Sunday, December 18, 2011

Christmas falls on Sunday this year, a week from today. So, it's very likely this will be my last post on this blog until 2012. I don't think I have ever posted on this song, but it's been on my mind quite a bit lately.

For me, the first time I heard this song, Tracy Tonkel Furniss did a very powerful version of it at Wells United Methodist Church in Jackson, Mississippi. I've wished I had a recorded version of her doing "Mary, Did You Know?" ever since, but, apparently, such a recording does not exist.

Just now, I skimmed the book my sister gave me that also included this song on an audio CD. Indeed, I do not remember reading much of what is in this treasured book, but I bring it out every Christmas season and listen to the CD several times.

On the back of the book, it reads:
"May our hearts, like Mary's, respond with joy in doing God's will. And may we, at Christmas and throughout the year, know that Mary's child was born to save us all."

Thank, God, a version is on YouTube that tells us more about the song.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Second Sunday of Advent

Today is the second Sunday of Advent 2011. Before I went to the animation for this day on the Jacquie Lawson Advent Calendar, I did some research.

This is sort of what it was like.

Here's the words to this poem that became a song.

Once in royal David's city
stood a lowly cattle shed,
where a mother laid her baby
in a manger for his bed:
Mary was that mother mild,
Jesus Christ her little child.

He came down to earth from heaven,
who is God and Lord of all,
and his shelter was a stable,
and his cradle was a stall;
with the poor, the scorned, the lowly,
lived on earth our Savior holy.

And, through all his wondrous childhood,
he would honor and obey,
love and watch the lowly maiden
in whose gentle arms he lay:
Christian children all must be
mild, obedient, good as he.

For he is our childhood's pattern,
day by day like us he grew;
he was little, weak and helpless,
tears and smiles like us he knew.
and he feeleth for our sadness,
and he shareth in our gladness.

And our eyes at last shall see him,
through his own redeeming love;
for that Child who seemed so helpless
is our Lord in heaven above;
and he leads his children on
to the place where he is gone.

Not in that poor lowly stable,
with the oxen standing round,
we shall see him; but in heaven,
set at God's right hand on high;
when like stars his children crowned,
all in white shall wait around.

Words: Cecil Frances Alexander (1818-1895), 1848

Music: Irby (Henry John Gauntlett, 1805-1876)

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Where’s the line to see Jesus?

Each year I seem to become more upset with the extreme emphasis on the commercial side of the Christmas holidays. I think that's why I like this song that came out on YouTube last year.

I have my friend, Mary, to thank for reminding me of the the song this year.

Everything else on this blog post came directly from the description of the video on YouTube, as follows:
Available on iTunes!

For booking and management: Nate 314-650-2121

The true inspiring story behind the music:
"Where's the Line to See Jesus?" While at the mall a few years ago, Becky's then four year old nephew, Spencer, saw kids lined up to see Santa Claus. Having been taught as a toddler that Christmas is the holiday that Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus, he asked his mom, "where's the line to see Jesus"? Becky's sister mentioned this to her father, Steve Haupt, who immediately became inspired and jotted some words down to the song in just a few minutes. After putting music to the words, and doing a quick home recording, he received a great response from friends. Her father asked if Becky wanted to record the song to see what could happen with it. Becky listened to the song, made a few changes and headed to Shock City Studios.

It was at the studio where Chris Loesch, owner and producer, rewrote the 2nd verse and part of the chorus... with goosebumps and emotions high, they all felt like they had something special and recorded the demo in just under 2 hours. 2 weeks before Christmas last year, her cousins decided to do a quick video to see what we could accomplish on YouTube. The first day it had 3000 hits and it soared to a million from there! Becky received e-mails, phone calls, Facebook messages from people all over over the world asking for the music, CD's, iTunes, a full version, anything... they had nothing.

After a couple of meetings with Chris following the amazing response, the team got serious. They headed back into the studio this past spring... this time with guitars, drums, bass, pianos, choirs... the real deal.... and here it is today. Getting everything set up, a website put together, and loving that thousands upon thousands of Christians have come together... remembering the true meaning of Christmas. Out of the mouths of babes come profound truths that many adults can not understand. Hopefully Spencer's observation will cause people all over to reflect on the love of Jesus, and that one day we will all stand in line to see Him. Becky is most thankful to our Heavenly Father to have this chance to share her music with you. Merry Christmas everyone.

Interesting facts:
• A portion of the proceeds of CD sales will go to Christian Family Services in St. Louis and the good work they do finding homes for children in need!
• The man playing piano in the video is Becky's father Steve who is also the main writer of the song and is the pianist on both recordings!
• Gloria Estefan's bassist, Jorge Casas, is the bassist on this recording!

Recording credits:
Performed by: Becky Kelley
Written by: Steve Haupt & Chris Loesch
Produced by: Chris Loesch
Recorded at: Shock City Studios, St. Louis, MO

Video credits:
Directed by: Chris Benson
Cinematography: Chris Benson
Edited by: Gabriel Reed and Chris Benson
Produced by: Carlyn Graumenz, Chris Benson (Lamplight Films) and Chris Loesch for Shock City Producitons
Cameras and Lights: Heroic Age

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Fifth Grade Video Gone Viral

My good friend, Mary, shared this with me today. Hope it stays up on YouTube long enough for you to view it.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

75 years ago today

I discovered something that happened 75 years ago today. The above image shows the cover of the first issue of the pictorial journalism magazine named LIFE.

According to my internet research, it is Margaret Bourke-White's (American, 1904–1971)photograph of Fort Peck Dam in Montana from 1936.

You may find it interesting to look at Google's images of

LIFE COVERS -- particularly if you are 75 years old today like I am.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Human Cargo - Black Notes Only

I felt compelled to show these two items on the same blog post. I was very impressed with both of them. The first is HUMAN CARGO exhibit at The Museum of Mobile.

The second is a video turns out to not be viewable in the USA. What a disappointment!

I will substitute this video just to prove Amazing Grace is played on the "slave scale" on black notes only.

Monday, November 07, 2011

It's better to be a slow buddy...

...than to be a no buddy at all."

I have always thought of myself as a turtle or maybe a snail because I like to take my time instead of hurry.

Thanks, Mary, for sharing this with me.

Saturday, October 22, 2011


If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or, being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;
If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with triumph and disaster
And treat those two imposters just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with wornout tools;
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on";
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings - nor lose the common touch;
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run -
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Man my son!

~ Rudyard Kipling

I have Carrol Don Wallace, a high school classmate, to thank for reminding me of the writings of Rudyard Kipling, a writer who died around the time most of us in the Cleburne High School Class of 1955 were born.

Source for Rudyard Kipling's biography is:
"Rudyard Kipling - Biography". 22 Oct 2011

Friday, October 21, 2011

Cereal Girl

First presentation is: Cereal Girl
Uh-O -- if you aren't friends or family of carlacarlacarlacarla you can't see the above video

AND, the second one is below.

Keeps one younger to have great-grandchildren

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Today was the second day of a three-day trip with tomorrow being for eye appointments for both of us.

What a privilege it was to visit with old-time friends during this visit and attend a couple of churches today.

Sunday School was taught by a friend at Briarwood United Methodist Church in Jackson, MS and then 11 AM worship was at Wells United Methodist Church.

Some of you may know that I continue to following activities at Wells via their website. Only recent sermons are available for download, so I'm telling you if you want to hear the sermon today that we heard, you'll need to check the website soon to listen to it or download it or both. The title of today's sermon was "Walking Out Of Darkness."

Scriptures: Isaiah 9:2-3; Matthew 6:23b and Matthew 5:14
Responsive Read: Psalm 139: 1-12

The Opening Sentences
Leader: It's true: We live in a world with lots of darkness.
People: And all too often, we walk in that darkness rather than in God's light.
Prayer: God, lead us to your light, and cause us to walk in it. In Christ, Amen.

One Hymn was "I Want To Walk As a Child of The Light."

The Special Music was by the Choir: "Oh Glorius Day"
I think I have heard this one at Jubilee Shores UMC also.
The Choir did their usual wonderful rendition with a female solo and male solo and several instruments involved. Just in case you have not heard the song, here is a version on YouTube:

The closing song was listed as "This Little Light Of Mine," but we had already sung it in an informal way, so our last song before the Benediction was this song, with words and music written in 1971 by Andrae Crouch.

Saturday, October 01, 2011

For Reflection

As the last slide says:

What this slide show lacks that the one attached to an email from Mary had is background music. Wish I knew how to add it... perhaps it will help to end with this video.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Look what welcomed me back home...

...Inez - Namesake of the Inez Burger.

Today an article appeared in the Jackson, Mississippi, newspaper entitled CS's turns back clock.

It's good to be back home in Alabama from a trip to Texas, but we are so glad to hear the new hours at CS's and can't wait to make it back to Jackson next month.

A post will go up on THE PERPETUAL VACATIONERS blog about our Texas trip just as soon as we can get it together.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Missed out on the “game” gene

I say this from time to time along with "I missed out on the 'gambling' gene."

Today I read this article and can now see why others may have the genes I missed out on.
Online gamers crack AIDS enzyme puzzle

BTW, I also missed out on the "math" gene, if there is such a thing.

There are two games I like to play, which are really the same game, and I don't mean playing them online. I like sitting at the table with at least four people and having fun with my own object to either game. I'll give you a hint: No one wants to sit on either side of me.

I even received a trophy for my playing of Crazy Eights when I played it during lunch when I worked at the ACBL. The trophy was the back end of a horse.

Here's the rules to the two games I like to play but not with the object of running out of cards before anyone else playing with me.

Crazy Eights


Friday, September 16, 2011

What is Jambalaya?

I'm going to bring this blog post forward to 2011 from 2010, because Wendell referred me to a wealth of information on Jambalaya including its history and many recipes for many versions. See what I mean at:
Jambalaya shows both sides of Creole and Cajun influences

First on the scene, was Jambalaya, a well-known Louisiana Creole and Cajun dish of Spanish and French influence, according to Wikipedia. Seems like the first time I ate the dish Jambalaya, David Mize had made it and brought to a party. Wonder where David is now?

There’s quite a detailed article on Wikipedia about the song also at: Jambalaya (On the Bayou)

Since the article on the song was such an eye-opener for me, I am sharing some of that information I didn't know before researching it. It is apparent that Jambalaya (On the Bayou) took on a life of its own and was recorded by many artists all over the world.

Quoting from the Wikipedia article:
  • Hank Williams, Sr., recorded it as a Country version and another, even more popular at the time, version of the song was the 1952 cover version recorded by Jo Stafford, reaching #3 on the Billboard pop charts (and making the song well known to people other than country music fans). Mitch Miller had originally intended Jambalaya to be recorded by Jimmy Boyd for Columbia Records. Boyd turned the song down and Miller recorded it with Jo Stafford. Years later Jimmy Boyd did record it for Dot records. It was further popularized in a Rock'n'Roll version by Fats Domino.
  • There’s a Cajun French version that has been recorded by Cajun bands including Aldus Roger and Jo-El Sonnier.
  • The Carpenters featured the song, in an uptempo MOR version with country flourishes, on their 1973 album Now & Then. Their version was released as a single outside the United States in 1974 and sold well in the U.K. and Japan.
  • Other artists who have performed the song include Jerry Lee Lewis, Leon Russell, Charley Pride, Jimmy Buffett, Jeff Healey on his 2008 album Mess of Blues, Emmylou Harris included it in her 1976 album Elite Hotel, Moon Mullican, John Fogerty (under the name of The Blue Ridge Rangers), Gerry & The Pacemakers, Brenda Lee, Harry Connick, Jr., Lucinda Williams, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Billy "Crash" Craddock, George Jones, The Residents, Leo Kottke, Wes Paul, Dolly Parton, Andy Kaufman, Professor Longhair, Freddy Fender, The White Stripes, Tab Benoit, and Tommy Funderburk (appearing in the film Steel Magnolias), Van Morrison and Linda Gail Lewis on their 2000 album You Win Again among many others.
  • In India, Usha Iyer (now Usha Uthup) recorded a version in 1968 on the HMV label, that became the best selling song until then, by an Indian artist in English.
  • International, translated or derived versions do exist at least in Chinese, Dutch, French, Italian, Polish, German and Estonian.
  • In 2005, two versions of Jambalaya surged in Mexican folk music, one by Banda Limón and the other from the Duranguense group K-Paz de la Sierra. However, in Mexican music, the most famous cover version is by Los Felinos.

Here’s a combo recording video from YouTube of both the Jo Stafford recording and the Hank Williams, Sr. version:
Looking back to my teenage years at Cleburne High School, one of my first memories of Jambalaya was one of my classmates singing it while in the shower after a Physical Education class. I wonder if anyone else recalls that.

During my high school years, I thought Country Music was just hillbilly music, but I've come around on that thinking.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Friday, September 09, 2011

Devotional by Rita Snowden

More and more, my blog posts seem to be copy-cat in nature.

Today, I'm even copy-catting myself.

09 09 09

Here's a short biography and a list of her books:
Rita Snowden Bio and Books

I wanted to find a photo of this author to add to this post. I was unsuccessful. That's pretty unbelievable for a woman who wrote 68 books.

Don't that beat all you ever heard of?

Postscript: Found plenty of photos of Rita Hayworth. Says something about what the world values, doesn't it?

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Don't suppose I'm an authority on anything, but I have a VERY SIMPLE technique to avoid worrying. It's so simply that I feel almost ashamed to put it on a post, so I'll save it until I give you the scripture that validates the technique.

Philippians 4:6 AMP
Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition (definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God.

If that scripture doesn't come to the point as directly as you'd like, here's Jesus words on the subject.

Matthew 6:25-34

“Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?

“So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?

“Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.

"Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

Now you are possibly going to think I'm switching subjects, but not really.

It concerns all the anxiety associated with making preparations for "the holidays." Do you think it's a bit early to move your thoughts in that direction? Well, I definitely recall a magazine years ago saying you should have it all mapped out around Labor Day, and it is post Labor Day.

I discovered a really good blog by Pastor Tony Faeth entitled

The ever so simple and to the point solution to freeing yourself from worry is to put the right kind of prayer in its place.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Polly Has Good News!

God, thank you for colors!

On September 20, 2011, I decided to add this video because it is so good. Hope it stays up on YouTube for you to experience.

Besides that, we have Alabama license plates on our Saturn.

Think you know what that means.

We're Alabamians!

Sunday, September 04, 2011


A friend sent this to me by email. It is from DAILY GUIDEPOSTS 2011 - Sept 4, 2011

“ Thy word is . . . a light to my path. ”
Psalm 119:105 (RSV)

 On the riverbank in the Hudson River town of Cold Spring, New York, I noticed a small sign:
Beyond the forested island I could see the US Military Academy at West Point on its dramatic cliffs across the river. “Jesus loves me, this I know. . . ”Easy words to write, I thought, for a well-to-do woman living in this delightful setting. Then I learned Anna Warner’s story.

She and her sister did grow up in wealth. Their widowed father was a prominent lawyer; home was a luxurious townhouse—servants, grooms, carriage house. But in the stock market panic of 1837, when the girls were in their late teens, all this was lost.

Their father bought a derelict old farmhouse on Constitution Island, fifty miles and a world away from New York City’s high society. The young women learned to cook, clean, wash, sew, keep a vegetable garden. Among many failed attempts to recoup his fortune, their father tried growing rice. I could still see the channels he dug in the marsh between the island and the shore.

To sustain themselves, Susan and Anna turned to writing stories, hymns, novels (some of them best sellers). But because there were no copyright laws, they lived out their lives in poverty. How did they know Jesus loved them? “For the Bible tells me so.” And for forty years they held Bible classes for the cadets at West Point, sharing their love of the book that made their outwardly meager lives rich and joyful.

Speak to me today, Father, through Your written Word.

By Elizabeth Sherril

Are there “coincidences”?

I immediately thought about the book by Gwendolyn Bounds, "Little Chapel On The River" because it has to be set in the same general vicinity as her devotional story. When I checked her blog, there was another so-called “coincidence” of a visit to Pirates Cove in Elberta, Alabama, very near where I now live. Now, these two narratives are linked in my mind.

Out of curiosity, I searched for the author "Elizabeth Sherril" and found a wealth of information, which also connected to another well-know book (see the top of this post) in which John and Elizabeth Sherril had a part in telling Corrie Ten Bloom's story.

Elizabeth Sherril's Website.

And, here's one more "coincidence" that brought me back to the place I lived more years than any other -- Jackson, Mississippi. Thank you, Derryl, for the GUIDEPOSTS sharing.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

MY CHILD by Rhonda Thomas

My Child Poem by Rhonda Thomas
Rhonda Thomas sent this to me when I could not locate a copy I once had.

Closely related to this poem is a hymn I came to love when I heard it at my sister-in-law's ordination as an Episcopal priest. Maybe this doesn't sound related to you, but the end of this beautiful hymn shows how I link the two in my mind.

I've been thinking it is a modern hymn. Perhaps the music of the version I like is more modern than the lyrics written by Isaac Watts.

My Shepherd Will Supply My Need

My Shepherd will supply my need:
Jehovah is His Name;
In pastures fresh He makes me feed,
Beside the living stream.
He brings my wandering spirit back
When I forsake His ways,
And leads me, for His mercy's sake,
In paths of truth and grace. 2. When I walk through the shades of death,
Thy presence is my stay;
A word of Thy supporting breath
Drives all my fears away.
Thy hand, in sight of all my foes,
Doth still my table spread;
My cup with blessings overflows,
Thine oil anoints my head.
3. The sure provisions of my God
Attend me all my days;
O may Thy house be my abode,
And all my work be praise!
There would I find a settled rest,
While others go and come;
No more a stranger, nor a guest,
But like a child at home.

Listen and watch this inspiring hymn...

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Akiane Kramarik painting Prince of Peace at age 8

In my previous blog post entitled HEAVEN, there was a picture of this in black-and-white in the book entitled "Heaven Is For Real." It was included in the book because the little boy who went to heaven was asked many times when he was shown a painting of Jesus if it looked like him and his response was along the lines of "not really." When he was asked the question as to what is wrong with this one (shown above), he replied, "nothing."

I have one more point to make in this blog post. My mind has been working overtime thinking about the book about Colton Burpo's experiences in heaven. And now I have this video about Akiane Kramarik's talent and where she believes her paintings come from.

As I thought about the two put together and also about the brilliant colors both Colton and Akiane refer to, I also thought about how Thomas Kinkade paints and that he is referred to as the "Painter of Light." His colors and way of painting are what I have referred to at times as just "too perfect," but when I think about his many paintings, I think I also see the use of color as well as light in a similar way to the paintings by Akiane Kramarik. Take a look and see if you might agree.

I do believe people have been blessed with many talents and that these talents come from God. At times I have wondered why some people have an unbelievable talent in the arts such as painting, sculpturing, music, etc. To go a bit further, I have the hope that some of my talents will show themselves in heaven.

Thinking further about "light," I recall the scripture in John 8:12 (New International Version)
When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said,
“I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

So much I have read refers to the experience of moving to heaven as an experience of going toward a gloriously beautiful, radiant light. Doesn't it make you look forward to that experience, indeed!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Unanswered Prayer

This is Mae Dean, the copy-cat blogger. If you read many of my posts, you know that already.

After listening to a sermon for Sunday, August 21, by The Reverend Keith Tonkel of Wells Church concerning this blog's title, I had my usual reaction to his sermons. I wanted to share it.

There is a way you can hear this sermon and most of his sermons, and I'd like to encourage you to take that opportunity and check the site once a week to listen to the latest one. Let me also tell you that his sermons are short and to the point. Also, I guess I should warn you that I think his sermons are addictive as well.

Before I give you that link, here's the scriptures for last Sunday's sermon as well as what was printed on the back of the church bulletin:

Isaiah 55:6
Seek the Lord while he may be found, call on him
while he is near.

Matthew 6:5-7, 9
And when you pray don’t be like the hypocrites
for they love to pray standing in the Synagogues or
on street corners to be seen by men. When you
pray, go into your room and close the door, and pray
to your Father who is unseen…and don’t keep on
babbling like pagans who think they will be heard for
their many words….
This then is how you should pray…

Romans 12:12
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in

James 5:16b
The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.

When My Prayers Are Unanswered: Why?
Prayer changes things. Right prayers in the right
spirit, are both powerful and effective.
When we pray, it’s no longer only human conversation.
Rather it’s the human spirit joined together
with the Holy Spirit.

Prayer should be uttered when one senses God
close, but it is perhaps even more important when
God seems unhearing, remote, and far away.
Our prayers are all answered. Perhaps not in
the way we wanted, but answered indeed.

Prayer is sharing truth with God who already
knows it. However when we come to God in
prayer it becomes our sharing and taking responsibility
for our lives and times.

Prayer is a private thing in one sense -- don’t
pray to be seen or heard by others, but its also okay
in public places, as long as we keep it brief, to the
point, and centered on God’s will, as we understand

Faithful prayer brings joy, hope, patience, and
ways to deal with affliction.

Like the early Disciples, we say,”Lord teach us
to pray.”
In so many words, He would turn to us and say,
“Try. Do your best to be in touch with the Father.
God will take care of all the rest.”

Answered prayer comes in more ways than one.
The practice of prayer puts us in touch with those

Our ‘why?” is moved toward clarity when we
pray. We may not see it all, but we come to feel
that we will eventually see and know if we keep
the conversation going.

GodStuff, Keith Tonkel
*From ideas in Adam Hamilton’s book, "Why?"
being discussed Sunday mornings in the Serendipity Class.

Here's the link if you want to take this opportunity to hear the sermon
When My Prayers Are Unanswered - Why?

If you listened to Keith's sermon, you heard him end the sermon with this:

"I asked God for strength that I might achieve.
I was made weak that I might learn humbly to obey.
I asked God for health that I might do great things.
I was given infirmity that I might do better things.
I asked God for riches that I might be happy.
I was given poverty that I might be wise.
I asked for power that I might have the praise of men.
I was given weakness that I might feel the need of God.
I asked for all things that I might enjoy life.
I was given life that I might enjoy all things.
I got nothing that I asked for, but everything that I hoped for.
Almost despite myself, my unspoken prayers were answered.
I am, among all men, most richly blessed."
~ Admiral Chester Nimitz

This is how I believe prayer works.

The video below refers to some of the same scripture listed above.

Matthew 6:9-13 (King James Version)

After this manner therefore pray ye:
“Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.”

Sunday, August 21, 2011


Thought this subject might get your attention, but this post will not be long. This is a small book one could actually read in one day. A friend loaded me his copy, and I'm glad he did. In other words, I recommend it. You can make your own decision on whether you believe what is written in it, and I will not try to convince you one way or the other.

I will say that surely most people who believe there is a heaven wonder what it is like. If that's not enough for you to read it yourself, then I won't say anymore.

I looked at some videos that are on YouTube about it and selected this one because it is short and was the best I saw there, in my opinion.

Thursday, August 18, 2011


Some people will tell you they don't dream, but I'm not one of those people.

Quoting from a Dream Wikipedia Article:
"Scientists believe that everyone dreams, but people will tend to forget them when they naturally pass out of sleep through the traditional sleep cycle. If a person is awoken during rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, they are much more likely to remember the dream."

In another Wikipedia Article on REM:
"Vividly recalled dreams mostly occur during rapip eye movement (REM) sleep."

Having set the stage with some facts, let me go on to tell you what I believe about some of the dreams I have had and recall.

At least one dream I had seemed to me to be God letting me know something that was very important to me.

Certain themes seem to run through some of my dreams, particularly dreams I recall. I feel I am inadequate or lacking knowledge to find places or go back to a certain spot in a dream -- in other words, I feel lost.

A similar feeling has to do with my not being able to measure up or do things as I should. For instance, I have a job to go to at a certain time, and I have problems in the dream doing what I really want to do.

Now, let me tell you what I can remember about a dream last night.

I was in a very large, amazing place that was inside. At one point, it seemed a little like a cruise ship, but it was not on the water. I cannot even say for sure if there was an "outside" but it seemed to be all under a covering like possibly a roof. It might also be compared to an enclosed shopping mall. Another comparison could be to an amuzement park that was enclosed.

As I walked around this place, it seemed like museums I have visited that had many sections devoted to different activities.

I did not feel like I was with anyone else that I knew. In fact, it seemed a lot like I was visiting a place that was pretty amazing with many people doing what one might call working but at jobs or duties that made them very happy.

At one point I asked a man what the names of the nearby towns were, and his reply was something along the lines of he didn't know but he was of the opinion that things had been concentrated on building and doing and not concerned with giving a name to the area. My feeling was very strong to know where we were and what it was named, because I wanted to be able to tell people later where it was.

As a little aside, sometimes managing to get from one place to another required more than normal walking. Once, I realized I could lower myself to a lower level by simply controlling my body with a gradual decent. I thought it was amazing and was very proud of the fact that I could do this. It seemed a little like a climber with a rope around him repelling himself, but I had no such device.

The main feeling I had about this place in my dream was that I did not meet a single person who did not seem anything but very happy.

I do not pretend to know what, if anything, my dream meant. I particularly wanted to share it because of the feeling of happiness and contentment I experienced. That was such a good feeling.

If you're feeling like dreaming -- or sleeping, this might do it for you.

Dream (Michael Buble Cover)

Thursday, August 11, 2011

You've Got A Friend

Not sure when I became a James Taylor fan. I don't think I discovered him in his early days when he had long hair, but I've watched plenty of videos on YouTube from those days.

I've only seen him perform live in concert twice. The first time was on Mudd Island with a daughter sitting on each side of me and the Mighty Mississippi flowing by on a gorgeous night in an open-air venue. That night is embedded in my memory forever.

Later, I saw him perform at the Mississippi Coliseum in Jackson, Mississippi. Wendell was with me that night and was all antsy to leave when he thought the show was over. Seems like we were going out of town the next day, and, of course, leaving a concert like this one is always an exercise in patience to just get out of the parking lot.

Anyway, I enjoyed both live concerts and have quite a bit of James Taylor's recorded music as well as a VHS tape of a live show on TV and a DVD given me as a gift because everyone in my family knows he's one of my favorites.

The words on this music box given to me by a friend read:
A Friendship filled with joy and laughter blooms and grows forever after.

The "FRIENDS" image at the top of this post has many interesting words I want you to be able to read that were written and composed by Tito Balangue @ Flickr, 16/Feb/2011.
A Flickr member, Tito Balangue, has this image in his [Share the Word]'s photostream and has graciously allowed me to use it in this blog post. To see it in larger view that allows you to read the words, please click on "FRIENDS"

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Who Am I?

Surely I'm not the only person in this world who has wondered on the subject of this post. Do questions like "What am I living for?" cross your mind from time to time? Can't help but think I have lots of company with questions such as these.

Thanks go to my high school classmate, Nan Keenum Carpenter, for sending this beautiful acapello music and slide show my way.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Another Birthday

We stopped by Big Daddy's on Wendell's 76th birthday, and the duo providing live music sang "Happy Birthday" to him.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Smart Dog

Thanks to Derryl for sharing this with me.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Bring Me Sunshine

Thanks, Mary, for sharing this with me.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Ain't this always the way...

For as long as I can remember, kids have enjoyed playing with the boxes that gifts or toys come in as much or more than the contents.

Wanted you to know she's still growing. Hope to see her in person this month.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

My Favorite Search Engine ~ GOOGLE

It's my home page just 'cause I don't want to miss their DOODLES, like today's:

Sunday, May 08, 2011

The Goen is EZ

Tom Goen · AKA EZ Goen
The EZGoen beard · two years old
Celebrating two years of beard growth

Roger Pedigo knows this man better than I do, but I sure would like to thank him for taking our family photo at Magnolia River Bar & Grill in Magnolia Springs, Alabama, today (Mother's Day), in which Roger is included because he's "family" adopted since we moved to Lower Alabama. It's okay that Glenda is in it as well. She's also "family".

Sunday afternoon at MRBG was part of a four-day Mother's Day weekend celebration with both our daughters visiting. As always, we took so many photos that we divided them into several flickr sets, but you can see those particularly of our family on Flickr at:

Mother's Day Weekend ~ 2011

Sunday, April 24, 2011

He's Alive!

When I saw Dolly Parton sing this song on the CMA awards in 1989, I assumed that she had written it. I recently learned it was written by Christian musician Don Francisco.

I discovered the work of Don's wife, Wendy Francisco, in 2009 through Dog and God, which points out some simple but important concepts about what God's love is like.

God created us and He loves all of us. Jesus associated with people who were judged by others to be sinners, but every last one of us are sinners. Jesus died for sinners so that our individual acceptance of His death for our sins and His resurrection means we can be made right and be with Him in the place he has provided for us. This is what we celebrate at Easter.

If you like, follow along with the lyrics below.

He's Alive – Don and Wendy Francisco
The gates and doors were barred
And all the windows fastened down
I spent the night in sleeplessness
And rose at every sound
Half in hopeless sorrow
And half in fear the day
Would find the soldiers breakin' through
To drag us all away

And just before the sunrise
I heard something at the wall
The gate began to rattle
And a voice began to call
I hurried to the window
Looked down into the street
Expecting swords and torches
And the sound of soldiers' feet
But there was no one there but Mary
So I went down to let her in
John stood there beside me
As she told me where she'd been
She said they might have moved Him in the night
And none of us knows where
The stone's been rolled away
And now His body isn't there

We both ran toward the garden
Then John ran on ahead
We found the stone and empty tomb
Just the way that Mary said
But the winding sheet they wrapped Him in
Was just an empty shell
And how or where they'd taken Him
Was more than I could tell

Something strange had happened there
Just what I did not know
John believed a miracle
But I just turned to go
Circumstance and speculation
Couldn't lift me very high
'Cause I'd seen them crucify him
Then I saw him die

Back inside the house again
The guilt and anguish came
Everything I'd promised Him
Just added to my shame
When at last it came to choices
I denied I knew His name
And even if He was alive
It wouldn't be the same

But suddenly the air was filled
With a strange and sweet perfume
Light that came from everywhere
Drove the shadows from the room
And Jesus stood before me
With his arms held open wide
And I fell down on my knees
And I just clung to Him and cried

Then He raised me to my feet
And as I looked into His eyes
The love was shining out from Him
Like sunlight from the skies
Guilt in my confusion
Disappeared in sweet release
And every fear I'd ever had
Just melted into peace

He's alive yes He's alive
Yes He's alive and I'm forgiven
Heaven's gates are open wide

He's alive He's alive He's alive
I believe it He's alive
Sweet Jesus

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Copy Cat Here Again

The Altar

Devotional by David Hampton
Reprinted from the 2011 Lenten Reflections journal of Wells UMC, Jackson, MS

O God, you are my God; early will I seek you ...

Psalm 63:1

Read Psalm 63
A Psalm of David, when he was in the wilderness of Judah

The cooking crew for the monthly men's breakfast gets to the church early. Got to get those grits cooking.

Last month, I couldn't sleep so I just came on down to the church a little earlier. As I went through the building turning on lights, I slipped into the sanctuary, as I have done several times on those men's breakfast mornings.

You should see it at that time. It's dark and quiet. The lights come through the stained glass giving muted light with color. You can hear the pews creak and pop to the point that I have had to look around to see if someone is there, but it is just the old, well-used wooden pews talking back.

You can hear the world outside, but even it seems quieter that early in the morning, almost as if the world is being respectful.

I knelt at the altar where I have knelt so many times with so many prayers throughout the years. I think of the thousands who have done the same and all of the things I have witnessed at that place. I've seen grief and joy, laughter and tears, all the emotions that come with our deepest cares, concerns and celebrations in life.

Most of all, I have seen grace upon grace.

There are holy places to which people make pilgrimages. As we travel through this lenten time, we will make our "pilgrimages" in many ways, seeking out holy places of refuge on our way to the cross. May I recommend a place on Bailey Avenue with creaking pews, worn out carpet with juice stains and a wooden rail beneath a cross.

It is, indeed, a holy place and there are plenty of spots available anytime. Especially at 5 a.m.

Lord, thank you that you are with us always wherever we may be, but especially for those holy places where your presence is especially felt and where we find comfort. Help us during this lenten time to earnestly seek You.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Lenten Reflection for Monday, April 11, 2011

Wanna Be
“This is the message He has given us to announce to you:
God is light and there is no darkness in him at all.”
1 John 1: 5

Searching for Light in my life, I started listening to Contemporary Christian music. Lyrics from a DC Talk song go, “I wanna be in the Light as you are in the Light, I wanna shine like the starts in the heavens. Oh, Lord, be my Light and be my salvation, cause all want is to be in the Light.”

These lyrics and others quenched a thirst in my soul and made my inner light brighter.

The earthquake that hit the Indian Ocean a while back wobbled the earth’s axis and changed time so the day will be shorter. Another time, time changed.

Jesus died and was raised from the dead and sits at the right hand of God. The common era came about around that time. His time on Earth was filled with darkness.

He took on our day-to- day struggles and became total darkness, thus absorbing our broken spirit. He gave it all, ultimately expressing his victory over darkness even before He gave up his spirit by saying, “Today, you will be with me in paradise.

Right then, he made “The Word became flesh,” mean something. A repentant man being crucified beside him died in darkness and was raised in Light that day.

Any darkness within us can be expressed to God and He will understand. none of us, even the worst, is totally swallowed up by darkness, but we have to reach for the Light. We are sick, He is well. He has achieved victory over darkness by resurrecting the darkness into Light. God is in all. We can say as believers and seekers that our redemption waits as Jesus’ redemption waited. He waited in darkness and death. He was raised in Light and Life. We wait in darkness and death. We wanna be in he Light and because of that we are in the Light.

Prayer: Thank you God for sending Jesus, the light of the world, to save us from our sins. Help us keep the candle burning deep in our souls, knowing one day you will take our spark and make an eternal flame.

Melanie Morrow

*Melanie’s article is reprinted from the 2007 Lenten Reflections journal of Wells UMC, Jackson, MS

Here's a peaceful video filmed at Bellingrath Gardens about this time last year.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Indoor jungle gym

Does this work for a good blog post?

I think so.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Sit Back and Relax …

... and enjoy.

Carla's short video of nature sounds inspired me to put this up today while it is pouring down raining outside here in Lower Alabama.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

One Spirit

Lenten Reflection for Sunday, March 13, 2011, by Michelle D. Deardorff

One Spirit

There is one body and one Spirit – just as you were called
to one hope when you were called – one Lord, one faith, one baptism;
one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

Ephesians 4:4-6

I was sitting in a Methodist seminary in South Africa participating in the evening chapel service. The students, professors and families attending represented countries from all over the continent of Africa, so the prayer book containing all of the elements of the Methodist service was translated into nine different languages, including English.

When it was time to read the Lord’s Prayer, we all said the same ideas simultaneously but expressed them in different words. It was a comfortable cacophony: each of us spoke in the language of heart and home.

After communion, however, my understanding of this service was transformed and deepened. As the congregation sang How Great Thou Art, the music tapped into my imaginings of heaven. People sang within both African and European, and African American traditions, mostly in the shared language of English, but not entirely.

Some African men started a line of the song in a chant and then others joined in wonderful harmony. It was a moment where seventy people from around the globe were praising and worshipping the same God through the experiences of many traditions and cultures, without subordinating one another, but instead enhancing each other. One song, many versions.

That service has replayed itself in my mind many times. I think it is what God expects of us as a community of believers. We come from different places and walk along different journeys, but we are all seeking the face and heart of God. This process will not be experienced identically nor will we sing in unison, but it will be the same song and be more beautiful for it.


Father, teach us to learn from one another,
not expecting others to be identical to us
but understanding how we may enhance one another.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

A Day Late and More Than A Dollar Short

Happy Valentines DayOne of my favorite love songs, My Funny Valentine, has quite a history. It was introduced in 1937's Broadway musical Babes in Arms, when I was around four months old, and has remained popular ever since. I vaguely recall hearing it in a 1950's movie when I was a teenager. Its lyrics and melody charmed me.

My funny Valentine
Sweet comic Valentine
You make me smile with my heart
Your looks are laughable, unphotographable
Yet you're my favorite work of art

Is your figure less than Greek?
Is your mouth a little weak?
When you open it to speak, are you smart?

But don't change a hair for me
Not if you care for me
Stay little Valentine, stay

Each day is Valentine's Day

Friday, February 11, 2011

Sunrise ~ Sunset

Before I met my hubby, I had nothing to do with the country music scene, and Perry Como was one of my favorites. It was good to hear him sing this song from the Broadway musical Fiddler On The Roof this morning. Hope you enjoy it too.

Music: Jerry Bock
Words: Sheldon Harnick

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Enjoying The Snow

Friday, February 04, 2011

Texas Pride

My hometown in Texas is Cleburne. I'm proud to know this and wanted to share it.

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Southern Sound Quartet

Southern Sound
Ben Harris, lead singer · Mike Young, tenor · Barry Patrick, piano
Adam Forsythe, baritone · Rick Fair, bass

When a friend told me that Southern Sound Quartet was performing at a local church in Foley this morning, I immediately knew I wanted to attend. Hubby immediately chose not to, and I can give you a pretty good idea why. When we were newlyweds, a young couple invited us to attend some kind of musical event in Fort Worth, Texas, and we went with them in their vehicle. As it turned out, we were held captive in something similar to a marathon musical event until way past midnight. Group after group of Christian vocalists performed on the stage of a large auditorium, and we soon learned it was something we did not care to stay at for hours on end, but we did not have our own transportation to leave.

I had already heard several people tell me this was a very good gospel quartet, so I arrived with high expectations. I was not in the least disappointed and feel very fortunate to have seen them perform their ministry of song and testimony. I now have their latest CD, Through The Years, to enjoy at home. What a variety of songs are on it!

My Heavenly Father Watches Over Me
featuring tenor soloist Mike Young

More recommended viewing from baritone Adam Forsythe's YouTube channel:

Note: Although I was sitting on a back pew, I think this morning's bass singer was someone other than Rick Fair (pictured above).