Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Being a Foster Child Is Only Temporary. May has been proclaimed National Foster Care Month.

Special post as May has been proclaimed National Foster Care Month.

Being a Foster Child Is Only Temporary

“Being a foster child can be one of the most difficult experiences someone can live through. But God above is our Father when no human father is our own, and He is our Rock no matter what.

A young girl looking sad.Mike Pham/Unsplash

You may be, or have been, a temporary foster child, but you will never be a temporary child of God. God will heal whatever is broken in us.

May has been proclaimed National Foster Care Month. In the U.S.today, approximately 400,000 children and youth are in foster care at any given time. Each year, about 20,000 of these young people “age out” of foster care, which means that when they become 18, they are on their own.

National Foster Care Month sure brought back memories for me, as I am a survivor of living in foster care. I still remember as a little girl of 4 standing there watching my mother hurried about gathering things and placing them in an open suitcase on the couch. My mother carefully buttoned up my coat and took my tiny hand into hers.

There are many broken children—as I was—because the parents are broken. But the good news is we do not have to stay broken.

She picked up the suitcase with her other hand and walked me out to a strange car, where a strange lady waited. My mother placed the suitcase in the car, slowly bent down with tears in her eyes, placed me in the car, and walked away.

As we drove away, I looked back to see my mother fading into the distance. I wouldn’t see her again for another 10 years.

I sat there looking at the suitcase beside me, thinking about how she carefully packed my favorite dress and even placed my favorite stuffed monkey, Curious George, in it. Then I glared ahead at this strange woman driving me away to the strange unknown.

The only two stabilizing things throughout my childhood and teenage years were my twin brother, Jim, and God. They were the two who remained with me as I traveled from home to home. Our journey would include 11 families and two children’s homes before I became an adult.

I cannot describe how it felt to go into a strange home, complete with new parents, sisters and brothers. Faces I had never seen were to become my new mom and dad. I would face a new school and try to make new friends.

When difficulties came or the foster parents got tired, they would pack my suitcase and send me on my way because, of course, I did not belong to them. The foster parents had no lifetime commitment to love me, care for me, and be concerned for me. I would always cry the night before I moved to another home, knowing I would be leaving one family that I had grown used to and heading to another house, family and school.

The hardest part was just getting used to calling them Mom and Dad, and then it would be time to go.

That is how I lived along with my twin brother for the next 10 years. Everything was temporary: the home, parents and friends. Everything except God. It was God who saw my tears at night and heard my cries. He understood my fear and my great sense of not belonging anywhere, with no parents to call my own. He especially knew the emptiness I felt not having a dad.

God was there to pick me up and keep me going through each change of my life. He became my greatest Dad, who said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Hebrew 13:5). My greatest Dad kept that promise.

God was there when I walked down the halls of a new school alone. He was there when I sat down for dinner for the first time with a new family. He was there when I left with my packed suitcase and said goodbye to the family I had gotten used to. My greatest Dad never let me walk alone when I carried my suitcase in to greet my new set of parents and siblings. He was there to fill my loneliness. I knew He was there, because I could not have survived had He not been.

There are many broken children—as I was—because the parents are broken. But the good news is we do not have to stay broken. We do not have to use this as a crutch to stop us from getting beyond the emotional trauma we suffered. I believe when my mother took my small hand in hers and led me to the car, that is when God reached down His hand and took mine.

Look what God says to you: ”So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you” (Luke 11:9). And in the Psalms: God is the “Father to the fatherless” (Psalms 68:5, New International Version).

What do you seek? What do you need? Ask your Father in heaven. Other things may be temporary, but our relationship with God is eternal. You may be, or have been, a temporary foster child, but you will never be a temporary child of God. God will heal whatever is broken in us.

One day, the whole world will be healed and there will never be a need for a foster care system again. No more broken families will exist in God’s Kingdom!”

From: https://www.ucg.org/beyond-today/blogs/being-a-foster-child-is-only-temporary


Hi Y’all.

I wish this had been my experience when my mother walked out when I was 4 years old. I didn’t miss her, she was never around and wasn’t very nice to me.  My father was always distant, didn’t have much time for me and was serving overseas in the Air Force, so I was taken to live with different familes, so I didn’t have the feeling that I had a loving God or dad or mother.  No one told me that I DID have a Father who I could lean on.  So I had a very lonely childhood, and I didn’t realize what was missing, I just thought that there was only me to take care of me.  I wanted so much to be like other children and be part of a family, but that never happened.  At 15 I was sent out into the world, and that’s the way it has been since then. 

Later I realized that He was there all along, and everytime things would look so bleak, a ‘Godsend’ would happen and things would be OK again.  So then I would say a prayer of thanks.

May has been proclaimed National Foster Care Month so it is a rush to get this posted before the last day.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Parenting Advice, The God-Centered Home. Update

For Scripture Sunday”:  More about families and their good relationships.

Parenting Advice

“Raising children can be fulfilling and frustrating. Seeking out parenting advice can make a difference between the success and failures in parenting.

Parenting Advice

Being a parent is a job full of challenges, large and small. Wouldn’t it be great to have a source of expert parenting advice? And especially in the biggest challenges, wouldn’t it be reassuring to have access to the best parenting advice of all?

Consider this scenario

You are so excited! Your new baby boy came home happy and healthy. You watch as he grows before your eyes. He is so full of energy, has a huge smile with those cute little dimples, and his laugh is contagious.

It seems in no time at all he learns how to walk and talk. It is tough for you (Mom and Dad) to keep up at times. He has more energy than it seems is humanly possible!

As your son continues to grow, you enroll him in T-ball and other sports and recreational activities. It isn’t long before he’s taking music lessons and getting started in school.

As time continues to pass, he’s moving from elementary school to middle school. Much of your time is now dedicated to picking him up from after-school programs, helping him with school projects and making sure he and his two younger sisters have all they need. You are so proud of all three of them! By now they are all involved in numerous activities and have friends in school and in church.

Behavioral issues may arise

Then one day you get an unexpected call from the school principal. She informs you that your son was caught cheating on a test. With great disappointment, you try to have a long discussion with your son when he comes home. He becomes distant and a bit sullen. He doesn’t want to talk about it, and he seems only to want to be anywhere but with you.

A couple of months later you are shocked when your son is caught smoking pot at school. Why would he do this? You have diligently taught him to stay away from drugs.

You also taught him to honor his mother and father, yet at times he is becoming very disrespectful to you and your spouse. Why would he think he can behave this way? Doesn’t he remember who took care of him and provided everything for him when he was growing up?

You try hard to help him and “be his friend,” with seemingly mixed results. Over time, some things get better while others don’t. Your honest evaluation is that your wonderful son is growing more and more selfish. Everything he does is focused on what he can get from others or how he can promote himself. And if it isn’t fun, he won’t do it.

Where did the attitude come from?

What has happened? Where did this come from? Is this what every parent has to look forward to? You have tried so hard to give him every opportunity you could, and you just can’t understand what happened.

Is this the way it is for everyone? Does it have to be this way? How do we break him from being so selfish? He never used to be that way—or did he?

Parenting advice about a common mistake

The truth is that all parents face various challenges in raising their children. There are no perfect parents or perfect children. But there is a common mistake made by many parents who love their children very much. It is a mistake made with all the very best of intentions—and it may make the difference between having children who grow up to be emotionally healthy and balanced or not.

The difference lies in the foundation of our parenting. We all make decisions within our families based on our underlying belief system. Our belief system determines how we raise our children—it is what seems right to us.

The best parenting advice is to make our home a God-centered home rather than a child-centered home.

What’s the difference between a child-centered home and a God-centered home? Many parents assume that a child-centered home is a God-centered home. After all, what could be wrong with putting your children’s wants and needs first? How could that hurt them?

To answer this question, let’s first define child-centered and God-centered.

The child-centered home

A child-centered home is one in which the primary motivation for everything that is thought, taught and done in the home is focused on the children and what they want or need.

And after all, the Bible teaches that we should love others as we love ourselves. So, if we’re trying to shower our children with love and attention, isn’t that not only good, but godly?

The God-centered home

Yes, it is true that God teaches us to love one another as we love ourselves, but He also teaches us that there is something that comes ahead of that command. “Jesus said to him, ‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment” (Matthew 22:37-38).

If we think about it carefully, we should begin to see a problem with the child-centered home. God commands that we seek Him first in everything we do—including our families. Rather than child-centered, where life revolves around our children, our families should be God-centered. That means everything that is thought, taught and done in our homes should be founded on our love for God and following His instructions.

Putting God-centeredness to the test

Let’s consider an example. Let’s say your child comes to you and wants to participate in youth soccer. You are fine with this and are willing to take him to and from practice and the games. You want to be a good parent and provide him with healthy, fulfilling activities. He wins a spot on the team, and practices begin that next Monday.

All is good until the schedule comes out and you find that some of the games are on God’s day of rest. Your family has taught the importance of worshipping and obeying God and going to church—but your son really wants to play soccer! So you now have to make a choice—do you allow him to play the games on God’s Sabbath (Exodus 20:8-11), or do you hold to the practice and belief of your family and put God first?

Your choice is between following the will of God or giving in to the will of your child. Whether you have a child-centered family or a God-centered family will determine the decision you will make. What would you choose to do? What values and strength of character will you demonstrate to your children?

The key

Here’s the key: Child-centered homes will justify compromise with what God teaches because they place a greater value on their children’s activities than on God’s commands. (Note: To be God-centered parents, we must be sure we carefully study and understand exactly what God does command His followers to do.)

If we really love our children, we need to be motivated more by what God teaches than by any other influence—including whether we are making our children “happy.” When we put God first, our children see and learn what is right and what is wrong. They learn what will ultimately make them happy and bring fulfillment, as opposed to what they believe will make them happy and lead to fulfillment.

If we do not practice this, it is merely a matter of time before our approach will lead to frustration, hurts and bad consequences. God-centered should always trump child-centered—this is wise parenting advice.

How can we evaluate our own homes?

How can we determine whether our families are God-centered or child-centered?

First, we must know what God teaches through the Bible. Colossians 3:1-2 states, “If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.”

When this is our motivation, the decisions we make regarding child rearing will be different than if our motivation is child-centered.

As Proverbs 14:12 advises us, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.” In other words, what can seem like a good thing to do for our children may not be that at all. The only sure foundation for our families is following God’s parenting advice in the Bible. Then and only then can we become a God-centered family.

Our most reliable source of parenting advice

The Bible is the best book of answers ever written. It is the only book in which each author was inspired by God to put His thoughts down in written form. It is the Word of God. If you can believe that, then you can also know it is the most important parenting advice manual ever written.

However, the real value of knowledge is when it is applied. Sometimes parents have to practice “tough love.” In reality, “tough love” can be tougher on us as parents than on our children!

Nobody enjoys saying no, and yet many times in life that is absolutely the most loving word our child can hear:

  • “No” because it would hurt them.
  • “No” because we don’t have the money.
  • “No” because it wouldn’t be wise based on what you read in the Bible.
Which way will you choose?

If we wish to help insure our children’s success in life and avoid some of the problems so many other parents face, we need to learn and follow what God teaches in the Bible. It must serve as our primary source of parenting advice. Matthew 4:4 reminds us that we are to live by “every word of God.”

Everything God says matters. Even what many may consider to be small points should not be disregarded. If we value the Bible, we will use it as the foundation of our parenting.

But conventional wisdom often tells us we should make our children and their needs and desires the center of our homes. It teaches that we must show our children that they are the most important things in our lives. As good as that may sound, the results of doing so aren’t good. They aren’t good, because centering on our children violates a principle taught by the greatest Father of all time.

Which way will you choose? We encourage you to make your home a God-centered home. It is guaranteed to produce wonderful results because it is based on the infallible Word of God. In the long run you won’t be disappointed!”

If you would like to read further about parenting, this “Parenting” section has many related articles for you to read. 

From: https://lifehopeandtruth.com/relationships/parenting/parenting-advice/



This time I posted the whole article as I feel that it is important. 

I wish I had had this advice when I was rearing my children.  I had to raise them on my own most of the time due to divorce, war or death, so unfortunately, I was too wrapped up in earning enough money to keep them fed, clothed and housed.   I didn’t give much consideration to using the Bible as a foundation and How-To Book.  We did go to church, but not as often as we should.   Nevertheless, my three children turned out very well, and none turned to drink or drugs, Thank Goodness!  My youngest was a handful though, as he was hyper.  This was hard on me as I was getting older and he sure could come up with some weird ideas, and still does, even though he is nearly 50.

This week we went down to Roni’s place (now mine) twice.  The shanty will be demolished, so one day we took down all the shelves, and the next day we hauled off all the loose treated lumber that was in the yard.  We had intended to use the treated lumber to make a scaffold to help us install a gutter all along the west side of the mini-house.  That is where the rain comes off that big roof and sometimes it will rush under the house despite all the barriers that we have built.  But we came up with an easier way to do it and Roy was able to install the gutter and leafguard from an 8 ft. step ladder.  We installed three sections this morning, and hopefully will get it all up before we have another downpour like the one we had the other day.  It is supposed to rain each day this week, but we haven’t seen any yet.

After a good cleaning the varnished shelving was put to good use on the back wall of the mini-house kitchen.  We bradnailed screen molding on the fronts to finish it off.  These shelves will be painted white when we get to painting again.  Then we made the skeleton of the bridge cabinet that goes between the upper cabinets over the sink.  We have been slicing up some stained oak from a headboard on the table saw to make the ledger boards, and as all the door trims in the house are stained wood, this is another accent to the white cabinets. 

One afternoon, I drove about 25 miles over to the computer guy from church’s house.  His neighbor had a daybed for me.  I have had to use my spare computer since the main one messed up, so I took my computer as he said that he would look at it for me.  Then he said ”had to go into the registry because a lot of the dill files were gone”.  Well, I had plenty of dill weed and dill seeds here, but he said they weren’t compatible!  Ha-Ha.

For the church pot luck I made Steamed Swiss Chard and New Potatoes in Butter.  It was the first time I had cooked chard, I had heard how good it is for us, and I liked it better than kale    It is more expensive, but what price is there on one’s health?  I was going to make a roasted zucchini and yellow squash dish until I found out that the pastor’s wife was cooking that too.  So we had roast chicken, lasagne, sloppy joes, lots of veggies, and the usual assortment of cookies, cake and pie.

The Bible readings were Lev. 21:-24:23, Eze. 20:2-20 and Luke 4:16-21.  The Teaching was about The LORD is our helper, and we should trust in The LORD and walk with Him.

At church, the wonderful computer man brought back my main computer and said that it should work for a while, so, hooray, I am back posting with OpenLiveWriter.  We had a great time all talking and chatting around the dining tables and making plans for Pentecost, which will be next Sunday.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Building Strong Families. Leaving a Legacy for Your Grandchildren. Update.

For "Scripture Sunday":   More about families.

Building Strong Families

"In 1979 the Pittsburgh Pirates professional baseball team surprised many by winning the World Series. It was a close-knit team and, to reflect this, they adopted the popular Sister Sledge song “We Are Family” to describe their strength and unity. The phrase The Family was stenciled on the dugout roof and on signs, bumper stickers and T-shirts everywhere. Family became the team identity.
Similarly, the traditional family can also be described as a team—hopefully a unified, supportive team. However, we all know that some teams are not very good when it comes to working together during difficult times, and it is not unheard of for players to blame each other for ongoing problems.
Sadly, the same can often be said of individual families. What must we do to strengthen and sustain our families?

Marriage and family under attack

Dramatic shifts in the culture and in the definitions of marriage and family have impacted many people today. It wasn’t that long ago that marriage was widely appreciated as an institution uniting a man and a woman as a team to share the task of raising children. Bringing children into the world and teaching, protecting and providing for them was seen as the primary tasks of parents.
But dramatic societal shifts have changed the composition of many families. Commenting on the results of the 2010 U.S. Census, The New York Times reported that “married couples represented just 48 percent of American households in 2010. … This was slightly less than in 2000, but far below the 78 percent of households occupied by married couples in 1950. What is more, just a fifth of households were traditional families—married couples with children—down from about a quarter a decade ago, and from 43 percent in 1950.”
The impact on children is equally dramatic. The New York Times article continued, “W. Bradford Wilcox, the director of the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia, argues that the retreat from marriage is bad for society because it means less security for children. ‘It’s troubling because those kids are much more likely to be exposed to instability, complex family relations and poverty,’ he said” (“Married Couples Are No Longer a Majority, Census Finds,” May 26, 2011).
Because of the frequency of divorce and the various “alternative” family structures, the concept of a strong marriage and family may seem unrealistic or unattainable to many children today. The State of Our Unions, an annual report on marriage and family in the United States by the National Marriage Project, reveals disturbing and profound changes in this dramatic cultural shift and its impact on children. The U.S. statistics reported in the National Marriage Project’s 2012 “Social Indicators of Marital Health and Well-Being” are shocking:
  • Today 40 percent of all children and 72 percent of African-American children are born out of wedlock.
  • The number of cohabiting couples who live with children today is more than 15 times what it was in 1960. And today, 40 percent of all children will spend some time in a cohabiting household while growing up.
  • Roughly 1 million children each year experience parental divorce and its aftermath.
The shift away from nuclear families corresponds directly with attitudes among young adults, less than half of whom today believe it is wrong to have a child outside of marriage.
According to Stephanie J. Ventura of the National Center for Health Statistics, about 1.7 million babies were born to unmarried women in 2007, a 26 percent increase from 1.4 million in 2002 and more than double the number in 1980. Unmarried women accounted for 39.7 percent of all U.S. births in 2007—up from 34 percent in 2002 and more than double the percentage in 1980.
So what does it take to build strong, intact families today?

Leaving a Legacy for Your Grandchildren

"My grandparents didn’t leave me much of an inheritance; they didn’t have much to give. But every now and then I open a small plastic bag from a box in my office and examine a few rare coins—old silver dollars Grandpa used to give me, one every birthday.
The 1922 Peace Dollar, I found out recently, might be worth as much as $25 … but I’ll never sell it. The memories that coin evokes are worth far more than that—they are priceless. It’s amazing how many warm remembrances of a grandfather’s influence a little round piece of metal can evoke more than 50 years later.
All of my grandparents have been gone for decades, and they died without many physical goods to leave to their children and grandchildren. But they all left an inheritance of better things, possessions that I hope to pass on to my grandchildren.

The greatest inheritances

“A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children,” Solomon told his son (Proverbs 13:22). Interestingly, grandparenting is one of the few stations in life where the playing field is level. That is, the poor and prosperous alike can pass on the greatest inheritances of all—wisdom, love, encouragement, memories and lessons learned.
“Grandparents should play the same role in the family as an elder statesman can in the government of a country,” is the way British author Erin Pizzey describes it. “They have the experience and knowledge that comes from surviving a great many years of life’s battles and the wisdom, hopefully, to recognize how their grandchildren can benefit from this” (Geoff Dench, ed., Grandmothers: The Changing Culture,p. 6).

A grandparent’s influence

Grandparents are in a stage of life that a child’s parents have not yet experienced, and it enables them to contribute in unique ways to a child’s development. Life usually slows down a little more for grandparents, and they’ve had more time to process life itself. God intended it to be that way and instructs grandparents to fill a special role in influencing the young ones.
Moses talked to the Israelites about this: “Take heed to yourself, and diligently keep yourself, lest you forget the things your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. And teach them to your children and your grandchildren” (Deuteronomy 4:9).
While the primary influence on a child is to be the parents, this first- and third-generation relationship offers a different level of teaching that can greatly supplement—without supplanting—the parents’ responsibilities.

A beautiful picture   



This week we cut the holes out for the sink and the stove in the kitchen of the mini-house (guest house).  It looks a lot better with them in place.  We also installed some more of the upper cabinets.
On Tuesday I saw an Ear,Nose and Throat doctor about my sinuses.  I have had trouble with them for years.  I have a prescription that may not even start to make them feel better for a month.  We will see.

Early Wednesday morning, while it was still dark, I could see emergency flashing lights in the road behind my house.  I walked to the back yard and the road was blocked both ways with firetrucks, ambulances, and lots of police cars.  There were news choppers overhead, too.  A dark colored truck was in the ditch, a damaged police car and a damaged F250 in the road.  I got dressed, and the phone rang.  It was Roy, my helper, telling me that was his friend, Ronald, who had been in the dark colored truck. He was coming to pick up Roy so that they could go down to our boat ramp and do a little fishing before work.  Because a police car was involved there was a very thorough investigation with surveyors and camera, so it was quite a while before we were allowed to pick up all the fishing tackle, ice chests, folding chairs and other items that had bounced out of  Ronald's truck. The policeman had facial lacerations and was released from the hospital. Ronald has two broken legs, both kidneys and his spleen lacerated, and all his ribs broken.  It was mid-morning by the time we got that done and Jody was too shaken by it all, so we didn't work that day.

 Here is what it said on Montgomery Country Police Reporter.

6:45 a.m.
Around 5:30 a.m. Wednesday, a DPS Trooper and a civilian were struck on Calvary Road near Amblewood in the Willis area. The Trooper was attempting to assist the civilian in pushing his disabled vehicle off of the roadway when they were struck by a third driver. The trooper and the civilian, an older man, were transported by ambulance to Conroe Regional medical center. The civilian has serious but non-life-threatening injuries. The Trooper was also injured but not as seriously as the civilian.
It is unknown at this time whether the driver of the vehicle that struck the pair was injured.
Calvary Road is CLOSED in both directions in the area of the crash as it remains under investigation.
One day we had an Internet outage, and my computer got a wild hair.  Suddenly I couldn't load AOL or go to a lot of my favorite sites, and a message would pop up saying that the sites wouldn't load correctly. Well, I have to be able to get to my mail to see messages from potential customers, so I had to go through Internet Explorer. It made me login in everywhere.   That is when I began to appreciate AOL and the many short cuts that it offers. The Carousel and the Little Red Heart, if you have had AOL you know what I mean.  ( I also get free Lifelok,  Legal Assistance and well as other things that come with the $11 a month fee.)  It is the only mail service that I have found that has a 'search' within the mail folders, and I use that a lot. I know most don't like AOL, but I do.  So I have had to switch to my other computer which won't load Open Live Writer.   That's why the blog looks different this time.

Thursday and Friday we got a bit more work done around here, and then I took Roy and his other fishing buddy to see Ronald in CCU.  He was conscious, and seemed to be in OK spirits, only hurting a lot.   But at the same time, my friend from church, Ann, was in ICU, and she wasn't conscious.  She had been taken to the hospital the night before because she suddenly came down with a lot of seizures, so they were keeping her sedated.  Please keep these two in your prayers.  Thank you.
Every day we should be thankful for our health and strength.  I know I am.

I have a lot of chicken in my freezer, but I am just not crazy about chicken because I was forced to eat it when I was young.  I don't buy it, it is given to me, so I often make it into dishes for the church potluck.  This time I made Chicken Breasts with Farro and Veggies.  I also took some Sweet Multi-grain Mountain Rolls, they are always well received, as they are so soft and easy to eat.  I arrived early so that I could help the pastor's wife as her knee is still hurting.

The Bible readings were Lev. 19:1-20:27, Eze. 20:2-26 and Matt. 5:38-48. and the Teaching was about the Temptations and Tests In The Life of A Believer.

I was supposed to stop and get a few things from the hardware store on the way home, but the van had finally cooled down, and there was no way that I wanted to park it again on such a warm day.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Role of Women. Role of Men. Update.


For “Scripture Sunday”:  Though, I am sorry, it’s late, as it is Monday today. On Sunday, I was busy talking to my son and daughter who called me for Mother’s Day.

Role of Women

“What makes a successful wife and mother? Where can you find a job description and practical principles for making the most of these challenging roles?

Role of Women

Human history gives a very confusing picture of the proper role of women in the family and in society. In some cases she is the dominant figure, while in many cultures and throughout much of history she has been viewed as second-class at best, and little more than property or chattel at the other extreme.

What did God really intend when He created Eve?

In the beginning …

The Bible gives many examples of women, including those who were righteous and those who were wicked, those who were strong and those who were weak. Through these examples, we can glean lessons about God’s intended role for the women He so lovingly created.

If we go back to the beginning, in Genesis 2:18, we see Eve was created after Adam as a “help meet for” (King James Version) or “helper comparable to” Adam. What does this mean? Was she just an afterthought?

After creating Adam, God gave him the task of naming all of the animals. It seems clear from verse 20 that this was to show Adam that none of them were “comparable” or suitable for him. To show Adam how special the woman was, God created her from a part of Adam himself—his rib, thus indicating that husband and wife truly are one flesh in God’s sight.

Then we read, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh” (Genesis 2:24). Together they were complete and whole.

A “help meet”

The expressions “help meet” or “helper comparable,” found in the King James Version and the New King James Version respectively, are sometimes viewed negatively. But God did not intend woman to be a weak or inferior person. The Hebrew word translated “help” or “helper” is used 21 times in the Old Testament, and most of those are in the context of the help that would come from God Himself. God’s help would not be weak or inferior!

The role God created for Eve was that of strengthening the family. Adam was not complete by himself, and Eve was given the ability to help him build that completeness. The woman’s role is not lesser or inferior, but it is different from the man’s. And God does not leave her without additional instruction in Scripture on her proper role.

Understanding submission

For many today the word submit is a highly offensive term. Some go so far as wanting to take it entirely out of their wedding vows, in spite of God’s instructions. Through the apostle Paul, God tells wives to “submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord” (Ephesians 5:22). What does that mean?

Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary defines submit as “to yield to governance or authority … to yield oneself to the authority or will of another … to defer to or consent to abide by the opinion or authority of another.” Submission is yielding, consenting to the authority of another, in this case to her husband. Submission as God intended is something that must be given, not something that should be demanded or enforced. Within marriage, it is an act of love and respect!

God clearly gave the man the role of leader in the family (Ephesians 5:23; 1 Corinthians 11:3). It is important to note that husbands are charged with submitting to the authority of Christ.

God gives the husband further instructions for his role in the family, which we will discuss in the article on the man’s role below.

A wife is not to submit to her husband’s abusive or ungodly behavior, and a husband must not demand submission from his wife to yield to any of his abusive or ungodly behavior. But when both roles of submission are being righteously lived, it is far more likely that there will be peace and harmony in the marriage.”  

Continues at: https://lifehopeandtruth.com/relationships/family/role-of-women/


Role of Men

“What is the proper role of men in the family and society? History reveals extremes from the family dictator to the bumbling sitcom dad. What did God design?

Role of Men

Society has many different ideas about what the role of men should be. But what did our great and loving Creator intend?

In the beginning …

To answer that question we need to start in the beginning, at the creation of Adam and Eve. In Genesis 2 we see that Adam was created before Eve. Adam was given the task of naming all of the animals. It seems clear that at least part of the purpose for this was to help him realize that none of these creatures were “comparable to him.” Every other creature had its mate; but Adam was at that point alone, the only one of his kind (verse 20).

After he was done naming all the animals, God then created a very special blessing for him—a woman fashioned from Adam’s own rib. The connection between them was undeniable. Together they had a oneness—they formed a family, a complete unit (verse 24).

New Testament instructions

In the New Testament, the apostle Paul very specifically outlined the leadership roles God intended within the family in Ephesians 5:23. Here we see that the husband is to be the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the Church. That sets a very high standard for men to live up to!

What specifically is this standard God expects men to live up to? Verse 25 makes two very important points. The first is that Christ “loved” the Church. There are many definitions for love. But one that would describe Christ’s love for the Church is “unselfish loyal and benevolent concern for the good of another” (Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary).

The second point (which is an extension of Christ’s love) is that He gave Himself for the Church. What is described in these verses is authority as the head of the family and a commitment to fulfill the needs of the family. Jesus Christ demonstrated that real leadership and real love are self-sacrificing in order to provide what is needed to those who are led and loved.

The husband’s role is intended to be one of loving authority and not a harsh authoritarian role. And as a loving authority, the husband is accountable to God for the welfare of his family—physically, morally, spiritually and emotionally.

With understanding and honor

The apostle Peter adds to our understanding in 1 Peter 3:7. Here husbands are instructed to “dwell with them [their wives] with understanding, giving honor to the wife as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life.” There are three points made here:

1. The husband must dwell with his wife with understanding. Of course, this evokes many humorous comments because there are men who feel they can never “understand” their wives. Sadly, many husbands and wives simply do not take sufficient time with each other or even try to get to know each other well enough to “understand” what the other may struggle with or be going through. One-on-one quality time together is necessary, no matter how long a couple has been together.

2. What about the “weaker vessel” part of this passage? Women are generally smaller and not as physically strong as a man. So God is directing husbands to take care of their wives, to look out for, cherish and demonstrate tenderness toward them. When God created woman, He could have made her equal in strength and stature to the man, but He did not. Instead, He gave man the responsibility to protect, care for and give honor to her.

3. The third part of this passage is “being heirs together of the grace of life.” The Moffatt translation states, “You must honor them as heirs equally with yourselves of the grace of life.” The potential to be children of God in His Kingdom is the same for both men and women.

While God established certain roles for men and other roles for women in our physical families, there is nothing in Scripture to indicate one sex has more favor with God, or that one would have preeminence in the coming Kingdom. The relationship between husband and wife today should be harmonious and one of mutual love and respect, knowing that both are to equally inherit eternal life.

Role of a father.”
Continued at: https://lifehopeandtruth.com/relationships/family/role-of-men/



Where do the weeks go??  Roy, my helper and I have made more progress in the mini-house.  I bought a new laminate router bit, so we cut off the edge of the front and side kitchen counters.  The sink and stove cutouts haven’t been done yet.  Then we built the cabinet across from the sink side, but that hasn’t been Formica-ed yet. It will be for housing pressure cookers, crockpots and such large items, and there are several outlets along that 6’ section of wall. That is where the coffee maker will be to keep it out of the work area.

One day I even had time to go grocery shopping here in Willis, but I haven’t been into Conroe lately.  I need to go soon as we need things from Lowes or Home Depot.  Two mornings I had to drive into Willis to get Roy as his friend wouldn’t get up to bring him here because they had been night fishing.

Here are pictures of the lights we installed last week:


This is in the kitchen, the celing is white, but you wouldn’t know it by my camera!

The fixture is a brushed nickel finish to go with some other things in the kitchen.


This little flat light on the left, is in the closet as that ceiling is lower.

It is a florescent light.



Then this is the ceiling fan/light in what will be the bedroom. It has little butterflies on it







One thing that I splurged on when grocery shopping in Kroger was some Bisto.   Shepherd’s Pie is British and it just doesn’t taste right without British Bisto gravy powder.  So for the church potluck and I took my homemade Shepherd’s Pie made with ground beef, peas, carrots, Bisto gravy and the usual mashed potatoes on top.  People were getting second helpings so I grabbed a small container and saved some to take home for Roy’s lunch the next day, as I knew he had never had it.  He liked it too.  Gary brought a chicken dish with German noodles, and the pastor’s wife made taco meat with all the fixin’s.  We had pizza, too, and all the dishes were good, as always.

But the biggest surprise was when Jay, my former helper, called and wanted to go to church with me.  Everyone there was so pleased to see him, and sober too.

One new thing that wasn’t a surprise, was that my daughter Wendy and son-in-law picked up their new white German Shepherd puppy from the rescue, all neutered and vaccinated.  They still haven’t come up with a permanent name for him yet though.  I suggested Ollie, like ‘Ollie the Donkey’ in the kid’s Christian cartoon because of the dog’s enormous ears, or Frankie for Sinatra because of his blue eyes, but Wendy seemed to like my suggestion of “Blanco”.  We will see.  He is getting along great, playing with their Australian Shepherd, Bowser, and he is another great joy for them.  Bowser loves to go jet-skiing with them (with his life jacket on of course) and maybe the new pup will too.  It is a three-seater jet ski.

DSCF1530-001Another surprise was that my previous foster cat, 12 year old Napoleon was adopted from the SPCA habitat at Conroe Petco.    My new foster, Gertrude is a strange declawed 9 year old lady.  She finds the darndest places to sleep, and she changes places every three days, but never comes up on my bed or ventures into the rest of the house. She just stays in my bedroom and bathroom.

One time, the tri-day place was my bathroom sink, so I had to wash my hands at my bathtub.  Another time it was on my closed toilet lid fluffy cover, so I had to use the other bathroom.  Then it was on my sweater shelf, and she pushed some on the floor.  The back of the linen cupboard has had it’s turn, and a shoe shelf.  I think she is trying to play games with me to see how I will react. I don’t like to disturb her as she is shy and just getting used to my place. This is her home, and she is welcome to go anywhere in this house except for counters or tables.

The Bible readings were Lev. 16:1-18:30, Eze. 22:1-22:19 and Rom. 3:19-28.  The Teaching was about the Different Bible Translations.

Upon arriving at the church, I was a hurry to get into the dining hall to help the pastor’s wife and forgot to put up the windshield sunshade, so you know what the car felt like when we got back in it because it such a warm day, so Jay complained until it cooled down.  He would complain if he was hung with a new rope!

There were two cakes at the potluck, one for a couple’s 50th Anniversary, and one for Mother’s Day.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Is It Okay to Wear a Cross? A Little Child’s Prayers Matters to God. Update.


For “Scripture Sunday”:

Is It Okay to Wear a Cross? Why or Why Not?

“Why don’t we use the image of a cross—symbolizing the crucifixion of Christ—as a symbol of our faith? Should you use a cross as the symbol of yours?

Is It Okay to Wear a Cross? Why or Why Not?

The symbol of the cross is used around the world to represent Jesus Christ and Christianity. Yet, if you visit a congregation of the Church of God, a Worldwide Association (which sponsors this website), and meet our members, you may notice that they are not wearing or displaying the cross to demonstrate their faith. You may also notice that the cross is not displayed on our website or any of our publications—even though we are Christians. We believe in the divinity of Jesus Christ and recognize Him as our Lord, Savior and the Head of our Church (Colossians 1:18).

So why don’t we use the image of the cross—typically symbolizing the crucifixion of Jesus Christ—as a symbol of our faith? Should you use the cross as the symbol of your faith?

The Bible and history help provide answers to this question.

The cross predates Christianity

A study of ancient history reveals that the cross was used as a religious symbol long before the first century A.D.—when Jesus Christ walked the earth, was crucified and resurrected. The Bible does not record the use of the cross as a physical religious symbol in either the Old or New Testaments. But historical records of other civilizations do make record of the cross as a symbol.

The Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th edition, records: “From its simplicity of form, the cross has been used both as a religious symbol and as an ornament, from the dawn of man’s civilization. Various objects, dating from periods long anterior [preceding] to the Christian era, have been found, marked with crosses of different designs, in almost every part of the old world” (Vol. 7, p. 506).

George Willard Benson, in his book The Cross: Its History and Symbolism, writes: “Centuries before the Christian era ancient crosses were in use as pagan emblems. They have been found carved in stone dating back to remote ages” (p. 16).

It is a historical fact that the cross has been used as a symbol of pagan religions going back to antiquity. Further study reveals that the cross can be found in the ancient religions of Babylon, India, Syria, Egypt, Rome and other ancient pagan cultures.

The Bible is clear that God forbids the practice of syncretism—mixing elements of pagan beliefs and practice with the worship of the true God.

Deuteronomy 12:29-32 plainly states that worshippers of the true God are to be extremely careful not to try to worship and honor God in the way that pagan nations worshipped and honored their gods. It is very clear, based on history, that the cross was used to represent and worship the false gods of many cultures and religions.

Cross adopted after the Bible

The cross as a physical symbol is also absent from the writings of the New Testament. The Bible does not say anything about the apostles or early Christians representing their faith by displaying crosses. History records that the cross wasn’t adopted as the institutional symbol of Christianity until about 300 years after the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The Encyclopaedia Britannica records: “It was not until the time of Constantine that the cross was publicly used as the symbol of the Christian religion. … Under Constantine it became the acknowledged symbol of Christianity” (11th edition, Vol. 7, p. 506). Constantine the Great ruled the Roman Empire more than 250 years after the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Not necessarily a cross

Many are surprised to learn that the Bible does not actually specify that Jesus was crucified on a cross. Though the word “cross” is used in most English translations of the New Testament, it is important to remember that the New Testament was originally written in the Greek language.

The word commonly translated “cross” in English is the Greek word stauros. According to Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words, the word stauros means “an upright pale or stake.” This classic reference on biblical words also states: “Both the noun and the verb stauroo, to fasten to a stake or pale, are originally to be distinguished from the ecclesiastical form of the two beamed cross” (p. 248). Theologian E.W. Bullinger also noted this distinction in Appendix 162 of The Companion Bible: “Our English word ‘cross’ is the translation of the Latin crux (kruks); but the Greek stauros no more means a crux than the word ‘stick’ means a ‘crutch.’”

Even though it’s probable that Christ was crucified on a single piece of wood without a cross beam, we can’t be absolutely certain what the shape of the device was. Romans used crucifixion devices of all shapes—sometimes they were upright stakes, sometimes they had crossbeams and sometimes they merely crucified criminals on trees. The shape of the stauros is not important. What is important is the meaning and significance of Christ’s death to pay the penalty for the sins of all mankind (1 Peter 2:24).

Worship in spirit and truth

The Bible forbids the use of physical icons to worship and represent the true God. The Second Commandment plainly states: “You shall not make for yourself any carved image” (Exodus 20:4). God did not intend for His people to use physical icons, pictures or images to represent Him. Jesus Christ teaches us that, “God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth” (John 4:24).

Based on the above reasons, members of the Church of God, a Worldwide Association, do not use the physical image of a cross as an object of worship or as a symbol of our faith. We believe that we are to worship God “in spirit and truth”—focusing on the spiritual truths of His Word and not trying to represent Him through the use of any physical objects. We focus on the magnitude of the incredible truth behind the crucifixion of Jesus Christ—that because of Christ’s suffering and death we can be forgiven of our sins and be reconciled to God (Romans 5:8-11).”  From: https://lifehopeandtruth.com/bible/10-commandments/idolatry-second-commandment/is-it-okay-to-wear-a-cross/


A Little Child’s Prayers Matters to God 

“God wants a relationship with your child, so teach them to pray.

A young girl looking up.

Teach your children to pray, because they matter to God!

I recently bought a doll for my little granddaughter, Stella Rose. Someone made the comment that it reminded them of the Cabbage Patch Kids dolls. That comment brought back some awesome memories.

Years ago, when my daughter Michelle was 4 years old, Cabbage Patch Kids dolls were so popular. All of her friends had one, but we could not afford to buy her one. They were $45 at the time, and we could barely put food on the table, so we certainly did not have that kind of money to buy a doll. I told my daughter to pray about it, and she did.

The very next weekend, my daughter had not one but two Cabbage Patch Kids dolls given to her! One doll was given to her at church by her friend’s mom, and the next day she received one from her grandmother; both brand new and different from each other. Now, 36 years later, my daughter still has those dolls. Those dolls symbolize how much God cared about her and her sweet little request when she was a child. I consider those dolls a gift from God.

God values our children so greatly that He demonstrated it: “He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. And he said: ‘Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me’ ” (Matthew 18:1-5, New International Version throughout).

When people brought little children to Jesus for him to place His hands on them and pray for them, His disciples rebuked them and sent them away. But Jesus corrected them: “ ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.’ When he had placed his hands on them, he went on from there” (Matthew 19:13-14).

He went on to command His disciples: “See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven” (Matthew 18:10). God wants a relationship with your child, so teach them to pray.

Here are just a few examples of how to teach them:

1. Start with giving them examples in the Bible of how valuable they are to God.

2. Tell them to talk to God just like they do to mommy and daddy.

3. Teach them through example by praying with them.

4. Encourage them to pray for their friends and family.

5. Teach them to thank God for all the things they have.

6. Share with your child the times that God answered your prayers.

7. Teach them that they can talk with God all day long and that He is always there for them.

8. Remind them to always ask God for protection for themselves and their family throughout the day, and for God to protect their minds.

9. Tell them it is okay to ask God for personal blessing, like my daughter did with the Cabbage Patch Kids doll.

10. Teach them to ask for wisdom. Read them the story about Solomon, and how he desired wisdom above any material things, and God blessed him with both.

11. Most of all, teach them how special they are to God and that He wants them to talk to Him.

12. Teach them that sometimes God answers our prayers in ways we do not think or understand, but He always knows what is best for us.

Romans 8:28 states, “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.”

My daughter Michelle is a praying woman to this day! She knows that God answers prayers. Sometimes not as quickly as with her dolls–her prayers for a child weren’t answered for eight years. But she prayed with conviction knowing that God knew what was best for her.

So teach your children to pray, because they matter to God!”

From: https://www.ucg.org/beyond-today/blogs/a-little-childs-prayers-matters-to-god



On Monday, we worked on more light fixtures in the mini-house (guest house),  and on Tuesday we did a bit more down at Roni’s place, now mine, maybe!  Because Roni availed herself of several “free” services like food stamps, and Medicaid, the State of TX now wants their pound of flesh.  But they may decide that the run down property is not worth fooling with, as it is valued at less than $10,000. 

eBay-Maple-treeThe 16 ft. maple tree that was in front of my house has gone. It had grown into my sewer and it blocked the view of my front door, a security risk.  The couple came with a front end loader, some shovels and after about an hour they hauled it off on the trailer with the front-end loader.  Seems bare without it.

On Wednesday, I took my helper to the VA Hospital in Houston, and sat there all day while he had a balloon put in his esophagus for his really bad acid reflux.  Maybe he will be able to eat and keep food down now.  He is as skinny as a rail.  Thursday, he wasn’t feeling too chipper, but still arrived to work, so we did the kick boards on the cabinets that I bought at a yard sale.  We had the cabinets on their tops, and I pried the fiberboard kickboards off the bottom and he screwed real wood ones on. 

The next day, Friday, he was feeling better, so we moved some stuff out of the new workshop to make room for the cabinets.  It took two handtrucks to move the big 5 foot cabinet, and I was at the top of the three little steps yanking on that hand truck for all I was worth, (no, I shouldn’t say that, as I am not worth much), anyway, I pulled on it as hard as I could, and we got it up there.  The smaller, 3 ft. one was easier. Then in the afternoon, as it was ‘preparation day’,  I was cooking, washing my hair, and setting out my clothes to be ready for church the next day.  Then at 5.30pm every Friday everything stops while I watch “Creation in the 21st” on TBN.  This week it was about the formation of the Grand Canyon.

Saturday was the Sabbath, so I had already made some Parsley Butter Mashed Potatoes for one crockpot and some Beef Stew for the other.  Gary at church had given dozens of eggs from his free-range chickens to anyone who wanted them, so I had hard boiled a dozen.  My helper and I had egg salad for lunch and still had plenty left over. So I made some chopped up hardboiled eggs in a sauce, like Eggs Goldenrod, but I wasn’t too crazy about it, so I didn’t take it to the potluck.  I will titivate it a bit to make it more tasty, and have it for my supper tonight.image

imageAlso, on Saturday, I became a ‘grand’ again, I have a new grand-dog! 

Since their great big German Shepherd died, their little Australian Sheepdog has become lonely.  So my daughter and son-in-law have adopted a 6 month old white German Shepherd/mix puppy from a shelter.  He has blue eyes!  They can’t pick him up until next week as he hasn’t been fixed yet.  My daughter asked me what I thought he was mixed with, and I took one look at those ears and said “A donkey”!

The Bible readings were Lev. 14:1-15:33, 2 Kings 7:3-7:20 and Matt. 8:1-17, and the Teaching was “New Life in Messiah”. 

We are a small congregation, and we all are close.  We have a lot of laughs and fun together so the Sabbath is always a great day,