Thursday, October 15, 2015

Good Day for Marrying You ...Blessings on Vev and Eli!!!

This is my new favorite song.  

It played at Vev and Eli's wedding among happy tears and much joy and happiness.  And it was a good day, a very good day!

I pray blessings and love and happiness on this beautiful couple, on our "other" daughter Vevila Covington!  and Her Prince Charming Eli!  

May God grant you years and years of love, laughter, and fun like this song embraces.  May the soundtrack for your life be beautiful and varied and filled with songs that your hearts can dance to!!!  
May sorrow stay far from your door but joy be a welcomed guest!
May your hearts stay turned toward each other as they were on this your first day as 
Mr. and Mrs.
May you always remember the one who placed you together and may you run to Him when troubles come a knockin'. 
God bless and keep this marriage, in Jesus name!

Here are the words...
Good Day for Marrying You

Baby, the sun is shinin'
Dogwoods are comin' in bloom
Put on your white dress
Yeah 'cause, oh baby, it's a good day for marrying you
I'll call my mama and daddy
Baby, you call yours too
Put on your white dress
Yeah 'cause, oh baby, it's a good day for marrying you

I know you by now, which means I know what you're thinking 'bout
Your friends (they keep askin')
About us (with everyday passin')
It's time this fairy tale came true

Baby, the sun is shining
Dogwoods are comin' in bloom
Put on your white dress
Yeah 'cause, oh baby, it's a good day for marrying you
I'll call my mama and daddy
Baby, you call yours too
Put on your white dress
Yeah 'cause, oh baby, it's a good day for marrying you

We got all we need
I'll find a ring if you'll find a shaded tree
My friends (they're all buzzin')
Word's out (everyone's comin')
Better tell 'em to bring a picture too

Baby, the sun is shining
Dogwoods are comin' in bloom
Put on your white dress
Yeah 'cause, oh baby, it's a good day for marrying you
I'll call my mama and daddy
Baby, you call yours too
Put on your white dress
Yeah 'cause, oh baby, it's a good day for marrying you

It's good day, it's about to get better
Every dream is about to come true
No reason to wait, we got the weather
We just need our "do's"

Baby, the sun is shining
Dogwoods are comin' in bloom
Put on your white dress
Yeah 'cause, oh baby, it's a good day for marrying you
I'll call my mama and daddy
Baby, you call yours too
Put on your white dress
Yeah 'cause, oh baby, it's a good day for marrying you

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Counting My Blessings

Image result for picture of song Count your Many Blessings

Gratefulness.  Thankfulness 

Thankful according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary means:  glad that something has happened or not happened, that something or someone exists, etc.
: of, relating to, or expressing thanks

Thankfulness from the same dictionary means: well-pleased, glad

Thankful according to the Free Dictionary online means: Aware and appreciative of a benefit. Grateful.

This morning as I was waking up I felt bad.  A bit hopeless. Gloomy.  As is my routine, I pray when I get up and as I started I remembered these words from the Bible...Come into His gates with thanksgiving, into His courts with praise.  (may not be exactly that way, but how I remembered.)  This for those who don't know was from the Old Testament times when they would go into the Tabernacle and there is this whole awesome study you can do on how it is symbolic of how we enter into God's presence in prayer now.  And I tend to pray that way but this morning I realized that I hadn't been thankful or grateful for a while.

And as I thought about it I remembered to be thankful.  I have a friend who is pretty much homeless right now.  She has been in a couple of shelters, nights in cheap motels, on friend's couches.  It's been rough.  So I thanked the Lord for my home and all the things in it.  
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I have food in the house.  Another friend is working near a college where the students are hungry.  Budgets are very tight and they have sacrificed to be there.  And sometimes that means missing a meal or a few meals.  I'm thankful for food.  And another man I know is on a mission's trip.  They have very little where he is going and I have so much.  
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Then I thought of the prayer needs that have come into our prayer group in the last week.  People in hospitals with dire diagnoses, with little hope for the future.  Others  have lost their mom or dad.  I'm thankful for health, that I can walk and talk that my Mom is still with us.  I'm thankful for my family.  

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I'm thankful for my car.  We were able to get me my own this year.  It's sporty.  It's blue and good on gas.  Some people don't have a car at all. We have two.  I have a job. Many don't have one or aren't able to work. I have beautiful daughters and wonderful grands.  And Bill and John are good to Mandi and Jack and Chanel, John Paul and Bekki.  And my beautiful Carla.  She has been a god-send with helping with my mom this last year.  And right now everyone is healthy.  I have my wonderful hubby Paul.  And he is doing good. We are so blessed!  

My Dad always wanted to move to Tennessee, to retire here.  I'm living out his dream.  I'm thankful I live where I do.  

As I thanked God for all these and many other blessings, I felt the gloomy mood lift and I felt hope restored.  Yes, I have challenges.  yes, I have the same problems that were trying to overwhelm me.  But being thankful gave me a new view.  It gave me a new perspective.  And I'm very thankful for that.  

So if you are facing an Eeyore type of day let me suggest trying to be thankful, grateful, glad. 

When I was young we used to sing "Count your many blessings, name them one by one.  Count your many blessings, see what God has done."  There is a lot of wisdom in those words.  

Image result for picture of song Count your Many Blessings

Sunday, August 30, 2015


"Living in sin"

We, the church are so quick to point a finger and whisper and gossip and judge.  And it isn't God's plan for couples.  Marriage is His plan.  I believe in it with my whole heart!  So I'm not condoning living together.

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But let me take a bit of liberty here.  "Living in sin"  is usually associated with living together and not being married.  But let me suggest to you, that maybe pointing fingers and not loving these people into the kingdom might just be "living in sin' also. We are judging them.  Wait let me ask you Do you struggle with a sin even though you are saved?  Do you lie?  NO?  Gossip? No?  How about worry? No?  Do you perhaps eat to much? Gluttony? No?   Which sin has been around so long that it's like a pet?  Pride?  Envy?  Hate?  Lust?   Are you uncomfortable yet?  I am and I'm writing this.  Unsettling isn't it?

Well as Christians we are forgiven but we aren't perfect yet.  We are postionally perfect  but we haven't walked it all the way out yet.  We are on that journey though.  I suggest many of us are "living in sin"  and we should not cast the first stone.

Image result for free pictures of Jesus and the woman caught in adultery

Remember as Jesus told them to take the woman caught in adultery and the one without sin could cast the first stone.  Can you imagine the scene?  The angry crowd that just  moments ago were shouting and accusing.. the woman laying on the ground, ashamed as her deepest sin is out there for all to hear about.  But now there is silence on the hot day, a little breeze blowing perhaps,  Can you see it?  Jesus squatted down writing something in the dirt.  Maybe the women crying softly as she fears for her life. and slowly you hear the stones drop, one by one on the hot dirt street.  Cause I believe they were hefty solid rocks because when we want to accuse others we pick up the hefty rocks to sling.  Our rocks are words though.  We spit them out with disgust and judgement. Do you SEE what they are doing?  How THEY are living?  We get all smug and self-righteous as we hurl our word stones now a days.  We don't "stone" with real rocks any more. We are less obvious.

Image result for free pictures of Jesus and the woman caught in adultery

But back to our scene.. The stones drop one by one. hitting the dirt with a swirl of dust floating up in the afternoon sunshine as Jesus continues to write something in the dirt.  Quiet footsteps fade away down the street until not one accuser is left.  Jesus says to her in John 8:10-11 "Woman, where are those accusers of yours?  Has no one condemned you?"  She said, "No one, Lord,"  And Jesus said to her, "Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more."

Image result for free pictures of Jesus and the woman caught in adultery

He doesn't give her a pass.  He does tell her to sin no more.   According to the law of that day she should have been stoned for she was "in sin".  But he didn't condemn her.  He said sin no more.  And He is till saying to us "sin no more".  And we like her endeavor to obey.  But we struggle.

We must remember how much He has forgiven us and how we are still working out our salvation with fear and trembling.  Only confront sin in others if the Holy Spirit is guiding you into doing it. A word fitly spoken into lives.  For mercy's sake don't go out on your own and try and do the Holy Spirit's job.  Condemnation doesn't lead to repentance.  Conviction does.

You want to do something about other's sin???  Really???  Do you really???  No kidding???

Then let me suggest this radical idea.....Love on people.  Show mercy!  Shine His light in the darkness!!  Be kind!!  You are to be Christ like.   Speak the truth in love led by Him not by your own fears and pettiness.  Love them into the Kingdom!!!  It's simple.  Spend time with Him and his Word and walk it out and lead by example.  Be ye Kind one to another!

Image result for free pictures of be ye kind one to another

And if you want to do something about your own sin here is a link to a teaching about obedience:

Remember this verse:  "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness" (I John 1:9

Post note.....
It is a balancing act to teach truth to our children and grandchildren while being forbearing and loving.  But pray, pray, pray and He says if you lack wisdom He will give it to you.   

I admit I'm still learning but I think my thoughts here are in line with the Word of God.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Fernando Ortega - Give me Jesus

Going to Church

This dedicated to my niece Tammy Loftis and all those I ever asked to come to church..

Someone said, Tell your Mom you went to church that will make her happy (or something close to that). And it hit me. I and others have sent out the wrong message to our family and friends. Sure we want them to "go to church". But just going to church doesn't give them relationship with God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit.  Just like walking into someone else's house doesn't make you their family.  

See, what I really want for people is that they begin a journey to know the Lord. That they begin. Because it is a never ending adventure to know Him. He is so deep, so amazing! His love for us is deeper than the ocean, wider than the sky. His love is more overwhelming than a tsunami wave. Walking with Him is the adventure of a lifetime.  There is the deepest peace you will ever know. He loves us so so much. I want for you to begin your journey walking and talking with the one who created the universe, who calls you by name. He isn't a God who is indifferent, distant.  One of His names is Jehovah Shammah. It means the God who is there.  I want you to become aware that that our Lord is right there with you.  A Savior. Yes. But also a companion. You can talk with him just like you do your best friend. 

I don't want you to come to church and just hear the words of the preacher like you were hearing a nice lecture. If the preacher is serving God at all, he has asked God to give him what to preach. And if he is preaching the Bible than he has words of life to help you, encourage you, help you to grow in your walk with God, to help you know the Lord better.  

Just think if you wanted to be a nurse. You would need to go to school and learn all about it. You would need to know all the bones of the body, the systems, how to give shots, bedside manner ideas, etc, etc.  The preaching and teaching of good teachers is your learning place except God is involved and many times the sermon or lesson will hit right what you need. It will seem personal like he was peeking in your life. He isn't but God is.  That's why it seems that way.  Other times you are just learning things you will need on down the line.  Like packing a backpack for a hiking trip. You don't need a bug repellent now but on the trail you might. Or a granola bar. But when you get hungry you will.  Sermons are like that.  Come Tuesday morning when everything in the world goes wrong, the words of the pastor that were "God will keep you in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Him" will come back to you to help you stay calm and carry on.

Also I want you to know of God's love for you.  It's a great romance this love between God and us.  There is deep mysteries and great adventures waiting in our relationship with him.  He loves you so deeply. He thinks you are beautiful! He has these awesome plans for you.  I don't want you to come warm a pew. Just come and "check that duty off my list".  I want you to know God personally. 

Oh for the right words to tell you...  the whole purpose of Jesus coming was to reconcile us to Father God.  To forgive our sins and give us a meaningful life. Not all people will do big, huge things. But all, if they follow him and fall in love with Him, will find a fulfilling life.  You might just be a light shinning to your children and husband. You might just make your workplace a better place. You might just bring a smile to others. But to a child whose mom or dad was super that will make a difference. To a friend who is struggling with depression, your prayers and kind words will be like cool water on an August day. You, having the light of Jesus in you will make the world better. And he will thrill you like nothing else.  

I want you to learn how to know God and in that everything will change.  He doesn't want you to be anyone but you. But be the best you. He will take your talents, your desires and use them to change your world if you let him.  And in that pouring out your life for Him you will find  purpose, contentment, satisfaction and joy.

For instance, at one point in my life my friend talked me into working in a four year old class at church.  I was terrified and it was hard because I wasn't used to working with others. But the sweet little children and their pure, innocent love touched me. And sharing simple lessons was fun and doing art with them I enjoyed. And a bonus I didn't even know would be there I made lifelong friendships with the other workers in the class.  Sweet friendships that I cherish, that changed my life.  But God steered me into doing something I wouldn't have tried on my own.  This is just a simple example of an adventure He took me on.  I learned new things. I grew as a person, as a Christian.  I received love through the children and through my fellow workers.  Church gave me these opportunities. 

You may not ever work with children. Because your talent might be different. You may not even work at the church you might just be a part and take what you learn out into your life.  What I'm trying to say is that God will use your talent.  I work well with children, I love art, I love people.  Those were MY talents and needs and God fulfilled them there for that season.  I want for you to serve God and use your life in service to him so you can feel that satisfaction and contentment, find encouragement.  

Church or a small group or a Bible study group..whatever you find...become a family.  Not to replace yours but a church family. People who love on you, have your back, pray for and with you, walk through dark times with you, rejoice with you when you have good things happen.  Real, amazing friendships. That is what you are missing.  

Mostly I want you to know deep down in your heart the most profound truth in the world: That Jesus loves you and he knows you and died just for you.   He wants to be your closest friend. To walk with you daily, all day long. He wants you to belong to him, to grow as a person and to live well and love your life. He wants to give you a clean slate. Wash away all your sins.  A new beginning.  I want you to begin that journey.  It will have ups and downs and curves and twists. But it will be the adventure of a lifetime.  That is what I want for you!  Not ever "to just go to church". NO NEVER!!! But walk with the one who laid down His life for you.  To KNOW Him.  That is what I want for you!!! For you to dance through this life with the one who formed the universe.  To KNOW HIM!    to really know him.... 

This song above tells how I feel and how I would love for you to come to feel too. If you ever get to know him you will feel the same I'm sure. He will capture your heart if you let Him.. 

Saturday, August 8, 2015

A Wise Woman

A truly wise woman recognizes that others have wisdom too

We don't have to be a know it all. Have you met those annoying people that know it all? They drive me crazy. They push everyone away with their attitude and than wonder why they don't have friends. Of course, those friends would be wrong most of the time. The world must be a hard place for them.

Being annoying isn't acceptable. On my form for writing up misbehaving children on my bus, there is actually a place to check annoying. So it is official. You must not be annoying in life! Work on it people!!!!

Friday, July 24, 2015


So this morning I was getting dressed and I wasn't sure if my shirt was clean so I sniffed it.      (Yes, I'm aware that is really a "guy" thing to do and I'm not a guy).  
Anyway, it smelled like donuts.  Yum!  But it instantly transported me back to Cleveland, Tennessee where Paul went to college, while I worked at Dunkin' Donuts.  I came home smelling that way, everyday.  Quicker than a finger snap, I went there.  

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Do smells do that for you?  Perfumes maybe?  Chanel number 5 and 22. My Dad bought these for Mom one Christmas,  You could tell she felt so fancy.  It was THE one to have!  It made such a impression on me that I named my daughter Chanel years later.

Image result for free picture of Chanel no 5 from the 60s

Image result for free picture of Gardenia perfume
Gardenia is my mother in law, Marie Wagoner's favorite. I think of her laughing and happy for some reason when I get a whiff of  it.

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White Shoulders makes me think of my sister in law, Carole and the Christmas when she got a lotion type and how it wouldn't stop coming out of the bottle.  It was everywhere. And we all laughed and laughed.

Image result for free picture of Lauren perfume by Ralph Lauren 1970's

Lauren by Ralph Lauren makes me think of when I wore it back in the day.  And also of my friend Carmen Hutchings Hart, that gave me my first bottle. She had decided she wanted something else and gave me part of a bottle. I was hooked! I considered naming my middle daughter Lauren. But the name Carla won out.

Image result for free picture of old spice cologne from the 60's

Old Spice was my Dad's choice of aftershave .  Which is a bittersweet memory as he has been gone a very long time now and I miss him.  I couldn't bear for Paul to wear it for the longest time.

But not only perfumes spark memories.  Oranges too.  The smell of oranges make me think of the ones I would get in my mom's stocking that I had hung up at Christmas back when you couldn't get oranges all the time.  (Yes, we used her stocking or you may know it as a nylon.) Which makes me think of the pot belly stove and how cold it was in the winter in that old farm house.  But I smile at the memories of the love there.

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And, this is weird, I realize, But I love the smell of asphalt.  Yes, hot asphalt being made into roads or being put in pot holes or on factory roofs.  It takes me back to grade school when life was sweet and innocent.  As I walked back and forth to school they were paving the street all fresh and new with hot asphalt.  And it was so pretty and I've loved the smell every since.  I went to school in a Hamtramck, a part of Detroit.  Life was simple then.  Mom, Dad, Charles and me were a family.  The family I came from.
Image result for free picture old hot asphalt

I was at Cracker Barrel the other day. They have these awesome apple, pumpkin candles.  Oh the smell of fall!!!  I love candles. One of the kinds I like is the fresh laundry/linen ones.  Reminds me of when we used to hang our clothes out on the line.  Or okay this is rather personal, when I would do laundry and would smell the nice clean t shirts that belonged to Paul and I would whisper a prayer of thanks that we had worked out our marriage problems and we were still together and his laundry was still here.   God is good like that.

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Again, perfume.  Chantilly Lace perfume reminds me of a family friend, Fran Johnson See, who died way to young. She was older than me and I looked up to her. I was a bit in awe of her.  She could do no wrong.  Her death was such a deep loss. She wore Chantilly Lace.
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 But a happier memory is when I wear my White Diamond kind.  It makes me smile as I think of Chanel, my daughter.  One time years ago when I had lost weight and had just got a new bottle she slipped her arms around my waist hugged me and breathed deep, "I love that smell, always makes me think of you, mom".  She said it with love and a far away look of some past happy times in her eyes. So I think of her when I put it on and always wear it when I know I'll be with her.

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Another smell: the Johnson and Johnson pink baby lotion.  Oh the sweet baby memories.  Chubby cheeks, little arms and legs and bellies being rubbed with pink lotion making them smell so good before diapering and dressing them in sweet layettes with love and kisses.  Reminded me that they were still fresh from God.  Then I would rock and sing and love on them.  Nothing like it!

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Fresh new car smell?  Paul and I  have never owned a new car.  But growing up in Detroit.  My Dad bought a new car every few years and I remember that smell.  It was a happy smell.  Dad loved getting a new car and showing it off to his brothers.  We were all so proud of them. I think maybe for him it showed he had rose above the poverty of his youth.  That he was "doing good".

Image result for free picture of new galaxie 500 car from the 60's

Speaking of Detroit.  When you approached Detroit  going north on I 75, there was this horrible, horrible smell.  It was from a place called Zug Island.  It was where the waste from the steel factories make this bad smell. But, if you are a kid and you are traveling home from Tennessee and you are real tired, the smell drifting into your sleepy mind means you are almost home.  And that is a wonderful smell then.  Almost home.

Image result for free picture of view of detroit in 60sImage result for free picture of view of uniroyal tire in detroit in 60s

Sometimes, unexpectedly the smell of coffee takes me to my grandmother's home.  Me waking to her peculator perking up some wonderful smelling coffee for the adults mixing with the smells of some tasty breakfast for me. Her home was full of love and that is why coffee smells so good to this day even though I hardly ever drink any.

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Do smells take you places? Where? When?  How do they make you feel?

There is a verse about smell:
1 Corinthians 2;15 As far as God is concerned there is a sweet, wholesome fragrance in our lives.  It is the fragrance of Christ within us, an aroma to both the saved and the unsaved all around us.  TLB version     

Do you have the fragrance of Christ in your life?  I would imagine the fragrance of Christ would be a smell a bit like heaven. (Okay, I must go on a tangent here.  Do you remember Clarence the angel in the movie, It's a Wonderful Life?  He smelled like sugar cookies.  haha  Back to what I was saying...)  Which I hear is an awesome place where everything is perfect and wonderful.  Have you spent time with him and have his fragrance or have you been hanging with that other crowd that has the stench of smoke?  And I don't mean cigarettes.  It's a smell of hate, anger, evil, all things dark.  The smell of death.

One more smell.  Paul and I worked at a church when Mandi, our oldest was little.  The church burned and our puppets were in Paul's office.  They didn't burn but they smelled of the smoke of the fire for years.  It wasn't a pleasant smell.   

Do you smell of heaven or hell???

Image result for free picture of 2 corinthians 2:15 what aroma