Monday, June 25, 2012

Them There Seinors Will Wear Ya Out!

Mom and I had a fabulous time on the Senior Saints trip to Natural Bridge, Virginia.  It was a fast paced, busy time and we had a ball.

When we got there we checked into the Natural Bridge Hotel.
This is the hotel standing from the parking lot of the Wax Museum.

While some rested before supper, some of us went to the Butterflies At the Bridge.  This was a great experience.
The butterflies were not afraid to land on us.  Here's a picture of Brother Harold Dean with one on his shoulder.  There was a little girl there that had about five or six on her.  It was pretty amazing.
They were beautiful.  Who doesn't like a pretty butterfly?
 When we finished seeing the butterflies, we went to the Toy Museum, where my buddy found her knight in shining armor.
I found this Star Trek set that brought back some great memories.  We had this set when I was growing up.
And they had some wonderful old dolls that I just loved.  Can you just imagine the little children that owned and played with these dolls and what fun and imagination they had with them?
I enjoyed seeing the old toys.  When we left the museum we went to the Wax Museum. 
This was one of the first things we saw when we went it, The Original Thumb Tacks.  At first I got tickled over it.  But the more I looked at it, the more it weirded me out.  haha
I was joking with my mom that we found her kin people at the Wax Museum.  Looks like grandpa's still to me!  :P
On Friday we went to the Safari Park.  This was one of my favorite things we did.  We saw amazing animals, up close and personal.  It was a lot of fun.
Speaking of animals up close and personal, here are few that was on the trip with us.
Mom got chummy with this baby llama.  They were just weening him off of three bottles a day and he was having a fit, yelling at everyone that walked past him, but stopped long enough for mom to love on him a minute.  Bless his heart.  He really did want a bottle.  LOL  Mom LOVED the Safari Park.  She had a blast and I got really tickled watching her enjoy the animals so much.
They believe this little fella was hit by a car driving through the safari, and that's why his antler is growing crooked.
Mother enjoyed being nuzzled by this camel.
Here's a picture of our Pastor feeding a water buffalo.  This particular water buffalo licked my hand when I wasn't paying attention.  His tongue was really kind of disgusting, but at least I can say I've been licked by a water buffalo.  *giggle*
That's a Watusi running toward us.  I took the picture and sat down because I just knew he was going to charge our trailer.  But nope... he stopped right at it and all he wanted was for someone to give him some food.  We obliged him.  :)
Here's a picture of my mom petting one of them.  You can see how large their horns were.  Their horns are made up of the same things our finger nails are made up of and contain blood vessels.  Their calves were beautiful little things.  They were like pure, smooth, milk chocolate.
These two had a slight disagreement of who was going to get the next handful of feed.
After the safari, we headed to Lexington, Va and took a carriage ride through this old military community.  We got to see VMI (Virginia Military Institute) from a distance.  I would LOVE to go back there to see them do their drills. 
The carriage was so nice I actually dozed off a minute.  Or two.
I'm guessing I wasn't the only sleepy one.  If you look closely, you can see Pastor Goodman catching a few zzzzz's in the his vehicle.  hehe
Here stands two of my favorite ladies waiting on us to return from our carriage ride so they could be the next to go.  I do love Mrs. B and Mrs. Ava!
This is all I have time to blog about today.  I'll blog more on our last day when I get the chance.  We made it to the D-Day Memorial in Bedford, Va on Friday and I definitely want to share those pictures with you.  It was emotional for my mom because her dad was there on D-Day.  I knew he was in WWII, but it wasn't until we were at the memorial that she told us he was there on D-Day.  So, I wanted to save that as a post all by itself.

Right now it's time to get ready for the Greer Baptist Camp Meeting!  Our choir has gone every year that we've been a member of Faith, to help kick off the first night of this two week camp meeting.  We love Brother Joe Arthur and the work he does for this meeting.  Looking forward to hearing Brother Mike Holcomb preach tonight.  You might know him as the bass singer from The Inspirations.  If you've never heard him preach, you've missed out.  He's fantastic.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Going Away

I'll be boarding a bus with my mom tomorrow morning with some of the seniors from our church.  We're heading to Natural Bridge, Virginia for a three day weekend. 

It's going to be a busy weekend.  We have several things on the agenda besides viewing the Natural Bridge:
*Wax Museum
*Butterfly Garden
*Walking trails
*Light show at the Bridge
*MAYBE a trip to Lexington, Ky
*D-Day Memorial
*And who knows what else!

It'll be a fun weekend and one with lots of pictures to share, I'm sure.  :) 

I'm looking forward to this time with mom and know we'll have some good mother/daughter/girlie time together.
Since I'll be gone a few days, Bruce wanted to have our regular date night this afternoon.  We ended up at Mi Pueblitos and checked out the newest, used books store here in town.  I bought him a gift certificate to that place for one of his Father's Day gifts.  He walked out with two books today.  I'm sure he'll be back up there in the next week or so.  Boy loves to read!  I think we were both surprised to find two Oliver B Greene books there.  Bruce has his entire collection, which was given to him by my dad, which was given to him by Oliver B. Greene's mother when daddy was in school at Bob Jones.  Bruce uses them, often, as devotional books. 
And Monday, my little baby boy turned twenty years old.  Say whaaaa??????  Yep, twenty.  He's working two jobs right now.  One is his regular, first shift job, where they make armour vehicles.  He loves it there!  The other is part time until after the fourth of July for a big fireworks store.  He leaves job #1 and goes straight to job #2.  I think his main job is unloading trucks there, but he's also into sales.  So he's gone when we all get up and doesn't make it back home until, sometimes, 10:00 or after at night.  Since he's working a long day, we decided to wait until after the fourth to celebrate his birthday.  This picture was taken Memorial Day weekend when we went to visit friends.  Justin and this little feller became buds. 
Now it's time to get ready for church.  Looking forward to tonight's service.  I believe Brother Johnny will be preaching.  Seems like I recall Pastor saying that he and Mrs. Ava will be at Family Week with World Wide Missions for a few days.  Hope they have a good time with the staff of World Wide and the missionaries that get to go be a part.  I know they always have a good time of fellowship in the Lord.
See ya next week if I don't blog on the road.  :)

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Repentance, Part II

Repentance is a gift.
*From God.  Acts 11:18 says, "When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life."
I looked up the word grant and had to smile at what I found.  Grants are funds disbursed by ONE party...(the umm, GRANT MAKERS...that would be the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost), to a recipient.  A nonprofit entity.  (That would be us.)  
God grants us the gift of repentance.  You can't have salvation or a clear walk with God without it.

*From Christ also.  Acts 5:31 says, "Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins."
When we give something to someone, we don't expect anything in return.  It is theirs with no compensation required.  Christ is our Savior and gives us repentance unto salvation.   

*From the Holy Spirit.  Zechariah 12:10 says, "And I will pour out my spirit upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn."
God will send His Holy Spirit to us to bring us to repentance.  We will mourn in our sin and be convicted to come to repentance.  This is a gift.  It's kind of funny to think of it that way, but what a wonderful gift that pushes us and helps us grow in our walk with the Lord!

There are three things that will lead us to repentance. 
*God's longsuffering.  2 Peter 3:9 is one of my favorite verses, "The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance."  God doesn't have to put up with us.  But He loves us so much that He will wait patiently on us to come to repentance.  This doesn't mean we should put off repentance.  We should repent as soon as the Spirit of conviction falls on us.  But God will not be accused of being too hasty when it comes to punishing us.  It is His love and longsuffering that brings us to our knees.

*God's goodness.  Romans 2:4 "Or despisest thou the riches of His goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?"  To despise something is to to look down on with contempt.  To regard as negligible, worthless, or distasteful.  I have been in that place.  At the time, I did not think of myself regarding the riches of His goodness as worthless or distasteful.  But looking back now, my heart was seeking the riches of the world and what it could give me.  It wasn't until I realized His riches of goodness on my life that I came to repentance.

*Conviction of sin, Acts 2:37,38 "Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?  Then peter said unto them, REPENT, and be baptized every on of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost."  Conviction of sin will lead us to repentance.  The Holy Ghost always lets us know when we have sinned.  This is that pricking of the heart, mentioned in the first part of verse thirty-seven.  It is important to act up on that conviction and repent of whatever sin the Holy Spirit is dealing with us about. 

Friday, June 15, 2012

Repentance Part 1

 I read the above picture a couple of weeks ago and it got me thinking about repentance. 
Have you, or someone close to you, ever kept going to the alter for the same thing over and over?  That sin we just can't seem to conquer keeps showing it's ugly head and tripping us up?  So down to the alter we go, apologizing to the Lord, only to find ourselves right back in that same situation again.  Yeah...we've all been there at one time or another.  So what works?  Obviously not apologizing.  It takes repentance from that sin.  True, full repentance.
But what is repentance exactly?   
Acts 9:35 describes repentance as turning away from sin, to the Lord.  Some argue that it is changing your mind, not turning away.  Well, I say it's turning around.
Acts 8:22 describes repentance as repenting and seeking forgiveness.  And Acts 15:3 describes it as conversion.  
There are several kinds of repentance.  But I focused on the unreal and the true.
Let's look at an unreal repentance, shall we?  In Exodus 9:27-35 we see the story of Pharaoh and how he "repented" and made a deal with Moses.  Pharaoh would let the people of Israel go if Moses would get the hail and thundering to stop.  Moses kept his end of the bargain, but Pharaoh?  No way.  Verse 34 says, "And when Pharaoh saw that the rain and the hail and the thunders were ceased, he SINNED YET MORE, and hardened his heart, he and his servants."  Now, reading over that verse, something else jumped out at me.  Just after it says that Pharaoh sinned yet more, it says, "...and hardened his heart..."  God doesn't put things in the Bible just for our amusement.  Every word is from Him for a reason.  Which leads me to believe that there is a lesson in those words.  The more we continue in a sin that God convicts us over, the harder our hearts become toward that sin.  Making it easier to harden our hearts to other sins that will keep us from growing in the Lord.
True repentance can be seen in Acts 9:1-20, when Saul was in route to slaughter Christians.  In a split moment he was stricken blind and God spoke to him to change his ways.  When God gets our attention concerning sin in our lives, we better listen.  Now, Saul was struck blind.  But because of his obedience, God sent Ananias to heal his blindness.
This made me think how we are often blinded by sin before God gets hold of us.  And if we will listen to the man of God that God has put in place for us, God will loose those scales of sin that blind us and use the man of God to help us see the error of our ways, which will put us on the right path to living right. 

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Train Up A Child

I still want to blog on repentance, but another subject has been on my mind for a few days and until I get it off my chest, I can just forget about anything else.  So, here goes...

I am often left with my mouth gaping open when small children are allowed to get away with things that their parents, grandparents, or guardian, otherwise find cute. 

I see it at church, the grocery store, parks, restaurants...  pretty much anywhere you find children, you will find the lack of discipline needed to train them up in the way they should go.  This is the biggest reason we have raised unruly, unAmerican, and unGODLY citizens.

Proverbs 22:6 says, "Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it."  This is not a promise that if we do train them up in the way they should go that they will be perfect.  But it is a promise that if we train them up in the way they should go, that during their decision making, they will remember what they were taught as a child.

Proverbs 13:24 says, "He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that LOVETH him chasteneth him betimes."  In Deuteronomy 8:5, Hebrews 12:6, and 12:7, we are told that God chastens His children.  Why?  Because He loves us and desires us to do right.  I really don't think when we sin, God sits back and laughs and thinks how cute we are.  No, He gets right on it and makes sure we know we have sinned and we need to straighten up or else.  Something that jumps out at me in Proverbs 13:24 is the first part of the verse, "He that spareth his rod *HATETH* his son...."  Wow.  If you aren't raising your child to be good and obedient, if you let them get by with what they ought not get by with, you hate them.  That is such a strong word, but you know what, it's true.  I have seen in many homes where a child ignored and left alone, never being disciplined the way they ought to be, are nothing but heartache and trouble to their parents, families, teachers, friends, employers...society, in general.  What kind of parent wants that for their child?  I sure don't!  And if they end up that way, I don't want it to be because of something I did.  Or rather, DIDN'T do in my training them up the way they should go.

As I pondered on Proverbs 13:24, I thought of  Titus 2:4, "That they (the older women) may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to LOVE THEIR CHILDREN."  Now, I don't know about you, but the moment I found out I was going to have each of my children, I immediately loved that child.  When I held each of them in my arms, I was overwhelmed at God's miracle of life and my heart was forever changed.  I felt great love for them.  So if it is a natural love we feel, then why must a Christian mother be taught to love her children, as instructed in Titus 2:4?  Because we feel so much love for them that it is easy to ignore their little sins and think how cute they are.  As older Christian women, we can teach young mothers to love their children by teaching them not to overlook bad behavior in their children and laugh in the face of sin.

I thought of an illustration involving a friend of mine.  She is a WONDERFUL mother.  She has the most beautiful little girl, who has the sweetest disposition.  But that sweet little girl decided to pitch a fit in the vehicle one day, while their family was traveling, and smacked her mother.  Not playfully (which is still not a good idea to encourage, btw), but in anger.  Now, she's still a baby, barely walking, I think, and like I said, has the SWEETEST little personality you'll ever find on a child.  But she is still flesh and bone and her heart is black with sin until she gives it to Christ one day.  I had to give a shout out to the mom for spanking her little legs.  For a moment, it was a battle of wills between mom and daughter.  But you know what?  That little angry daughter's will was broken, mom was back in charge, and a happy little girl made it to her destination.  A little teary-eyed, no doubt, but with a bright and beautiful smile.  Loving our children and training them to do what is right begins from the moment we hold them in our arms for the very first time.

In one of my all time favorite Sword of the Lord books, With Love and a Pinch of Salt by Jessie Rice Sandberg, she includes Twelve Rules For Raising Delinquent Children issued by the Police Department of Houston, Texas.  I'll close this post with those rules.  Some good food for thought here.
1. Begin with infancy to give the child everything he wants.  In this way he will grow up to believe the world owes him a living.
2. When he picks up bad words, laugh at him.  This will make him think he's cute.  It will also encourage him to pick up "cuter" phrases that will blow off the top of your head later.
3. Never give him spiritual training.  Wait until he is 21 and then let him "decide for himself."
4. Avoid use of the word "wrong."  It may develop a guilt complex.  This will condition him to believe later, when he is arrested for stealing a car, that society is against him and he is being persecuted.
5. Pick up everything he leaves around - books, shoes and clothes.  Do everything for him so that he will be experienced in throwing all responsibility on others.
6. Let him read any printed matter he can get his hands on.  Be careful that the silverware and drinking glasses are sterilized, but let his mind feast on garbage.
7. Quarrel frequently in the presence of your children.  In this way they will not be too shocked when the home is broken up later.
8. Give a child all the spending money he wants.  Never let him earn his own.  Why should he have things as tough as you had them?
9. Satisfy his every craving for food, drink, and comfort.  See that every sensual desire is gratified.  Denial may lead to harmful frustration.
10. Take his part against neighbors, teachers, policemen.  They are all prejudiced against your child.
11. When he gets into real trouble, apologize for yourself by saying, "I never could do anything with him."
12. Prepare for a life of grief.  You will be likely to have it.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Camp and Nature

This morning, I packed up Harry in the car with his luggage, pillow, and fan, and met some friends who were taking him and their sons to camp.  He's attended this camp the last couple of years and he loves it there.  The people that run it are wonderful and we are glad to have him go there.  Good preaching, good teaching, and loads of fun to kick off the summer!  I already miss him and it's not even been a day.
While I was dropping Harrison off to go to his camp, our church secretary was dropping off a group of teens in Georgia for their camp.  It was a spur of the moment thing and the ones able to go were pretty excited.  This is the same camp I blogged about last week, where we dropped off a friend's son to work for the summer.
This is his bunk.  Don't tell him I showed you his koala bear.  :D  
The cabins were nicely primitive.  Much like the camp cabins we were use to when we were growing up.  No bathrooms, no air...but well ventilated where the roof and walls meet.  Or where they're suppose to meet, anyway.  haha 
I liked that they have lines out to hang their towels and clothes on.
They have obstacle courses set up for the kids.  I'm supposing they do team competitions there.  Looked like fun.
Here you see the building they use for pretty much everything.  On the left side you see the kitchen.  On the right side you see the nurses station.  Coincidental, I'm sure.
This building is also used for their games, preaching, and eating. 
At the end of the week they cook BBQ for everyone.  I know the kids will enjoy that.
They let people set up campsites, enjoy the food and preaching through the week.
They have a great creek on the grounds.
And a rope swing to swing out into it.  Doesn't that sound like fun?
Not sure exactly what this is, but I'm guessing they do s'mores and sing came fire songs like Kumbaya, My Lord and It Only Takes a Spark.
The camp is nestled below mountains on all sides.  Wouldn't it be nice to wake up to that every morning?
Somewhere in those cabins are a group of our girls, who will wake up tomorrow morning and try to beat each other to the bath house, in hopes of getting the hot water before it runs out.  I'm guessing, for most of them, it will be a pony tail, no make-up, kind of week. 
Thursday is mud day.  All of their activities will be in the mud.  Definitely a pony tail, no make-up kind of day. :D
All joking aside, the people that run this camp are solid.  I'm praying for Harrison and his friends and these teens, that they will have a good time, hear some good preaching, and hopefully come back filled up with some good testimonies of what the Lord did for them this week.
This past weekend, Harrison came inside to say there was a baby bird on our sidewalk.
Bless it's heart, it fell from the nest right above where it had fallen.  The mom and dad were going NUTS.
If you look closely, you can see something in the mom's mouth.  She was preparing to feed the fallen baby, while "dad" was down by the baby squawking at him to move off the sidewalk.  Which he did...after mom fed him, of course.  Which was so sweet!
Of course, while all of this was going on, there was a squirrel that was totally oblivious to what was going on just a few feet away from him.  He was more concerned about the nut he found.  Kind of made me think of someone enjoying their food so much at a restaurant they don't notice the person at the next table choking to death on fried okra.  He was really enjoying that nut.
Meanwhile, "dad" talked baby into jumping into our monkey grass.  We haven't seen him anymore, but we see the parents flying in and out.  I worry about snakes.  But as long as the parents are flying in and out, I reckon the little guy is OK.
I love Pinterest.  Hannah and I have found some really cool do-it-yourself projects on that site.  One of those projects was the necklace holder you see on the left side of the picture below.  My brother-in-law owns Kingdom Custom Cabinets in Kings Mountain.  He does BEAUTIFUL work, by the way.  Anyway, he let me come by and pick out some cabinet knobs for this project.  Bruce used some wood in his wood shop to place the knobs on, stained the wood for me, and hung it up behind my bathroom door.  I love it.  It looks great back there too.
I bought a necklace holder from Cato's a while back, but my necklaces were outgrowing that holder.  Once I was able to get them to the new one, I was able to use the old one for my hair accessories.  I'm happy with them both.