Wednesday, April 15, 2015

How Are You?

(Note: For some reason, emails never went out about the ""If Teacups Could Talk" Ladies Day Theme" I posted on Monday.  If you missed it, you can visit this link to read about it at this link:

It's a simple question we ask or is asked to us probably several times a week:  How are you?  And how do you answer?  "Fine."  "Good."  "Great!"  And how do the people answer that you ask?  The same.  Most probably all of them answer the same.

But this past Saturday when I spoke at Enid, the sweet lady with the closing remarks told us about how she had been feeling bad.  She was having tests run for her various aliments and pain, and it was worrying her.  She wasn't good.  She was tired of saying she was good because she wasn't, so as she prayed to God about it, she made a vow to Him that the next person who asked, "How are you?", she would tell them the truth.  And she did!

The lady laughed and said she didn't specify to God that she would prefer it to be a woman, because the next person that asked her was a greeter at the door on her way to Bible class one Sunday morning.  He opened the door and asked, "How are you?"  And he got an ear full!  But, she said he listened to her and it helped her!  She said it actually changed their relationship, which was already really good.  And he even called to check on her the next week and find out how she was doing.  She knew he was praying for her and that he cared about her.  That caring heart - that listening ear - that remembering her...made all the difference in the world.  It meant that someone cared about her and really cared how she was doing.

Think about that question as you go throughout your day.  When you ask, "How are you?"  Do you REALLY want to know or are you just chit chatting?  If someone told you how they really were, would you take the time to listen or feel like they had intruded on your time.  Are you in too big of a hurry to listen and care? Do you take the time to call or text and ask someone how they are doing?


The lady said that she had been praying and trying to focus on having intentional relationships.  I love that!!  We use the phrase "intentional parenting" on our Facebook parenting page, so that word is important to us.  BE INTENTIONAL.  Don't be superficial.  Be real.  Get to know people.  Get to caring about people.  Really, really care how they are doing.  And act on it.

His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins. 2 Peter 1:3-9

Monday, April 13, 2015

"If Teacups Could Talk" Ladies Day Theme

Back in the fall, I was invited to speak for a ladies day in Enid (Garriott Rd. congregation) for this April.  They asked for some topics, and I gave them my favorite ones, but am always open to whatever anyone wants me to speak about.
One I gave the ladies was this one: "If Teacups Could Talk".  They decided to go with it, and I'm so glad that they did!
I love seeing how women use a theme to come up with decorations, food, programs, etc., to enhance the intended theme.
The Garriott Road ladies did a great job, as you can see!
The teacups and teapots were beautiful!
I couldn't help taking pictures of all of them!
But even more beautiful than the teapots and teacups was the voices of around 90 women singing, the fellowship together between sisters in Christ, and the time spent dwelling on God's Word and specifically our friendship between Christian sisters.
That is what this ladies' day, as well as any other ladies day, is all about: Growing closer in our relationships with one another because of the bond we have as sisters in Christ.
It was truly a joy to get to see "old" friends and meet new ones.  I only wish that I had taken pictures of the people, not just the decor....
...but since I was speaking, I didn't think about that until right now :).
My mind was on what it should have been on....the lesson and glorifying God in the words that I spoke.
Besides spiritual food, there was plenty of physical food!  We began with bagels, cream cheese, and fruit...
...then ended with quiche, salads, and desserts.  It was delicious!
The stage area was cute.
I especially liked the way this old window was done, with backing and dried flowers.
The keynote presentation that took me three days to get done (computer problems) worked out wonderfully on the wall.  It was my second time at doing a presentation...the first success. The last time was a struggle!  I was thankful this one worked out well, without any trouble.  That's only because the youth minister, Matthew, set it all up for me! :)
The food line....
....everything was marked so we knew what we were eating!
The little desserts were so cute - and delicious!  I got the chocolate and peanut butter one, totally forgetting my "no flour" diet for the day.
It was worth it.  I ate it all, BUT look at all that green on my plate! :)
Thank you to the Garriott Road ladies for asking me to be a part of your special day! It was a blessing to me, and I pray that it was to each of you!  

Thursday, April 9, 2015

91st Annual Tipton Children's Home Homecoming

What a FUN day it was celebrating TCH's 91st anniversary and homecoming for all of the alumni of TCH, as well as for our high school!
 Over a year ago, a former TCH resident told of her biscuit-making days. She's either the middle girl or the 4th girl in the picture above.  She told about making biscuits for about 225 people every morning!
 The alumni director began getting out all of the "baking" pictures she could find and I, plus a few others, began helping come up with decorations to go with this year's planned "Biscuit" theme.
 It turned out so cute!!  Everyone loved the baking and biscuit theme, with lots of special things added to make the celebration a success.
 Our resident carpenter made recipe card holder centerpieces to be given away.  We placed the Biscuit recipe into the slit and tied each rolling pin with a biscuit cutter.  There were 50 given away!
 It's fun finding pictures from the past that go along with each year's theme.
 And it was easy to use real kitchen items to go along with the look!
 We chose a red, turquoise/aqua and white theme for the colors.
 Just for fun, we decoupaged some biscuits and put in them little baskets (Hobby Lobby).  The biscuits were air dried for many days, then decoupaged with Modge Podge.
 The chefs hats were a fun addition. These were "disposable" and a kind of fabric.  They were a little strange on top with four holes!  I guess it was for ventilation!  But, I got used to it and used them on the tables, anyway.
 The local antique store let us borrow several things, like this cute table!
 These old scales and mixing bowls were in the cafeteria basement.  And then more borrowed items.
 The scales were originally used in the cafeteria and light up.  Very neat!
 This old stove was a WONDERFUL addition to our decorations, and came about by accident! We just happened to mention getting one from a town nearby and one of the secretary's sisters-in-law had one in town.  And the colors on it were perfect!  See the iron skillet with biscuits on the stove?
 Not the best picture, but I've just decided not to care and be glad I have a memory of times like this.  I used to never be in pictures, but figured that some day - when I'm no longer here - my family will be glad I'm in a few!
 Here's Joe and the "biscuit" maker and the reason we began this theme.  She was telling some funny story about how her husband teased her about her biscuit making when they first were married.  She's got some great stories of the past, for sure!
The celebration ended with biscuits, of course.  Lunch was wonderful! Fried chicken strips, mashed potatoes, green beans, salad, gravy and biscuits.....oh, and cobbler!  Then it was off for exploring the campus.
(Sojourners posing in front of my old pickup. That was where they wanted their annual group picture!  Good! That justifies me having it even more.  Oh, and I had someone want to buy it yesterday. It's not for sale unless you ask our oldest son! Ha ha!)

Thank you to all at TCH who worked to make this year's celebration a huge success. We owe a BIG thanks to the Sojourners who helped us get ready for the day.  And to the alumni, you are why we have this special day.  YOU are always, always welcome.  We want you to come Home any time.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

State Football Championship Ring Ceremony

When our football team won the Class C Championship in December, a fundraiser began immediately to raise money for the team, coaches, and assistants to get rings to commemorate this special occasion.  On Sunday afternoon, the rings were officially given out.

Our 16-year-old was really excited to be a part of this State Championship team.  He was on last year's team that lost in the State Championship, so experiencing this big win was quite special.  
And although our oldest son, who is a Senior this year, doesn't play football, he is the sports commentator and is known as the "Voice of the Tigers" on our school's broadcasting network through his FFA Ag Communications class.  He's been doing the live broadcasts for events the past two years, so when the administration wanted to recognize him in this way, he was very, very appreciative!  So were we, as his parents!  Pretty neat to be honored like this.  
A special part of the team this year was that our nephew is now the head football coach.  He had been an assistant for three years prior to this.  Also, our brother-in-law is one of the assistants.  How fun to have an uncle and cousin being coaches for your team!  And fine Christian men they are, which is even better.
The boys are showing off their rings here.  They are BIG rings, too!!  They won't be wearing them every day, but have them to wear on occasions.  The cheerleaders, cheer sponsors, and video technician also got awarded, but instead of rings, the females got pendants to wear on chains.
Here's our youngest with his teammates that are also Sophomores.  They'll be Seniors in no time!

What a special memory this ceremony will be for our boys!  A great season of DOMINANCE on the field!  Way to go, Tigers!

Monday, March 30, 2015

Train Up A Child

Yesterday was a wonderful day!  Yes, it was the day the saints come together to worship the Lord, but yesterday was even a little more special for us because our morning worship was led by the young men of our congregation.  We're thankful that the elders and our preacher worked this out so that the young men could have this time to led and train to become the future leaders of the church.

Our oldest son preached. He has given several devotional talks and mini sermons for quite a few years - the first when he was 10 or so - but nothing ever this big or this long!  We kept asking him how long it would be and he would say, "I hope at least 15 minutes!"  You just never know exactly how long you're going to speak when you get to going! I know that from experience in ladies' day events. :)  (Oops! Had to work on that!)  But Z did a wonderful job delivering a message from God's Word, encouraging us to not have "Blurred Vision".  At moments like these, I realize he's grown. He doesn't even seem like an 18 year old, but more like a 20-something year old! It's awkward at times, being a parent to someone so mature, because he seems more mature than I am in some things.  (true confession)  He's a good example for all of us.

Our middle boys gave the devotional thoughts before the Lord's Supper.  He hadn't ever done anything like this before, so it was good for him. He came up with the analysis all on his own, using a real-life example of how we can get into the routine of partaking of the Lord's Supper without giving it the thought we should - about Jesus dying on the cross.  I loved how he gave it in all seriousness, but how I could still see his personality within his little talk.  It was a great learning opportunity for him. I'm glad he saw that he could do it - that he was capable of doing it.  I knew he could.  He knows it now, too!

And our youngest led the opening prayer and helped serve the Lord's Supper.  He told me before we left for Bible Class that his prayer might be too long because he had really thought about what he was going to say.  It wasn't too long and it was great to know and realize that he had thought about what he was going to say in advance.  I'm surprised this one hasn't offered to do a devotional, yet. When he was young he would preach whole sermons at home! :)

The boys who helped with the service did a great job, as well.  Our nephew led the singing.  Others helped serve the Lord's Supper.  Others prayed.  It's surely a blessing to have young men who are willing and able to serve. Others are in the process of learning.  It's a wonderful to give them opportunities to learn to lead.

Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. 
Proverbs 22:6
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