Bible Verse of the Month...

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. Deut 31:6

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Africa Calling!!!!!!

My husband was looking for a job. We had been living in a small country town where he had been preaching. Our family moved back to my husband's home town and he was busy trying to find another place to preach.

My husband had a friend who was on the Board for a Christian Secondary School in Africa. He asked my husband if he wanted to go to Africa. My husband had wanted to do mission work for years. He had tried to go to several different countries before we ever even met. My husband eagerly said yes. He'd love to go to Africa.

We had 3 children. Our boys were not to eager to go halfway across the world and neither was I. Every night at suppertime my stomach would knot up and I couldn't eat. The thought of moving so far away from my familiar world was frightening to say the least.

I'd only been on an airplane once and that was a short trip in the United States. Fly across the ocean. You've got to be kidding. What if I got too scared. It wasn't like I could get off the plane over the ocean.

What about the friends I had and my family. My mother and my husband's mother were not too keen on the idea. My mother said she'd be angry with me if I took her grandchildren so far away.

I talked to my husband and told him I just didn't think I could go. He told me that he understood and if I couldn't that was ok, but he thought that this was what God wanted him to do. How could I stay behind and yet how could I go.

I did what I should have as soon as we were asked to go. I did the only thing I could. I prayed. I asked God if this was really what He wanted me to do that He would take away my fear and help me be excited about the trip.

Of course, God came through. He answered my prayer; even more than I could every hope for. When I went to Africa God gave me other family and friends to love and to encourage me. He was always with me. My life is richer because of the experience of having lived in Africa for 5 years.

I learned so many lessons. I was blessed by the people there. It's amazing when you think you are going to be teaching someone or helping them that you end up being given so much more than you give. The people there were amazing.

Thank you Father for blessing my life and helping me over another one of the hurdles in my life.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Bullies

Have you ever had to deal with bullies in your life? My teenage years were times I would not want to live over again. Why is it that some people think so little of themselves that they try to make everyone else's lives miserable by mistreating them.

Study Hall was a time I dreaded every day. Two guys loved to tease me and see my face turn red. It was horrible.

I had so low self-confidence and self-esteem already that it didn't take much for me to question my abilities. I felt so stupid.

I'm thankful that I lived through those times and yes I came out better for it. Though it took a lot of positive people in my life to help me believe in myself and realize I wasn't a complete idiot afterall. I had abilities that God had given me.

I can look back now and actually feel sorry for those guys. I don't really see how they could have very many friends treating people the way they did. Although, it seems that some of the most popular kids were really not that nice to other people. I haven't really heard anything about those guys and their lives; although my sister still lives there. I hope that they grew up and started realizing how to treat the people in your life.

Bullies! Have you got any stories to share about bullies in your life? Maybe you've got a story that ends great with the bully actually changing and being a supernice person. I'd like to hear it.

Remembering Mr. & Mrs. H

When we lived in Broken Arrow we were in a Brothers' Keepers Group. We were helping our friends, the Arledges. It was good for us to be involved in a group because there were people of different ages.

That's when I met Mr. & Mrs. H. I was able to go and visit them at their home. They were a really neat older couple; lots of fun.

One day when I went to their home, Mr. H told his wife to tell me what she had done. She had put her false teeth on a plate. Then later she went to feed her dogs and mistakenly threw her false teeth to the dogs. In a little while, she discovered what she had done and went to retrieve her false teeth.

We also had another older gentleman in our group. One time when we were all arriving, this older gentleman parked behind Mr. & Mrs. H and bumped into their car. Mrs. H had a hairpiece on so when she came in the hairpiece was standing straight up. We all had a laugh about that.

Isn't it great that throughout our lives we can have people wander through of all ages and races and we can enjoy them. Everyone we meet brings something different into our lives. I just hope that I managed to give them something, too. A part of myself.

That was something that I learned when we lived in Africa. People there no matter how poor always wanted to feed you or give you something (maybe some ground nuts or eggs). They always felt that their visitors gave them something from just coming to see them and they wanted to show their gratitude.

I have so many people in my life that I owe so much to. They each touched my heart and changed my life.

A Salute to Ba Sailas

When we were living in Africa we had a houseman named Sailas. He was always doing things that drove me crazy.

Sailas was a very small man. Maybe 5 feet tall and probably about 100 pounds.

He would come to work every morning by way of the school pond. One morning he came into the house quite excited and pleased with himself. He said, Madame, come see. There's a very large animal outside. I said I don't know if I want to see it. He kept urging me to come outside. He had killed a very large black mamba snake. They are one of the most deadly snakes. It was probably 6 - 8 ft long.

Ba Sailas could have been killed. I believe these snakes are called the 30 second snake because if you are bitten you have about 30 seconds to live. I couldn't believe he would take a chance like that. Of course, if he hadn't killed it, it probably would killed someone.

He got someone else to help him carry it and he went all around the campus showing off his prize.

While Ba Sailas did drive me crazy at times he really helped our family with a lot of tasks that would have overwhelmed me. I do miss Ba Sailas and am thankful for the work he did to help our family.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

What a Difference You've Made in My Life

There's a Ronnie Milsap song that has been running through my head over and over. I've even been singing it in the shower. I'm sure it's supposed to be a love song, but it speaks to me of all the people who have come in and out of my life over the years. It also has a verse which reminds me of the change in my life because of God.

It's amazing how so many people can influence your life. I'm sure they don't realize the difference they make. I guess there would be pages and pages to this blog if I took time to think about every single person who has changed my life for the better.

I'm indebted to so many. There are those who believed in me; believed I could do things that I never thought about doing and they encouraged me to step out of my comfort zone. They made me believe in myself.

There are friends who helped me when my children were small and I needed so much encouragement and the friendship of others who had children.

There are friends in Memphis who took us in like their family. Especially Brian and Virginia Lowery who invited us over about every Sunday night after services. We needed family at that time when we were away from home and newly married.

There were friends in Africa; both the Zambians and the other missionaries. We always felt loved even though we were far away from our families.

There were Toastmaster friends. Their encouragement gave me more confidence in my abilities and helped me to be able to get involved in prison ministry. Thanks, Debbie and Mary.

What a difference you've made in my life,
What a difference you've made in my life,
You're my sunshine day and night,
What a difference you made in my life.

What a change you have made in my heart,
What a change you have made in my heart,
You replaced all the broken parts,
What a change you have made in my heart.

Most of all thanks to my husband, my 3 children, my two wonderful daughter-in-laws. You all inspire me with your love and your talents. Thanks to my Sister and Mom for loving me all through the years. I love you. I can't imagine what my life would be like if I didn't have the family and friends I have and all there support.

Most of all thanks to God who makes all the difference in my life.

Friday, December 01, 2006

The Sianjinas

Though we were thousands of miles away from home, we found family waiting in Africa who warmed accepted us and loved us.

We would take students from Namwianga and they would help with worship services on Sunday. People would walk from miles to worship God at the Sianjinas farm.

I always teased their son Justin that he needed to fix the road for us. It was so bumpy. But the trip to the farm always made us feel great.

The Sianjinas always asked why we hadn't come in so long. They let us know we were missed. They always fixed us a wonderful meal with nsima and chicken.

Mrs. Sianjina and I could only talk with an interpreter. She spoke Tonga and I only spoke enough to greet her. She always was proud of my attempts just to greet her in her own language.

Once my husband turned our landrover on its side when he had gone to a funeral and taken a lot of our students. The next day the Sianjinas came and they prayed and thanked God that Mr. Wood was not hurt in the accident.

We spend so many wonderful times at the Farm. We were close to them and their children. Mr. and Mrs. Sianjina have both passed away now. I miss them. God has blessed us with a multitude of family down through our lives. Our experience in Africa was amazing and I thank God He blessed us with letting us know the Sianjinas.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

What Will My Children Remember About Me

My health problems, even though minor, have had me reflecting
on what I have taught my children. Will they realize I love
them. Most of all, did they see Christ in me. What kind of
legacy will I leave behind for them.

I wonder if my children know how much time I have spent through
the years praying for them. Did they see me praying? I want
them to know many prayers have been answered and that I will
continue to pray for them that God's will be done in their life.

I am so proud of my children and my daughter-in-laws. I look at
them and see that God has blessed them with many talents. I can
hardly wait to see what God will accomplish through them.

I hope that I continue to grow and leave a legacy of faith in
God for my family.

According to Scripture

I am involved in a prison ministry. We had a guest speaker. I
I always love to hear him speak. He is so dynamic. He has us
read a lot from the Bible. Of course, isn't that what we should
do. We need lessons straight from the Word.

Lee would ask the women a question and say don't give me your
opinion. Tell me "According to the Word" or "The Scripture says"
and tell me what book of the Bible the answer is found in. He
kept pointing us back to the Word.

We can't go wrong when we go the The Word. Sometimes the lessons
that we need the most are simple, but yet we need reminders.
Reminders that keep us focused on the Word of God. If we have a
problem in life go the Word to find out how to solve it. What
does the Bible say? If we are tempted we should do what Jesus
did; quote scripture. Thank you God for the people you send our
way that gently remind us where our true focus should be. Please
God help me have a better knowledge of your Word so I can point
others to you.

I Needed That

I think I am finally recovering from intestinal problems, a virus, pneumonia.
I have been so healthy all my life that it was hard to have to take it easy.
I thought that God was trying to teach me something. Sometimes it seems we
feel we have to be running all the time doing "things". I think I badly
needed some time just to be reflective. To think about God. I want to be so
much closer to my Father in Heaven.

I heard some really good lessons lately. I thought I would like to share
some thoughts with you. First of all we had a lesson on Sunday evening
about the resurrection. It was said that the Angel didn't have to roll
the stone away for Jesus to get out, the Angel rolled away the stone so
people could see in and know that Jesus was raised from the dead. He was
no longer in the tomb. Many people think Jesus is still in the tomb. We
all have to figure it out that He no longer is in the tomb. Also, as
Christians we're supposed to help other people see the empty tomb. The
same power that was available to get Jesus out of the tomb is available to us.
Do we live as if that power is available to us or do we live as if he is
still in the tomb?

Also, the wedding custom was for the young man to offer the woman he wanted
to marry a cup of wine. When he offered her the wine he was saying I offer
you my life. If she accepted the wine she was saying I accept the gift of
your life and I offer you my life. This is how we should think when we take
the communion. Christ is telling us He gave His life for us; I offer you my life. When we take the communion we are saying I accept your gift and I offer
you my life. Have you given Christ your life?

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Heartaches

I've been struggling with a few health problems lately. But one thing
I have decided is that it hurts much worse when my children are
hurting. Have you ever heard a parent that is preparing to discipline
their children and say this will hurt me a lot worse than it will you.
That sounds strange, but it sure is difficult watching my children
struggle. I wish they didn't have to go through pain and suffering.

I pray a lot for my children. I pray even more when I know they are
hurting. Sometimes I feel helpless when my children hurt. I wish I
knew the perfect words to make their pain disappear. But the best
thing I can do is to pray and allow God to help them through the
difficult times.

I wonder what God feels when He sees us suffering. I like to think
of the scene from The Passion when Jesus died on the cross and
a great big tear drop fell from heaven. I think God must hurt too.
After all God is compassionate and loving.

I want my children to always let me know when they are hurting.
I count it a privilege to take them before my Father in heaven and
present their hurts to Him. He is so much wiser than I am and
He will know how to help and comfort.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

The Gift of Memories

This was a great weekend. My Grandson came to see me. Thank
goodness his Mommy and Daddy brought him. I always enjoy
seeing him.

I never got to know either one of my grandmothers. They had both
died before I was old enough to remember them. My Dad's Mom
died when he was only 18 months old and my Mom's Mom died
when I was 3 weeks old. But I did have my Great-grandmother.
I'm thankful for the memories that I do have of her.

I hope that my Grandson has memories of me; many good memories.
I hope that he knows how very much that I love him and how
special that he is to me. I hope that he knows that I love God and I
hope I can be a good christian example to him. I hope that I can be
like Timothy's Grandmother who shared her faith with him.

What kind of memories really matter about someone? What kind
of car they drove; how much money they made? Did they dress in
the latest fashion? That's not what I want my Grandson to know
or remember about me.

I'm thankful that God gave us the gift of memory. I'm glad I can
remember things about my family.

Isn't it great that God wanted us to know Him. He wanted us to
know how much He loved us and that He sent His Son to die
for us.

I'm glad that God gave us His Word, the Bible, so we can know more
about Him and His Son, Jesus. We are able to remember each week
Jesus death and proclaim it until He comes. I Corinthians 11:24-25
When He had given thanks, He broke it and said, Take, eat, this is
My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of me."
In the same manner He also took the cup after supper , saying,
This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as
you drink it, in remembrance of Me.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Twister

When I was a kid; it seemed like we had to go to the cellar a lot.
It was always a neighbor's cellar. It was a scary thing seeing the
sky turn black and watching those clouds.

I remember one time when we lived at Lindsay. Our neighbor with
the cellar was about 3 houses down from us. We heard the siren
and ran out of the house. You could see the tornado and it looked
so close. My mom grabbed my sister and starting running. She
asked me to go back and get my sister's shoes. Boy was I scared. I
don't think I've ever run faster. I imagine now Mom would wonder
why she was even worried about my sister's shoes.

It was definitely a comforting feeling to close that door on the
cellar and feel like you were safe.

I wonder how the little children that Jesus gathered in His arms
felt. O What a comforting feeling that must have been.

Isn't it nice to think about Jesus comforting us. We need to rely on
His comfort more often.

Callie and Charlie

My great-grandparents, were Calmaldonia (Callie) and Charlie.
They lived out in the country. They even lived on the same
place for 50 years or more. There was a little pond across the
road that my grandpa liked to go fish at.

They had some cattle and chickens. They didn't have indoor
plumbing. There was a well where they got their water. An
old wood cookstove that Granny cooked on and also helped
heat their house.

I remember Granny making homemade butter with a churn.
Thanksgiving we always had to have some fish that grandpa
caught. When I went to see her she always said how much
I was growing; then she'd say I'm going to have to put a
brick on top of your head.

Grandpa Charlie was sick several years with leukemia. He
went to the hospital and Granny said if something happens
to Charlie I don't want to live. When Grandpa had been at
the hospital a while Granny got sick and had to go to the
hospital. Her hair turned white as snow while she was in
the hospital. They said she had diabetes and her leg had
gangrene and had to be amputated. Grandpa Charlie died
and within 7-10 days later Granny died. They'd been
married 70 years. Granny just couldn't picture life without
Charlie.

I don't want to picture my life without God. I know my life
is precious to Him.

Ps 116:15 - Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death
of His saints.

Daddy Pete and His Dogs

One of the things I remember most about my grandpa,
Daddy Pete, is how much he loved his dogs. They went
everywhere with him. They were his family. He
petted them and you could tell how much he loved
them.

It was hard to understand why he had such a hard time
letting his grandkids know how much they meant to
him.

There are a lot of memories of Daddy Pete that I wish
could have been different. He seemed sad so much
of the time. Many times he'd been drinking and was
crying about something. My aunts would all say
he was sick. I finally figured it out. Grandpa was an
alcoholic. I guess he just didn't know how to express
his feelings for his family until.... my great-
grandparents died. They died within about 7-10 days
apart. I remember Daddy Pete saying I hope you know
I love you.

I guess I can look back a lot easier on that time now
and realize how it was just hard for him to express his
love.

I'm glad that God doesn't have that problem. He's told
us He loves us and He shows us in so many ways. I
can look around and see He loves me by a beautiful
sunrise. I can read about how He sent His only Son to
die for me. John 3:16 For God so loved the world that
He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes
in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Thank you God for loving me;especially the times when
I'm not very loveable. Help me express my love more
for my family. I want them all to "know" that I love each
one of them.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

The Country Store

When I was a kid Sunday afternoons were for family.
Probably about once a month we went to visit my
great-grandparents. They lived out in the country by
Bray. A very small community not far from Marlow.

My brother, sister and I knew that after the visit to my
great-grandparents and my great uncle Floyd; there'd
be a chance to stop at the country store. Uncle Floyd
always saw to that. He didn't get to see his own kids
much. Their mother and Uncle Floyd was divorced
and she had told the kids things about their Dad so
they didn't want to see him. It was sad, but he was
a special uncle. It was kind of like we had another
grandpa. He always gave us money so we could
stop at the store on the way home.

That country store was fun. An older couple ran the
store and it was always nice to stop and visit with
them. Of course, I didn't mind having a pop and
candy or ice cream either.

Visits to the country store; made possible by my
Great Uncle Floyd. Thanks, Uncle Floyd. Thanks
for more than money for visits to the country store.
Thanks for loving us and letting us know we were
special to you.

I know my Uncle Floyd loved me. God loves me
even more. He loves you, too.

I John 4:10 In this is love, not the we loved God,
but that He loved us and sent His Son to be
the propitiation for our sins.

My Daddy's Laughter

I loved my Dad. I thought he was the greatest. I wish
his grandkids could have known him. He died much
too soon; much too young.

I know if anyone would have tried to hurt me; they'd
better watch out for my Dad. He had to work away
from home a lot when I was growing up. He didn't
get to go to a lot of school functions. Probably my
graduation was about all.

He loved his sister, my Aunt Marie. There was
certainly a bond between those two. She used to take
up for him. I know she fought some battles for him.

Even now, after all these years; sometimes I still get
sad thinking about my Dad being gone. Times when
I wish he was around. I miss my Dad's laugh. Does
that sound strange? When he really got tickled about
something he had a strange laugh. I can't even
remember quite what it was like now. Just that I loved
to hear it. I still miss you, Daddy.

A lot of the best times I've had with my family have
been the times when we laughed together.

I wonder what God's laughter sounds like. Do you
think He and Jesus just laugh together? He must
like to laugh. He gave us that ability.

Ps 15:13 A joyful heart makes a cheerful face.

Let's laugh together more. Maybe God will be
smiling with us.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Pretending

When my kids were younger they used to ask me about when I was a kid.
What did I do. Also, they always wanted to know about my family. So I
have decided to become a blogger so they will find out more about my
life and family. Maybe I will even tell some stories about them when they
were children.

When I was about 10 years old I had two friends, Trudy and Pam. They
lived on my street. A movie that was popular and that we all loved was
"The Parent Trap". When we got together we used to act out this movie.
I thought Hayley Mills was the greatest. It was great fun to pretend to be
someone else. I could act mean or silly and since I was only acting that was
fine.
It's funny the kind of dreams and pretend games we have when we are
children, but nothing we dream about can compare with the plans that
God has for us. When we're older we can see how God's hand has been
with us and guided us.
Ephesians 3:20 Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than
all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.

Swagbucks