A Special Day Remembered

Today is July 5. The day after the celebration of Independence for the US, but for me it is a fun remembered day as it was my dad’s birthday.

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My dad, a well known lawyer of our town

I remembered his favorite cake was a caramel cake – I think it was a white cake with a caramel type icing. And we also had a few left over fireworks along with the long standing hamburgers on the grill. He had this neat contraption that held all burgers in a wire grid and a handle and you could flip them all at the same time. I thought it was fabulous but have never seen another one.

The many fun trips we made on the rivers of Florida in our boat have wonderful memories as well. Was he perfect?  No, far from it but at some time you just have to let the negative crap go and focus on the great memories. And although each child has a different remembrance of their time with their parents, you can generally hang on to a few of the great fun times and let that be the memory to hold fast to. For me there were a lot. I was the youngest so I actually got to spend more fun time with my dad that my siblings. So this day, his birthday, I honor him even though cancer took him from us over 20 years ago.

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Dad and mom

This is the smile I remember in  a place he loved the best, our house in Florida. Happy Birthday Daddy. You are still greatly loved.

Remember how much a smile can make you smile and smile often. It is contagious, so smile and be kind.

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Grandparent, An Honorable Position

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The fun and joy of being a grandparent should never be taken lightly. Families who hold to the bonds of family love through the rough times are the families who survive the whimsical nonsense of the coming generations. It shows them the importance as they grow that those with strong values of family, memories and grandparents helps the entire family stand firm.

I never really knew my fathers parents as he was the youngest of a large family and I was the youngest of our four, so by the time I was old enough to understand grandparents, they were both gone. But I did enjoy many fun memories with my mother’s parents. My grandfather was a farmer & a gasoline truck driver. And my grandmother was a school teacher. She was well loved by many through her years of teaching and I wrote a post about her in December if anyone cares to read that one as well. I remember the funny stories she and Buckshot(my grandfather’s nickname) would tell us about our cousins that I had never met who had other interesting nicknames like “Catgal”. I would love to know the stories behind the many funny nicknames of my ancestors.

Below are the pictures of both of my grandmothers, maybe later I will do a post on my grandfathers.

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Marie
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The is Lottie with Brownie, per pride and joy.

Some families do not have the luxury of sharing the memories of their ancestors. Some families who do not have that loving relationship or members who can’t feel that love from their family members are families that tend to disintegrate and scatter away from each other. It is a very sad phenomenon that I saw happen in my own family with my siblings  from  strained relationships or actions that can shatter a family. I also have this same type of disconnect with my own children where their relationships were severely strained as children and then as as young adults, my work scattered us 1000 miles from each other not allowing for a reconnect. I have grandchildren I have never held while the older ones have no real clue who I am other than a vague memory. It is a terrible thing to happen to a family. As my youngest told me, we never felt like we were a family due to all the disconnects, anger and frustrations we had. It ever reminds me just how fragile this life can be. But I am trying to fix that and hope that by year end, all strained relationships can at least be on the road to being mended.

This week Nancy Merrill challenged us with a photo of the week as grandparents. It rang true with me as I am trying to get better reconnected with my boys.

So I challenge all who read this to understand the values of all members of the family and to make all efforts to maintain as much of that family bond as possible and to make a connection whenever possible. Even those who fight it, they really don’t want to be left out in the cold. So try to reach out.

And in closing as I remind my readers – try to always be kind. It reflects the very love of God.

A Badge of Love, 1LinerWeds

In learning first how to blog, then how to link, then all the other things I have learned, I finally figured out how to add text to a photo without losing it when brought it into another format. Yea me. Now I did this so I could participate in the new badge contest for 1 Liner Wednesday. I thought this was a face hard not to love so I submit this photo of Max as a candidate for the new badge hunt.

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1LinerWeds Badge by Anita @ anitashope.wordpress.com

If not chosen then I hope you all enjoy this cute photo and good luck to all participants. Thank you Cheryl for the fun we have had this past year.

Come join in the race for the new badge with Linda G Hill’s One Liner Wednesday fun time.

And I can close without the reminder to always be kind.

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Finding Assurance

While this post is strongly Christian inspired and maybe not really your thing, I do you will read on a little bit as we all need assurance that we are going in the right direction in our lives, that we are hoping to make a difference and last but not at all the least…that we are loved. While the word love is so vastly over used, it is still the most powerful word God created, after all God is love and he proved His love for us by giving us a part of himself, Jesus. Love is a noun and a verb. It shows up in the most unexpected places sometimes and in many unexpected ways.

It shows up in the beauty of a sunrise of the dainty fragrance or color of a flower.

I comes in the form of many works of art, from writing, to painting, to photography, to music and so many more.

In 1873, Fanny Crosby and her friend Phoebe P. Knapp combined Phoebe’s tune that she could not,get out of her head along with Fanny’s words and came up with the song Blessed Assurance, Jesus is Mine. Fanny was blind at a young age but never let it stop her form sharing the love she had for God and his wonderful love for us.

Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine! O, what a foretaste of glory divine! Can you feel what that says. A foretaste of glory in being assured of Jesus’ love.

Heir of salvation, purchased of God, born of His spirit, washed in His blood. An heir is a person who receives items at the death of another. So we are heirs of salvation, purchased by God with Jesus’ blood. What do we need salvation of?? Think about that.

Echoes of mercy, whispers of love. Filled with His goodness, lost in His love.  What an awesome thought, lost in His love. I think this pictures expresses that.

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The living water of the First Day.

I have strong assurance of His love for me and I hope you do as well. Fill your selves with His love and let it flow from you to others with kindness reflecting God’s love for all.

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Love is…

What an open ended statement. Love is many things to many people. I have been away from my computer for a few days as I have been busy with one of my loves…gardening. We have finally been blessed with spring weather, temps anywhere form low 60’s to mid 70’s. Awesome. And this is what I did. You can buy the plants and put them in hangers or buy plants already in  hangers. I did some of both. Plus added some to the ground. But in reality, I am just getting started.

I was trying to get it all done before the rain started last night. Thank goodness I didn’t as what we call where I come from, Blackberry winter, has come upon us. Good grief, wasn’t the real winter long enough. Apparently not. Therefore…the hangers are now decorating my living room as temps are expected to drop below 30 with an inch of that dreaded white stuff. Sorry guys that are already in the ground, hang on.

So since there was no loving to do outside I sat down with another love and read. I finished the next to the last book of a 14 book series by Jan Karon called the Mitford Series. It is a wonderful series set in the North Carolina mountains about everyday life, its tragedy’s and triumph’s. Since I am from the south, I was very familiar with the areas she she spoke of and how very true the conditions she wrote starting in the early 2000’s are even today. I strongly suggest reading this series. You will laugh at the absurdity of its richness and cry with the truth of the pain.

Reading this series really brought home to me God’s love for us as people, human beings and how we as humans are just so…lost sometimes. It is astounding how we as a creation of love can cast off another human or animal as discarded trash or a conquest as we strive to what we believe is a higher purpose leaving destruction in our path. I looked through my study bible to see how many time the word love was used – didn’t want to count them as it was a full page and a half. Scripture tells us to love our neighbor as we love our self. Do we not love our self? And who exactly is our neighbor. My opinion is we are all neighbors, all brothers and sisters, all family. Do I fail at loving my neighbor …daily.  But if we as humans who can reason with some form of clarity about how we are supposed to be, we should be getting closer to our created purpose, yet at times we are in far left field.

So as I write my blog, I always try to remind all of us about the beauty of life that has been handed to us. Yes our circumstances may be in the bottom of the barrel but we can always CHOSE to have joy. There is a vast difference between joy and happiness. Happiness is a feeling we get due to circumstances around but joy is having inner peace. This peace comes from Christ. Jesus says “My peace I give you.” Its a peace beyond all understanding to our human minds but it is a free gift. A gift we often do not use.

As you go through your week next week, remember the inner joy and let the light of it shine through you to others around you so that to may enjoy the light and the joy it brings and always be kind.

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Dark Day of Mourning

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Today we mourn the pain and sorrow of ourselves and what Jesus did for us on the cross. His love for us is so strong; stronger than a parents love for a child as we are His children.

Jeremiah 13:3 tells us – “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness.”

He loves you regardless of how well you think you are doing to be worthy of His love. As Jeremiah says I love you with an everlasting love, a love that flows from eternity with out limits or conditions.

Today’s devotion from Jesus Calling by Sarah Young remind us that on this day he showed us just how much he loved us. He died for us so that we may live. So on this day of sadness and reflective mourning, know that you are loved more than you can imagine and His love will always remain.

Even though this is a day of mourning, lets us feel His love warm us and let us share in  His loving-kindness for others to feel His astounding love.

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Palm Sunday, First Day of Holy Week

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For Christians this is a very reflective week. Today is the remembered day of Jesus’ triumphant entrance into Jerusalem  prior to the celebration of Passover. The city was busting at the seams with people. There were zealot groups with their own agenda; Roman soldiers on high alert to anything strange; Jewish leaders on the ready to be rid of Jesus who could disrupt their way of life and then others that were just trying to get through the city and the festival unscathed.

John 12:13  They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting,

“Hosanna!”

“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”

“Blessed is the King of Israel!”

As Christians we believe Jesus is the son of God, part of the Trinity of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. According to a recent conversation with someone of the Jewish faith, they are still looking for their Messiah to take care of just Israel, not Israel and the rest of world. They know they were originally the chosen people, the beginning people but are not quite ready to be part of the rest of the world. Interesting. From the studies I have done, the Jewish nation was looking for a political leader to rid them of the Roman oppression, a leader that they could see and touch…like the other nations had, a king. Although they knew God was real they could not get over the hurdle of having a leader they could not see.

Are we any different today? I don’t think so. Some find it hard to believe that Jesus was anything but a prophet. In today’s culture I am afraid we are too caught up in being “us” than believing in the true meaning concerning ‘good and evil’. My challenge for anyone interested in what this week is about, to really understand the significance of today, Thursday, Friday and then Sunday. It is a strong emotional roller coaster of love, caring, encouragement and acceptance.

John 15:13 says – “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” Jesus counts us all as his friends for those who accept him. He died on the cross for us friends to keep us safe from the second death. The second death is the final judgement death from God at the end of time. But to believe any of this you first need to accept the reality of Jesus as the Christ, the son of God.

I wish you all a blessed holy week. May you feel his presence in all that you do. And as you go about your week, remember as always to be kind. Kindness is a reflection of God’s love.

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