Watchin' God Book One - Listed Alphabetically


Friday, December 2, 2016

Bead Guys!

Bead Guys!

What fun these are!  It took a while to figure out how to run the wire, but once I did, I could make them in about 10 minutes.  (Then.  It's been a long while since I first made them.  My youngest son was in 5th grade.  He will be 32 in a few days.)


Fold about 18" of 18 gauge wire in half (or 24 or 32 gauge.  It needs to be pliable, but not too flimsy.)  Insert one strand through a pony bead, then both wires through a wooden bead.  Separate the wires and ... try to follow the diagram.  
The hardest part is pulling everything tight.  Do that as you go, to make the end easier.  I don't have any beads handy to take a picture, but you hold the guy in one hand and use a pair of pliers to pull the wires tight before you go through the button and bead at the top, and to pull the remaining wire down to loop around the neck and out an arm bead.


If you have any questions, I'll do my best to answer them.

These make cute key fobs, as well.

Have a great Christmas!

Friday, November 11, 2016

A long short story

The story, as of Sunday afternoon, October 2

     Thursday morning I woke up on the wrong side of the bed. Edd keeps insisting I must move 'home' and marry him, or at least stay at his house when I'm in town, since my house is rented out. That always makes me angry, at worst, and frustrated, at best. I mean, who does he think he is, anyway?? He gave up that option decades ago, and hasn't endeared himself to me by his repeated demands of the same over the years, no matter where I live, nor to whom I'm married.
     I've not been very faithful with my bible reading (I'm being generous) nor even the devotionals that show up in my email daily; those I tend to read the title and think “okay; got the idea” but don't delete them because “I'll read it later.” Sure. Well, for some reason that morning I read both of them. The first was Romans 12:8c he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness.
So, Lord, you know I'll need your help with that...and then I Cor 15:58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.
     Go see Edd, help him cheerfully, work as unto the Lord, ask him the questions about his life to justify his claim of 'being ready to die'. Carry on.
As the day went on, I was thinking about 'what if's': what if Edd has advanced cancer, and he needs someone close who can take him to the doc frequently? What if I have to move back to Jesup to do that, because no one else seems inclined to help him, nor does he seem inclined to ask him (mostly estranged) family? Basically, since I have no serious commitments anywhere (even my TX lease has a 'buy-out clause', which the manager was certain I'd be interested in) I can relocate at the drop of a hat. And could this trip by why God keeps telling me to get rid of stuff? Because if I were to move back, I wouldn't take much with me – I might, maybe, put that hitch on the car and pull a 4x8 trailer. Or I might pack what will fit in the car and one box to mail.
     Wanderlust was taking over, but there was no reason to leave before the next morning, so I went to lunch at Golden Corral to tell my favorite server I would be gone for a week or so, then drove around town aimlessly for a bit. Oh yes! The oil needed changing, so got that accomplished. On the way home, I saw a walking trail, and stopped. Amazing how the view is so beautiful, but my eyes were on my feet most of the time...
     I threw a few things to take on the trip in a pile to take: tent, small tool box, electric drill and charger, 4x6 tarp, small carry-on bag still mostly unpacked from the trip to Alaska 2 weeks ago, important legal papers. My new vitamin regimen was prepped for the morning. I debated what route I would take, looking up the location of a festival in GA where friends were selling stuff, and a few campgrounds along the way. I made a few different arrangements for where to stay in Jesup, depending on my mood when I arrived. I went to bed around 11 – very early for me.
The dang alarm clock went off at 7am... A friend called at 7:15 to remind me to get out of bed. Good thing. The snooze didn't work. My plan was to be out of the house by 8am. Since packing the car the night before is almost unheard of, there was still that to do. It was 8:20 when the car rolled out of the parking lot headed southeast.
     The trip was uneventful, except that I missed the exit off I-20 just across the Alabama line. No problem, that just solidified my decision to take the interstate all the way, except the last few miles.
Except that at Tuscaloosa there was an accident on the interstate that the GPS said was expecting to take 45 minutes to get through. Well, it seems more logical to drive instead of sit in traffic, so I located a route that would get me back to the original route. Sort of.
     Did you know that on the west side of the Eastern/Central time zone line it gets dark about 6:30 or 7? I had no idea! Skip the camping idea. I drove as far as Columbus, GA and would have gone much further had I realized that US 80 was a 4-lane road almost all the way to I-16.
     Saturday, and Google maps and I became good friends. One would expect nothing less from me. There were probably half a dozen 'route changes' (I got lost.) When I saw the Dublin VA sign on I-16, it seemed a reasonable idea to take that exit to see where I'd be going on Thursday. Well, since US 257was headed north, and US 80 (the highway the festival was on) was north of I-16, so it seems logical that they should cross. Lo! Some days my brain wins!
     A strange thing happened. There were myriad yard sale signs along the way, and cash was in my pocket; but I didn't stop, because – what did I need?? Except one out in the middle of nowhere. God said to turn around and go to that yard sale. Okay. I pulled in and offered to buy the red 2001 Silverado that was for sale for the $20 in my pocket and trade the Civic. In jest of course. Which was replied to in the same manner. Bill and Melissa were inclined to talk, so I mentioned that I had no idea why God wanted me to stop, but he did. Melissa said last year the same thing happened. I mentioned that I'd seen a cool way to make yard sale signs from poster board: take a wire coat hanger and bend it into a diamond shape, then tape it on the back of the sign to keep the paper from sagging and being unreadable. Interestingly, she had a whole stack of wire coat hangers. Since I was only traveling, and being uncertain of my next move (literally) there was no point in buying anything. We talked a bit more about their lives – log truck drivers, new car, needing tires for the truck, unnamed medical issues – and Melissa seemed to want me to pray for her, so I did. Then she showed me a bruise about the size of an egg, saying that they come and go, and she is worried she might have cancer.
     Instantly I knew why God had me stop. In the car was the set of Wholetones CDs. I gave them to her, with instructions to look up the website. ( Who knows what they will do for her, but God does. She gave me a handful of wire coat hangers. We both laughed and said they might come in handy sometime... Pray for them, would you?
     After I left, the realization that I had everything with me I absolutely need to move to a new location (not including family stuff that I could have Susan mail to me.) That feeling is strong. What it means is questionable.
     “In The Bosom of the Father” by Alyosha was still in the CD player. I was going to link up to it on youtube, but this is, instead, the search result.…
     The festival wasn't far from the yard sale, and I visited with my friends for a little while when I arrived at the Turpentine Festavil. When I mentioned going camping for a few days, they suggested Hillside RV Park in Cochran. Before leaving town, of course there was a junk shop or two that bore investigation, now that I had decided to go camping. The one thing I didn't pack was a pair of tennis shoes... As I was out by the road, someone stopped to ask for directions to the festival. I pointed out the road, and suggested they stop to see my friends, and to buy a ping pong launcher. Which reminded me! I had intended to get one of those myself! Back I went. There were only 2 left. Hmmmm... what can I use for a target out here in the wooded area of the campground?
     On the way into town, just off the interstate, I passed a cop on the side of the road. Whew! Only doing 65. With out of state tags, I'm fair game. They probably wouldn't be impressed with the GA tags in the trunk...
     I found the campground with no problem. How's that for a surprise?! () The price was good, and they have free wi-fi! Thanks, Lord! Because my data is about used up for the month. The … (I must remember to pay the bill!) month starts on the 5th. Or it will, if I pay the bill!
      Ah, tent camping... It's not so bad.
     Those wire coat hangers? They were because I forgot the tent stakes!
     The brand-spanking-new twin air bed with built-in pump? Sure. I didn't feel like finding the hole in the other one in the back seat of the car, so I broke the tape on the box, albeit hesitantly. You know, of course, that once you open the box, the air mattress belongs to you, no returns. I failed to purchase the $4 2-year warranty, so...
     Say what??
     Inside the $44.94 box was another sealed box – with an $8 air mattress!
     It was getting late, and now I had to make a trip to Walmart to try to convince them to replace the air mattress. I figured worst case, I would have to keep the flimsy one. But no! The manager at the Cochran Walmart said without hesitation “Go get a replacement.” Except there was no replacement on the shelf. And mine run up at Customer Service as $11.95. It had been on clearance, and since I had no receipt, that's the best they could do. That amount would get a pump... but they'd want to keep the $8 air mattress. So I asked if someone could call to Eastman and see if there was one on their shelf. After checking twice, the clerk in Eastman said, yes, they did have it, complete with onboard electric pump. The price quoted was what I remembered the air bed without a pump to be, but things cost more in Texas, so I figured it could be. She did, after all, insist it was what I was looking for.
Away I went, in the almost dark. I don't like driving in the dark...
     I pulled in at about 8:20, after getting lost a few times. Good ol' Maps to the rescue. My data is running lower by the minute.
     I went straight to Customer Service, assuming they knew what was going on. After waiting in line for a while, I simply put the box on the counter, the lady behind me said she'd explain to the cashier, and I headed back to pick up a new air mattress, with onboard electric pump. Only they didn't have one! As I expected. The stocker looked in the batch of boxes and didn't find one, either. The only thing I could do was get the air bed without electric pump and pick up a pump to go with it. That would be about the same price.
     When I got back to Customer Service, I expected to have to try to convince the cashier of the story. There was a nice young man with gorgeous long blonde hair at the register, and I mentioned that it seems the guys get the good hair. He smiled and said his girlfriend threatened to cut off his thumbs if he cut it in response to a picture of his hair stuff up under his hat. Is anyone else singing “Signs” by Ace of Base? The 20-something cashier is the one who supplied the name of the group, much to my surprise. The blonde school teacher sounded interested in the song, and more so when I mentioned that it was a story, so I wrote the info on one of my business cards – any excuse will do to pass them out, as the gospel is clearly presented on the back! It would be fun if he sent me an email.
When it was my turn to explain that the box she had put on the shelf in back of her was mine, she said no problem, she was willing to be the problem solver. When I explained, she shook her head and said someone probably forgot to check the return. “No,” I said, “the box hadn't been opened.” More head shaking, but she scanned my original $44.94 box. I was afraid it was going to come up the same $14 as at Cochran. Lo! God was watching over me! Full price! She rang up the replacements, called the manager to approve the over ride, and gave me the difference of $2 and change. The manager was also shaking his head at the situation.
     Through that whole exchange, not once did anyone try to give me a bad time about returning an air mattress! Unheard of! Thanks, Lord!
     So, a quick trip to Dollar Tree in the same parking lot. Except that I forgot to get the two things I planned to get earlier in the day.
     On the way back to the campground, I ran a red light trying to figure out where to turn... Lord, you're going to have to drive from here to the campground... When the town was behind me, the road got dark. There was one truck ahead of me. I hadn't seen a speed limit sign, so when I passed the cop sitting in a parking lot with no lights on the black vehicle at all I was hoping we were good, Texas tags and all. Since he didn't turn on any lights, I was feeling safe. However, I made sure not to exceed what I assumed to be the 55mph speed limit (plus allowance.) The truck pulled off, and a car was ridding my bumper. It was tempting to tap the brakes and say “back off” but I didn't. I also didn't speed up. Since there was no good spot to pull over and let him pass, I just maintained 60-64 mph. When the road widened into a 4-lane, I immediately moved into the right hand lane, but the car lagged in my blind spot in the left lane. After half a mile or so, I got tired of that and stepped on the brakes, sending the car well passed me. It was the cop!
     The campground was right there, so I pulled in, muttering something about 'attempted entrapment'.
With the new air bed inflated, I decided sleep was a good plan.
     This morning the church I planned to attend wasn't where I thought it should be (I turned around about ¼ mile from it!) so I went to another one. The sermon was about the Kingdom of God, and many things the preacher said were reminiscent of the blessing from “In the Bosom of the Father”, specifically that we are loved by God for no other reason than that we are alive; there is nothing we must do to earn it.
     That brings you up to 3:25 Sunday afternoon. I'll probably leave hear tomorrow morning, but it's up in the air yet if I'll head to another campground or go down to Jesup. Morning will tell.
**************************************Cliff Notes:
Left Friday. Missed the exit off I-20, so I decided to take the Interstate the whole way. Ran into bad traffic in Tuscaloosa, AL. Rerouted back to original route via US 80. Got lost several times. Stopped at a yard sale Saturday. The lady gave me wire coat hangers, which was good, because I forgot tent stakes. Visited friends at a festival in middle GA. Set up my tent at campground suggested by said friends, and was going to set up the air mattress, only to discover the one in the box wasn't the right one. The manager at Walmart would have happily exchanged my erroneous purchase for the proper one, but they didn't have it. I went to another one where the merchandise was supposed to be, only they didn't have it either. I ended up with a slightly lesser product, but in the end it works. And then a cop followed me for a long time, on my bumper. He evidently was satisfied that I wasn't a risk because he didn't stop me. The end. Thanks Lord!

Monday, September 5, 2016

Ah, Love!

Ah, Love!

Love is exciting!  

The ding of the phone letting you know you have a new text message sends little charges of electricity through your body.  To see the object of your affection unexpectedly makes your heart go pitter-patter.  Hearing that they are coming to see you might even make you bounce - literally! - and dance around.  

Yeah, I know that feeling.

It must be love!

Except when it's only infatuation, or worse, addiction - being in love with love and the adrenaline rush.  

Take some time for that to wear off.  You know - a month maybe?  Better yet, make it 6 months.  

Talk to them about real stuff.  Heck, even argue with them about nonessential things (to see how they will act if you argue about important things.)  Determine what they consider "arguing."  It may well be a lot different than your definition.  
Play board games with them; something you like, something they like.  
Go to a restaurant that has a reputation for slow service or bad food.  See how they react.  Be nice to them.  Ignore them (for a little while.)  
Go without your usual hygienic routine (you know, skip the makeup or shaving.)  
Meet their friends.  Have them meet yours.  
Ask them to go somewhere you really love to be.  Go with them to their favorite place.  
Discuss your philosophy of life and (if it's important to you) spiritual things.  
Verbally set boundaries for actions you consider important to your mental and physical well-being.  See if they intentionally cross them.  
Ask them to do something that would inconvenience them.  And costs money.  Something altruistic, even.  
Work with them doing something you enjoy, and something you might not, especially if you know more about the subject than they do.  
Say "no" - on more than one occasion, and stick to it.

Oh yeah.  Notice that most of this requires face to face, not social media.

You get the idea.  Be creative.

And then pay attention.  Without all the excitement.  

And then wait a little while longer to see if they are just playing the game for an ultimate goal that is a little less than savory.

Then, look for the peace.  Not until then is it a good idea to call it "love."

Yeah.  Experience.

Have you ever been in love, only to find it wasn't?

Friday, August 19, 2016

bi-fold door/shutter shelf

So... I moved.  Since the last post - twice!  I've been too lazy about writing.  Sorry, folks.

It's been quite a while since I lived in an apartment complex.  Sixteen years, to be exact.  And then I had just moved from Alaska to South Carolina, with only a few boxes and airplane luggage, albeit back in the day when you could check 3 70 pound pieces of luggage, in nearly any shape, not just suitcases.  Anyone from Alaska knows that suitcases are inconvenient for the things we haul around.

Anyway, this time, I moved with waaay too much stuff, and not much by way of storage.  So... time to get creative.

How about a broken bifold door and rescued rough cut 1x12 pine boards?

The broken slats are what gave me this idea.  Well, I got it from here in a image search for what to do with shutters.  As you will see, I didn't follow the instructions!  But hey, I remembered what it looked like.  What do you want from me, anyway??


My bi-fold door came to me with two slats broken out beneath the center piece.  Well... If I put one of my extra dining room chairs in front of it, who's gonna know - or care?

I desperately need more space to display glassware, since the house I moved from had a corner china cabinet that was stuffed to the max.  Here, barely enough space to store one set of dishes - and I have  fetish for collecting dishes!!

Time to get to work.  I checked out my supply of wood (that I'm sure my friends who helped me move were shaking their head at.)  Sho' nuff, some reclaimed 1"x12" rough cut boards that came with that old trailer in New Hampshire. Perfect fit.

Now, here comes the part where I started winging it, because I didn't know there was an easier way!  I reclaimed a box that was destined for the dumpster and started making a template for the shelves.  Notice the black tape. That's because I cut off too much. 

It fit, so I marked two of them on one board. 

There is no way I'd make good straight cuts, so I got out my old chop saw that I picked up for $30 off one of those fb sale sites.  The table top is a reclaimed table from the side of the road.  The metal rolly cabinet is from a friend who was moving and going to throw it on the side of the road.  I love friends!

Alas, it's only a 10" saw, so it won't cut a 12" board at a 45degree angle without some contortions. 

The first one wasn't quite perfect, but would do, so I adjusted the next one cut 2 of those.  The smaller cuts were done with a miter box saw because I couldn't find the jig saw blades. Again, no pictures.  I was working, not taking pictures.  Gimme a break, okay?Sorry, I didn't take a picture, and I'm not going to unload the shelf just to take a picture.  Suffice it to say, it looks very similar to the cardboard template. 

Here's the shelf minus the top.

And then the top.  Much easier to cut.  Just a triangle with the front corners cut off.  I laid the piece on top of the shelf and scribed where the corners needed to be cut.  Easy.  Then, as luck (and God, who is a lifesaver when it comes to me getting anything done!) would have it, I drilled holes in the front corners exactly where the holes for the door hardware are!  The screws are left over from a knockdown bed that is no longer.  They are simply dropped in for stability,

And done!

Thanks to my cousin for the fake plant - the only kind I can grow!

See?  When you put the chair under the bottom shelf, the broken slats disappear.

What you think?

Wednesday, February 11, 2015


Xulon Press just listed my revamped and retitled book! 

is available in paperback


There!!  Now... to start thinking about Book Two!  I have plenty of good stories about the cool stuff God has done in my life!

Pretty please order a copy from Xulon in paperback (where I get a reasonable royalty) or Amazon if you need/want a copy for Kindle (where the royalties aren't so much...) or Nook.   Starving artists the world over will appreciate it!  Especially this one!

Then share this!!  Think of it - by sharing this post, you may be able to help someone who really needs it!  

And I'd love to hear comments. 

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Happy Birthday Rachael!

b  l  b

            Today is Rachael’s birthday!  She would be 29.
         Rachel was full of life, and joy, and happiness.  She loved people, her family and Truman.  Her faith in God was unstoppable.  And some day I will get to meet her!  Bc When we all get to heaven def
         Funny story.  Rachael evidently didn’t waste time.  She even had a practice of praying while she was in the bathroom!  She invited a gentleman to join her club. 
         “Club?” he asked, quizzically. 
         “Yes!  The “Pray When You Pee Club!”  she said with what I can imagine was a mischievous little grin.
         “Sure.  But I won’t be folding my hands,” said the gentleman with an even more mischievous grin!
         So here is a sign for you.  It’s in several formats.  There is the jpg with a transparent background so you can print it out on whatever paper you would like, with or without flourishes, and one with a blackboard background if you want to use the picture online. Until I figure out how to make a PDF file, you will just have to right click on the picture, save it to your computer and then print it.
         Enjoy!  And don’t waste a minute of your life! 

Monday, January 5, 2015

I Was Bored

What do you do when the usual pursuits are boring??  You play with the blog template! 

What do you think?  Yay? Nay?  

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Gluten-Free Gingerbread

½ cup soft butter
½ cup brown sugar
1 cup dark unsulphered molasses
¾ cup sour cream
¼ cup water

1 ½ cups rice flour
¼ cup sorghum flour
¼ cup flaxseed meal
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon xanthum gum
1 ½ teaspoons ginger
½ teaspoon cinnamon

Cream butter and sugar.  Add molasses, sour cream and water, stirring until well blended.  (I'm usually using the last of the molasses, so I pour the water in the jar after I get tired of waiting for the last drop to come out.  Swish the water around in the jar to get the last bit of molasses and pour it in with the rest of the stuff.  Viola!  A clean jar for recycling.)

In a separate bowl, combine dry ingredients.  (Seriously.  Use a separate bowl, otherwise there will be lumps.  You don't want that, trust me.)

Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients.  Mix well.

Spoon batter into 2 buttered 7x11 biscut pans.  (I used a 7x11 divided cornbread pan and a muffin top pan.  I haven’t used this exact recipe before – I altered the recipe as I was mixing it up! – but in my past experience with regular flour, this doesn’t bake very well in a regular bread pan or a wide cake pan.  You don't want the batter to be too deep in the pan.)

400 degree oven, bake for 15-20 minutes, depending on the pan size.
I baked the muffin tops for about 15 minutes and the pan for about 20 minutes. If you use a smaller pan, it will take longer, because it will be thicker. Keep an eye on your baking.  It’s the standard “when the cake pulls away from the side of the pan, it’s done” test, or the “tooth-pick comes out clean” test.  If it startes smelling good, check it!

Don't you just love my 50's 24" gas stove!  Tiny little thing, but does the job!

I must tell the truth... I gave away 2 of the muffin tops to my neighbor and ate 3 of the other 4.  I did let my sweetheart have a little bit!  But he's not supposed to eat all that junk, ya know??  So, it was nice of me to save him from himself!  Right??
Let me know how your gluten-free gingerbread comes out!  The other readers would probably like to know what size pan you used, and how long it took to bake.


Monday, December 22, 2014

That Baby in the Manger

Today is guest day, by way of facebook posts from a friend of mine, Jim Hatfield.  The following are posts and comments from his page (with his permission, of course.)

December 6  ·

The Wise Men first came to Jerusalem looking for Jesus in the palace. They were surprised to find - not only was the newborn king NOT there, but the old king had to ask others where He might be found. When the Wise Men finally found Jesus, they did not doubt that He was the King they sought . Even though He was not in the palace, He was clearly the King they came to worship and bestow gifts upon.

December 7 ·

Back to the Three Wise Men who came looking for the Baby Jesus: How did the Wise Men know to come looking for the New Born King of Israel? Well, ... where ever they came from (Babylon?) they had seen a star in the East. Of course there were many stars to the east of their home region. BUT, this star was a new star, and it was somehow different. The fact that they noticed it is very interesting. But the fact that somehow they questioned it's importance, and God gave them an answer is indeed a wonder. AND, they took the information from God and took off on a journey to see this new King. Following the normal trade route it would be around 800 - 900 miles and take about 4 months (if you made good time). I am thinking .. it would be nice if I were as observant as these men, and if I would ask for guidance on what to do with what I learned, AND , if I would have the faith (and the guts) to do the right thing.

Nancy Spencer Carlson: Isn't that the truth, Jim? Sometimes, even when we get the wisdom, we still lack the faith to move.

Jim Dale Hatfield: People often go to great Bible conferences and then come home excited about what God has done in their lives. What if... someone went to a great conference and then sent a post card home - from the mission field where God had led them. Just a thought....

Nancy Spencer Carlson: sign me up!! But Paul had better be with me at the conference, I suppose... My preacher would look at me more askance than he did when I mentioned that before Paul and I got married I told him that God sends me all kinds of places, and I needed to be able to continue that; if he (Paul) wasn't up for that, speak no or forever hold his peace. He agreed. And he has kept his word! But I don't think going off to a missions conference and then sending him a post card from some foreign place would be a good idea! (Though a 4 day trip to GA turned into a 2 week trip to GA, LA, TX and home by way of Chicago last summer...)

Jim Dale Hatfield:
Ha Ha, Nancy, I guess I was more picturing a young person sending a card back to their parents - not to a spouse.!! But, I think you got my point..? Lot's of people get excited about the messages that make them feel good and dedicated, but it produces mostly smoke. We need to get our wheels turning.

December 12  ·
One of those Prophesies that King Herod had read:
Isa 9:6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
December 14·

Okay... back to that baby in a manger.... Maybe you remember who His first visitors were - besides the cow in the next stall. Yes.. it was a group of shepherds. Some of you may know that shepherds were looked upon as lowly citizens in many societies - including Israel. They dealt in the types of things that made them almost continually unclean and therefore could not go into the temple. But these people God chose to make the first - and probably greatest - announcement of the birth of Jesus. A choir made up of multitudes of angels sang to the shepherds as part of the announcement. And so the shepherds went to the stable where the newborn King was staying. And doesn't it make sense that shepherds should be on hand at the birth of the Lamb of God?

Janice Kopsho: Just as God chose David, a shepherd, to become the great King for the people.

Brenda Hatfield Adams: Thank true.

December 21 ·

Back to the Baby in The Manger: This morning. our pastor mentioned Mary's perspective. Here is a woman who has been given the very difficult task of being pregnant before marriage - in a society that stoned women for that. But, beyond that, she is the mother of our Savior. ... So, how much of that did she understand? Did she realize when He was an infant how young He would be when He died? Did she realize that He was born for the express purpose of being crucified - one of the most horrific ways to be killed. (The word Excruciating comes from the same root word.) And, did she know that she would have to stand and watch as her Son was whipped, and then nailed to a cross to die from loss of blood, and suffocation? I don't think I can even imagine how she must have felt .

Janie Craig Chenault: No, but you raise a point I'd never considered....Mary did you know?

Becky Roe: All we know is that Mary pondered all these things in her heart.
One other thing I ponder about Mary: how much Jesus loved & honored her. The wedding shindig, He told her plainly it wasn't the time for Him to get involved & even so He turned water into the best wine of the party. Bearing the sin of the whole world, He struggled for enough breath to tell John, "Take care of Mom." I also think about the fact that Mary was there with Him when He came in & with Him when He went out. Wow.

Stephen A Morrison: What happened to Joseph during this time? He was there in the beginning. Jesus took on Joseph's trade originally, which is a tremendous compliment to any father, but how did Joseph feel when Jesus said, "Why do you seek me? Did you not know I must be about my Fathers business?" Ouch!
So much is written about Mary, and rightly so, but what about the guy who married the pregnant mother. I can't imagine the emotional turmoil he must have felt as he raised this son as his own. If you knew you were rearing the Son of God, how would you approach that one? Did they have a Dr. Dobson then? Or for that matter a bookstore to go to? Hmmm...."How To Raise The Son of God, by Nicodemus Dobson...?"

Nancy Spencer Carlson: Hey ya'll - can I copy/paste this on my blog or NC Carlson page? Pretty please? It's great!

Jim Dale Hatfield: Nancy, No problem on my part....I am glad that you like it that well.

Nancy Spencer Carlson: you have wonderful friends who make very thoughtful comments. I might even steal all of them from your page if no one has any objections.

Jim Dale Hatfield: Friends? Speak now or forever hold your peace?... LOL

Stephen A Morrison: Sure, any post is public property. I'm honored.

Lana Meadows: I think God protected Mary and only let her know what she needed at the time she needed to know it. Otherwise it would have been to much for her to bear. I assumed Joseph died mid way in Jesus life. He was probably older than Mary.

Lana Meadows: I always just guess that when Jesus said he was in his father's house that they would realize what was happening.

Stephen A Morrison:  I'm just seeing a lot of opportunity for an emotional roller coaster for Mary and Joseph. Knowing yet not knowing. Knowing yet hoping not. Joy in the blessing, but sorrow in knowing or maybe suspecting what was ahead for their son. THE SON OF GOD!

Brenda Hatfield Adams: It's like having Bible study online.

There you have it: Jim and his friends on the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  

I'm in agreement with Lana: Mary probably didn't know much, or she wouldn't have been able to bear the pain.  Can you imagine knowing ahead of time all the trials you have had to go through? 

Do you have any other thoughts? We want to hear them!  

Merry Christmas! 

Monday, December 8, 2014

Angels We Have Seen - On the Front Porch

Imagine the snow covers the yard.  This is the best I can do!

It was a snowy Christmas eve in Alaska. There was about a foot of new-fallen snow covering the yard of our little house. I had been out on the enclosed porch earlier that day, but we hadn't been outside in the yard for several hours, so the blanket of snow was beautiful and unbroken by footprints. 

Around 7 that night, I heard a bit of noise on the front porch, but thought it was just the wind rattling the decrepit porch door. The phone rang about 7:30. A vaguely familiar male voice asked to speak to J. I tried to place the voice amongst our friends in the tiny town as I handed the phone to J.

"Huh?" he grunted into the phone with a very strange look on his face.

I could hear the man speaking, but couldn't make out any of the conversation.


J hung up the phone and answered my question. "He said it was Santa and I should open the front door."

Curious, he walked over to the door and opened it carefully.  A smallish package wrapped in bright Christmas paper fell into the house. It was addressed "To J, From Santa." Of course, he wanted to open it right then. I was willing to see what it could be. And just what do you think it was? The very thing J wanted for Christmas! And this Mrs. Claus had already wrapped up that very Lego set and intended to put it under the tree that night!

More curious than ever, we looked out the porch door. Remember, there is about a foot of new snow in the yard. There are 3 stairsteps up to the porch door, so if anyone were to open that door to put the package against the front door, there would have to be footprints in the snow.

But there were no footprint!  None. Not up the driveway. Not up the steps. Not even under the eves. Just no possible way for that present to be where it was.

If there isn't a Santa Claus, there surely is a God, who must have been meeting some unspoken need of an 11 year old boy who lived with his mother.
(this was first posted on my personal fb account.  I'm sharing the thread that followed.)
  • Cheyanne:  I love that....thanks for sharing.

  • Nancy: Lucy, I was thinking it might have sounded like Pete, because I would recognize the voice, but not be someone I talked to on a regular basis. And he was connnected to the church that did stuff like that for Christmas. BUT even if it was him, HOW on earth would someone get into the porch with no footprints??

  • Lucy: I have no idea! Unless they tossed it from farther out! We received a surprise gift of $100 years ago in T.... It didn't come from my folks, either! But, we desperately needed the money! God knows!

  • Nancy: nope. couldn't have tossed the package in, because it was inside a closed porch! But it's a really cool story! And God does indeed know!

  • Cheyanne: Gee, did any of your friends fly really small planes?
  • Lucy: There are angels, you know!

  • Nancy: I KNOW Lucy!! Met at least one, my very ownself!

  • Nancy: Chey, you are funny!
  • Lucy: OK...tell me your angel story!

  • Cheyanne:  Did you look on the roof for footprints???
  • Nancy: you guys are funny!!
    Angel story:

  • Nancy: I was driving down I-95 in SC. The gas light had been on for many miles. We were almost home, so I was hoping to be able to limp in on fumes. Not so. However, the car stopped in an excellent location: right at the top of an exit, with a gas station right across the road.

  • Nancy: I went into the station to get a gas can. An old guy asked if I had run out of gas. Yes. Where? Just at the top of the exit, I said. He insisted on buying the gas can, and the gas, and giving me a ride down the frontage road to just opposite my car.

  • Nancy: There was a fence, of course, and an empty field filled with tall grass. The old gentleman handed me over the fence from the back of his ragged red pickup truck. We walked up to the car. He put the gas in the tank. When I turned around to say thanks, the man was gone, his truck was gone and there was no indication that anyone had been there!

  • Nancy: Again, no 'footprints' in the grass, no swaying fence where the guy would have had to climb over. Nothing. Just gas in my car and off I went!

  • Nancy: Hey could you guys offer up a prayer for me. I need to find a form very soon - like within 30 minutes or so. It's around here --- somewhere. Thanks.

  • Lucy: Lord, if you can send your messengers to Nancy in such amazing ways...then I ask that You would help her find the form that she needs! You have helped me over and over again in like matters! Thank You, Lord! To You belongs all the glory!

  • Nancy: Man!! You guys are fast! Just found it. In 2 minutes! God is amazing, isn't he?? (I was typing this as Lucy was typing her prayer!)

  • Lucy: Great story, by the way!!!

  • Nancy: Don't you just love that angel story??

  • Lucy: I have great faith for asking God to help me find things...including reconciling my bank account, etc! His provisions for us are truly amazing...we just have to have eyes to see!

  • Cheyanne: I do love that Angel story.

  • Nancy:  There was one time when I was looking for something (of the zillions of times I have asked for help). I'd looked all over the house, following the Spirit's leading. I finally was getting frustrated. It seems like sometimes God has me look places just to see if I'll continue even when it doesn't seem logical, or the trail comes to a dead end.
    Well, I was back in the bedroom, where the thing should have been, and there it was, in the middle of the bed!! It would have been totally impossible to miss it in my earlier searches.
    It's so much fun watchin God!!

  • Lucy: The scripture that I've been following this year is: "Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Lean not on your own understanding! In all your ways, acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths!" Proverbs 3:5-6. Over and over again, I've heard that phrase..."Lean not on your own understanding!!!!!"

  • Nancy:  sometimes I actually LIKE fb! We can share good stories, and encouragement.

    Do you have any angel stories to share??  We  would all love to hear them!  Leave a comment below!  Pretty please?  Think of the opportunity to give God the glory for his favor to you!