuse me!" he called to the man. "Do you have any water? "Yeah, sure, there's a pump over there, come on in."

"How about my friend here?" the traveler gestured to the dog."There should be a bowl by the pump." They went through the gate, and sure enough, there was an old-fashioned hand pump with a bowl beside it.

The traveler filled the water bowl and took a long drink himself, then he gave some to the dog. When they were full, he and the dog walked back toward the man who was standing by the tree.

"What do you call this place?" the traveler asked.
"This is Heaven," he answered.
"Well, that's confusing," the traveler said.
"The man down the road said that was Heaven, too."
"Oh, you mean the place with the gold street and pearly gates? Nope. That's hell."

"Doesn't it make you mad for them to use your name like that?

" No, we're just happy that they screen out the folks who would leave their best friends behind."

Soooo... Sometimes, we wonder why friends keep forwarding jokes to us without writing a word.

Maybe this will explain.

When you are very busy, but still want to keep in touch, guess what you do? You forward jokes.

When you have nothing to say, but still want to keep contact, you forward jokes.

When you have something to say, but don't know what, and don't know how, you forward jokes.

Also to let you know that you are still remembered, you are still important, you are still loved, you are still cared for, guess what you get?A forwarded joke.

So, next time if you get a joke, don't think that you've been sent just another forwarded joke, but that you've been thought of today and your friend on the other end of your computer wanted to send you a smile. : -)

You are all welcome @ my water bowl, anytime !

Monday, April 30, 2007

Strawberry Picking

Friday was an absolutely beautiful day. My main mission was to go strawberry picking over near Ashville somewhere. I had my directions and a full tank of gas and other than avoiding the area near Talladega speedway, a wide open road. So I followed the instructions and began my excursion to Lowery Farms. I went by way of Ohatchee and took Mudd Street to Hwy 77, then turned onto 144, crossed the Coosa River and headed into St. Clair County. The longer I drove, the more I began to sense that there was probably a shorter and quicker way to arrive at my destination. However, without a county map, I wasn’t going to start making turns into this unknown territory. So, I followed the directions and low and behold, arrived at the Farm.

It was a beautiful drive but I was tired and even considered the option of just buying the strawberries already picked for a couple dollars more. But, a nice pleasant breeze was blowing and I thought; I’ve driven all this way to pick strawberries, how hard can it be? So I took my hat and my bucket and met a friendly fella and gal who told me where to pick and gave me a few pointers, and I picked my berries.

The plants were in neat rows, grown with only some natural liquid fertilizer and they were full of berries. I should have counted because it didn’t take me ten or twelve plants to get my two gallons of strawberries, with a few sampled along the way to make sure they were sweet. I can’t remember the last time I’d eaten fresh strawberries like that. But, it was a quick picking, I was glad I’d picked them, and I was soon on my way back home, taking another route since I’d discovered I was only two or three miles from the river, and yes, I had taken the ‘long way’ to get there.

The drive home took me by way of Rainbow City and Southside on 77 and then back to Mudd Street and one home. A total of 100 miles I think it was and several hours, but hey, it was a grand day and I spent the next couple hours cleaning, capping and freezing the berries. Of course, I stopped at the store for some whipped topping and an angel food cake, so guess what we had for dessert that nightJ Yum.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

I Read More & Dust Less....

My 80 year old friend sent this to me. I've included the website link at the end so you can go see the graphics and hear the music. Enjoy and have a Blessed Day!'

I Hope You Dance... 'This was written by an 83-year-old woman to her friend. *The last line says it all. *

Dear Bertha,
I'm reading more and dusting less. I'm sitting in the yard and admiring the view without fussing about the weeds in the garden. I'm spending more time with my family and friends and less time working.
Whenever possible, life should be a pattern of experiences to savor, not to endure. I'm trying to recognize these moments now and cherish them.
I'm not "saving" anything; we use our good china and crystal for every special event such as losing a pound, getting the sink unstopped, or the first Amaryllis blossom.
I wear my good blazer to the market. My theory is if I look prosperous, I can shell out $28.49 for one small bag of groceries. I'm not saving my good perfume for special parties, but wearing it for clerks in the hardware store and tellers at the bank.
"Someday" and "one of these days" are losing their grip on my vocabulary. If it's worth seeing or hearing or doing, I want to see and hear and do it now.
I'm not sure what others would've done had they known they wouldn't be here for the tomorrow that we all take for granted. I think they would have called family members and a few close friends. They might have called a few former friends to apologize and mend fences for past squabbles. I like to think they would have gone out for a Chinese dinner or for whatever their favorite food was.
I'm guessing; I'll never know.
It's those little things left undone that would make me angry if I knew my hours were limited. Angry because I hadn't written certain letters that I intended to write one of these days. Angry and sorry that I didn't tell my husband and parents often enough how much I truly love them. I'm trying very hard not to put off, hold back, or save anything that would add laughter and luster to our lives. And every morning when I open my eyes, tell myself that it is special.
Every day, every minute, every breath truly is a gift from God.
If you received this, it is because someone cares for you. If you're too busy to take the few minutes that it takes right now to forward this, would it be the first time you didn't do the little thing that would make a difference in your relationships? I can tell you it certainly won't be the last.
Take a few minutes to send this to a few people you care about, just to let them know that you're thinking of them.
"People say true friends must always hold hands, but true friends don't need to hold hands because they know the other hand will always be there."Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we are here we might as well dance.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Enough Time?

Will there ever be enough time again? That was my thought this morning as I was rising to see my son off to Oklahoma. We enjoyed a great visit and he seemed content to just hang around with us; but it only lasted five days. I guess that's too short. We're thankful we had them; but will there ever be enough time again?

Monday, March 12, 2007

Open Window Day

My windows are open today. It is so nice outside and the birds are putting on quite a concert for me and anyone who will listen. Even my cats are impressed. The bradford pear trees are bushier than I've ever seen them here, looking like puffs of white cotton from a distance, and it's just smelling like Spring. So many blessings to count, name them one by one. Maybe some pictures later.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Amazing Grace

Amazing Grace by John Newton

"Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,That saved a wretch like me....I once was lost but now am found,Was blind, but now, I see.

T'was Grace that taught...my heart to fear.And Grace, my fears relieved.How precious did that Grace appear...the hour I first believed.

Through many dangers, toils and snares...we have already come.T'was Grace that brought us safe thus far...and Grace will lead us home.

The Lord has promised good to me...His word my hope secures.He will my shield and portion be...as long as life endures.

Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail,And mortal life shall cease,I shall possess, within the veil,A life of joy and peace.

The world shall soon dissolve like snow,The sun refuse to shine;But God, who called me here below,Shall be forever mine.

When we've been here ten thousand years...bright shining as the sun.We've no less days to sing God's praise...then when we've first begun.

"I am a great sinner, and Christ is a great Savior." - John Newton

Monday, March 05, 2007

Safe in Frankfurt! ---Acappella news from the road

Rhonda! Everything worked out perfectly and thank the Lord bc we honestly didn't think we'd make it...we flew into LaGuardia late with1:15 to drive to JFK (normally 30mins), recheck our luggage, gothrough security, and get on our international flight!...so AA had 3lincoln town cars waiting (rode in style) to take us to JFK and wewent fast, really fast. They dropped us off right at the terminalwhere we found no line at all for Singapore airlines (to ouramazement) so we moved like crazy and got there as the last people onboard. And let me just say..Singapore airlines is the nicest any ofus have ever ridden. It felt like 1st class, so we felt lucky. Nowwe're in Frankfurt, it's the middle of the night so i can't sleep.Our hotel and everything has worked out, had a nice authentic Germanmeal tonight, and took a long nap, so everyone's in pretty goodspirits. We even sang for a few places we've visited already. God'sbeen good to us on our trip...Just wanted to update you that thingsare going well. Off to Italy tomorrow. ciao for now,Jordan

Note: Original flights booked on American were cancelled due to weather related problems in Chicago.

Friday, March 02, 2007


We had a wonderful weekend up in Noblesville, Indiana; singing at the Praise & Harmony workshop with Keith Lancaster, praise singers from Madison and the kind family at Green-Valley. My sister, Monda, flew in from Arkansas and I from Atlanta, meeting up at the Indianapolis airport where Eve D. picked us up and played out hostess for the weekend, with Rex, as host, of course.

This is my return visit as I went up for last years workshop as well, and could tell that the singing has received emphasis and practice, it showed. They'd had the new songs from the Glorious God project for a couple weeks, which hasn't released yet, and had been practicing them already. We sang some older songs along with the new ones and it was a great weekend of praising God with the sweet harmony of our lips and powerful message of His Word.

We enjoyed the Saturday night concert with Vocal Union and reuniting with our long time friends in that group as well. It was particularly meaningful to my friend, JoAn D. who is presently in a battle with pancreatic cancer. She is enjoying some victories as the chemo has cut the cancer numbers in half and she is planning a Tulsa Workshop excursion. Our prayer is that the numbers continue to improve and she encounters a full recovery at the hand of God. Her doctor used the word miracle to describe her progress this week. We praise God for that.

My flight on Delta made it back to Atlanta with only a small delay Sunday. Monda on the other hand got to enjoy another night in Noblesville as the American Flights were cancelled. We managed to find her a Delta flight out on Monday morning and safe travel on home to Little Rock. A wonderful weekend enjoyed by all, with just a bump or two along the way, to keep us guessing:)

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

More Paint

The fourth color has now been added to the walls, in the laundry room this time, Peaceful Light. It's a soft pale green with a hint of blue in it and it looks good. Frankly, I was wondering when I painted on just a small patch in a couple of places, but it is 'the' color. It sure takes it 'up a notch' and makes it feel really clean and calming, perfect for ironing:) I did notice in the process of rolling on the color that it reminds me somewhat of the color my Grandfather used to paint on his house every few years. Not sure how accurate my memory is but it was a nice remembrance. Of course, as with anything that cleans something up, it also reveals that the white wood trim needs some refreshing itself. It is never ending, but well on it's way.

We also managed to pull the dryer and do some lint maintenance. In other words, we took the back off of the dryer and cleaned up the dryer lint tube a bit. It probably should be done every six months or so but for now, less risk of causing a house fire, and that's a 'good thing.'

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

One True Thing

I watched a powerful movie yesterday, quite by accident really, One True Thing. A young woman (Renee Zellweger)discovers her lifelong perception of her parents is inaccurate and shallow when she returns home to care for her terminally ill mother (Meryl Steep)--an experience that leads her to revelations about life's illusions, made in 1998. I somehow missed this one before.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Gas Prices Going Down!

Have you seen the headlines? "GAS PRICES DROPPING" I noticed prices in the $1.94.9 to $1.98.9 range yesterday as I drove from south to north through Anniston and back. Sure would be nice to see this 'GOOD NEWS' hyped in the newspaper and across the air waves.


But no, we don't see those headlines do we? Maybe we should INSIST on seeing some good news headlines. We certainly saw enough of the daily negative headlines as gas prices crept up. Let's herald the declines as well.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Totally Random - The Sneeze

Do you have to be awake to sneeze? I can't remember ever sneezing in my sleep for surely it would have awakened me. I have noticed that I can sometimes stop a sneeze if I feel it coming on soon enough. Maybe like mind over matter? However, some sneezes can't be stopped and some come upon me so quickly that they happen before I even realize it. I wonder. Back to my original query here. Do you have to be awake to sneeze? Just wondering.

Friday, January 12, 2007


Have you seen the latest Walmart commercial? I shows a young fella, not a teen yet, using a gift card to buy a $50 + item, by himself, in the checkout lane.

The catch line is "Be a little spender." HELLO!!! Does this make anyone else uncomfortable?

Wednesday, January 10, 2007


The world is a noisy place. Even my house can be a noisy place; sometimes, unnecessarily so. I was noticing this morning that it is so nice to not have the television on.

I'd spent some time quietly reading in Acts and while moving on to some chores, flipped on the tv. It doesn't take long to catch the gist of things on the news and it just seemed noisy and disruptive to me so I turned off that set. Moving on to another project, this one in my kitchen, I turned on the small set in the corner and flipped it to The View. I don't know what the whole controversy is over some comments made by Rosie and the Donald, I'm pretty sure I don't want to know though; but the line that caught my attention said something about resurrecting the Women's Movement and "girls, let's stick together." It brought to mind what I'd been reading in Acts about people getting folks purposefully 'all riled up' and while I could say a lot more about it, it just seemed like more 'noise' to me. I flipped to another channel and that didn't seem to help, so I just turned it off.

Aw, silence again, well, just the sound of the washing machine in the background anyway.

The sky is blue and the air is crisp and well; can God paint a pretty picture or what! Here's to a 'blessed' day.