Sunday, February 28, 2010

Sunday's Here and Speaking of Rain

Rain came on with a vengeance about midnight last night.  The wind blew and the rains came, almost all night and into the morning today.

The sermon this morning was "Commanded to Praise" with text from Psalm 100:5.

Don named three things that God knew our praise of Him would do for us:

  1. Praise changes our focus from ourselves to God.
  2. Praise builds our faith.
  3. Praise defeats the Devil

Luke 19: 40 - (Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, "Teacher, rebuke your disciples!") "I tell you," he replied, "if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out."

Mute the playlist and click this link

>>>Then Will the Very Rocks Cry Out<<<

and sing along, your praises to the LORD.

If we keep our voices silent, all creation will rise and shout.

If we fail to praise you, Father, then will the very rocks cry out!

If we keep our voices silent, all creation will rise and shout.

If we fail to praise you, Father, then will the very rocks cry out!

From the corners of creation, come the people of the Living God.

Every tongue and every nation, gather now to praise the Lord.

If we keep our voices silent, all creation will rise and shout.

If we fail to praise you, Father, then will the very rocks cry out!

If we keep our voices silent, all creation will rise and shout.

If we fail to praise you, Father, then will the very rocks cry out!

From a world of tribulation, come and let your voice be raised.

Join us now in congregation. Let the Living God be praised.

Alleluia! Alleluia! Unto him we offer praise.

Alleluia! Alleluia! This song of joy to him we raise.

Alleluia! Alleluia! In the heavens angels sing.

Alleluia! Alleluia!  Give glory to the most high King!

If we keep our voices silent, all creation will rise and shout.

If we fail to praise you, Father, then will the very rocks cry out!




Don also pointed out the awesome account in 2nd Chronicles to confirm the importance of praise and singing to the LORD.  I love this chapter and shared it with our choir at the beginning of the season back in October.

The music was particular uplifting this morning too. 

Today, we went to brunch at Duffer's in Arizona City and met Rick and Wendy there.  Duffer's serves a really good brunch buffet and we all had an omelet of our choice.

Norm and Lori invited us over tonight for a mac and cheese specialty of hers which was very tasty.  She's emailing the recipe to me, plus she sent some home with us.  Thanks, Lori, for a delicious dinner!100_1069

After the meal, we played Spades and watched the hummingbirds at the feeder attached to the window by the dining table.100_1076

Because the feeder is on the side of their RV away from the sunset, the colors are not nearly as vivid as they are in the sunshine, but still, it's a pretty good picture.100_1074

This one is blurry, obviously.  Have you seen how fast they fly?100_1089

Well, the Canadians in the park were carrying their maple leaf flags and honking there car horns in the park this afternoon.  Yawn.  Just kidding.  Congratulations, Canada.  It was a good game... what little bit of it that I watched... overtime.  And what little bit that I understand about hockey.

The U.S. might have lost the hockey game today, but the girls were the Spades champs tonight!

That was our Sunday.  A little on the cool side, but nevertheless a great day.

God is good.  All the time.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Toma Knows Flowers

Toma takes care of most of the flowers on park property.  And the wonderful rains we've had in January and February has helped tremendously.2010 Feb 27 pansies1000_0004000_0011

Friday, February 26, 2010

Friday in the Park

Before choir practice, Don and I took a walk.

A new park model was just moved in down the street.100_1018

Here's a pretty typical floor plan for a park model:38FLA-C

We think this 5th wheel RV site is pretty. 100_1019

Around the corner, we met Klaus Berger and his ten year old retired soft-haired Wheaten Terrier.  Klaus said Norman is hypo-allergenic and that he goes into nursing centers to visit the patients because he doesn't shed and they don't sneeze or get allergies when he's around.100_1020

Norman remembered his championship days and stood very nicely for this picture.100_1021

Ooooo, a gold 'tricycle!'100_1022

Hmmmm.  I never saw a BMW tricycle before.  The owner offer to take my picture sitting on it.  I declined because I might not have gotten off.100_1023100_1024

After lunch, we walked over to Mary and Elmer Stinemetz's to say our good-byes.  They have sold their park model and are leaving tomorrow.  We sure will miss them, but maybe we will be passing their way in Kansas some day.  If not, we will see them in Glory.100_1028 

We are so blessed.       

"Virgil's Annual Family Reunion"

We had Rick and Wendy over for dinner tonight before we all went to see "Virgil's Annual Family Reunion," by the Sunscape Players.  As we walked to the play, we passed Don Hutson's and there were three of these lighthouses in the back of his truck.  Don't know if he made them or bought them.  He is very artistic, but I think his talent is oil painting.  Anyway, Wendy and I thought they were very pretty.100_1029

The play started at 7:00 PM; the doors opened at 6:10 and we arrived at 6:20.  The front half of the community center was full already.

Betty Livingston is so faithful to work in the sound booth for church and almost every activity that requires sound.100_1031

Walter, a fellow choir member, played the part of Ellard and did a great job.100_1052

Almost all of the cast.100_1053

Pat, left, played the part of Ellard's mama.100_1054

Jan McKimmy, the sweet lady in the park who makes all of the special occasion cakes, played the part of Virgil's grandmother, quite a feisty lady.100_1065

G.H. played the part of the town sheriff.100_1068

It was a very entertaining evening.  Thanks to all the Sunscape Players for their hard work.      

My Pick... we'll see.

My pick for American Idol this year is Casey James.  I made that choice Wednesday night when I heard and saw him.

Casey James Top 24

Well.... do you remember my really good friend Pam (Lucy) Beckwith, that we met our first summer in Branson, Missouri?  We were at the same RV park together and became instant 'old friends.'  Here's Lucy a few days after her twin grandbabies were born.Beckwith Lucy and twins

I just happened to call Lucy tonight and she informed me that Casey James is her first cousin's son!! 

I'm so glad I had already picked him, otherwise, I would just have to change my pick.  A lot of people think that a girl will win this year, so Casey has his work cut out for him, but I think he's up for it.  He's got great genes. Lucy can really sing, too.

Go Casey!!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Smile, You're On Candid Camera.

While waiting for Lori and Norm to come by to get us, Don walked over to the cactus garden to watch the birds feed on the new block Jim put out.100_0964

Sharing is caring.  Here, a good shot of a female Gambrel quail... the big one.sharing the block

Snookie, does this remind you of anything?100_0968

Cary and Cheryl Cyphers were hosts of the Couples' Bible Study this morning.  We had another really good time of study and fellowship.Feb2

The Phantom Camera Strikes AgainFeb1

What fun I had!  A dream come true for me... the chance to candidly photograph two of my favorite people without their knowledge.  Oh, geez... I hope... Remember, I said, "two of my favorite people."  Pretty good pictures even with a cloudy window between us... you know, the kind of glass those outside can't see inside. 

How was your golf game today, Rick and Wendy?Feb

Wendy was having a really good time.wonder what was so funny?

Rick was busy, busy.100_0988

Love y'all!!  You have no idea how much fun you gave me today.  Oh, okay, where do you want to go to dinner?

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Wednesday is Wonderful

A special treat this morning was Thelma Taylor sharing about her recent mission trip to Trinidad (seven miles from the coast of Venezuela), with the Ladies Bible Study.  I was thrilled to have captured this perfect picture of the joy of the Lord Thelma has.Feb 23-24,20103

After Bible study, Donna, Judy and I walked over to check on Joyce, who wasn't at study this morning because she has fallen and severely bruised her tailbone.  She was so glad to see us and we prayed for her and took a picture of her pretty patio flowers.Joyce Allmon's pretty flowers

There goes two of my sweet prayer buddies, Judy and Donna.Judy and Donna... my good buddies

We had a visitor this evening.  We're hoping she doesn't "deposit" her "crop" under the vacant RV next door.fat cat

Can you find the heart in the cactus garden?can you find the heart in the garden

Again, another beautiful sunset to enjoy.  These always remind me to praise the Creator.Feb 23-24,20104

The wispy clouds opposite the sunset reflect the setting sun.100_0958

A full moon is not many days away.100_0959

Offer your praise to the Lord for His goodness in delivering us from the consequences of sin:
"You who love the Lord, hate evil!
He preserves the souls of His saints;
He delivers them out of the hand of the wicked.
Light is sown for the righteous,
And gladness for the upright in heart.
Rejoice in the Lord, you righteous,
And give thanks at the remembrance of His holy name(Psalm 97:10-12)."


When I was a young boy, my father had one of wooden phonethe first telephones in our neighborhood. .. I remember the polished, old case fastened to the wall. The shiny receiver hung on the side of the box. I was too little to reach the telephone, but used to listen with fascination when my mother talked to it.

Then I discovered that somewhere inside the wonderful device lived an amazing person. Her name was "Information Please" and there was nothing she did not know. Information Please could supply anyone's number and the correct time.

My personal experience with the genie-in-a-bottle came one day while my mother was visiting a neighbor. Amusing myself at the tool bench in the basement, I whacked my finger with a hammer, the pain was terrible, but there seemed no point in crying because there was no one home to give sympathy.

I walked around the house sucking my throbbing finger, finally arriving at the stairway. The telephone! Quickly, I ran for the footstool in the parlor and dragged it to the landing. Climbing up, I unhooked the receiver in the parlor and held it to my ear.

"Information, please" I said into the
mouthpiece just above my head.

A click or two and a small clear voice spoke into my ear.

"Information. "

"I hurt my finger..." I wailed into the phone, the tears came readily enough now I had an audience.

"Isn't your mother home?" came the question.

"Nobody's home but me," I blubbered.

"Are you bleeding?" the voice asked.

"No," I replied. "I hit my finger with the hammer and it hurts."

"Can you open the icebox?" she asked.

I said I could.

"Then chip off a little bit of ice and hold it to your finger," said the voice...

After that, I called "Information Please" for everything.. I asked her for help with my geography, and she told me where Philadelphia was.  She helped me with my math.

She told me my pet chipmunk that I had caught in the park just the day before, would eat fruit and nuts.

Then, there was the time Petey, our pet canary, died. I called, "Information Please," and told her the sad story.  She listened, and then said things grown-ups say to soothe a child.  But I was not consoled.  I asked her, "Why is it that birds should sing so beautifully and bring joy to all families, only to end up as a heap of feathers on the bottom of a cage?"

She must have sensed my deep concern, for she said quietly, " Wayne , always remember that there are other worlds to sing in."

Somehow I felt better.

Another day I was on the telephone, "Information Please."

"Information, " said the now familiar voice. 

"How do I spell fix?"  I asked.

All this took place in a small town in the Pacific Northwest.  When I was nine years old, we moved across the country to Boston.  I missed my friend very much.

table phone"Information Please" belonged in that old wooden box back home and I somehow never thought of trying the shiny new phone that sat on the table in the hall.  As I grew into my teens, the memories of those childhood conversations never really left me. 

Often, in moments of doubt and perplexity I would recall the serene sense of security I had then.  I appreciated now how patient, understanding, and kind she was to have spent her time on a little boy.

A few years later, on my way west to college, my plane put down in Seattle.  I had about a half-hour or so between planes.  I spent 15 minutes or so on the phone with my sister, who lived there now. Then without thinking what I was doing, I dialed my hometown operator and said, "Information Please."telephone_operator_maryland-735014

Miraculously, I heard the small, clear voice I knew so well.

"Information. "

I hadn't planned this, but I heard myself saying,

"Could you please tell me how to spell fix?"

There was a long pause. Then came the soft spoken answer, "I guess your finger must have healed by now."

I laughed, "So it's really you," I said. "I wonder if you have any idea how much you meant to me during that time?"

I wonder," she said, "if you know how much your call meant to me.

I never had any children and I used to look forward to your calls."

I told her how often I had thought of her over the years and I asked if I could call her again when I came back to visit my sister.

"Please do", she said. "Just ask for Sally."

Three months later I was back in Seattle .  A different voice answered,

"Information. "

I asked for Sally.

"Are you a friend?" she said.

"Yes, a very old friend," I answered.

"I'm sorry to have to tell you this,"  she said, "Sally had been working part time the last few years because she was sickShe died five weeks ago."

Before I could hang up, she said, "Wait a minute, did you say your name was Wayne?"

"Yes," I answered.

"Well, Sally left a message for you.  She wrote it down in case you called.  Let me read it to you."

The note said,

"Tell him there are other worlds to sing in.

He'll know what I mean."

I thanked her and hung up. I knew what Sally meant.

Never underestimate the impression you may make on others.

Whose life have you touched today?

Lifting you on eagle's wings.

May you find the joy and peace you long for.

Life is a journey... NOT a guided tour.

I loved this story.  Thanks to Millie for sharing it with me.

I hope you enjoy it too.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Tuesday - Glorious in the Desert

Not a cloud in the sky!Feb 23-24,20101

Snow on the Pinal Mountains.  We can see this mountain range from our park on a clear day like today.

Pinal Mountains100_0935_00

On our walk...

Neighbors Jim and Toma working around the pool.Jim and Toma working

Don chatting with George, who has been a little under the weather.Don and George Smith, chatting

Signs of Spring...sunshine on the ground


On my way to take sunset pictures, I caught the same patch of color as above, closing their eyes for the evening as they go to sleep.  sleeping flowers

By sunset, a few clouds had gathered on the horizon just for Tuesday's Sunset...Feb 23-24,20102

>>Deuteronomy 28<<
The people receive the blessings of Mount Gerazim.
A sword and a plowshare are laid on the valley floor between Ebal and Gerazim. Blessings are piled upon pile--until you wonder if the blessings can be contained. The Lord outdoes Himself, searching His omniscience to find ways of blessing Israel. Obviously, He takes great pleasure in doing good to them. But in the shadow of the plowshare lies a sword. The 14 verses of blessings are followed by 54 verses of the most heart-rending curses imaginable. How evil, how unspeakably terrible is sin. Thank God that He has delivered us from it. Thank God that, through Christ, we may taste of His blessings forever.  The choice is yours; the choice is mine.